SURFSIDE, FLA. (WSVN) - A family staying at a Surfside hotel was left stunned after finding two swastikas drawn on the mattress of the baby’s crib they requested.
Zipora Waltner and her family were staying at the Grand Beach Hotel along the 9400 block of Collins Avenue when they made the disturbing discovery.
“We requested a crib brought up to our room for my baby, and on the mattress there were two symbols, swastika symbols, drawn on the mattress,” said Waltner. “I was certain it was a swastika and still did a double take.”
Waltner, an Orthodox Jewish mother of four visiting from New York, and her husband had to explain to her children why the furniture brought in for their youngest sibling was unacceptable and appalling, especially on a weekend that included Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday.
“It was horrific. It was frightening to see,” she said.
Waltner said hotel staff were sympathetic about their complaint over the mattress.
“It’s also very hurtful because it relates to my family very deeply,” she said.
The family was eventually moved to another Grand Beach Hotel location in Miami Beach.
Speaking with 7News over the phone, hotel management declined to comment on the incident.
But Surfside Vice Mayor Daniel Gielchinsky said the town has zero tolerance for such displays of intolerance.
“Here in Surfside, we do not tolerate hatred or anti-Semitism in any form, and we take it very seriously,” he said.
Monday evening, 7News cameras captured a Surfside Police officer removing the mattress from the hotel.
Gielchinsky said the incident at Grand Beach Hotel is now a police matter.
“Surfside PD do have an active investigation. I can’t comment on an active investigation, but I know it’s ongoing. It started [Monday],” he said.
“This is something that can’t just be brushed under the rug. It has to be handled,” said Waltner. “It’s a delicate situation, and it can’t be ignored, and I am sure that they’ll handle it.”
Gielchinsky said the owner of the Grand Beach Hotel is going to be working with employees at the Surfside location to identify what could be considered anti-Semitic or hateful messages in the future.
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