Swastika found on window shade at US Embassy in Bulgaria: report
A swastika was reportedly discovered at the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria last month, one day after the international community recognized Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Axios reported on Sunday that a swastika, drawn in purple ink, was located on a window shade in the embassy in January. The symbol was initially discovered on Jan. 28.
Information regarding the situation, however, spread in Washington, D.C., on Friday, which was after the embassy dispatched a diplomatic cable to the U.S. detailing the situation, according to Axios.
The swastika was found in a secure section of the embassy, sources with knowledge of the cable told Axios, which suggests that the person who drew the insignia was able to enter the outpost.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price told Axios, “The department takes this matter extremely seriously.”
“We unequivocally condemn any instances of hate or bias in the workplace, which this appears to be,” he said.
“This is a repugnant symbol that stands for everything we as a department are standing against,” he added.
Price said the department is “committed to doing everything possible to ensure the State Department, including our posts overseas, remain a welcoming, inclusive and bias-free workplace.”
A State Department spokesperson told The Hill on Monday that the department does not “provide confirmation of or commentary on Diplomatic Security Service investigations due to privacy and law enforcement considerations.”
The spokesperson also pointed to comments made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken in July, when he said “Anti-Semitism isn’t a relic of the past. It’s still a force in the world, including close to home.”
“And it’s abhorrent. It has no place in the United States, at the State Department or anywhere else. And we must be relentless in standing up and rejecting it,” Blinken added at the time.
Last month’s discovery comes months after a swastika was found carved in an elevator at the State Department. The symbol was removed, and State Department deputy spokesperson Jalina Porter said the situation would be investigated.
President Biden in July nominated Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt to serve as U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, a position that is meant to advance American foreign policy on antisemitism and monitor antisemitism on the world stage.
Lipstadt appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for a confirmation hearing last week, more than six months after she had been nominated for the position, during which she said the increase in antisemitism across the country is “staggering.”
“Increasingly, Jews have been singled out for slander, violence and terrorism,” she said in prepared opening remarks.
“It is especially alarming that we witness such a surge less than eight decades after one out of three Jews on Earth was murdered,” she added.
Updated at 4:50 p.m.