The grave of a daughter of the Breslover movement’s founder, Rabbi Nachman, was set on fire and daubed with a swastika.
The 1831 grave in the central-Ukraine city of Kremenchuk was set ablaze sometime after the completion last month of its renovation by the Oholei Tzadikim association, which works to restore Jewish burial sites throughout the region. It was discovered on Feb. 16, the association wrote in a statement.
“The damage is very extensive,” Rabbi Shimon Buskila of the World Breslov Center told JTA on Sunday. “They destroyed the structure that was only recently erected.”
Pictures of the site supplied by Oholei Tzadikim showed the charred interior of a small structure constructed around the headstone. A swastika was drawn in black ink on the exterior of the structure along with a face and the words “Office Man Serega” in Latin.
According to Oholei Tzadikim, the area was designated to become a construction site, but the association cited its sanctity in preventing the project.
Police have been informed of the incident and are working to prevent its recurrence, Rabbi Israel Meir Gabai, the association’s director general, said in the statement. He added that the group will repair the damages.
Rabbi Nachman’s teachings have inspired hundreds of thousands of followers worldwide. His grave in the city of Uman in Ukraine is among the Hasidic world’s most visited burial sites.