Anti-Semitic vandals deface memorial to French synagogue destroyed by Nazis

French police launched an investigation into vandalism of a memorial stone marking the site of a former synagogue destroyed by the Nazis in the eastern city of Strasbourg.

By Associated Press and World Israel News Staff

The prefecture of the Bas-Rhin region said in a statement a heavy memorial stone honoring a synagogue burned to the ground by the Nazis in Strasbourg was discovered moved from its base Saturday morning.

Strasbourg mayor Roland Ries denounced the “new anti-Semitic act.”

“Anti-Semitism undermines the values of the Republic,” the prefecture said.

The monument commemorates a synagogue built in 1898 that was razed by the Nazis in 1940.

The incident comes amid an uptick in anti-Semitic acts in France in recent months. Last month, about 80 gravestones were spray-painted with swastikas in a Jewish cemetery close to Strasbourg.

In addition to traditional perpetrators of anti-Semitic crimes in France, which include neo-Nazis and radical Islamists, the recently-launched “yellow vest” protests have also included an anti-Semitic dimension, including an incident in which French philosopher and son of an Auschwitz survivor Alain Finkielkraut was called a “dirty Jew” by one of the protestors during a vicious verbal attack that resulted in criminal charges being pressed against the perpetrator.

Jews in France are not alone, with anti-Semitic crimes on the rise throughout the world. Last week, the Chief Rabbi of Argentina was the victim of a home invasion during which he was beaten so badly he was left with nine broken ribs. While the incident involved a robbery, it is also being investigated as a potential hate crime.