BONN — U.S. Jews appealed to the mayor of Hamburg Friday to block construction of a shopping mall on a former Jewish cemetery after a German court gave the go-ahead to start building.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles urged Mayor Henning Voscherau to intervene to prevent the work at the former Ottensen cemetery.
In a letter distributed in Bonn, Cooper said: "Considering the trauma and tragedy inflicted on the Jewish citizens of your city during the Holocaust, we would hope that the leaders of today's Hamburg would take a stand on behalf of memory."
The Hamburg state supreme court Thursday overruled a lower court order to halt construction work on the mall.
It said it could not stop the project legally because the local Jewish community sold the site to a construction firm in 1950 and agreed to transfer graves to another cemetery.