Swastika graffiti found in Manistee, Michigan

Swastikas were found graffitied in the city of Manistee, Michigan, a week after the same symbol was found painted on roads in nearby Filer Township.

Swastikas outside the Temple Sinai synagogue in Wellington, New Zealand on Jan. 22, 2020 (photo credit: WELLINGTON CITY COUNCIL VIA JTA)
Swastikas outside the Temple Sinai synagogue in Wellington, New Zealand on Jan. 22, 2020
(photo credit: WELLINGTON CITY COUNCIL VIA JTA)

Swastikas were found graffitied in the city of Manistee in the US state of Michigan, according to the Manistee News Advocate earlier this week.

The report came a week after the same symbol, widely associated with Nazi Germany, was found painted on roads in nearby Filer Township.

"My husband and I have removed multiple swastikas from the Riverwalk in the last few weeks. I have video of myself rubbing out one that was drawn in chalk near the US 31 Bridge on September 17, and we have also done the same on several other occasions at various points along the Riverwalk," local resident Rhonda Greene wrote in emails to the Advocate.

Greene said she thought some of the swastikas were painted by kids, because the "arms were facing the wrong way," but that another instance of antisemitic graffiti seemed to have been left by someone who "knew what they were doing," according to Zide.

Paul Bosschem, another resident of Manistee, claimed he also saw swastikas in the city, saying, "I removed 2 of them at Veterans Memorial Park when I was power washing the stone and concrete. They were in chalk and came off with no problem. I just thought (it was) kids messing around. I did not report it to anyone."

Visitors at an exhibition, look at Nazi flags and banners bearing Swastikas, at Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem.  (credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)Visitors at an exhibition, look at Nazi flags and banners bearing Swastikas, at Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem. (credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

The article notes that before the swastika was adopted by Nazi Germany, the symbol was significant in other cultures, including Indian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

A BBC article from 2014 stated that "single swastikas began to appear in the Neolithic Vinca culture across south-eastern Europe around 7,000 years ago. But it's in the Bronze Age that they became more widespread across the whole of Europe."

In addition, in the 1800s, Germans noted similarities between the German language and Sanskrit while translating Indian documents, leading them to believe that Germans and Indians had a shared Aryan ancestry.

"This idea was seized upon by antisemitic nationalist groups who appropriated the swastika as an Aryan symbol to boost a sense of ancient lineage for the Germanic people," the article said.