Slovakia: Second Jewish cemetery vandalised in under ten days

Tombstones were found vandalised and graves desecrated on Friday at Rajec's Jewish cemetery, the second Jewish cemetery to be targeted by an anti-Semitic attack in Slovakia in recent days. «The desecration of a second cemetery in Slovakia in two weeks is sadly not an isolated act in Europe,» said Jewish publicist and journalist Konstanty Gebert. «Very few people visit the tombs of their relatives... Еще in Jewish cemeteries because there are very few relatives alive. The hatred must be powerful enough that insulting the dead, even if no living are insulted, gives satisfaction.» On December 18 a previous incident in the northern Slovakian town of Namestovo left at least 59 gravestones vandalised in a Jewish cemetery. «I would like to look into the eyes of the person who did it or the people who did it. I would ask them why they bullied dead people? It is not a coincidence that Jews live in Rajec or Namestovo. What do they want to prove to us? Those who did it will be hard to catch, I am very sad because of that,» said Zilina's Jewish Community Chairman Pavel Franki. According to the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, in 2016 around 2,600 people (0.05 percent of the total population) identified as Jewish in Slovakia, with the number increasing a further 2,000 if family members and converts are included.

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