Hateful tags that were found in the town hall of Schaffhouse-sur-Zorn, France, lead investigators to a Jewish cemetery 12 miles away where 107 graves were sprawled with anti-Semitic symbols, officials said.
Officials reported to the municipality on Tuesday where anti-Semitic tags and the word “Westhoffen” were displayed. Westhoffen is the location of a Jewish cemetery.
When police arrived to the graveyard, swastikas and the No. 14 — a symbol used by white supremacists — were sprayed on 107 graves, according to a press release issued by a spokesperson for the Lower-Rhine region.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner traveled to Westhoffen on Wednesday for a remembrance ceremony and announced the creation of a national anti-hate crime office within the gendarmerie that will be responsible for the investigation of hate crimes.
President Emmanuel Macron took to Twitter to express his support for the Jewish community as, yet, another racially-charged incident occurred against Jewish cemeteries in the country.
“Jews are and make France” and that “those who attack them, even in their graves, are not worthy of the idea we have of France,” wrote Macron.
More than 90 graves in a Jewish cemetery in Quatzenheim were stained with anti-Semitic tags in February 2019. That incident followed a December 2018 incident where a cemetery in Herrlisheim was defaced.
These incidents contribute to the rise of anti-Semitic acts in France over the past couple years.
In 2018, anti-Semitic acts increased by 74%, where municipalities and schools have also been the targets, according to the France’s Interior Ministry.
In April 2019, racist and anti-Semitic tags were discovered on the walls of the town hall of Dieffenthal in Lower-Rhine, according to local media Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace. Anti-Semitic writings were also found in March 2019 in front of a school in Strasbourg.