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​More Than 100 Jewish Graves Defaced With Swastikas In French Cemetery

​More Than 100 Jewish Graves Defaced With Swastikas In French Cemetery

More than 100 graves at a Jewish cemetery in France have been spray-painted with swastikas, as part of a swathe of anti-Semitic attacks in the country.

French police have launched an investigation after 107 gravestones in Westhoffen, near Strasbourg, were defaced by vandals.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The act has been condemned by French President Emmanuel Macron, who tweeted on Tuesday evening: "Jews are and make France. Those who attack them, even in their graves, are not worthy of the idea we have of France.

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"Anti-Semitism is a crime and we will fight it, in Westhoffen as everywhere, until our dead can sleep in peace."

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner - who visited the cemetery on Wednesday morning - also blasted the 'heinous act of anti-Semitism', announcing plans to open a new national office to fight hate crimes.

He said: "I want to say to those who think they can come here in the middle of the night and tarnish the memory of those who are buried here.

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"Tarnish the memory of our French republic ... I want to tell them that we will not leave them alone and our means will be mobilized to follow up and act on this."

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner and head of the French national council on Archives, Jean-Louis Debre, visiting the graves. Credit: PA
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner and head of the French national council on Archives, Jean-Louis Debre, visiting the graves. Credit: PA

With 500,000 Jews, France is home to the largest community of Jewish people in Europe. However over the past few years, the country has seen a disturbing 74 percent rise in anti-Semitic attacks, with authorities saying there were 541 incidents recorded last year, compared with 311 incidents in 2017.

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According to CNN, the Alsace region has suffered a series of anti-Semitic incidents over the past year, with 96 graves having been desecrated with swastikas in a village called Quatzenheim back in February.

Last week, anti-Semitic symbols were also placed on the walls of the town hall in Rohr, which is not far from Westhoffen, while another town hall in the Bas-Rhin area was subjected to an attack in April.

Chief Rabbi Haïm Korsia, said he was 'outraged and horrified to learn of the desecration of yet another cemetery in Alsace'.

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Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, News, France

Jess Hardiman

Jess is a journalist at LADbible who graduated from Manchester University with a degree in Film Studies, English Language and Linguistics - indecisiveness at its finest, right there. She also works for FOODbible and its sister page Seitanists, which are both a safe haven for her to channel a love for homemade pasta, fennel and everything else in between. You can contact Jess at [email protected]