Michigan man convicted of defacing synagogue with swastikas, graffiti

Nathan Weeden, 23, of Houghton, was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud and damage religious property, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said swastikas and symbols associated with the white supremacist group The Base were sprayed outside Temple Jacob in Hancock in the Upper Peninsula. Weeden and co-conspirators named their plan "Operation Kristallnacht", which means "Night of Broken Glass" and refers to November 9–10, 1938, when the Nazis executed Jews and their homes, Synagogues, schools and business places were burnt.

"This defendant shamelessly desecrated Temple Jacob when he carved the swastika – a symbol of destruction – on the walls of its temple," Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clark of the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division said in a news release. "Such conduct is unacceptable and criminal under any circumstances, but doing so in furtherance of the self-described 'Operation Kristallnacht' conspiracy is beyond shameful."

A message seeking comment was left with Weeden's attorney.

political cartoon

Two of Weeden's co-conspirators were previously convicted in the case.

Construction of Temple Jacob was completed in 1912.

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