Report of Anti-Semitic Incidents
Many anti-Semitic incidents usually take place in April due to important Jewish holidays that fall during the month and the commemoration of Hitlers birthday on April 20. In April 2001, the number of incidents was unusually high but these took place throughout the month, not necessarily on a particular date.
Violent Attacks and Incidents
On 7 April, in Buenos Aires, an explosive charge detonated in the home of the Argentinean Jewish musician Alberto Merenzon when he opened a package sent to him from San Juan. Merenzons leg and four fingers of his right hand were seriously injured. Police examined the remnants of the parcel and found a swastika and the letters SS written on the back of the box cover.
On 28 April two men attacked the Habad synagogue's Kashrut supervisor as he was leaving the synagogue in the evening to go home. One of the assailants wielded a knife. While the attackers shouted 'Jihad! Jihad!', the man broke into a run and fled the scene.
During the night between 14 and 15 April, a pipe bomb was planted near one of the synagogue windows in Tiraspol. It exploded and damaged property and the building. The synagogue guard who was on the premises at the time was not hurt.
During a Jewish youth activity in a club in Borisov, skinheads threw stones at the club windows and shouted abusive slogans in Russian at the people inside. No one was hurt.
On 27 April, three Jews wearing skullcaps were attacked by seven men of Arab appearance while driving along the M-1 freeway to Cronulla, near Sydney. The attackers tried to drive the Jews' car off the road. When the three Jews stopped their car at the side of the road, one of the attackers jumped out of his car and struck the Jew's car with an iron rod. The Jews drove away and fled the scene.
On 31 March and on 1 April, two Molotov cocktails were thrown at the Jewish center in Canberra. They hit the walls and smashed in the outside yard. No damage was caused and no one was hurt.
On 13 April, the blind rabbi of the Cannes congregation was walking home from synagogue, accompanied by an Israeli youth. A car drove past and its passengers began to curse the rabbi and the Jews while shouting anti-Semitic slogans. The rabbi answered those who cursed him. They got out of the car and threatened him with a knife.
On 21 April, a six-branched improvised menorah placed in memory of the Holocaust victims in the entrance hall of the Plainsboro Hotel in New Jersey was smeared with feces. The menorah had been prepared by a group of Jewish women staying at the hotel who were commemorating the Holocaust.
On 10 April a group of youths harassed a Jewish woman near a building in Stanmore, London. They vandalized the woman's car, threw stones at her apartment window and shouted abusive slogans at her.
On 26 April, while a Jew was walking along a street in Birmingham, he was attacked and struck in the face by a young Pakistani.
On 28 April, a group of Asian looking youths threw stones at the Cheetham Hebrew Congregation synagogue in Manchester. They also smashed the window of a car parked nearby which belonged to the synagogue president.
On 19 April, the synagogue windows of the Blackpool Unified Hebrew congregation in Manchester were smashed.
On 20 April, a group of youths threw stones at a bus carrying pupils to the Jewish 'Menorah Foundation' school in London. While the bus was waiting at a stoplight the youths tried to board it but an adult on the bus succeeded in pushing them off.
Desecration of Memorials and Jewish Cemeteries
During the night between 28 and 29 April, seventy gravestones (out of 120) were damaged in the Jewish cemetery next to Dorst, a suburb of Breda. Swastikas were sprayed on the cemetery walls and on the gravestones. Abusive slogans were written in German such as 'Go to Hell' and 'We are back!'. An organized violent gang was apparently responsible for the deed.
On 24 April, in Vladikavkaz, in the northern Caucasus, unknown persons destroyed the memorial to 300 Jewish soldiers killed during the Second World War. anti-Semitic slogans were drawn on the remains of the memorial, which was to have been inaugurated on 9 May.
The Jewish cemetery in Jaszkarajeno in eastern Hungary was desecrated. Seven youths suspected of the act were arrested.
On 30 April, gravestones in the Urmston cemetery in Manchester were vandalized.
