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Brussels Holocaust Memorial Vandalized August 4, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in Anti-Semitic, Auschwitz, Belgian Jewish association, Birkenau, Brussels, Card, CCOJB, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Holocaust, Holocaust Memorial, Jewish, Kronfeld, Memorial, Racism, Racist, Vandalized, WWII.

The Brussels Jewish Memorial for Holocaust victims has been vandalized, in an attack described as “devastating” by the head of a Belgian Jewish association.

Judith Kronfeld, secretary general of the “Union of deportees in Belgium-Sons and Daughters of deportation” organisation, spoke of a “scene of devastation” which was discovered Monday night.

The gate of the Memorial’s crypt was pulled out, documents were destroyed, windows broken and an urn containing ashes from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp was desecrated and emptied.

“Anti-Semitic vandals, moved by a destructive rage, left behind a scene of devastation,” Kronfeld said.

Condoms and excrements were also found on the floor of the Memorial which is located in Anderlecht, a Brussels district with an important Arab population.

Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, who is currently on holiday, was said to be “shocked” by this attack, his cabinet announced.

Vice-Prime minister and justice minister Laurette Onkelinx was due to issue a communique.

Lebanon war link?

Asked by EJP if this could have a link with current events in the Middle East, Kronfeld said: “I would not say that. It’s possible. It is not the first time there is vandalism in the Memorial with swastikas but it is the first time that such destruction happened,” she added.

“It is clearly an anti-Semitic act because it reaches a symbol of Judaism in Belgium,” Philippe Markiewicz, president of CCOJB, the umbrella group of Jewish organisations in Belgium, told EJP.

No inscription was found Monday night. Police arrived on the scene Tuesday morning.

The Brussels National Monument to the Jewish Martyrs of Belgium bears the names of 25,411 men, women and children deported from Belgium to Auschwitz-Birkenau during WWII.

“This is sacred place of meditation and memory for the families of the people deported during the war. But is also a place for any democrat in Belgium to call for vigilance against anti-Semitic, racist and xenophobic feelings,” the Union of deportees in Belgium said.

“To attack the Memorial is to attack the entire Jewish community in Belgium, the Jewish people and the entire democratic population in this country. Nothing can justify or excuse such an act,” it said in a press release.

The “Union of deportees in Belgium-Sons and Daughters of deportation” has called Jews and non-Jews to rally at the Memorial Thursday evening.

Source: European Jewish Press

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