Earth with bone fragments disappears from desecrated Jewish cemetery in Lithuania


(JTA) — A Jewish cemetery in Lithuania was desecrated and human remains brought to surface level during earthworks connected to the laying of piping.

Pictures showing freshly-dug earth, garbage and bone fragments on the grounds of the Jewish cemetery of Siauliai in northern Lithuania began circulating on social media on Wednesday amid reports of a cover up of the evidence documented, the Skrastas news site reported Friday.

According to the article, the earth containing bone fragments was removed after being photographed by Kerbel, possibly to conceal the evidence of the desecration. But Marijus Velička, a senior municipal representative, told Skrastas that he believes “this is not true.”

“The cemetery is a cultural heritage site and all digging is prohibited there,” Sania Kerbel, the chairperson of the local Jewish community, told the new site, adding: “This is not just desecration of burial grounds, there is vandalism here.”


Rabbinical authorities in Lithuania have been approached to deal with the fallout of the earthworks at Siauliai and bring the human remains on site to a proper burial, the report also said. Police are looking into the incident at the cemetery, the report said.

Grant Gochin of California on Thursday reacted passionately to the incident at the municipality where his family used to live.

“Those bones could belong to my cousins. The disrespect… This feels like a knife into the core of my being, how could someone hate this much? How could people be so callous?” he wrote on Facebook. “That is my family you see in those mounds.”