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France: 'Guardians of memory' patrol Jewish cemetery after latest desecrations04:19

France: 'Guardians of memory' patrol Jewish cemetery after latest desecrations

France, Altkirch
December 20, 2019 at 13:48 GMT +00:00 · Published

A group of non-Jewish volunteers dubbing themselves the 'Guardians of memory' are patrolling the Jewish cemetery in the French town of Altkirch, in north-eastern Alsace region, as seen in footage from Thursday.

"For us, it's a way to connect two communities, Catholic and Jewish," said Bertrand Fellmann, a creator of the initiative. "It's a way to fight against the growing antisemitism, this octopus that is everywhere in Europe."

Laurent Schilli of the Jewish Consistory of Upper Rhine says the protection of the Jewish sites is "an opportunity to show a form of solidarity."

He added, "The far-right is rising in every European country and I think we have to be careful."

The 'Guardians of memory' began patrolling the cemetery after swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti were spray-painted onto more than 100 tombstones in the small village of Westhoffen, about 100 kilometres (62 miles) from Altkirch. In response, French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter "Jews are and make France."

France: 'Guardians of memory' patrol Jewish cemetery after latest desecrations04:19
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A group of non-Jewish volunteers dubbing themselves the 'Guardians of memory' are patrolling the Jewish cemetery in the French town of Altkirch, in north-eastern Alsace region, as seen in footage from Thursday.

"For us, it's a way to connect two communities, Catholic and Jewish," said Bertrand Fellmann, a creator of the initiative. "It's a way to fight against the growing antisemitism, this octopus that is everywhere in Europe."

Laurent Schilli of the Jewish Consistory of Upper Rhine says the protection of the Jewish sites is "an opportunity to show a form of solidarity."

He added, "The far-right is rising in every European country and I think we have to be careful."

The 'Guardians of memory' began patrolling the cemetery after swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti were spray-painted onto more than 100 tombstones in the small village of Westhoffen, about 100 kilometres (62 miles) from Altkirch. In response, French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter "Jews are and make France."

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