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Old 02-07-2006, 03:32 PM   #1
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NWestern Prof: Holocaust is a Myth

Is the whole world going crazy?



http://www.chicagotribune.com/techno...ck=1&cset=true

NU rips Holocaust denial
President calls prof an embarrassment but plans no penalty

By Jodi S. Cohen
Tribune higher education reporter
Published February 7, 2006


Northwestern University President Henry Bienen said Monday that a professor's recent comments denying that the Holocaust happened are "a contemptible insult to all decent and feeling people" and an embarrassment to the university.

Bienen commented days after tenured engineering professor Arthur Butz commented in the Tribune and in the Iranian press that he agreed with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's assertions that the Holocaust is a myth.

Iran's semi-official Mehr News Agency and the English-language Tehran Times have published Butz's comments, promoting the Northwestern professor as one of the world scholars who support the Iranian president. Ahmadinejad, who also has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map," recently ordered the restart of uranium enrichment, raising fears that Tehran could try to build a nuclear weapon.

Butz's comments did not address the Iranian president's statements about present-day Israel or nuclear issues.

"While I hope everyone understands that Butz's opinions are his own and in no way represent the views of the university or me personally, his reprehensible opinions on this issue are an embarrassment to Northwestern," Bienen said in a statement to be e-mailed Monday night to all Northwestern students, faculty and staff.

Northwestern's chapter of Hillel, the Jewish student organization, purchased a full-page advertisement, to be published Tuesday in the Daily Northwestern student newspaper. Hillel also called for a community meeting Tuesday night to address the topic: "Why does the Holocaust matter? How do we ensure that `never again' means never again?"

"We're frustrated because we feel forced to take action, but we don't want to dignify his lunacy with a response," the ad says.

Butz, a tenured Northwestern professor since 1974, is known for denying that the Nazis killed 6 million Jews during World War II. He promotes his views through his Northwestern-affiliated Web site, including a link to his 1976 book, "The Hoax of the 20th Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry."

Butz told the Tribune last week that he e-mailed comments to the Mehr News Agency after he was approached by an Iranian journalist.

Butz wrote that the Holocaust didn't happen, that it is a "deliberately contrived falsehood" and that its promulgation was motivated by the desire to create a Jewish state in the Middle East. About Ahmadinejad, he wrote: "I congratulate him on becoming the first head of state to speak out clearly on these issues and regret only that it was not a Western head of state."

He posted the same comments on his Web site.

Northwestern sophomore Stuart Loren, a history major from Highland Park, commended Bienen's response but said it wasn't enough. He wants the university to revoke Butz's university-provided Web site.

"This is so historically inaccurate and so biased that I think the university might need to do something more than a passive approach," Loren said. "The fact that he uses Northwestern as a forum to convey his views, that is where I get upset."

Bienen said in his statement that Butz is entitled to express his personal views, and the university will not take action against him as long as he represents them as his own and does not discuss them in class. He also noted that the university has a professorship in Holocaust studies and offers several courses on the Holocaust.

Butz did not return a call for comment Monday afternoon.

Adam Simon, Hillel's executive director at Northwestern, said he has fielded many calls from students, faculty and alumni upset by Butz's comments.

"There are two ways to respond: ignore it or convert it into something positive," Simon said. "Engaging in a conversation about whether the Holocaust happened is a waste of time. ... We are setting a different tone. We are going to talk about why it is important to remember the Holocaust."
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Old 02-07-2006, 03:35 PM   #2
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I want him to say that to a bunch of Retired WW2 Vets and Holocaust survivors!!
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Old 02-07-2006, 03:46 PM   #3
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Re: NWestern Prof: Holocaust is a Myth

Quote:
Originally posted by MaxFisher
Is the whole world going crazy?


yes.


I honestly think the whole world is fucking nuts.
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Old 02-07-2006, 04:16 PM   #4
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I didn't read the article above, but I can tell you that my father-in-law (R.I.P.) was in the camps, and lost much of his family. He had his number tattooed on his arm, as does his sister, who is still alive. And they have/had plenty of stories to tell. I can't believe people doubt it happened, hell, I can't even believe that the world let it happen in the first place.
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Old 02-07-2006, 04:20 PM   #5
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Absolute madness.
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Old 02-07-2006, 04:37 PM   #6
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Do the positives of tenure outweigh the negatives?
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Old 02-07-2006, 04:39 PM   #7
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This sort of stuff makes me so angry
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Old 02-07-2006, 04:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lila64
I can't even believe that the world let it happen in the first place.
I can't believe that the world keeps letting it happen over and over again.
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Old 02-07-2006, 04:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bluer White
Do the positives of tenure outweigh the negatives?

While we can all agree that Butz's views are dead wrong, how you respond a tenured professor is not a clear cut issue. Create an atmosphere where dissenting, unpopular or wrong opinions are not permitted, and you will stifle much of the discourse that takes place on campus.

Imagine a professor taught a "flat earth" theory. Clearly wrong, offensive to people of science, but should he be fired on the spot?

If students stop taking his classes, Butz will find himself looking for another job.
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Old 02-07-2006, 04:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader

If students stop taking his classes, Butz will find himself looking for another job.
That would be the best option. I didn't agree with everything my profs thought (impossible to totally agree with everything anyone thinks), but I find this guy's ideas on the holocaust so repugnant I would make sure I never took any classes from him. And if they were required, I'd transfer. Plenty of other schools out there.
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Old 02-07-2006, 04:53 PM   #11
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I could never take a class from someone who expressed that insane delusional thought either, that is just sick
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Old 02-07-2006, 05:03 PM   #12
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I am not well-informed on Holocaust denial and just so I don't have to give this guy's website any more hits, can someone give me a brief explanation of how people who deny the Holocaust substantiate their argument?
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Old 02-07-2006, 05:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by AliEnvy


I can't believe that the world keeps letting it happen over and over again.
touché - well put
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Old 02-07-2006, 05:07 PM   #14
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I don't really think they can substantiate their claims that the Holocaust never took place. They just talk about and claim that that it never happened, but I only need to know that when I was born, my parents' neighbors in an apartment complex were Holocaust survivors who'd come from Poland after the war.
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Old 02-07-2006, 06:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
I am not well-informed on Holocaust denial and just so I don't have to give this guy's website any more hits, can someone give me a brief explanation of how people who deny the Holocaust substantiate their argument?


maybe you could try Mel Gibson's website?
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