On 18 April, the chief rabbi of the Koln community received a telephone threat in English in his office in the community center. The rabbi was told not to deliver a speech at the Holocaust Day memorial service and if he did not heed the warning he could be hurt.
In an interview for the New York Times, Charlie Ward, a famous football player from the New York Knicks, said that the Jews were guilty of murdering Jesus. Ward's remarks aroused a public storm and the player had to apologize and promise he would avoid denouncing any group or religion in the future. He also added that he intended to join a dialogue with the founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.
During an election campaign for Philadelphia district attorney, anti-Semitic remarks denouncing the Jewish origin of one of the candidates were heard. The supporters of one of the candidates also cursed the (black) press advisor of one of the Jewish candidates with the words 'white Jew bitch'.
On 30 April, the walls of the Beth Rambam synagogue in north east Philadelphia were covered with anti-Semitic abusive slogans and swastikas. This same synagogue was torched last year and the culprits were never found.
During the election campaign for mayor of Los Angeles, unknown persons phoned the voters and made anti-Semitic statements about the Jewish candidate.
On 15 April, a huge swastika was drawn in chalk on the Trinity Collage tennis courts in Hartford, Connecticut. The large size of the drawing, some 30 meters, and its accuracy, indicate that a group of people were responsible. The university administration reacted by sending e-mail to the student body denouncing the action. The next day, an anti-hate meeting was organized by the Jewish students' 'Hillel' organization, on the tennis court. Some 150 students participated in the meeting and lit memorial candles.
On 17 April, an abusive racist slogan which included threats was found in the men's washroom in one of the University of Connecticut buildings. The slogan also mentionned the massacre of students in the Columbine, Connecticut school in 1999 and threatened to murder Blacks and Jews. The university administration beefed up campus security as a result of the threat.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the radical right-wing Liberal Democratic Party, refused to observe a minute's silence in memory of Nazi victims at a Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony in the Duma. Zhirinovsky claimed that there were many holidays in Russia and wondered whether the parliament had to stand in silence every day. Most MP's respected the occasion.
On 14 April, dozens of members of the Russian Communist Workers' Party (RKPR) held an anti-Semitic demonstration in St. Petersburg during which they accused President Putin of being manipulated by the 'Zionists' in Russia.
On 6 April, in an interview to a local newspaper, the former mayor of Ryazan called on the Jews who did not like life in Russia to emigrate to Israel. He added that Russia was in any case not the Jews' homeland. He blamed the Jews for his failure in the last gubernatorial elections, claiming that in places where there was a large concentration of Jews the state had the right to oppose them. He claimed that the Jews had taken over the media in Russia and as a result the authorities had forced them out, such as in the case of Gousinsky.
The radical right-wing RNU organization continued to paste anti-Semitic posters on walls in the Krasnodar district. The posters contained sayings such as 'Crush the Jews! Save Russia!', 'While the Russian is dying of starvation, the Jew is stuffing himself'. Despite protest letters sent to the mayor against this phenomenon and requests by official elements, the city administration did nothing to put an end to the RNU activity.
A Neo-Nazi radical right rock concert, organized by a skinhead organization was held in central Bohemia on 7 April. Some 400 people from the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Germany participated in the concert at which racist/anti-Semitic bands performed. The concert aroused a storm in the media due to the indifference of government bodies, including the police. Following this expression of racism and anti-Semitism, Czech Republic President Havel demanded an inquiry into the police's functioning.
Swastikas were drawn on a Jewish community building in Gomel.
During a youth activity in the Jewish community building in Gomel, a group of skinheads shouted 'Zeig Heil'.
A radical right-wing group, the 'Association Against Anti-Polonism', appealed a decision by the State Attorney to reject a request for investigating the claim that Gross's book 'Neighbors' on the massacre in Jedwabne slandered the Polish people.
During the night between 20-21 April, abusive slogans and a swastika were drawn on the wall of a home in the Recreio Dos Baneirantes neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro. The words 'Morte Aos Judeus' (Death to the Jews) and the swastika were signed by the SOIS. About a kilometer away on a Rio de Janeiro the words, SOIS, PESTE, Campinas S.P. appeared on a municipality advertisement. Both slogans were apparently written by the same group.
