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Vandals deface 100 Jewish gravestones in Poland

WARSAW, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Vandals spray-painted swastikas and anti-Semitic insults on about 100 gravestones at a historic Jewish cemetery in the southern Polish city of Czestochowa, police said on Monday.

"Unknown perpetrators using black spray painted swastikas, stars of David and other signs to deface about 100 gravestones" on Sunday night, the police said in a statement.

The insults included the slogan "Jews Out" in German, the letters SS -- the initials of the Nazi organisation in charge of the concentration camps -- and drawings of gallows.

The leader of the region's Jewish committee said he deplored the incident, but added that it should not overshadow the fact that many of the thousands of Jewish cemeteries in Poland are being renovated.

"The action of several vandals, neo-Nazis, has covered up all the good work that has been taking place," said Wlodzimierz Kac.

The Czestochowa cemetery is one of the largest Jewish burial places in Poland with more than 4,000 graves.

Some three million of Poland's 3.3 million Jews died during World War Two, most of them in German-run concentration camps. Most of the remaining Jews left Poland in the post-war years, leaving behind their possessions and cultural sites, such as cemeteries and synagogues.

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