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Vandals Deface Skokie's New Holocaust Monument

June 01, 1987|Associated Press

SKOKIE, Ill. — A monument to the 6 million Jews and others killed by the Nazis was defaced today with spray-painted swastikas, one day after it was dedicated in this Chicago suburb where about 7,000 Holocaust survivors live, police said.

Police officer Charles Olshock said the damage was discovered at 6:15 a.m., about two hours after the monument had last been checked.

The officer said he had no idea who was responsible or if the vandals were from Skokie, which was profiled in a television movie after a neo-Nazi group proposed marching through the community.

"Obviously somebody that doesn't agree with the statue," he said. "Anti-Semitism runs very deep and doesn't necessarily have to be here."

Charles Lipshitz, chairman of the Holocaust Monument Committee, said he visited the scene and "the whole monument was defaced with swastikas."

About 350 people attended Sunday's dedication of the monument, a 12-foot-high bronze sculpture of a fighter guarding a mother, her slain infant, a rabbi and a child clinging to the rabbi's knees.

In 1978, Skokie--whose 69,000 residents include 23,000 Jews--gained world attention when a neo-Nazi group threatened to march through the village. The march was called off after lawsuits and community pressure.

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