A pig’s head with a Star of David engraved on its forehead was discovered at the entrance to a synagogue in Kaunas, Lithuania on Monday.
“We were praying inside when someone called us to see something in the yard. It was a real pig’s head under a Hasidic hat with peyos attached to it,” a Jewish community leader told Ynet.
“At first we feared it was an explosive device so we called the police. They took the head to examine it for fingerprints. We want to know who did it and why. We are not in conflict with anyone. It may have been a provocation by a nationalistic organization because this is a famous synagogue from the pre-World War I era which is visited by many, including Catholics,” he said.
Kaunas resident Haim Bergman, who regularly prays at the synagogue, said bottles have been thrown at the building in the past, “but there are very few Jews left here, and a maximum of 15 people pray in the synagogue regularly.”
According to Bergman, less than 200 Jews remain in the city, compared with 7,000 during his childhood. “Assimilation is widespread, and many Jewish youngsters have moved to Israel or the US. There are fewer and fewer Jews each year,” he told Ynet.
Rabbi Shalom Ber Krinsky, Chabad’s representative in Lithuania, said of the incident, “Such things happen here. On the other hand, there are many enlightened people in Kaunas. I hope that in the future openness will overcome hatred and we will not witness any more of these incidents.”
Kaunas police have launched a formal investigation but there are no suspects so far, officer Gintautas Dirmeikis told the Baltic News Service.
According to Rabbi Krinsky, the synagogue was built in 1872 and recently underwent a major renovation.