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Ohio is investigating a Nazi homeschooling network that celebrates Hitler

(JTA) — Ohio’s department of education is investigating a homeschooling network that claims public schools are run by “Zionist scum,” teaches kids to say “Sieg Heil” in class and instructs fellow parents not to give their kids “Jewish media content.” 

These are the more than 2,500 members of the “Dissident Homeschool Network,” a channel on the social network messaging app Telegram. The “dissidents” are a group of Nazi parents who share homeschooling lesson plans extolling the virtues of Hitler and white nationalism — while relying on a popular social media account run by a Jewish woman to provide ammunition for their hatred. The founders of the group were recently unmasked by a hate group monitor as a couple in rural Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

“There is absolutely no place for hate-filled, divisive and hurtful instruction in Ohio’s schools, including our state’s home-schooling community,” Stephanie Siddens, the interim superintendent of public instruction at Ohio’s education department, told Vice News. “I emphatically and categorically denounce the racist, antisemitic and fascist ideology and materials being circulated.”

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, along with Rep. Bob Latta, whose district encompasses Upper Sandusky, and Rep. Jim Jordan, all gave statements to Vice News condemning the group. But Ohio officials say that there is little to no homeschooling oversight from the state board of education. Although parents who homeschool are required to submit copies of their lesson plans to the state, a county official who oversees the area where the Lawrences live told HuffPost, “Parents who decide to home educate their child are responsible for choosing the curriculum and course of study.” 

“We are so deeply invested into making sure that [our] child becomes a wonderful Nazi,” the founder of Dissident Homeschool Network, who goes by the pseudonym “Mrs. Saxon,” recently said on a neo-Nazi podcast to promote the group. She has been identified by the Anonymous Comrades Collective, an anti-Nazi group, as well as Vice News and HuffPost, as Katja Lawrence, a Dutch immigrant who currently lives in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

Lawrence is a recently naturalized U.S. citizen who frequently rails against other groups of immigrants on social media; her husband Logan is an insurance agent. The Lawrences are so enamored of Nazidom that Katja uploaded audio of her own kids performing Nazi salutes to her Telegram channel, and baked a cake to celebrate Hitler’s birthday.

The journalists and researchers who reported on Dissident Homeschool Network were able to track the couple down after they revealed that they owned a German shepherd named Blondi — also the name of Hitler’s dog.

Launched in fall 2021, the Lawrences’ homeschooling project is explicitly labeled as a means for neo-Nazi parents to indoctrinate their kids by keeping them away from public school. Lesson plans include teaching cursive by having students write out famous quotes from Hitler and American neo-Nazi George Lincoln Rockwell; building “math” classes around racist manipulations of urban crime statistics; and praising Confederate general Robert E. Lee as “a grand role model for young, white men.” In idle chats, members of the group disparaged the Indiana Jones movies as “Jewish revenge porn.”

The group also facilitates in-person meetings between like-minded parents and children. Relatives of the Lawrences told HuffPost they found their activities “disgusting” and “heartbreaking for their children.”

Despite their near-constant stream of antisemitic invective, members of the Dissident Homeschool Network frequently share memes from the right-wing social media channel Libs of TikTok, which is run by an Orthodox Jew. The account has gained national notoriety for its demonization of LGBTQ people as “groomers,” as well as for its constant attacks on public education, a hot target for figures on the right who believe educators are indoctrinating children with “critical race theory” and “gender ideology.” 

That account’s administrator Chaya Raichik, who has recently made her identity public, frequently advocates for parents to homeschool their children. Homeschooling has become a popular choice for conservatives, both for religious and ideological reasons, and lobbyists for the movement together with Republican lawmakers have made it easier for parents to homeschool their children with little to no oversight. 

The “Dissident” group provides parents with instructions on how to teach Nazi material while avoiding scrutiny from the authorities. On the channel, Katja Lawrence frequently boasts about the size and strength of their Nazi parents’ movement: “There is a huge network of people like us.”


