British Conservative anti-Semitism

Nazi Germany

The Bob Dylan song “Oxford Town” (lyrics are here) is about racism in Oxford in the USA in the 1960s. However, today there is still racism in Oxford, England.

From the (Conservative) Daily Telegraph in Britain:

Oxford Tories’ nights of port and Nazi songs

With two prime ministers and 13 cabinet ministers among its alumni, the Oxford University Conservative Association has become a conveyor belt for future leaders since it was founded in 1924.

By Gordon Rayner, and Richard Alleyne

11:30PM GMT 04 Nov 2011

But the student body, whose patron is Baroness Thatcher, is facing potentially the biggest crisis in its history after its own officers accused members of anti-Semitism, debauchery and snobbery at its alcohol-fuelled meetings.

Four of the Association’s most senior members have announced they will be resigning after members allegedly sang a Nazi-themed song, while others complained that members from working-class backgrounds were ridiculed by a clique of former public schoolboys.

Students are now facing possible disciplinary action by both the University and the Conservative Party, both of which have launched investigations.

OUCA, whose honorary president is William Hague, uses its website to promote a public image of studious debate, with recent guest speakers including Sir John Major and Iain Duncan Smith.

At its weekly “port and policy” meetings, however, drunkenness and discrimination have been the main items on the agenda, according to some disillusioned members.

One officer claimed that members regularly sang a song which includes the words: “Dashing through the Reich…killing lots of kike[s] (Jews).”

a song written by United States nazi leader George Lincoln Rockwell

The Daily Telegraph has been shown a video of one of the members reciting the first line of the song before a friend silences him, saying, “No, no!”

Matters came to a head this week after a series of emails in which senior members express concerns about the “absolutely disgraceful” behaviour at meetings were leaked to The Oxford Student newspaper.

One officer told the newspaper that “lots of people were singing (the song) that night, and indeed on many other nights”.

Joe Cooke, who was president of OUCA during this year’s spring term, is one of the senior members who have decided to resign.

He told The Daily Telegraph he was quitting “because of the extent of the debauchery” at meetings, where the annual bill for port runs to £10,000, the equivalent of a third of a bottle per person per meeting.

“It has become more like a pub than a political association,” he said, likening the meetings to those of the Bullingdon Club, the drinking club once frequented by David Cameron.

“I am committed to the Conservative Party but this association has come to represent everything we’re supposed to stand against,” he added.

The students’ antics are a far cry from the days when the likes of Margaret Thatcher, Edward Heath and Theresa May were members.

At one recent event, OUCA’s returning officer, Tom Hendriks, was photographed pouring alcohol into a pith helmet as another student drank through a hole in the top.

Another picture shows a fancy dress party in which one student is dressed as Baroness Thatcher, while another is dressed as a miner and a third is holding a sign saying “miners love shafting”.

Mr Cooke, 21, who is a former comprehensive school pupil from Barnsley, added that when he spoke at meetings after he first joined the Association “I was ridiculed for my accent…they would say things like ‘ee bah gum’ and create a culture of intimidation”.

OUCA has faced repeated accusations of racism in the past. In 2000 four members were expelled for making Nazi-style salutes and in 2009 Oxford University temporarily banned OUCA from using “Oxford University” in its name after two candidates made racist jokes at a hustings meeting.

James Lawson, a student at St Edmund Hall college and president of OUCA, said: “I haven’t seen the video yet and we are investigating to find out whether this was a member of the Association.

“If it turns out this person is a member we will take immediate action to expel them from the Association. Racism has no place in the Association or our society.”

OUCA is the biggest single organisation within Conservative Future, the body for young Tories which is run from the party’s London headquarters.

A spokesman for the Conservative Party said: “Racism of any kind has absolutely no place in the Conservative Party, and we will look into any allegation against a party member as a matter of urgency.”

A spokesman for Oxford University said: “The University Proctors, who are responsible for discipline, have been made aware of the article and will be considering whether there are grounds for further investigation.

The Oxford University Conservative Association has become embroiled in a sexism row amid claims a female speaker was told to “go back to washing the dishes”: here.

ENGLAND’S oldest Tory student group has been caught up in allegations of Islamophobia, anti-semitism and a culture of bullying after complaints were raised by its own members: here.

From the review of 1966 by the American Jewish Committee:

The disclosure, on January 26, of an antisemitic and racist clique, called Rat Finks, within the New Jersey Young Republicans proved even more disquieting to Jews than the arsenals of the Minutemen. The existence of the Rat Finks documented the intimate, indeed integral, relationship between antisemitism and the political right. A year earlier, at a New Jersey state convention and at a national convention of Young Republicans, the Rat Finks amused hemselves with their own mimeographed antisemitic and racist songbooks and songfests. The lyrics to one such song, to the tune of “Jingle Bells,” were:

Riding through the Reich in a Mercedes-Benz,
Shooting all the kikes, making lots of friends.
Rat tat-tat-tat-tat, mow the bastards down,
Oh what fun it is to have the Nazis back in town.

Investigations were started by the Young Republicans on state, regional (Mid-Atlantic), and national levels of their organization and also by New Jersey Attorney General Arthur J. Sills (Democrat). Sills had recently been investigating the state’s Minutemen, who were reportedly associated with the Rat Finks. Thomas Van Sickle, Young Republican national chairman, was himself accused of having been closely associated with the Rat Finks.

On February 23 Episcopal Bishop Alfred L. Banyard threatened possible excommunication for any member of the diocese (14 southern N.J. counties) who had participated in distributing or singing the antisemitic and racist Rat Fink songs. In June the state Young Republicans expelled even county units for being controlled by the Rat Finks. Sharply divided but under continued public pressure to purge itself of the Rat Finks, the executive committee of the national Young Republican Federation, on August 13, reached a compromise by a vote of 25 to 19.

