Jewish residents
Jewish residents Reuters

A 76-year-old woman says she is the victim of a hate crime after she found multiple swastikas drawn on the outside of her apartment in Charleston, South Carolina.

Born during World War II, Estelle Whitney remembers being singled as the result of hate and prejudice. "In order to go to preschool I had to wear a Jewish star pinned to my dress. I would say to my mom, I don't want to wear this, even asking what is it. You don't know what it is when you are three years old," she told a local news station.

Whitney discovered the markings outside her apartment after returning from brunch with a friend on Sunday afternoon.

"There were five. There were five swastikas on my wall," she said.

Whitney took pictures before maintenance crews painted over the swastikas.

"Give me a reason you know, why do you hate me, what did I do to you?" Whitney told the news station.

Whitney has placed a sign about the incident near her building. She has also notified police in hopes that the suspect will be caught, ABC news reported.

"I was shaking like a leaf. I saw them from the corner of my eye right away. The swastika. I couldn't believe it," she said. "My parents were Holocaust survivors, it really means a lot to me, this terrible thing."

"To have it happen here in my backyard and then me and my roommates all being Jewish, it's just kind of unsettling," Whitney’s neighbor, Josh Clayton, told ABC news.

Whitney is originally from Paris, France and has lived in Charleston for more than a decade and said this was the first time she had been targeted by a hate.

"Nothing annoys me more than ignorant people because they maybe don't even know what it means," she said.