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FBI investigating antisemitic graffiti found outside Pittsburgh home

FBI investigating after antisemitic rhetoric found on Pittsburgh-area home
FBI investigating after antisemitic rhetoric found on Pittsburgh-area home 02:48

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The FBI is investigating after a home on Pittsburgh's Central Northside was vandalized with antisemitic graffiti. 

The Nazi rallying cry "For blood and soil" was spray-painted on the brick sidewalk in front of the home. 

The phrase was used to evoke the idea of a pure "Aryan" race and the territory Germany wanted to conquer, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 

Graffiti that reads, "For blood and soil." Rachael Heisler / X

Pittsburgh Police say they are also investigating the vandalism, adding that the Public Works Department is scheduled to clean it up the best they can Monday morning.

"It's bone-chilling," said the woman who lives in the home. "It's absolutely something that hits you viscerally."

The woman, who is Jewish, asked we not share her name, face, or address as a way to protect her family.

"I've been Jewish my whole life, and I have never experienced this degree of antisemitism," she said.

The graffiti is a painful reminder of the hate and persecution Jews have faced throughout history, she explained. It's the fourth time in the past few weeks the front of her home has been vandalized or similar. 

Images that appear to be from the war in Gaza were posted to her front door. 

The woman lives with her husband and school-aged kids. She fears for their physical safety. 

A flag saying they stand with Israel stands in front of the home. She recognizes some may blame her for the graffiti because of the flag.

"So here's the thing," she said. "If a woman is wearing a short skirt and gets raped we don't say she deserved it because she wore a short skirt. If I put out an Israeli flag, I didn't deserve it because I put out a flag."

A team of people, which included city controller Rachael Heisler helped to cover up the graffiti. Security camera video captured what happened early Sunday morning.

FBI, Pittsburgh Police investigating North Side antisemitic graffiti 01:44

"I think your Jewish neighbors here in Pittsburgh feel lonely," said Jeremy Kazzaz, the President of the Beacon Coalition. He explained they seek love and support from their neighbors and elected officials.

"We're looking to see action to make sure this sort of behavior is stopped and perpetrators are held accountable," Kazzaz said.

The woman who lives in the home hopes the person is caught soon. She sees it as not only a hate crime, but as harassment.

"It's important our voices are heard and our neighbors step up and do something," she said. 

Mayor Ed Gainey released a statement saying he is dedicated to building a city that is welcoming for everyone who lives here, "and that means coming together to reject antisemitism and all forms of hate."

FBI aware of numerous threats

Just last week, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh said they had received numerous threats ahead of Passover.

"They're highly disturbing and highly graphic in something that certainly in light of Passover preparations, which we're doing now, is something that's got the community a bit more on edge," Shawn Brokos said.   

In a statement to KDKA-TV, the FBI said, "The FBI is aware of numerous threats of violence communicated to schools and houses of worship in Western Pennsylvania recently. While we have no information to indicate a specific and credible threat, we continue to partner with local law enforcement to investigate threat information as it comes to our attention."

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