UK fraternity used Nazi salute while greeting a pledge, school says

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The University of Kentucky confirmed reports that a fraternity on its campus greeted a pledge with a Nazi salute.

The incident was first reported by the Kentucky Kernel, UK’s student newspaper.

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This is one of a few recent anti-Semitic occurrences on UK’s campus.

The university told WTVQ, “We take this issue very seriously. It has been referred to our Office of Student Conduct for further review.”

Thursday also happened to be Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day,

Rabbi Shlomo Litvin with Chabad of the Bluegrass, UK’s Jewish Student Center, said it’s important not only to reflect on the atrocities of the Holocaust, but also the rest of the world’s silence as it happened.

“When we talk about the Holocaust, we talk about the legacy of never again – never forget,” Litvin said.

That’s why Litivin said it alarms him when anti-Semitism happens today with little to no response. Litvin says he wants to see more from the University of Kentucky.

“It’s really the silence from the university that’s an issue,” Litvin said.

He said it’s on everyone to call out acts of hate when we see or hear them, no matter how trivial some may call them.

“The legacy of never again doesn’t just mean combating a future Holocaust,” Litvin said. “It’s combating small acts of hate, so we don’t need to oppose greater acts of hate.”

Litvin said he’s seeing progress. For example: last month, the Kentucky General Assembly passed a resolution that condemns anti-Semitism, but Litivin says the state, nation and the world has a ways to go.

“If there’s a single person being attacked because of their race, because of their ethnicity, because of their religion that is something that we as Americans, we as a Kingdom of Kindness, as the Rabbi said, we need to oppose,” Litvin said. “And it’s the responsibility of every single one of us to make our voices heard.”

Litvin is also calling on UK to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism like some other universities across the country.