Response to Galloway School Summer Reading Option

August 24, 2017

The Anti-Defamation League and the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust are aware of the inclusion of Mein Kampf as an option on the Galloway summer reading list. Neither the Anti-Defamation League nor the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust endorses the choice of Mein Kampf as a summer reading option. 
 
In a letter to the school administration, the organizations stated, “We believe that the choice of Mein Kampf was made without an awareness of the academic and pedagogical guidelines for teaching about the Holocaust. The students’ question, ‘How and why did the Holocaust happen?’ is not answered by a reading of Adolf Hitler’s political and racial manifesto. Understanding the Holocaust is far more complex, requiring examination of the many motives that drove the choices of individuals, organizations and governments, which ultimately led to genocide.”
 
Over the past few weeks, our organizations have engaged with the Galloway staff to address the needs of the students who chose to read Mein Kampf. Last week we provided a lesson to disabuse students from the belief that just Hitler caused the Holocaust. We engaged the students with a balanced, age-appropriate, contextualized perspective. We have offered to bring in a Holocaust survivor to speak to the larger student population and to provide additional resources and tools to the Galloway faculty for further education on this topic.
 
While Mein Kampf is not an appropriate high school resource, the staff at Galloway has consented to bring our organizations in to the school to provide students with an historically accurate, balanced approach to Holocaust history.
 
The missions of both the Anti-Defamation League and the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust include the charge to educate our students to recognize and confront threats to human rights, including hatred, antisemitism, racism and prejudice.
 
We look forward to continuing our relationship with the students, staff and administration at Galloway.
 
The Georgia Commission on the Holocaust strives to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and promote public understanding of the history. 
 
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.