On May 6th a student held up a sign of a swastika at a public event celebrating Israeli Independence Day in Spaights Plaza, at the heart of UW-Milwaukee’s main campus. While free speech protects the student’s right to express even the most loathsome views, we use our free speech to denounce the presence at UWM of this hateful Nazi symbol. The Nazis targeted every Jewish man, woman, and child for murder, and were responsible for the murder of six million Jews, and millions of other human beings, during the Holocaust.
To see this hateful symbol displayed so prominently on our campus in the shadow of the murders at the Poway synagogue in San Diego and the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh is particularly painful and reprehensible. These attacks, along with recent mass murders at churches and mosques, are a sobering reminder that each of us has a responsibility to speak out against hatred.
We stand together as a UWM community to affirm that there is no room for hate at UWM. We applaud the university community for speaking out, and especially those students who voiced their resistance to the message of this symbol.
The Sam & Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies, UW-Milwaukee
Jewish Studies Advisory Committee, UW-Milwaukee
Joel Berkowitz, Director of the Sam & Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies
Rachel Baum, Deputy Director of the Sam & Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies
Yael Gal Ben-yitschak