A memorial for Holocaust deportees, as well as a well-known synagogue and Jewish bookshop, were defaced Thursday night with the Nazi swastika.
Recall that anti-Semitic acts in Switzerland jumped 28% in 2011, the biggest increase since records began being kept. In July I posted about a Swiss political party promoting itself using a doll of a man wearing a yarmulke with an arrow in its head, and an Israeli flag painted on it. Jew-hatred in Switzerland, though not much reported, goes back uninterrupted hundreds of years.
The Swiss Jewish community is only about 18,000, virtually unchanged from the 1950s. The population of Switzerland is around 7.6 million. The Muslim population in Switzerland has increased rapidly from 16,353 in 1970 to an estimated 400,000 persons today. See an interesting 2008 study on the situation here.
Israel Hayom – The Jewish community in Geneva awoke Friday morning to find several of its sites and monuments defiled by swastikas.
A memorial plaque in Geneva’s banking quarter that serves to honor the memory of World War II deportees was sprayed with a red swastika, the symbol of Nazi Germany, as were a Jewish library and bookshop, as well as the Hekhal Haness synagogue, the city’s largest, in the nearby Malagnou neighborhood.
“We are outraged by the anti-Semitic act, a week after Holocaust Remembrance Day,” Ron Aufseesser, steering committee member of the Jewish community of Geneva, told the French-language Tribune de Geneve newspaper. Aufseesser added that the synagogue is protected by a video surveillance system, so he hopes that “the tapes can be used to identify the perpetrator so he can be held accountable in a court of law.”
David Amar, who works in the synagogue, was also outraged by the anti-Semitic act.
“It’s amazing that in Switzerland, in this day and age, people still commit such horrors,” he told Tribune de Geneve.