March 28, 2020

Two Swastikas Found in Indiana Dorm Room

Photo from Flickr.

Two swastikas were found in a dorm room at the University of Indiana on the evening of August 5.

Michal and Shira Sasson, who are Israeli twin sisters, were moving into their dorm room at Roberts Hall when they discovered two pinkish-red swastikas on the wall of their room.

“I felt like there was a knot in my stomach,” Michal Sasson told the Indianapolis Star. “It was just very harsh, like right in your face. I just said we’re miles and miles away from home, and this is our home away from home. And at that moment, I felt even further away from my house. I just felt like I was excluded, and it was very painful.”

Shira similarly told FOX59, “You don’t see this anywhere in Israel, so coming here it was very frightening that people still feel like they can put that symbol on the wall.”

University Spokesperson Sara Galer told the Associated Press that a pink eraser was used to draw the swastikas.

The university is investigating the matter and booked a hotel room for the Sasson sisters.

“Every member of this University is a valued individual and there is never a place on our campus for expressions of hate and bigotry,” the university said in a statement. “Actions such as these displayed yesterday evening on our campus will not be tolerated by the University of Indianapolis and should not be tolerated anywhere in our nation.”

Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council Assistant Director David Sklar said in an August 6 statement, “We will continue to stay in touch with the administration and have offered to do what we can to support the students, university, and community at large as the investigation unfolds. In these difficult times, we ask that everyone continue to report hateful symbols and speech meant to intimidate or spread fear to the proper authorities.”

StandWithUs Co-Founder and CEO Roz Rothstein, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, similarly said in a statement to the Journal, “This unacceptable incident is part of a disturbing rise in anti-Semitic vandalism we’ve seen in recent years. We commend the administration for taking immediate action and opening an investigation.  This hate has no place on campus, and we hope the university will find the perpetrator soon and hold them accountable.”

UPDATE: The Anti-Defamation League’s Midwest region chapter tweeted: