Parent concerned over Champaign teacher's statements on Holocaust

Parent concerned over Champaign teacher's statements on Holocaust

CHAMPAIGN — A history teacher at Champaign Central High School has been out of his classroom for more than a week, after a parent complained about him telling students that Nazi gas chambers weren't intended to kill Jews.

That parent, Cynthia Voelkl, told The News-Gazette that she first heard about the World History teacher's eccentric Holocaust beliefs from her son on April 1, after school.

She questioned whether her son, a freshman at Central, had been fooled into believing a "very distasteful April Fool's joke."

But, after contacting the teacher the next day, Voelkl said she was disappointed to discover it was no ruse.

"I know it's a complicated issue, especially with laws about free speech, but I don't think historical facts are a matter of opinion," Voelkl said. "Teaching the Holocaust is not a part of the curriculum in this class, but he was standing there as a teacher talking to 14- and 15-year-olds. ... So I felt it was really important to bring up."

According to the timeline laid out in emails between the teacher and Voelkl, a group of students asked the teacher for his opinion about the Holocaust before class started on April 1, two days before school  let out for break.

— In an email to Voelkl, the teacher said he told the students he believed Adolf Hitler was "vehemently anti-Semitic" and that he placed Jews and others he deemed undesirable into concentration camps.

Voelkl was particularly troubled to learn that the teacher told students the camps were used for relocating — and not killing — Jews, which she expressed in an email to Principal Joe Williams.

— In a separate exchange, the teacher explained his position on concentration camps to the upset mother.

He wrote: "These concentration camps were horrific places due to cruelty from the guards, little to no food, as well as extreme overcrowding that led to the rapid transmission of deadly diseases in those conditions, such as typhus."

— In the same email, the teacher went on to tell Voelkl that what he shared with students was based on his "own study of the subject." He wrote that he believes the Nazis' placing scores of Jews in gas chambers was meant to rid them of lice, which helps spread deadly diseases.

Neither Voelkl nor her husband, Ernie Blackwelder, is Jewish. But they both believe sharing those ideas in class was not only wrong, but a cause for "concern."

School and district officials contacted by The News-Gazette wouldn't go into specifics because it's a personnel matter but they confirmed an incident occurred.

In an email exchange with Voelkl, however, Williams said he would "address" the situation.

"Your thoughts about how a teacher should be realistic in presenting history and the Holocaust is not something that should be questioned, are quite the same as mine," Williams wrote on the afternoon of April 3.

Voelkl, whose father is a World War II veteran, said she has no "animosity" toward the teacher; rather, she said, she brought the incident to public attention because she believes it's an "issue much larger than freshman social studies."

"I think it's frightening for our society to start erasing facts. Our society makes enough mistakes as it is, without trying to hide knowledge of what happened in our pretty recent past," she said. "A teacher is a person of authority, and I know, for my son, it made him doubt everything else he has been taught by this teacher.

"... There are two levels that upset me here — the fact that it was in a classroom setting, but also it's a bigger issue. It's an issue we should all pay attention to."

There's no place in any classroom for anti-establishment teachings about a historic event as tragic as the Holocaust, said Jessica Kopolow, Executive Director of the Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation.

After communicating with Voelkl about the matter, Kopolow called some of the logic the teacher used to defend his points a "pretty classic Holocaust denial argument."

"It's frustrating to hear and upsetting to hear. It's disturbing to know that in this day and age, in 2015 with all the information we have, there are still people out there who profess it didn't happen," she said. "We could even have a debate on whether you can really even have an opinion about the Holocaust. There's no question that this is something that happened."

But, saying it would serve "no one's best interest" to call for the teacher to lose his job, Kopolow said she would rather see this become an educational opportunity. The local Jewish Federation has an active Holocaust education committee whose primary work is to help teachers put together curriculum on the topic.

"I would love the opportunity to be able to provide this teacher with some additional education by using the resources we have available right here in our community," she said.

Multiple attempts to reach the teacher were unsuccessful. Also, it remains unclear whether the time he's spent away from the classroom was done so voluntarily or not.

While there has been no official word on Unit 4's response to the incident, the teacher will have the support of his union, no matter what.

In the case of terminations, the Champaign Federation of Teachers represents "everyone in the bargaining unit," its president said.

Speaking generally, Cathy Mannen said: "When representing a member, the union is ensuring that due process is fulfilled. The idea of innocent until proven guilty also applies to a person's job. The union's role is not to make a judgment about a member. We simply ensure that the member's rights are not violated."

