Suspect arrested in vandalism of Amsterdam Jewish cemetery

AMSTERDAM (JTA) – Dutch police say they have apprehended a man accused of drawing swastikas on a wall of the capital’s oldest Jewish cemetery.

The incident happened Saturday in the Zeeburg area of Amsterdam, the AT5 television station reported. Police would not reveal the suspect’s identity or what they say his motives were for painting the Nazi symbol on the external wall of the 300-year-old Zeeburg Jewish Cemetery.

Throughout Europe, perpetrators of vandalism against Jewish cemeteries and monuments are seldom caught.

In 2013, the Zeeburg cemetery was reopened after nearly 70 years of neglect with the help of a few dozen Moroccan and Jewish youths who volunteered to renovate and clean up the area. Some 175,000 Jews are buried in the cemetery.

Along with other volunteers referred by the City of Amsterdam, the youths painted over graffiti-covered walls, cut overgrown grass and weeds, and helped restore some of the paths that crisscross the site in the eastern part of the capital.

In total, the restoration cost about $150,000, which was raised from Jewish and non-Jewish sources, including the city.

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