Acting Multicultural Affairs Minister Alan Tudge has condemned the daubing of a kindergarten in Melbourne’s Albert Park with the words “4th Reich” and a Star of David as “a despicable act of a coward”.
The incident at the Middle Park Kindergarten was reported to the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) by a shocked non-Jewish man who was walking in the area.
Tudge said, “Hard to believe that 75 years since the Holocaust, this sort of antisemitism still exists. And at a kindergarten!”
Shadow minister for multicultural affairs Andrew Giles and Macnamara MP Josh Burns described the incident as a “vile antisemitic attack”.
“There’s no place for this disgusting hate in Australia,” Giles and Burns said in a statement on Monday.
“Labor stands in solidarity with the local community and all Jewish Australians.”
Noting an “alarming rise in neo-Nazi activity and symbols in Australia”, the pair added, “Australia needs urgent action to combat racism, we need a new national anti-racism strategy.”
ADC chairman Dvir Abramovich said to defile a place where children play and learn with neo-Nazi vandalism is “beyond words and beyond contempt”.
“This senseless defacement is a vile attack on the core values and spirit of the kindergarten, a place where students, family and staff of all ethnic and religious backgrounds are welcomed,” Abramovich told The AJN on Sunday.
Describing the graffiti as “despicable”, Abramovich said, “Let’s remember that 1.5 million children were murdered in the Holocaust by the Nazis, and this graffiti is a death threat which should be taken seriously.”
Stating, “I hope that those cowards who committed this sickening outrage are identified and prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” he added, “Melbourne is a city of strength and pluralism, and united we will fight back against this filth which is invading our neighbourhood.”
Approached by The AJN for comment, a spokesperson for Victoria Police said on Sunday they were unaware of “any report of this nature at this time”.
The incident comes less than a fortnight after a swastika was scrawled over a Star of David on an ATM in the Melbourne suburb of Balaclava.