Sections (2):News, Local
Topics (1):Education

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UofIStudent35 wrote on April 16, 2015 at 10:04 am

While I understand the controversial nature of this topic, I do not believe this is a fair depiction of what happened. As the article states, the students asked for the teacher's opinion on the subject - it does not sound like it was part of his core curriculum, nor that he was forcing the students to learn his point of view on the topic. He also reiterated that it was his opinion, based on his own research. No where in the quotes from his correspondence does it say he denied the Holocaust happened, though. Just that he disagreed with a few things that most of us are taught to believe happened.

I do not know much about the Champaign schools specifically to know if they do this as well, but I know my high school, for example, also taught things like social justice and gender identity - both of which were topics I did not wish to have taught in a high school setting, and were not taught from an objective point of view. My parents took great issue with some of the things being taught, as did I. But does that mean the public school system allows for certain controversial topics to be discussed, and not others? And if so, who is the one determining what is an "acceptable" controversial topic, and what is not?

This seems more like a situation in which the school is simply responding to pressure from the media and a few angered parents, than anything else. I wonder how many of us have spent as much time researching the topic ourselves, as this teacher says he has. I do not know all of the sources from which this Champaign teacher garnered his knowledge - but it sounds like he did not break any rules. In fact, I'd be interested to see this teacher debate the topic in an open forum, with someone who also has done their own research. Perhaps that would be a more balanced way to discuss the issue, and to learn more about why he believes what he belives.

If it had been a planned part of his curriculum, that would be one thing... But to get upset that some kids asked a question and he simply answered it, is absurd. 

spangwurfelt wrote on April 16, 2015 at 2:04 pm

What a disgusting, equivocating reply. 

Imagine a guy who thinks that pi is really the square root of ten, but who tells some students he is forced to teach otherwise in the classroom due to "political correctness." Only a damned fool would believe that guy should be teaching our kids math, and only a damned fool would say he's being persecuted for having the "wrong opinion on pi."

Cleo Petra wrote on April 17, 2015 at 1:04 pm

I agree UI student! One upset parent Is calling on everyone's emotions to target a teacher for answering a question from a student.

I know the thread caused me to do a little research on the subject. Wow, imagine that ....a probing mind and a lifelong learner! Heaven forbid schools encourage THAT kind of thinking.

 

kaw wrote on April 16, 2015 at 10:04 am

I'm still trying to pick up my jaw off the floor and breathe again.  The slaughter of 11 million people (including the 6 million Jews) was an attempt to erdicate lice?  And this teacher should be allowed to share this opinion with his young and impressionable students?  And the media is making an issue of this, forcing the school district to do something about it?  UofStudent35, have you no decency?  Whether or not the students asked the teacher for an opinion is not really the issue.  For the teacher to have shared an opinion that is so ludicrous, so irresponsible, so fictitious, with young minds leads me to believe that he should not be in a position of leadership and example--which is what we ask of our teachers. Ms. Voelkl, thank you for standing up on this issue. 

And Ms. Kopolow, you have a huge heart and more compassion than I have witnessed from one human being in a long time.  

Unit 4 school board, I know this teacher has rights by contract.  But you really need to move on this very quickly and get him out of the classroom.  If this is his opinion about one of the very worst atrocities demonstrated by man against man, I hate to think of what other damage this teacher can do if you continue to allow him to share his opinion. 

That's one thing about teaching--the effect is like throwing a pebble in a pond.  The circles just keep rippling outward, far beyond what the original stone-thrower can see.  

Midwest911Truth wrote on April 16, 2015 at 10:04 am

The Holocaust is a myth... the greatest hoax of the 20th century... and is obviously still occurring...

See one of the latest books out ... 'Breaking the Spell ... The Myth & Realty' by Nicholas Kollerstrom.

Here's a short synopsis of just one of the hundreds of factual points he brings up in supporting the Holocaust MYTH! ...

In 1941, British Intelligence analysts cracked the German “Enigma” code. This undermined the German war effort – but also threw new light on day-by-day events in the Nazi concentration camp system. Between January 1942 and January 1943, encrypted radio communications between those camps and the Berlin headquarters were intercepted and decrypted. The most reliable numbers of Jews who died come from the Red Cross. Not one is reported to have been caused by gas chambers. It reported in 1993 that the total from all camps was 296,081 combined. The Bletchley Park decrypts contradict, even refute, the orthodox “Holocaust” narrative. The revealed information does not expose a program of mass murder and racial genocide. Quite the opposite: it reveals that the Germans were determined, desperate even, to reduce the death rate in their work camps, which was caused by catastrophic typhus epidemics.

