(JTA) — Dozens of swastikas and anti-Semitic messages, including “Heil Hitler” and “No Jews Allowed,” were drawn on a school playground in New York City.
The chalk drawings at a P.S. 139 in Rego Park, in the borough of Queens, were discovered by the custodian on Friday, according to reports. School was not in session, but the playground was open to the public.
Meanwhile, two swastikas were discovered some time between Sunday night and Monday morning at Brighton Playground in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, according to the New York Police Department, CNN reported. The Nazi symbols were written in black marker beneath a slide.
The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Unit is investigating both incidents.
This year, 36 anti-Semitic crimes have been reported in the city compared to 21 at this time last year, WCBS-TV reported.
“There’s no question there is a huge uptick in real hate crime of all types,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told WNYC on Friday. “In this city we’ve seen it in a horrible manner, particularly lately anti-Semitic hate crimes.”
A Queens councilwoman, Karen Koslowitz, tweeted about the vandalism in her area: “I am horrified, disgusted, and nauseated, to say the least, of what I have witnessed today. Nazi imagery and anti-Semitic slurs were drawn at the PS 139 Playground in Rego Park. I was on the scene today and most of the imagery has been washed away. Enough is enough!”