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Holocaust Memorial Pavers Defaced with Antisemitic Graffiti in Cologne, Germany

Three stepping stones memorializing victims of the Holocaust were defaced with antisemitic graffiti in the German city of Cologne on Saturday night.

Israeli public broadcaster Kan reported that the three brass blocks inlaid in the street were overwritten with the letters “BDS” — the acronym of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which seeks to harm Israel economically with the goal of dismantling it and replacing it with a Palestinian Arab state.

BDS is widely regarded in the Jewish community as antisemitic, and is listed as such in the widely-adopted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism.

Called Stolpersteine or “stumbling blocks,” the stones commemorate Jews who lived in nearby homes before being deported to Nazi death camps and murdered. They are present in many European cities as part of a pan-European project of Holocaust remembrance that began in 1992.