Europes largest Jewish cemetery vandalized

Vandals have struck Europe’s largest Jewish cemetery in Berlin, stealing wrought-iron objects.

Sixteen gravesites were damaged and 47 items stolen from the Weissensee Cemetery in the former East Berlin. According to the community, renovations on some of the tombs had been completed as recently as last April. The stolen items are worth about $16,000.

Observers suggested the motive was profit and not anti-Semitism, since specifically metal objects were removed. Such thefts reportedly are on the rise at cemeteries all over Berlin from all religious denominations. Police patrols and surveillance have been stepped up at Weissensee.

The cemetery is the subject of a recent award-winning documentary, “Im Himmel unter der Erde,” or “In Heaven Underground.” — jta