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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Va. - Swastika graffiti appears on VB bridges

Virginia Beach, Va. (WAVY) - A symbol of hatred keeps appearing along a busy Virginia Beach road.

This week, someone painted swastikas on two different bridges on Virginia Beach Boulevard.

"There are no words to express the shock, the disappointment, the pain," said Rabbi Israel Zoberman, of the Congregation Beth Chaverim.

The symbol, widely associated with Nazi Germany, is spray painted on the bridge near Princess Anne High School. It was spray painted over the paint public works used to cover up the symbol the first time it appeared there.

"I would say it's probably someone in that area, particularly because it's come back after being covered, more than once," said Jim Huntington, with Virginia Beach Public Works.

Another swastika appeared on a Lynnhaven bridge, also accompanied by the words "Hookerz Die." Public works covered that one up, too.

"It's defacing our infrastructure," said Huntington. "It takes away from the hard work all of us put in to making our cities what they are today."

And for some, the problem runs deeper than that.

"I spent my early childhood in a displaced persons camp in Germany," said Rabbi Zoberman, whose immediate family survived the Holocaust.

"I lost hundreds of my relatives, who were among the six million who perished because of hate that was driven by a symbol such as the one displayed," he said.

Rabbi Zoberman wants the vandal to know the Jewish community is not the only one offended. He stands with leaders of all faiths to spread a message of love.

"They should know the impact it has upon an entire community," said Rabbi Zoberman. "This is not to be taken lightly."

Police do investigate graffiti. In cases of gang symbols, public works may even hand the case over to detectives. In this case, community leaders at the JCC said they plan to alert police.

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