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Oregon Jewish Museum Director Judy Margles said defacing the memorial is an act of 'symbolic violence.'

COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF PORTLAND - The Oregon Holocaust Museum in Southwest Portland.The walls of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial in Southwest Portland were vandalized with swastika symbols and other anti-Semitic messages this past weekend.

There have been no arrests. There is no suspect information at this time.

The graffiti has since been removed, but Oregon Jewish Museum Director Judy Margles said defacing the memorial is an act of "symbolic violence."

"To use Nazi symbols to deface a memorial dedicated to the millions who were murdered during the holocaust re-capitulates the hatred that drove the original genocide," she wrote in an emailed statement to KOIN 6 News. "It is an act of symbolic violence against the very idea that inspired the memorial."

Marc Blattner, president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland said, "Alongside this narrative of achievement and opportunity, there is also a history — far older than the Nation itself — of racism, bigotry and other forms of injustice. This includes the scourge of anti-Semitism. In recent years, Jewish Americans have increasingly been the target of white nationalism and the anti-Semitic violence it fuels."

Portland police responded to a report of the vandalism at about 8:44 a.m. on Sunday, May 2. Officers arrived to find swastikas and other graffiti spray painted on the memorial. As officers investigated they found similar graffiti on street signs and concrete barriers in the neighborhood.

Anyone with information about this case, including any video which may contain evidence, is asked to e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and reference case 21-117659.

Anonymous tips can be sent through Crime Stoppers. Crime Stoppers of Oregon offers cash rewards of up to $2,500 cash for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, that leads to an arrest in any unsolved felony crime and tipsters can remain anonymous

KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.


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