Photo Credit:
One of nearly a dozen swastikas found carved into the walls at off-campus housing near the University of Central Florida.

See UPDATE at the bottom of the article.

“The worst nightmare of any Jewish college student’s life” is how one student described what she experienced this past weekend, April 26-27, at an off-campus housing apartment complex right near the University of Central Florida, in Orlando.

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The story began somewhat earlier, but without realizing there would be more, student A – a 21 year old social work student who does not want her name or other identifying information used, for obvious reasons – did not put the initial incident down to an anti-Semitic vendetta. Now she does.

Three weeks ago, A’s mezuzah was ripped off her doorway. The mezuzah was broken and left on the ground in her hallway. Then this week, after Shabbat ended, A was showing one of her friends who lives several floors below her what happened with her mezuzah. That friend then told her there was more to the story.

A’s friend told her that as he was walking in from the garage on his floor, he saw a swastika on the wall. And then he and another friend saw two more swastikas. They also had been carved onto the walls, apparently using a key to make the engraving.

The next morning, Sunday, April 27 – Yom HaShoah – as A walked around the off-campus apartment complex, she found another 5 swastikas carved into walls.

Altogether, A and her friends found nine swastikas carved into the walls of their off-campus housing site.

The timing is gruesome. For someone or several people to carve swastikas into walls is beyond the pale, but to do it during the weekend of Yom HaShoah is particularly henious.

Also, because this is finals week for UCF students, the anti-Semitic acts are in yet another way offensive. At a time when all students should be able to simply focus on their studies, and not on malicious religious threats, it has a triply anti-Semitic impact.

If there is a positive angle to this story, it is that A and quite a few of her friends reported the anti-Semitic graffiti to the housing complex management and to the local police. They are continuing to pursue avenues, hoping that the culprits are apprehended and dealt with appropriately.

“I was not about to sit here and pretend like this was a joke because I and many others did not take it as a joke” A told The Jewish Press.

The police told the concerned students that they cannot classify what happened as a hate crime because a specific person wasn’t targeted. The management of the apartment complex said because they have no cameras in the hallway they won’t be able to prove who did it. The management also told A and the other students who complained that it is just vandalism and ignorance.

But that is not how A sees what happened.

“I shouldn’t have to walk into my apartment complex and see something that makes me feel unsafe. I do not know if this person knows what these marks mean, but to me they show that this individual has some form of hatred and dislike for the Jewish people.”

A UCF sophomore political science major who observed the swastika carvings also was unwilling to put down the hate messages as mere vandalism.

Living in a college setting with a diverse student population, I would hope that students would have respect for religions and cultures. This depiction of a World War II image that truly affects Jewish students and students of other cultures who were negatively impacted by the tragedy of the Holocaust is horrifying.

The management of the building is clearing away the messages – the evidence of anti-Semitism. The messages may be removed, but dealing with it as if there is no hostile significance and failing to take the matter as a serious threat will only encourage more such acts.

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61 COMMENTS

  1. Hate against African-Americans, you say??? Many African-Americans hate white people and are as racist as anyone on the planet!!! Yes…..nowadays it seems that almost everyone under the sun is racist…..but you don’t appear to understand that or choose to ignore it. And do you want to know who the most racist, intolerant people are??? Liberal demonicRATS!!! Never saw a more dangerous or hate-filled group of socialistic, communistic, nazi-like folks in my life. They spew hate like a volcano spews molten lava.

  2. Hate against African-Americans, you say??? Many African-Americans hate white people and are as racist as anyone on the planet!!! Yes…..nowadays it seems that almost everyone under the sun is racist…..but you don’t appear to understand that or choose to ignore it. And do you want to know who the most racist, intolerant people are??? Liberal demonicRATS!!! Never saw a more dangerous or hate-filled group of socialistic, communistic, nazi-like folks in my life. They spew hate like a volcano spews molten lava.

  3. Florida is a stand your ground state. All Jews should arm themselves and shoot the bastards to death and claim “stand your ground” this should teach these idiots not to mess with the best!

  4. Few years ago a similar event happened at Laurentian University in Sudbury Ontario. There were graffiti saying “Jews get out of Gaza” over a Swastika.There were other incidents. The university addressed the issue in a perfunctory manner.

  5. Things like this would not happen (as often) if our people were as outspoken and verbal about racism against us as with what happened with Donald Sterling of the LA Clippers. Within minutes of the breaking news there was an uproar by black and white America all over the country about his racist remarks about blacks, and rightly so. Basketball stars, other sports figures, sponsors, ticket-holders, TV and movie personalities were all speaking out against what he said but something like what happened with the swastikas in Florida is buried in the back of the news with no mention of it all over the nation as it should have been. The fact that this act is not being considered a hate crime by police shows how little anyone cares about anti-Semitism.

    The media does not latch on to racist incidents against Jews. The news about the registration of Jewish people in the Ukraine had its 15 minutes of fame and was quickly forgotten. If every time an act of anti-Semitism reared its ugly head and was put all over national TV and radio and we were more organized about doing something about it, things would be different today. We are not militant enough. We are not organized the way others are. We don’t hold marches and demonstrations. We don’t boycott. We don’t stand up and protest even though so many Jews are in such prominent positions in society to have the means to do something about it. We are too liberal. We do practically nothing at all about this worsening problem all over the US, Europe and the Middle east. SHAME ON US!

  6. Do not be dismayed or discouraged. Study for your future. God is telling you “DO NOT FEAR – 366 TIMES A YEAR. All evil things will be done to you; BUT REMEMBER GOD IS IN CONTROL AND HE LOVES YOU.

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