Denial Denounced as Academic Fraud
The History Department at Duke University, responding to a Bradley Smith CODOH ad,
unanimously adopted and published a statement noting "That historians
are constantly engaged in historical revision is certainly correct;
however, what historians do is very different from this advertisement.
Historical revision of major events. . . is not concerned
with the actuality of these events; rather, it concerns their historical
interpretation — their causes and consequences generally. There is
no debate among historians about the actuality of the Holocaust. . . there
can be no doubt that the Nazi state systematically put to death millions
of Jews, Gypsies, political radicals and other people."
[T]here can be no doubt that the Nazi state systematically put to death
millions of Jews, Gypsies, political radicals and other people."
-- History Department,
David Oshinsky and Michael
Curtis of Rutgers University have written, "If one group advertises
that the Holocaust never happened, another can buy space to insist
that American Blacks were never enslaved. The stakes are high because
college newspapers may soon be flooded with ads that present discredited
assertions as if they were part of normal historical debate. If
the Holocaust is not a fact, then nothing is a fact. . . ."
Peter Hayes, Associate Professor
of History and German at Northwestern University, responded to a
Smith ad by stating, "[B]ear in mind that not a single one of the
advances in our knowledge since 1945 has been contributed by the
self-styled 'Revisionists' whom Smith represents. That is so because
contributing to knowledge is decidedly not their purpose. . . .
This ad is an assault on the intellectual integrity. . .
of academicians, whom Smith and his ilk wish to browbeat. It is
also a throwback to the worst sorts of conspiracy-mongering of anti-Semitic
broadside. . . Is it plausible that so great and longstanding
a conspiracy of repression could really have functioned? . . .
That everybody with a Ph.D. active in the field — German, American,
Canadian, British, Israeli, etc. — is in on it together?. . .
If one suspects it is, might it not be wise to do a bit of checking
about Smith, his organization and his charges before running so
implausible an ad?"
"No serious historian questions that the Holocaust took place."
"[T]he Association will not provide a forum for views
that are, at best, a form of academic fraud."
-- Statements by the
American Historical Association
Perhaps most significantly,
in December 1991, the governing council of the American Historical
Association (AHA), the nation's largest and oldest professional
organization for historians, unanimously approved a statement condemning
the Holocaust denial movement, stating, "No serious historian questions
that the Holocaust took place." The council's action came in response
to a petition circulated among members calling for an official statement
against Holocaust-denial propaganda; the petition had been signed
by more than 300 members attending the organization's annual conference.
Moreover, in 1994, the AHA reaffirmed its position in a press release
which stated that "the Association will not provide a forum for
views that are, at best, a form of academic fraud."
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