Jewish graves vandalized in Bulgaria

Vandals attacked tombstones in the Jewish cemetery in the town of Shoumen in north-eastern Bulgaria.

In the attack, Jewish gravestones were severely damaged, while fences were vandalised.
Shoumen was home to a Jewish community during the centuries of Ottoman rule. The cemetery is testimony to the legacy of a community largely no longer present in the town.
The Jewish cemetery in Shoumen dates from the 19th century, though there was an earlier burial place for the Jewish community in the town.

The regional organisation of the Organisation of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom” – the country’s EJC affiliate – has approached the Regional Prosecutor’s Office about the vandalism. “We hope that the responsible institutions will find the perpetrators and ensure that such actions will not be repeated in the future,” the organisation said.

This is the latest in a number of incidents in which the Jewish cemetery in the town was desecrated, including one in 2008 in which it was vandalised. At the time, the perpetrators were caught and handed a court order to attend an educational programme against antisemitism.

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