CHICAGO (Feb. 2)
Community-wide actions are being undertaken in protest against a book by a Northwestern University associate professor which claims that the Nazis did not really exterminate Jews during World War II. A daylong teach-in on the Holocaust will be organized by the B’nal B’rith Hillel Foundation of the university in cooperation with the Public Affairs Committee of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago (PAC).
Another action approved by PAC in a meeting Monday calls for two delegation to meet with the university administration. One delegation will consist of PAC and community representatives;
The book by Arthur Butz, an associate professor of electrical engineering. “The Hoax of the Twentteth Century,” was published last May in England. Its central theme is that a planned extermination campaign against the Jews during World War II never existed and that clams otherwise are “a pack of lies” and “a concoction of the Zionist movement.” As documentation the book uses statements by Hitler’s leading henchmen. Until the recent furor, the book had received little attention.
the flurry of news media attention was sparked by an article in the Jerusalem Post which which was picked up by the Northwestern University campus newspaper Jan. 14. Virtually all of those commenting on the book expressed outrage over it. The university administration upheld Butz’s right to freedom of speech, but it was not until Jan. 26, nearly two weeks after the student paper revealed the book’s existence, that the university issued a statement deploring the book as “a contemptible insult to the dead and bereaved.”
EXTENSIVE OPPOSITION REPORTED
Raymond Epstein, the newly-named chairman of PAC which is the coordinating body for Chicago’s 35 major Jewish organizations in the areas of public affairs, international and community relations, and Rabbi Seymour Cohen of PAC’s tails of the scope of response to Butz’s book.
The reported that Rolf Horn, West German Consul General in Chicago, said the book “is an insult to the Jewish communities of all nations (and) also to the people of the Federal Republic of Germany.”
Extensive media coverage included responses by Newton Minow, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, a Jewish United Fund leader and a Northwestern University trustee; Rabbi Marc Gellman, director of Northwestern Hillel; James P, Rice, executive vice-president of the Jewish Federation and Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago; A, Abbot Rosen, Midwest director of the Anti-Defamation League; Rabbi David Polish, president of the Chicago Zionist Federation; Northwestern history professors James Sheehan and David Jacosky; Nazi hunter Anthony J. DeViti: and a number of Holocaust survivors and Northwestern students.
The campus response organized by the Hillel chapter included students and faculty meetings, a Holocaust memorial service held in cooperation with Christian ministers and a full-page an in the Daily Northwestern last Friday singed by almost 300 university and faculty staff members.