The Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in Boise, Idaho, was vandalized with swastikas early morning on Tuesday, December 8, 2020.
Nine stickers with swastikas and the words, “We are everywhere,” were placed at various locations in the memorial.
Police are investigating the crime which they believe took place some time between late at night on Monday or early on Tuesday.
The Wassmuth Center for Human Rights maintains the memorial. They issued a statement saying that the incident is a reminder that “racism, bigotry, and hatred” are still plaguing society. They reiterated their intent to reverse the effects of these white supremacy beliefs.
The memorial was opened in 2002 by the Wassmuth Center. It was intended to be an educational park in downtown Boise.
The park contains a life-size statue of Anne Frank holding her diary and peering out of the secret hiding place where she stayed for over two years with her family and others trying to escape the Third Reich’s “Final Solution” for the Jews peaking during WW2. It is the only memorial to Anne Frank in the United States.
According to the center, the memorial is also one of a few places in the entire world where the entire text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is on display.
The center found some stickers on Franks’ diary and others spread around the memorial. The center removed the stickers immediately after they were found.
Police are searching security camera footage of the park as part of their investigation.
The mayor of Boise, Lauren McLean, said that the act of vandalism was “reprehensible” and that it ran against the values of the city and the memories of all those from Boise who fought against Nazism as well as being “an affront” to the Jews in Boise.
Visitors to the memorial have rallied to encourage the Wassmuth Center. Many are leaving flowers and signs of support at the park. The center announced that they were starting a fundraising campaign to purchase a new security system for the memorial.
The Boise Police Department released a statement saying that they took all hate crimes and hate messaging seriously. In fact the department recently worked with federal authorities to arrest several people with Neo-Nazi ties. The statement pledged that the department was committed to discovering who was responsible for the vandalism.
Dozens of businesses in the city signed a letter decrying the attack. “This kind of attack has no place in our city,” the letter stated. It went on to say that the signors were “saddened, angered and disgusted” by the act of vandalism. In all, the letter contained 65 signatures.
A leader with Micron Technology stated that these types of attacks make it more difficult to recruit and retain employees in the area.
Idaho Governor Brad Little said that Idahoans would react to oppose the “absolutely abhorrent” act.
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This is the second time the memorial has been vandalized. In 2017, vandals spray painted anti-Semitic graffiti over the course of four nights. The vandalism caused $20,000 worth of damage.