War Dept. Blames Head of Armed Forces Institute for Anti-jewish Course Sent Servicemen

Responsibility for distribution of anti-Jewish propaganda among the U.S. armed forces through an official correspondence course established under the auspices of the Army and Navy has been placed by the War Department upon Col. Carl W. Hansen, commandant of the U.S. Armed Forces Institute at the University of Wisconsin.

A spokesman for the War Department today told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that there were no “civilian specialists” involved in selection of the course. The course was a regular collego course, and the primary responsibility for its selection rested with Col. Hansen, he stated.

The personnel of the U.S. Armed Forces Institute, the spokesman declared, is composed entirely of Army men. He refused to give the names of any other persons responsible for the selection and dissemination of the anti-Jewish course.

Pointing out that the anti-Jewish material selected by the U.S. Armed Forces Institute as a cours in English composition for soldiers and sailors “was part of a regular college course used throughout the country,” the War Department’s spokesman told the J.T.A. that “under pressure of demands from overseas, we gathered materia for grammar, English and other courses.

“When we reviewed the material thus hastily assembled,” he continued, “we discarded the entire course of which the Siegfried material was a part, on the ground that it was not up to academic standards. This course was discarded even before we caught up with the anti-Jewish quotations from the Siegfried book.”

The War Department’s representative emphasized that copies of the course were scattered all over the world. “It has taken some time to call them in, so it may very well be that some were in soldiers’ hands as late as April 1945,” he said, “But the material therein is absolutely against the War Department’s policy, as exemplified by the ‘fact sheets’ issued by the War Department specifically warning against racial and religious prejudice.”

The Navy Department today continued to refuse to make any comment on the charge that it used the same course. A spokesman said that he understood that the course in question had been withdrawn and was not in use now. He added that the “cognizant office” had no statement to make.

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