Holocaust Memorial in Portland, Oregon Vandalized With Swastikas, Antisemitic Symbols
Police in Portland, Oregon were on Monday investigating a serious act of vandalism to the city’s Holocaust memorial, which was daubed with pro-Nazi graffiti by unidentified assailants.
The vandals sprayed the memorial with swastikas and the number “1488” — code in neo-Nazi circles for the so-called “14 words,” a racist maxim, and the greeting “Heil Hitler.”
The Portland Police Bureau said that investigators were looking into the vandalism, which was reported on Sunday morning and also included antisemitic tagging on signs and concrete barriers near the park, but no arrests had been made.
The director of the Oregon Jewish Museum condemned the vandalism as an act of “symbolic violence” against Jews.
“To use Nazi symbols to deface a memorial dedicated to the millions who were murdered during the holocaust re-capitulates the hatred that drove the original genocide,” Judy Margles wrote in an emailed statement to KOIN 6 News. “It is an act of symbolic violence against the very idea that inspired the memorial.”
The Oregon Holocaust Memorial was dedicated in 2004. At the end of the memorial wall is a soil vault panel, where soil and ash are interred from six extermination camps of the Holocaust. Engraved in the granite panels on the backside of the wall are the names of people who died in the camps, as well as their surviving relatives who live in Oregon and southwest Washington.