MidEast

Anti-Semitic Graffiti Defaces Holocaust Memorial in Uruguay for Second Time in a Week

A Holocaust memorial in Uruguay was vandalized for the second time on Saturday.

The memorial, which was unveiled in 1994, was covered with black anti-Semitic graffiti with slurs that minimized the Holocaust. Sentences such as “The Holocaust of the Jewish people is the biggest lie in history,” “Gas chambers were a fraud,” and “Only 300,000 Jews died from typhus” were found on the memorial.

The memorial is located in Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, and underwent restorations in 2016 Haaretz reported.

Anti-Semitic vandalism has been on the rise in Uruguay for the past few years, but El Pais, a local newspaper, highlighted that this instance was “the most severe” vandalism case thus far, as the black graffiti took over an extensive part of the memorial.

After the vandalism was discovered, the Mayor of Montevideo, Carlos Varela tweeted, “They have vandalized us again. What’s going on?” and added ”we call for sanity, tolerance and peace.”

The anti-Semitic graffiti was erased (Spanish link) and Varela pledged to add more security to the memorial.

The Israelite Central Committee, the institution that represents Jews on a political level in Uruguay, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center both released statements condemning the vandalism.

Both vandalism cases that occurred last week are currently undergoing an investigation.

The World Jewish Congress estimates that Uruguay is home to 20,000 Jews, and most of them live in Montevideo. Uruguay became the first country in South America to officially recognize Israel and the first Israeli Embassy opened in Montevideo in November of 1948.

[Photo: Hoverfish/ Wikimedia Commons]