Westchester Holocaust Memorial Vandalized Before Yom Kippur

WCBS 880 Newsroom
October 09, 2019 - 6:41 pm

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — On the eve of the holiest day of the year on the Jewish calendar, anti-Semitic materials were found at a holocaust memorial in Westchester.

Anti-Semitic graffiti and materials were discovered in the Garden of Remembrance in White Plains.

The location is a tranquil garden, right next to the Westchester County office building.

In the center, there’s a sculpture of a gate in the shape of the Hebrew character for the number six, for the six million Jews who were killed.

Cuomo called the vandalism "disgusting."

"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," said Cuomo, who has directed the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to assist in the investigation.

"The hate crime discovered yesterday at the Garden of Remembrance Holocaust Memorial is a chilling reminder that ignorance and hate know no boundaries," added Mayor Thomas Roach. "Our police department is working with the Westchester County Police and other police agencies to investigate and apprehend the individuals involved. In the interim we stand together as one city, one community, against these senseless acts and those who perpetrate them."

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said the incident was “an extremely purposeful act” and that the timing of the incident is what makes it especially hateful.

“That it was at the time before Yom Kippur, which is the most solemn day on the Jewish religious calendar, and because it was done at a location which is specifically put aside to remember those who suffered from anti-Semitic behavior in the days of Nazi Germany,” Latimer said. “We certainly believe this was a purposeful act of hatred.”

It remains unclear what the flyer said, but the county executive says the content was offensive not only to people of the Jewish faith, but Christians as well.

Meanwhile, in New York City, the NYPD has deployed extra counter terrorism units to synagogues for Yom Kippur.

Chief of Department Terence Monahan said, “I think over a quarter of them are going to be in Brooklyn. There’s been some overtime put out. So, we’re figuring a good 20, 25, additional cars working in those areas, working around the synagogues.”

So far this year, hate crimes are on the rise in New York City, up 33 percent. There’s been a 53 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents.

In New Haven, police are looking for a vandal who spray painted Donald Trump's name and a swastika on the steps of Yale Law School.