Holocaust Memorials In Estonia Torched, Vandalized With Swastika
(JTA) — Unidentified individuals scrawled anti-Semitic slogans and symbols on monuments for Holocaust victims in Estonia.
The incident occurred sometime last week at the Kalevi-Liiva village in the Harju County near Tallinn, the capital of the Baltic nation of Estonia, the website News-Front reported Thursday.
The monuments, erected at sites of mass killings of Jews during the Holocaust, were also damaged with a blowtorch. One monument was defaced with a swastika. Another read: “Juden,” German for Jews. A third had the words “Sieg Heil,” a Nazi greeting, written on it.
Virtually all of the 4,500 that had lived in Estonia before the Holocaust were murdered by January 1942, when it became the first country in Europe to be declared “Jew-free” by the Nazis.
Separately, in the Netherlands a 23-year-old man who on Adolf Hitler’s birthday this year drew a shape reminiscent of a cross on the main Holocaust memorial monument of the The Hague was sentenced to 20 hours of community service. The man, identified in the media as Jordi A., denied that he had targeted the monument because it was for Jews, AD reported. Prosecutors requested he be handed a month-long prison sentence for his actions in The Hague on April 20.
Jordi A. “has been convicted of a similar offense in the past,” the judges wrote in his sentence, handed down Thursday. But “there are signs suggesting psychiatric or personality disorders” in his behavior, they added.
The Federative Jewish Netherlands group protested what it described as a light sentence.
“This is a lenient punishment that invites new anti-Semitic vandalism. An embarrassment,” the group wrote on Twitter.
Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher