Email incites bias reports

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UVM is currently investigating the source of an email stating that an Auschwitz crematorium was a “hoax.”

UVM police and the Office of Equal Employment and Opportunity received multiple bias reports filed by students regarding a Feb. 10 email sent to a number of students, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Annie Stevens said.

The email presents various reasons as to why a particular crematorium at Auschwitz was created post-war.

“As pointed out by many revisionists before, the four holes in the roof of the morgue of Crematorium I at Auschwitz 1 camp do not ‘fit’ the original configuration of the building. In fact, they are centered over the current post-war modified configuration of the room,” the email stated.

Students across campus received the email, Hillel Director Matt Vogel said.

Vogel and Stevens are working alongside UVM Enterprise Technology Services and the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity to determine the source of the email, Stevens said.

The group or individual that sent the email is in no part a University affiliate, she said.

The email was signed by Bradley R. Smith, the founder of the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust.

Smith has not responded to the Cynic’s request for comment.

The Hillel building on Colchester Avenue is pictured Feb. 15. Hillel represents Jewish students on campus. COLE WANGSNESS/The Vermont Cynic

[/media-credit] The Hillel building on Colchester Avenue is pictured Feb. 15. Hillel represents Jewish students on campus. COLE WANGSNESS/The Vermont Cynic

It currently appears that the email was sent specifically to Jewish students, according to an email sent Feb. 12 to the Hillel listserv by Stevens and Vogel.

Following the initial incident, Vogel sent an email to the Hillel listserv Feb. 10 to offer support and guidance to UVM’s Jewish community.

The University denounced the original email and said it has no factual validity nor a place in an academic institution, Stevens said.

“We want to be clear that a communication such as this that perpetuates anti-Semitism by falsely proclaiming inaccurate historical events has no place at the University of Vermont,” according to the Feb. 12 statement from Stevens and Vogel.

Arielle Cheifetz, a first-year member of the Hillel community at UVM, said though the email was very unsettling, she is not surprised by anti-Semitic instances on college campuses.

“[It’s different here compared to other Universities be- cause] 20 percent of the entire [UVM] population is Jewish,” she said.

While in high school, Cheifetz attended workshops preparing Jewish students going into college for possible anti-Semitic issues.

She said she feels that issues of anti-Semitism are not addressed enough at UVM.