The memorial to lynching victims, adjacent to the Leo Frank memorial on Roswell Road near Interstate 75 in Marietta, has been repaired and reinstalled.
The memorial had been forcibly toppled in February, detaching the engraved black granite slab from the steel pins and pedestal to which it was attached. No one has been charged in connection with the vandalism.
The lynching marker reads:
In respectful memory of the thousands across America, denied justice by lynching:
Victims of hatred, prejudice and ignorance.
Between 1880-1946, ~570 Georgians were lynched.
Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation
Rabbi Steven Lebow, Temple Kol Emeth
The memorial — 36 inches tall, 14 inches wide at its base and six inches in depth — was installed in December 2018, three months after the rededication of the Leo Frank memorial. The Frank marker had been removed four years earlier by the Georgia Department of Transportation because of road construction.
It consists of a metal plaque on a pole anchored in a grassy area carved out by the GDOT.
Frank, a Jewish factory superintendent, was lynched on Aug. 17, 1915, in a long since built-over woods along what now is Freys Gin Road. Frank was convicted in 1913 of murder in the death of 13-year-old Mary Phagan, who worked at the Atlanta pencil factory where he was the manager.
Cobb County residents, angered by Gov. John Slaton’s commutation of the death sentence, kidnapped Frank from the state prison in Milledgeville, drove him to the woods and hanged him from a tree.
Frank’s is the only known lynching of a Jew in the United States.
By some estimates, as many as 95 percent of the lynching victims in Georgia were African Americans. The memorial uses the “~” figure because the number of documented lynchings may be incomplete.
A small piece of damage remains visible on the lynching memorial’s upper right corner. The benefactor of the repairs, Jerry Klinger, a 74-year-old retired financial services executive from Rockville, Md. — and founder of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation — also funded the memorial’s creation and installation. JASHP has placed historic markers at more than 110 locations in the United States alone and others in a half dozen countries.