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Swastikas Found at America's Only Anne Frank Memorial

Tunnels in park near Idaho memorial defaced
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2020 4:07 AM CST
Updated Dec 7, 2021 12:02 AM CST
America's Only Anne Frank Memorial Defaced
In this photo provided by the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, a swastika sticker is seen on a sculpture at the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in Boise, Idaho, on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020.   (Wassmuth Center for Human Rights via AP)

(Newser) Update: A park near the United States' only Anne Frank memorial was defaced, less than a year after the memorial itself was vandalized. Anti-Semitic graffiti was discovered in tunnels near the Boise memorial Dec. 4, the last Saturday of Hanukkah, and was quickly removed, NBC News reports. Swastikas and other hate speech against minorities were included in the graffiti, CNN reports. City leaders say anti-Semitism will not be tolerated, and police are asking for anyone with information about those responsible to call into their tip line. Our original story from Dec. 10, 2020, follows:

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The only Anne Frank memorial in the US was defaced this week with stickers bearing swastikas and the words "We are everywhere." Boise, Idaho, police chief Ryan Lee called the vandalism, which happened late Monday, "absolutely reprehensible" and said the department has reached out to the Anti-Defamation League, USA Today reports. The stickers were placed on statues, including a life-sized one depicting the 15-year-old Holocaust victim holding her famous diary as she and her family hid from the Nazis. The vandals also targeted a photo of Bill Wassmuth, a former Catholic priest who confronted neo-Nazis in northern Idaho.

Dan Prinzing, executive director of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, which maintains the site, says the center plans to expand the security system at the memorial. The site, which was dedicated in 2002, was also targeted in 2017, when vandals who left anti-Semitic graffiti caused $20,000 in damages. "It's a sad statement in our community to have such a public statement of hate," Prinzing tells the Idaho Statesman. "Is this what we're becoming?" he asks. Lee says police "are committed to ferreting out ... those who would foment hate in the community." (Read more Anne Frank stories.)

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