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Gold hunters systematically desecrate mass Jewish graves in Ukraine

Author : Tetiana Sviatenko

12:00, 16 May 2018

Gold hunters systematically desecrate mass Jewish graves in Ukraine

Author : Tetiana Sviatenko

Vandals dig up the mass graves of Jews, separate bones from the ground, stack them in sacks and take them out

12:00, 16 May 2018

Read the original text at 112.ua.

112 Agency

Devastated mass Jewish grave in Nemyriv

About a month ago in Rivne, in Sosonky stow, a mass grave was dug up, in which more than 18 thousand Jews were buried, killed during the Holocaust. This fact drew the attention of the locals; there were several calls to the police. Such an act of vandalism has not been committed for the first time, and the geography of the desecration of graves includes several areas. At the same time, the police in the Rivne region are still checking these facts, criminal proceedings have not yet begun.

Related: American Holocaust Museum makes tough statement on anti-Semitism growth in Ukraine

"There have been several calls about the illegal digging of the graves. The facts are checked," the press service of the regional police told.

The very fact of such a lengthy verification is illegal, lawyer Maksym Borysov said: "Such information should be immediately entered in the Unified registry of pre-trial investigations and the verification should take place within the framework of criminal proceedings. In turn, the introduction of such statements in the Journal of Single Accounting is illegal, because this act has clear signs of a criminal offense."

"I do not understand what is happening, but the systematic desecration of the mass Jewish graves killed in the Holocaust began in Ukraine," Director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee Eduard Dolinsky wrote on his Facebook page.

Related: MFA dismissed Ukrainian consul in Hamburg for possible anti-Semitic statements

And this is not the first time in a month. So, for example, something similar happened in Nemyriv, Vinnytsia region. The mass burial of Jews was also dug out.

However, the police in Nemyriv reacted instantly - "black archaeologists" were detained on the spot. Local residents noticed that suspicious people appeared in the cemetery at night, so the locals called the police. The policeman saw that two unknown people were digging through one of the mass graves. He summoned reinforcements, the vandals were detained. The perpetrators were two residents of Zhytomyr region 50 and 52 years old. They were detained by the police, criminal proceedings were started.

 

National Police

Devastated mass Jewish grave in Nemyriv

"The perpetrators managed to pile up the remains of people in order to take them out in a car left near the cemetery. The Vandals hoped to find some valuable objects there," the police said.

The representative of the Chief Rabbi of Vinnytsia and Vinnytsia region Shaul Horowitz Daniel Erlich told 112.ua, that these perpetrators were real professionals: "They have carefully dug the saps tunnels, like in the mines for coal mining. They used the boards, fixed the ceilings. They took out the bones very carefully, separating them from the ground. Then they put the bones into the sacks. In total, about 200 of such sacks were found inside, which they planned to take away."

Related: Vandals make anti-Semitic inscriptions on Holocaust museum in Odesa

In addition, according to Ehrlich, the people have been engaged in vandalism not for the first year: "When the chairman of the community has arrived, he said, that they had the same “handwriting” as the perpetrators in Pohrebysche did (a mass grave of Jews killed in the Vinnytsia region was dug up in the same way in 2006, - ed.). There are people who have been professionally engaged in vandalism for several years in Nemyriv. We understand that those who have been detained were just the performers and we ask to find those who were the customers, precisely, those who buy these bones."

 

National Police

Erlich could not answer, why somebody needed the bones of the dead Jews. He assumed: "Maybe, they were really looking for some gold, or the bones could be used for some terrible artifacts."

In Nemyriv, the remains of the dead Jews were reburied, but during reburial, it turned out that this was not the only grave buried there.

"There is a great area in Nemyriv, there are about 6 graves, and actually all the mass graves were dug up there," Ehrlich said.

Related: Further aggravation of the interethnic relations possible in Lviv, - Jewish community

Ministry of Internal Affairs says that any manifestations of anti-Semitism, desecration, and vandalism would be fought at all levels, including the political ones. Minister Avakov repeatedly called such manifestations "cave medieval".

Meanwhile, for more than a month, the police in Rivne region have been checking the allegations of the desecration of the grave in Sosonky. The legislation does not regulate the timing of such check.

Related: Antisemitism in Lviv: Jewish community applies to local authorities to intervene

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or 112.International and its owners.

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