Saturday, January 28th | 6 Shevat 5783

August 23, 2021 3:25 pm

Antisemitic Vandalism of Sofia, Bulgaria Synagogue Condemned as ‘Shameful Desecration’


avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Antisemitic graffiti on the wall of Sofia Central Synagogue in Bulgaria. Photo: Twitter screenshot

World Jewish groups decried antisemitic and white supremacist symbols found daubed on the historic Central Synagogue in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, the largest synagogue on the Balkan peninsula.

On Sunday, Bulgaria’s Central Israelite Religious Council publicized photographs of the graffiti, which included a swastika and the number “1488,” a neo-Nazi shorthand.

“We strongly condemn this action and call on the authorities to find the perpetrators as soon as possible and to impose the most severe sanctions,” the Council said in a Facebook post.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, the symbol 1488 — sometimes written as 14/88 or 8814 — refers to a 14-word racist maxim and “Heil Hitler,” H being the 8th letter of the alphabet.  It can be seen in email addresses, screen names, and even the pricing of racist merchandise, the ADL says.

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On Monday, the group condemned the vandalism in Sofia, joining a number of global Jewish organizations.

“We are disgusted by the desecration of the Central Synagogue in Sofia with a white supremacist symbol ‘1488’ and a swastika,” tweeted the European Jewish Congress. “We stand in solidarity with the Bulgarian Jewish community and call on authorities to speedily bring the perpetrators to justice.”

B’nai Brith International called it a “shameful desecration.”

“We stand with the local Jewish community and urge authorities to intensify efforts to secure Jewish institutions,” the group said.

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