Sholem Aleichem Statue in Ukrainian Capital Defaced With Swastikas
A statue of the late Yiddish author and playwright Sholem Aleichem in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv was discovered on Monday to have been defaced with red-painted swastikas.
Ukraine’s foreign affairs minister, Vadym Prystaiko, called the act of vandalism “disgusting” and “appalling.”
Police opened a criminal probe of the “violation of equality of citizens upon their race, nationality or religious beliefs,” which carries a potential five-year prison sentence.
The statue is located in downtown Kyiv, on Rohnydinska Street, near the Brodsky Choral Synagogue.
Aleichem was best known for penning the “Tevye the Dairyman” series of short stories — upon which the musical “Fiddler on the Roof” was based — providing a glimpse of Jewish shtetl life in Tsarist Russia.
He lived in Kyiv from 1903 to 1905, before he was driven from the city by anti-Jewish pogroms. He subsequently moved to New York City, where he died in 1916 at the age of 57 and is buried.