Report of Anti-Semitic Incidents
May was characterized a proliferation of anti-Jewish propaganda in various countries, accompanied by continued incidents of arson, cemetery desecration and attacks.
Worthy of mention was an unusual wave of anti-Semitic incidents in Greece generated by apparently the public debate over the registration of religion in the newly issued identity cards. Media, particularly with right-wing leanings, attacks the Jews and accuses them of manipulation to prevent the registration of the religion clause.
Anti-Semitic Attacks and Incidents
Britain - On 3 May, a Jewish student was cursed and attacked by two men who struck him, dragged him to a side alley and fled.
On 11 May, stones were thrown and six windows were smashed at the Menorah Foundation School.
On 17 May, while girls of the JFS school in London were travelling on a train six youths from the Whitefield School attacked them. The boys also shouted anti-Semitic slogans at the girls.
On 14 May, stones and metal rods were thrown at a group of Jewish boys at a youth club.
On 26 May, shots were fired from an air rifle at a Jewish community building.
France - On 11 May, pupils from the AIU school were attacked in Paris by neighbourhood ruffians and stones were thrown at the school.
During the night between 16 and 17 May, the GUD anti-Semitic organization carried out violent actions in a number of Jewish facilities in Marseilles. They included a school, synagogues and yeshivahs. Swastikas and the word 'Jude' were painted. The graffiti was signed by the GUD anti-Semitic organization.
U.S. - On 26 May, the eve of Memorial Day, the Beit Harambam Congregation orthodox synagogue in Philadelphia was torched. The synagogue has some 300 worshippers. The synagogue torah scrolls suffered much damage.
Desecration of Jewish Cemeteries, Memorials and Synagogues
Greece - On the night of 25 May, the Jewish cemetery in Athens was desecrated. Swastikas were sprayed and the letters SS were written on 50 gravestones and on the Holocaust memorial which is inside the cemetery. This occurred about two weeks after the historical visit of the president of Greece to Israel. Slogans such as 'Hitler was right' and 'Jews out!' were written on the walls of the cemetery prayer hall. The Jewish community expressed its anger over the deed and demanded the Greek government denounce it.
Germany - On 16 May, unknown persons spilled brown paint on the memorial to Nazi victims erected on the site where there had been a synagogue in Waren, East Germany.
In Schwerin, vandals defaced a statue erected in memory of concentration camp victims.
Swastikas were drawn on a memorial erected in memory of 20 Jewish children murdered in 1945 by the SS in Bullenhuser Damm in Hamburg.
Britain - On 17 May, swastikas were drawn on the walls of the Palmers Green Southgate synagogue.
Hungary - On two separate occasions within a fortnight swastikas were sprayed on a number of memorials and on the wall of the city synagogue in Debreczin, east Hungary.
Britain - On 24 May, a false bomb threat was received by phone at the King Solomon school in Essex.
On 20 May, an anti-Semitic message was recorded on the Newbury Park Synagogue answering machine warning that the synagogue would be bombed.
On 7 May, the 'Sunday Mirror' newspaper reported on threats received from the 'Combat 18' organization by a Jewish comedian.
Australia - On 18 May, threatening letters signed by the 'Waffen SS' were received at a synagogue and a public institution in Victoria.
U.S. - The 13th conference of the Historical Review Conference institute was held in Irvine, in southern California between 27-29 May in which representatives from all over the world participated. The IHR institute, headed by Mark Weber, is considered the single most significant institute for racist propaganda and Holocaust denial. The purpose of the conference was to promote their demand for a renewed investigation which would prove that there was no liquidation of Jews in gas chambers in the Second World War. Participants in the conference included the leading revisionists and Holocaust deniers such as Frederick Toben of Australia, Germar Rudolf of Germany, Prof. Arthur Butz of the U.S., Robert Faurisson of France, Jurgen Graf of Switzerland, Ernst Zundel of Canada and of course David Irving of Britain who was the guest of honour and who reported on his trial. He received thunderous applause and an honour salute at the conference.
Greece - On 7 May, the Salonika Jewish community conducted a Holocaust remembrance ceremony. On that same morning, abusive slogans, faeces and urine were discovered at the synagogue entrance. During the ceremony itself, an anonymous abusive phonecall was received as well as e-mail denouncing the Jews and announcing their approaching destruction. The president of the community delivered a speech during the ceremony during which he strongly attacked the Greek government, and especially the mayor of Salonika, for remaining indifferent to the wave of anti-Semitism the city had been undergoing in recent weeks.
