Westchester Holocaust memorial vandalized on Erev Yom Kippur

"It was meant to shock, it wasn’t something subtle," said Westchester County Executive George Latimer.

October 11, 2019 00:07
2 minute read.
Westchester Holocaust memorial vandalized on Erev Yom Kippur

A Holocaust memorial commemorating the murder of some 900 Jews in Golovanevsk, Ukraine was vandalized on Tuesday.. (photo credit: (NATIONAL POLICE OF UKRAINE))

The Garden of Remembrance, a Holocaust memorial in the White Plains neighborhood in Westchester county, New York was vandalized on Erev Yom Kippur with antisemitic stickers and posters.

Speaking to CBS2, Westchester County Executive George Latimer said the desecration of the memorial – built in 1990 by the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center – was “very clear, very graphic and very insulting. It was meant to shock, it wasn’t something subtle.

“For this to be the site of an act of hatred is particularly heinous, and for it to happen on the day which is the most solemn day on the Jewish calendar is really a statement being made by the person who did this,” he added.

Latimer said that police are increasing patrols and reviewing the area's surveillance cameras.

“Antisemitism is rising in Westchester County, New York State, the county and in the world, and I am very upset to be here today about this,” said Millie Jasper, executive director of the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center.

In a statement, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo strongly condemned the vandalism.

“I am disgusted by the desecration of a Holocaust memorial in White Plains on the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar," he said. “More than 74 years ago the entire world reeled in shock, horror and sorrow over the senseless murder of more than six million Jews — mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, uncles, aunts, friends and neighbors. Vandalizing a memorial lovingly built in their honor is a revolting and cowardly act, and I have directed the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to offer assistance to local authorities investigating this heinous act to ensure those responsible are held accountable.

“On this day of atonement, I join with New York’s Jewish community in remembrance of the lives lost and I pray for love, peace and understanding. Hate has no place in this state.”

Congressman Eliot Engel, who represents parks of the Bronx and Westchester Counties, said that it was "another sickening act of antisemitism, this time at the Garden of Remembrance Holocaust Memorial in Westchester, on Yom Kippur eve, one of our holiest days in the Jewish faith."

He continued, "These despicable acts must be condemned in the strongest possible terms and brought to an immediate halt. All of us have a moral responsibility to make sure our words and actions are combatting this hate, not fueling the fire. That includes the President, who continually stokes the flames of intolerance for his own political fortunes."

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