A disputed essay assignment that asked students in a California school district to argue "whether or not you believe the Holocaust was an actual event in history" incorporated a source that dismissed gassings in concentration camps as a "profitable hoax."
The San Bernardino Sun first reported that the Rialto Unified School District instructed eighth-graders to "write an argumentative essay, utilizing cited textual evidence, in which you explain whether or not you believe the Holocaust was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain."
But initial reports on the disputed essay largely overlooked one of the three sources provided to students, extensive text lifted directly from a Holocaust Denial and conspiracy website,biblebelivers.com.au, titled "Is the Holocaust a Hoax?"
"Though six million Jews supposedly died in the gas chambers, not one body has ever been autopsied and found to have died of gas poisoning," the webpage reads. "We have been shown piles of bodies from World War II, but most of these persons died of typhus or starvation or Allied bombings and a great many of those were murdered Germans, not Jews. Roughly the equivalent of ten football fields should be packed full of gassed bodies to present as evidence, yet not one body has ever been discovered."
"It is not denied concentration camps existed," it later adds. "Tragically, many died of typhus or starvation, as often happens in such situations. There is, however, no evidence that any gassings occurred for the reasons of genocide."
A spokeswoman for the Rialto Unified School District defended the assignment last week as an exercise in "developing critical thinking skills." The spokeswoman then told KTLA on Monday that an academic team was revising the assignment.
TPM has reached out to the school district for comment on the source.
In major business publications, Mark Fields' religion was not mentioned when it was recently announced that he would become Chief Operating Officer of Ford on Dec. 1, the number two post at the company.
But in the Jewish community, the significance of a Jew essentially running the 109-year old car company was not lost. Fields, 51, of Dearborn, is the likely replacement for CEO Alan Mulally when he steps down.
The Detroit Jewish News, in its latest edition, published a front page story entitled "Historic Promotion," noting the irony of Fields running a company founded by Henry Ford, an internationally renowned anti-semite who was admired by Adolph Hitler, and published a book "The International Jew."
In 1931, two years before becoming the German chancellor, Hitler told a Detroit News reporter: "I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration."
The Jewish News in its current edition wrote of Fields' rise in the company:
"Veteran observers of the automotive scene thought it could never happen. But it's a new era at Ford, an era that actually started when the elder Ford's grandson Henry Ford II, took over the company in the 1940s and launched his version of affirmative action."
Today, many Jews buy Fords. But there are still some who won't because of its founder's hatred of the Jews.
The 2010 documentary film "Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story " cited Ford's writing in 1920, in which he wrote: “If fans wish to know the trouble with American baseball they have it in three words—too much Jew.”
The Jewish News noted that Fields declined to be interviewed after the his latest promotion was announced, but said in another interview: "I have never encountered one iota of discrimination as a Jew during my career at Ford."
The paper also quoted Mervyn Manning, who became Ford's first Jewish vice president in 1977 and retired in 1992. He applauded Field's ascension.
"When I joined Ford in 1956 at the Ford Division in Dearborn, there was one African American in the building -- and he was the shoeshine man. Not only was I the first Jewish vice president, but I was the first minority VP of any kind, including women."
On Monday, a Tennessee state senator apparently likened Obamacare's individual mandate to Nazi Germany's slaughter of Jews.
A brief post published at the blog of state Sen. Stacey Campfield (R) read: "Democrats bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number of manditory [sic] sign ups for 'train rides' for Jews in the 40s."
"While Stacey Campfield routinely makes remarks that are over the top, today's comments are ignorant and repugnant. No political or policy disagreement should ever be compared to the suffering endured by an entire generation of people. Those comments have no place in our public discourse. He should offer an apology to members of the Jewish faith immediately."