Staff members of a theater company in Melbourne, Australia were left "upset, angry" and "disgusted" after someone spray painted a swastika on a board advertising their production of The Diary of Anne Frank.
Describing how "some lowlife" had sprayed the swastika on the production's board on Saturday, the Peridot Theater Company condemned the act as "sickening."
The theater production tells the story of the young Anne Frank, whose 1942 diaries documenting her family's experience hiding from the Nazis during their occupation of the Netherlands before they were found have become some of the most renowned texts to represent the Holocaust.
In her diaries, the theater production said: "Anne wrote: 'I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart'."
"We are honored to tell Anne's story," the theater company said. "We say NO to hate."
On Sunday, Peridot thanked community members "for all the messages of support" it had received since Saturday's incident.
"We've cleaned up the sign and reported the incident to the police," the theater company said.
"The despicable vandalism just underlines the fact that stories such as Anne Frank's still need telling," they said.
Peridot added that its Sunday matinee show of the performance the evening following the incident had been "virtually sold out"—and that the audience "was hugely complimentary."
In a statement published by SBS News, Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission Dr. Dvir Abramovich condemned the incident, saying "this shameful and cowardly desecration of Holocaust remembrance is clearly driven by hate-mongers and bigots who wish to destroy Anne Frank's enduring legacy and her words of courage and hope that have inspired so many around the world."
"This is also an attack on the memory on the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis and will shock the conscience of every Australian," he said.
The incident reportedly came months after posters of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg were defaced with anti-Semitic symbols in the same area.
"As we know, there are still individuals with evil in their hearts walking in our midst, who seek to target Jews and denigrate the Holocaust, using the devil's tools of intimidation," Abramovich said. "These despicable and chilling incidents of anti-Semitism and swastika vandalization, that are spreading like wildfire throughout Melbourne, are of grave concern and point to the dangerous uptick in prejudice and intolerance infecting our nation."
"We hope that the perpetrators of this ugly campaign are identified and are dealt with to the fullest extent of the law," he said.