Jewish Cemetery in Asmara, Eritrea, Vandalized

YERUSHALAYIM -

Many graves in a Jewish cemetery in the eastern African capital of Eritrea, Asmara, have been desecrated, as evidenced in pictures received by the offices of Britain’s Jewish Chronicle.

The reader who provided the evidence did not want his name published, fearing reprisal to any remaining family members in Asmara.

The attack appears to have taken place very recently.

The reader said that although the Eritrean government was not anti-Semitic, the pictures need to be publicized to force it to take action.

Asmara’s Jewish community numbered as many as 500 during the 1950s, including many refugees from Europe. There was also a vibrant young community of shochtim from Eretz Yisrael who settled there in order to produce kosher beef for consumption in Eretz Yisrael, demand for which had grown with the arrival of the refugees and survivors of the Holocaust.

Most departed after the 1970s, when Eritrea’s fight for independence from Ethiopia caused instability in the area.