On 24 May, the walls of the home of the Jewish producer Jules Dassin were covered with swastikas and abusive slogans such as 'Jews out!' and 'Death to the Jews!' Jules Dassin is the husband of the former Greek Minister of Culture Melina Mercouri.
Radical right-wing MP Karatjaferis who was expelled a few days ago from the main opposition (N.D.) party, accused the Jews on his own TV channel, who he claimed were behind action to rescind the law for recording religion in Greek identity cards.
Austria - The Minister of Justice requested the State Attorney open an investigation against the 'Zur Zeit' newspaper. The newspaper's editor-in-chief is Andreas Moelzer who is also Haider's advisor for culture and art. The request followed the newspaper's publication in June 1999 of an article by Hans Gamlich. Gamlich praised a book which declared Hitler a great revolutionary who brought outstanding economic achievements and which defined the destruction of six million Jews as a 'myth'. A few weeks before this, the same newspaper published a letter to the editor claiming the "de facto takeover of the world by Judaism and its long arm, the Freemasons".
Brazil - The Internet site Jews in Brazil was reportedly re-opened. The site publishes lists of Jews living in Brazil. The lists are organized according to spheres of the Jews' occupation. Their purpose is to prove that the Jews constitute pressure groups which influence political/social/economic life in Brazil, due to their ties with the government and the federal police.
The governor of the state of Parana, Jaimy Lerner, who is of Jewish extraction, was strongly criticized by the press on his handling of the crisis and demonstrations. A journalist by the name of Stedile wrote of him that "governor Lerner should be ashamed that he is the only Jew who still adopts Nazi methods of administration".
France - On 20 May, a pupil from the Libyan school made an abusive remark to a volunteer working at the Chasseloup-Laubat synagogue in Paris, calling him a 'dirty Jewboy, son of a Jewish whore'.
Anti-Semitic/Anti-Zionist letters were received by prominent members of the French Jewish community.
On 10 May, radical right-wing newspaper clippings were received at the CRIF offices in Paris accompanied by lists of Jewish names taken from the phone book.
Britain - On 22 May, a ball was found at the Calderwood Lodge Jewish Primary school on which anti-Semitic slogans were written.
On 12 May, the local Jewish newspaper in Manchester reported that anti-Semitic posters were found on the walls of a synagogue and public buildings. The posters were distributed by the Al-Muhajiroun organization.
A swastika and the slogan 'Death to the Jews' were drawn on one of the exhibits in the Anna Frank exhibition at the Mantyglo Comprehensive School.
Australia - On 25 May, several Jewish families in New South Wales received anti-Semitic mail containing the words 'Death to the Jew, parasite/vermin of humankind'.
On 19 May, anti-Semitic and Holocaust denial posters were found on the bulletin board of a large company in New South Wales. They included slogans calling for action against 'Jewish murderers'.
On 2 May, an anti-Semitic pamphlet was placed in a public library.
Ecuador - In Quito, a large number of slogans appeared on walls in the El Labrador and La Mariscal neighbourhoods which said SK (Sonderkommando) in huge letters, SS and swastikas and OI (symbol of skinhead music).
South Africa - On 24 May, swastikas and the letters SS were sprayed on the walls of a number of buildings and street signs in the Sydenham neighbourhood in Johannesburg.
Latvia - On 15 May, a swastika was found carved on the Jewish Agency sign at the entrance to the building housing the Jewish agency office in Riga.
France - A court in France ordered the Yahoo internet giant to take steps to prevent the access of French surfers to its auction site which offers, among other things, Nazi artifacts, claiming it "harms France's collective memory". On 24 July, the American Portal will have to give information to the court on the steps to be taken to implement the decision of the French court.
On 25 May, a French Internet supplier suggested anti-racism groups unite their forces and help the ISP (an Internet supplier) to root out the phenomenon of spreading anti-Semitic accusations and pro-Nazi material over the Internet. It claimed this solution might benefit the struggle against racism more than legal suits and unfeasible technical measures against the distributors.
Czech Republic - Michal Zitko, the publisher of the Otakar II publishing house which published 'Mein Kampf' for the first time in the Czech language, in its complete version and with no footnotes/commentaries, was accused by the police of promoting Nazi ideology. He is expected to receive eight years in prison if he is convicted.
The Czech police confiscated 300 copies of the new edition of Mein Kampf which was published in March 2000 (by the Otakar II publishing house mentioned above) and it intends to confiscate the remaining copies which have not yet been sold.
