(CNN)An online textbook, which blames Holocaust victims for failing to tap into their strength, is required reading for nearly 19,000 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students.
A college textbook says Holocaust victims failed to realize their strength
"21st Century Wellness" is part of a one-credit hour Lifetime Fitness course all UNC undergraduates have to take before graduation. The course is meant to teach students how to stay physically fit and make healthy lifestyle choices.
But along with handing out advice about leading a healthy lifestyle, the book delves into other subjects. One excerpt says Holocaust victims who died failed to find their inner strength.
"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," the book reads. The text was contracted for use for two years, but it is currently under review for the fall, a school spokesman said.
Ryan Holmes, who took a Lifetime Fitness weight training course last fall, was one of a number of students who criticized the book.
"Some of the stuff they said seemed almost like pseudoscience, and it kind of blurred the lines between what I recognized to be real factual information and things that may or may not be true. It put a lot of emphasis on the connection between mental and physical health, more than normal," he said. "I thought that it was an oversimplification that didn't account for situational factors."
UNC's one-credit hour Lifetime Fitness undergraduate requirement has been around since 2006, but the current course material was first used in fall 2017, the school said.
Students can fulfill their LFIT requirement by choosing to take one of several courses. There are 23 options on UNC's course catalog, including jogging, swimming and flag football.
Not every course looks the same, but the graduate students who teach them use a common syllabus that they adapt for their own sections. Each course uses the same e-book, and about 4,500 students have used the current "21st Century Wellness" since last fall.
Abigail Panter, senior associate dean for undergraduate education, said the exercise and sport science department got student feedback in the spring about certain parts of the book. But edits could not be made in time for use during the next semester, she said.
"In our work to protect and promote academic freedom, we respect the process of departmental curriculum review. As is consistent with our process, we will work collaboratively with the department on any proposed or recommended changes," she wrote in a statement.
The school works with the book's p