A memorial to Karl Marx in Highgate Cemetery in London has been vandalised for the second time in two weeks, with references to the “Bolshevik Holocaust” spray-painted across the monument.
Phrases such as “architect of genocide” and “doctrine of hate” were scrawled across the listed marble plaque and reported by Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust on Saturday. The words “66,000,000 dead” were also prominent.
The overtly political graffiti, which included the dates 1917 and 1953 – key dates in the Soviet Union’s history during the last century – were the second attack in as many weeks, after vandals took a hammer to the memorial earlier this month.
Jewish philosopher Marx, whose maternal grandfather was a Dutch rabbi, was a German-born political scientist whose critiques of capitalism gave birth to Communism.
He died a “stateless person” in London in 1883, still advocating a revolution of the working class, and was buried in a section of the cemetery reserved for agnostics and atheists, alongside writer George Elliott. In 1999 his tomb was given the highest level of national protection, being listed as a Grade I monument.
The Trust’s chief executive Ian Dungavell said: “It was not random. You can see that the person has really done their best to obliterate Karl Marx’s name.”
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.
We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.
Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”