Jewish cemetery vandalised on Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust victims are buried in several cemeteries across Europe, including this one in Terezin, Czech Republic

Holocaust victims are buried in several cemeteries across Europe, including this one in Terezin, Czech Republic

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Jewish cementery in the Romanian capital Bucharest was vandalised on Holocaust Memorial Day this week, leaving Jewish groups furious.

Reuters reports that a number of headstones were smashed and overturned in the asasault on Giurgiului cemetery, which is described as one of the three largest in Romania.

At least 10 tombstones sustained damage in the attack, which is believed to have taken place on the night of April 23/24.

Police say three teenagers aged between 13 and 16 were identified in connection with the incident, but no arrests have been made. It is not known whether there was any specific motivation behind the desecration.

Romania's Federation of Jewish Communities said it was "saddened and revolted" by the attack, which coincided with the start of Holocaust Memorial Day on April 24.

Up to 380,000 Romanian and Ukrainian Jews died in the territories under the rule of Romania, a Nazi ally, during World War II, and several victims are buried in the vandalised cemetery.

Despite its historical significance, the Giugiului site has witnessed several attacks in the past. In 2010, for example, a total of 131 gravestones were smashed, requiring extensive restoration work.