Pokemon-playing teens found walking over Jewish graves

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Pokemon-playing teens found walking over Jewish graves

Historian Stanley Kaye asked the small group not to step on the graves out of respect

Stephen is the Jewish News' Foreign Editor

An old Jewish headstone in a cemetery
An old Jewish headstone in a cemetery

Jewish residents in Edmonton have become the latest to complain about Pokemon-playing youngsters, after a group of teenagers were found walking over graves in a Jewish cemetery in search of the game’s virtual monsters.

A small group of boys and girls wearing headscarves were seen “taking selfies” by the prayer hall at Federation Cemetery on Monday, before local historian Stanley Kaye asked them not to step on the graves out of respect.

“They told me they were looking for the Pokemon,” he said this week. “Apparently there was a mistake in the coordinates. The location was supposed to be the golf club nearby. The caretaker said he’s had to ask several groups to leave for the same reason. I went online to try to correct the coordinates, but I’m not sure that it will work.”

He added: “I wasn’t too impressed. They have to show a bit of respect. Cemeteries are special places. But from the reports, it doesn’t look like Edmonton is unique in having problems.”

Jewish sites around the world have taken preventive measures, with the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum in Poland banning visitors from playing the addictive smartphone game while on-site.

Pokemon Go players see their immediate environment through their phone’s camera and then run in search of the animated figures superimposed on the video in live time.

The craze has seen recent stories of players crashing cars (in one case into a police patrol vehicle), falling off cliffs, aimlessly wandering into traffic and even creating stampedes in cities across the globe.

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