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Officials: Anti-Semitic Graffiti Found At Holocaust Memorial Park

Police Lack Clues, But Lawmakers Vow To Bring Those Responsible To Justice
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz inspects graffiti spray painted on the central monument leading to the eternal flame at Holocaust Memorial Park in Brooklyn on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 (credit: Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz)

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz inspects graffiti spray painted on the central monument leading to the eternal flame at Holocaust Memorial Park in Brooklyn on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 (credit: Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police are investigating the case of anti-Semitic graffiti was found at the Holocaust Memorial Park in Brooklyn.

A jogger apparently came across the graffiti Wednesday morning, according to Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz. It was spray-painted onto the central monument leading to the eternal flame.

The jogger called Cymbrowitz, who then called police, the assemblyman said.

City Councilman Lew Fidler said he was also notified by police.

“I’m just appalled. I can’t imagine that anyone, at a park that is there to remind people of the atrocities that occurred in the 1940s, would think that it was an appropriate place for a hate crime,” Fidler told 1010 WINS. “It’s horrible at any location, but to do it at a place that our community goes to remember is just beyond the pale.”

Cymbrowitz, the son of Holocaust survivors, called the vandalism “an affront to the memory of the 6 million Jews” and later added, “We have such a large number of Holocaust survivors here in southern Brooklyn and all of Brooklyn, your reaction is always one of total disgust.”

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell has more local reaction to the graffiti

One woman who lives in the neighborhood told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell she lost family in the Holocaust. She said she often goes to the memorial and said the vandalism is painful.

“It’s awful, I cannot explain it or understand it,” she told Haskell. “I thought it’s an awful thing. I hope they find them and put them [in] jail,” she added.

Thick paint thinner was put on the vandalized granite — part of the effort to erase the “F” word and a Star of David spray-painted at the memorial, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported.

Linda Kisner told Aiello she visits the memorial in Sheepshead Bay every day. She said her heart skipped a beat when she realized the monument had been defaced.

“What can you say? It’s sick,” Kisner said.

“It’s a sad commentary on society and it never should happen,” one Sheepshead Bay resident told Haskell.

Police said there was one clue left behind that may help the them locate the vandal — a shoe print in the spray paint at the base of the memorial, but it’s not much to go on. Regardless, lawmakers have vowed to bring those responsible to justice.

“The callous vandalism of this memorial must not go unpunished,” Cymbrowitz said in a statement. ” As I told the police officers at the scene, everything must be done to catch these perpetrators of hate.”

Comptroller John Liu issued a statement calling the vandalism “hurtful and hateful.”

The park was officially dedicated in 1985 and is New York City’s first public memorial dedicated to the Holocaust, according to the Holocaust Memorial Committee’s website.

There have been several acts of anti-Semitic vandalism in Brooklyn over the past several months.

In June, six swastikas were found painted at multiple locations in Borough Park, including a school, a synagogue and two stores.

In May, swastikas were found etched into cars in Bay Ridge.

In January, swastikas and other hate messages were spray painted onto homes in Midwood.

Anti-Semitic graffiti was also found in Queens and on Long Island earlier this year.

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