Student: Crackpot professor pushed Holocaust denial
A New Jersey student is blowing the whistle on her sociology professor for allegedly spouting anti-Semitic remarks and conspiracy theories in class — including that the moon landings were faked.
Benny Koval was appalled by Clyde Magarelli’s rambling lectures during his “Social Problems” course this past semester at William Paterson University.
“It was very unfortunate, but most of all it was a waste of my time and money,” the 18-year-old, who just wrapped up her freshman year, told NorthJersey.com. “It was incredibly frustrating going to a public university for a taxpayer-funded education and I’m learning about how the moon landing was faked.”
Koval posted a series of short videos on Twitter that allegedly show Magarelli’s questionable ideologies.
“We can’t land on it and get back. We’ve never landed on it, you didn’t know that?” he says in one clip.
Magarelli also claims that the Gestapo, the secret police of Nazi Germany, only engaged in torture during the “last part of the war.”
In another video, he tells his students that Native Americans are not indigenous people.
“We call them Native Americans but those that have their own government outside — they were never considered part of the system,” he mumbles. “They had their own tribal system.”
Magarelli also believes that the Irish were the first slaves in America — a theory debunked by Irish experts who said their indentured servitude was “in a completely different category from slavery,” according to the New York Times.
Koval, who is Jewish, reported the professor’s comments to the head of the Sociology Department and said she was told another student filed a complaint last year.
Officials at the Wayne university investigated Magarelli in 1994 for downplaying the total number of Jews killed in Nazi concentration camps, the school’s newspaper The Beacon reported at the time. He wrote that a more “realistic” number was 700,000 to 800,000. The actual number is around 6 million.
Magarelli has taught at the university since 1967, according to NorthJersey.com. He didn’t return messages seeking comment.
University spokeswoman Mary Beth Zeman told the site that the allegations are being looked into.
“A review of this matter is under way to determine what action may be warranted,” Zeman said.
Koval was previously accused of bullying for allegedly tweeting anti-Israel comments, NorthJersey.com reported. The teen secretly recorded her meeting with Fair Lawn High School officials.
Still, she feels strongly about vocalizing her political views on social media.
“Honestly, it doesn’t matter if I’m Jewish,” she said. “It matters if I fight for all oppressed people.”