New Zealand graves desecrated with Nazi symbols

More than 20 graves in Auckland, New Zealand, were desecrated with antisemitic and anti-Israel graffiti on Thursday night.

The New Zealand Herald reported that the graves, all more than 125 years old, were vandalised with black spray paint. Fourteen had black swastikas on them, another two had the words “f*** Israel” and “don’t f*** with us” scrawled onto them. Photos show another grave with the number 88 on it, a code used to mean “Heil Hitler”, H being the eighth letter of the alphabet.

The Israeli Embassy in Wellington condemned the vandalism as “vile desecration.

"Sixty seven years after the liberation of the Jewish people from the death camps and ghettoes of Europe, expressions of blind hatred for Jews and for the sole Jewish state resurface," the statement said.

"This is clearly the action of a handful of vandals, motivated by hatred and ignorance, who certainly do not represent the opinion of New Zealanders.

"We trust in New Zealand's law enforcement agencies to find the vandals and bring them to justice."

The dismay was shared by New Zealand Jewish Council president Stephen Goodman, who told the New Zealand Herald: "Normally these sort of attacks come after some international incident that provokes it, but I can think of nothing”.

Last updated: 12:06pm, October 19 2012