Three tunnels near the Anne Frank Memorial in Boise, Idaho, were vandalized with anti-Semitic messages Saturday, police said.
“We recognize the significance of this being the last Saturday of Hanukkah and we are reaching out to Jewish leaders in our community to let them know we will not stand for such hateful and abhorrent behavior in our city,” Police Chief Ryan Lee said, according to the New York Post.
“The graffiti included swastikas, anti-semitic messaging targeting Jews and other hate-filled messages targeting minority groups, according to Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee,” KIVI reported.
This is the second time within a year that anti-Semitic have been found in the area. The memorial was vandalized back in December of 2020 with nine swastikas and the message “we are everywhere,” according to NBC News.
“Chief Lee says it is too soon to say whether those incidents are connected to Saturday’s graffiti,” according to KIVI.
The memorial is reported to be the only Anne Frank memorial in the U.S.
Frank was a Jew in Germany during the Nazi rule. She and her family hid from the Nazis for 761 days, but she was eventually captured and taken to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she died mere months before the end of the war. Frank’s story and her life became famous when her diary was published in 1947.
Officials quickly removed the messages found in the tunnels near the memorial, and police are asking the public to provide any information they may have on the vandals. “The graffiti is in the process of being cleaned and covered up. Thank you to @boiseparks for such a quick response,” the Boise Police Department said in a tweet.
“We recognize that for a lot of members of our community, even members that aren’t of the Jewish faith, this does not make them feel safe,” Chief Lee said. “It does not fit with the welcoming, kind image that Boise is.”
Boise Mayor Lauren McLean released a statement on social media, saying, “The antisemitic messages contained in the graffiti found along the Greenbelt put a literal and figurative stain on our community. This will not be tolerated. Hate speech is reprehensible. It is not who [we] are as a city and is not part of our shared values. I invite all good people of Boise to stand with me, as I stand with our Jewish neighbors, to rebuke this hate.”
In a ceremony in October that remembered the deadly terrorist attack on a Jewish synagogue three years ago, President Joe Biden addressed anti-Semitism, stating, “We must always stand up and speak out against antisemitism with clarity and conviction, and rally against the forces of hate in all its forms, because silence is complicity.”
“We must recognize in others our shared humanity and strive to summon unexpected faith in unanticipated moments — in the hope that we might heal and rebuild,” Biden stated.
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