A Swedish school that includes Judaic studies in its curriculum was recently the target of anti-Semitic graffiti. But after Vasa Real school in central Stockholm was defaced with swastikas and other Nazi-oriented graffiti Monday, community members responded by covering the building in love.
In a campaign to counter the graffiti attack, young members of Sweden's Liberal Party organized a "love bombing" and decorated the school with hearts and empowering statements, according to Sweden's The Local. Messages reportedly included declarations such as "love overcomes hate" and "love comes in all shapes and colors."
"We wanted the pupils at the school to be greeted by love in the morning instead of all the hate they saw on Monday," Bawar Ismail, a member of the young liberals group, told the publication.
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Gick förbi Vasa Real och kände hopp! Kärlek överallt<3 pic.twitter.com/SpZ4R0J2TG
— Elin (@elinbror) March 10, 2014
— olivia chammas (@oliviachammas) March 11, 2014
— Birgitta Ohlsson (@birgittaohlsson) March 11, 2014
— The Lemon Curd (@DarthBawar) March 10, 2014
Vasa Real was one of at least two schools in the Swedish capital that was targeted Monday. Local authorities said swastikas were also painted on a nearby high school that has a large proportion of students from ethnic minorities.
A Jewish community organization in the region believes the graffiti attack is part of a larger problem Sweden is facing.
"This is the first time there has been anti-Semitic graffiti aimed at Vasa Real and its Jewish students, but if you piece together everything else that's happening, you'll see that it's more than just individual coincidences," Stockholm Jewish Community Association head Lena Posner-Körösi said, according to The Jerusalem Post. "We have an extremely worrying development both in Sweden and Europe where right-wing groups are winning power."
Earlier this year, swastikas were spray-painted on a mosque in Stockholm, prompting police to launch a hate-crime investigation.
Meanwhile, the World Jewish Congress has urged Swedish officials to increase security around certain sites.
"With an upsurge in Sweden of violent and anti-Semitic behavior linked to political extremism, the authorities must step up protection around Jewish sites," WJC President Ronald S. Lauder said in a statement.