An Upper East Side woman was shocked when she discovered the cash she withdrew from a local Chase ATM was stamped with a swastika and other Nazi symbols.
Robyn Roth-Moise, a lifelong New Yorker and great-granddaughter of the legendary architect Emery Roth, told The Post she withdrew $400 at the Chase branch at 86th Street and York Avenue early Saturday to later be distributed as gifts when she made the disturbing discovery.
“I didn’t notice until I got home, and I see the swastika,” she said of a $100 bill stamped with the Nazi symbol in a deep blue pigment. “I must have stared at it for a few minutes. And thought, ‘I cannot be seeing what I’m seeing.’ It was very surreal.”
The 65-year-old photographer also noticed another $100 bill marked with what resembled a Nazi eagle. Roth-Moise noted that the offensive markings were “prominent, in dark blue — it was very much meant to be seen.”
Roth-Moise, who said looking at the bills felt like a gut punch, went to a nearby Chase branch at 86th Street and 2nd Avenue later that morning to demand answers.
“I just wanted the money out of my hands. I was deeply disturbed — how did it happen? How did the money get into the machine without anyone noticing it?”
She was told that the bills were likely fed into the machine by a customer making a deposit, and that the branch manager told her, “The Secret Service will probably get involved.”
“This is unacceptable. We have shut down the ATM and are investigating,” a Chase representative told The Post.
When she posted on Twitter about the harrowing incident, local politicians, including City Councilwoman Julie Menin and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, stepped up to investigate.
Menin got the bank to shut down the rogue ATM machine at the original branch. She told Upper East Site, which first reported the story, “Antisemitism must be called out immediately and won’t be tolerated in any form in our community or city.”
Growing up in a liberal household, “we accepted everybody,” said Roth-Moise, adding, “It’s just so disturbing. It’s frightening to me that we’re going back.”
While Roth-Moise said this is the first antisemitic incident she’s been involved in in all her years in NYC, she was only one generation away from direct contact with Nazis. “My father, who when he was a little boy in the ’30s on the Upper East Side, would tell me about brown-shirt Nazis in Germantown in Yorkville in plain sight.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center said he is contacting the bank to ask for an internal investigation.
“The operative word for 2022 is accountability,” Cooper, an associate dean and the director of global social action agenda at the Jewish human rights organization, told The Post. “Chase must investigate. [The] perpetrator must be held accountable. These micro events may start with Jews but left unanswered will surely spread to target Asian Americans, Blacks, etc.”
Though shaken, Roth-Moise remains vigilant in the face of rising antisemitism in NYC. “I just want other people to be aware that antisemitism is out there, even in the confines of my little UES neighborhood,” she said. “It’s there. Are you really safe?”