Synagogue defaced with swastikas in the Netherlands

The Police have opened an investigation into the defacement of a synagogue in Middelburg, the Netherlands.

Swastikas have been spray-painted on the facade of the Stichting Synagogue Zeeland in Middelburg, the Netherlands. In a press release, the Jewish community of Zeeland and the synagogue itself stated that they were „stunned by this act of antisemitism „, reports the NL Times.

The graffiti was discovered by members of the Zeeland Jewish community at around 8.30 pm on Saturday. They reported the incident to the police, who have launched an investigation. „This once again evokes feelings of insecurity and fear in many people,” it said in the press release.

According to the police, the investigating team spoke with a witness who saw people near the synagogue around 8:15 pm. However, it is not clear whether they were responsible for the vandalism.

The police found two swastikas and searched the neighbourhood. An initial statement was taken from a contact at the synagogue; formal reports will follow later, the police spokesperson said.

Mayor Harald Bergmann of Middelburg calls the graffiti „unacceptable” and „hugely threatening” for the Jewish community. „It is important that we all continue to speak out against any form of antisemitism,” Bergmann said. „Not just today in response to what happened. But also tomorrow, next week, next month. Until it stops.”

The mayor says the municipality is doing its „best” to protect the Jewish community. He also calls on residents to remain alert and to pass on information about the graffiti or other signals to the police. „Because as far as I’m concerned, this should never happen again.”


Photo credit: Rolf Bosboom