17 thoughts on “British Conservative anti-Semitism

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  6. Atlanta’s Emory apologizes for anti-Semitism


    — Oct. 11 3:59 PM EDT

    James W. Wagner, right, president of Emory University, speaks as Perry Brickman stands after a film premiere documenting the period 1948-1961, when an abnormally high rate of failure for Jewish dental students at Emory pointed to a culture of anti-Semitism in one corner of the campus, at Emory University on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. Emory University is apologizing for years of anti-Semitism at its dental school, when dozens of Jewish students were flunked out or forced to repeat courses. The documentary film “From Silence to Recognition: Confronting Discrimination in Emory’s Dental School History,” by former dental student Perry Brickman, who was kicked out in 1952, featured interviews with dozens of men who had been affected by the school’s anti-Semitism. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Hyosub Shin) MARIETTA DAILY OUT; GWINNETT DAILY POST OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; WXIA-TV OUT; WGCL-TV OUT

    ATLANTA (AP) — Emory University is apologizing for years of anti-Semitism at its dental school, when dozens of Jewish students were flunked out or forced to repeat courses, leaving many feeling inadequate and ashamed for decades despite successful careers.

    The Atlanta school invited many of those former students to meet with president James Wagner on Wednesday and then attend a screening of a documentary about the discrimination, which heavily relies on video interviews collected by one of those students, Dr. Perry Brickman.

    “We knew individually and collectively what the truth was,” Brickman said. “But the truth in a situation like this is never really validated until the perpetrator says sorry.”

    In one interview, former student Ronald Goldstein recalls the dean asking him, “Why do you Jews want to go into dentistry? You don’t have it in the hands.” Another, George Marholin, recalls a professor coming into a room cursing at him and calling him a “damn Jew.”

    “I’m sorry. We are sorry,” Wagner said before a ballroom packed with several hundred people.

    Under dental school dean John Buhler from 1948 to 1961, about 65 percent of Jewish students were flunked out or forced to repeat courses, while the rate of failure or repeats was dramatically lower before that period, according to statistics compiled by then-director of the Anti-Defamation League, Art Levin. Anti-Semitism at the dental school spread beyond Buhler to other members of the faculty as well, said university vice president Gary Hauk.

    An admissions quota at the time allowed about four Jewish students a year, so there were likely about 48 Jewish students admitted during Buhler’s tenure, Hauk said. At a private meeting with Wagner on Wednesday 31 former students or their families were present.

    Talk of discrimination in the South in the mid-20th century so often focuses on blacks. In the 1950s, while Jews were being discriminated against at the dental school, there was a push at Emory to integrate black students, and the school in 1962 successfully sued the state of Georgia to overturn a state statute that would strip the tax-exempt status of any private college or university that admitted black students.

    Some students didn’t realize the extent of the anti-Semitism until they got letters alleging poor academic performance.

    Brickman, who’s now 79, entered Emory in 1951. All four Jewish students in his dental school class were gone within two years. He did well his first year and was never summoned to speak about his academic performance, so he was shocked to receive a letter from Buhler in the summer of 1952 saying he’d flunked out.

    “Nobody believed us,” Brickman said. “Even our parents said, ‘Oh, you must not have studied enough. Emory’s a good school. They wouldn’t do anything like that.'”

    Buhler resigned in 1961, but Emory denied at the time that his leaving had anything to do with allegations of anti-Semitism. He went on to become dean of the dental school at the University of South Carolina and died in 1976.

    Ashamed and confused, Brickman and his fellow students clammed up. Brickman went on to graduate with honors from the University of Tennessee’s dental school and enjoyed a successful career in Atlanta.

    Despite the lingering sting of discrimination, Brickman retained close ties to Emory, where he’d had a positive undergraduate experience. In 2006, he went to an exhibition at Emory celebrating the 30th anniversary of the school’s Jewish studies department. He was surprised to see panels about the discrimination at the dental school. The exhibition’s curator, Professor Eric Goldstein, told Brickman he thought the school was ready to face the issue.

    Still, Brickman wasn’t sure he wanted to reopen that wound. But two years later, when an old friend and former classmate he hadn’t spoken to in more than 55 years called him and said he still struggled every day with that pain, Brickman decided to do something. He contacted dozens of former students for interviews and showed them to Hauk, the university vice president. Hauk helped commission father-son documentary filmmakers John and David Hughes Duke to interview Emory administrators and turn them into a film along with Brickman’s interviews.

    After Wagner’s apology and a screening of the film Wednesday night, some of the men and their families had tears in their eyes and expressed a feeling of relief and vindication, grateful the apology came while they’re still alive.

    When 80-year-old Jay Paulen heard from Brickman, “I thought he was wasting his time. I thought this would never be allowed to be made public,” said Paulen, one of the few Jewish students who actually graduated from Emory’s dental school at the time.

    He and a non-Jewish friend studied together so regularly that they consistently missed the same answers on exams, Paulen said. Paulen was accused of cheating, but his friend wasn’t. And though they got the same grades, his overall marks were always lower than his friend’s.

    Paulen, who went on to have a successful dental practice, was so scarred by the experience that when his daughter, who earned a bachelor’s degree at Emory, was applying to dental school, he told her not to go to Emory.

    Brickman also hid his shame from his friends and children, including his son Jeff, a former prosecutor.

    “I felt horrible,” Jeff Brickman said through tears. “I prosecuted crimes against children for a long time, and this reminded me of some of those victims who were afraid to talk about what had been done to them.”


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