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By Daniella Silva
New York City police said Thursday they had opened an investigation into hate crimes after swastikas and anti-Semitic slurs were found painted in red on the walls of a Jewish professor's office. Columbia University who wrote about the Holocaust.
The NYPD said the vandalism was discovered Wednesday at Teachers College at Columbia University in Manhattan.
The student newspaper, Columbia Daily Spectator, identified the professor as Elizabeth Midlarsky, who teaches psychology and education.
"I was in shock," Midlarsky told the newspaper. "I stopped for a moment, because I could not believe what I was seeing."
Teachers College President Thomas Bailey said in a statement on Wednesday: "We are outraged and horrified by this act of aggression and the use of this despicable anti-Semitic symbol against a valued member of our community. "
Bailey said the college was working with the police to "discover the author of this heinous act". The NYPD said it did not have a suspect.
The Columbia Daily Spectator said Midlarsky's office was vandalized in 2007 when a swastika was spray-painted on his door and antisemitic leaflets were left in his mailbox.
The New York police refused to say whether she believed the two crimes were related.
The incident comes less than two weeks after a Duke University North Carolina person painted a red swastika on a mural honoring the victims of the Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre the month latest.
And last week, the Cornell Daily Sun announced that three swastikas had been found in nine days on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York State.
The FBI reported this month that hate crimes had risen more than 17% across America in 2017 – the third year in a row, the numbers have gone up.
And last month, researchers studying social media said they saw an increase in anti-Semitic publications on Instagram and Twitter before the mid-term elections.