VANDALS DESECRATE JEWISH “YAMA” MEMORIAL
In Minsk unidentified vandals desecrated Jewish “Yama” memorial by spray-painting Nazi swastika there. During the Second World War the place served as a Jewish ghetto in which fascists killed over 100 thousand civilians.
Vice-President of the Union of Belarusian Jewish public associations and communities Yakaw Basin says, this was the second act of vandalism at the “Yama” memorial site.
The first one occurred in 1992, when someone spilled white paint over the dark marble plate there. The site was left stained for quite a while. Finally, it was cleaned when Belarus-born Foreign Minister of Israel came to Minsk with a visit.
According to Basin, this time the act was perpetrated by neo-fascists, who by so doing voiced a political statement, depicting fascist swastika with white paint on the memorial. At the same time, Basin sees threat in the activities of the fascists, who also wrote “Holocaust 2003” in the lower part of the memorial, putting an inscription in its upper corner– “Beat up the Jews!”.
Yakaw Basin says they are preparing to address prosecutors’ office on behalf of all Jewish communities and religious associations of the country to request an investigation and institution of a criminal case. According to Basin, “in spite of all appeals of the community, nobody has ever been convicted of anti-Semitic activities”.
According to the lawyer of Arthur Liwshyts Union of Committees in Support of ex-USSR Jews, recently unidentified vandals have desecrated a Jewish cemetery in Babruisk (Mahilow region), and the monument to Holocaust victims in Tsimkavichy (Kobryn district of Brest region). The memorial was erected with the support of Jews from Canada, whose relatives died in the local ghetto during the Second World War.