A neo-Nazi group has defaced a Jewish monument in Birmingham – daubing it with ‘bankers’ and hanging a swastika flag from it – in what has been dubbed a “disgusting and cowardly attack”.
Police have issued an appeal for information after radical far-right group National Action – who send their members to paramilitary bootcamps – posted a video showing the desecration of the Menorah in the city’s Cannon Hill Park.
The video was posted 3 June, and appears to show members of the group – whose faces are blurred – spray painting the word ‘bankers’ underneath a star of David, on the monument – with ‘1%’ inside.
Later in the four minute clip, a member of the group climbs on a ladder to unfurl a poster with their symbol next to a Menorah – before draping the monument with the flag of Nazi Germany.
The vandals, who are filmed wearing latex gloves to conceal their fingerprints, are part of a group with an ugly history of virulent anti-Semitism.
Their ‘official strategy’ documents feature pictures of Hitler – and in October material produced by the group was found at the home of 21-year-old Garron Helm, a Liverpool man jailed for sending “grossly offensive” tweets to Shadow Health Minister Luciana Berger.
The ugly scenes in the park represent a deliberate attempt to intimidate the area’s Chasidic Lubavitch community – part of Birmingham’s 3000-strong community – who maintain the Menorah and light it during Jewish festivals.
Inspector Rachel Crump, of West Midlands Police, told the Birmingham Mail: “We are aware of a video on YouTube which appears to show religiously aggravated vandalism in Cannon Hill Park.
“We take reports of hate crime extremely seriously and would urge anyone with information which would help us identify the people in the images to contact police.”
A spokesperson from the Community Security Trust also told Jewish News, “CST is aware of this disgusting and cowardly attack. We ask any witnesses to contact the Police immediately.”
Anti-Racism group HOPE Not Hate, who recently teamed up with the London Jewish Forum and Board of Deputies to combat the planned neo-Nazi demonstration ‘against Jewish privilege’ in Golders Green also spoke to Jewish News. They said: “We share the community’s disgust at these actions. There must be no place for those who espouse antisemitic hatred. We call for those who know the perpetrators to do the honourable and decent thing and turn them in to the police.”