The post Ohio is investigating a Nazi homeschooling network that celebrates Hitler appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Obituaries

Dr. NATHAN WISEMAN

Wiseman, Nathan Elliot
1944 – 2023
Nathan, our beloved husband, Dad, and Zaida, died unexpectedly on December 13, 2023. Nathan was born on December 16, 1944, in Winnipeg, MB, the eldest of Sam and Cissie Wiseman’s three children.
He is survived by his loving wife Eva; children Sam (Natalie) and Marni (Shane); grandchildren Jacob, Jonah, Molly, Isabel, Nicole, and Poppy; brother David (Sherrill); sister Barbara (Ron); sister-in-law Agi (Sam) and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Nathan grew up in the north end of Winnipeg surrounded by his loving family. He received his MD from the University of Manitoba in 1968, subsequently completed his General Surgery residency at the University of Manitoba and went on to complete a fellowship in Paediatric Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital of Harvard University. His surgeon teachers and mentors were world renowned experts in the specialty, and even included a Nobel prize winner.
His practice of Paediatric Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg spanned almost half a century. He loved his profession and helping patients, even decades later often recounting details about the many kiddies on whom he had operated. Patients and their family members would commonly approach him on the street and say, “Remember me Dr. Wiseman?”. And he did! His true joy was caring for his patients with compassion, patience, unwavering commitment, and excellence. He was a gifted surgeon and leaves a profound legacy. He had no intention of ever fully retiring and operated until his very last day. He felt privileged to have the opportunity to mentor, support and work with colleagues, trainees, nurses, and others health care workers that enriched his day-to-day life and brought him much happiness and fulfillment. He was recognized with many awards and honors throughout his career including serving as Chief of Surgery of Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg, President of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons, and as a Governor of the American College of Surgeons. Most importantly of all he helped and saved the lives of thousands and thousands of Manitoba children. His impact on the generations of children he cared for, and their families, is truly immeasurable.
Nathan’s passion for golf was ignited during his childhood summers spent at the Winnipeg Beach Golf Course. Southwood Golf and Country Club has been his second home since 1980. His game was excellent and even in his last year he shot under his age twice! He played an honest “play as it lies” game. His golf buddies were true friends and provided him much happiness both on and off the course for over forty years. However, his passion for golf extended well beyond the eighteenth hole. He immersed himself in all aspects of the golf including collecting golf books, antiques, and memorabilia. He was a true scholar of the game, reading golf literature, writing golf poetry, and even rebuilding and repairing antique golf clubs. Unquestionably, his knowledge and passion for the game was limitless.
Nathan approached his many woodworking and workshop projects with zeal and creativity, and he always had many on the go. During the winter he was an avid curler, and in recent years he also enjoyed the study of Yiddish. Nathan never wasted any time and lived his life to the fullest.
Above all, Nathan was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, father-in-law, son-in-law, uncle, brother, brother-in-law, cousin, and granduncle. He loved his family and lived for them, and this love was reciprocated. He met his wife Eva when he was a 20-year-old medical student, and she was 18 years old. They were happily married for 56 years. They loved each other deeply and limitlessly and were proud of each other’s accomplishments. He loved the life and the family they created together. Nathan was truly the family patriarch, an inspiration and a mentor to his children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and many others. He shared his passion for surgery and collecting with his son and was very proud to join his daughter’s medical practice (he loved Thursdays). His six grandchildren were his pride and joy and the centre of his world.
Throughout his life Nathan lived up to the credo “May his memory be a blessing.” His life was a blessing for the countless newborns, infants, toddlers, children, and teenagers who he cared for, for his colleagues, for his friends and especially for his family. We love him so much and there are no words to describe how much he will be missed.
A graveside funeral was held at the Shaarey Zedek cemetery on December 15, 2023. Pallbearers were his loving grandchildren. The family would like to extend their gratitude to Rabbi Yosef Benarroch of Adas Yeshurun Herzlia Congregation.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, in the name of Dr. Nathan Wiseman.

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Ben Carr

Click here to watch Ben Carr’s remarks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crfREGNRKfg

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Click here to watch a video of Marty Morantz’s remarks: https://studio.youtube.com/video/zHzC-iaqivg/ed

Gustavo Zentner

Click here to watch a video of Gustavo Zentner’s remarks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3M_cCYuLgs

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