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March 02, 1990 - Image 61

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-03-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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7,7-41,04111E11111.1W

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1 NEWS 1



Indiana-Purdue Teacher
Suspended By College

New York (JTA) — When
students at Indiana-Purdue
University in Indianapolis
enrolled in Western
Civilization 101 this past
autumn, they didn't know
they had signed up for a
whole new version of the his-
tory of World War II and the
Nazi Holocaust.
Donald Hiner, a part-time
teacher at the university
who holds a master's degree
in history, taught his own
revisionist version of the
history of the Third Reich,
and according to his student
evaluations, he did a good
job.
"This is particularly
upsetting," said John
Barlow, dean of the Indiana-
Purdue School of Liberal
Arts. "A good teacher
teaching lies and slander is
far more dangerous than a
bad teacher," doing like-
wise.
Hiner, a historian spe-
cializing in the history of the
Protestant Reformation and
Martin Luther, was
suspended effective March 1
for teaching in his history
classes that the Holocaust is
a "myth."
Among the points made in
his classes were that "the
worst thing about Hitler is
that without him, there
would not be an Israel. None
of it makes sense unless you
look at it from the prospect
of Israel getting a lot of
wealth from this story" of
the Holocaust.
"If the Holocaust really oc-
curred," Hiner lectured,
"you wouldn't have 2.5 mill-
ion in Israel getting repara-
tions."
Although Hiner has been
teaching at Indiana-Purdue
since the beginning of the
academic year, his revi-
sionism was not brought to
the attention of university
authorities until Feb. 9,
when a student, Rene Ar-
buckle, taped one of his his-
tory lectures and brought it
to Dean Barlow, as well as
the Indianapolis press.
"It makes you wonder
about the passivity of some
of the students," said
Barlow. "I would imagine
that many of the students
are somewhat bewildered by
Hiner's approach and ac-
cepted it.
"He's pretty cagey. He
says he's offering an alter-
native view. But it's not an
alternate view; it's a vicious
lie."
Rabbi Abraham Cooper,
associate dean of the Simon

Wiesenthal Center, sees
Hiner's statements as not
just lies, but downright anti-
Semitism. "His presentation
was clearly revisionist, anti-
Israel in nature, and by ex-
tension anti-Semitic," Coop-
er said.
Since the scandal arose,
more details of Hiner's ques-
tionable past have surfaced.
In 1970, while a student,
Hiner was convicted of steal-
ing books about Hitler from
his university library. In
1980, he was found guilty of
theft. And, most recently, in
1988, a jury convicted the
educator for stealing Nazi
memorabilia.
"We did not know about
his past when we hired
him," Barlow said.
The Wiesenthal Center
praised the university for its
"swift and proper action."
Rabbi Cooper said the
school's decision "reinforces
the commitment to academic
integrity and the pursuit of
truth, while striking a blow
against bigotry which mas-
querades as scholarship."

Rituals Are
Key To Identity

Washington (JTA) — Re-
ligious routines in the home
are the key to creating Jew-
ish identity in a child, accor-
ding to Dr. Uzi Ben-Ami, a
clinical social psychologist.
"These memories stay in a
child's mind as symbols of
being Jewish," Ben-Ami, of
the Jewish Social Service
Agency in Rockville, Md.,
said at a B'nai B'rith Wo-
men panel discussion on
effective parenting.
Ben-Ami said children
become accustomed to
routines and grow up feeling
that Jewish rituals are an
integral part of their lives.
He cited research showing
memories of religious rituals
as the critical factor which
brings uninvolved Jews back
to the fold.
"They remember a mother
or grandmother lighting the
candles on Friday night," he
said, recommending that
families have a ritual of
weekly meetings to discuss
the past week's activities or
study portions of the Torah.
The discussion was part of
B'nai B'rith Women's Na-
tional Training Institute, a
five-day seminar developed
for leaders to design and
implement high-impact
family programs in their
communities.



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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

61

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