Elizabeth Midlarsky, a Holocaust scholar and professor at Columbia’s Teachers College on the Upper West Side of New York, found her office vandalized with swastikas and additional anti-Semitic graffiti on Wednesday, November 28.
“I was in shock,” Midlarsky said, via the Columbia Spectator. “I stopped for a moment, because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”
The professor entered her office to find her walls covered in swastikas and an anti-Semitic slur “Yid” in bright red spray paint. The NYPD is investigating the incident which occurred in a building that requires an ID card for entrance.
Teachers College president Thomas Bailey wasted no time issuing a statement on the matter.
As you may already have heard, the office of a Teachers College faculty member has been defaced with swastikas.
We unequivocally condemn any expression of hatred, which has no place in our society. We are outraged and horrified by this act of aggression and use of this vile anti-Semitic symbol against a valued member of our community.
Please rest assured that we are working with police to discover the perpetrator of this hateful act. I also want to reaffirm the College’s commitment – and my own – to providing a respectful and welcoming environment for all, and to protecting the safety and dignity of all members of our community.
It is not the first time that Midlarsky has been the target of this kind of vandalism. In 2007, the door to Midlarsky’s office was vandalized with a swastika while anti-Semitic flyers were left in her mailbox.
But while it was not the first incident, Midlarsky admits that this time around the vandalism did get to her.
“I’m usually not a fearful person, but they got me. I’m afraid,” she told the Washington Post. “I was afraid to be alone. I was afraid to be in my office alone.”
Hopefully the perpetrators will be found and Professor Midlarsky can find some sense of peace of mind.