Strasbourg deputy mayor
The stone was found knocked off its plinth on Saturday morning
A memorial stone at the site of Strasbourg’s old synagogue has been vandalised, the deputy mayor of the eastern French city says.Alain Fontanel tweeted a picture of the marble slab after it was knocked off its plinth, calling the attack a “new act of anti-Semitism in our city”. The memorial stands at the site of the synagogue, which was burned down by the Nazis in September 1940.Last month dozens of graves were desecrated at a nearby Jewish cemetery.Swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans were spray-painted on the graves. President Emmanuel Macron visited the cemetery in Quatzenheim, about 20km (12 miles) east of Strasbourg.
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Media captionFrench President Macron visits desecrated Jewish graves
He expressed his “total determination to fight anti-Semitism in all its forms”.After the latest incident in Strasbourg, Mr Fontanel said: “Sadly, history repeats itself.” He said city officials and police were doing everything possible to catch the attackers.France has the biggest Jewish community in Europe, about 550,000 people. Is anti-Semitism on the rise in France?Statistics published last month showed a rise of 74% in the number of anti-Semitic attacks in France, from 311 in 2017 to 541 in 2018. Several high-profile recent incidents have brought the issue into focus. In one instance, a Jewish bakery in central Paris had the German word for Jews (“Juden”) spray-painted on its window. Also last month, police also stepped in to protect the philosopher, Alain Finkielkraut, after he was bombarded with anti-Jewish taunts by a group of “yellow vest” protesters in Paris.Jewish groups have also been warning that a rising far right across Europe has been promoting anti-Semitism and hatred of other minorities.Crime data from Germany released last week revealed that anti-Semitic offences had increased by 10% over the past year – including a 60% rise in physical attacks.Attacks have been blamed on both the far right and Islamists.