Victims dishonored: Memorial at Nazi camp destroyed twice in a week

Trees dedicated to Buchenwald victims felled and damaged, with local leader pledging to enact a “decisive response.”

By World Israel News Staff

Trees planted in honor of Holocaust victims near the Buchenwald concentration camp in Thuringia, Germany was chopped down by unknown vandals on two separate occasions last week.

A number of the trees were felled and damaged.

“We are shocked by this targeted attack on this memorial,” the Buchenwald Memorial Foundation wrote on Twitter, alongside pictures of the trees.

The group said it was “appalled at the deliberate attack on remembrance” and that a police report had been filed.

Memorial spokesperson Rikola-Gunnar Lüttgenau told German news outlet DW that unknown perpetrators had spray-painted swastikas on the site’s memorial plaques and signs on previous occasions.

“The only thing that will help is a decisive response. Two new trees for every destroyed one. Redoubled focus on every cowardly act,” Minister-President of Thuringia Bobo Ramelow told AFP.

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“Those who commit such cowardly attacks share a mentality with the murderers in the concentration camps,” he said, adding that he interrupted his summer vacation in order to handle the matter. He pledged that he would personally join the replanting efforts.

Karen Pollock CBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, told The Jewish Chronicle that “attacking the sites where the Holocaust took place is depraved and appalling. It is deeply upsetting for Holocaust survivors and their families, many of whom lost relatives and loved ones in Buchenwald.

“As the Holocaust fades from living memory, sites like Buchenwald must stand as a memorial to Jews murdered there simply because they were Jewish.”

Some 56,000 people were killed at Buchenwald.

Earlier in July, two swastikas and the slogan “Heil Hitler” were found carved onto a concrete block that is part of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin.