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ANTISEMITISM

Antisemitic vandalism in Denmark and Norway was ‘coordinated show of force’

Jewish homes and other buildings were subjected to vandalism over the weekend, while yellow Stars of David were placed at locations in Denmark and Norway.

Antisemitic vandalism in Denmark and Norway was 'coordinated show of force'
Vandalized Jewish gravestones in Randers. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Nordic neighbours Finland, Sweden and Norway also saw antisemitic vandalism on Saturday, the 81st anniversary of the 1938 Kristallnacht anti-Jewish attacks in Nazi Germany.

The yellow Star of David is the symbol Jews were forced to wear by Nazi authorities during World War Two.

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Researcher Magnus Ranstorp of the Swedish Defence University (Försvarshögskolan) in Stockholm told Dagbladet Information that the attacks were a a coordinated show of force.

“This is an attempt to show that they are strong in all these countries. That there is a driving force behind them and that it can escalate to more violent incidents. That's why the operation was coordinated,”, Ranstorp told Information.

The analyst said he believed members of neo-Nazi group the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) to be behind the vandalism, echoing remarks made by the Jewish Community in Oslo.

In Copenhagen, vandals painted a large Star of David on a wall and wrote “nordfront.dk”, the website of the NRM. The organization describes itself as a revolutionary national socialist organization.

One of the organization's stated political goals is “to work to regain power from the global Zionist elite, which has economically and militarily occupied large parts of the world,” according to the website.

Danish media TV2 Østjylland spoke to Jacob Vullum Andersen, a member of NRM, following the incidents.

Andersen denied links between NRM and the vandalism but said he supported several of the weekend's antisemitic incidents, including the yellow Star of David stickers.

“We think it’s a good thing that people have finally begun to wake up and realize that Jews of power and Jewish infiltration in society are extremely harmful and unwanted,” he said to TV2.

East Jutland Police declined on Tuesday to comment on whether new complaints have been filed related to the weekend's events.

“We are investigating this matter widely. We have no specific suspects. We have received a number of reports, and the witness statements on which we are now working,” East Jutland Police inspector Michael Kjeldgaard said.

Kjeldgaard added that he is in contact with other Danish police districts. Incidents were reported in Randers, Copenhagen, Aarhus, Silkeborg and Aalborg.

The neighbours of a Jewish couple in Silkeborg, who suffered vandalism to their home, are organizing a torch procession in front of the couple's home.

84 gravestones were painted or overturned in the Jewish burial ground at Østre Cemetery in Randers.

The cost of repairing the gravestones could reach 100,000 kroner, cemetery manager Thue De La Cour told TV2 Østjylland.

In Norway, several yellow Stars of David were placed outside the printing offices of publisher Schibsted in Bergen.

 

 

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ANTISEMITISM

Norwegian publisher targeted with antisemitic vandalism

Several yellow Stars of David were placed outside the printing offices of publisher Schibsted in Bergen, in apparent antisemitic vandalism during the weekend.

Norwegian publisher targeted with antisemitic vandalism
A file photo showing a view of Bergen. Photo: scanrail/Depositphotos

The vandalism happened around the anniversary of the 1938 Kristallnacht anti-Jewish attacks in Nazi Germany, broadcaster NRK reports.

A serious incident of antisemitic vandalism also occurred in neighbouring Denmark this weekend, where 80 gravestones were desecrated at a Jewish burial ground.

Norwegian media Filter also reported that Stars of David were placed at locations across the Nordic countries, including at synagogues, banks and at media companies.

The yellow Star of David is the symbol Jews were forced to wear by Nazi authorities during World War Two.

Several stars were reportedly stuck to a sign outside Schibsted’s offices in Bergen, NRK writes.

The stickers have since been removed, but the broadcaster’s reporting shows their outline still visible on the sign.

“This is very unpleasant for Jews. The people who are doing it have an agenda driven by hatred of Jews,” Ervin Kohn, leader of the Jewish Community in Oslo and deputy leader of the Norwegian Centre against Racism, told NRK.

Kohn said that he believed neo-Nazi group the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) to be behind the Bergen vandalism and that a complaint had been filed with police to this end.

NRK was unable to obtain comment from Schibsted or NRM regarding the Bergen incident.

Pål Tore Haga, a radicalization contact with West District Police, told the broadcaster that antisemitic vandalism on the Kristallnacht anniversary was “not a new phenomenon”.

“I have not yet seen whether any reports have been received [relating to the Bergen stickers] but will of course do this as I look closer at this case,” Haga said.

“It will be interesting to see to what extent section 185 of the criminal code for hate speech may be relevant here,” he added.

READ ALSO: Norway PM Solberg takes part in Kristallnacht remembrance march