Menahem Kahana / AFP - Getty Images
Workers clean graffiti from the compound of Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust museum and memorial on Monday.
JERUSALEM - Vandals spray-painted anti-Zionist slogans at Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and police said on Monday they suspect radical ultra-Orthodox Jews opposed to Israel's existence were responsible.
"Hitler, thank you for the Holocaust," one slogan read.
Police told The Jerusalem Post that one of the slogans read scrawled on the wall read: "Haredi World Community". Haredi are ultra-Orthodox extremists, some of whom regard modern-day Israel as an abomination, believing the establishment of the Jewish state must await the coming of the Messiah.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said investigators were working on the assumption the vandals were "members of the extreme ultra-religious community."
Some of the graffiti, all written in Hebrew and daubed overnight on exterior walls, accused Israel's founders of secretly encouraging the slaughter of six million Jews by the Nazis during World War II to hasten the creation, in 1948, of the Jewish state.
"The Zionists wanted the Holocaust," one slogan said.
According to The Jerusalem Post, other slogans read: "Thanks Hitler for the wonderful Holocaust you organized for us! Only because of you we received a state," "Jews, wake up, the evil regime does not protect us, it only endangers us" and "The war of the Zionist regime is not the war of the Jewish people."
Avner Shalev, chairman of Yad Vashem, said he was "shocked and dazed by this callous expression of burning hatred against the Zionists and Zionism."
Yad Vashem, a museum and memorial, was established on a Jerusalem hilltop in 1953 and is often visited by foreign leaders who place wreaths in its stark Hall of Remembrance.
Msnbc.com staff and Reuters contributed to this report.
More world news from msnbc.com and NBC News:
- Spain to seek bailout; up to $125 billion on table
- Second solo Pacific rower rescued after 50-ft waves batter boat
- UN: Smell of death at scene of massacre in Syrian village
- Women brave attack to protest Egypt harassment
- In court, Italian showgirl reveals code name for Berlusconi
- Soccer, cable TV at Gitmo? US lockup in Cuba quietly being upgraded
- Did Canada's alleged cannibal killer Luka Magnotta strike in LA?
Follow us on Twitter: @msnbc_world