What happened when Jewish summer campers faced Holocaust denier Jim Keegstra’s students on the basketball court? A new graphic novel tells the tale

Hart Snider is the author of a new graphic novel about the summer he played basketball against Holocaust denier Jim Keegstra's students at a Jewish summer camp. (Galit Mastai photo)

In 1983, Hart Snider was a camper at Camp BB Riback in Pine Lake, Alta., the summer after Jim Keegstra, an infamous teacher from the nearby town of Eckville, got fired for brainwashing his high school students against Jews.

For years, Keegstra, who taught social sciences, told his teenagers that Jews were evil, Hitler was right and the Holocaust was fake. And while he was later convicted of hate speech, that would be years later—in the interim, Alberta’s local Jewish communities felt they had to try and help Keegstra’s students deprogram their brains.

And so, as unbelievable as it may sound, some of Keegsta’s students were invited to the camp for a picnic—and a friendly basketball game. Snider, who was nine years old at the time, would go on to make a film of his experience, called The Basketball Game, which has now become a new graphic novel, just in time for Holocaust Education Month. On today’s show, Snider joins to explain the book’s message and how it can help today’s young people deal with rising antisemitism and other forms of prejudice.

What we talked about:


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