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Hundreds of Swastikas Spray-Painted in Illinois Cemetery



Residents of a West Illinois town woke up Saturday morning and found hundreds of swastikas in a cemetery.

An estimated 200 tombstones, two family mausoleums, and another structure on the Sunset Hills Cemetery at Glen Carbon were marked with the hate symbol, said an employee of HuffPost Cemetery.

"It's just unfortunate that they're doing it this time of year because it's Memorial Day, which is a special day for us," said Superintendent Mark Johnson to the News Democrats.

Law enforcement officials arrested a 34-year-old white man as part of their investigation, the Edwardsville Police Department said on Facebook late Saturday afternoon

The Glen Carbon Police Department, which conducts the investigation, did not respond immediately to a request for comment ,

Like many American cemeteries, Sunset Hills has held annual Memorial Day services for former members of the military buried there. There are more than 1

,600 people in Sunset Hills, one employee told HuffPost.

The cemetery is still planning to hold its Memorial Day service.

Police believe the Vandalism occurred between 1 am and 3 am According to Fox2Now, a local branch, it's local time.

Cemetery employees were photographed until Saturday afternoon to wash the gravestones, and Fox2Now reported that they plan to work until everything is tidied up.

Glen Carbon is located about 20 miles east of St. Louis.

The Anti-Defamation League is concerned about a possible increase in hate crimes across the country. A February report from the group showed an increase in anti-Semitic incidents of 60 percent between 2016 and 2017 – the second highest percentage that ADL has encountered since the 1970s.

In an interview by St. Louis Public Radio on Hatred and White supremacy in the area, Washington University University sociology professor David Cunningham, who studies hate groups, noted that the Conservative Citizens Council has its seat in St. Louis. The Southern Poverty Law Center has called the council a white Suprematist group.


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