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Posted Friday, August 6, 2004

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Predictability City: New Zealand's Jewish leader David Zwartz, who is also the Israeli consul in Auckland, links the latest outrages against Jewish gravestones to David Irving, who is quietly writing history, somewhat further away from the scene of the hideous outrage than Mr. Zwartz and his friends.

Nota bene: If they had not kicked up a fuss about Mr. Irving's private research and lecture visit, nobody -- nobody -- would have even known he was in the country. Now, it is hinted, "he" is to blame for the rise in anti-Semitism in New Zealand.

Wellington's city police officers meanwhile note that they have found no perpetrator, that rain has washed out all the clues, and that, mysteriously, on the night in question the gate to the Jewish cemetery was left, unusually, unlocked by the caretaker. Now read on from here, being careful not to join the dots . . .

Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, August 7, 2004   

[Write to the NZ Herald's Editor: [] ]

Parliament urged to condemn anti-Semitism

cemeteryPARLIAMENT is to be asked to formally condemn anti-Semitism following a second attack on a Jewish cemetery in Wellington.


Members of Wellington's Jewish community are considering offering a reward for information on who was behind the attack.

ZwartzJewish Council chairman David Zwartz (left) visited the cemetery yesterday morning. [...]

"I think it's a continuation of the same thing," he said yesterday, "possibly also linked with the extra talk about the proposed visit of David Irving, who's a notable anti-Jewish speaker."




Rest deleted

WE regret to say that the online staff of the New Zealand Herald have required us on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 to remove the remainder of this article from the website. It may be that they themselves had come under pressure. We consider their attitude to be at variance with the spirit of the Internet, but have little choice in the matter.



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The Dominion Post

Wellington, New Zealand, Saturday, August 7, 2004

Vandals wreak havoc in Jewish cemetery


SHE experienced the horrors of Nazi Germany as a child but found safety in New Zealand. Yesterday, as Inger Woolf (right) stood in the rain and wept by her husband's desecrated grave, the nightmares came flooding back ...

THE Jewish community has been left in a state of shock by the violent desecration of a burial site, the second attack in Wellington in less than a month.

The incident has also provoked outrage from political, religious and social groups, including the right-wing National Front, which have condemned the vandalism.

As daylight broke yesterday at the isolated Makara Cemetery, about three kilometres west of Karori, the extent of the early-morning rampage became obvious.

Ninety-two gravestones had been knocked over. A small chapel, used for prayers during funeral services, was reduced to a smouldering shell.

A swastika etched crudely on the chapel wall greeted members of the Jewish community as they began arriving to witness the damage. A second swastika was gouged into grass between two rows of headstones.

The incident comes three weeks after 16 historic Jewish headstones were smashed at central Wellington's Bolton St Cemetery when swastikas and Nazi slogans were etched in the ground. Police are investigating the two incidents together, but have no clues to the culprits.

For Inger Woolf, who survived the horror of the Nazis, finding the vandalised grave of her husband, Wellington photographer Ron Woolf, awoke painful memories.

After coming to New Zealand in 1957, she found a safe haven from anti-Semitism. Her earliest memories -- of being frightened by Nazis marching into her birthplace, Vienna, and putting up swastikas and of having to deny being a Jew -- were pushed to the back of her mind.

Yesterday, all the memories came flooding back as she experienced first-hand the effects of race-hate, the first in almost 50 years in New Zealand. "I didn't think that it could happen in New Zealand."

Ruth Gotlieb, a former city and regional councillor of 18 years, was one of the first to arrive at the cemetery yesterday. The grave of her son, Jake, who died 22 years ago after committing suicide, was untouched, but all around it gravestones lay scattered.

Comforted by her sister, Blanche Weinstein, a distraught Mrs Gotlieb repeatedly cried out "so many, so many" as she walked through the graves.

She had a strong message for the vandals.

"I think they are the scum of the earth, the scourge of mankind. I am disgusted that it could happen in this wonderful country. I can hardly believe that a human being could do the terrible things that I have just seen."

David Schnellenberg, of Island Bay, said the desecration was a problem for all New Zealanders and called for leadership from politicians, the churches and the wider community to prevent further attacks.

Detective Sergeant Tim Leitch of Wellington said police had little to work with, as heavy rain had washed away evidence. He was keen to hear from anyone who saw people or vehicles in the area, particularly about 4am, or knew the offenders.

A newspaper delivery man for The Dominion Post raised the alarm after he spotted a glow coming from the cemetery during his morning run.

Police believe the vandals entered through an unlocked gate at the south side of the cemetery. Wellington City Council cemeteries manager Stuart Baines confirmed the gates had not been locked by the caretaker as they should have been.

A security review was under way, and nightly patrols could be introduced, as at Karori Cemetery. A guard would be at Makara during the weekend while long-term arrangements were made. Security would be stepped up at Karori Cemetery.

Acting Prime Minister Michael Cullen, Mayor Kerry Prendergast and other political, religious and social leaders moved swiftly to condemn the attack. Dr Cullen said: "Racism of any sort is ugly and unforgivable and has no place in New Zealand."

Ms Prendergast called on all Wellingtonians to support the Jewish community. "This is an appalling act of vandalism . . . and I am disgusted and ashamed that it has happened in our city."



Dossier: attempts by New Zealand Jews to stop David Irving's 2004 visit
 FAQ: Answers to frequently asked questions about Mr Irving's visit
Flashback Wealthy Jewish organisation drafted a secret plan to "destroy David Irving's legitimacy" | "Don't let this fall into the wrong hands" [documents from the Lipstadt trial]

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