Hungary - Speaking for the Hungarian Foreign Ministry, Deputy Foreign Minister Zsolt Nemeth, denounced anti-Semitism and called on the press to stand up strongly against the radical manifestations that oppose European values. He claimed that any form of anti-Semitism was a violation of Hungarian law and he added that government institutions were examining how to put an end to increasing instances of anti-Semitic slogans shouted at soccer games.
Russia - A Russian prosecutor recently convicted a local newspaper which published an anti-Semitic pamphlet called "The Catechism of the Jew" containing elements of racial incitement. A criminal file was opened after the Anti-Defamation League office in Moscow lodged a complaint against the distribution of the pamphlet that is based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Germany - As a result of pressure brought to bear by the leadership of the Jewish community in Germany a play of anti-semitic nature on the last days of Jesus was rewritten. The play was staged on 21 May and is expected to attract over a half million spectators.
Romania - The Romanian journalist Mihai Bogdan Antonescu, who was accused of writing anti-Semitic articles, received a two-year suspended sentence. In one of his articles published in 1998 in a newspaper of which was deputy editor-in-chief, he called government members 'dirty Jews'.
U.S. - A Jewish postal worker from California who suffered anti-Semitic harassment at his workplace received compensation of 125,000 dollars.
Brazil - On 13 May, one of the owners of the Comando Suastico (the Swastika Commando) Internet site was arrested. He was a 17 year old youth who set up a site having anti-Jewish and anti-Black content.
The virtual bookstore Sodiler offered to sell Portuguese versions of books written for sale by David Irving and S.E. Castan (Holocaust denying historians) and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. As a result of a wave of protest, the marketing of these books was stopped.
Austria - In a flash campaign, the Austrian government removed from the constitution clauses and regulations which had remained since the Nazi regime. The campaign was conducted a few hours after Stern, a law student, complained in a newspaper article about the existence of Nazi laws in the Austrian constitution. Among those sections which were erased: "Citizens should be taught the significance of the racial laws". Stern claimed that "it was characteristic of a government incorporating the radical right, that it hurry to conceal and cover up matters".
Argentina - In a ceremony at the presidential palace in Buenos Aires, Argentinian president Fernando de la Rua, asked forgiveness of Holocaust survivors and the entire Jewish community for the tolerance Argentina had showed in the past towards Nazis and the refuge it gave hundreds of Nazis who had been accused of crimes against humanity.
Britain - For the first time, a memorial to the Holocaust was set up in Britain in the form of a permanent exhibition at London's Imperial War Museum. The exhibition includes many exhibits from the death camps and Nazi Germany, as well as a model of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Switzerland - The Swiss government reached a precedent compromise agreement with two Holocaust survivors whose parents perished in the Holocaust following their expulsion from the Swiss border. According to this compromise the two will be paid reparations amounting to 115,000 dollars.
France - Radical right-wing parties are losing their power among the voters but the ideology/outlook these parties advocate is gaining support. This was revealed in a public opinion poll published on 26 May in the 'Le Monde' daily.
Russia - Russia's main TV station ORT accuses the Russian Jewish Congress leader, Vladimir Goussinsky, of being controlled by the American Congress and international Jewry. ORT accused Goussinsky of extensively helping Barak to be elected prime minister in order to promote the interests of the U.S. administration.
Poland - The leader of the Catholic church in Poland, Josef Glemp, apologized for anti-Semitism among the clergy of his community. His apology followed the reconciliation campaign promised the Jews which Pope John Paul II declared.
Germany - On 27 May, a parade was held in the streets of Passau, Bavaria in which some 4000 extreme rightists and skinheads, members of the Neo-Nazi NPD party, participated. At a party meeting held after the parade, the participants made radical right-wing statements. Participants in the meeting arrived from 17 European countries.
On 8 May, an exhibition was opened at the Centrum Judaicum on the history of Berlin Jews between 1938-1945. That day also marked the liberation from the Nazi regime.
The Attorney General's office in Nuremberg announced that two Jews who tried to poison senior Nazi prisoners with arsenic 54 years ago will not be put on trial due to unusual circumstances and the Statue of Limitations.
Austria - The project to renovate Hitler's childhood home and make it a 'place of tolerance' was cancelled out of fear that it would become a Neo-Nazi shrine. The initiative was rejected by the parties representing the local government.
Source: Israeli Foreign Ministry