Video captures suspect with anti-Semitic flyer at temple

Courtesy Marblehead Police DepartmentA still from surveillance video police say shows the person responsible for posting Holocaust-denial flyers last week at Temple Emanu-el in Marblehead.

MARBLEHEAD — Police have released surveillance video from Temple Emanu-El on Atlantic Avenue that shows the moment when a suspect left Holocaust-denial flyers on the property.

The anti-Semitic flyers were found Monday morning, July 15, with one attached to the temple's welcome sign and another out back.

The temple alerted police and the Anti-Defamation League.

Meanwhile, the temple's surveillance cameras caught the individual in the act around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 14. 

In the surveillance video, one view shot at 9:28 p.m. shows what appears to be a man wearing shorts, white sneakers, a dark T-shirt and a ball cap attaching something to the welcome sign, then heading around to the side of the building. The suspect appears to take a photo of the welcome sign before leaving.

Another view, taken about a minute earlier, shows the same man walking with what appears to be a piece of paper in his hand across the front parking lot toward the welcome sign. Another view shows the man running through the right side parking lot toward rail trail in the back.

"We want to get as much visual on that to find this person," police Chief Robert Picariello said in a brief interview.

The Anti-Defamation League, which tracks hate crimes and other anti-Semitic incidents, attributed the hate literature to a neo-Nazi white supremacist Daily Stormer Book Club. There were similar incidents in Washington and Texas, according to Robert Trestan, the ADL’s New England director.

Rabbi David Meyer of Temple Emanu-El said he spoke to the congregation on Friday evening during services expressing gratitude toward the community, leadership, selectmen, townsfolk and others who expressed solidarity with the temple.

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, Meyer said his talk paralleled conspiracy theories about the moon landing being seen as a fraud and taking place inside a TV studio, with the much worse conspiracy theories that seek to deny the Holocaust ever happened. 

Holocaust denial seeks to dismiss the genocide of 6 million Jewish people in Europe during World War II, and promotes hateful and anti-Semitic tropes that there is a Jewish desire to control the minds, finances and politics of the world, Meyer said. These tropes laid the groundwork for the Holocaust, itself. Holocaust denial also seeks to delegitimize Israel.

"There are a lot of reasons why Holocaust denial is so insidious," Meyer said.

 Police are asking that if you recognize this individual in the video to call Marblehead police detective Theresa Gay at 781-631-1212.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @TannerSalemNews. 

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