Cemetery near Auschwitz vandalised

Jewish cemetery in Oswiecim has become a symbolic memorial


An SS bolt and swastika were sprayed over the wall of a Jewish cemetery in Oswiecim, site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial. 

Local mayor Janusz Chwierut said “such acts will always be condemned” in the town, whose inhabitants preserve the “memory of victims of the Holocaust.” 

“Oświęcim is also a symbol of many centuries of coexistence between the Jewish and Christian communities, and the inhabitants of pre-war Oświęcim are buried in the Jewish cemetery. Such actions harm our common memory.”

The Jewish cemetery was desecrated by the Nazis and restored several times after the end of the Second World War.

The town's Jewish community dates back to the 15th century and, prior to the war, 8000 of its population of 12,000 were Jewish.

A spokesman for the Auschwitz Memorial said it was “painful” to see Nazi graffiti so close to the site of the former death camp and said the cemetery was “a remnant and memorial of the destroyed community.”

“The wall was cleaned immediately, but together we need to keep fighting against all forms of hatred.”

A spokesperson for the local police told the Jewish Chronicle the force had launched an investigation after officers discovered the “fascist” graffiti on Sunday morning.

Perpetrators could face two years behind bars for promoting fascist content and another eight years for damaging a historical monument.


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