Boise & Garden City

Swastika found at Anne Frank Memorial on heels of other vandalism; fund-raisers set

Dan Prinzing on racist and anti-Semitic vandalism of Boise's Anne Frank Memorial

"It emboldens us. It means our work is not done," the executive director of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights told the Idaho Statesman.
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"It emboldens us. It means our work is not done," the executive director of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights told the Idaho Statesman.

Police and other observers aren’t sure if a swastika found Wednesday at Boise’s Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial was drawn Tuesday night or sometime before that.

If it appeared Tuesday night, the swastika, drawn on a marble tablet, would represent the second vandalism incident at the memorial this week. A group touring the memorial Tuesday afternoon discovered racist and anti-Semitic slurs written in black on two different tablets, Dan Prinzing, executive director of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, told the Idaho Statesman.

The Wassmuth Center, whose offices stand next to the Anne Frank memorial, is raising money to replace the tablets, which were damaged during efforts to clean the graffiti tags off them. Another group is holding a separate online fundraiser. Prinzing said that effort was from a group of people responding to the vandalism of the memorial.

As of 7 a.m. Thursday, the Wassmuth Center effort had raised $1,454 and the GoFundMe page had raised $3,401.

The Boise Police Department has assigned a detective to investigate the case but has no leads or suspects, spokeswoman Haley Williams said.

On Wednesday, Boise’s Ahavath Beth Israel synagogue released a statement condemning the defacing of the Anne Frank memorial.

“Words meant to demean and attack both the African-American and Jewish communities have no place in Boise, a city which has a long history of being a welcoming home to so many religious and ethnic groups,” the statement read. “As a community, we must stand up to such hatred and let it be known that we embrace our diversity.”

The Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial was named for Anne Frank, a Jewish girl forced into hiding in Holland during the Holocaust. Frank died of typhus in early 1945 at Bergen-Belsen, a Nazi concentration camp.

The memorial in Boise was dedicated in 2002 after a fundraising effort that took in money from a broad array of donors, including schoolchildren and well-known philanthropists.

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