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Pristina - Jewish Cemetery In Kosovo Capital Desecrated

Published on: December 1, 2011 10:42 AM
Last updated on: December 1, 2011 11:49 AM
By: AP
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Swastikas sprayed on top of tombstones in a Jewish cemetery promoting police to launch an investigation in to the act of vandalism in the capital Pristina, Kosovo on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. ( AP Photo / Visar Kryeziu )Swastikas sprayed on top of tombstones in a Jewish cemetery promoting police to launch an investigation in to the act of vandalism in the capital Pristina, Kosovo on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. ( AP Photo / Visar Kryeziu )

Pristina - Police in Kosovo are investigating who sprayed swastikas on dozens of tombstones in a Jewish cemetery recently restored by American and Kosovan students, a spokesman said Thursday.

Brahim Sadrija said police had sealed off the cemetery in the capital, Kosovo, and are looking for clues. The vandalism is believed to have happened Tuesday.

Sadrija said he could not disclose more details pending the ongoing investigation.

In June, a group of students from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and their peers from the American University in Kosovo restored the neglected cemetery by clearing debris from around the graves and cutting overgrown grass.

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Rabbi Edward S. Boraz of the college’s Roth Center for Jewish Life held a dedication ceremony at the memorial site, with students taking turns to read out the names of Jewish families from the region who perished during World War II.

On Thursday the hate graffiti “Jud Raus” — a misspelling of the German “Juden Raus,” which means “Jews out” — could still be seen at the foot of a memorial.

Presi

Swastikas sprayed on top of tombstones in a Jewish cemetery in the capital Pristina, Kosovo , seen Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011.  The attack is believed to have taken place on Tuesday and has been criticized by local leaders. Police have launched an investigation into the act of vandalism ( AP Photo / Visar Kryeziu )Swastikas sprayed on top of tombstones in a Jewish cemetery in the capital Pristina, Kosovo , seen Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011.  The attack is believed to have taken place on Tuesday and has been criticized by local leaders. Police have launched an investigation into the act of vandalism ( AP Photo / Visar Kryeziu )

dent Atifete Jahjaga and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci condemned the act.

“The damaging of cemeteries presents an act in complete contradiction with the traditions and values of the people of Kosovo, based on tolerance and full respect for all the dead and all the monuments,” Jahjaga said in a statement.

Thaci described the desecration as “a cowardly act.”

The condemnations follow that of U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo, Christopher Dell, who urged authorities to find out who committed the vandalism.

“The hateful act was an offense not only against the families of persons buried there and of the Jewish community in Kosovo and beyond, but also an offense against Kosovo’s multiethnic state and society,” Dell said in a statement.

“The act is one of contempt for the most basic norms of tolerance, coexistence, and respect, and cannot be tolerated.”

Some 300 Kosovo Jews died at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany during World War II. After the war, Kosovo’s small Jewish community dwindled. The few that remained left for Israel and Serbia during and after the 1998-99 Kosovo war.

Kosovo, a former Serbian province, seceded from Serbia in 2008 but Belgrade has vowed never to accept the independence of the majority ethnic Albanian territory.

Kosovo is overwhelmingly Muslim, but has a Roman Catholic minority.



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Read Comments (5)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 01, 2011 at 10:55 AM MosheM Says:

What else is news? This is normal. This wasn't even reported by Jews before the war. It's business as usual.

2

 Dec 01, 2011 at 11:46 AM SherryTheNoahide Says:

Wow- things are getting scary out there!

Please be safe my friends! My family is praying for your Nation continuously!

3

 Dec 01, 2011 at 01:03 PM Adem Says:

VIN as always, great pictures!

4

 Dec 01, 2011 at 06:42 PM realistic Says:

In the last few years there's a so-called "vaad" of some orthodox and reform rabbis who're supposed to perserve Botai Olmin in Europe. Why don't they take action?

5

 Dec 05, 2011 at 12:18 AM Misho Says:

Please take a look at the Serbian graves in Kosovo. They have been completely destroyed by the Albanians. It has been ongoing ethnic cleansing and terror since 1999 when Serbia was forced to leave Kosovo. It is a shame for NATO to watch and tolerate Albanian ethnic cleansing of all remaining non-Albanians from Kosovo. NO perpetrators of Serb graves destruction were ever found. I doubt that will find who did this crime against the Jewish graves. I hope someone will wake up in West. There are no Jews, no Serbs, no Christians left in Kosovo. Only Albanians and their Jihad.

6

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