A New Zealand university removed a studentâ€™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.
â€œDreamers of the Dark: Kerry Bolton and the Order of the Left Hand Path, a case-study of a Satanic/Neo-Nazi Synthesisâ€ 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 universityâ€™s student newspaper, Nexus.
In an Aug. 25 letter to the universityâ€™s vice-chancellor, Bolton wrote: â€œHaving such a â€˜thesisâ€™ posted on the Internet amounts to what might be defined as criminal libel.â€ He demanded the removal of the thesis, the revocation of van Leeuwenâ€™s masters degree and financial compensation for the â€œemotional and physical stress caused.â€
A university spokesperson told the Waikato Times on Tuesday that the thesis was removed pending an inquiry into Boltonâ€™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 â€œan open mindâ€ on the Holocaust and that â€œit was worth raisingâ€ whether the gas chambers at Auschwitz could have killed â€œas many Jews as claimed.â€