A Jewish University of Birmingham student faced vile abuse after highlighting an Adolf Hitler poster she said was “plastered” over the campus.
Police are investigating comments aimed at Izzy Lenga after she tweeted an image of the poster, which showed Hitler and the phrase: “Hitler was right”.
The 21-year-old theology student said she had been “bombarded” with anti-Semitic abuse and threats.
Miss Lenga, originally from London, said: “The backlash to my tweet has been extremely nasty and deeply upsetting.
“Bombarded by anti-Semitic hate, abuse and threats over the past week, my Twitter feed has been a constantly terrifying read.
“I am worried about the rise of anti-Semitism across Europe and the world, and at points I am worried for my safety and that of my peers, but I am most concerned for the Jewish student community.
“Many Jewish students will now, and completely understandably, be apprehensive to speak up publicly about the anti-Semitism they may be facing, for fear of a similar backlash.”
Her ordeal began when she tweeted an image of the poster on October 29.
She wrote: “And for those who don’t think anti-Semitism is a serious issue, these were plastered over campus on Tuesday.”
But comments from internet trolls included: “Another oven magnet crying about a piece of paper again?” and: “I bet you put this up yourself, you just want more victim points.”
Miss Lenga said: “This is not the first anti-Semitic attack that I have witnessed on my campus while a student at Birmingham, and regrettably, I do not anticipate it will be the last.
“There have been swastikas and Islamophobic graffiti around campus before, for example.
“Despite all this, the support from a wide range of other sources has been immense.”
The university said it “unreservedly condemned” the posting of racist graffiti on campus.
A spokeswoman said: “Our university is a community of 150 nations and we are proud to be situated in a vibrant multi-cultural city.
“Discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated.
“We are therefore actively working with a range of groups to bring people together and ensure that our university is a place where diversity is celebrated and everyone plays their part in creating a vibrant and welcoming community.”
Sgt David Cotter, of West Midlands Police, said: “We take reports of hate crime extremely seriously and are working closely with the university to make it a safe place for everyone who works and studies there.
“This kind of behaviour is offensive and completely unacceptable and our investigation to identify those responsible is already progressing.”
A spokesman for the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism said: “This is a worrying and disturbing thing to see at a British university at a time when the number of recorded anti-Semitic incidents is rising, and when Jewish people are actively being targeted and killed in Europe and beyond.
“The perpetrators of this hate crime must be found and brought to justice with zero tolerance.”
Miss Lenga, who is also education officer for the university’s Guild of Students, has also received strong support – and even a Twitter hashtag #IStandWithIzzy.
Jack Thorpe-Baker wrote: “#IStandWithIzzy for her strength and bravery in the face of disgusting racist abuse.”
Luciana Berger, a Labour MP who has also been subjected to anti-Semitic abuse, also condemned the comments as “vile” and “dark”.
source: Birmingham Mail