JTA — A Holocaust memorial in Portland, Oregon, has been defaced with swastikas and antisemitic slurs.
Police discovered the vandalism over the weekend covering a wall of the US memorial in the Washington Park neighborhood and appearing elsewhere near the memorial, the local NBC affiliate KGW reported. There are no suspects.
The memorial was created by Holocaust survivors who lived locally and includes names of their family members who perished in the war, Judy Margles, the director of the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, told the news station.
“It’s very twisted. It’s very visceral, I have to say, when you hear about something — I think my whole body just went numb,” Margles said, describing her reaction when police alerted her to the vandalism on Sunday.
In a disgusting antisemitic act, the Oregon Holocaust Memorial in Portland was vandalized with swastikas & 88 (HH). There is a surge in antisemitism and silence is complicity – it’s time for allies to speak up.
Read more about the meaningful memorial here: https://t.co/O6sIUWrNR2 pic.twitter.com/zS59S0gyJz
— lisa hendricks (@MsLisaHendricks) May 3, 2021
The city’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, condemned the vandalism.
“The damage to the Oregon Holocaust Memorial is heartbreaking, and it’s particularly painful that it happened during Jewish American Heritage Month,” Wheeler said on Twitter. “I denounce hate crimes, antisemitism, and white supremacy.”