Prof. Joel Hayward's Old Website

Joel Hayward, ZDaF, BA, MA Hons, PhD, FRSA, FRHistS

Readers are invited to make up their own minds as to whether the Listener and Mr Philip Matthews are biased and dishonest.

 

As this Listener article contains numerous errors of fact I will add my clarifications in blue type and identified by my initials (JH).  Mr Matthews' words, in black, are COMPLETELY unaltered.

 

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New Zealand Listener

 

September 20-26, 2003

 

Canterbury Tales”

 

Ten years ago, Canterbury University passed a controversial master's thesis that denied the Holo­caust. The student has long since apologised for the offence that it caused and repudiated some of its content, but others at Canterbury are unwilling to let the matter rest. This year, the controversy was re-ignited when the university withdrew a history department journal, a historian threatened to resign and the original student re-entered the debate. Is Canterbury University in the business of suppressing academic freedom? Or is this issue really about academic standards? And why do New Zealand academics allow themselves and their work to be exploited by Holocaust deniers?

 

by Philip Matthews

 

 

There is a question that, judging from the tone of his response, no one had previously thought to put to Canterbury University historian Thomas Fudge. What is his opin­ion of the Joel Hayward master's thesis on which he seems to have staked both his public and academic reputation?

 

JH: I am stunned by Mr Matthews' dishonest suggestion that no-one had asked Thomas Fudge for his opinion on the quality of my thesis. Mr Matthews was well aware that the 60-Minutes television show had asked Dr Fudge about this, and that Dr Fudge had replied, on camera: "Did he [Hayward] get some things wrong? Sure. Are there problems in logic and interpretation? Sure. But these aren't crimes. These are not things that a man should be harrassed to the ends of the earth and bounced from pillar to post over."

 

The 60-Minutes show appeared on national television on 4 August 2003. Mr Matthews' article appeared in print six weeks later!

 

 

"My opinion on the Hayward thesis?" he says. "I don't know that I've got an opinion on the Hayward thesis."

 

Well, is the thesis correct or is it flawed? "I'm not in a position to judge that, actually."

 

Because he is not a specialist in the area? "Yeah, yeah."

 

Its rightness or wrongness is not an issue? "No, it isn't. And I'm not just tying to dodge the question. It is a subject that is not within my scholarly purview. It would be unfair of me to say that it's a good thesis or a bad thesis."

 

So, because his field of expertise is medieval and reformation history [JH: with specialisation in persecutions and witch-hunts], Fudge is unable to offer any judgment on such Hayward claims as "The weight of evi­dence supports the view that the Nazis did not systematically exterminate Jews in gas chambers..." He can't even hazard a guess or offer a hunch. But this seems to contradict his privately circulated views of the thesis.

 

Last year, when the Listener inves­tigated the ongoing controversy of the Hayward thesis ("In denial", November 2, 2002), the thesis's supervisor and exam­iner, Canterbury history professor Vincent Orange, broke his silence at the eleventh hour to release a letter to the Listener. The letter, written to former Canterbury University chancellor Phyllis Guthardt in April 2001, describes the documents that Orange had compiled in his and Hayward's defence when a Canterbury University working party examined the thesis - although Orange did not release the documents themselves.

 

Describing a letter from Fudge to Orange, written in April 2000 just as the Hayward thesis became a national story, Orange writes, "His [Fudge's] warm approval of the thesis attracts no comment from the working party ..." In another entry Fudge "finds much merit in the work", according to Orange. He offers support to both Hayward and Orange in further letters, as does fellow Canterbury history professor Ian Campbell.

 

JH: During 2000 I received private expressions of support from seven Canterbury historians. Privacy laws prevent me publishing their emails without permission, but in a spirit of transparency I will now ask for permission to post their emails.

 

Orange's summary of Fudge's April 2000 letter continues, "and yet Thomas is recognised as a careful scholar. It may be objected that he is not a specialist in Holocaust studies. The same is true of all three members of the working party. I regret that the university did not ensure that at least one member of that party had proven expertise in the field."

 

The one historian who did have unquestionable expertise in the field was Richard Evans, professor of modern history at Cambridge. In 2000, Evans had just completed work as an expert wit­ness in the David Irving trial at the High Court in London. Irving, the world's most famous Holocaust denier, had sued author Deborah Lipstadt; Evans's analysis of the falsifications in Irving's work destroyed both his legal case and his reputation as a historian. The New Zealand Jewish Council sought Evans's opinion on the Hayward thesis and submitted that opin­ion - a 71-page report - to the working party. Evans argued that Hayward's thesis was "a thoroughly tendentious, biased and dishonest piece of work" that clearly constituted Holocaust denial.

