A New York teacher has come under fire for giving an assignment asking students to debate the final solution from the Nazis' point of view, The Algemeiner reported.
In the assignment, titled “Top Secret: Memorandum for Senior Nazi Party Members,” students were asked to recreate the debate that took place at the infamous Wannsee Conference, in which Nazi leaders agreed on what they determined to be the most efficient and cheapest method of carrying out their campaign of genocide against the Jewish people, and to explain the “Nazi point of view.”
The Anti-Defamation League has complained to the commissioner’s office and the school district about the assignment.
Etzion Neuer, an official at the Anti-Defamation League’s New York regional office, told The Algemeiner that he did not believe that the teacher who handed out the assignment had malicious intent, but stated that the assignment was still “grossly inappropriate.”
According to Neuer, two students contacted the ADL to convey their discomfort over the assignment.
The students, neither of whom are Jewish, said that they "felt weird" and were "disturbed" by the assignment, which was given to them by their teacher, Michael DeNobile, in February. They contacted the ADL when they felt that the school administration was not taking the appropriate steps to deal with their complaint.
Although the teacher stated in the assignment that the purpose was not to make students more sympathetic to the Nazis, but to help the students to think outside of their comfort zone, Neuer said that “there are so many controversial and worthwhile topics that could have been used instead of this.”
The students who brought the assignment to the attention of the ADL stated that they had heard other students expressing opinions sympathetic to the Nazis after being given the assignment. One student was comfortable making Nazi salutes while another expressed disappointment at not being in the half of the class that was assigned to argue in favor of the final solution. When asked why he wanted to argue in favor of the genocide of the Jewish people, he answered: "because Heil Hitler, duh."
The Simon Wiesenthal Center called the assignment "an act of anti-Semitism” and demanded that it be removed and that the teacher apologize for issuing it.