Brandeis Wins Apology From Babson for 'Happy Holocaust' Signs

Soccer Players Made Anti-Semitic Banners in Gymnasium

Bad Game: In 1978 the Babson College soccer team hung anti-Semitic signs on Brandeis’s campus before a game.
Wikicommons
Bad Game: In 1978 the Babson College soccer team hung anti-Semitic signs on Brandeis’s campus before a game.

By JTA

Published June 27, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Babson College formally apologized to Brandeis University for the anti-Semitic behavior of its men’s soccer team 35 years ago.

Babson President Len Schlesinger delivered an official apology on Wednesday at the ADL New England headquarters of the Anti-Defamation League, according to Boston.com., and announced that the college is creating a partnership with the ADL aimed at eliminating bigotry on campus.

The apology is based on behavior by the Babson team as it approached a key game with Brandeis, a university with a historically large student population, on Nov. 4, 1978. The schools are located eight miles from each other in the western suburbs of Boston.

Prior to the game, according to an account released Tuesday by the ADL, the Babson squad hung signs in the gymnasium reading “Happy Holocaust.” Players also wore swastikas on their bodies for the final practice and yelled “Holocaust” and other anti-Semitic slurs to boost the team’s morale.

In addition to the formal apology, Schlesinger also wrote a letter to Brandeis President Frederick Lawrence earlier this month saying that “although it is some 35 years later, as president of this institution, I believe I have a fundamental responsibility to respond to what I have learned, including extending my most sincere public apology to the entire Brandeis community for the unconscionable behavior of Babson students.”

The Babson program with ADL is called “A Campus of Difference,” where college administrators, faculty and students will study stereotypes and work to rid the campus of bigotry, according to the ADL.

Robert Trestan, ADL’s New England regional director, commended Babson for responding to the situation.

“Hate and bigotry on college campuses are not just annoyances; they’re not just blips on the screen or incidents,” he said, “but they are a threat to the integrity of academic institutions and they present a serious challenge to their ability to carry out their mission.”

In the upcoming term, ADL will train 500 first-year students in a program being integrated into Babson’s orientation followed by a weeklong training program for faculty and staff.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.