Holocaust Memorial vandalized, ‘a reminder of what happens when hate goes unchecked’

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – According to Police records, the Holocaust Memorial was vandalized on July 22nd and was subsequently reported on July 24th to the City of Charleston. The investigation was described as a simple vandalism and was not classified as a ‘Hate Crime’.

On Friday, the memorial no longer showed the hate-filled words that were reported to have been scattered across the pavement in every corner. Ilene Turbow, Chair Person of JCRC/ Vice President of Jewish Federation of Charleston, said it was and always will be hurtful when something like this happens.

She added that the hardest part of the vandalism is what that memorial really stands for.

Sometimes people forget that the memorial was designed to honor the 6 million Jews, but there were 5 million other people—Gypsies, Pols, homosexuals who were also targeted and murdered by the Nazis. And the memorial commemorates all 11 million. 

Ilene Turbow, Chair Person of JCRC/ Vice President of Jewish Federation of Charleston 

As for the investigation, Turbow is happy a civilian reported the crime and, in a way, that it was in the City of Charleston as there is Hate Crime Ordinance. Had the crime been in Mount Pleasant or North Charleston, she does not believe the same level of attentiveness would have been attributed to the case. Turbow said the city’s ordinance is an initiative they hope will be brought before the state of South Carolina as whole soon.  

The Stamp out Hate Campaign is the statewide coalition that we are starting to build to encourage the state legislature to pass a hate crime law in South Carolina. And we’re building a coalition of municipalities and other groups that have been marginalized.  Such as the LGPTQ community, the Black/African American Community, and other others as well as there is a group in Columbia working on businesses and the hope is to have a huge list of supporters that will say to the legislatures the time is now to pay hate crime legislation in South Carolina.  

Ilene Turbow, Chair Person of JCRC/ Vice President of Jewish Federation of Charleston 

Turbow said it’s times like now that reiterate why we should no longer be one of the 3 states in country without such a state law.  

Every time we are reminded of incidents of hate—such as Dylan Roof, such as this, it’s important for us to take a step back and say this can’t happen. We cannot go on in this kind of an environment.  

Ilene Turbow, Chair Person of JCRC/ Vice President of Jewish Federation of Charleston 

The Stamp Out The Hate Campaign is still a fairly new initiative. To get involved, contact Brandon Fish via email at brandonf@jewishcharleston.org

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