Indiana school board candidate under fire for saying ‘all Nazis weren’t bad’

An Indiana school board candidate is under fire for posting a since-deleted comment on Facebook saying “All Nazis weren’t ‘bad.’”

Dr. Matt Keefer, who is seeking a seat on the Zionsville Community Schools Board of Trustees, made the comment earlier this week while comparing Nazis to those who were vaccinated, wore masks and followed social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Indianapolis Star reported.

 “All Nazis weren’t ‘bad,’ as you specify,’” Keefer wrote in response to a comment.

“[Nazis] did horrible things,” Keefer continued in the comment. “They were in a group frenzy in both cases you site (sic). Who is to say if we were both there in the same place and same time, that we wouldn’t have done the same thing.”

Keefer, who is not a member of the school board, later deleted the controversial comment from Monday that was in response to an anonymous Facebook user with the fake name Mike Harris while discussing how to improve schools in the district.

The user with the name Harris asked Keefer to clarify what would be considered “indoctrination” of students by teachers — including teaching children that all Nazi’s are bad.

In response to Keefer’s comment, the user behind the Harris profile wrote “You won’t even say all Nazis are bad? What the living hell is wrong with you? Sorry, you Nazi sympathizer, you lost my vote,” the paper reported.

Keefer, an anesthesiologist, continued to compare those in the Nazi party to those who militantly supported COVID-19 restrictions.

“It’s judging people in the past by today’s standards.” Keefer continued in the same comment, according to the paper. “In 10 years, we may look at covid the same way. The people that hated the unvaxxed and hoped they died, the people that lost their jobs because they wouldn’t get vaccinated, the people who thought everyone should stay 6 feet apart, wear masks, and save some unknown 95 year old from dying by staying locked in their home.”

“History should be taught, but remember the old saying. History is written by the victors.”

Keefer has since returned to Facebook, doubling down on what he said and claiming that it was taken out of context.

“A few days ago I made the comment ‘not all Nazis were bad’ in my response to a question posed to me on Facebook.  I am correct,” he wrote, adding references to books and articles he said support what he said.

“While some followers of this conversation understood some of the nuance in my points immediately, others chose to try and tear me down,” he wrote. “To be clear:  I never was, am not now, and never will be a Nazi sympathizer.”

Keefer told The Star that his comment was intended to mean that “the entire population of Germany was not evil Nazis even though they joined the Nazi Party.”

An estimated six million Jewish people were slaughtered by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

Professor Günther Jikeli, director of the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism at Indiana University Bloomington, told the paper that German citizens at the time were not required to join the party. But they either believed in the ideology or thought joining would benefit their careers, she said.

According to the Holocaust Museum website’s frequently asked questions section, “the German people were not brainwashed, nor were any of the Nazis’ collaborators.”

“Millions of ordinary people witnessed the crimes of the Holocaust — in the countryside and city squares, in stores and schools, in homes and workplaces,” the website said. “The Holocaust happened because of millions of individual choices.”

When asked by The Star how he would react to a Jewish person seeing his comment, Keefer called the Holocaust “one of the worst things in the history of the world,” adding “I support Jewish people, especially those that had ancestors that had to go through that,” he said. “I am not any such person that denies reported history.”

He reportedly began attending meetings earlier this year to speak out against masking students in schools, according to The Star.

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