The recent image of a pro-Hamas student at George Washington University brandishing a poster calling for a final solution” was horrifying. But it was also profoundly ironic. Because on the very same campus in Washington, DC, where that Nazi slogan was invoked last month, actual Nazis were repeatedly welcomed in the years before World War II.

In October 1933, Gustav Struve, an official of Nazi Germanys embassy in Washington, spoke on the GW campus under the auspices of the universitys German Club. In February 1934, Gerrit Von Haeften, Third Secretary of the German Embassy, visited GW to address the German Clubs Valentine party. And in May 1937, two Nazi representatives, the wife and daughter of the German embassys Chancellor, Franz Schulz, participated in an event on campus sponsored by GWs International Studies Society.

Friendly attitudes toward Nazi Germany appear to have permeated the campus. The visits by Nazi officials proceeded without any sign of objections or protests—unlike, for example, at Columbia University, where hundreds of students held multiple protest rallies when the Nazi ambassador, Hans Luther, was invited to that campus in 1933.

Both the German Club and the International Studies Society at GW held screenings of films that were procured through the German Consul,” according to the student newspaper, The Hatchet. At least one of the events also included displays of foreign flags; the Hatchets coverage included a large image of Nazi Germanys swastika flag.

That was in April 1937–four years after Hitler came to power after the Nazi regime boycotted Jewish businesses, the nationwide book burnings, the Nazi takeover of German universities, the mass firing of Jews from most professions, and the mob violence against Jews in Berlin and elsewhere. It also was after the enactment of the Nuremberg Laws in 1935, which stripped German Jews of their citizenship.

Yet The Hatchet, which was published by the university, continued to run advertisements from the Nazi governments tourism department and touted upcoming summer tours by GW students to Europe that included visits to Nazi Germany.

During those years, GW maintained a junior-year student exchange program with the Nazi-controlled University of Munich, despite the purging of Jewish faculty, implementation of a Nazi curriculum, and mass book-burning at the Munich school.

The Hitler regime viewed such exchanges with American universities as a way to soften the Nazis’ image abroad. The Nazi official in charge of sending German students to American universities was quoted, in the New York Times, as describing the German students in such exchanges as political soldiers of the Reich.” However, that did not deter GW from participating in the program.

GW was not the only American university to sponsor student exchanges with Nazified German universities, as Stephen Norwood documented in his book, The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower. But not every American school with ties to Germany turned a blind eye when the Nazis rose to power and took over the countrys universities. Williams College, for example, terminated its student exchanges with Germany as a protest against Nazi policies. GW did not.

Some GW students who spent a year at the University of Munich returned with upbeat reports about the new Germany. GW student Mary-Anne Greenough, for example, stated in a 1937 university newsletter that during her year in Germany, she attended the Nazis’ celebration of the anniversary of Hitlers failed 1923 putsch; she said she found the event “worthy of admiration.”

Some GW faculty who visited Germany during the 1930s likewise came back with positive descriptions of the Nazi regime. Assistant Professor of Philosophy Christopher Garnett, returning from a visit to Germany in 1934, reported to the campus historical society that [t]he optimism which permeated the Germans, even those who at first opposed the present regime, is almost unbelievable.” Such apologetics whitewashed Nazi outrages and made Hitler more palatable to the American public.

The time has come for the GW administration to acknowledge that it was wrong for GW to invite Nazi representatives to campus and to maintain student exchanges with Nazi-controlled institutions.

But that is not all.

In 1985, GW presented an honorary doctorate to Mircea Eliade, a noted scholar of comparative religion. Before Eliade was a scholar, he was a Nazi collaborator.

During the 1930s, Eliade authored viciously antisemitic articles in the extremist Romanian periodical Cuvantul, raving about the alleged Jewish onslaught” threatening Romania. He actively supported the fascist paramilitary group known as the Iron Guard. When the Romanian government cracked down on Iron Guard activists in 1938, Eliade was among those whom it imprisoned.

After the Iron Guard came to power in 1940, Eliade was appointed as one of its diplomats in London. (British officials privately called him the most Nazi member of the legation.”) The Iron Guard regime actively collaborated in the mass murder of Romanias Jews. Particularly gruesome,” the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum notes, was the [Iron Guards] murder of dozens of Jewish civilians in the Bucharest slaughterhouse. After the victims were killed, the perpetrators hung the bodies from meat hooks and mutilated them in a vicious parody of kosher slaughtering practices.”

Eliade continued to defend the Iron Guard after the war, praising it in his 1963 autobiography. For some reason, that didnt deter GW from giving him an honorary doctorate in 1985. The time has come to revoke that honor.

Two years ago, public concern over racism in the United States prodded the George Washington U. administration to remove the name of its longest-serving president, the late Cloyd Heck Marvin, from the student center because he advocated racial segregation. Last year, the administration changed the school moniker from Colonials” to Revolutionaries” because of the many injustices associated with colonialism. GW should now show similar sensitivity to the concerns of its Jewish students and faculty.

Ninety years after actual Nazis were warmly welcomed at GW, extremist students on its campus today are invoking the infamous Nazi phrase final solution” —meaning mass murder of Jews. Thats a blatant violation of the GW Student Code of Conduct. Section V (F) prohibits acting in a way that threatens, endangers, or harasses others, including verbal, written, or any other form of communication.” Violators are subject to various possible punishments, from a warning to permanent expulsion. Its time for George Washington University to implement its own rules.

Acknowledging the error of GWs friendly attitude toward Nazi Germany in the 1930s, revoking Mircea Eliades doctorate, and taking meaningful action against todays violators of the Student Code of Conduct is the path to restoring order and decency at George Washington University.