Baltimore County residents have come across antisemitic graffiti and white supremacist flyers in the days leading up to one of the most important religious holidays on the Jewish calendar: Yom Kippur.
Whoever left these signs of hate is trying to send a message, but Baltimore County residents have a message that is even louder: hate is not welcome in their community.
Brad Kauffman said his mother was visiting the United Hebrew Cemetery in Rosedale when she made a gruesome discovery.
“She discovered this swastika on the door, and she was just horrified to see this at the cemetery where her parents and grandparents and great-grandparents are buried,” Kauffman said.
A bright red swastika and other defaming graffiti were spray painted on the door.
“It makes me so angry and just so sad someone had the gall to spread this message and vandalize this cemetery, which is supposed to be a solemn place of rest for someone,” Kauffman said.
The Baltimore County Police Department is actively investigating the incident, according to authorities. Also, a nearby synagogue is working to remove the graffiti.
Across the county, another neighborhood was targeted, too.
“This morning, I was driving down the street after checking my mail and was about to turn and saw a sign plastered that I’ve never seen before,” Robbie Leonard of Timonium said.
Leonard had spotted a white supremacist sign at the intersection of York Road and Padonia Road.
“I knew it was a white supremacist organization trying to recruit people who live in the area,” he said.
Leonard noted that there was nothing supreme about the organization, though.
“I think they’re losers,” he said.
Within hours of the sign sighting, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said that it had been removed.
He noted that “hate has no place in Baltimore County.”
Kauffman said both incidents are rooted in hate—a message he hopes will not prevail.
“We need to stop spreading hate in this country,” he said.
While Baltimore County Police are investigating the graffiti found at the United Hebrew Cemetery, they are stopping short of calling the incident a hate crime, saying it’s too early in the investigation to make that type of determination.