Georgetown U. Apologizes for Impersonations Objectionable to Jews
An official of Georgetown University expressed regrets today to New York University officials about a custom of the Washington school of having students dressed as a Nazi soldier and an Arab doing impersonations at the school’s basketball games. But Father Anthony Zeits, director of student personnel at Georgetown University, insisted there had been no anti-Semitic remarks made during the NYU game with Georgetown on February 5.
Father Zeits made his statement in response to a protest from a group of students, who sent their complaint to Georgetown president Rev. Gerard J. Campbell and to NYU president James Hester.
John Geis, NYU sports publicist, described the incident, asserting that during the first half of the game, two youths came out in front of the Georgetown student body. The one dressed as a Nazi soldier held up his arm in a Nazi salute and shouted “Sieg Heil, ” the publicist said, adding that the Georgetown students replied “Sieg Heil. “
Father Zeits also said that “we have a large Jewish population” at Georgetown and he added “I think it was unfortunate that the thing ever occurred. ” He said he was sending letters of apology to all persons writing to the school on the incident.
He declared that the impersonations had “been a bit of fun” at most games during the past two or three years and that when it was done at the game with NYU “none of us thought much of this until we began to get the feeling of NYU, particularly of their manager, Herschel Fink. ” He added that when “we realized they were quite distressed, we became distressed. “