BOCA RATON (CBSMiami) – A swastika spray painted on the side of a car in Boca Raton has been obliterated.
The mother of the car’s owner took a spray can to the car Monday and covered over the Nazi symbol.
A neighbor discovered the vandalism Sunday morning and alerted the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities say the vandalism happened sometime Saturday night in the mostly Jewish neighborhood in central Boca Raton.
The owner is away at school in Israel and the car’s been parked on the side of his family’s home for months.
“We all hope it’s a prank,” said neighbor David Vishnevsay, who is a friend of the owner.
The owner’s mother, who asked not to be identified, told CBS4, “I do feel it was an act of hatred for absolutely no reason.”
She says her grandparents were Holocaust survivors and staring at a Nazi symbol has been deeply painful.
“That was horrible history and we have to stop this,” she said.
Holocaust survivor Leslie Schwartz, who lives just miles away, says the vandalism is troubling.
He was sent to a concentration camp when he was 14 and lost his entire family during the Holocaust.
“When I was liberated at 15 and a half years old, we thought we would never see this again,” he said. “But we haven’t learned from the past.”
Schwartz now spends his time talking to school children in Germany and across the United States about what it was like so no one will ever forget.
“The suffering I went through is something they should be careful about and make sure it should never happen again,” he said.
Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to call Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS.