A monument to Spanish Civil War soldiers in James Madison Park was vandalized, apparently overnight, with several spray painted swastikas and the words “Trump Rules” and “Antifa Sucks,” referring to the anti-fascist movement.
Rosh Hashannah, the Jewish New Year and one of the holiest days for Jewish people, begins at sundown tonight. A Madison police officer at the scene said the incident was being investigated as a hate crime due to its proximity to The Gates of Heaven Building, one of the oldest Jewish worship places in the United States, which is also in James Madison Park.
The vandalized monument honors the Abraham Lincoln Brigade of the Voluntarios Internacionales de la Libertad, volunteers who served in the Spanish Civil War from 1936-39. The Lincoln Brigade consisted of more than 2,800 American soldiers, many from Wisconsin, according to the plaque on the monument.
The plaque also notes, “Their memorable struggle against the spread of fascism can be counted as a uniquely historic moment in the fight for peace and democracy.”