Swastika painted on billboard promoting play in Australia

Vandals spray paint swastika on billboard promoting a production in Melbourne of The Diary of Anne Frank.

Elad Benari ,

Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

Vandals spray painted a swastika on a billboard promoting a production in Melbourne, Australia, of The Diary of Anne Frank, SBS News reports.

The Peridot Theatre Company, based in the eastern Melbourne suburb of Mount Waverly, posted to its Facebook page early Sunday morning to say it was “UPSET, ANGRY [and] DISGUSTED” by the incident.

The graffiti, which the company has since cleaned, was sprayed less than 24 hours before opening night.

“This action is sickening. Anne wrote: ‘I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.’ We are honored to tell Anne's story. We say NO to hate,” the company wrote in the Facebook post.

The Diary of Anne Frank is a book of writings from Anne Frank, one of the most well-known Jewish victims of the Holocaust, while hiding with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

Peridot said it received support from the local community after posting about the incident, and Sunday afternoon’s matinee performance “was virtually sold out.”

“The despicable vandalism just underlines the fact that stories such as Anne Frank's still need telling,” it said.

The incident follows the defacing of a Jewish-owned café in Melbourne with anti-Semitic graffiti, including a swastika and the words “The Holocaust is a lie”.

In January of this year, a man attacked a rabbi in Melbourne and threatened that he would do "what Hitler did," only because he picked up a cell phone when the two were at a red light.

Later that month, an aged care facility that is home to Holocaust survivors and located in the Melbourne suburb of Caulfield was defaced with swastikas by a neo-Nazi organization.

In February, sites in Bondi Beach, located east of Sydney, were defaced with more than 20 swastikas.