Vandalism in a Jewish cemetary in Hungary

A group of hooligans knocked down and broke the tombs of a Jewish cemetery in Budakeszi, Hungary, causing major financial damage. The police is investigating.

On April 23, the remaining tombs of the Jewish cemetery in Budakeszi were found knocked down and broken. According to Tamás Reich, a local resident who has long been concerned about the condition of the cemetery, the tombs were already in bad shape.

Reich called HVG in the morning, and reported that the police, the leader of the neighbourhood watch and the director of the local urban management company are at the site, assessing the damages, which appear to be major. There are no surveillance cameras in the cemetery.

While public authorities are hunting the culprits, the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (MAZSIHISZ), along with the urban management and local volunteers, is cleaning up the place and organises the restoring of the cemetary.

“At least ten-twelve tombs were damaged, but luckily, the most recently renovated one remained standing”, said Reich.

The Communication Department of the Pest County Police Headquarters said to HVG that the police have launched an investigation into suspected criminal damage. They are collecting data from the crime scene and the neighbourhood in order to find the perpetrators, but there is no lead yet. Last week, two drunk man damaged the Budakeszi mortuary, but so far, there seems to be no correlation between the two crimes.

According to Reich, the cemetery has long been neglected, with most of the tombs missing or already damaged, way before the recent vandalism, which ruined the remaining tombs. The enclosing of the cemetery is also an issue, which has yet to be solved as well.


Photo credit: Bertalan Sigmund deputy mayor of Budakeszi