Polish Jewish cemetery, Russian community center vandalized

(JTA) — A Jewish cemetery in western Poland and a Holocaust memorial site in Russia were defaced in suspected anti-Semitic attacks.

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In Kalisz, near Wroclaw, a Star of David on a gallows and the inscription “Kalisz without Jews” (Kalisz bez Żydów) were spray-painted on a Jewish cemetery and discovered on Feb. 20, according to naszemiasto.pl, a news site. 

The same slogan appeared on a large banner that was placed at one of the city’s main streets in 1939 to greet the advancing Nazi forces.

Local police were informed of the incident, the website reported.

Separately, vandals smashed a Holocaust memorial outside the Ulyanovsk Jewish Community Center in Russia, near the city of Kazan, on Feb. 18. 

The vandals smashed the memorial, a menorah inaugurated during the international 2011 festival of Jewish culture in Ulyanovsk, after they failed to enter the adjacent Jewish community center, according to a report by the Interfax news agency.  

Olga Bogatova, press officer for the Interior Ministry’s Department for Ulyanovsk, told Interfax a criminal case “may be opened.”

“This memorial is a national and religious symbol,” Igor Devkerov, the leader of the Ulyanovsk Jewish community, said in a statement quoted by Interfax.

Its desecration “hurts every Jew in our town,” he said. 

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