Rome mayor slams "unacceptable and miserable act".
Rome police are investigating the vandalisation of four bronze-capped cobblestones installed outside the former homes of Jews who were deported by Nazis to their deaths in Auschwitz.
The two separate incidents, both of which occurred on streets in the Trastevere quarter, involved the stolpersteine memorials being blackened, either by burning or with black paint, in what are apparent acts of anti-Semitism.
In a post on social media Rome mayor Roberto Gualtieri strongly condemned the vandalisation as an "unacceptable and miserable act" and expressed solidarity with the city's Jewish community.
A Trastevere due pietre d'inciampo dedicate a due vittime romane della Shoah, deportate nel campo di sterminio di Auschwitz, sono state oltraggiate. #Roma condanna fermamente questo gesto inaccettabile e miserabile. Solidarietà a tutta la comunità @RomaEbraica della nostra città. pic.twitter.com/jh9M7X0qTc— Roberto Gualtieri (@gualtierieurope) October 31, 2023
Police are reviewing footage from security cameras in the area in an attempt to identify the vandals and whether the same people were responsible for both incidents which occurred on Via Dandolo and Via Mameli.
Local residents have placed flowers around the vandalised memorial stones which have since been cleaned.
"Any act of profanation represents an attempt to erase the memory, which today more than ever it is essential to keep alive," Victor Fadlun, president of Rome's Jewish community, told La Repubblica newspaper.
"I hope that what is unfortunately happening in other European countries, particularly in Paris, will not be repeated here", Fadlun said, in reference to the anti-Jewish graffiti sprayed on buildings in the French capital this week.
Immediatamente ripulite le pietre d’inciampo vandalizzate a Trastevere. Un gesto davvero intollerabile. Non accettiamo che si colpiscano simboli così importanti per la nostra città e il Paese. #Roma respinge ogni forma di antisemitismo, di intolleranza e di razzismo. pic.twitter.com/m4MtD10ZiL
— Roberto Gualtieri (@gualtierieurope) November 2, 2023
Since 2010 hundreds of the bronze plaques have been installed on streets in Rome outside the last chosen place of residence of Holocaust victims, detailing their first and last names, date of birth, date and place of deportation, and date of death in a Nazi extermination camp.
In 2019 a memorial stone on Via della Reginella, in the heart of Rome's Jewish Ghetto area, was covered with a sticker stating in German: "The murderer always returns to the scene of the crime".
In 2018, 20 stolpersteine were removed from a street in the capital's Monti district. They were subsequently replaced with new memorials.
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