 

JH: The Working Party did not conclude that the thesis was dishonest or constituted Holocaust denial.

 

He recom­mended that Canterbury strip Hayward of his master's degree.

 

JH: The Working Party did not accept his recommendation.

 

While agreeing that the thesis was "flawed", the univer­sity was unable to prove dishonesty, a required grounds for revoking a degree. Thus, Canterbury remained the only reputable university in the world to endorse a work of Holocaust denial.

 

JH: Actually, even the academic employed by the New Zealand Jewish Council, the distinguished Professor Richard J. Evans of Cambridge University, concluded that my thesis was not motivated by racism or antisemitism. The Working Party went further, concluding that my thesis was an honest effort and was not motivated by malice, racism or antisemitism.

 

In no place in its report did the Working Party call my thesis "a work of Holocaust denial" or insist that I was a Holocaust denier.

 

I wonder why Mr Matthews chose not to point out that the Working Party concluded that I was not a racist or an antisemite. Did he hope that this important omission would leave reader with an impression that I was?

 

Yet the affair still nagged at Fudge. In his capacity as editor of the history depart­ment's journal, History Now, Ian Campbell commissioned an essay from Fudge on the Hayward story.

 

JH: Why did Mr Matthews not point out that Associate Professor Campbell, like Dr Fudge, is a highly regarded scholar with no academic interest in the Third Reich or the Holocaust?

 

Given the support that both men had offered Hayward, it was no surprise that the resulting essay attacked Evans and others while seeking to reha­bilitate the Holocaust-denying thesis. When the journal appeared in May, the department withdrew it, sacked Campbell as its editor and held a crisis meeting at which the volatile Fudge spontaneously offered his resignation (he has since pub­licly signalled his intention to remain "for 30 years"; but also says, in a subsequent interview, that he may yet leave).

 

Why did the department withdraw the journal? Among the reasons cited are fears of defamation action, Fudge's misuse of personal and interdepartmental corre­spondence and breaching of an informal agreement that Fudge would stop discuss­ing the Hayward affair in public. It was also noted that Campbell should have sought the prior approval of his depart­mental colleagues, most of whom did not share Fudge's view that Hayward was an academic martyr.

 

JH: Professor Peter Hempenstall, the gentlemanly Head of Canterbury's History Department, has several times, including on TV1's 60-Minutes show of 4 August 2003, expressed alarm at my maltreatment in recent years. In The Press of 24 July 2003 Professor Hempenstall expressed concerns that "the real issues regarding Joel Hayward's persecution" had been overshadowed by other events.

 

Why does Mr Matthews suggest that some members of the History Department don't share Dr Fudge's views on my maltreatment when, on 60-Minutes, Professor Hempenstall himself stated: "It's appalling, and everyone in the department agrees with that."

 

A bowdlerised version of the Fudge essay, minus some of the more extreme claims and the 85 footnotes, appeared in newspapers in July. The same newspapers made righteous noises about "academic freedom", although, as Evans has since written, the issue is different "It is rather the upholding of academic standards. Nobody has stopped Hayward or Fudge from publishing what they have writ­ten. Whether or not it should receive the imprimatur of a respected university is the question at issue."

 

JH: Actually, my academic freedom has been violated. HarperCollins, a major international publisher, cancelled a book contract with me and a writing partner because it did not want to be associated with any book that carried my name. So it is not true that I have been able to publish as I like. Why did Mr Matthews not mention this well-known fact?

 

It's a question that seems to be beyond Fudge's under­standing: he charged that the university's vice chancellor, Roy Sharp, suppressed his academic freedom. Last month, the University Council found that Sharp had not done so. Fudge had always, Sharp has said, been free to publish in the public arena. "Indeed, Fudge was offered suggestions as to other media in which he could publish."

 

JH: Dr Fudge denies that he was offered or given these "suggestions".

 

However, Fudge and others managed to sneak some copies of the original journal past the ban. Fudge sent one copy to Hay­ward, for example.

 

JH: Please notice Mr Matthews' use of words: "managed to sneak". Isn't this very misleading and unfair to Dr Fudge?

