Jewish graves desecrated in Dunedin

Dunedin Jewish cemetery. Image/ Wikimedia
Dunedin Jewish cemetery. Image/Wikimedia

A Nazi swastika was painted on a headstone and two other headstones were knocked over and damaged in an anti Semetic attack at a Dunedin cemetery.

Police were alerted and called to the Jewish section of the Southern Cemetery on Saturday, when the three vandalised graves were discovered.

Constable Greg Marsden confirmed that two of the headstones had been hit with so much force that they “have broken in half” and the third headstone had a swastika painted on it.

Damage to a Jewish headstone at Dunedin's Southern Cemetery. Image/Otago Daily Times
Damage to a Jewish headstone at Dunedin’s Southern Cemetery. Image/Otago Daily Times

“It is a desecration,” he told the Otago Daily Times.

Andrew Spiegel, President of the Dunedin Jewish Congregation, says the Dunedin Jewish community is “extremely saddened”.

“We find this type of vandalism not only to be ignorant and stupid, but also state the underlying menace behind it is disturbing and worrying.”

Spiegel hopes police will catch those responsible, and to see them “brought to justice”.

This is the second attack on Jewish gravestones in New Zealand within the past month.

The New Zealand Jewish Council have also been contacted about the incident.

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