Police are investigating the vandalism depicting Nazi symbolism found at Boise’s Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial on Tuesday morning. Photos shared by the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights show the memorial plastered with stickers bearing swastikas that read “we are everywhere.”
“It's not just a random act,” said Dan Prinzing, executive director of the Wassmuth Center.
“When injustice devolves in a community, it starts with language. The ‘us and the them,’ the ‘those people.’ We know that injustice devolves to avoidance, discrimination, violence and then elimination. We're already seeing violence.”
The memorial is one part of the center’s mission, and is the only Anne Frank memorial in the United States.
The stickers were removed by the Boise Police Department and taken as evidence for an investigation, along with surveillance footage. Prinzing said the vandalism is just one example of anti-Semitic extremism that has been emboldened in recent years.
“What has strengthened it? This silence. The complacency that is given by those who refuse to speak out against it,” Prinzing said. “At what point do we condemn those who remain silent?”
This is not the first time the Anne Frank Memorial has been vandalized with far-right hate speech—slurs and a swastika were tagged there for four consecutive nights in 2017, causing extensive damage. This time, the center plans to install a more significant security system.
Copyright 2020 Boise State Public Radio