18:03 GMT05 April 2020
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    The anti-Semitic act “recalls the darkest hours of history,” one Jewish watchdog group says. Another organization compared it to similar historical Nazi vandalism.

    Paris authorities have launched an investigation into anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed across a window of the Bagelstein bakery over the weekend.

    The graffiti in question is the word "Juden!" which means "Jews" in German. It was sprayed in yellow paint. During Germany's Nazi years, Jews were obliged to wear yellow Stars of David with the word written on them; the word was also painted over Jewish establishments.

    According to a report by The Local, the bakery is located in Paris's old Jewish quarter.

    Benjamin Griveaux, a government spokesman and member of France's National Assembly, condemned the act on Twitter, calling it, "The most filthy anti-Semitism in the streets of the city of light."

    The Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France expressed "indignation and anger" after the discovery, calling the crime an "act that recalls the darkest hours of history," Fox News reports. Another organization, the French League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism, likened the photo of the 2019 graffiti to a historic photo of "Jude" scrawled across a Jewish shop in Nazi Germany.

    ​Bagelstein, a bakery chain in France, has reportedly filed a complaint, and an investigation into incitement of hatred and degradation of public property has been opened.

    Last year, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced a 69 percent rise in anti-Semitic crimes in the first nine months of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, Fox reports. Despite the government's continued efforts to fight it, "we are very far from having finished with anti-Semitism," he wrote in a Facebook post. In previous years, anti-Semitic acts in France had declined, he noted. There were 311 anti-Semitic acts reported in 2017 overall.


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    Graffiti, anti-Semitism, Benjamin Griveaux, Paris, France
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