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Neo-Nazis Desecrate Jewish Cemetery

November 14, 1988

BAD BUCHAU, West Germany (AP) _ Suspected neo-Nazi vandals overturned gravestones in a Jewish cemetery and spray painted them with swastikas and Nazi slogans, police said today.

In a related development, a judge in Leverkusen said he had sentenced a member of a banned neo-Nazi group to read ″The Diary of Anne Frank″ as part of his punishment for parading a Nazi swastika banner through the industrial Ruhr valley city in May.

The incidents followed last week’s observances of the 50th anniversary of Kristallnacht, a night of burning and pillage across Germany that marked the onset of the Nazi’s campaign to exterminate European Jews.

Police in Bad Buchau, the hometown of Jewish physicist Albert Einstein’s parents that lies about 60 miles southeast of Stuttgart, said suspected neo- Nazi vandals desecrated 17 gravestones in the cemetery early Sunday, ripping some out of their foundations and smashing others.

The vandals also hung up a sign with Nazi slogans at the cemetery entrance, police said in a statement.

The Jewish Community of Bad Buchau was founded in the 16th century and flourished until Adolf Hitler’s Nazi dictatorship.

In Wiesbaden, near Frankfurt, authorities posted a $5,600 reward for information leading to capture of those responsible for tearing apart wreaths and memorial banners at the city’s Old Synagogue.

Police patrolling the synagogue area on Saturday and Sunday nights found memorial wreaths had been set on fire and their banners torn up. An abandoned car in the vicinity was also defaced with swastikas, police said.

In Leverkusen, Judge Reiner Koetting said by telephone that he had sentenced a 20-year-old member of a neo-Nazi group to read Anne Frank’s account of her family’s life in hiding during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam.

Koetting declined to identify the youth, who under German law is considered a juvenile. The youth also was ordered to pay a $280 fine.

The youth must submit a 15-page written report to the judge, demonstrating that he understood the book and its message about the Nazi atrocities, Koetting said.

After a police raid disclosed the Frank family’s hideout in an Amsterdam house, Anne Frank was deported to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. She died of tuberculosis there in March 1945, at age 15.

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