85 graves vandalised in the Jewish section of the Marcinelle cemetery

The Mayor of Charleroi Paul Magnette said at least 85 graves had been vandalized in the Jewish section of the cemetery in Marcinelle, which is part of the municipality of Charleroi.

Those responsible stole some symbols of the Star of David from the tombs. No non-Jewish graves were vandalized, and no writings or graffiti were left behind.

Magnette said the section of the cemetery where the events occurred, the graves targeted and the fact that some Stars of David were stolen indicate an antisemitic intent. The mayor condemned the gesture, saying that “antisemitism is a plague that we must continue to fight with all our strength.” He also expressed his solidarity with the families affected by the vandalism.

In Charleroi there was a large wave of Jewish emigration from Poland after the First World War: like many Italians, the Polish Jews who settled in the area worked mainly in the mines and factories of the area.

Many of them were deported to concentration camps, including Auschwitz, during the Second World War: in the same cemetery that was vandalized there is a large memorial dedicated “to the Jewish martyrs of the Charleroi region who were victims of Nazism”.


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