PHILADELPHIA — Police opened a vandalism investigation into the spray-painting of a swastika on a wall adjacent to a Holocaust memorial in Philadelphia over the weekend.
Authorities say the symbol, which measures about two feet by two feet and is scrawled in green spray paint, appeared Sunday on the wall adjacent to the Horowitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza off Ben Franklin Parkway, a few blocks from the City hall.
Surveillance video captured images of a man wearing a black mask and a dark jacket with a stripe down his chest and arms appearing to scribble the symbol on the wall around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, authorities said. The symbol was removed later that day.
Eszter Kutas, executive director of the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation, which manages the memorial, said news of the vandalism was “very, very disturbing, but not shocking to our community.”
Seeing rising anti-Semitism anywhere was very disturbing, “but having a hate symbol in a Holocaust memorial plaza is especially disturbing,” he told WCAU-TV.
The memorial, perhaps the oldest public Holocaust memorial in the United States, was commissioned in the 1950s by Holocaust survivors and other members of the Jewish community. The monument was erected in 1964 and the site was redesigned in 2018 with new educational facilities and artifacts added.