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October 22, 1993 - Image 114

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-10-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Tombstones Defaced
At N.J. Cemetery

Teaneck, N.J. (JTA) — Jews
and non-Jews in this area
have rallied together to heal
the wounds and repair the
physical damage of the
desecration of a Saddle
Brook, N.J., Jewish
cemetery during Rosh
Hashanah.
Some 100 tombstones were
defaced with swastikas and
pro-Nazi slogans, including
"Hitler Was Right."
The vandalism was
discovered on a Sunday
morning, but occurred
sometime between the
preceding Thursday at 1
p.m. and early Saturday
evening, when the
caretakers were away, Sad-
dle Brook police detective
Sgt. Harry Reid said.
As of midweek, there were
no suspects.
The Anti-Defamation
League has offered a reward
of $1,000 for information
leading to arrests, and the
First Reformed Church of
Saddle Brook offered to
mount bucket brigades to
wash down the graffiti.
Jeffrey Maas, New Jersey
regional director of the ADL,
said the desecration was one
of the worst he had ever
seen, and speculated that
because of the nature of the
symbols, the perpetrators
likely knew what they were
doing.
"There were too many
symbols that required cer-
tain knowledge of Nazi and
(Ku Klux) Klan types," said
Mr. Maas. For example,
"there was a swastika and a
cross in a circle; that is a
Klan symbol."
Mr. Maas said the
perpetrators apparently
knew Jewish customs, as
well. "A cemetery, just
before Rosh Hashanah —
whoever did it knew that
Jews don't visit cemeteries
on Rosh Hashanah or the
Sabbath," he said. The crime
is "too complex to dismiss as
a juvenile prank."
Hy Tabachnick, acting ex-
ecutive director of the Jew-
ish Federation of North
Jersey, said non-Jewish
community members were
already out scrubbing down
the white paint.
"The community reaction
has been devastation," Mr.
Tabachnick said. "But there
has been a tremendous out-
pouring of support from both
the Jewish and non-Jewish
communities."
Mr. Tabachnick said there

is likely to be a rededication
ceremony some time in the
next few weeks, and he
hopes community members
will attend.
The Saddle Brook/Rochelle
Park Clergy Group con-
demned the act and issued
the following statement:
"We are especially appalled
by the timing of this event,
falling as it does during the
Jewish High Holy Days.
"It is clear to us that the
perpetrator deliberately
chose this time to maximize
emotional pain upon our
Jewish neighbors. We une-
quivocally condemn such
cruelty and extend our sym-
pathy to those afflicted,"
said the statement.
Frances Gold of Hacken-
sack buried her husband
Aaron at the cemetery. His
parents and brother are also
buried there, but none of the
family members'
monuments were
desecrated, Mrs. Gold said.
Mrs. Gold, however, was
deeply pained by the
desecration.
"I was devastated," she
said. "I was up at 4 a.m. and
couldn't sleep.' -

Verbal Abuse
Draws Sentence

Paris (JTA) — In what is be-
ing called the stiffest
sentence of its kind in
France, a man has been con-
demned to a one-year jail
term for anti-Semitic verbal
abuse.
Georges Anne, a 47-year-
old electrician, was con-
victed by the Versailles
Court of Justice of verbally
abusing his neighbors for
several years with anti-
Semitic slurs.
Philippe Bataille, the legal
representative of the Inter-
national League Against
Racism and Anti-Semitism,
who was also suing Mr.
Anne, said the sentence is
the heaviest ever handed
down for such an offense.
The Versailles court also
ordered that its decision be
posted on Mr. Anne's front
door and published in
various newspapers.
In addition, Mr. Anne has
been required to pay a sum
equivalent to $20,000 in
damages to his neighbors, as
well as the equivalent of
$2,000 to the anti-racism
league.



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