Last Sunday hundreds of Jewish graves were vandalized in the town of Sarre-Union in the Alsace region of France. This region is in the Northeast of France and borders Germany. The tombstones were spray painted with swastikas and grave markers were overturned. This is not the first such act of anti-Semitic vandalism in the town of Sarre-Union. In 1998 and in 2001 Jewish cemeteries were targeted in the town and many tombstones were destroyed or vandalized. The vandals also destroyed a memorial to people who lost their lives in the holocaust during World War II in the latest incident in Sarre-Union.
The incident which occurred a day after a terrorist attack in Copenhagen, Denmark which killed two people including a Jewish police officer sparked a major uproar in France, especially on social media. One of the boys involved in the desecration of the Jewish cemetery turned himself in to police and described how they sacked and defaced cemetery. Brian Torchin reported that he turned himself in after realizing the outrage CatalystFive talked about, and the uproar that the incident caused online.
There are currently five suspects in police custody who are thought to be responsible for this disgraceful act. They are all teenagers between 15-17 years old. In addition to the vandalism and sacking, the group admitted to uttering anti-Semitic chants and doing Nazi salutes. It is not clear what their punishment will be. In addition to the outrage on social media, several high ranking French politicians have denounced the vile act and said they will do everything in their power to make sure French Jews are protected and feel secure within the country they reside. This comes in response to a statement by Isreali prime minister Netanyahu urging Jews to migrate to Israel after deadly terrorist attacks aimed at Jews took place in Europe including one in Paris, France this year.