At least one person struck the Oregon Holocaust Memorial in southwest Portland’s Washington Park, scrawling swastikas across the memorial’s stone wall, city officials said.
The vandalism, written in white, also included the numbers “1488,” a symbol popular among neo-Nazis and other white supremacists, a photo reviewed by The Oregonian shows.
Portland and other communities around the U.S. recognize May as Jewish American Heritage Month.
Police notified parks bureau staff of the antisemitic graffiti about 11 a.m. Sunday, said Mark Ross, a Portland Parks & Recreation spokesman.
Maintenance crews later managed to remove the graffiti, Ross said, adding that the vandalism remains under investigation by police.
“The damage to the Oregon Holocaust Memorial is heartbreaking, and it’s particularly painful that it happened during Jewish American Heritage Month,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a statement.
“I denounce hate crimes, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy.”
The Portland Police Bureau said Monday that investigators were looking into the vandalism, which also included antisemitic tagging on signs and concrete barriers near the park, but no arrests had been made.
hey asked anyone with information about the graffiti, including surveillance footage from the surrounding neighborhood to contact police by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, referencing case 21-117659.
In 2016, someone painted a swastika on a statue of former Portland Mayor Vera Katz located on the city’s Eastbank Esplanade. Katz and her Jewish family had fled Nazi Germany when she was a child in the early 1930s.
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.