Three martial-arts-loving teenagers are suspected of being behind the vandalism of 73 tombstones in a Jewish cemetery – but the youngsters claim the destruction was an accident.
Nearly two months ago, fears that anti-Semitism had returned to Romania were rife after the Jewish cemetery in the city of Husi in the north-eastern county of Vaslui was vandalised.
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At the time, the US Embassy said in a statement: ““The destruction of dozens of Jewish graves is not only an attack against the Jewish community, but also an attack against the diversity of the entire Romanian society.”
Many international groups condemned the act and Jewish communities and prominent figures urged the authorities to find the culprits.
The County Police of Vaslui have recently announced that the people who destroyed 73 headstones in the Jewish cemetery have been identified.
Three minors aged between15 and 16 will face legal consequences for the act, according to local media.
The teenagers reported said that they are martial arts fans and were performing kicks and punches in the cemetery when they ‘accidentally’ destroyed over 70 tombstones.
As well as the damaged memorials, police said that several trees in the cemetery had been cut down.
The investigation continues.
Romania was an ally of Nazi Germany during World War II until it swapped sides in August 1944.
In 2004, an international commission published a report estimating that between280,000 to 380,000 Jews perished in territories under Romania’s control during the war.
Story By: Madalina Spulber, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News