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Antisemitic graffiti on Baltimore Co. mailboxes spark outrage

Antisemitic graffiti on Pikesville mailboxes
Posted at 5:32 PM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-04 19:57:27-04

BALTIMORE COUNTY — Along Greenspring Avenue in Baltimore County, spray-painted on mailboxes is offensive, antisemitic graffiti.

Drivers passing by can clearly see graffiti of a swastika in a primarily Jewish community.

“It’s a large swastika in 2022,” said Caren Leven, the Executive Director of Baltimore Zionist District. “It’s appalling. It’s tough to explain to your kids why you are driving in 2022 and seeing a swastika. That’s something we don’t think we should have to experience like it is 1930s where we are all of a sudden seeing swastikas on mailboxes.”

Baltimore Zionist District is a Pro-Israel organization that works to bring the community closer to the state of Israel through programming, events and other local speakers.

The graffiti spray-painting was reported in the Greenspring area in the Stevenson area.

Aside from the swastika, it also had the words “Cox,” after Maryland Governor candidate Dan Cox, a Republican who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

“I don’t know if it was targeted because it is a Jewish area,” Leven said. “I think it was politically motivated. I think it is both. I think it is politically motivated and I think it is religiously motivated. Because it says Cox, which is running for governor, and there is a swastika.”

Leven said antisemitic hate crimes aren’t often seen in the Baltimore area, but they seem to continue to pop up.

In March, three swastikas were spray painted in the Elvatontown community in Glen Burnie.

In July 2021, swastikas and other hateful messages were spray-painted on more than a dozen headstones at the German Hill Road Cemetery in Baltimore.

In June 2020, investigators with the Baltimore City Police Department along with the local FBI office investigated swastikas found in the 5900 block of Cross Country Boulevard.

Leven said it is devastating for those in the Jewish community, especially for those who were around or have family members in the Holocaust in the 1940s.

“I think it is one of the most hurtful and hateful things you can do where you pick a graffiti of a symbol you know that is hurtful, that the Jewish people had to deal with and look at and be part of in the 1940s,” Leven said. “More than 6 million Jews were killed and stamped with numbers, then you bring it back to 2022.

“We have Holocaust survivors here, and for them to have to drive by and see Nazi symbols in their 80s and 90s, I think is devastating.”

Maryland Sen. Shelly Hettleman, who represents that area, District 11, released a statement on social media:

So this happened in the heart of District 11. It’s despicable - whoever is responsible should be held to account. I hope this is not an omen for how this campaign season will proceed.

Shelly Hettleman, Maryland Senate, District 11

Baltimore County Police said they are following up on investigative leads on several reports of vandalism in the 10800 block of Greenspring Avenue in the Pikesville Precinct.

"Preliminarily, investigators do not believe these to be bias incidents. As this remains an on-going investigation, detectives are asking anyone with information about this case to contact 410-887-1279," police said.