Grave of Revered Hasidic Rabbi’s Daughter Desecrated With Pig Parts in Ukraine

The grave of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov's daughter, Sarah, in Kremenchuk, Ukraine.

August 9, 2021

The grave of Sarah, daughter of the late revered Hasidic leader Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, was found badly desecrated with pig body parts last week, the Israeli Haredi news website Kikar HaShabbat reported.

Suspecting an antisemitic motive, Breslov Hasidim reported the vandalism to local authorities soon after visiting the 186-year-old grave, located in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk, last Monday.

In the incident, the headstone was also reportedly broken, with heaps of skeletal pig remains — including a skull — found near its base.

“This is not the first time antisemites have harmed the grave,” Breslov Hasid Rabbi Avraham Chezin told Kikar HaShabbat in an interview, adding that a coordinated effort was being led by the local Jewish community and regional police to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The gravesite in Kremenchuk, Ukraine.

Among previous incidents of similar nature in Ukraine, the grave of Rabbi Nachman himself, located in the central city of Uman and visited by an estimated 150,000 people every year, has also been targeted in the past, with antisemitic vandals using a pig’s severed head to desecrate the site in 2016.

The latest incident of anti-Jewish vandalism, at the Kremenchuk gravesite, comes amid a worrying trend seen across many European countries in recent years, with Jewish cemeteries becoming an increasingly common target for antisemites.

Just three days ago, another Jewish gravesite was targeted in the northwestern Greek city of Ioannina, with its covering slab removed and smashed debris from the grave’s headstone strewn around it.