Police Investigate Vandalism in Jewish Graveyard, Chirac Promises Punishment

May 2, 2004

Source: The Sun-Herald


On May 2, 2004 The Sun-Herald reported, "French President Jacques Chirac has vowed to punish vandals who scrawled swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans on 127 graves in a Jewish cemetery near the eastern French town of Colmar. 'Anti-Semitism is contrary to all of our values, all of our principles and to all of the ideals of the Republic,' Mr Chirac said after the defaced headstones were discovered early on Friday by a city worker. The gravestones were marked with swastikas and phrases glorifying Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. On a stone inscribed with a prayer in Hebrew near the cemetery entrance, vandals wrote 'Juden raus' (Jews out). Other stones and monuments were marked with the words 'Adolf' and 'Hitler,' along with the dates 'April 30, 1945' and 'April 30, 2004.' April 30, 1945, is believed to be the day that Hitler committed suicide. Police were searching the cemetery for clues but did not offer any information about who could have been behind the acts of vandalism. Mr. Chirac vowed to punish those responsible for what he called the 'abominable and intolerable acts' committed in the isolated cemetery near the villages of Hattstatt and Herrlisheim, located in the middle of a vineyard."