Police are reviewing surveillance footage in their effort to locate vandals who defaced at least three Jewish centres and other nearby property in southwest Calgary.
Swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans were spray-painted on the Jewish Community Centre, near 90th Avenue and Jerusalem Road S.W., the Holocaust memorial in front of it and the House of Jacob synagogue a block away.
Graffiti was also found on a community mailbox, a private home and a wall in the same Pump Hill neighbourhood.
Vandals also struck another synagogue, a bus shelter and a community mailbox in the Woodbine neighbourhood.
"It appears to be the same people," Judy Shapiro, community relations director for the Calgary Jewish Community Council, said Monday. "It's the same style of graffiti and the same ugly messaging."
Police say the incidents, which they described as serious, occurred late Saturday or early Sunday.
The graffiti in Pump Hill included a swastika and the words "Kill Jews" spray-painted on a community mailbox.
"I would view it as an attack upon the Jewish community, inciting hatred, or leading down that road. So we want to get to the bottom of it if we can. We want to find the answers out," said Insp. John McReynolds, from the police diversity resource unit.
"But we're not considering this as a death threat at that level or anything like that. We have to do a lot more investigations before we cross that threshold."
Shapiro said she was most shocked by the messages painted across the centre's Holocaust memorial.
"For the people whose family's names are recorded on that monument, that is their grave," she said. "It's beyond graffiti; it's real hate."
Sarah McCartney, who lives near the community centre, called the vandalism "disgusting."
"I guess there are people like that still out there," McCartney said. "Hopefully, it was a bunch of kids being stupid … as opposed to someone who really knows what it means."
"I think [it was] a bunch of idiots who are ignorant and who creep around three o'clock in the morning. How brave are they?" said Murray Robins outside the centre.
Shapiro said there have been small incidents of graffiti at Jewish centres in Calgary before but nothing of this scope. She said education is the only way to end such ugly messages.
"It's very important that young people understand that racism still exists and that we have to battle it," she said.
There's been a number of other reports as well:
Kill Jews? Now where have we seen that before? Oh yes! On Kyle McKee's shins:
Now at this point it's only speculation to state our belief that someone within the Aryan Guard or W.E.B. was involved, but we don't really think we're going out on a limb in our speculation. We also find it interesting that McKee, who hasn't been all that active on Stormfront lately (his last post was on June 1, 2009), decided to post this message this past Sunday:
Well, not a Jewish holiday, but November 9 was the 71st anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom in Germany.
There appears to be video evidence of the vandalism taking place. We would very much be interested in seeing those videos, or at least the stills.