Holocaust Memorial Vandalized in Charleston, South Carolina
A Holocaust Memorial in Charleston, South Carolina was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti this past week, ABC News 4 reported. The memorial, located in downtown Charleston’s Marion Square, features the names of local Holocaust survivors and was erected in 1999.
In a statement, the Jewish Federation of Charleston said, “Hate and anti-Semitism has no place in our city or our society, and when our memorials or our places of worship are targeted, it strikes fear into the hearts of all those who hold these spaces sacred.”
The incident was thoroughly documented and reported to the Charleston Police Department, the Anti-Defamation League and the Secure Community Network. The anti-Semitic vandalism in Charleston comes in the wake of several other similar incidents targeting Jewish sites across the United States in the past month, including an incident targeting a Jewish center near Cleveland, Ohio and at synagogues in Sarasota, Florida, among other places.
The Charleston Jewish Federation’s statement went on to say, “Our Holocaust memorial was erected in Marion Square to remember the 6 million Jews, along with 5 million others, killed in the Holocaust. For many of us Charlestonians, those Jews included our family members, friends, and ancestors. Now more than ever, we as Charlestonians and Americans must empathize with and respect each other’s historic and ongoing traumas…Vandalism like the kind committed against our Holocaust Memorial is more than just vandalism, it’s a hate crime.”
According to the Jewish Virtual Library, Charleston is home to one of the oldest Jewish communities in the United States. Dating back to the 17th century, Sephardic Jews were among the earliest settlers of the city and comprised the largest Jewish community in the US at the time of the nation’s independence. The city is home to the second-oldest synagogue and oldest in continues use in the US.
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