MONTREAL (May. 13)
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation today refused to cancel the showing of a television film of an interview with Leni Riefenstahl, a close friend of Adolf Hitler and Josef Goebbels, who, as a movie producer, was considered an outstanding Nazi propagandist.
The Canadian Jewish Congress had protested the program, scheduled for broadcast this month. Michael Garber, president of the CJC, wrote the request for cancelation to Alphonse Ouimet, president of the CBC, declaring that the commitment to show the Riefenstanl interview “impels us to a considerable feeling of pain and desolation at what we deem to be at least insensitivity and at most serious irresponsibility in the planning and production of programs that feature Nazis.”
In his reply, Mr. Ouimet stated: “It is certainly not the purpose of the CBC to ‘glorify’ present or former Nazis in any way. On the other hand, the Corporation, within reason, must be free to air programs on any subject which is interesting, topical, educational, informative and so on. To place a ban on all things Nazi would set a precedent for demands to ban all things Communist or all things dealing with apartheid, for example. In other words, the Corporation cannot accept the suggestion made in your letter that Nazism is a subject which should never be dealt with by the CBC.”
The CBC has, in recent months, featured interviews with Canadian and United States Nazis, including George Lincoln Rockwell, leader of the American Nazi Party. When the CJC complained, the government-owned radio-TV network insisted it was free to air such programs because they had “news value.”