Police in Birmingham are treating as a hate crime the discovery of “a number of antisemitic posters” including one of Adolf Hitler captioned “Hitler was right” at the University of Birmingham.
The posters were discovered by Students’ Guild Education Officer Izzy Lenga who tweeted: “For those who don’t think antisemitism is a serious issue, these were plastered over campus on Tues”.
We immediately contacted the police who have confirmed that they have now removed a number of antisemitic posters found on campus at the University of Birmingham. This is a worrying and disturbing thing to see at a British university at a time when the number of recorded antisemitic incidents is rising, and when Jewish people are actively being targeted and killed in Europe and beyond. We have heard from a Jewish student organisation that they’ve had students express their discomfort and alarm at seeing a poster of Hitler suggesting support for Nazism. The reaction of the police and university must be serious and tough in order to reassure Jews and non-Jews alike that this will not be tolerated. The perpetrators of his hate crime must be found and brought to justice with zero tolerance.
West Midlands Police told Campaign Against Antisemitism that the posters have now been removed and will be forensically examined to try and identify who was responsible. Officers will also be trawling CCTV and speaking to students and staff from the university as part of their investigation.
Sergeant David Cotter from West Midlands Police told Campaign Against Antisemitism: “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.”
Deborah Walker, Head of Communications at the University of Birmingham told Campaign Against Antisemitism: “We unreservedly condemn racist graffiti on campus. We have reported the matter to West Midlands Police and are working with them to identify those involved. 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.”
If anyone has any information about who is responsible for the posters they should call Sergeant Cotter from Birmingham South Police on 101.
— Izzy Lenga (@izzyjengalenga) October 29, 2015