Report of Anti-Semitic Incidents
The Antisemitism Monitoring Forum
The Government Secretariat
The month of May saw continued violence against Jews and their institutions in Russia. This is, among other things, due to the absence of a firm response by the Russian authorities and continues the wave of anti-Semitic statements from previous months.
There is a marked increase in anti-Jewish propaganda in various parts of the world. Experience has proved that stepped up propaganda is invariably followed by violent actions against Jews or their facilities.
Attacks and Incidents
Russia - Two explosions occurred at the beginning of the month near two synagogues in Moscow. The first took place near the large Choral synagogue and the second near Marina Roscha. In both cases no damage was done to the synagogues and no one was hurt.
An explosive charge was discovered inside a bag at the entrance to the Shalom theater in Moscow.
The synagogue belonging to the Birobidzhan Jewish community was damaged twice this month. Unknown persons broke the candelabra in the synagogue yard and a window, tore out a metal Star of David which decorated the outside wall of the synagogue, formed a swastika out of stones in the yard and wrote the words Jews get out in Russian.
Britain - Shots were fired at the Maccabi building in London. The outside glass of one of the windows was damaged. The background to the action is unclear.
A Jew was attacked by an unidentified person in Edgebaston, Birmingham and required medical treatment.
Two unidentified persons entered a restaurant and bakery in the Golders Green neighbourhood in London and shouted anti-Semitic remarks at the people standing about.
An abusive slogan was drawn on the South Manchester synagogue wall in Fallowfield, Manchester.
France - Two unidentified persons were seen holding bottles near the Doudeauville synagogue in Paris. They hurled the bottles as they fled. The bottles contained kerosene and oil.
U.S. An unknown person drew swastikas and abusive slogans on the wall of the Temple Zion synagogue in Miami, Florida.
Australia - Unknown persons pasted anti-Semitic stickers on the wall of a Melbourne Jews home and poured blood into his yard. In another incident a sticker was pasted on the wall of the local rabbis home.
A stone thrown at the window of a Jewish business in Sydney broke the Star of David on the neon sign.
U.S. - An anonymous threat was received over the answering machine of the Brandeis Jewish school in Long Island, New York. Additional Jewish schools in the area received similar threats.
Australia - A Jewish-owned office in Sydney received a series of threatening anti-Semitic phone calls.
Anti-Semitic and Racist Propaganda
Britain - Obscene gestures were made at a Jew on his way to the synagogue in Middlesex.
Anti-Semitic letters, including drawings of swastikas, anti-Semitic comments and Holocaust denial, were received at a number of Jewish institutions.
BNP organization pamphlets were sent to the Southgate Progressive synagogue.
An anti-Semitic letter containing expressions such as Jewish imperialism and Jewish fraud was received by a senior British government official.
Anti-Semitic curses were shouted at Torah Yeshiva students in Manchester. Those cursing also threatened to throw bricks at the students.
Italy - Pamphlets denouncing Jews, Zionism and Israel belonging to the radical Catholic Militia Christi movement were discovered on the streets of Rome.
Czech Republic - A swastika was drawn on the suitcase of an Israeli passenger in Prague.
Spain - Anti-Semitic stickers were pasted on the walls of a Jewish school in Madrid.
A man on whose clothes Nazi symbols were pasted asked to enter a synagogue in Madrid. This caused a commotion in the synagogue.
Mexico - A swastika was carved in the elevator of a Jewish community building on Acapulco street in Mexico City.
Swastikas and abusive slogans were discovered on the wall of a nursery school opposite the Beit Yitzhak synagogue in Mexico City.
Uruguay - An abusive slogan was discovered on the wall of the Habonim-Dror youth movement building in Montevideo. It said Malditas ratas Judias cerdos apestan, freely translated : Cursed Jewish mice - stinking pigs.
Panama - A swastika was drawn on one of the front windows of a kosher supermarket under construction in Panama City. Additional swastikas were discovered in other parts of the city.
Brazil - Anti-Semitic texts were written in the Bnai Akiva Internet sites guestbook in Rio De Janeiro.
An abusive letter was received at the Jewish community synagogue in Rio De Janeiro.
Anti-Semitic propaganda was distributed at the entrance of apartments and houses on President Vargas Avenue in Rio De Janeiro. The pamphlets called on everyone who was interested in understanding the situation to purchase the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' over the telephone.
