A first year student at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, has contacted the ADC after an upsetting incident at class in which a fellow student nominated Schindler’s List as their favourite comedy.
The incident took place last week during an online lecture when at the end of the class the teacher asked students to post their favourite comedy on a virtual board.
While some nominated Bridesmaids, Monty Python, Modern Family and Mr Bean, one of the students wote Schindler’s List.
A video of the incident shows that the lecturer, seeing the title crop up, did not respond or admonish the student for that selection.
Following the lecture, the 18- year old student wrote to the lecturer in charge expressing her shock. The student demanded that the lecturer issue some form of statement regarding the incident when class resumes, and was told that her request would be considered.
The victim told ADC Chairman, Dr Dvir Abramovich,
“I am shaken and quite shocked. As a Jewish student in the class I felt confronted and upset that a student could use this platform to go to such an extent to display their anti-Semitism.
I thought about speaking but did not want to be subjected to any further attacks as the student was anonymous.
I was disappointed that the lecturer did not react or respond to the commends made.”
Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), issued the following statement:
“Vulgar, disrespectful and cruel don’t even come close to describing this comment.
Most people would be gasping in disbelief that a university student had no qualms about openly labelling the extermination of six million Jews and the horrific suffering of the victims and survivors as comedy.
If anyone thought that the abuse and cheapening of the Holocaust in Australia has reached its limits, think again.
And while I can’t read into the heart of this young person, many would be right to conclude that they either are Holocaust deniers or are so stone-hearted to think that making light and joking about the gas chambers and mass murder is appropriate.
It is also concerning that this hideous comment was not immediately condemned and that they were left on the board, indirectly giving them some form of legitimacy.
What we ignore we empower, and no Jewish student should have to endure such distress.
This episode demonstrates that we have a big job ahead of us in terms of educating people, young and old, about the true impact and the unparalleled horrors of Holocaust, and why it crucial to challenge anyone who seeks to diminish history’s darkest period.”