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Teens Arrested for U.K. Jewish Cemetery Vandalism

Two 13-year-olds reportedly spray painted swastikas, pushed over headstones

Stephanie Butnick
June 30, 2014

Two teenagers were arrested for vandalizing a Jewish cemetery in Manchester, England, the Jewish Chronicle reports. The two boys, who police say were 13 years old, were arrested “on suspicion of committing a racially aggravated public order offence” and will face a hearing on July 25.

The attack at the Rochdale Road cemetery – in which swastikas covered tombstones and 40 headstones were pushed over, causing an estimated £100,000 worth of damage – was described as “sickening” by Greater Manchester Police (GMP).

According to JTA, a similar attack was reported earlier this month in Manchester, and more than 100 residents volunteered to clean up the desecrated Jewish cemetery. Typically, the families of the deceased get left with the repair bill.

In March, vandals destroyed 19th-century gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in Mysłowice, Poland. Whether those perpetrators were mischievous—or, more likely, bored—teenagers as well or more malicious individuals was never determined.

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.