....

The internet is finally exposing the truth...

Steve Francis

NewsFollowUp.com

 

 

 

spangwurfelt wrote on April 16, 2015 at 12:04 pm

You cut and paste arguments you don't understand and can't defend. 

Your lie about the Red Cross records, for example, was debunked almost four decades ago. But fools and dupes, fools and dupes, that's the Holocaust deniers. 

IlliniwekMerica wrote on April 16, 2015 at 1:04 pm

I would love to hear your thoughts on 9/11, oh wise one.

spangwurfelt wrote on April 16, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Heck, I want to hear his thoughts on whether or not Paul McCartney really died in 1966 and was replaced by a look-alike.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on April 16, 2015 at 3:04 pm
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If you're down for a good laugh and/or facepalm, check out the website he posted.

Along with a handy-dandy "boycott Zionist companies" list, you can read all about Obama's crack cocaine-fueled gay tryst in a limo with someone named Larry Sinclair, or read about how the leading cause of cancer is aspartame.

There are so many dishonest, nefarious, and downright evil actions that our government officials and their corporate masters have actually commmitted and that are actually verifiable.  There is such a surplus of lies and misdeeds by those in power to shed light on, yet people like Steve Francis still feel the need to pull sensationalist garbage out of their butts and splatter it onto the Internet.  If it doesn't sound like a plot pulled straight from a C-list action movie, it's not flashy enough for them.  

The best course of action for dealing with this idiocy is to take a deep breath, realize that Stevie and his comrades likely have serious mental issues, and try to pity them.

spangwurfelt wrote on April 16, 2015 at 4:04 pm

Of course, by attacking him, you'll have revealed yourself to be a Mossad/Rothschild operative. At least he'll think you have.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on April 16, 2015 at 4:04 pm
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Joke's on him though, because I'm actually Illuminati.

Or maybe I'm a Freemason?  I'm going to keep him guessing.

spangwurfelt wrote on April 16, 2015 at 6:04 pm

An Illuminason! I knew it!

Marty wrote on April 16, 2015 at 5:04 pm

I bet you have some remarkable insights to that. 

Cleo Petra wrote on April 17, 2015 at 2:04 pm

History is a set of facts written in stone, right? That's why we are so grateful to Christopher Columbus for discovering this country. Otherwise those redskin heathen savages would still be running around scalping people. 

Next thing you know some crazy teacher is going to wonder aloud if Pluto isn't really a planet! 

sarcasm fully intended....

alabaster jones 71 wrote on April 16, 2015 at 10:04 am
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Although I do not agree with the views that this teacher expressed about the Holocaust, I do think it is fair to wonder why the Holocaust is typically singled out as the only genocide to be studied in K-12 curriculum.  

I don't remember hearing too much about our very own country's genocide of Native Americans in school.  How often do you think the Rwandan genocide gets mentioned in classrooms?  Also, why is the Holocaust often framed as being an exclusively anti-Jewish campaign, when close to half of those killed (an estimated five million out of eleven million deaths) were not Jewish?  Is the suffering of Jews supposed to be worse than the suffering of Poles, Gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled, or any of the other groups that the Nazis singled out for extermination?

These are the type of critical thinking questions that the teacher could pose to his class, instead of parroting conspiracy theories that have been convincingly debunked.  I do wonder, would Ms. Kopolow object to that kind of discussion?

IlliniwekMerica wrote on April 16, 2015 at 2:04 pm

I went to a small rural high school and was not only taught about all of lives lost in the Holocaust, but also learned about the Rwandan genocides (Hotel Rwanda viewing and deep discussion of its accuracy and the overall history of the conflict).  And we were all taught about the demise of the Native Americans, maybe not in specific terms of genocide, but the trail of tears and reservation systems are well taught in Illinois public high schools.  

I don't know what you're trying to get at, but all of these things were taught in public school. 

alabaster jones 71 wrote on April 16, 2015 at 3:04 pm
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It sounds like your school district's history curriculum was substantially more comprehensive than mine.  Sadly, I went to Unit 4, where quality education was (and, I imagine, still is) something of a foreign concept.

I definitely never learned about Rwanda in school.  Throughout my K-12 experience, I can only recall one instance in which the treatment of Native Americans was seriously addressed. That was during my sophomore year of high school, I believe, when we watched the film "Dances with Wolves."  

