Vandals Desecrate Jewish Graves in Ukraine

By JTA

Published June 08, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Ukrainian police on Thursday arrested three teenagers suspected of desecrating a mass grave of Holocaust victims near Rivne.

A spokesperson for the Ukrainian police said police believe the suspects, aged 17-19, sprayed swastikas on the monument near the Rivne killing site in western Ukraine on June 6. Rabbi Shneor Schneersohn, chief rabbi of Rivne, told JTA, “The attack had clearly been anti-Semitic.” He said the perpetrators sprayed anti-Semitic profanities on the monument, smashed light fixtures and floor tiles.

A spokesperson for the Ukrainian interior ministry said the suspects would be prosecuted for hooliganism. If convicted, they could face a four-year prison term.

Schneersohn, a Chabad rabbi who has been living in Rivne for eight years, said the attack was the first in five years. In 2005 perpetrators dug up graves of murdered Jews, presumably hoping to find jewelry or gold teeth.

Ukrainian authorities are eager to prevent the recurrence of anti-Semitic incidents, Schneersohn said, citing the European soccer championship matches taking place this month in Ukraine. “Anti-Semitic incidents don’t look good – especially now,” he said.

At least 17,000 Jews are believed to be buried near the monument outside Rivne. German troops massacred them with machine guns in November 1941, in one of the largest mass executions of Jews that year in the German military-administered territories.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.