Polish Cops Nab Suspected Vandal at Jewish Cemetery

Man Knocked Down 13 Tombstones Before Arrest

Overgrown: A neglected Jewish cemetery in the Polish town of Checiny.
COURTESY OF SZTETL.COM
Overgrown: A neglected Jewish cemetery in the Polish town of Checiny.

By JTA

Published March 04, 2014.
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Police officers in Poland arrested a man whom they said they had caught desecrating Jewish tombstones.

The suspect, who was not named, was arrested last week at the Jewish cemetery of Andrychow, 30 miles southwest of Krakow, the news site Wadowice24.pl reported Tuesday.

At the 18th-century burial site, he had knocked down 13 tombstones before police officers arrested him, according to the report. The man, who lives in Andrychow, has several prior convictions and is unemployed, the report also said.

Poland has about 1,400 Jewish cemeteries, which the Jewish community of 40,000 cannot afford to maintain, according to community officials. Although vandalism occasionally occurs, erosion, neglect and illegal construction account for more damage, several community officials told JTA.

In 2012, the Council of Europe adopted a non-binding resolution making national governments responsible for the care of Jewish cemeteries.

Last month, unidentified individuals smashed several headstones in Subotica, a Serbian city located 260 miles south of Andrychow.


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