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Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Jewish cemetery desecrated in St. Petersburg

Yids Get Out of Here!

A woman sits near one of about 50 graves, which were vandalized with
swastikas and anti-Semetic grafitti in a Jewish cemetery in St. Petersburg,
Monday, Feb. 16, 2004. Mark Grubarg, head of the St. Petersburg Jewish
Religious Community, said the vandalism occurred Saturday night at the
cemetery, one of the most prominent Jewish burial places in Russia's
former imperial capital. (AP Photo/Interpress)
St. Petersburg Times: About 50 Jewish graves were defaced with fascist signs and slogans at the city's Jan. 9 Cemetery on Saturday night.

Unknown vandals painted swastikas on all the graves and wrote racist graffiti on some, including "Yids Get Out of Here!," said Mark Grubarg, head of St. Petersburg's Jewish Religious Community. "We are in shock," he said.

The cemetery, which in the 19th century was exclusively Jewish and the largest burial site for Jews in the city, had suffered separate acts of vandalism before, but it never witnessed such a massive act, Grubarg said.

A man looks at a desecrated grave of his grandfather, daubed with Nazi
swastikas, at a cemetery in St. Petersburg, February 16, 2004. Dozens of
Jewish graves have been desecrated in Russia's northern capital in the
city's second xenophobic attack in a week
, a Jewish community leader said
on Monday, accusing authorities of negligence. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk
xen·o·phobe n.
A person unduly fearful or contemptuous of that which is foreign, especially of strangers or foreign peoples. xeno·phobi·a n.; xeno·phobic adj.

It is interesting to note that Jews have been in Russia for at least 250 years, yet they remain "strangers or foreign peoples."

"It seems things are getting out of control, and for us, it's getting very scary," Pewzner Menachem-Mendel, the chief rabbi of St. Petersburg, said in an interview.