Columbia University Holocaust scholar's office vandalized with swastikas

A Jewish professor and Holocaust scholar at Columbia University in New York on Wednesday said two swastikas and an anti-Semitic slur were spray-painted on the walls outside her office.

Elizabeth Midlarsky said she was heading into her office at Columbia Teacher’s College around 1 p.m. when she found the hate symbols scrawled across the walls in red paint, the Columbia Daily Spectator reported. A derogatory word was also written on the wall.

“I was in shock,” Midlarsky told the paper. “I stopped for a moment, because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

“I was in shock. I stopped for a moment, because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

— Elizabeth Midlarsky, professor of psychology and education, Columbia Teacher's College

“It’s very bad. I just hope it’s not someone within the TC community,” Katrina Webster, a master’s student, told the New York Daily News. “The goal of education is so that something like this doesn’t happen.”

Midlarsky was a victim of a similar incident in 2007, when a swastika was spray-painted on her office door and anti-Semitic flyers dropped in her mailbox, according to the Daily Spectator. The vandals had also written her name and crossed it out, the Daily News reported.

“The goal of education is so that something like this doesn’t happen.”

— Katrina Webster, master's student

While police are continuing their investigation into who committed the vandalism, Teachers College president Thomas Bailey issued a statement.

“We unequivocally condemn any expression of hatred, which has no place in our society,” the statement said. “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.”