A trustee at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania recently stepped down when a photo of him wearing a Nazi uniform surfaced.
Bob Garthwait was on the board of trustees for Gettysburg College. He had donated funds to the institution, and he was one of the founders of the Garthwait Leadership Center on campus.
Now, Garthwait is a disgraced former trustee. His downfall began when a student discovered a photo from a 1980’s year book. The photo pictures a group of college-aged men at a “Hogan’s Heroes” themed fraternity party.
Two of the boys appear to be wearing Nazi uniforms. One of those young men was identified as Bob Garthwait.
It was sophomore Hannah Labovitz who identified Garthwait in the photo.
She expressed her disdain at the photograph on Tuesday.
“It wasn’t just him — it was the school that allowed this to be in the yearbook and there were zero complaints when it was allowed to be published.”
Garthwait has explained that as a sophomore in college in the ’80s, he “was not fully aware of the significance of those symbols.”
He also expressed deep remorse for his prior poor judgement and actions.
“My sincere hope is that our current students will learn from my poor judgment 38 years ago and be more thoughtful than I was about the impact of their actions on others. I extend my sincere apologies to the entire Gettysburg College community, and I humbly ask for your forgiveness.”
Many people find Garthwait’s actions to be disgraceful and unforgivable.
It is never acceptable to dress up like a man who was responsible for millions of deaths— Joanne ???????????????????????????????????????????????? (@joanne000017) February 20, 2019
Unless you support the eradication of a race
Good!— Pat Rogers (@aah_pat) February 20, 2019
Dang, they just keep on being exposed!— iceberg21 (@iceberg171) February 20, 2019
But others disagree. The discussion of political correctness and even racism at a deeper level has not been going on for very long. Should we be punishing individuals at today’s level of retribution for sins committed so long ago?
So from now on themed parties are not permitted.— pistrix (@pistrix) February 20, 2019
It was a theme party for Hogan's Heroes. The show was a comedy set in a POW camp in Nazi Germany during WW2.
Sigh. Make it stop.https://t.co/xqyJwp6zU8— tisane (@tinasan05806292) February 20, 2019
More purity...no one can pass such scrutiny. This was almost 40 years ago. What is next? All of us will be guilty of something.— Libky (@Angiekriv) February 20, 2019
The things people do in college in jest should not be used as a bench mark as to who they are or what they stand for many years later— Nafusa (@Nafussa) February 20, 2019
I think this is ridiculous. People are going back 25 to 30 years. Finding pics. That the person today is resigning or getting fired. This is so stupid. The person was a kid. They make stupid decisions all the time. They grow up and have matured.— Laura (@lauralu55) February 20, 2019
While I wasn't dressing up as a Nazi NEARLY 40 YEARS AGO - i'm sure I did something or another that was pretty stupid. Bet you did too.— Emily (@EmySueHoward) February 20, 2019
The college’s president, Janet Morgan Riggs stated,
“Anti-Semitism clearly contradicts our values as an institution today, as it did when this photo was taken.”