A few hours after Donald Trump clinched his victory in the presidential contest — also the 78th anniversary of Kristallnacht — anti-Semitic graffiti celebrating the leader appeared on a storefront in South Philadelphia.
The graffiti included expressions such as “Sieg Heil 2016,” a reference to the “Hail Victory” Nazi slogan, and “Trump,” with the “T” replaced with a swastika. The hateful slogans were scrawled on the abandoned Meglio Furs shop, located at the cross of Broad and Wharton Streets. Kristallnacht, or the “Night of Broken Glass” was a major pogrom against Jewish businesses in Nazi Germany.
According to Philadelphia Magazine, police were investigating the incident.
Caryn Kunkle, a neighborhood artist who gathered friends to cover the graffiti with paint, linked the incident to Trump’s victory, and a signaled a worry about further episodes.
“And, as Philly’s first taste of President Trump, someone has spray painted a swastika and the words ‘seig heil 2016’ on the front of the abandoned Meglio Furs shop window on Broad Street,” she wrote.
The local chapter of the Anti-Defamation League also strongly condemned the incident.
“We are horrified by the appearance of hate graffiti on a storefront in South Philadelphia,” Nancy K. Baron-Baer, head of the city chapter of the ADL, wrote in a press release after the news broke.
“Swastikas and the Nazi salute send a message of intolerance and hate to the entire community. The fact that today is the 78th anniversary of Kristallnacht adds another layer to this already sickening act,” she added.
Baron-Baer implied that anti-Semitism might be an ever larger concern with the advent of a Trump presidency.
“While we view this as an isolated incident, we cannot allow this behavior to become routine,” she wrote. “Everyone has a role to play in combating bigotry — we must advocate, educate and investigate until hate is no longer welcome in our society.”
Daniel J. Solomon is the Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.