City workers have desecrated a Jewish cemetery in Odessa, Ukraine that was shut down in the 1970s, according to a report by the Russian Jewish web site Jewish.ru. Responding to a tip that homeless people were living in the cemetery, a television camera crew discovered that city construction crews had used heavy equipment to dig huge holes in the cemetery, bringing up the bones of the deceased and mixing them up with refuse that is commonly dumped on the cemetery grounds.
Roman Shvartsman, chairman of the city’s association of Holocaust survivors, termed the actions of the construction crews “a mockery” of the memory of those buried there. Over 30 years ago, the Soviet government shut down the cemetery and used some of its tombstones for construction material. Local metal and marble thieves continue to make a living doing the same.