I remember being quite confused by that movie, since I had hardly heard or read anything about what this country did to Native Americans up until then.  I don't remember having any discussion about the film in class, though...that teacher was the type who would typically pop in a movie each day, give us a little worksheet with a couple questions on it, and then zone out on her computer for the rest of the class period.

However, I do remember learning about the Titanic.....in damn near every grade level from 3rd grade through early high school, in fact.  I remember having to make a Titanic-related "diorama" out of a Kleenex box in both third and fourth grade.  Talk about a waste of class time that could have been spent learning about exponentially more significant historical events.

Champaignite wrote on April 16, 2015 at 9:04 pm

I can't speak to which high school you attended or which teacher you had, but I can say with absolute certainty that the Holocaust, the genocide in Rawanda, the killing and subjugation of Native Americans as well as the murder of millions of Congolese by King Leoplod of Belgium are all taught regularly as a part of the Unit 4 high school Social Studies curriculum and have been for at least ten years and probably longer.  The sinking of the Titanic, however, is not. 

Monday wrote on April 17, 2015 at 2:04 pm

I'm curious why you think these things aren't taught?  I flipped through the nearest textbook here and find not only Rwanda, but the Armenian genocide, Pol Pot, ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia, etc.  And that's just one 10th grade textbook.

Dudesickle wrote on April 16, 2015 at 11:04 am

George Orwell wrote in his famed novel "1984", "He who controls the past controls the future".

spangwurfelt wrote on April 16, 2015 at 11:04 am

Yep -- that's why the neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists invented Holocaust denial in the first place, to wave away one of Nazism's greatest crimes to make it easier to rehabilitate Uncle Adolf in the public mind. 

They failed, but they keep on trying. 

vcponsardin wrote on April 16, 2015 at 11:04 am

This teacher arrived at this outrageous conclusion based on his "own research" into the subject?  I sincerely doubt it.  I suspect he simply looked at a handful of websites and decided that that was all one needs to do to undertake historical "research."  I not only fear for this teacher's twisted view of history, but his inability to demonstrate to his students sound historical research skills and critical analysis of evidence.  History is all about sources--validity of sources.  Anyone can google something and read a website written by anyone else.  But real history is written by trained historians who know how to do genuine research and who undertake genuine critical analysis of the evidence and then have their work reviewed and challenged by peers--history is not merely reading a few cherry-picked websites written by whomever wants to spew their perverse thoughts online.  As an example, one poster on this thread suggests reading a worthless piece of trash by British nutcase, Nicholas Kollerstrom.  Trouble with this book is that it was published by a press infamous for its Holocaust-denying literatue.  Right there, it invalidates this work completely.  If Mr. Kollerstrom was really convinced that his research was solid and wanted to be truly persuasive, then why not submit his book to a genuine academic/historical press where it would receive genuine and thorough peer review?  Oh, that's right, because the thousands of world-class historians who actually study the evidence of the Holocaust are all part of a world-wide conspiracy.  That's right... I forgot...

lucereta wrote on April 16, 2015 at 12:04 pm

As a teacher, even as a teacher of adults, I know that my opinions on controversial topics are things to be handled with care. It's my job to teach critical thinking, and yes, my opinion does get past filters; it's inevitable. But what the teacher was addressing was not a matter of opinion, but of fact.  The purpose of the concentration camps is not a question of opinion.  What one person thinks they were built for doesn't alter the purposes and motives of the men who built and ran them.  Those things are matters of historical fact

Teaching our students that many issues have different viewpoints,and that different people can hold well-supported views that are different from the students' own is important.  Teaching them that everything is a matter of opinion, and that no opinion is any better, more reasoned, and more supportable than any other is dangerous.

Molly1 wrote on April 16, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Gosh, as a non-parent, but as a taxpayer that supports the local school systems, the more I get fed up with Central.  From the legal disturbances, to harrassing priests, to wanting their HUGE new school with perks first and classrooms second, and now this.  The more I read, the more that I think that the school should be shuttered, and the teachers and staff kicked to the curb.

During school, a teacher is supposed to teach facts, not opinions.  Sure opinions may creep in from time to time, but this idea is so radical that it borders insanity.

So, the Holocaust didn't happen.  I suppose that he is a doubter that we landed on the moon or that we were attacked by terrorists on 9/11/2001?  Heck, maybe Elvis is still alive?

Yes there is a fringe element of our society that believes such things, parts of our society believe all kinds of things that are not proven by history or science, or are not generally accepted through faith.