Four swastikas were drawn on the door of the geography department at the Brasilia University. The department head is a Jewess.
Australia - Abusive slogans, including Holocaust denial expressions, were drawn on the memorial for Holocaust victims in Melbourne.
Some 50 identical anti-Semitic abusive letters were sent by e-mail to a Jew in Sydney. The same 50 letters were sent to a Jewish organization in Sydney. All the letters were sent from a fictitious address.
Anti-Semitic e-Mail was sent to a number of Jewish families in Sydney.
An evangelist Christian periodical, which included anti-Semitic articles, was distributed to the Jewish community offices in Sydney.
Anti-Semitic articles continue to appear on the AUS.POLITICS and SOC.CULTURE.AUSTRALIA site. The articles accuse the Jews of Jesus murder, Communism, fraud, exploitation and other crimes.
Abusive Holocaust denial slogans and swastikas were drawn on the community building in Melbourne and a shopping center in Sydney.
Many anti-Semitic and Holocaust denial articles were sent to a Jewish organization in Melbourne by the Adelaide Institute.
The community rabbi received an anti-Semitic phonecall in his home in Melbourne.
Anti-Semitic abusive slogans were drawn in a public park in the center of Sydney.
On seven separate occasions anti-Semitic mail was sent to a business address in the capital Canberra.
In response to an article published during the week of Holocaust Memorial Day, a students newspaper from the New South Wales University published a letter criticizing the emphasis put on Jewish victims and not on others who murdered by the Nazis and not on other victims. The letter also contained Holocaust denial statements.
The World Serbian Voice newspaper, which is published in Sydney, printed two anti-Semitic articles in the style of the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' .
The Adelaide Institute continues to publish anti-Semitic and Holocaust denial articles. Other right-wing newspapers continue to criticize the arrest in Germany of the well-known Holocaust denier Frederick Toben and the fact that revisionists freedom of speech and research is limited.
U.S. - Anti-Semitic stickers reminiscent of Nazi propaganda were pasted on street lamps in Brooklyn and Manhattan. The sticker has a portrait of a man with a hooked nose hoarding money. The sticker title was Skeme Team (conspiracy team) which calls up connotations of the Jews plot to take over the world according to the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' .
Anti-Semitic pamphlets were distributed around Charlotte, including in the synagogue. Slogans were also drawn which included greetings for Hitlers birthday.
Struggle Against Anti-Semitism and Racism
Switzerland - A senior member of the Swiss Hammerskins, Reinhold Reini Fischer, aged 28, was sentenced to four months in prison for breaking the law against racism by the Bremgarten district court. The court also imposed two previous suspended sentences against Fischer, thereby sentencing him to eight and a half months in prison. For years Fischer has been running a company which distributes cassettes and disks of Skins rock groups. Fischer admitted to selling more than 600 disks of Skins music. He also runs his organizations telephone information system.
France/Germany - The leader of the radical right-wing National Front party in France, Jean Marie Le Pen, was convicted of racial incitement by a court in Munich after he referred to the gas chambers of the Third Reich as a detail in history. Le Pen did not even appear at his trial to defend his position. He stated that he had never denied the existence of the gas chambers and claimed that the word detail had different connotations in French and German. Le Pens statement was recorded in December 1997 at a press conference in Bavaria in honour of the publication of a biography praising him in Germany. Le Pen had already been convicted in France of a similar statement in 1997 and sentenced at the time to a fine of 1.2 million French francs. The fine against him in Germany will not be more than 10,000 DM.
Germany - Alfons Goetzfried, an 80-year-old worker, was sentenced this month in Stuttgart to ten years in prison for his part in the shooting to death of tens of thousands of Jews at the Maidanek concentration camp. The court waived the accuseds sentence in consideration of the period he had been incarcerated in a Soviet concentration camp.
Poland - On Friday 28 May, Polish army forces removed some 300 crosses which had been erected at the entrance to Auschwitz about a year ago by fundamentalist Catholics and members of right-wing marginal groups led by Kazimierz Switon. The radicals erected the crosses to prevent the removal of the large cross which had been set up there some ten years previously in memory of Poles who had been murdered there by the Nazis. This cross was used at the mass held by Pope John Paul II in 1979 when he visited Poland. At the end of a year-long struggle, in which Jewish organizations participated, it was decided to leave standing the Popes cross but to move it slightly away from the camp and to remove the other crosses.
