August 11, 2010
German cemeteries vandalized
The Germany city of Bremen will help the local Jewish community pay for repairs to the historic cemetery in Hastedt, which was damaged by unknown vandals.
According to Jewish community vice chair Grigori Pantijelew, 12 tombstones from the 1920s and 1930s were knocked down overnight on Aug. 2; some were severely damaged. Such cemeteries depend on public care; descendants either fled Nazi Germany or were killed.
Jens Bohrnsen and Karoline Linnert, the co-mayors of Bremen, a port city of more than 500,000 in northwest Germany, visited the site Monday with Jewish community representatives. They told the Weser Courier newspaper that they wanted to show that Germany was not indifferent to this kind of crime.
“I am always shocked when I find out there are idiots around who have not learned anything and who try to provoke us in this way,” Bohrnsen said.
Meanwhile, in Aarchen near the German border with France and Belgium, unknown perpetrators painted Nazi symbols on the wall of the Jewish cemetery. The vandalism was discovered in the early morning hours of Aug. 2.