A New Zealand university removed a student’s thesis on neo-Nazism from its library.
Waikato University made the move following harsh criticism from the key subject of the thesis, Kerry Bolton, a former secretary of the National Front who has been involved in neo-Nazi organizations on the island for more than two decades.
The thesis by Roel van Leeuwen, 39, published six months ago, earned the philosophy student first-class honors under the co-supervision of Professor Dov Bing, an expert on Holocaust denial.
“Dreamers of the Dark: Kerry Bolton and the Order of the Left Hand Path, a case-study of a Satanic/Neo-Nazi Synthesis” was removed from the library and its online archive two weeks ago. Neither Van Leeuwen nor Bing were notified of its removal, according to the university’s student newspaper, Nexus.
In an Aug. 25 letter to the university’s vice-chancellor, Bolton wrote: “Having such a ‘thesis’ posted on the Internet amounts to what might be defined as criminal libel.” He demanded the removal of the thesis, the revocation of van Leeuwen’s masters degree and financial compensation for the “emotional and physical stress caused.”
A university spokesperson told the Waikato Times on Tuesday that the thesis was removed pending an inquiry into Bolton’s allegations. Van Leeuwen told Nexus he stood by his work.
Bolton said he is a radical conservative rather than a Nazi sympathizer. He told Nexus he had “an open mind” on the Holocaust and that “it was worth raising” whether the gas chambers at Auschwitz could have killed “as many Jews as claimed.”