College Textbook: Those Who Died in Holocaust ‘Did Not Tap into the Strength That Comes from Their Intrinsic Worth’


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A college textbook that’s being used in a University of North Carolina (UNC) fitness class is under fire for claiming that Holocaust victims died because they didn’t use their inner strength.

According to CNN, the book, titled “21st Century Wellness,” is being used in UNC’s Lifetime Fitness classes, which is a required for students to graduate. The book includes the following quote on the Holocaust: “The people in the camps who did not tap into the strength that comes from their intrinsic worth succumbed to the brutality to which they were subjected.”

Brigham Young University professor Ron Hager, who co-authored the book, told CNN in an email that the Holocaust reference was suggesting that “a sense of inherent self-worth can be a source of strength or motivation that can help those struggling.”

The book is also under fire for claiming that people afflicted with cancer basically chose to do so.

“Some experts have begun calling these diseases diseases of choice because how we choose to live, in large part, determines the risk of being diagnosed with disease like heart disease, cancer, dementia, and others,” the book states.

Darin Padua, UNC’s chair of exercise and sports science, told The News and Observer that certain lifestyle choices can increase the risk of disease.

“Some experts have begun calling these diseases diseases of choice because how we choose to live, in large part, determines the risk of being diagnosed with disease like heart disease, cancer, dementia, and others,” Padua said.

However, some students took umbrage with the textbook’s passages.

“I thought that it was an oversimplification that didn’t account for situational factors,” student Ryan Holmes told CNN.

Abigail Painter, UNC’s senior associate dean of undergraduate education, told CNN that the exercise and science department would be reviewing the book for possible revisions next semester.

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