RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Vandals spray painted a swastika inside a Star of David on the entrance wall of a Jewish sports club located on a busy avenue in Rio.
The Nazi symbol, drawn backwards, appeared inside the three-foot-tall Jewish symbol that identifies the Brazilian Israelite Club, a Jewish institution attended by Jews and non-Jews and whose doors commonly remain open for neighborhood events.
“The symbol of the terrible Nazi regime is offensive not only to Jews but also to gypsies, homosexuals and all groups persecuted by the Third Reich,” said Harry Rosenberg, president of the Rio Jewish Federation. “Even if the criminal drew the swastika in the reserve way, the symbol offends all humankind.”
Copacabana is Rio’s most-Jewish populated neighborhood with some 3,500 Jewish families and several Jewish institutions including the Rio Jewish Federation, the Jewish Agency, the honorary consul’s office, a Jewish school and many synagogues.
“We will not admit any type of anti-Semitism or intolerance be it racial or religious or against minorities. We won’t allow,” Claudio Goldemberg, vice president of the Rio Jewish federation, said during an interview with the Globo TV channel.