 

Dr Fudge distributed a very small number of copies to associates before he learned that the bulk lot of journals was taken away on Professor Hempenstall's instructions. They were subsequently destroyed, with Vice Chancellor Roy Sharp's support, in an act the Washington Times (24 July 2003) described as "book burning".

 

Moreover, it would have been improper for Dr Fudge not to send a copy of the article to me, given that it was a public analysis of my research and my life and unfortunate experiences in recent years.

 

The original, unedited essay has also appeared on the website of a group dedicated to the circulation of Holocaust-denying material. "The above complete version has been kindly sent to us by the author," the site's reprints editor writes. Fudge professes ignorance of the website - which is not one that any credible historian would be willingly associated with - and claims not to have given permission to reprint. Contacted by the Listener, the site's manager reiterates his claim that Fudge "supplied the copy".

 

JH: Have we any way of knowing whether Mr Matthews made this contact and received this reply? I will try to find out myself and add the answer to this page.

 

The original, unedited essay challenges Fudge's image as "a careful scholar". Lincoln University lecturer Greg Ryan has written to the Press (July 31), claiming that Fudge "selectively and inaccurately represented" a private conversation held nearly three years earlier. "I am left to ponder the ethics of Fudge's approach to oral history in that private conversations are documented and reproduced without the knowledge or consent of the source," Ryan wrote.

 

JH: I am amused at Mr Matthews' audacity in quoting Dr Greg Ryan of Lincoln University. Dr Ryan admitted to Dr Fudge, and to me during a telephone call to his office, that he had not read the thesis ("and did not intend to") before criticising it sharply in The Press, the major South Island newspaper.

 

I am wondering whether, before quoting from a letter from an embarrassed academic as proof of Dr Fudge's scholarly abilities, Mr Matthews of The Listener rang Dr Ryan to determine if he had indeed criticised a work he'd never read. I'm sure Dr Ryan, being an honest fellow, would have admitted his own failings in this regards.

 

I also wonder why Mr Matthews of The Listener never pointed out that Dr Fudge's scholarship is highly praised around the world. He is the author of several major scholarly works and many peer-reviewed articles (as I am, for that matter), none of which Mr Matthews mentioned.

 

I invite readers to reflect on whether Mr Matthews' points about Dr Fudge would have the same sting if he had been honest and pointed out Dr Fudge's scholarly expertise and high reputation.

 

This writer has also had experience of Fudge's peculiar biases and inaccuracies. Among the material cut from Fudge's essay for newspaper publication was a paragraph on the Listener, including a quote attributed to myself that I did not recognise ("Nothing new had appeared for a while," was attributed to me as the reason for doing last November's story). "It came from one of the people that you talked to late last year," Fudge said, when asked. "I don't remember who it was, offhand." When it was put to him that he was unable to provide a source, he replied: "I don't know if I am unable or unwilling."

 

JH: Mr Matthews may suffer from selective memory. I certainly remember the quote. Mr Matthews gave me the explanation that he was writing a story on me because nothing new had appeared on me in the media for a while.

 

Huh? What was the mystery, as I obviously knew the names of all those I talked to last year? My belief is that this quote might be a distorted version of a comment made to Hayward during an off-the-record conversation. This would call into question Fudge's endnote that "neither Joel Hayward nor Vincent Orange has been associated with the preparation of this article". Clarifying, Fudge says, "that endnote was put there simply to deflect comments that Hayward and Orange were behind it".

 

JH: I cannot speak on Dr Vincent Orange's behalf, but I attest that I did not know that Thomas Fudge had written an article on me until the very day the journal arrived back at Canterbury University from the printers and was about to be posted to subscribers. Dr Fudge then rang me and told me, to my initial annoyance, that he had published an article on me and the issues surrounding my experiences. 

 

I did not contribute any documents to Dr Fudge, we never discussed an article, he never interviewed me, and he never asked permission to use my private email correspondence with Dr Orange.

 

Mr Matthews is also mistaken, or misleading, when he claims that his comments might be "a distorted version of a comment made to Hayward during an off-the-record conversation".

 

The quote is accurate, not distorted, and yes, Mr Matthews did say it to me during a telephone interview. As for the comment being "off the record," I can only respond with amusement. Is it not the person being interviewed who ordinarily claims that his or her off-the-record comments have been published? I have never before heard a journalist make this complaint.