We know that these historical things happened!

Alabaster does have a point though, that history has been negligent in teaching of the issues with the Native Americans.  While I think it is getting better, at one point their treatment was kind of swept under a rug.  History, and most other education, should be taught based on factual information, not the biased opinions of a few.  And yes, the Jews, as well as Catholics, Polish, and many others were terrorized by the Nazis.

If there was any truth to his teaching that it was used to kill lice only, then A) the idiot that developed the gas would have been locked up or killed, and B) they wouldn’t have continued the process.  Could lice have been an issue in 1940’s Germany?  I honestly don’t know.  But there are plenty of other methods of getting rid of lice, without killing the host.

spangwurfelt wrote on April 16, 2015 at 2:04 pm

I think the article may have misinterpreted the usual Holocaust denial argument. The camps used Zyklon B for two different things, fumigating clothing to kill lice, and killing people in gas chambers. Different purposes, different buildings. Holocaust deniers pretend the first didn't happen but admit the second, and that's what the teacher is arguing -- more Holocaust denial boilerplate. The camp conditions were notoriously terrible, so yes, lice were aproblem. But the clothes weren't fumigated while the prisoners were wearing them, and the company that made Zyklon B had a different formula for the kind being used to murder people.

Mr Dreamy wrote on April 16, 2015 at 2:04 pm

No expressing opinions in schools! Schools are the wrong place for differing opinions! When someone has a "wrong" opinion, fire him, don't bother using other opinions and facts to show someone he is wrong!

These young minds can't handle discourse. Spoon feed them.

And keep your opinions about global climate change to yourself. And evolution, too.

spangwurfelt wrote on April 16, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Absolutely right! I mean, history teachers should be able to teach any damn thing that comes to mind, no matter how stupid! They should teach that Roger Ebert won the Nobel Prize in medicine! Six times! They should teach that Neil Armstrong was a three-toed sloth! They should teach that in the 1790s George Washington had a concubine named Hillary Clinton, and that in the 1990s Hillary Clinton had a concubine named George Washington!

I mean, ALL historical facts are really only opinions, and all opinions are equally valid, aren't they? How dare anyone try to suggest otherwise!

 

Jen R wrote on April 16, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Whether the Nazis killed people in gas chambers is not a matter of opinion. There are two possibilities: A) it happened, or B) it didn't. This teacher, in picking B, is getting the history test question wrong -- so badly wrong that scrutiny is warranted, especially since he is a history teacher.

fourtwoone wrote on April 16, 2015 at 2:04 pm

The teacher was ASKED his opinion, he did not give it while he was teaching nor did he force them to believe what he said when speaking his opinion.  But this is the problem with Unit 4. They don't know how to have their teachers and administrators backs and this is why we have such a high turnover rate.  I cannot believe that this is being brought to the level of being a newspaper article.  Now teachers cannot communicate and form relationships with students for fear that their opinions may be used against them.  I doubt very much that this teacher is a racist, quite frankly, the fact that he is working at Central tells me he is far from racist.  

spangwurfelt wrote on April 16, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Here here! The teacher is the real victim here! The six million Jews whose murder he denies -- why, high time they got over it and came back to life already, seeing how their death is only an opinion.

 

fourtwoone wrote on April 16, 2015 at 10:04 pm

When did he deny that they died? He said he didn't believe they put them in the gas chamber to kill them. We know they died. Saying he believed it wasn't done on purpose isn't the same as denying it happened.  Did we read the same article? 

spangwurfelt wrote on April 17, 2015 at 6:04 am

The whole point of denying the existence of the gas chambers is to lower the number of Jews who were murdered. That's why people like Ernst Zündel - author of "The Hitler We Loved and Why" - have been doing it for four decades.

And saying the murder wasn't done on purpose is saying that it wasn't murder. It's a very important distinction. Those who are, after the fact, trying to spiff up Ol' Uncle Adolf's reputation are trying to get him off the hook on the murder charge with a manslaughter plea bargain. Historians reject that plea bargain, and they should.

That's what makes Holocaust denial different from other kinds of wack conspiracy theories that people like Steve Francis promote: Holocaust denial has been from the beginning a way to attack the Jews and defend the Führer. It's got antisemitism baked into it, right into its bones, in a way that the other conspiracy theories don't.

