Report of Anti-Semitic Incidents
In November 1999 there was a certain drop in the number of violent incidents of an anti-Semitic nature. On the other hand, anti-Jewish propaganda continued and even increased in many parts of the world.
Incidents in Italy were especially noteworthy as they were unusual in their severity and frequency. Violent anti-Jewish activity in Norway also deserves more attention.
Anti-Semitic Attacks and Incidents
Italy - It is possible in recent months to point to an increasing wave of strongly anti-Semitic manifestations. Noteworthy this month was the explosion at the entrance to the 'Liberation Museum' in Rome which resulted in slight damage to the museum gate and the discovery of a bomb planted near the Nuovo-Olympio cinema where Ayal Sivan's film 'The Expert' (which deals with the Eichmann trial) was being screened, under the patronage of the Jewish community and the 'Sons of the Holocaust'
Ukraine - Three apartments of Jewish and Russian leaders were spray painted and torched this month in Lvov. It was assessed that this was the work of radical organizations.
Britain - London: Anti-Semitic verbal and physical harassment of Jewish junior high school students by Muslim youths was reported recently.
A dummy letter bomb was sent to a Jewish philosophy professor at the University of Liverpool.
Norway - A stone was thrown at a window of a Jewish home in Baerum while the family was at home. The tires of their car were slashed and a swastika was drawn on it. In the same town, another Jewish family received anti-Semitic letters and swastikas were drawn on their car.
Australia - Melbourne: In October, pig's feet were thrown at the entrance to two Jewish schools.
Cemeteries Desecrated, Gravestones Damaged
In November, Jewish cemeteries were desecrated and damage was made to gravestones:
Romania - In Resita and Satu Mare 25 and 26 gravestones were destroyed respectively by unknown persons and the memorial to Holocaust victims was desecrated.
Canada - In Toronto, the Jewish cemetery and the Holocaust memorial were desecrated. Six headstones were sprayed with anti-Semitic slogans.
France - In Marseilles, there was an attempted desecration of the Jewish cemetery in the St. Pierre neighbourhood. A large number of graves were also desecrated in the Jewish cemetery in the La Timone district by four skinheads.
Netherlands - In the Hague, the Portuguese-Jewish cemetery was desecrated. Swastikas were drawn on the purification room and on two gravestones. The slogans 'Zeig Heil' and 'Six Million Jews Too Little' were also written. The signature of the British 'Combat-18' Neo-Nazi organization appeared next to the slogans.
A number of cases of swastikas sprayed on Jewish/Israeli facilities were reported throughout the world.
Italy - Swastikas were drawn and abusive slogans were written on the El-Al counters in Rome.
Uruguay - A swastika was drawn on a pole near the Israeli representation in Montevideo.
Hungary - A swastika of about a meter size was painted on the wall of a synagogue in Budapest.
U.S. - In Vista, California, unknown persons drew swastikas and accusing anti-Semitic slogans on a synagogue. In Atlanta, large swastikas were drawn on the walls and windows of the 'Or Veshalom' synagogue.
Italy - The president of the Jewish communities in Italy received a threatening and abusive letter from an organization which called itself 'The Aryan Youth'.
Norway - The Jewish community in Oslo received two threatening letters from the same person. The background is unknown.
Australia - Jewish elements in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra received anti-Semitic phone calls, e-mail, letters and threats.
Mexico - Phone threats of an attack were received in the offices of the theatre where the premiere of Steven Spielberg's film on the Holocaust,' The Last Day' was to have been shown. The film was shown as scheduled and some 1000 members of the Jewish community attended.
Brazil - An anonymous threatening phone call was received in Sao Paolo by a teacher at the 'Tehiyah' Jewish school.
Austria - Reports of harassment decreased significantly recently but a large number of abusive and threatening letters continue to be received by the Jewish community. Many of these letters were addressed personally to the president of the community.
Germany - In October, a man from East Berlin who volunteered to repair 103 damaged gravestones in the Jewish cemetery in Weissensee without payment, received a death threat over the phone from Neo-Nazis.
Germany - Anti-Semitic feelings in Germany - In a survey conducted by two German institutes who published their findings in the daily 'Die Welt', it appears that 43% of those polled believed that Jews in Germany had too great an influence and 41% claimed that 'there was something strange about Jews' which prevented them from integrating satisfactorily into the German people.
Dusseldorf: A German living next to a Jewish school makes racist and anti-Semitic remarks. He told the driver who brings the Jewish children to the school that 'if Hitler returns, you won't have to transport the children any more'. The Dusseldorf community intends to file a complaint to the advocacy for incitement to hatred.
Russia - Some 10,000 people participated in a demonstration in Moscow at the beginning of the month to mark the 82nd anniversary of the Russian revolution. They carried placards against the West and 'Jewish capitalism'. One sign read, 'Zionists, shake and fear!'.
Poland - During a handball game between a Polish and an Israeli team in Kielce (where a pogrom took place against Jews who returned from concentration camps at the end of World War II), anti-Semitic derogatory slogans were shouted against the Israeli players.
Hungary - Maria Schmidt, a historian who works as advisor to the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, published an article in a daily government newspaper where she referred to the Holocaust as a completely marginal incident. Among other things, Schmidt claims that of all things remembered from World War II, it is the Holocaust which is overly emphasized. Maria Schmidt's husband is Jewish.
A letter written in Hungarian was placed near the mailbox of a Jew who is active in the Jewish students' association and in Habonim. The letter contained anti-Semitic abuse, swastikas, the letters SS, A Star of David hanging from a gallows and a number of Nazi symbols.
