BOISE, Idaho – The founder of Chobani has pledged $20,000 to the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in Boise, which was defaced earlier this week.
Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of the Greek yogurt, announced the donation to the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights Thursday on social media, days after the human rights memorial was vandalized, KTVB reported.
“As Anne Frank teaches us, ‘how wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world,’” Ulukaya wrote. “On this Human Rights Day, Chobani gives $20K to Wassmuth Center for Human Rights to help clean away hate from the memorial, let’s all be the Light this Hanukkah and stand with Boise against hatred.”
Vandals placed nine stickers of swastikas — a Nazi hate symbol — and signs that read, “We are everywhere,” throughout the memorial sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning, Boise police said. Police are still investigating. No arrests have been made.
“It does cause us concern,” Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee said. “We are committed to ferreting out … those who would foment hate in the community.”
The Wassmuth Center for Human Rights maintains the memorial, which features a life-size bronze statue of Anne Frank. Stickers were found on the diary, another on a sculpture that represents “the spiral of injustice,” and a photo of Bill Wassmuth, a Catholic priest who left the church to focus on fighting white supremacy and the Aryan Nations, which at the time was based in northern Idaho.
“What makes this event actually so sad,” said Dan Prinzing, the executive director of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, “was the blatancy where they were placed, how they were placed and the message they were proclaiming.”
Boise Mayor Lauren McLean condemned the vandalism.
“I want to make this incredibly clear: the vandalism at the Anne Frank Memorial is reprehensible,” McLean told KTVB. “It is an affront to all that we are, the values we hold dear, to the memories of so many people in this community and this country who fought against that very topic, and of course, to the people in this community who it targets.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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