Dozens of swastikas were drawn in Santiago on 20 April, mainly in the Providencia and Los Condes districts. Some of them had the words 'Swastika = Star of David' and underneath 'Al-Fatah'.
Slogans were discovered in Lima referring to the Jewish origin of Eliana Karp, the wife of President-Elect Toledo. Swastikas were drawn beside the slogans. Anti-Jewish e-mail messages on Karp's Jewish origin were also sent.
Following a television program shown on Holocaust Day in Rosario in which the name Levy was mentioned, two Jews living there by that name received abusive letters containing threats and swastikas. The letters were sent from the city's main post office.
Some 30 swastikas appeared throughout Rosario, on the main street Cordoba and in other places, but not on Jewish facilities.
Every few weeks members of the Australian Nationalist Movement spray anti-Semitic abusive slogans on the university campus walls in West Australia.
During the week of 8 April, anti-Semitic pamphlets were distributed by the radical right-wing 'Australian Alliance Group' organization in many post boxes in Melbourne's Caufield neighborhood, which has a large and active Jewish community. The pamphlet which was entitled 'Hitler Was Right' and contained swastikas, called on the Australian people to participate on 14 April in an event to examine ways to prevent ethnic groups, including the Jews, from taking over Australia.
On 23 April in east Sydney, the words 'I hate Jews' and a swastika were written on a Jewish school.
On 15 April, a murder threat was sent in a letter to a Jewish owned business office in north Sydney signed by a 'Palestinian from Sydney'. It was addressed to 'Jewess Pig'.
On 26 April, swastikas were drawn on a government building in Melbourne.
A long anti-Semitic letter claiming that the Jews have been running Australia since 1919 was sent on 27 April to a Jewish owned business in Melbourne.
On 24 April, a family in Canberra received a large package with hate publications which included Holocaust denial and accusations that the Jews were running the international drug trade.
On 3 April, a Jewish journalist in Sydney received e-mail slandering Judaism.
On 5 April, a Jew in Canberra received a letter attacking Judaism as a 'strange insane' religion and the Jews as 'greedy and conceited'.
On 16 April, unknown persons wrote anti-Semitic slogans on a freshly poured concrete wall outside the North Eastern Jewish War Memorial center in Melbourne.
On 12 April, e-mail was sent to the leader of the Jewish community in Sydney which contained quotations from a Holocaust denial website.
A Jewish organization in Sydney received e-mail claiming that the Jews and Zionists controlled the Australian Foreign Affairs and Immigration ministries and free speech.
The Australian branch of the U.S. radical right-wing 'World Church of the Creator' organization updated its 12 April home page calling the Jews 'parasites'.
On 24 April in the Swansea area, letters were distributed to homes calling for the boycott of Marks and Spencer stores which are owned by Jews.
On 27 April, anti-Semitic graffiti was written on the walls of an underground walkway on Edgware Road in London.
On 30 April, car passengers shouted abusive remarks to worshippers who had arrived at the St. Johns Wood synagogue in London.
On 12 April, a group of boys tried to gate-crash a Jewish event taking place near a shopping center in north London and shouted anti-Semitic abusive remarks at the participants.
On 18 April, anti-Semitic graffiti was sprayed on the door of the Dunstable and District synagogue in Luton.
On 17 April, anti-Semitic slogans, including reference to the National Front (NF), were written on the washroom walls of the Bnai Brith building in north London.
In a special session on 23 April, the academic council of the prestigious St. Petersburg State University passed a resolution to dismiss the history department head Prof. Froyanov for his anti-Semitic views and statements. This resolution was passed following a dispute which broke out last year between the department head and professors and students because Froyanov's anti-Semitic remarks made in public and his many publications in which he claimed that the Jews and the West had conspired to destroy Russia. Several anti-Semitic newspapers protested the dismissal and Duma head, Seleznyov, even praised Froyanov for being Russia's greatest historian.
