Thugs scrawl ‘Jews are criminals’ on Holocaust memorial stones in Germany

Several stolperstein Weimar were vandalised


Several stolperstein were vandalised in Weimar, Germany (Photo: Twitter)

Several German memorial stones for Jews who were killed in the Holocaust have been vandalised with antisemitic messages.

Stolpersteine, or stumbling stones, are small plaques set into the ground outside a Shoah victim’s last-known freely chosen residence.

Tens of thousands have been created in Europe over the past three decades to commemorate Nazi brutality on an individual level.

In the central German city of Weimar, at least seven have now been vandalised in what appears to be a campaign of harrasment. 

The phrase “Jews are criminals” has been graffitied on several, the Thuringer Allgemeine reported this week.

The same words are also said to have been scrawled on posters advertising the Achava Festival, a Jewish cultural event in the city.

Karen Pollock, chief executive of Britain’s Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “This is disgusting. Stolpersteine are ‘stumbling stones’ and are placed all over Europe as memorials to the various Jewish families or individuals who lived in these homes and were murdered during the Holocaust.

"This deliberate hateful act is yet another example of the antisemitism sweeping across the world.

"It reminds us that despite the phrase Never Again being coined after the horrors of Holocaust, antisemitism is alive and well.”

The latest vandalism of the Shoah memorial stones is just the latest in a wave of attacks.

In 2021, a newly laid stolpersteine was stolen from the streets of Weimar.

The same year, a brick in the north-western town of Osterholz-Scharmbeck was painted over, while in Dortmund nearly two dozen were defaced with blue paint.

Earlier this week, Germany's domestic intelligence agency said antisemitic crimes had jumped from just 33 in 2022 to 492 in 2023, with the vast majority committed after October 7.

Stars of David have been painted on buildings, petrol bombs have been thrown at synagogues, and Jewish graves have been desecrated.

Speaking last November, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said: “Every form of antisemitism poisons our society. We won’t tolerate it.

“Never again – that means the physical protection of Jewish institutions and communities. It means that the police and judiciary consistently enforce applicable law.”

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