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Jewish Cemetery Reports Vandalism

October 4, 1999

BERLIN (AP) _ The leader of Berlin’s Jewish community expressed ``dismay and horror″ Monday at the desecration of Europe’s largest Jewish cemetery by vandals who overturned 103 gravestones.

Andreas Nachama inspected the overturned gravestones at the Weissensee cemetery, which since World War II has been dedicated as a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. The vandalism was discovered Monday.

More than 115,000 people are buried in the cemetery in northeastern Berlin, including well-known publishers, hoteliers, artists and the founders of two of Germany’s largest department stores.

Also Monday, authorities reported a swastika had been painted on a memorial for deported Berlin Jews in the Tiergarten neighborhood.

The vice president of Germany’s parliament, Petra Blaess, called the vandalism ``repulsive.″

``Anti-Semitism is not a phenomenon of the past. It is continually present,″ Blaess said in a statement calling on Germans to fight all forms of anti-Semitism.

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