Watch CBS News

Community Gathers, Leaders Speak Out After Gravestones Vandalized At Jewish Cemetery In Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A community came together after more than a dozen gravestones had swastikas spray-painted on them at German Hill Road Jewish cemetery over the fourth of July holiday weekend. 

Steven Venick, President of the Jewish Cemetery Association of Greater Baltimore, said visitors found the graffiti.

"I was first notified this past Sunday evening from some visitors that came here on July fourth," said Venick. 

"There's no more cowardly act than to attack a cemetery," said Patoka, who is descended from Holocaust victims and survivors. 

Baltimore City Councilman Zeke Cohen, who is also descended from Holocaust survivors, recently dealt with a rash of swastika graffiti in his district in Fells Point. A man was charged with destruction of property after drawing swastikas on light poles in June. 

"We know what it means when swastikas show up on our tombstones," said Cohen. "There are people here who still want us dead."

"There is a rising tide of anti-Semitism what nationalism and neo-fascism luring in the shadows of cities throughout America," said Cohen. 

Staff from the Jewish Cemetery Association cleaned off the headstones the following day. 

This is my district, this is my home," said Baltimore Delegate Robbyn Lewis. "Hate is not welcome here."

Councilman Cohen had a message of unity at the gathering.

"When you come for us you are coming for all of us here in Baltimore, we are each other's keeper," said Cohen. "By standing together today tomorrow and every day, we will show this world that hate will not win."  

Baltimore Police have confirmed they are investigating this matter and have stepped up patrols of the cemetery. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.