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Holocaust Memorial Vandalized

Red spray paint reads, “Burn the bank” on a Holocaust memorial opened just this year in Bologna. This happened just one month after the monument’s debut. 

On one part of the memorial, four dice were drawn with numbers corresponding to the alphabet, comprising the acronym “A.C.A.B.” or “all cops are bastards.” This was followed by the message, “Extinguish your mortgage, turn on your bank,” followed by an “A” circled in anarchist fashion. 

Another message scrawled on the side of the memorial read, “Place the crate,” reminiscent of concentration camp dormitories.

Claudio Mazzanti, leader of the Democratic Party of the City Council believes the vandals to be “political delinquents” creating a “political provocation” that is, above all else, “stupid” and “shameful.”

Valter Giovannini, deputy prosecutor of Bologna called the act “vile” and an “ignoble gesture. More books and less spray cans.”

Chief Rabbi of Bologna, Alberto Sermoneta, while not underestimating the event, did not wish to dramatize it. He called this crime, “an act, which must be taken for what it is, that is, a manifestation of stupidity…This does not outrage me as a Jew, but as a human being.”

The offenders are expected to be apprehended via images caught on cameras in the area. 

In addition to the graffiti found on the new Shoah memorial, more vandalism was discovered on via Zamboni. Writing targeted the Municipal Theater and commissioner Ignazio Coccia. As in the memorial, another anarchist “A” was seen in the sprayed message, “Coccia hang.” Right beside the entrance of the theatre, someone wrote, “Playground for the rich.”

Daniele De Paz, president of the Jewish community commented that this type of behavior is happening all over the city. “It is a widespread act, I do not think it centers around antisemitism. These slogans are generic and have been found in this piazza in which the Shoah memorial was born, but we believe that the person who besmirched the wall and the monument at night did so only because he found himself in front of a blank white sheet and for this decided to write in this place. Regardless of this, however, the gesture is absolutely unjustifiable and we condemn it.”

“I want to believe that there is still insufficient knowledge of this place that merits much respect, and for this reason the wall has been used for slogans distant from us.” 

By Eve Litvak

Global Studies, Brandeis '16