In response to several racist attacks by skinheads to mark Hitler's birthday on 20 April, President Putin, at a cabinet session, called for firm steps to be taken against racist elements whose activity was illegal and unacceptable in Russia.
Legal action was once again taken against the anti-Semitic Latvian newspaper 'Kapitals' for its publication of an article entitled 'Zhids (Jews) Control the World'. The case which was presented for the first time against the newspaper was closed on 5 February, 2001 for lack of evidence of violating the law. On 22 April, however, the Attorney General issued an order to reopen the file.
Polish authorities issued an order to close the discotheque established a year ago near the Auschwitz death camp. The discotheque was set up in August 2000 in a building used by the Nazis to store hair and personal effects of those sent to their death. It is about two km. from the camp itself but very close to the International Center for the Study of Auschwitz and the Holocaust. The Weisenthal Center and many other Jewish organizations protested the permits given for setting up the discotheque claiming is was 'a desecration of the largest Jewish cemetery in history'.
The Slovak police confiscated diskettes and various Neo-Nazi memorabilia which included Hitler's picture, during a rock concert held in late April in a village in west Slovakia. Some 300 skinheads attended the concert.
Jewish leaders and the Czech authorities invested much effort in closing the German website offering cheap tours to a firing range located next to the site of Theresienstadt. Theresienstadt was a transit camp in which thousand of Jews were held before being transported to the death camps during the Holocaust. A Czech hotelier Rudolf Potucek used a website to publicize and market these excursions which leave from his hotel in the town of Litomerice to the firing range.
The federal government in Santa Catarina province prevented a heavy rock festival from being held in Juinville. The concert was to have been a cover for a conference of Neo-Nazi groups from all over Brazil marking the 112th anniversary of Hitler's birthday on 20 April.
In early April, the trial opened of three members of PAGAD, the South African radical Muslim organization in the Weinberg district court. The three were tried for blowing up the Weinberg synagogue in Capetown in December 1998. During the trial, Mansour Manuel, a former PAGAD member, admitted that he and one of the accused, Hendricks, had assembled the bomb at Hendricks' home. He added that Hendricks had headed the PAGAD cell in Grassy Park and had chosen the Weinberg synagogue as the attack target. Another accused, Farid, had activated the explosive charge.
The German police announced that it had conducted systematic raids at a national level among Neo-Nazi circles offering radical right-wing music over the Internet. This campaign involved searches in the homes of 103 suspects and computers were confiscated. The Attorney General in Bonn opened 106 investigations.
Germany's Minister of the Interior Otto Schily announced his intention of blocking/terminating the activity of the websites which send the propaganda of German Neo-Nazi groups to the U.S. and other countries. If the measure is implemented this will be a precedent.
Minister of the Interior Daniel Vaillant, who was invited to the American Jewish Committee (AJC) conference in Paris on 25-26 April, declared that his government was acting to fight 'racism and anti-Semitism manifest in statements and deeds'. He noted that in 2000 the police and the gendarmerie were made aware of 110 cases of anti-Semitic violence against property and persons, in contrast to 9 cases in 1999. Anti-Semitic intimidation also increased significantly: 600 instances in 2000 in contrast to 60 in 1999. Vaillant also claimed that these acts took place over a short period of time and were connected with events in the Middle East.
At a ceremony on 19 April marking Holocaust day on Capital Hill in Washington, President Bush guaranteed to fulfill America's commitment to remember the six million who died in the Holocaust, to prevent such tragedies in the future and to continue the friendship with the Jewish people and its country.
For the first time since the Second World War, members of the Russian parliament (the Duma) observed a minute's silence in memory of victims of the Holocaust. A large ceremony took place simultaneously for the first time, in Moscow to commemorate Holocaust Day. During the ceremony Russia's Deputy Premier Valentina Matviyenko, said that the new Russia would not remain silent over the terrible tragedy of the Jewish people.
