Swastikas sprayed near Holocaust museum

By Jennifer Lipman, October 29, 2010
Graffiti was sprayed on war graves in France in June

Graffiti was sprayed on war graves in France in June

Vandals have sprayed Nazi graffiti on the doorstep of the UK Holocaust Centre.

Police are investigating after two residents of Newark, near Nottingham, reported that swastikas had been daubed on their property just minutes from the site of a museum dedicated to stamping out prejudice.

Fashion photographer Michel Haddi, who has a Jewish girlfriend, told police that he had found the symbol painted on his front door.

Another woman reported that a swastika had been scrawled onto her car bonnet.

Dr James Smith, chairman and co-founder of the Holocaust Centre, described what happened as “hate crimes” and said it reinforced the need for education.

He said: Those who commit hate crimes do so out of their own malevolence, but such actions can be encouraged by wider prejudice within communities.

“The best way to overcome prejudice is through education, and by the majority of good decent people making it known that they won’t stand for disgraceful acts like this.”

The UK Holocaust Centre was set up 15 years ago and runs programmes on Nazi history as well as on the genocide campaigns in places from Rwanda to Darfur.

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, condemned an "appalling antisemitic attack".

She said: "We are shocked and saddened that a crime of this nature could take place in modern Britain.

"It is profoundly insulting both to Holocaust Survivors and to the memory of the millions of people murdered by Hitler’s regime.”

Last updated: 12:08pm, November 1 2010