Vandals in northwestern Ukraine sprayed Nazi symbols and other antisemitic graffiti that targeted the World Zionist Organization, the organization learned on Sunday.
According to the WZO, local residents visiting a monument for victims of the Holocaust discovered the graffiti near the site, located in the village of P’yatydni in Volyn Oblast. In 1942, the Nazis killed 20,000 Jews near the village, shooting them execution-style on the edge of giant pits into which the bodies fell.
An equals sign with the initials WZO painted on one side and a Star of David and a swastika on the other were found on the ground in front of the steps leading to the monument.
“We get multiple reports of antisemitic incidents on a daily basis, but this one particularly caught our eye because it was specifically against the WZO,” the acting chairman of the organization, Yaakov Hagoel, told The Jerusalem Post Sunday.
Vladimir Muzichenko, who visited the site to commemorate the victims, also reported antisemitic graffiti at several other locations in the area and instances of grave-robbing.
Other graffiti found at a bus stop included scrawlings of the WZO initials, the word “Judenreich” (sic), the names of Ukrainian parliamentary parties and the Star of David.
“Antisemitism continues to raise its head and harm memorial sites for the victims of the Holocaust,” Hagoel said. “This time, the threat was directed at the World Zionist Organization, the organization that Herzl founded 120 years ago, and I strongly condemn the escalation of threats and antisemitic incidents in the Ukraine. We will not stand idly by and ignore direct threats to the World Zionist Organization, and we will not remain silent in the face of antisemitic and anti-Zionist events taking place around the world.”
According to Ukrainian community leader Eduard Dolinsky, vandalism of Holocaust mass graves, monuments and Jewish cemeteries occurs on a daily basis across the country, but no such case has ever been investigated nor has anyone ever been caught.