Holocaust monument in Mahilyow targeted in vandal attack

Unknown vandals on June 3 threw paint over a memorial boulder in Mahilyow that commemorates victims of the Holocaust.

According to the local Judaic community, the act of vandalism occurred between 10 a.m. and noon.

About half of the surface of the boulder and the inscription, which says, “In memory of the Mahilyow Jews who fell victim to the Nazis,” were covered with brown paint. An empty three-liter jar in which the vandals apparently had brought the paint was discovered in nearby bushes.

Navum Iofe, chairman of the local Judaic community, called the police, which launched an investigation.

“I view this act as a clear manifestation of anti-Semitism and evidence of the moral degradation of a certain part of society,” Mr. Iofe told BelaPAN. “They not only defaced the monument but also insulted the memory of the Jews who were martyred by the Nazis.”

A series of events collectively called Days of Jewish Culture had been held in Mahilyow a month before the incident. Israeli Ambassador Yosef Shagal called the events a “festival of Belarusian-Jewish friendship.”