(JTA) – Grave robbers in Ukraine raided the final resting place of Jews executed en masse during the Holocaust, a Kiev-based watchdog on anti-Semitism reported.
The raid occurred on June 20 near Volodymyr-Volynsky, a western city located just north of Lviv, according to Jewish Kiev group which monitors anti-Semitic attacks in Ukraine.
Nazis and local collaborators were responsible for mass executions in Volodymyr-Volynsky, where 18,000 people were buried. Grave robbers raided the area in 2010 and 2011, according to Vladimir Muzhichenko of the Jewish Kiev group, who complained authorities did little to go after perpetrators.
“There is every reason to believe the desecration will continue,” said Muzhichenko.
The robbers seek gold teeth and valuables that the victims may have carried on their person when German soldiers shot them into trenches that they and locals had dug in advance in 1941.
Muzhichenko called for the placement of memorial plaques near the mass graves, which are currently covered by shrubbery, as a first step toward protecting the graves.