Mission Peak in Fremont (Photo/Flickr-Travis Wise CC BY 2.0)
Mission Peak in Fremont (Photo/Flickr-Travis Wise CC BY 2.0)

Police investigate Hitler graffiti in Fremont

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A pro-Hitler message was found written on a dumpster in a quiet residential neighborhood in Fremont around noon Friday. The message, written in clear cursive, said “We like Hitler, and you all who don’t can f– off.”

Verrona Gore, a retired elementary school teacher and member of Reform Temple Beth Torah, discovered the graffiti with her husband while walking their dogs. She reported the incident to the Anti-Defamation League and to local police.

“It felt like a gut punch,” Gore said. “I was relieved that my daughter is out of town for the weekend. I know it would be particularly upsetting for her.”

So far this year there have been 101 antisemitic incidents reported to the ADL in California. Last year the organization tallied 500 in the state, though hate incidents are chronically underreported, experts say.

Fremont police were expected to clear the graffiti and investigate the crime later Friday afternoon, according to Lt. Michael Tegner, the on-duty watch commander.

Based on Gore’s report of “Nazi graffiti,” Tegner said, the investigation would “start out” as a hate crime investigation.

“If we find out who did it, we will ask questions and talk to the DA” about potential charges, he said. Police will be looking for video footage.

Written on a commercial dumpster three doors down from Gore’s home, the graffiti appeared on a neighbor’s property that is under construction. Gore said she does not believe the neighbor is Jewish.

"We like Hitler & you all who dont can Fuck Off!" reads the cursive scrawled on a dumpster in Fremont. (Photo/Verona Gore)
“We like Hitler & you all who don’t can f— off!” reads the cursive scrawled on a dumpster in Fremont. (Photo/Verona Gore)

She described her Fremont neighborhood as “quiet” and “pleasant.”

“The homes are well maintained. People like to go out for walks, or ride their bikes,” she said. “It’s a nice place to live.”

The East Bay city is home to about 234,000 people.

The incident comes about a year and a half after Temple Beth Torah, Gore’s synagogue, was defaced with a swastika, also drawn in black marker. Temple administrator Jill Ziman called that incident “disturbing.”

It also comes after a rash of antisemitic flyers have littered Bay Area cities over the past year, claiming Jews are responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic, for the war in Ukraine and for other ills. The flyers, printed by followers of the so-called “Goyim Defense League,” have appeared in more than a dozen states including Florida, Texas, Illinois, Virginia and Massachusetts. Goyim Defense League members circulate the flyers on the encrypted messaging app Telegram.

Gore said she felt “downhearted” to find the graffiti, adding she had found swastika graffiti at the local high school last year. Though reporting the incidents to the ADL and to J., she said, felt reassuring.

“It feels good to have allies in this, because it’s a disturbing thing to have happen,” she said. “When other people from the community participate in dealing with this situation, it makes me feel less alone.”

Gabe Stutman
Gabe Stutman

Gabe Stutman is the news editor of J. Follow him on Twitter @jnewsgabe.