Europe’s Oldest Jewish Cemetery Vandalized
Heiliger Sand, the Jewish cemetery in Worms, Germany, is believed to be the oldest in Europe. It was vandalized last week, leaving several dozen gravestones damaged.
Originally established in the 11th century, the cemetery has been the final resting place for generations of Jews.
In an interview with Arutz 7, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the European Jewish Association, and the Rabbinical Center of Europe, condemned the ongoing rise of anti-Semitism across the continent.
“There is no doubt that the corona crisis has brought with it a sharp rise in antisemitic discourse on the Internet, and now that most of the closures have been lifted, we unfortunately see how the toxic discourse on social media is turning into physical attacks on Jewish institutions and symbols. “We expect the German government to act swiftly not only to renovate the cemetery but to formally declare the acceptance of the comprehensive program to combat anti-Semitism that that we initiated, which includes a substantial change in the curriculum in the state education system.”
In speaking with the Jerusalem Post, Isaac Herzog, Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel and member of Combat Anti-Semitism’s Advisory Board, urged German authorities to find the perpetrators.
“This testament to a millennium of Jewish life in German lands has been the target of a vile hate crime at a time when rising antisemitism is a shared preoccupation in many countries. I know very well how vigilant and aware German authorities are to this wave of racist hate which has found in the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus a new pretext to reshape and renew old forms of anti-Jewish conspiracies and libels.”
The perpetrator(s) remain at large.