Belarus - In March 1999 the director of the Belarussian bureau of the Union of the Councils of Soviet Jews filed a complaint against three newspapers and a radio program in Minsk on the grounds that they had distributed/broadcasted anti-Semitic articles/programs. In response, in late April 1999 the distributing licence of the Slovyanskaya Gazetta was revoked in Belarus for inciting hatred between communities and ethnic groups in the country.
Czech Republic - A clash took place in Prague between police and anarchists who wanted to disrupt a parade organized by some 300 Neo-Nazi skinheads on 1 May. The anarchists hurled Molotov cocktails and the police responded with tear gas and arrests. After the police cleared the road for the skinheads, the latter marched shouting slogans such as Arbeit macht frei! (Work frees - the slogan over the entrance to Nazi concentration camps) and Zionists out!. A few politicians, including Prime Minister Zeman, denounced the march as encouraging Fascism. Last year Zeman had proposed making the skinhead movement illegal.
U.S. - Miami police arrested three youths for drawing swastikas and abusive slogans on the wall of the Temple Zion synagogue in Miami.
The Department of Justice ordered the expulsion of Kazys Ciurinskas from the U.S. after the latter admitted that when he had requested entry into the U.S. in 1949 he had concealed the fact that he was a soldier in the Lithuanian battalion which had killed Jews on Nazi orders. The court noted that members of that battalion helped the Nazis in at least ten murder actions in Lithuania and Belarus and that Ciurinskas had participated in at least one such operation. He was deported in mid-May and left the U.S. for Lithuania.
The U.S. Department of Justice is working to revoke the U.S. citizenship of John Dimaniuk. He is accused of having lied about his past as a guard in concentration and death camps in World War II when he applied to immigrate to the U.S. If his citizenship is revoked he will be expelled from the U.S.
Two Indiana residents were arrested on suspicion of distributing anti-Semitic literature written by the World Church of the Creator in the spirit of the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'.
Brazil - Mein Kampf in Portuguese can be purchased in the book market in Cinelandia. This is old stock, not a new publication. On the initiative of the Jewish Federation of Rio De Janeiro, the store book manager was arrested and all copies of the book were confiscated.
Argentina - Three members of a radical right-wing group were arrested by the police accused of distributing computer diskettes containing instructions for preparing explosive charges. The materials were offered for sale in a number of subway shops in Buenos Aires.
U.S. - The Holocaust Museum in Washington and the local police launched a program for instructing officers on the Holocaust and the function of the police in a democratic society.
Japan - The study of the Holocaust is being taught in Japan. A private Japanese group is preparing to hold a series of conferences on the subject of a childrens curriculum on the Nazi period. A Holocaust study center will hold summer conferences in four Japanese cities, including Kyoto and Tokyo.
Croatia - Neo-Nazis disrupted a quiet memorial service which was held on 9 May commemorating the Fascist defeat in World War II and confronted the participants of the service. Jewish organizations and opposition members accuse the Croatian government of demonstrating tolerance towards right-wing radicals.
Spain - The regional government of Madrid has set up a monitoring body (observatorio) against racism and intolerance. The purpose of this body is to collect information on xenophobia in the area in order to prevent it where possible. The victims of xenophobia will be able to complain to this body which will pass on the information to the government for legal proceedings.
A Barcelona court decided that the judgment given in the trial of Pedro Varela for distributing anti-Semitic messages and voicing praise of genocide may be anti-constitutional and contradict the right to free speech. The sentence can therefore not be imposed on Varela. On 16 November, 1998 the Santiago judge Vidal from Barcelona sentenced Varela to two years in prison for justifying genocide and three additional years for incitement to hatred and violence against groups under racist and anti-Semitic pretext.
Britain - The British Foundation for Commemorating the Holocaust requested that Yad Vashem in Jerusalem grant the title of Righteous Gentile to a British subject from Jersey Island who had hidden Jews and slave laborers in his basement during the Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands. His actions revealed by research 29 years after his death. The findings were published this month. The request was reinforced by documents and supported by survivors testimonies and the Jewish communities in Jersey and the U.K.
Source: Israeli Foreign Ministry