And that's why it's not merely a case of, as the guy says so disingenuously above, "Just that he disagreed with a few things that most of us are taught to believe happened." It's about getting Uncle Adolf off the hook, even if only partially.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on April 16, 2015 at 3:04 pm
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How does Unit 4 not "have his back?"  Has there been any indication or statement yet that the teacher will be disciplined by Unit 4 for his comments?

I think he should be given another chance.  He used terrible judgment though, no doubt.  Why jeopardize your career and reputation like that?  He had to have known that this kind of backlash was possible, if not probable.

sigmamike wrote on April 16, 2015 at 5:04 pm

This is YET another reminder to pull your kids out of the public school system as soon as you are able. They have become leftist indoctrination centers, nothing more. 

alabaster jones 71 wrote on April 16, 2015 at 5:04 pm
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In which confused corners of your mind are Holocaust deniers "leftists" ?

fourtwoone wrote on April 16, 2015 at 10:04 pm

We don't protect our teachers. We don't give them credit when it is due, but they are the first ones blamed if something doesn't go right. Unit 4 fires teachers faster than they hire them. Where is the due process? They consistently make excuses to bump teachers and administrators out of positions. Unit 4 is the example of what not to do when running a school district.  Their favorite line is "personnel matter". I wonder how much they are paying the district attorney to tell them to say that. 

Cleo Petra wrote on April 17, 2015 at 2:04 pm

I agree fourtwoone. He or she is going to turn into a teaching robot, reading the standard text aloud and giving the appropriate quizzes downloaded off the textbook maker's website. That way s/he won't offend any random parent who clearly knows more about history, adolescent development and education than a professional.

And we will continue to wonder why young adults can't use critical thinking skills or function in the workplace.

Midwest911Truth wrote on April 16, 2015 at 6:04 pm

The real issue here IS education ... based on the ability to collect and analyze scientifically obtained facts.  Holocaust believers will not allow this to happen.  As soon as they detect a Holocaust 'revisionist' they brand him a denier and launch their usual insults...etc.  They will not EVER take it to the point of letting science be part of the conversation because they know they'll lose.

I've compiled an interactive spreadsheet (with live filtering and sorting)with nearly 2000 supporting arguments based on science that not only expose the Holocaust as a hoax, but also link the Bush Crime Family (via Prescott Bush...Harriman and friends) to the JFK assassination and 9/11...I'm sure you guys will have a field day with this... but it will take you months to try to debunk all 2000 arguments.

here's the link http://newsfollowup.com/911_truth_search_engine_wtc_pentagon_pa_zionist_neocon_nuclear_demolition_cancer_victims.html ... I have the full support of Professors Fetzer, Barrett and Kollerstrom on this research...and have over 400 subscribers to this YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0It_Q2qh6JQMLwKw1nB8Bg

Good luck,

Steve Francis

NewsFollowUp.com

spangwurfelt wrote on April 16, 2015 at 7:04 pm

Here's a simple one, Francis. That figure you quoted above -- 296,081. Do you know *which* part of the Red Cross that comes from, which organization, and what the figure actually represents? Hint: not what Fetzer and Kollerstrom told you it was. I'm guessing you don't know; the folks like Fetzer and Kollerstrom who are jerking you around don't want you to know. Because if you knew, then you'd know that Fetzer and Kollerstrom are trying to pull a fast one on you, because they think you're too credulous to actually dig in and discover it.

While I'm at it, Jim Fetzer thinks NASA faked the moon landing, and that the Beatles faked Paul. Is he right?

ForReal wrote on April 16, 2015 at 9:04 pm

Kudos to this parent for bringing this to the public's attention. As a history teacher in another area school, this is appalling that this person is in the classroom. This teacher should be far from a history classroom, as his "opinion" is factually incorrect and disgusting. 

 

read the DI wrote on April 16, 2015 at 11:04 pm

Wow, 400 subscribers?!? that's almost the same number of people who have seen my naKed butt!

I'm guessing you voted for Debbie frank for mayor.

Rocky7 wrote on April 17, 2015 at 3:04 am

Perhaps the following statement by the director of the FBI will place this issue into a relevant context:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-scariest-lesson-of-the-holoca...

'nuff said

Glock21 wrote on April 17, 2015 at 5:04 am

At least she's super polite about why she did lots of personal research to opine to her public school students why she adhere's to factually wrong opinions in opposition to all the evidence, peer reviewed and first hand available, in denying that the holocaust was intentional and the Nazis didn't do that on purpose. So like good polite midwesterners we're going to let her slide even though we all know that if she was a geology teacher saying that, sure earthquakes are terrible things, but they're caused by girls not dressing conservatively, or a biology teacher that admits cancer is bad, but it's really lack of faith that kills you, etc.. how would this stand?

