Monday, August 23, 2004

Neo-Nazis in Paris Burn a Jewish Community Center

This article on anti-semitism is France is very disturbing.

Fire swept through a Jewish community center in eastern Paris in the early morning hours on Sunday after arsonists broke into the building and scrawled swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans inside. It was the latest in a wave of neo-Nazi acts across the country....

Much of the neo-Nazi activity in France this year has been concentrated in the eastern region of Alsace, traditionally a German-speaking area along the German border. Officials there say Alsace's neo-Nazi movement is an extension of a broader movement in Germany. On Saturday, about 3,000 people took part in a neo-Nazi march in the German town of Wunsiedel, about 250 miles from Alsace, to commemorate the death, in 1987, of Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess....

But the rise in neo-Nazi acts is particularly disturbing to Jews in France, who are already concerned about increasing anti-Semitism among the country's Arab youth. They fear that both anti-Semitic strains are growing....

According to statistics from the Interior Ministry, there have been 135 acts of physical violence against Jews so far this year and 95 against Arabs and other ethnic groups, though there are nearly 10 times as many Arabs as Jews in France.

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