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Thursday, 26 August 2010

Report: French synagogue gets letter with death threats, bullets

Synagogue in Drancy, former transport site of over 65,000 French Jews to death camps during WWII, is often subject to anti-Semitic vandalism.

A Paris synagogue received a letter marked with a swastika containing bullets and death threats against Jews, French News Agency AFP reported on Wednesday.

“Dirty Jews, we’ll get you all,” read the letter, which, accompanied by nine bullets and a swastika, was received at the synagogue. The anonymous package, which was reportedly delivered on Aug. 14, was discovered Tuesday by synagogue workers.

The synagogue in Drancy was erected in place of an infamous transit camp from which Jews were sent to death camps during World War II.

More than 65,000 Jews were deported from Drancy during the Holocaust, of whom 63,000 were murdered.

The train station at Drancy, which was turned into a memorial site in 196, has been the target of anti-Semitic attacks over the years. In April last year a swastika was spray painted on one of the train cars used to transport the French Jews.

On July 27, gravestones at Jewish cemetery Wolfisheim in eastern France were smashed or overturned by vandals.

Jewish grave sites around France are attacked sporadically by vandals, who leave gravestones broken or sprayed with anti-Semitic slogans.

In 2004, vandals painted swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti on headstones at a Jewish cemetery in eastern France, an act that drew the swift condemnation of the government.

During the last decade France has suffered a wave of violence against Jewish schools, synagogues and cemeteries that coincided with fighting in the Middle East. Many of the attacks have been blamed on young Muslims.

France is home to western Europe's largest Jewish and Muslim populations, and there are occasional attacks on their schools, cemeteries or places of worship.