News Briefs: St. Louis Cemetery Vandal Gets Three Years Probation and More


Hazelton Paper Apologizes for Publishing Letter on Holocaust Myth

The Standard-Speaker in Hazelton published an apologetic editorial on March 20, two days after printing a letter to the editor that described the Holocaust as a myth.

Among other things, the March 18 letter from Martin Husovich of White Haven claims that Red Cross records show that less than 300,000 people died in German work camps — with Jews making up slightly less than half of them. He also claims that Jews who spent time in those camps have longer lifespans than those that didn’t, in part because of “soccer fields, swimming pools, libraries, brothels, theater and orchestra, and religious facilities, and first-rate medical care.”

The paper’s editorial noted that it published the letter “knowing that allowing the free flow of thoughts and opinions is a vital part of what we do.

“But we also understand our responsibility to draw a line where opinion crosses into ridiculous and dangerous falsehoods and the promotion of conspiracy theories, and pure hate,” the editorial continues. “With that, we want our readers to know that we regret allowing this letter to reach publication.”

The paper has since published several letters refuting Husovich.

Measles Outbreak in Orthodox Community Prompts State of Emergency

A measles outbreak centered in an Orthodox Jewish community in Rockland County, New York, prompted county health officials to prohibit unvaccinated children under 18 from venturing into public spaces for 30 days, according to CBS New York.

”We will not sit idly by while children in our community are at risk,” County Executive Ed Day said March 26. “This is a public health crisis, and it’s time we sound the alarm.”

The county has counted 153 confirmed cases in the county 40 miles north of New York City since October, mostly of children who haven’t been vaccinated. The newest cases are in eastern Ramapo, which has a high percentage of haredi Orthodox Jews. There have been 48 cases reported in 2019.

Guggenheim Museum Rejects Gifts from Jewish Pharma Family

The Guggenheim Museum in New York City will no longer accept gifts from the Jewish Sackler family, citing the ties its Purdue Pharma company has to the opioid crisis, The New York Times reported on March 25.

Purdue Pharma and the state of Oklahoma settled a lawsuit the following day related to the company’s role in misleading both patients and physicians about the dangers of its opioid painkiller OxyContin. The settlement includes a $270 million payment.

The Tate museums in London and the National Portrait Gallery in London also have stopped accepted donations from the Sacklers.

St. Louis Cemetery Vandal Gets Three Years of Probation, to Pay $5,000

A man who admitted he toppled more than 100 headstones at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in suburban St. Louis in February 2017, was sentenced to three years of probation on March 21, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Alzado Harris, 35, also will pay $5,000 in restitution, maintain full-time work, take an anger management course and not contact a friend he was angry with, which led to the vandalism. He hadn’t been charged with a bias or hate crime.


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