The OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) mission in Kosovo has condemned the recent desecration of the Jewish cemetery in the Kosovo capital, Pristina. Nazi swastikas were painted over a majority of the fifty tombstones, and the message “Jud Raus” — a misspelling of the German for “Jews Out” — was scrawled on the foot of the central memorial monument, in a vandal act believed to have taken place Nov. 29.
In a statement issued December 2, the Acting Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Edward P. Joseph called on law enforcement to investigate, and the municipality to repair the damage.
“As the leading international human rights organization in Kosovo, the OSCE wholeheartedly condemns this disgraceful act. To damage or desecrate the graveyard of any community is a contemptible insult and expression of hate. To do so in this manner, towards a community whose members were hunted down for extermination within living memory is an obscenity.
“The swift condemnation issued by members of the Kosovo government is an encouraging rebuttal to this smear on democracy in Kosovo. It is our hope that law enforcement will likewise act responsibly by bringing the perpetrators to justice, and that the municipality with quickly remove the contemptible symbols of hate left by the perpetrators.”
“The OSCE stands for tolerance, coexistence and mutual respect. We will not hesitate to call for justice wherever those norms are threatened.”