‘Intolerable’: Antisemitic arson at Holocaust memorial in Germany, library burned to the ground

German police are searching for an unknown perpetrator who torched a mini-library containing books about the Holocaust in a Berlin train station.

By World Israel News Staff

German police are investigating an antisemitic arson attack at a Holocaust memorial in Berlin on Sunday.

“In the early hours of the morning, emergency services were dispatched to Grunewald [train station] because of a fire…two unknown witnesses told an employee of a neighboring bakery at around 4:50 a.m. that a [mini-library] on the historic Platform 17… was on fire,” Berlin police said in a statement.

“The fire brigade, which was also alerted, extinguished the fire, but the books were almost completely destroyed…the State Criminal Police Office has taken over the case for examination.”

According to police, an “antisemitic note” was found on Platform 17, a Holocaust monument located at the Grunewald station. Some 50,000 Jews were deported to concentration camps from that train station from 1941 to 1945.

Platform 17 hosts an old telephone booth that was converted to a small library, dubbed the Bucherboxx. It contains books about the Holocaust and Nazism, and passengers have been free to borrow texts from the Bucherboxx to read while traveling.

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Photos circulating on social media depicted the Bucherboxx burned to the ground, with the books inside unsalvageable due to severe damage.

In a media statement, the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference of Germany said the “despicable” and “intolerable” arson was just the latest in a series of escalating antisemitic incidents in the country.

“This time, books from the memorial documenting the horror of Nazi terror were damaged,” the group said.

“But the arsonists will not be able to deny or downplay the Holocaust, because the historical facts speak a clear, deeply sad language about the abysmal deeds people were willing to do and hopefully never will again.”

In June 2023, German authorities reported that they received complaints regarding nearly 1,000 antisemitic incidents since the beginning of the year.

However, Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of German Jews, said in a statement that he believes those numbers don’t reflect the true reality of hostility towards Jews in the country. “Many of the minor attacks or insults, mostly in the area of Muslim antisemitism, are not recorded by the statistics,” he noted.