BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More than a dozen gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in Baltimore had swastikas spray-painted on them over the holiday weekend, Baltimore County Councilman Izzy Patoka said.

The cemetery was Ohr Knesseth Israel Anshe Sfard located on German Hill Road in Baltimore.

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Credit: Councilman Izzy Patoka

Patoka, the descendant of holocaust victims and survivors, said the symbol is particularly impactful to him. Patoka said Councilman Tod Crandell, who represents the area, has already been in touch with local police. The two initially believed the cemetery was in Dundalk, but it is technically in Baltimore.

“Councilman Crandell and I will continue to do all that we can to ensure the folks responsible for this despicable and repulsive act are held as accountable as possible,” said Patoka.

Baltimore Councilman Zeke Cohen is also the descendant of Holocaust survivors.

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“This too is America. The place for which my great grandmother fled the gas chambers in Austria,” said Cohen in a Facebook post. “To serve and love this country requires one to live in a state of constant contradiction. Each step toward justice brings an endless reminder that people still want to exterminate us.”

Cohen recently experienced a rash of swastika graffiti in his own district in Fells Point. The community responded by painting hearts over the symbols.

The Jewish Cemetery Association of Greater Baltimore said they responded immediately to have the gravestones cleaned and graffiti removed.

“Fortunately, we have the infrastructure within the Jewish Cemetery Association of Greater Baltimore, an agency of The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, to respond quickly and provide dignity for the memory of our loved ones,” the association said in a statement.

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CBS Baltimore Staff