A 28-year-old man was arrested on charges of vandalizing Germany’s main Holocaust memorial in Berlin.
The man spray-painted four pillars at the memorial with neo-Nazi symbols Tuesday evening, according to reports from the German news agency DDP. A security guard at the site reportedly noticed a drunken man with closely shorn hair wandering through the site and alerted police. Police said he is from the state of Saxony.
Among the symbols spray-painted on the pillars were the numbers “884,” which stand for the letters HHD, or “Heil Hitler Deutschland.” An eyewitness told the German daily Bild Zeitung that the man had been spray-painting for at least five minutes when an elderly lady asked him to stop. In response he started cursing.
The witness added that the man also shoved security guards when they tried to wrest the spray can from him.
Though police said the man did not have a record as a right-wing extremist, he was charged with politically motivated vandalism.
The memorial, which is covered with 2,711 concrete slabs and resembles an undulating cemetery, opened to the public in May 2005.