France - Paris: anti-Semitic handbills were found next to the Sorbonne and anti-Semitic graffiti on the window of a kosher shop.
Nimes: Families from the Jewish community found an envelope in their mailbox containing a yellow Star of David with the word 'Jew' written on it.
Britain - London: Thousands of Jews have recently received a Neo-Nazi flyer calling for Jews to come to the Stamford-Hill station to be sent to 'the eastern territories of the Great German Reich'. The flyer was distributed by a body called 'The English Branch of Nazi Germany for the Destruction of Blacks and Jews'.
Austria - Propaganda and incitement material on racial purity and the destruction of the Jews, with accompanying music and video cassettes, were found with a group of 17 youths belonging to a recently exposed Neo-Nazi group.
Uzbekistan - In Tashkent, the 'Hizb Al-Tahrir' organization is distributing in Tashkent propaganda pamphlets against Jews in the Uzbek language . In the pamphlets appear such statements as: 'Jews bring evil to every place' and 'The Muslim world will not bend to the Jews'.
Ukraine - Kiev: A letter smeared with faeces was received at the Israeli embassy for the ambassador. The letter contained abusive statements denouncing the Jews and emphasized that 'all the Jews were filth like that in the letter'.
Taiwan - A drawing of Hitler was used in an advertisement to promote the sale of German manufactured home heating appliances. The advertisements were posted in subway stations, on buses and in the streets.
Guatemala - the activity of a 20-member Neo-Nazi group was reported in Guatemala City. The group meets frequently in a café and makes inciting statements against Jews.
Italy - In late November, a soccer game between Juventus and Lazio (some of whose fans are Neo-Nazis responsible for waving anti-Semitic placards), was devoted to ethnic and religious tolerance. The team players wore uniforms on which was written 'Stop Anti-Semitism' and the heads of the teams read out declarations against intolerance.
Germany - Frederick Toben, an Australian historian and director of the Adelaide Institute, who denies the Holocaust in articles he publishes over the Internet, was sentence to ten months in prison in Germany after being convicted of racial incitement and hate crimes. He was in effect released this month since he had been in prison during the legal process, since April 1999.
The German Minister of Justice asked the German Bertelsmann publishing company to bring pressure to bear on the American bookstore Barnes and Noble (a sales site on the Internet) to stop sales of 'Mein Kampf'.
The president of the Bundestag, the German parliament, accepted the proposal of Knesset member Orlov to expand the study of the Holocaust in Germany.
Austria - A mass rally was held which was to have been the climax of a public debate that began after the elections following the increase of the radical right's power. As a consequence of this public debate, the Austrian Foreign Minister, who heads the Conservative party in Parliament, called for a struggle against intolerance and xenophobia when he said, 'Racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia must not exist in the present or the future'.
Belgium - The Belgium authorities arrested some 20 persons from the radical right (including members from neighbouring countries like Germany) who gathered in Bastogne on 11 November, 1999 to mark Kristallnacht.
Russia - The Chief Rabbi of Moscow announced that 'for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russian Jews have established a united front to deal with growing anti-Semitism in the country'. Eighty Jewish organizations united under one umbrella organization, 'The Federation of Jewish Communities' whose goal is to maintain ties with the Russian government and coordinate stands and ways to combat the rising anti-Semitism in the country.
Many extensive articles appeared this month in the Russian press about the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' being a forgery and about its author Matthew Golovinski, from the Czar's secret service.
Hungary - Representatives of ten trade unions and the socialist party demonstrated this month in front of parliament to protest against anti-Semitism and the demand of some MP's to clear the name of Lazlo Bardossy, Hungary's Prime Minister during World War II.
The court in Szombathely convicted two youths for damaging headstones in the Jewish cemetery.
Netherlands - A protest rally was held following the desecration of the Portuguese-Jewish cemetery. Among the participants were the mayor, members of the Jewish community and representatives of Jewish organizations in the Hague.
Sweden - Bjorn Fries, a member of the municipal council of Karlskrona, where Neo-Nazism has become a great problem, succeeded in closing the Internet site of the Nazi organization Nationalsocialistisk Front. Fries is known for his all-out war against the Nazis and his name appears on their threat list.
Romania - The FIFA world football association, which initiated an investigation against Doru Dragomir, FIFA's deputy chairman and the owner of the anti-Semitic 'Atac La Persona' newspaper, decided that Dragomir is responsible for everything published in his newspaper. FIFA also gave him an ultimatum that if he once again published any anti-Semitic material whatsoever, he would be expelled from the world football family.
U.S. - The Senate plenum passed a law which eases the process of deporting war criminals. So far, 52 persons with a Nazi past were expelled from the U.S. and the American citizenship of another 63 was revoked.
The Justice Department approved the expulsion of Ferdinand Hammer, aged 78, who was an SS guard in Auschwitz. Hammer's American citizenship was revoked in 1996 and he received a deportation order in 1997.
Students of a Jewish high school in Long Island demonstrated opposite the home of Michael Gruber in New York. Gruber was a former SS member and a guard at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. The students carried signs such as 'No SS in the U.S.'
Wasyl Krysa, aged 78, from Brooklyn, Iowa, was convicted of war crimes while he worked as a guard in the Poniatowa forced labour camp in Poland and later at the Mauthausen camp.
U.S. - At a meeting marking the 25th anniversary of the Catholic-Jewish congress, which was organized by the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee (JCDC), the Archbishop of Milwaukee surprised and touched the feelings of his listeners when he apologized for the Catholic Church's longstanding anti-Semitic doctrine which, according to him, "made the Holocaust possible."
Source: Israeli Foreign Ministry