The office of Professor Elizabeth Midlarsky of Columbia’s Teacher’s College was vandalized with two spray-painted swastikas and an antisemitic slur on Wednesday.
“I opened the outer door and almost passed out,” Midlarsky, a Jewish Holocaust teacher and researcher, told CNN about the moment she saw the red swastikas. The 77-year old Midlarsky was so shocked that university staff had to help her home.
“I was so shaky, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it,” Midlarsky confessed to CNN. Midlarsky added that she believes the incident is connected to an “upsurge in antisemitism that we’ve seen in recent years.”
This is not the first time that Midlarsky’s office had been vandalized. In 2007, a swastika was spray-painted on her door and antisemitic flyers were left in her mailbox.
“We unequivocally condemn any expression of hatred, which has no place in our society,” Thomas Bailey, the president of Columbia’s Teachers College said in a statement Wednesday. “We are outraged and horrified by this act of aggression and use of this vile antisemitic symbol against a valued member of our community.”
The NYPD has launched an investigation into the incident, but the perpetrator is unknown.
(Image by Rya Inman – Columbia Spectator)