Vandals daub swastikas, anti-Semitic texts on Dutch buildings, Holocaust statue
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Vandals daub swastikas, anti-Semitic texts on Dutch buildings, Holocaust statue

Fans of ADO soccer team suspected of carrying out attack ahead of game against Ajax, a team regarded as being historically Jewish

A swastika, painted on the wall of the Stedelijk Museum overnight, is seen in Amsterdam, Netherlands, February 22, 2019 (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
A swastika, painted on the wall of the Stedelijk Museum overnight, is seen in Amsterdam, Netherlands, February 22, 2019 (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti were discovered on a Holocaust memorial and buildings in Amsterdam Friday morning.

A statue in Amsterdam that commemorates a general strike in 1941 to protest the rounding up of Jews by Nazi occupiers of the city during World War II was vandalized with green and yellow paint — the colors of the ADO soccer team.

The graffiti was discovered ahead of Sunday’s match between ADO and Ajax in The Hague. It’s suspected the vandalism was carried out by ADO fans.

ADO director Mattijs Manders issued a statement condemning the incident: “We as a club strongly reject these incomprehensible acts. It is disrespectful and sad,” he said.

Ajax is one of several European soccer teams that are seen as historically Jewish. Fans from rival teams often taunt supporters and players of the supposedly Jewish teams with anti-Semitic chants and symbols; the song about burning Jews is seen as among the most offensive of the taunts.

Earlier this month, Dutch police arrested five soccer fans for allegedly singing at a match an increasingly popular chant about burning Jews.

That incident, which reflects both growing resolve to punish chanters and the proliferation of anti-Semitic sports chants, took place near the De Kuip Stadium in Rotterdam on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27.

“My father was in the commandos, my mother was in the SS, together they burned Jews ’cause Jews burn the best,” the suspects chanted, according to the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, a Dutch watchdog on anti-Semitism known as CIDI. It called the chant a “recurring problem” in a statement.

Last year nearly half of 557 respondents in a survey of Dutch Jews said they were afraid of identifying as such.

Of the respondents, 43 percent said they take active steps to hide their Jewish identity, such as wear a hat over their kippah or hide Star of David pendants.

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