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May 16, 2016 7:29 pm

Durham University Students’ Doors Vandalized With Swastika Graffiti, Auschwitz Reference

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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Ebsworth Building at Durham University. Students at the university found antisemitic graffiti on their homes this weekend. Photo: Durham University.

The Ebsworth Building at Durham University. Photo: Durham University.

Students at Durham University in North East England discovered antisemitic graffiti on their doors this weekend, The Jewish Chronicle reported on Monday.

According to the report, swastikas and upside-down crosses were drawn on the outside of their student accommodations, alongside the words “rape Ali,” with an arrow pointing underneath. One student house was vandalized with an SS sign and a drawing of an ape, with the words “Muslim monkey” and “Auschwitz” written on the walls. Several college boathouses were also daubed with antisemitic graffiti, according to the student newspaper The Tab.

After the targeted students complained to police and the student council, Durham University Jewish Society President Simon Zeffert said he would be “swiftly” reporting the antisemitic graffiti to the Community Security Trust, a British charity that deals with security for the Jewish community, the Jewish Chronicle said.

“It’s deeply disturbing to see these disgusting symbols being graffitied in Durham,” Zeffert said. “It doesn’t just affect Jewish people, it’s hostile to all students.”

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Rebecca Sharkey, a fourth-year student at Hatfield College, part of Durham University, and a resident of one of the homes vandalized, said this was not her first encounter with antisemitic graffiti.

“There was a swastika on the door when we first moved in, but it was faded as the estate agent tried to scrub it off,” she said. “They finally painted over it during the Easter break but obviously someone has come back and painted it on. It worries me because it’s only on a few doors so it looks as though we have been targeted by someone.”

Anthropology major Kitty Briggs added, “This is the second time that we’ve been vandalized. The first time it was penises and upside down crosses, but now it is swastikas and violent phrases. We’re not sure who it is or why our houses are targeted, but knowing that someone who would spread symbols of hate like that was so close to being in our house is a bit scary, and our house in particular always seems to be different.”

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  • Paul Leake

    The article on The Tab your journalist got this from never actually said that it was Jewish students being specifically targeted but that students generally were being targeted with swastikas, SS symbols, Islamaphobic comments and pro-rape comments (there is animosity towards perceived privileged students from some other young people). This is clearly shameful for my town in itself, but different from deliberate targeting of Jewish students.

  • Paul Leake

    The original article in The Tab never says that the students were Jewish. The original article tells us that swastikas and other Nazi signs, pro-rape comments and Islamaphobic comments have been scrawled by “twattish teens” on student and uni properties around Durham

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