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Anne Frank memorial targeted with antisemitic messages during Hanukkah

The graffiti "put a literal and figurative stain on our community,” an official said.

A park near the Anne Frank memorial in Boise, Idaho, was vandalized over the weekend with antisemitic graffiti, marking the second time in a year that the area has been targeted by what officials called “abhorrent” messages.

The most recent incident was discovered in the Boise River Greenbelt on Saturday, the last Saturday of Hanukkah, Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee said.

"We are reaching out to Jewish leaders in our community to let them know we will not stand for such hateful and abhorrent behavior in our city,” Lee said.

The graffiti was quickly removed, the police department said in a statement.

“The antisemitic messages contained in the graffiti found along the Greenbelt put a literal and figurative stain on our community,” Mayor Lauren McLean said on Twitter. “This will not be tolerated.”

Image: Anne Frank Memorial
A tunnel near the Anne Frank Memorial in Boise, Idaho, is being cleaned after it was vandalized with graffiti recently.Boise Police Department via Twitter

It wasn’t clear whether authorities had identified a suspect. A police spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The memorial, an educational park in downtown Boise founded in 2002 and run by the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, was desecrated last year with Nazi swastika stickers that included the phrase “we are everywhere.”

Dan Prinzing, the center's executive director, told NBC affiliate KTVB that the "cowardly statements" left in the park were part of an attack made "under the cover of darkness."

"But what disturbs me even more is the blatant coddling of extremism in broad daylight," he told the station, pointing to state officials who have compared the wearing of a yellow star — as Jews were forced to do in Nazi-occupied Europe — to vaccination and mask mandates meant to guard against Covid-19.

"What did we expect the impact of that will be?" he said. "It has emboldened the hate now that we see occurring."

The Boise memorial is reported to be the only one in the U.S. dedicated to Holocaust victim Anne Frank. She and her family spent 761 days hiding from Nazis in a secret annex in Amsterdam. After they were discovered, she was sent to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she died at age 15.

Her diary was first published in 1947.