The “dictionary project was funded by the Nazi government with hopes of producing an Arabic translation of Adolph Hitler’s Mein Kampf,” according to Professor Katrien Vanpee.
By World Israel News Staff
The Arabic Department at the University of Minnesota is “discussing ways to address the Nazi background of an Arabic-English dictionary that has been required for Arabic classes at the university for years,” reports Minnesota Daily
The publication at the center of the controversy is titled: Arabic-English Dictionary: The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic.
It was published in 1952 by a member of the Nazi party, says the Minnesota newspaper, citing the comments of Professor Katrien Vanpee, the director of Arabic language instruction at the university, as told by a student in the professor’s class.
“Hans Wehr’s dictionary project was funded by the Nazi government with hopes of producing an Arabic translation of Adolph Hitler’s Mein Kampf,” according to Vanpee, as reported in Minnesota Daily. It is said to be the most widely used Arabic dictionary in the world.
Vanpee told her students that she would not be requiring it in her class, according to the report.
The professor’s comments came after “second-year student Rodrigo Tojo Garcia found information online about Wehr’s background after having already purchased the dictionary some months ago,” says the newspaper.
“I was amazed that it hadn’t come up, that no one had talked about it,” Tojo Garcia told Minnesota Daily.
“You would think with something like that, especially in the modern political climate… that someone would’ve mentioned at some point that Hans Wehr did this — but they didn’t. And that was a shocking thing to know,” he said.
“In addition to starting a dialogue with her students about the topic, Vanpee is also consulting and evaluating with Arabic instructors and faculty about listing the print dictionary as a suggested work rather than a required one,” reports Minnesota Daily.