 

From there, the interview - my first of two with Fudge - descended into farce. Fudge spoke about "speculation" - "I'm not going to mention names" - about myself, the listener and "your motiva­tions and your journalism". When asked to elaborate, he said, "I'm not at liberty to repeat ..." Pressed further, he offered, "speculation among media specialists in the country". Which media specialists? Pressed further still, he managed to come up with Canterbury's public relations department. "There's all kinds of people," he added. But what about these secret motivations? Are they at all related to "the specialist interest group" - read: the Jewish community - that the website of Holocaust denier David Irving believes is behind the Listener's journalism?

 

JH: Why should we need coaching on what meaning to give words? We can read, Mr Matthews, and perhaps disagree with the meaning you tell us to believe. I for one see no reason to read into the aforementioned words any criticism of the Jewish community.

 

Of course, paranoid weirdness is never too far from the surface when one looks into the world of the Holocaust denier and those who apologise for them. Running contemporaneously with Fudge's ill-fated "academic freedom" campaign has been the re-emergence of the story's self-styled victim, Joel Hay­ward. When Hayward's thesis emerged from the obscurity of its six-year embargo into the glare of negative attention in late 1999, he was moved to attach an adden­dum that apologised for his errors and any offence caused to the Jewish community. Many took the apology as sincere.

 

JH: But Mr Matthews did not consider it sincere, and he should, therefore make his position clear at this point.

 

Since July, Hayward has broken his silence in some media. In the absence of an explanation from him - Hayward is unwilling to answer any questions put by the Listener - one can only speculate about why. Either Hayward has sensed that public and media support for a nebu­lous idea of "academic freedom" is strong enough to rehabilitate him and his thesis, or, having resigned from his position at Massey University last year, he sees that he has nothing to lose in the academic world. When he apologised in 2000, he had a teaching position to protect.

 

JH: Mr Matthews is not being honest. Shall we "speculate why" he is not?

 

I did indeed give an "explanation" for my refusal to contribute to this article. Here is our email exchange, dated 2 September.

 

My explanation came first:

>On Tuesday, 2 September 2003 1:45 PM, Joel Hayward wrote:
>Dear Philip
>
>I regret to advise that your last feature article on me convinced me (and

>many others, some of who are inquiring into your motives) that you are not >a fair, balanced and ethical journalist.
>
>Sorry I can't be more helpful.
>
>Sincerely
>
>Dr Joel Hayward
>


Mr Matthews replied the same day:

 

 

>No problem. I merely wanted to offer you the chance to respond.
>

>Thanks,
>Philip

 

 

Many in the media have happily bought the image of Hayward as victim. T'V3's 60 Minutes went to air with Hayward's claims that he received death threats in 2000, even though, the story's producer Paula Penfold concedes, no evidence of threats exists and Hayward never lodged a complaint with the police. "We spent a couple of days with him, and found him to be genuine and credible," Penfold says.

 

JH: Ms Penfold and her 60-Minutes team, in fact, grilled me quite hard over two days, and put to me questions that I found embarrassing to discuss on camera, especially about my two nervous breakdowns. I also showed them as many pieces of evidence as I had time to gather for them.

 

It is a pity that Mr Matthews did not report that the 60-Minutes team arrived at my home only a day after we reached a decision to do any story. This gave me inadequate time to provide Ms Penfold with some of the materials that I have since found and posted on this website (www.joelhayward.com).

 

I had no idea what "spin" 60-Minutes would put on the story, and signed no agreement asking for anything specific to be included, omitted, emphasised, or de-emphasised.

 

The only request I made, verbally over the telephone, was for 60-Minutes not to put me in a position of opposition to the Jewish community. As I explained to Ms Penfold, I am not anti-Jewish, I do not wish to cause the Jewish community distress, and I did not want any viewers to consider my misfortunes are a Jewish matter.

 

As for my hate mail, abuse and threats, does this not demonstrate that I received them:

 

 

 

In this same report, Hayward produced a bullet that he claimed had been handed to him, in his Massey office, to signify a threat to his life. "You'll get yours, mate," was the alleged threat. However, the Listener has a signed affidavit that this bullet - a dud from a World War II-era rifle that few in New Zealand would use - was presented to Hayward as a "keepsake" by a defence studies student. If this "you'll get yours, mate" sentence ever occurred, it did not come from that student.

 

JH: I have seen no signed affidavits, but Mr Matthews should know that merely asserting something and having the assertion notarised does not make it true.