The nonsense about Auschwitz gas chambers being delousing internment camp necessity and not being part of a well documented and systemic means to a policy of exterminating undersirables and Jes in particular, but rather a harmless sidenote in a desperate and cruel time where lots of people died tangentally due to disease and harsh authoritarianism in general is notorious fodder on neo-nazi and nazi-apologist revisionist history websites and pamphlets to promote holocaust denialism.

It's pretty dern safe to say that a history teacher in an American high school lacks the constitutional right to "free speech" to hold a job teaching childeren her opinions on holocaust denial when that right is primarily for being able to hold and express those opinions with the full expectation that you can be ostracized by everybody else and stands in opposition of being qualified for holding a job where "having personally researched a topic" means people who hire you expect you not to be ignorant about it. Otherewise we'd have geology teachers that opine, through much personal research, that earthquakes are indeed terrible things, but caused by girls not dressing conservatively. Or biology teachers, through much personal resarch, blaming cancer on not having enough faith in Jesus, etc.

You can be an idiot on your own time, but if you truly believe you can use magic to fix a car, the auto shop that employs you will fire you. On your own time you can preach the gospel of unicorn engine repair, but you don't have the right to expect other people to have you de-theten their carbuerator. 

Glock21 wrote on April 17, 2015 at 5:04 am

Smile Politely addressed this very same story earlier this month with the full e-mail transcripts with the holocaust denial, very politely espoused, but holocaust denial all the same between the teacher and parent... and the teacher doubled down on the denialism: http://www.smilepolitely.com/splog/central_history_teacher_claims_nazi_gas_chambers_were_not_used_for_killing/

sniperjack wrote on April 17, 2015 at 9:04 am

As Hillary says, "What difference at this point does it make?" Oh, wait. That was Benghazi. Never mind.

Bulldogmojo wrote on April 17, 2015 at 10:04 am

 

Yet another reason I'm glad we home schooled our son. To keep him away from teachers who advance their own history revisionist BS, and especially religious nonsense that is leaking into the public school system.

pilot37 wrote on April 20, 2015 at 7:04 pm

The professor was asked a question, by students, on his opinion regarding a historical event, and he had every right to reply as he did. The truth does not fear investigation -only lies do. This man stated his views on what actually occured. There is much evidence to back him up. Many well-researched books and videos are available, that demolish the evil hoax of homicidal gas chambers being used in forced-labor camps.  Unfortunately, zionists have a lot riding on this myth -it is primarily used to justify the illegal takeover of Palestine, and murder and abuse ( to this day ) of its inhabitants. Zionists and their minions will ruthlessly try to crush any dissenters. People are waking up, though, and that's a great thing. Thank God for USA's First Amendment and free-speech. 

 

ForReal wrote on April 22, 2015 at 11:04 am

Sounds like you (pilot37) and this history teacher have a lot in common. Why is Germany keeping the "hoax" going by putting a 93 year old on trial for murder for his role at Auchwitz? I guess all the surviving Jews that watched their families murdered are all in on the "hoax" together? 

Your first amendment right gives the right to spout off if you want, but it also gives me the right to call your opinion on this issue what it is -- anti-semitic and disgusting.

Sid Saltfork wrote on April 21, 2015 at 12:04 pm

During Passover, there are always a rash of anti-Jewish crimes that happen no other time of the year.  Campus centers defaced, hateful letters sent to students, statements made by civil servants, etc. are happening at major educational institutions across the country all at once.  It has become the most anti-semitic time of the year.  After all of these years of education on the establishment of the state of Israel, these criminal acts continue.  

DMaul wrote on April 21, 2015 at 6:04 pm

It's apparently ok to run over toddlers with tanks. However, as soon as an enlightened person passes a knowledge-filled remark about holocaust, suddenly everyone's like "oh cwap!". Either a certain group of people never learned any lesson from the holocaust, or holocaust didn't happen. Victims never victimize others. It's relieving to know not everyone has Fox at home in C-U...

afrankel wrote on April 22, 2015 at 10:04 am

The teacher should read today's news: 

Former Auschwitz Guard Describes Camp in Chilling Detail

 http://www.kaaltv.com/article/stories/S3772232.shtml?cat=10151

N.Kollerstrom wrote on April 23, 2015 at 3:04 am

 

This is an inspiring story – a US teacher, asked in class about the most sacred belief in our modern world, shares with his pupils a bit of Truth - and does not get sacked. So, freedom of thought and speech is still allowed.  My book Breaking the Spell The Holocaust Myth and Reality gives an up-to-date assessment of the great story:  www.BreakingTheSpell.us These are the Last Days of the Great Lie.

