Norwegian publisher targeted with antisemitic vandalism

Several yellow Stars of David were placed outside the printing offices of publisher Schibsted in Bergen, in apparent antisemitic vandalism during the weekend.

Norwegian publisher targeted with antisemitic vandalism
A file photo showing a view of Bergen. Photo: scanrail/Depositphotos

The vandalism happened around the anniversary of the 1938 Kristallnacht anti-Jewish attacks in Nazi Germany, broadcaster NRK reports.

A serious incident of antisemitic vandalism also occurred in neighbouring Denmark this weekend, where 80 gravestones were desecrated at a Jewish burial ground.

Norwegian media Filter also reported that Stars of David were placed at locations across the Nordic countries, including at synagogues, banks and at media companies.

The yellow Star of David is the symbol Jews were forced to wear by Nazi authorities during World War Two.

Several stars were reportedly stuck to a sign outside Schibsted’s offices in Bergen, NRK writes.

The stickers have since been removed, but the broadcaster’s reporting shows their outline still visible on the sign.

“This is very unpleasant for Jews. The people who are doing it have an agenda driven by hatred of Jews,” Ervin Kohn, leader of the Jewish Community in Oslo and deputy leader of the Norwegian Centre against Racism, told NRK.

Kohn said that he believed neo-Nazi group the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) to be behind the Bergen vandalism and that a complaint had been filed with police to this end.

NRK was unable to obtain comment from Schibsted or NRM regarding the Bergen incident.

Pål Tore Haga, a radicalization contact with West District Police, told the broadcaster that antisemitic vandalism on the Kristallnacht anniversary was “not a new phenomenon”.

“I have not yet seen whether any reports have been received [relating to the Bergen stickers] but will of course do this as I look closer at this case,” Haga said.

“It will be interesting to see to what extent section 185 of the criminal code for hate speech may be relevant here,” he added.

READ ALSO: Norway PM Solberg takes part in Kristallnacht remembrance march


German leaders express shame at rising antisemitism

German leaders voiced their shame over resurgent anti-Semitism on Friday, one year after a deadly attack targeting Jews in the city of Halle.

German leaders express shame at rising antisemitism
German President President Frank-Walter Steinmeier lays a wrath outside the synagogue in Halle. Photo:Ronny Hartmann / AFP
Two people were killed in the attack on October 9, 2019 during Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, in one of the worst acts of anti-Semitic violence in Germany's post-war history.
A heavily armed man tried to storm the synagogue, but when the door failed to break down he shot dead a female passer-by and a man at a kebab shop instead.
“I feel deep sadness. But even a year later I still feel shame and anger,” President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at a commemoration to mark a year since the attack.
No one should stand by and watch anti-Semitism “in the underground, in a café, in the schoolyard, on the street, on the internet”, Steinmeier added. “Everyone must stand up when the human dignity of others is violated.” 
At 12.01pm, the time the attacker fired his first shot at the door of the synagogue, all the church bells in Halle rang for two minutes.
In the afternoon, a memorial was unveiled incorporating the old door of the synagogue.
The attacks have sparked soul-searching in Germany, which has placed a huge emphasis on atoning for the murder of six million European Jews by Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime during World War II.
Just this week, a Jewish student was attacked outside a synagogue in Hamburg in a case that police are treating as attempted murder with anti-Semitic intent, condemned by Chancellor Angela Merkel as a “disgrace”.
A neo-Nazi suspect, 28-year-old Stephan Balliet, is currently on trial for the Halle attack and has told the court it was “not a mistake”.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also voiced his regret on Friday at anti-Semitism in Germany.
“One cannot say that the problem has left us — and the fact that we have to protect Jewish institutions in 2020 is actually a state of affairs that is not acceptable,” Maas told the RTL broadcaster.