BOISE, Idaho —
This article originally appeared in the Idaho Press.
BOISE — Over the weekend, Abby Gregory left her apartment in the Idaho Building to meet up with her friend Mike Rogers so their dogs could play.
On Friday, she hadn’t seen anything on the wall. Then on Saturday morning, she found a swastika and the symbol ‘B666’ spray-painted on the east side of the iconic building, near Saint Lawrence Gridiron.
“I was shocked,” Gregory said. “This is a symbol that represents so much hatred ... I just can’t believe that anybody would act so callously.”
The swastika is the symbol of Nazi Germany, whose leader Adolf Hitler carried out a genocide that murdered more than 10 million, including six million Jews. The Holocaust is infamous for its inhumanity. Its victims were starved in ghettos, killed in trucks the Nazis engineered to pump in carbon monoxide, shot and worked to death, among other methods of murder.
The Aryan Brotherhood uses the number 666, according to the Anti-Defamation League, an anti-hate organization.
“She was so upset she could hardly tell me,” Rogers said.
Extremism is rising in the Gem State, the Idaho Press previously reported. In the last year, swastikas have appeared on flyers at an anti-President Joe Biden protest in Boise, on the Anne Frank Memorial in Boise, and on signs at St. Luke’s hospital in McCall.
The swastika is the ultimate symbol of hate and intolerance, Wassmuth Center for Human Rights Executive Director Dan Prinzing previously told the Idaho Press.
It symbolizes the National Socialist German Workers’ party and the Third Reich in Germany. The national socialist, or Nazi party, rose to power by “trampling on others,” Prinzing said.
Rogers posted the photo to Twitter, where it generated considerable buzz. At least one other photo of the swastika was posted to Twitter.
When the Idaho Press on Monday went to the site, located near the intersection of Eighth and Bannock streets in one of downtown Boise’s busiest areas, two portions of the wall had clearly been painted over, though the ‘B666’ was still somewhat visible.
The Idaho Building is a historic six-story structure built in 1910, according to Parklane Management Company’s website. Parklane leases apartments and commercial space in the building, its website said.
In an emailed statement, Parklane Management Company said vandalism and graffiti are nothing new in the downtown area.
“The Idaho Building is just one of many that experience great costs in repairs to correct these intolerable acts,” the statement said. “It’s a shame that those causing damage are not able to find better ways to spend their time and money that would provide a better way of satisfaction.”
Boise Police said there was not a related call for service over the weekend.
Besides the Anne Frank memorial vandalism, Gregory said she’s never seen anything like this in Boise. It’s alarming to have it so close to home, she said.
“I feel much less safe where I live,” Gregory said. “I don’t feel like I have the community in the building and this area that I thought I have. It makes me not want to go outside at night with my dog.”
This article originally appeared in the Idaho Press, read more on IdahoPress.com.
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