Australian neo-Nazis deface elderly care facility housing Holocaust survivors
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Australian neo-Nazis deface elderly care facility housing Holocaust survivors

Watchdog group says swastikas in Melbourne are latest anti-Semitic incident in growing ‘blitz of intimidation and fear’ targeting Jewish community

The swastika logo of Antipodean Resistance found on the front gates of Emmy Monash Aged Care in south-east Melbourne, Australia on January 2019. (Anti-Defamation Commission)
The swastika logo of Antipodean Resistance found on the front gates of Emmy Monash Aged Care in south-east Melbourne, Australia on January 2019. (Anti-Defamation Commission)

An Australian neo-Nazi group defaced an elderly care facility that homes Holocaust survivors, the latest incident in a rash of anti-Semitic vandalism targeting Melbourne’s Jewish community.

Stickers bearing the logo of homegrown hate group Antipodean Resistance were discovered plastered on the entrance to the Emmy Monash Aged Care facility, located in a heavily Jewish suburb of Caulfield, southeast of Melbourne.

The black and white swastika stickers were discovered by Sam Seigal, who was visiting his 94-year-old parents at the facility on New Year’s Day.

“I saw it stuck to the front gates. I just stood there and looked — it knocked me about,” Seigel told Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper on Friday. “You don’t expect to see those sorts of things, especially at an aged-care residence.”

He said that many of the residents at the Emmy Monash facility were Holocaust survivors, and they would be “horrified” to learn of the Nazi symbol was daubed on the outside gates.

Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission Dr. Dvir Abramovich condemned the vandalism as “cowardly and evil.”

“We are appalled by this latest attack, made all the more despicable as there are Holocaust survivors living in this aged-care home who lost family relatives and suffered under Hitler’s regime,” Abramovich said in a statement.

Abramovich said the vandalism at Emmy Monash was part of a “blitz of intimidation and fear” by Antipodean Resistance which has been escalating its activities over the last year.

The statement from the ADC noted another incident of anti-Semitic vandalism in southeast Melbourne this week. A billboard advertising a production of the musical Les Miserables in the suburb of St. Kilda was defaced with the words: “Are Jews.. religious…or criminals?”

Anti-Semitic graffiti discovered on an advertisement for an upcoming production of Les Misérables in Melbourne’s St. Kilda neighborhood in January 2019. (Anti-Defamation Commission)

Australia has seen the largest single-year increase of anti-Semitic attacks in 2018, the ADC said, and there was “mounting concerns” about the rise in anti-Jewish sentiment in the country.

Antipodean Resistance was formed in Melbourne in 2016 to promote hatred and violence, mainly against Jews and the LGBT community. In recent months, the group has attracted attention for its anti-Semitic vandalism that has been spotted in major Australian cities.

Antipodean Resistance twice last year targeted New South Wales lawmaker Mike Kelly, whose wife is Jewish. In February the group hung a poster outside his office calling to “reject Jewish poison,” and in September, Antipodean Resistance mailed him pig entrails.

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