Denmark arrests two for vandalism of Jewish graves

East Jutland Police have arrested two men for vandalism of gravestones at a Jewish burial place in Randers.

Denmark arrests two for vandalism of Jewish graves
A police officer at Østre Kirkegård cemetery in Randers. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

The men are suspected of vandalism and could also face charges under anti-racism laws.

A police prosecutor is expected to requested Randers District Court remand the men in custody on Wednesday afternoon, police said in a press statement.

The men are from the central Jutland towns of Randers and Hobro.

Police suspicions against the men are related primarily to vandalism at Østre Kirkegård cemetery in Randers during the night between Friday and Saturday last week. 84 gravestones were defaced with green paint.

Vandalism at a building in the town, where green and black paint was thrown at the façade, is also encompassed by the case.

Police are still looking for further witnesses who may be able to assist with investigation.


In addition to the Randers incidents, anitsemitic vandalism was also reported last weekend in Copenhagen, Aarhus, Silkeborg and Aalborg.

In Norway, several yellow Stars of David were placed outside the printing offices of publisher Schibsted in Bergen.

Neo-Nazi group the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) has been linked to the vandalism in Denmark, but has denied carrying it out.

The incidents occurred around the 81st anniversary of the 1938 Kristallnacht anti-Jewish attacks in Nazi Germany.

A report has been filed with Denmark’s police security service PET, police have confirmed.

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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.