Friday, June 5, 2009

Serbia: Jewish Cemeteries Desecrated in Sombor and Subotica

Serbia: Jewish Cemeteries Desecrated in Sombor and Subotica

(ISJM) A news report from the Serbian New Agency Tanjug of June 2 states that cemeteries in Sombor and Subotica (Serbia) were damaged.

Here is the story:
Graves desecrated in Sombor, Subotica 2 June 2009 | 10:17 | Source: Tanjug

SOMBOR, SUBOTICA -- Sombor police say that an Orthodox cemetery was vandalized yesterday in Stapar and that about 200 gravestones were damaged.

The police stated that the investigative judge was looking into the situation along with the deputy municipal public prosecutor, the local police chief and other police officials.

Police are working intensively on getting to the bottom of the case and identifying those responsible for the crimes, which occurred in the early morning hours of Monday, according to the statement.

The Orthodox graveyard in Sombor is over 200 years old and locals living in this part of the town do not remember any similar cases of vandalism ever taking place.

Meanwhile, in Subotica, a Jewish cemetery was vandalized and 11 gravestones destroyed yesterday, police stated.

The investigative judge in Subotica has conducted an inquiry, and the deputy public prosecutor says the perpetrators, once found, will be charged with vandalizing graves.

Officials of the Jewish community visited the cemetery during the day, and an intensive search is under way for the culprits, Subotica police stated.
According to the website, which has extensive information on-line about Serbian Jewish heritage sites, the Subotica Jewish cemetery is:

"large and well-maintained. It was founded soon after the establishment of the Subotica Jewish community was established in 1780. It contains both an Ohel and a Holocaust memorial. Major maintenance work began in 1999. The cemetery also includes gravestones (including many black marble obelisks) moved there in 2000 from the disused cemetery at Mali Iđoš." Subotica is also the site of one of the most impressive synagogues in Europe, which has been undergoing restoration for many years.

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