The police have launched an incitement of hatred investigation after someone wrote “Heil Hitler” on a synagogue sign in Kaunas, Lithuania's second-largest city.
“The incident has been registered. A pre-trial investigation has been started,” Ramūnas Matonis, a spokesman for the police, told BNS on Saturday night.
Incitement to hatred is punishable with a fine, restriction of freedom restriction, arrest or a prison sentence of up to two years.
Simonas Gurevičius, the chairman of the Jewish community in Vilnius, shared a photo of the inscription on Facebook, saying that it was a manifestation of anti-Semitism.
“I believe it's an act of provocation aimed at not only smearing the Jewish prayer house, but also the commemoration of the Lithuanian army day, Kaunas as the future European Capital of Culture, and also Lithuania as the year of Jewish history is approaching,” Gurevičius wrote on Facebook.
“With no doubt, it's a manifestation of anti-Semitism, and let's acknowledge the fact that it has been increasing lately,” he added.
Five similar incidents, involving swastikas or crossed-out Stars of David, have been recorded in Vilnius, Šiauliai and Kaunas District lately. A monument to the 20-century Jewish industrialist Chaim Frenkel has also been vandalized in Šiauliai.