The president of a New Jersey university has condemned a satirical article in a campus newspaper urging students to “be sure to give Hitler a little thanks.” The article was accompanied by a photo byline of a real Jewish student who didn’t write the piece, but who did lose family in the Holocaust.
The head of Rutgers University, Richard L. McCormick, slammed the article as “extremely offensive and repugnant.” A statement issued by the campus media-relations office said the school would investigate the piece as a possible bias incident.
The article — headlined “What about the good things Hitler did?” — appeared in the April 4 issue of campus humor newspaper the Daily Medium. The piece suggested that the Nazi dictator deserved credit for accomplishments such as the creation of the Volkswagen, noting, “History is subjective, people.”
Placing the word “atrocities” in quotation marks, the article also said that the Holocaust had motivated Jews to establish Israel, “an event which . . . would not have happened without the help of ol’ Adolf.”
What distinguishes the article from run-of-the-mill attempts at college cleverness is its purported writer, who is identified as Aaron Marcus. Marcus, a real student at Rutgers, denies writing the piece and says his name and image were used without permission. “I am Jewish, my grandfather is a rabbi and my grandparents actually lost family in the Holocaust,” he told a conservative blogger.
Marcus said he has filed a bias report with the university.
In his statement, McCormick noted that “federal courts extend broad protection to student media,” but called the article “particularly despicable in light of Mr. Marcus’ Jewish faith.”