09 August 2010
A monument to the victims of World War II in south-western France has been spray-painted with anti-Semitic graffiti. French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux expressed “horror and sadness” after the discovery of anti-Jewish slogans and symbols at a memorial to the deportation and resistance in Marmande, in the Lot-et-Garonne department. The words ‘lies’, ‘Zionism’, ‘interests’ and the dollar sign were inscribed in red paint on the monument which bears the names of Nazi concentration camps. Gerard Gouzes, the mayor of Marmande, said: “It is undoubtedly the act of a Holocaust denier, someone who knows very well what he did.”
According to the interior minister, the authors of the tags "clearly targeted the memory of the deportees and the Jewish community of France.” Hortefeux said: “I am more than ever determined to fight against all the obscurantisms, all racisms and all the forms extremism.”
Wednesday’s incident came after several other anti-Semitic acts in the country. Three weeks ago, dozens of Jewish graves were vandalized in eastern France. Vandals smashed or overturned 27 gravestones at the Jewish cemetery of Wolfisheim, near Strasbourg. More recently, anti-Semitic slogans and Nazi swastikas were discovered on the walls of the Etz Haim synagogue in Melun, in central France, and on the windows and walls of a dozen kosher stores in Paris.
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