“Your lie about the Red Cross records,” – correction, the International Red Cross visited the camps throughout the War and their bulky report is reliable and primary-source data.

VC pons says “a worthless piece of trash by British nutcase, Nicholas Kollerstrom” - apparently  because he reckons I picked the wrong publisher – but my US publisher was Germar Rudolf the brilliant German scientist, I could not have had anyone better.

Mr Spang avers that Revisionism (which he calls ‘Holocaust denial’) is a  “way to attack the Jews and defend the Führer.” Revisionism is a quest to ascertain what actually happened in WW2, eg in the German labour camps during WW2. It’s about real history, I don’t see why it should be viewed in such hateful terms as he describes. 

spangwurfelt wrote on April 24, 2015 at 1:04 pm

oh look, Nick Kollerstrom has been been googling himself to plug his book. 

Kollerstrom, unfortunately you're trying to pull a bit of a shell game, playing fast and loose with what constitutes the Red Cross records. It's been a denier dodge that the Bad Arolson records of the ITS are somehow a complete census. The ICRC has been clear in explicitly refuting that claim since February 1978, a good decade and a half before the denier Rudolf repeated it so moronically, and almost forty years before you fell into the same trap.

And in that same 1978 statement, they explicitly recognize that Holocaust denial is the product of the extremist far right. Which either makes you -- a Holocaust denier, a title you've earned not from me personally alone but the entire community of historians-who-are-not-nutbars -- an extreme right winger yourself, or a leftist so dumb you're promoting far-right ideology without knowing it. 

[Edit]: Also, what kind of demented freak stalks the family of those killed in a terror attack to pester them into supporting your sick conspiracy theories?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1025385/Relatives-fury-BBC-pays-...

spangwurfelt wrote on April 23, 2015 at 6:04 pm

While we're at it, turns out that Germar Rudolf, the "genius" Kollerstrom refers to, is just a lying dog who makes up sources out of whole cloth whenever he feels he needs to.

http://www.holocaust-history.org/denial/nym.shtml

That's the level of "scholarship" Kollerstrom finds so impressive. Just out and out, straight up, full-tilt, galls to the wall lies. Welcome to the world of Holocaust denial. Clowns, charlatans, wackbirds, Jew-haters, and a history teacher at Central.

dtickmd wrote on April 27, 2015 at 10:04 pm

So a history teacher in my home turf of Central Illinois has decided that Nazi concentration camps used the poison Zyklon-B to BENEFIT the camp inmates by eradicating lice, rather than using it in a precisely organized and executed effort to rid Europe of Jews and other "undesirables". My own father proudly wore a United States Army uniform and was shipped to Europe by Uncle Sam to risk his life in the effort to rid the world of the scourge of Naziism. He served as a military interrogator, who together with his colleagues, gleaned piece by piece, fact by fact, and element by element, the specific details of the workings not only of the death camps themselves, but the global Nazi "final solution" as well. Throughout the rest of his life my father passed on no opportunity, no matter how small or far from home, and spared no effort to teach young people in our schools what he learned from his military and intelligence service on behalf of our country. His greatest fear was that a coming generation, removed in time from those dark days and that noble struggle, would distort or worse yet outright forget the dangers and evil that so many brave young Americans sacrificed and died to defeat. I regret to suggest that much sooner than he ever expected, my father is probably rolling in his grave.

For the "revisionists" (read Holocaust deniers) and the doubters, including those whose comments not only defile the comments section of this page, but serve as an affront and personal insult to all those whose familiy members and loved ones have worn the uniform, shed blood in defense of this country, and bravely and selfelessly bore whatever sacrifices were asked of them in those days and those times, I offer the following evidences that what both they and this disrespectful and shallow minded teacher propose is sheer, unmitigated folly.

My father served as a military intelligence attache to the United States 7th Army which liberated Dachau. My father's unit was responsible for drafting the army's formal analysis of the Dachau concentration camp, now declassified, copy of which is readily available in its original photocopied form online. CAUTION: The report is rife with graphic photographs, not for the easily upset.

http://www.paperlessarchives.com/FreeTitles/DachauOSSSection7thArmyReport.pdf