Protected Identity Harm report filed as screenshot of student reading ‘Mein Kampf’ circulates

Jan. 22, 2023, 9:09 p.m.

A Protected Identity Harm report has been filed after the circulation of a Snapchat screenshot of a student reading “Mein Kampf,” the autobiographical manifesto of Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler, according to an email sent to Jewish students Sunday by Rabbi Jessica Kirschner and Rabbi Laurie Hahn Tapper.

The Protected Identity Harm Reporting process is the University’s system to address incidents where a student or community member feels attacked due to their identity. 

The photo of the student reading the book was posted to another student’s Snapchat story Friday evening, according to a screenshot of the image obtained by The Daily.

University spokesperson Dee Mostofi confirmed that the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORL) became aware of this incident on Saturday. Mostofi added that the two offices, along with Stanford’s Hillel chapter, are working with the leaders of the residence that the students belong to address the social media post and its impact on the community.

“Swift action was taken by the leadership in the residential community where both the individuals who posted and the one pictured are members,” Kirschner and Hahn Tapper wrote. Student Affairs and ORL are actively working with students involved to address the issue and mend relationships in the community. 

“It can be upsetting to hear about incidents like this,” Kirschner and Hahn Tapper wrote. “Jewish people belong at Stanford, and deserve to be respected by our peers.”

The filing of the report follows a string of challenges Stanford’s Jewish student community has faced during this academic year. 

The fall quarter started on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. (To address this conflict, the University announced that fall quarter would not conflict with Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, in the future.) A mezuzah was also ripped off of a graduate student’s door during fall quarter, and the University also released a report in October apologizing for limiting Jewish student enrollment in the 1950s.

This article has been updated to reflect the fact that the academic year began on Rosh Hashanah, not Yom Kippur. The Daily regrets this error.

Carolyn Stein is a Desk Editor for Campus Life and a co-Audience Engagement Editor. She is double majoring in communications and East Asian studies. Her favorite activity is going on unnecessarily long walks. Contact her at news 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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