Jews Demand from Babruysk Authorities to Prevent Fomenting of National Enmity

2003 2003-06-05T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

According to Radio “Liberty”, Babruysk city Jewish community has submitted a letter to Mikhail Bandarenka, Head of Babruysk City Executive Committee, asking to take measures in connection with fomenting of the national enmity. Some traits of this crime Babruysk Jews have seen in the recent vandalism act, when four Jewish graves have been befouled.

The Jews expressed their anxiety with this fact to the city authorities.

A week ago unknown people painted the four graves and their fences with yellow paint: they painted over the images of the dead and wrote “Beat Jews!” on one of the plinths. The police took the imprints from the bottle with paint, left by the hooligans, but still haven’t find them.

Leanid Rubinshtein, Head of Babruysk Jewish community, says that the plinths have been already put in order, but Jews are very concerned with this terrible event. People recollect that yellow is the color of Nazi anti-Semitism.

By the way, Babruysk has always been considered as a Jewish city. In the past 80% of the city population were Jews. Now, after their mass departure to the historical motherland, only 4 500 of them remain in Babruysk, which is less than 1%. Nevertheless, other Babruysk citizens have always paid respect to Jews and their culture, last year the community received the synagogue building.

There haven’t been any vandalism acts before. Three years ago, when so-called Satanists destroyed a number of Orthodox graves, the police found them. These were students of technical colleges. That’s why Babruysk authorities are sure that this time ordinary hooligans were acting as well. Ihar Ket, the first vice-Head of Babruysk CEC, said that no one could speak of national enmity in such specific city as Babruysk and have any reasons for being anxious.

Leanid Rubinshtein, on the contrary, is not at all sure that the vandals were teenagers. He also points at the fact that similar acts of vandalism happened at that time in Minsk and Berastse. He says that groups of “skinheads”, adherents of fascist ideology, exist in Babruysk. “If we pretend not to notice the problem, they can come to flats of Jews”, -- he said.

That’s why the Jews demand from Babruysk authorities to take measures against fomenting of national enmity.