 

I certainly did not consider the giving of a live bullet (look at the 60-Minutes programme; it is a live round!) as a "gift" or "keepsake". On the contrary, I found it a highly intimidating action, especially as the giving of the live bullet was NOT accompanied by any friendly message!

 

I have never owned a gun, I do not own a gun, I do not have a firearms license, I do not go shooting, I have not target-shot since 1994, I do not belong to a gun club, I have not told anyone I go shooting or that I'd like to, I have never killed an animal [aside from fish], I do not collect weapons or militaria, etc. So some "gift," eh!

 

Nonetheless, in keeping with my belief that "talking things through is better than fighting them out," I asked a distinguished New Zealander to attempt to communicate with this "gift"-giver to see if there has not been some grave misunderstanding, or, if a hatred exists, to see whether that can't be dealt with through discussion and explanation. On 23 September 2003 Major General Piers Reid, DLitt, advised me by email that the man who gave me the bullet refuses to meet with me even in a mediated context. I expected as much.

 

Hey, I'll gladly sign an affidavit to this effect if Mr Matthews will give it the same space in his tabloid magazine. 

 

Is Hayward a harmless fantasist or is this victim act a smokescreen for the rehabilitation of the thesis's more danger­ous leanings? Certainly, Hayward's former cohorts in the Holocaust denial industry never believed his apology to be genuine.

 

JH: I have never had "cohorts" in any industry. Isn't this just muck-raking?

 

Active deniers Irving, Frederick Toben and Robert Countess - on whose Alabama property Hayward was photographed shooting a gun in 1994, [JH: yes, in 1994, which Mr Matthews did not point out to his readers in his last article on me. He presented it as a recent photograph] during a period in which he said he had no further contact with deniers - have written and spoken of continued correspondence and contact with Hayward that suggests a different image to the mask he has worn in public.

 

JH: I have been an open book in regard to these matters, and have never worn a "public mask". I have stated my views honestly, clearly and often. And I am not in continued correspondence with any of the men named.

 

"I have no reason to believe that Hayward really changed his view of his fine thesis," Countess wrote to me, "but he did make a public apology `for fear of the Jews'." Countess goes on, using appropriately muscular language: "Hayward is not a man of the personality type to be bold. He is a good and decent fellow and a fine scholar, but his personality is weak ... He erred greatly in his personal weaknesses before the Jewish onslaught." Publicly, Hayward has made efforts to distance himself from this kind of rhetoric. In his addendum, he wrote about "negative experiences with certain revisionists" who spread "anti-Semitic or neo-Nazi conspiracies".

 

JH: Yes, I have indeed had negative experiences with revisionists, including Dr Robert Countess, whom Mr Matthews quotes. I have also had negative experiences with anti-revisionists.

 

However, the language of Hay­ward's most recent public pronounce­ments is beginning to differ from the prostrate tone of 2000 when he faced that alleged "Jewish onslaught".

 

JH: Is Mr Matthews suggesting that I also refer to a "Jewish onslaught"? He knows full well that I have never made any such statement.

 

In a letter to the Press (August 12, 2003), he offers the opinion that "a student can ask honest questions about the Holocaust and arrive at unconventional answers" - how does that compare to the mea culpa of his 2000 addendum with its reference to his admit­ted "errors of fact and interpretation"?

 

JH: Mr Matthews misquotes me, and cuts off the end of my letter to The Press to hide what he appears to have found highly inconvenient. My letter pointed out that mistakes existed but not because of racism or antisemitism:

 

 

 

 

JH: Surely very few New Zealanders would find anything disagreeable in this letter.

 

In that addendum, he fretted about "causing distress to the Jewish community". Now, in a column syndicated in New Zealand newspapers in late August, he believes that the university "should never have succumbed to external pressures from any minority or special-interest group ... rather than stand firm and hold up the principles of free inquiry and free speech, it buckled ..."

 

JH: Mr Matthews has taken my comment out of its context. If one reads the passages around his "quote" one sees that I was not blaming the Jewish community for lodging a complaint via its representative body, the Jewish Council. I was blaming the University of Canterbury for mis-managing the complaint. Here is exactly what I said in the newspaper (Evening Standard, 3 September 2003):

 

 

 

Does this mean that Hayward has gone back on his apology? We would love to ask.

