How ironic on finding this video while the Deaflympic Games is taking place presently in Sofia, Bulgaria, too.
We need research taking a look at what was going on with the so-called Deaf Olympics. There were international games for the deaf in Stockholm throughout the 1920s but in particular in 1935, and then in 1939 after there was almost a boycott of the regular Olympics in 1936, yet deaf people throughout the world participated in the Olympics in Stockholm. And of course, the Germans sent a team. There were no Jews, there were no Jews on the team but there was a team that went to the games in Stockholm, and of course, as you can imagine, the Germans won the most medals.
I apologize to the interpreters, that was a long aside.
If it’s difficult to determine precise figures for the number of deaf people the Nazis sterilized, as Dr. Heberer indicated, it is impossible to know exactly how many deaf people were murdered in the T-4 program. As she mentioned some of the records of this operation were destroyed, but even if there were complete documentation, gleaning the number of deaf victims from the files would be a delicate operation. Deaf people were never officially designated as subjects in the Euthanasia Pro... project, yet we know from Friedlander and Biesold that deaf infants, children, and adults were murdered in the asylums. Some were surely misdiagnosed as schizophrenic, cognitively disabled, sometimes as a result of staff failure to properly communicate with deaf people in sign language or in appropriate written German, and sometimes as the tragic result of societal prejudice about the intelligence of anyone who is deaf. When we recall that a patient’s dossier from an asylum often received only a cursory glance from the doctor, who could sign a death warrant, it’s clear that the diagnoses were often meaningless. Perhaps only a painstaking examination of extant hospital and asylum files, records from schools for the deaf, and the state-run killing centers will elucidate the treatment of deaf people in the T-4 program. The fate of deaf Jews in Germany, in Nazi-occupied Europe, is a story of tragic discrimination and heroic survival. There were very few deaf Jewish survivors from Germany.
Regardless, the Holocaust is a known history that took place during WWII where 5 to 6 million people were murdered in extermination Nazi camps. What might be surprising with the group photo circulating the internet is that the current president of Gallaudet University is a deaf Jewish person with a strong Jewish heritage. In fact, president Hurwitz became the first deaf Jewish person to become president of Gallaudet University in its 145 year history. Also, in 1983 he was awarded as an honorary Kappa Gamma brother by Kappa Gamma. How will president Hurwitz and Kappa Gamma's own history of hazing where the Greek fraternity was suspended three times in 1980s and 1990s be able to rectify the Nazi salute photo to the American public? Can president Hurwitz explain away with a straight face to deaf Jewish people everywhere that the Kappa Gamma salute in the group photo is not a Nazi-style salute? But merely a type of a "secret handshake?" Will president Hurwitz continue to align himself with the Kappa Gamma fraternity as an honorary Kappa Gamma brother knowing their hazing past and their Nazi-like salute taken 1989 while continuing to attend Kappa Gamma's annual Grand March seen in this video here?
How will Kappa Gamma and president Hurwitz of Gallaudet University rectify these problems that have come to light recently? Why would anyone want to join a fraternity who have refused to publicly apologize for their past behaviors and hazing practices on former pledges and who may still be suffering mentally and emotionally? Who will take the lead to rectify these past mistakes? President Hurwitz? The leaders of Kappa Gamma, current and past?
Keeping quiet is not the answer.
Who will have the balls and leadership to step forward and do the right thing? Why continue to ignore the whole Nazi salute snafu as if nothing happened, president Hurwitz? I'm sure the Jewish Deaf community and the deaf community as a whole would like know. Why continue to ignore the past persecution and murder against deaf people by Nazi Germany? Why continue the association with Kappa Gamma if they are unwilling to publicly apologize for their past hazing transgressions against deaf pledges and their careless indifference about the Holocaust history by doing the Nazi salute while their official Kappa Gamma robes are the blue hooded garments with human skulls on them?
|Simon J. Carmel’s lecture, “Silent No More: Testimonies of Deaf Holocaust Survivors” related the unheard stories of the persecuted deaf Jewish during World War II.|
What would deaf Holocaust survivors say to you, president Hurwitz? Kappa Gamma? Will you honor the memories of deaf Holocaust survivors and those who never made it out alive in WWII?
President Hurwitz, it's time to be "silent no more" and help preserve the institution's integrity, the Deaf Jewish community relationship and make a stronger and more respectful fraternity organization. It's time to be on the victim's side of history and do the ultimate mea culpa in public.
They are waiting.
UPDATE: What I have should have done was put into a pre-Nazi historical context with the salute. Prior to 1942 the Nazi-like salute was actually done in the United States as part of the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. This was called the Bellamy Salute, something that I discussed in an earlier blog in reference to the 1989 group photo. "It was actually the official American salute (in the Pledge of Allegiance) and then it became the official Olympic salute before it became the gesture of German socialism (see the new book "Pledge of Allegiance + Swastika Secrets" by Ian Tinny explaining the work of the historian Dr. Rex Curry). The Pledge of Allegiance was the origin of the Nazi salute and Nazi behavior. So, at the old olympic games there were more than just Germans doing the gesture. and the 1989 youngsters might have known more about the gestures roots in the USA and in the Olympics then those around them." Hat tip - Daniel Ruth.
Yet, it is still a shocking vid seeing them doing a Nazi-like salute even though that salute was invented around 1892 but 7 years later in 1942 Congress out of act of embarrassment and preservation out of the fact that Nazi Germany stole the United States' salute changed their salute to hand over the heart whenever we do the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.