Windermere – Cumbria Police are investigating after the graffiti was spotted in Queen’s Park Windermere.
The vandal(s) wrote the words “Jew Train” and “Hitler” next to swastikas in a public space. This is in reference to the trains of Jewish people sent to death camps such as Auschwitz during the war. The police confirmed that this was logged as a crime and is now under investigation.
The location of the graffiti is relevant because Windermere took in displaced Jewish children in the immediate aftermath of World War II. This was depicted in the BBC film The Windermere Children and Trevor Avery, of the Lake District Holocaust Project, has spoken to many survivors as part of the project.
He hopes to build a museum near the site where the children lived in Calgarth Park at Troutbeck Bridge.
Mr Avery said that this was the most blatant instance of anti-Semitism in the area since he started the project back in 2005.
“We have sadly had things in Windermere before but this is the first time it is quite so problematic,” he said.
“It seems that sadly it does pop up every now and again. It is on our doorstep, it is a reminder that we can all be a bit complacent about how this reaches our community.
“It is such a tragedy because it is now a part of society. We have had many, many quotes from survivors and we have not found any instances of antisemitism.
“It has never gone away. I was speaking to a woman and I said we have had instances here in Windermere and Bowness and she burst out crying. Its tentacles are everywhere.”
A Cumbria Police spokesman said: “Cumbria Police takes all reports of hate crime – including antisemitism – extremely seriously.
“Everyone should be free to live their lives without being subject to hostility or prejudice because of their disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status.