09 September 2009
(CNN) -- Harvard University, one of America's premiere academic institutions, is coming under fire for running an advertisement in its campus newspaper questioning the reality of the Holocaust.Recently named for the second straight year as the No. 1 school in U.S. News & World Report rankings of American colleges, Harvard is known for its rigorous scholarly standards and prestigious reputation.
On Tuesday, however, The Harvard Crimson, in what it said was an error, ran the Holocaust-questioning advertisement, which had been rejected by the paper over the summer.
It is widely accepted that approximately 5.7 million of Europe's 7.3 million Jews perished during the war. In total, historians say, between 11 million and 17 million people were killed by the Nazi regime, including religious and political opponents, ethnic Poles, Romani, Jehovah's Witnesses, Soviet civilians and prisoners of war, homosexuals and people with disabilities.
Smith said he is not surprised by the reaction because "it's taboo, and has been taboo from the beginning. When you break a culture-wide taboo, supported in theory and practice by the state, the university and the press, you create a fuss."
Robert Trestan, civil rights counsel for the Anti-Defamation League of New England, …. finds it shocking that such an advertisement would fall through the cracks, as Child said. … He said his organization will continue to work with college newspaper editors to educate schools that they don't have an obligation to publish questionable advertising.
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