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Racial And Anti-Semitic Slurs At Idaho Anne Frank Memorial Shock Community

Katherine Jones
Idaho Statesman
Boise Parks and Recreation removed the racial and anti-Semitic slurs found on the memorial, but the damage is irreparable. The community is raising money to replace the damaged pieces.

The Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in Boise has been the target of a series of racist and anti-Semitic vandalism.

The first slurs were found Tuesday morning. Shortly after, Boise Parks and Recreation went to work removing and covering up the language scrawled on the marble.

Wednesday morning, a swastika was discovered on a tablet listing the donors to the memorial. It was drawn in permanent marker next to the name “Wood River Jewish Community.”

And then Thursday morning, another set of slurs were spotted.
“As an organization, that’s what we educate about," says Wassmuth Center for Human Rights Executive Director Dan Prinzing. "This is the first time those words have ever been placed in the memorial.”

The memorial is one part of the center’s mission, and this is the first act of vandalism against it in its 15-year history. Prinzing declined to say what the slurs were, describing them as “too vile.”

“We see these things nationally – perhaps we sympathize. But now to have it in our own backyard we begin to empathize that such words are unacceptable. The attack of anyone in our community is an attack to all of our community.”
He says as devastating as the attacks on the memorial are, he's heartened that the community has risen to show its rebuke of the vandalism, by raising money for its restoration.
Prinzing says two different funds have been started by the community to replace the damaged memorial. Thursday afternoon, Boise resident Dena Gray donated $20,000 for the restoration.

“We’ve had individual donors stepping up and say, ‘repair, replace and enhance the memorial," says Prinzing. "Become even stronger.”
Boise Police are treating the incidents as hate crimes and ask the public for tips on the case.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio

Frankie Barnhill was the Senior Producer of Idaho Matters, Boise State Public Radio's daily show and podcast.