Alex writes on WSO:

Of all the horrible things that happened during ww2, the mass murder of Jews in Germany stands out because it is one of the few examples where in a society much like ours, people much like us were complicit in the killing of millions of their neighbors and friends — that is truly frightening…

Instead of approaching the issue from this angle, however, the WCJA decided to put up posters with descriptions of the violent deaths of individuals. This IS offensive, because it sends the implicit message that what distinguished the crimes against Jews from others was the age of the victims and the gruesome death method. This is not true. The ~25 million that died in Russia and the hundreds of thousands that were brutally killed in 6 weeks in China are only two examples of other groups that suffered similar, if not worse, fates in terms of the parameters on the posters. In those terms, the holocaust was accompanied in both time, location, and planning by other massacres. There is no day dedicated to remembering them, although these groups are well represented on campus.

As I said, remembering the holocaust is for many of us the only link to ww2: if you are trying to raise awareness of the brutality of the Nazis by exposing the barbarity of their actions, I find it difficult to rationalize “remembering” only their Jewish victims– never mind that many historians view the gays , Soviet POWs, and other groups the Germans murdered en masse in concentration camps to be part of the death toll of the holocaust. Members of half of my family died in ww2 as Russians, members of the other half died because they were Jews — why do I have to ignore half?

The whole point of remembering the holocaust is that everyday citizens of civilized countries, like all of us, can become complicit in a crime of this scale and horror. It is to understand WHY it happened, not to feed yourself lies about why it can’t happen again.

We still need to gather more facts about the WCJA’s Holocaust Remembrance Day posters. Questions:

1) Who put up the posters? If the WCJA was the driving force (as I have heard elsewhere), then was it a group project or just a few dedicated individuals? If so, what are their names? Or do they want to remain anonymous? I have no opinion on what answers to these questions might be considered “right” or “wrong.” I just want to know the facts.

2) Can we please see a copy of one (or more) of the posters? Why is this so hard to accomplish?

3) There is some dispute about whether or not the posters included pictures of “dead babies.” Can someone clarify? My best guess is that some posters included pictures of living children (and infants?) who were later killed by the Nazis but that there were no pictures of corpses.

4) Alex implies that all the posters featured Jews. True?

5) Where did the pictures and individual details come from? I assume that the WCJA (if they were behind the project) did not individually research 2,000 individual cases. They must have gotten the pictures/stories from somewhere else. Where?

6) Were College staff/funds used in creating the posters? Not that there would be anything wrong with that.

7) Are their rules against putting up posters on student doors? Rahul argues that there are.

Security is not going through WSO taking down your posts. (Cowardly? She did, as Ronit pointed out, identify herself). Security did, however, go about removing the Hitler posters. People were offended by them, yes. As were people offended by the Holocaust Remembrance Days posters. Security didn’t go about removing those posters. Were they unaware of those being put up? Because the only college rules that were violated were violated by both the HRD posters and the Hitler posters – unsolicited posters posted in prohibited places. I wonder if I complain about say, a poster put up which says (no offence to anyone, just the first thing that popped into my mind) “The Best a Capella show in the world, tonight at 8 in Currier Ball room”, would security remove it? I suspect not. Thus by removing the Hitler posters security and the school administration has taken a stance on what is acceptable free speech and what isn’t. If they showed respect for the rules equally, I wouldn’t care. Otherwise, they are putting themselves in a difficult position morally and legally in trying to decide what can and can’t go up.

It would be nice to get confirmation on the actual rules. And on the claim that security took down all the Mary Jane Hitler posters and none of the Holocaust Remembrance Day posters. And who ordered security to do so?

Again, I don’t have a strong feeling on what the answers to these questions “should” be. I just want to know the facts.

UPDATE: This post was edited for context and better clarity, so some of the comments no longer directly apply.

Facebooktwitter
Print  •  Email