Fried's grandparents survived concentration camps in Nazi Germany, where over six million Jews and nearly five million non-Jews were murdered during World War II.
"Whoever did it, why ever they did it, they are despicable," Fried said. "They are wrong. They should be prosecuted and brought to justice and punished. I will tell you that throughout the primary and the general election, I have been attacked continuously, but this one strikes at my heart. It strikes at my family. The fact that my grandparents are survivors of Auschwitz and over 20 members of my family were murdered in concentration camps makes this very personal against me, against my family and all good-hearted people across Rockland."
Fried said the signs had already been reported to police and removed by the time he heard about it.
Ramapo Police are currently investigating the vandalism of three campaign signs that were located in Monsey. At least one was in support of Fried, though a sign for Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence was also vandalized. In each case, orange spray paint was used to mark one political sign with a swastika symbol. Police believe the incidents happened at around 12 a.m. The department is asking for anybody with related information to call (845) 357-2400 or the Ramapo PD confidential tip line at 1-888-998-8477.
According to police, the signs were at the following locations in Monsey.
- Intersection of Maple Ave. and Route 306
- Intersection of Blauvelt Ave. and Route 306
- Intersection of Carlton Road and Route 306.
"These are acts of cowardice and hatred that cannot be tolerated in a civilized society," Stavisky said. "Those responsible should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
The Holocaust Museum and Study Center in Suffern issued the following statement Monday condemning the defacement of the campaign signs"
"The Holocaust Museum & Study Center is saddened by the latest anti-Semitic acts in Rockland County. Two political campaign signs were found this morning spray painted with orange Nazi swastikas. Acts such as these remind us that we must all embrace a no-tolerance policy of hate related speech and incidents in our midst. We must all stand behind and strongly support the spirit and practice fo tolerance and understanding in our community."
Stavisky said that while signs supporting Fried had been stolen or vandalized during the campaign, this is the first time a swastika was used.
"David Fried's commitment to working for everyone in our incredibly diverse and wonderful community may be viewed as a threat by a few hatemongers, but Rockland is better than this filth," Stavisky said.
Stavisky's press release pointed out that according to the Berman Jewish Databank, Rockland County is the most "heavily Jewish" county in the United States with over 91,000 Jewish people, more than 31 percent of Rockland's total population. Fried would be the county's first Jewish County Executive.
Fried is running against Republican Ed Day to take the place of C. Scott Vanderhoef, who is stepping down after 20 years in the office.
"Whether genuine or, as it has been in some past elections, a cynical ploy to drive votes, I condemn this incident," Day said. "My family fought the Nazis, and to use their symbolism for either such purpose is disgusting."
Rockland County Republican Committee Chair Vincent Reda described it as an "outage" and said whoever was responsible should be caught and locked up.
The Rockland Board of Rabbis issued the following statement.
"The Rockland Board of Rabbis, a coalition of Reform, Conservative, and Traditional Rabbis, strongly condemns the reported defacing of campaign signs with swastikas. We ask that this incident be thoroughly investigated by the proper law enforcement authorities.
As we mark the 75th anniversary of the tragic events of Kristallnacht later this week, let us remember that Election Day marks the time to celebrate our highest civic ideals. Hateful words, symbols and actions have no place in this process and must be condemned when they appear."