Nearly 60 headstones at a Chicago Jewish cemetery were spray-painted with anti-Semitic graffiti.
Swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans such as “juden ras” (German for “Jews out”), “Aryan Power” and a Star of David hanging from a gallows were found on headstones at the Westlawn Cemetery in northwest Chicago. About 46,000 people are buried there.
The vandalism likely occurred on Jan. 6, according to Sheriff Tom Dart, who called the damage a hate crime.
“What they did here is especially despicable,” Dart said at a news conference last Friday afternoon, the Chicago Tribune reported. “The desecration of graves has a level in the circle of hell that goes to the very bottom.”
Police believe several vandals are responsible.
“We decry this senseless and disturbing act of anti-Semitism, which affects the entire Jewish community,” said Lonnie Nasatir, Anti-Defamation League’s Chicago Regional director. “We applaud the Cook County Sheriff’s Office for taking this incident seriously.”