Monday, October 5, 2009

The Taboo Against Germans at Harvard University

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This letter was copied to faculty and administration at Harvard, and to the press nationwide.

President Drew Faust
Office of the President
Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138 USA

05 October 2009

Dear President Faust:

It is apparent that Harvard faculty supports a strategy of refusing to ask questions about WWII German weapons of mass destruction (gas chambers). It is equally apparent, by its silence, that Harvard faculty has found that it is not right to question the “unique monstrosity” of the Germans, and that they will not support Harvard students who might be disposed to a free exchange of ideas on either matter. Does the Office of the President support that taboo? I have heard nothing to suggest that it does not.

On 08 September the Harvard Crimson printed my advertisement asking why General Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his Crusade In Europe, chose (chose!) to not mention the WWII German weapons of mass destruction, the “gas chambers.” The ad asked: “Why not?” The ad also asked that a professor, someone, at Harvard University provide, “with proof, the name of one person killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz.”

On 09 September Maxwell L. Child, President of the Harvard Crimson, felt it necessary to apologize for having run the advertisement, saying that the text “questioned whether the Holocaust occurred” (it did not) and that it had angered many members of the Harvard community. The Crimson staff then published a letter stating “we believe this item [these questions] should never be found in the pages of a college newspaper.”

No member of the Harvard faculty attempted to answer either of my questions, and there is no evidence that any member of the Harvard faculty supported student journalists at The Crimson who had been in favor of publishing the ad. When the emails, telephone calls and letters poured in to The Crimson from on-campus and off-campus special-interest groups, Harvard faculty played out the role of “bystander,” allowing Crimson journalists to hang and twist in the wind.

President Faust: why do you believe no academic at Harvard is willing to respond to two simple questions about German weapons of mass destruction? Why do you believe Harvard faculty is unwilling to support Crimson journalists who favor a free exchange of ideas on the matter? Does the Office of the President support what appears to be a taboo at Harvard that prohibits questioning the orthodox (the State) position on German weapons of mass destruction?

Do you not think it right for Harvard students to be aware of the fact that Dwight D. Eisenhower chose (chose!) to not mention gas chambers in his Crusade In Europe? That Winston Churchill, in his six-volume History of World War ll, chose to not mention gas chambers? That Charles de Gaulle chose to not mention German gas chambers in his Memoirs? That when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the UN General Assembly only last month to proclaim that the Wannsee Protocols contained “precise” information on the extermination of the Jews, that those who produced those Protocols chose to not mention gas chambers? How “precise” does Harvard faculty believe that is? Exactly?

Perhaps you believe it is “hateful” to ask critical questions about German weapons of mass destruction. If that is so, you must view the asking of such questions as a moral issue. I see it as a moral issue myself, but from what I believe is a different perspective. I believe it is immoral to suppress intellectual freedom at Harvard, as it is to suppress it anywhere. I believe it immoral for Harvard (or any) faculty to not come to the aid of students who have opted for a free exchange of ideas and a free press. That it is immoral for Harvard faculty to exploit taboo to forbid students to question a charge of unique monstrosity routinely made against others.

Harvard faculty has the right to be skeptical of every revisionist argument that questions German weapons of mass destruction. Skepticism is not a sin. Revisionists are skeptical of the orthodox claims about German WMD and have published a good deal of material to illustrate why they are skeptical. To my knowledge, no Harvard professor has published one paper in one peer reviewed journal illustrating where a core revisionist text about German WMD is worthless. The skepticism of Harvard faculty, then, only reveals its credulity.

President Faust: do you believe it right that the Office of the President should allow and even encourage taboo to trump intellectual freedom at Harvard? That taboo should be used to forbid an open debate in student publications on the question of the German use of weapons of mass destruction? If so, how am I to distinguish a member of your faculty committed to this particular taboo from a member of a South Seas cargo cult committed to some other taboo? His trousers?

Thank you for your attention.

Bradley R. Smith, Founder
Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust
PO Box 439016
San Ysidro, California 92143
Desk: 209 682 5327

NOTE: I will copy this letter to some of your colleagues and to others who I believe might find it interesting.

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