Anti-Semitic Graffiti Prompt Investigation in N. Hollywood
A series of anti-Semitic messages scrawled in German at the North Hollywood homes of Jewish families, including a Holocaust survivor, are under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department’s anti-terrorist division, authorities said.
The graffiti were also directed at two Jewish teachers at Coldwater Canyon Elementary School and one at Madison Junior High School, police said. Police in North Hollywood have received six vandalism reports, and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith said that it had a dozen reports of graffiti in the four-square-block area since mid-April.
“A Good Jew Is a Dead Jew,” “Damn Jew,” “Jew Die” and “Third Reich Lives” were some of the slogans scribbled in chalk, mostly in German. The vandalism also included swastikas and profanities, Jonathan Bernstein of the Anti-Defamation League said.
Holocaust Survivor a Victim
A 64-year-old survivor of the Holocaust whose property was defaced by graffiti said he was stunned to find profanities, swastikas and slogans scrawled across 20 feet of his driveway one morning a month ago.
“After 40 years, you see something like that and it hurts bad,” said the man, who saw his mother and 11-year-old sister led away to gas chambers and his father beaten to death in German death camps during World War II.
Speaking on the condition that he not be identified, the man said he washed the graffiti away, only to find his driveway covered with obscenities written in crude German a week later.
“They must be sick in their heads,” he said of the vandals. “I’m afraid there would be a tragedy if I catch them.”
Bernstein, who has been investigating the incidents for the Anti-Defamation League, said he can’t understand how some of the victims were targeted because their last names do not sound Jewish. The victims did not know each other, and the neighborhood is not predominantly Jewish, yet all the victims were Jews, he said.
“It’s really caused damage to people,” Bernstein said.
Police have no leads or suspects, and have passed information along to the anti-terrorist division, Detective Virginia Brayton said.
The name “Nazi Punx,” which was found at some locations, is not listed in police files on street gangs, Brayton said.
Anti-Defamation League officials speculated that the perpetrators may live in the neighborhood and attend a nearby school because of the chalk used to write the graffiti and because of the vandalism at the schools.
“I suspect it started with Hitler’s birthday, which was on the 20th of April,” Bernstein said.
At Coldwater Canyon Elementary School, in the 6800 block of Coldwater Canyon Avenue, a door was marked by anti-Semitic graffiti last weekend, Principal Pamela Worden said. The door leads to a kindergarten class taught by two Jewish teachers, Worden said.
At Madison Junior High in the 13000 block of Hart Street, administrators found swastikas and a derogatory message aimed at a Jewish teacher written on the sidewalk, Principal Marvin Starer said.