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.
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.
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:
to condemn anti-Semitism
is to be asked to formally condemn anti-Semitism
following a second attack on a Jewish cemetery in
Members of Wellington's
Jewish community are
offering a reward for information on who was
behind the attack.
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
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
[Write to the NZ Herald's Editor:
Wellington, New Zealand, Saturday, August 7,
havoc in Jewish cemetery
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
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
As daylight broke yesterday at the isolated
Makara Cemetery, about three kilometres west of
Karori, the extent of the early-morning rampage
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
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
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
A newspaper delivery man for The Dominion
Post raised the alarm after he spotted a glow
coming from the cemetery during his morning
Police believe the
vandals entered through an unlocked gate at the
south side of the cemetery. Wellington City
Council cemeteries manager Stuart Baines
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
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."
attempts by New Zealand Jews to stop David
Irving's 2004 visit
Answers to frequently asked questions about Mr
Jewish organisation drafted a secret plan to
"destroy David Irving's legitimacy" | "Don't let
this fall into the wrong
from the Lipstadt trial]