July 8, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
A number of benches inside a Woodside dog run were vandalized last week–with Nazi scribblings scratched on the seats.
Three benches inside the Doughboy Park dog run each had the German words “Nur Fur Arier” scraped into them. The words translate to “Only For Aryans.”
The term was used in Nazi Germany to notify Jews that they weren’t welcome in places such as shops and parks.
The hateful graffiti was discovered Saturday morning by local resident Anne O’Byrne when she took her 11-year-old daughter and dog to the park.
“It struck me as disgusting that somebody was trying to claim that benches in the dog run were for Aryans only,” O’Byrne said.
O’Byrne said she took some photos and informed her husband who was at home at the time. They then contacted Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer about getting rid of the graffiti.
“The council member didn’t have access to his office where they store anti-graffiti materials but he was very sympathetic with our desire to get rid of it right away,” O’Byrne said.
O’Byrne said she believes the perpetrators used a sharpie or some other type of marker to deface the bench. She returned to the park at around 4 p.m. with her husband Michael Beck to scrub off the markings.
The pair used a scrubber, soap, and some other mechanics to wipe off the writing which took around 10 minutes to complete, they said.
Beck said that other park users told them that the benches had been marked for a few days. He said he doesn’t know who vandalized the benches but it was likely the work of hate-filled amateurs.
“I don’t know if it was someone belonging to some online group that shares the information and learns just enough German to be dangerous because the German wasn’t exactly perfect,” Beck said.
Beck, who is a former German teacher, said that the spelling is missing an “umlaut, which is a mark or two dots used above a vowel. The umlaut should be over the second “u,” according to Beck.
Nevertheless, Beck said he was offended by the writing because his parents were German immigrants and it reminded him of a dark period in German history.
“I don’t know if there was anyone in the area who lived through the Holocaust to see that but still it’s disgusting,” he said.
Beck said that they also had to explain to their daughter what the writings meant.
“Nobody should even find out what that means,” he said.
Beck, who has lived in the neighborhood with his wife for 21 years, said the markings have no place in Woodside.
“We live in such a diverse community and that sentiment should never be written in our neighborhood,” Beck said.
A segregated park bench in Nazi Germany “For Aryans Only” pic.twitter.com/37ZFMySERo
— The Goodman Report (@TheaGood) April 8, 2017