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Canadian Network Drops Von Thadden Bid; Will Tape Interview Abroad

January 18, 1967
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation announced today it had withdrawn its sharply-criticized invitation to an officer of the extremist National Democratic Party of West Germany to come to Toronto for a televised interview but the net-work said it would tape the interview in West Germany, The Canadian Jewish Congress, which had led the protests against the invitation, promptly criticized the change of plans.

Widespread protests, both Jewish and non-Jewish, followed the network’s disclosure it had invited Adolf von Thadden, NDF deputy leader, to come to Toronto on January 26 for the proposed interview, with all his expenses paid by the network. It was also reported that the CBC planned to pay von Thadden a fee.

Michael Garber, president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, declared in a statement today that the withdrawal of the invitation to von Thadden “does not meet the issue.” He said that presentation of an interview, whether taped in West Germany or elsewhere, would still amount to “giving a platform to a person whose party defends policies which the free world resisted at great sacrifice.” He said the Canadian Jewish Congress would not object to an examination on the network of the resurgence of neo-Nazism in Germany but that it did take “serious objection” to a program built around von Thadden’s views and personality.

Mr. Garber reiterated Congress complaints that the CBC had repeatedly given platforms to neo-Nazis in the past, including Andre Bellefeille, Adrien Arcane and George Rockwell. The results of that policy, Mr. Garber declared, was that such persons “were able to present apologias for Nazism, white-washing the blood-stained record.” If von Thadden came here on his own, Mr. Garber said, he would be without a platform and that, “unfortunately,” the network was affording him an audience of 2,500, 000 listeners “whom he could not otherwise reach.”

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