Two Oswego County students who were assigned to defend the Nazi’s “Final Solution,” the systematic extermination of Europe’s Jews during World War II, showed courage and humanity by refusing. Their actions mean that no other student in New York state will be forced to justify genocide. It is an indefensible position. New York Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia agrees. Elia said her initial response to a Syracuse.com reporter’s question about the assignment – that it might prompt critical thinking – was made before she reviewed the facts. Elia declared the assignment “wrong” – a call she should have made from the start. She has since banned future assignments along these lines.
I was a child when the Holocaust was happening, and I heard about it in elementary school. I learned that Jews were being gassed. I knew what that meant because I had seen the gas chamber in Jefferson City, Missouri, on a school trip. I though that the Jews were being gassed, two at a time, like condemned prisoners in Missouri were gassed after they had been convicted of murder or some other serious crime.
My first thought was “what crime did the Jews commit, which caused them to be gassed like common criminals”?
Almost everyone in the world today believes that the Jews were holocausted for no reason. But is that true? No, dear reader, the Jews were holocausted because they had a long history of lying, stealing and cheating. There is an old saying: After you shake hands with a Jew, count your fingers.
As a child, I lived in Osage County, which was named after a tribe of Indians, now known as Native Americans. These students were from Oswego county, which was also named after a tribe of Indians. These students should be learning about what Americans did to the Native Americans; they should be studying the “trail of tears” not what happened to Jews in other countries.