The Hungarian parliament commemorated Holocaust Remembrance Day. For the first time Hungarian schools participated in what will become for them a two-year course of study. The president of the Jewish communities' association remarked on the subject: 'This is a very important day for us because this parliament in the past had declared discriminatory laws against the Jews. Now after many years the government finally has the courage to look back on the past and assume responsibility for these acts'.
The Yad Vashem archives will soon receive photographs of hundreds of thousands of documents from the Holocaust period from the public archives in Hungary, following the signing of an agreement on the subject between Jerusalem and Budapest.
Croat clergymen from the Catholic, Serbian Orthodox and Muslim churches joined Jewish leaders for a memorial service to the thousands of victims killed by the Croat Fascists during the Second World War in the Jasenovic camp in which some 17,000 Jews perished. Senior government officials and former partisans also participated in the ceremony.
The head of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Glemp, announced yet again that he did not intend to travel on 10 July to Jedwabne to take part in an event to mark the 60th anniversary of the massacre of 1600 Jews there. He said 'I do not want to make a spectacle of Jedwabne. The Catholic Church in Poland is prepared for a Jewish-Polish dialogue, and to apologize to the Jews for all the evil caused by the Poles'. Nevertheless, Glemp expects that the Jews also re-examine their attitude towards the Poles and ask their forgiveness. In contrast, in an interview for a weekly, Polish President Kwasniewski declared once again that he intended to go to Jedwabne in July and said he expected Poles would emerge from the affair stronger and wiser. Also asking forgiveness from the Jews was the legendary director of Radio Free Europe Jan Nowak Jezurynski. Four well-known public figures in Poland, including former Solidarity members, published a manifesto on the Jedwabne subject.
A ceremony took place in Vienna to unveil a memorial plaque to Austrian 'Righteous Gentiles' (83 Austrians who rescued Jews from the Nazis during the Second World War). Participating in the ceremony were several senior representatives, including Austria's President Klestil, the mayor of Vienna and leaders of the Austrian Jewish community. The secretary-general of the community delivered a speech and said that 'through this memorial we wish to express our deep gratitude to those who risked their lives to save the Jews'.
Some 12,000 personal files of Austrians arrested by the Gestapo in Vienna during the Second World War were discovered by accident by a young researcher in one of the basements of the state archives in Vienna. Among the documents discovered were also documents relating to many Jews who were arrested for anti-Reich activity or for not wearing the Jewish badge. The Gestapo headquarters which operated in Vienna was the largest headquarters in the Nazi Reich. The authorities in Austria had always denied the existence of the 'card index'.
An Austrian court repeated the conviction of libel against Anton Pelinka who had accused FPO party leader Jorg Haider of vulgarization of the Holocaust and of Nazism by using terms such as 'disciplinary camps' instead of concentration camps and by granting legitimacy to Nazi ideology.
Former chancellor of Austria Kurt Waldheim, who was suspected of having a Nazi past, claims that the recently published CIA secret documents absolve him of any guilt. Waldheim is still considered a 'persona non grata' in the U.S.
On 25 April, the trial opened in Munich of 89 year old war criminal Anton Malloth, who is accused of murdering three Jewish prisoners in the Theresienstadt concentration camp where he was a guard. Due to his poor state of health, Malloth's trial was conducted within the confines of the prison. In 1988 Malloth was interrogated on suspicion of murdering some 750 Jews but the investigation ended inconclusively. According to the Weisenthal Institute, the very fact that the trial took place was a great victory over the organization that assists Nazi criminals 'Silent Help' which persistently tried to prevent Malloth from being brought to trial.
Karlis Ozols, a Nazi war criminal of Latvian origin who lived in Australia since the 1950's and had been responsible for the deaths of some 30,000 Jews during the Second World War, died at the age of 88. Despite an investigation opened against him during the 1980's, Ozols was never brought to trial because the special department for investigating war criminals was closed in 1992.
A new Neo-Nazi organization was recently established in Christchurch. The organization, called the 'Southern Regional Nazi Party', sent an information sheet on the Nazi philosophy to several mailboxes of citizens in Halswell, Bryndwr and Ilam.
Source: Israeli Foreign Ministry