Washington, DC's Train Station Marred by Swastikas on Holocaust Remembrance Day
On Thursday, the world celebrated the 77th anniversary of the closure of Auschwitz, the largest Nazi death camp where Jews and many others were tortured and slaughtered during the Holocaust, as part of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
On Friday, several drawings of swastikas were discovered on pillars outside Washington, DC's Union Station, the US capital's key hub for regional train transit.
According to local media reports, the exact time the station was vandalized is unknown, however, it is thought to have happened late Thursday night or early Friday morning. The matter is being investigated by Amtrak and the Metropolitan Police Department, which "strongly condemns this act of hatred," according to The Hill.
The investigation will be overseen by Amtrak Police, who are responsible for the building's security, according to Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee, cited by the AP.
Contee also stated that investigators were looking into some of the homeless persons who frequent the area near the property.
"It appears it may be one of our unhoused residents who did this, based on some information that has been revealed," he is quoted as saying. "The person who did this ... could very well have some mental health challenges."
As can be seen in one of the social media videos, some people tried to cover up the swastikas painted on virtually all sides of the columns.
"The sight of Nazi swastikas in our nation's capital the day after #HolocaustRemembranceDay is deeply upsetting," the Jewish Federations of North America tweeted. "We're grateful to @JFGW and law enforcement for their quick action."
In 2005, the UN General Assembly designated January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day in order to "honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocide" around the world.
According to the Anti-Defamation League's Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, there were 2,024 documented incidents in the US in 2020, the third-highest total since 1979.