Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Czech Republic -- vandalism at Puklice Jewish cemetery

By Ruth Ellen Gruber

Vandals have damaged or toppled about 10 gravestones in the centuries-old Jewish cemetery in Puklice, near Jihlava. The cemetery is listed as a national cultural monument and had recently undergone restoration. Police are investigating the vandalism, which was discovered in the first week of January.

The Puklice cemetery, which includes about 100 gravestones, is one of the oldest in the Czech Republic, probably founded in the 15th century. The oldest legible gravestone dates from 1699. The small Jewish quarter in the village itself is largely intact, with the remains of a mikvah and a former synagogue/school (now a residence).

Jaroslav Klenovsky, who oversees Jewish heritage in Moravia for the Federation of Jewish communities, told Czech media that the vandalism was likely not a specifically anti-semitic attack, but the work of "young offenders."

You can see a video of the damage HERE.

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