Pig's Head Dumped at Italian Synagogue, Israeli Embassy in Rome

Upsurge in Vandalism on Eve of Holocaust Remembrance

A pig’s head was delivered to Rome’s main synagogue by courier only days before International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
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A pig’s head was delivered to Rome’s main synagogue by courier only days before International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

By JTA

Published January 25, 2014.
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Boxes containing the head of a pig were sent to Rome’s main synagogue, the Israeli embassy in Rome and a museum showing an exhibition on the Holocaust.

The packages, sent via a courier service, were delivered Friday, just days before International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

All three packages were turned over to Italy’s special terrorism and major crime police, who opened an investigation. The packages contained no message and had no information about the sender.

At the close of Shabbat on Saturday, Renzo Gattegna, the president of the umbrella Union of Italian Jewish Communities, called the incidents “disturbing threats” that “arouse indignation and dismay.”

The “repugnant action,” Gattegna said in a statement, “recalled typically Mafia methodology.” He declared that whatever the intent of the action, “Italian Jews are not frightened now and will never be so in the future by those who demonstrate, with such blatant evidence, the profound ignorance and barbarism of their own behavior.”

He expressed gratitude for “the immediate and effective action by the forces of order that always, with great professionalism and commitment, ensure the safety of our institutions and communities.”

Daniele Nahum, a spokesman for the Jewish community in Milan, tweeted that the delivery to the synagogue was “an insult to those who identify with the values of our Constitution.” His tweet came before the other two incidents were made public.

Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino condemned what he called a “disgraceful act” and expressed solidarity with the Jewish community. “Whoever sent it,” he said, “committed an offense against the entire city.”

International Holocaust Remembrance Day, observed on January 27, is marked throughout Italy with commemorative ceremonies, educational programs, special broadcasts and publications, and other events, including organized student study and commemoration trips to Auschwitz.

In another development, graffiti declaring that the Holocaust was “a lie” and “’Hanna Frank’ was a liar” were found Saturday on walls in an outlying district of Rome.


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