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David Lind of 648 Waterloo had to repaint over 32 swastikas which were drawn on his garage door. There was a swastika in each of the rectangular boxes on the garage door seen in this photo, which were painted over with white paint. Photo by Rhonda Spivak.

Mia Elfenbaum who lives on Ash took this photo of the swastika and heil Hitler graffiti that was written on her neighbour’s garage at 714 Waterloo, which faces her kitchen window across her back lane.

This is a photo of the swastika and heil Hitler graffiti on Lind's home before it was painted Photo courtesy of B’nai Brith Midwest Region.

Photo of the garage and house at 648 Waterloo. The house is at the corner of Waterloo and Fleet. According to homeowner David Lind, any passersby walking to Herzlia synagogue on Brock and Fleet couldn't miss seeing the 32 swastikas covering his garage, which were painted over within one week. Photo by Rhonda Spivak.


By Rhonda Spivak, June 11, 2010

‘Two separate homes have Heil Hitler graffiti just like previous reported incident’

On Thursday June 10, Mia Elfenbaum, a subscriber to the Winnipeg Jewish Review reported to us  that  there were two incidents of  swastikas with the words 'heil Hitler ‘ being written on  garage doors on Waterloo street, one of  which was written on the garage at 714 Waterloo which directly faced her kitchen window.

In an email of June 10, Elfenbaum, who is married to Dr. Marshall Stitz, and has three children at Gray Academy wrote: 

“Just read your article about the swastikas in River Heights. We've had two instances in our back lane that look identical to the photo you've displayed. One is on one square of the garage door and is still there. The other garage door has about 32 individual squares, each had a swastika and some racist writing - that one was painted over quite promptly.”

On attending the scene,  it appeared that the swastika  and “Heil Hitler”  graffiti facing the Elfenbaum-Stitz household was made  by a permanent black marker

In an interview in her home on June 10, Elfenbaum said that “the swastika across from our kitchen window is only a few days  old.  I noticed it this week.”

The swastika was drawn in one framed box area on the back of the garage on 714 Waterloo, and the residents of the house were not at home to answer any questions about it on the afternoon of June 10.

Elfenbaum added, “I had to explain to my eight year old son what a swastika was. He didn’t know. It’s not a nice thing to have to look out at.”

However, the swastika facing Elfenbaum was not nearly as bad as the situation with which David and Christine Lind of 648 Waterloo had to contend. The Lind’s house is located on the corner of Waterloo and Fleet.

According to Christine Lind, on Friday morning, May 28 , she found  32 swastikas that had been written all over the back of her garage in black marker. The garage has 32 rectangular boxes on it and in each box there was a swastika.

“It must have been done Thursday [May 27]  the night before. I notified the police immediately.”

Her husband, David Lind said, “In one of the boxes on the garage the words ‘heil Hitler” had been written. …Not all of the swastikas were drawn properly but they all looked to be written by the same hand.  In another box, the words ‘white power’ were written.”

“There is no way you can do this without it being hateful,” he added.

Lind noted that whoever did this was “tall enough to reach the top  part of my garage door, so it  couldn’t have been an  eight or nine year old.  I figure it had to be someone who was at least five feet tall.”

Lind also said, “It was really bad because we face Fleet and on Saturdays there are a lot of  Jewish people who walk by going to and from [Herzlia] synagogue and because we are on a corner they could see this from Fleet.”

Kristin Lind said that “My father came and painted over the [ 32] rectangular shaped boxes that are on our garage door about a week later.”

David Lind added, “We’ll have to get around to painting over the rest of the garage door at a later time.”

When asked if the police had told her that she could call 311 and the City of Winnipeg would paint out the graffiti, Kristin Lind replied, “No they didn’t.”

David Lind, who was out of town when this happened, added, “We felt really bad because our neighbour facing our garage was selling her house and there was an open house that Friday and everyone coming to her open house could see our garage door with all the swastikas.”

Lind said he wasn’t aware of the fact that a swastika was drawn on 714 Waterloo, also with the words 'heil Hitler.'

On Thursday evening June 10, 2010, David Lind emailed the  Winnipeg Jewish Review after looking at the photo of  the  swastika and 'heil Hitler'“  across from the Elfenbaum -Stitz household to say that it looked were similar to what was on their garage door.. 

The Winnipeg Jewish Review reported the incident involving the one swastika on 714 Waverley, across from the Elfenbaum-Stitz household to B’nai Brith on June 10.  On June 11, Alan Yusim, Director of B’nai Brith, Midwest Region said “I reported this incident to the police yesterday. It hadn’t been previously reported.”

On  June 11, the Winnipeg Jewish Review contacted the City of Winnipeg police to inquire as to whether there are any known suspects responsible for this racist graffiti, and was advised that there are no suspects at this time.

 “It appears we are having somewhat of a rash of swastikas in River Heights. Members of the community should be vigilant in reporting any incidents of this kind to B’nai Brith.”

Yusim noted that the swastikas  found on Waterloo St appear to have been made by black marker as was the swastika found a few days earlier on a bus shelter on Grant and Lanark, but it is unclear if this is simply a co-incidence.

On Friday afternoon, May 28 the Winnipeg Jewish Review received a telephone message from one of its subscribers Susan Riley.  Riley said “ I receive your Winnipeg Jewish Review which  I really enjoy on line and I’ve read that you have covered the swastika that was drawn on the house on [762] Campbell St [recently],  and I wanted to let you know that  I was driving down Grant today and on the south side of Grant  and I think it's Lanark is a huge swastika drawn on a bus shelter right on top of an ad for the University of Winnipeg Collegiate.”
Riley mentioned it was disturbing to see this.

Following receipt of this tip from Riley, The Winnipeg Jewish Review went to  the scene to photograph this swastika and on Friday afternoon May 28, at two p.m. the Winnipeg Jewish Review was the first to report the existence of the  swastika  on this bus shelter on Grant and  Lanark, (which is in front of where the former Ramah School was located) to the City  of Winnipeg. The swastika was written on glass next to an advertisement for the University of Winnipeg, on the bus shelter and appeared to be made in black permanent marker, which will likely need to be scraped off with a razor blade.

After calling the 311 line of the City of Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Jewish Review spoke with a woman who identified herself as Amanda to report  this racist graffiti.  Amanda said that there had not been any other report of this incident and a  reference # of 329-801 has been assigned.

According to Amanda, the police will be notified as well as the City of Winnipeg street maintenance department.

“Usually within one business day, there will be someone who goes down and writes up a report and then the graffiti is usually removed within one business week”, Amanda said.

The City of Winnipeg is responsible for removing the swastika, and not Winnipeg Transit.

The Winnipeg Jewish Review currently does not have any information as to how long the swastika had been on the bus shelter.

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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