Portland Police Investigating Defacement of Oregon Holocaust Memorial With Antisemitic Hate Graffiti
May 4, 2021
Antisemitic graffiti was found scrawled on the Oregon Holocaust Memorial in Portland over the weekend.
Police are investigating the vandalism incident, which saw swastikas and the number “1488” — a commonly-used neo-Nazi code — written in white on the memorial, which is located in southwest Portland’s Washington Park.
Several signs and barriers in the park were also tagged with hate symbols.
The graffiti was removed by city maintenance crews after it was discovered on Sunday.
No suspects have been identified or arrested yet.
“The damage to the Oregon Holocaust Memorial is heartbreaking, and it’s particularly painful that it happened during Jewish American Heritage Month,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler stated. “I denounce hate crimes, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy.”
The executive director of the Oregon Jewish Museum, Judy Margles, commented, “To use Nazi symbols to deface a memorial dedicated to the millions who were murdered during the Holocaust recapitulates the hatred that drove the original genocide. It is an act of symbolic violence against the very idea that inspired the memorial.”
The Oregon Holocaust Memorial was dedicated in 2004. It includes a vault panel beneath which are interred soil and ash from six Nazi death camps.
A new annual audit published by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) last week found the third-highest number of antisemitic incidents on record in the US in 2020, including 751 acts of vandalism.