A Holocaust Denier Resurfaces (US)

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A new generation of Northwestern University students is learning what many of their predecessors found out during their time in Evanston: A tenured member of the faculty is also a prominent Holocaust denier.

Arthur R. Butz, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, has been sharing his views about the Holocaust since the 1976, when he published The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry, shortly after he received tenure. Northwestern observers say that he tends to make a splash with his views every few years. Since students are by their nature transient, and weren’t around for previous debates over Butz, many were shocked when Butz’s views again became known this week.

The Chicago Tribune (free registration required) reported that Butz had come to the aid of Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has been under fire for his assertions that the Holocaust is a myth. In recent interviews with the Iranian press, the Tribune reported that Butz said of the Iranian president and his views on the Holocaust: “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.”

Many Northwestern students were shocked by the report, which was circulated widely online at the university, prompting considerable discussion — among Jewish students especially — of how to protest Butz.

Stuart Loren, a sophomore who is a history major, organized a petition to demand that Northwestern bar Butz from using the university’s computer network to spread his views. “It’s ridiculous that a Northwestern professor can give credibility to these views and has a Northwestern Web site to do so,” Loren said.

“Butz is entitled to have his opinions,” Loren said, “but the university needs to make it clear that those opinions are ethically contrary to what the university stands for.”

Some students have discussed asking the university to fire Butz. Loren said that “realistically,” students aren’t pushing for such a move.

For years now, the university has had a policy that applies only to Butz: If he teaches a course that is required for graduation or any degree program, another section of that course must be offered at the same time, so no student ever has to enroll in one of his classes. However, Northwestern officials and students who are furious about Butz’s statement confirm that there are no reports that he has ever shared his views on the Holocaust during class time.

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Vernon Clayson - 2/19/2006

Like comments on American Indians, comments on the suffering of Jews is not something anyone responds to. If this had been about the suffering of Palestinians, or cartoons about Islam, the libs would have written into the 100s of comments. American Indians and Jews don't matter to the intelligentsia.