History professor reacts to controversial Nazi salute photo: ‘I guess it’s a lesson learned’
STOUGHTON, Wis. — When Edgewood College professor of history Jay Hatheway saw the photo of high school students doing what appears to be a Nazi salute, he was shocked.
“Have they lost their minds? Do they really know what they’re doing? And my first reaction was I wasn’t sure they really understood,” Hatheway said.
Hatheway has been following the story this photo, which has brought attention from around the world.
“It’s been quite something, hasn’t it?” he said.
He said regardless of what the intention was behind the photo, education on that time period and what went on in history needs to be taught better in schools.
“Students that I have and have had over the years, increasingly, knowledge of the Holocaust is not very strong,” he said.
In response to the photo’s circulation around the world, the Baraboo School District sent out a statement, saying, “The truth is this is an image that has rightly been described at hateful, frightening and disappointing,” and in response to the reaction the past few days, “The district is in the planning stages with civic, community, and faith leaders to host an upcoming community program.”
As a professor, Hatheway says education is key in situations like this and it’s something that, in its entirety, is just one big lesson to be learned.
“It’s too bad that they have to get tarnished like this, but I guess it’s a lesson learned,” he said. “Think before you leap.”
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