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Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Jewish graves attacked

Report from Simon Wiesenthal Center:
July 9, 2003

Vandals have been condemned after daubing swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans over Jewish headstones in a cemetery at Southampton, Hants.

The sickening desecration was discovered at Hollybrook Cemetery by a dog-walker.

Eleven gravestones were painted with either large swastikas or writing, including the words "Southampton Nazis".

Police said a further six headstones had been pushed over. All graves targeted had been in the Jewish part of the cemetery.

Local beat officers were working with cemetery staff and the local registrar to trace the families whose loved ones' graves had been defaced. Local Jewish community leaders had also been contacted.

Police said a creosote-type substance had been used in the attack at the Tremona Road cemetery.

Sgt Phil Kerr of Shirley police said: "This was a despicable attack and we would urge members of the public who witnessed any suspicious activity at or near the cemetery to get in touch. "

Investigating officers are studying closed-circuit TV footage seized from nearby Southampton General Hospital to see if the culprits had been captured on camera.