The Berlin police are investigating the vandalism of a Kindertransport memorial, which is not the first Holocaust memorial to be defaced since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war.
The memorial by the late Frank Meisler, installed in 2008, is dedicated to the Jewish children rescued from the Nazis. The roughly ten thousand children were safely transported to England on so-called Kindertransports. The memorial features large casts of children holding suitcases, reports The Jerusalem Post.
The vandalism occurred on New Year’s Eve during a spate of unauthorised pro-Palestinian demonstrations across Berlin. The memorial was defaced with a cross, a crescent, and images of a mosque. Photos of the vandalism were circulated widely on the platform X. The police are investigating the hate crime.
According to Benjamin Steinitz, a project manager for the Antisemitism Research and Information Centre (RIAS), „the motif of defining Muslims and Christians as Palestinians who are oppressed by the Israeli state” has been trending on social media around the Christmas holiday. However, the centre is not aware of other such desecrations.
Since the vandalism, the graffiti has been successfully removed. Although the identity of the perpetrators is unknown, many arrests occurred in the German Capital on New Year’s Eve amid the demonstrations, despite a formal ban by German police.
Since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war, a number of Holocaust-related sites have been defaced with graffiti around major European cities.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Markus Schreiber