Eszter Kutas, the executive director of the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation, suspects that the man who dumped four bags of garbage on Jan. 16 at around 11:30 a.m. at the foot of the statue in the Horowitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza is a repeat offender.
“We may have seen this person before causing similar incidents at the Holocaust Memorial Plaza,” she said.
Video shows a man believed to be homeless wearing a brown jacket, red shirt and jeans dragging bags of trash, which he then dumps around the statue in the memorial plaza.
The incident comes three days after police discovered green swastika vandalism, sprayed by a masked individual. The two crimes are not believed to be related beyond the broader “context in which we see rising antisemitism affecting the American community,” Kutas said.
Ted Deutch, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, wrote that he is disgusted by the vandalism of the Holocaust memorial.
“Dumping trash on the nation’s oldest Holocaust memorial—just days after a Nazi swastika was discovered and a string of recent incidents in the Philadelphia area—is a disgraceful display of hate and a reflection of the rising antisemitism that is being felt across the American Jewish community,” he added.
David Adelman, whose grandfather’s name appears on the memorial, has announced a $25,000 award for information that leads to an arrest of the swastika vandal.