An unexpected wave of anti-Jewish hatred has hit a Moravian town

13. 1. 2017

čas čtení 2 minuty

Almost eighty years since the holocaust, an unprecedented wave of anti-Jewish hatred has risen in  the Moravian town of Prostějov in the Czech Republic. (Paradoxically, primarily as a result of the holocaust, very few Jews now live in the Czech Republic. In 2010, 3,900 Jews lived in this country of 10,6 million inhabitants.)

The wave of hatred is connected with attempts by Jewish activists to restore a former Jewish cemetery in the town of Prostějov. Some 2000 Jews are buried in the cemetery which was destroyed by the Nazis during World War II. During the Nazi occupation, the Prostějov municipal authorities closed down the cemetery and disposed of the Jewish tombstones. Many local inhabitants used them to pave their pathways or their back yards with them. The Jewish cemetery was turned into a municipal park where local inhabitants now walk their dogs.

The international philanthropic organisation Kolel Damesek Eliezer and the Czech Federation of Jewish Communities have now attempted partially to recreate the cemetery. The project was due to be financed by Rabbi Louis Kestenbaum from Brooklyn who devotes himself to the restoration of Jewish monuments in Central and Eastern Europe. The project proposed to make the park a place of piety, to plant a hedge there, to extend the grassy areas and to erect a few of tombstones.

A group of locals initiated a petition against this project. The petition was based on alarmist, fake news. Jews were apparently planning to restore the cemetery completely, to fell trees, to remove park benches and to build a wall around the cemetery. Even though the authors of the project and the municipal authorities did try to explain that none of this was planned, a  wave of antisemitism has arisen and it could not be stopped.

Local inhabitants have vociferously protested against the proposal on social networks. A number of articles have been published in the local newspapers, criticising "yids", "foreigners", "clans of freemasons and Jews" and "extremist orthodox American Jews".

Protest letters have been written against the "global conspiracy of the Jews and freemasons", against the "insolent Jewish community", "the Jewish lobby" and the "proyid campaign", appealing to "good Christians" to rise up.

On the basis of these protests, the Prostějov municipal council has now proposed to turn down the project  for the rejuvenation of the former Jewish cemetery.

Academics are stunned by the unexpected wave of antisemitism.

Source in Czech HERE

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Obsah vydání | 17. 1. 2017