On Monday, the symbol of Nazi Germany was found on one of the wooden walls of the elevator of the Harry S. Truman Building in downtown Washington. The secretary admitted that it was a "painful reminder" that anti-Semitism is still a problem in the United States.
The Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, expressed his anger and condemned Tuesday the appearance of a swastika engraved on the wall of one of the elevators of the main headquarters of the State Department.
Authorities say they have launched an investigation into how the Nazi Germany symbol was scraped off the wooden panels of an elevator in the Harry S. Truman Building, the secure headquarters of American diplomacy in central Washington.
In a message sent to all employees of the public body from India, where he is on a diplomatic trip, Blinken defined the episode as "completely abhorrent" and said that the act of vandalism was a painful message that anti-Semitism was still a problem in the United States and the world and that it should be fought tirelessly.
"As this painfully reminds us, anti-Semitism is not a thing of the past," said Deputy State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter, citing Blinken's message.
"He remains a force in the world, even here at home. And it is abominable. It does not take place in the United States, the State Department, or anywhere else.
"We have to work hard to defend ourselves and reject it," he added.
"We know from our own history and the history of other nations that Judaism often goes hand in hand with racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and other forms of hatred," he said in a statement.
He concluded that none of these ideas should have a place in our workplace or in our nation.
Blanken said the swastika found on Monday had been removed, and the incident was being investigated.
According to Jewish tradition, Blanken, the half-brother of Holocaust survivors, has preferred to fight anti-Semitism since taking office.
And we must be relentless in defending ourselves and rejecting it, "he added.
"We also know from our own history and from the history of other nations that anti-Semitism often goes hand in hand with racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and other forms of hatred," he said in his statement.
"None of these ideologies should have a place in our workplace or our nation," he concluded.
Blinken said the swastika, which was discovered Monday, was removed, and the incident is under investigation.
The stepson of a Holocaust survivor and raised in the Jewish tradition, Blinken has made fighting anti-Semitism a priority since taking office.
Last month in Berlin, he and his German counterpart launched a new Holocaust Dialogue between the United States and Germany aimed at ensuring that the lessons of the Nazis are not forgotten.
Blinken warned at the time that the initiative was a "rallying cry for those seeking to topple our democracies."
Vandalism in a statue of George Floyd
Last month, the name of a far-right group was scrawled Thursday on a statue honoring African-American George Floyd, days after it was inaugurated in New York.
New York police are investigating a possible racist crime, said Floyd Lean, who was identified Thursday as the "Patriot Front" (Patriot Front), an American neo-Nazi group.
George Floyd became a symbol of the fight against police violence and discrimination in the United States in 2020, when he was killed by a white police officer during an arrest in Minneapolis.