 

JH: Who is "we"? Mr Matthews never suggested that he was writing in conjunction with, or for, anyone else. Does he mean the Listener's collective staff? If so, why can I find no examples in other articles by Mr Matthews of this royal "we"? Perhaps Mr Matthews means my principal not-worth-naming detractor, whose criticisms of me featured prominently in Mr Matthews last, equally inaccurate article on me.

 

In the same column, Hayward men­tions - three times, in fact - that Evans was paid for his assessment of the thesis and his work on the Irving case. The innu­endo is nasty - could Evans be bought? By those Jews with their moneybags? - but is easily refuted. On the Irving case, Evans was paid the standard hourly rate that witnesses are paid. "Is Hayward implying that no expert witnesses in any court cases can be trusted because they are paid for their work?" Evans writes. For the New Zealand Jewish Council, he received a token fee for four days' work. "I did not want to be seen to be doing the work on a political basis, which no doubt I would have been accused of doing had I lent my services free of charge, but on a professional basis."

 

JH: Professor Evans was paid over seventy thousand British pounds ($280,000 NZD at that time) to testify against David Irving. I do not think the payment of this grand fee inclined Professor Evans to bias. But I do think that expert witnesses are selected by their clients because their views are well known to coincide with their own. It is inconceivable that the Lipstadt defence team employed the expert advice of Professor Evans in ignorance of the views that he would express in court. It is, I respectfully suggest, equally inconceivable that the New Zealand Jewish Council employed his expert advice without regard for the testimony he had offered at the Irving/Lipstadt trial in London. I know that one member of the Jewish Council read the Irving/Lipstadt trial transcripts religiously.

As for doing this expert work "on a political basis," I never accused Professor Evans of any such act. Nor have I tried to insinuate that. But if he is fearful of any perception that he was or is politically motivated he could, even now, donate his fees to an unrelated but eminently worthy charity or aid organisation. I respect and support Amnesty International, and am confident that the English branch of this fine organisation could put his funds to wonderful use.

As for Mr Matthews' unkind statement that "The innu­endo is nasty - could Evans be bought? By those Jews with their moneybags?" I think Mr Matthews' decision to play the race card is wrong and evidence of Mr Matthews' difficulty in dealing with logical argument.

I have never once suggested or intimated that Jews have more money than non-Jews, and I encourage readers to investigate everything I have ever said or written for any such claim. I have never made one.

The reality of Evans's token fee under­mines Hayward's self-pitying remark that he, unlike the Jewish Council, "could not afford to employ an expert". Such a fee would not have been beyond a lecturer's salary. The question is, what kind of "expert historian" would have gone in to bat for Hayward's thesis? Irving, perhaps?

 

JH: Again, Mr Matthews throws out an explicit, unkind and unsupported assertion that I had financial resources, after only a second or two before wrongly accusing me of claiming that the Jews were able to "buy" people.

 

Readers might wonder why Mr Matthews did not quote my article in the Evening Standard of 3 September. In this article I stated:

 

"During the Working Party investigation I was invited to provide a legal submission as to whether the university had the right to strip my awarded degree from me. I was also invited to have legal representation whenever I appeared before the Working Party. All legal costs were to be borne by me, however, with no provision for what any accused criminal can access in our courts: free and expert legal representation provided by the state for those of inadequate means to make an adequate defence.

 

"I did pay a lawyer to investigate Canterbury's ability to strip my degree. He concluded, soundly, that unless dishonesty could be proven, my degree could not be revoked or even downgraded. It took me a year to pay off that lawyer for his small service, and I was not able to afford any other legal representation during the following eight months of the Working Party's proceedings. I was then, as I am today, still paying off my student loan. ... For my part, unable to hire an expert historian, I did the best job I could myself."

 

Mr Matthews tries to suggest that only Mr David Irving, the world's most controversial historian, accused of antisemitism by the High Court in London, would find something neutral or even positive to say about my 1991 thesis.

 

This suggestion ignores the fact that in the famous History Now article which Mr Matthews does not like, Dr Fudge pointed out that "While the opinion that the thesis did not deserve the high marks it received was widely publicized in the media, no fewer than six serving or retired members of the History department persisted in their own judgment that it was a first-class effort."

 

Running parallel to all this is the circulation of a petition, devised by Victoria University economics professor Martin Lally, calling for an apology to be granted to Hayward. It also deals with other, more general issues of academic freedom and university process - so gen­eral, apparently, that MP Rodney Hide was happy to sign the petition without having read either the Hayward thesis or the unedited Fudge essay. However, at the time of going to press, the only two New Zealand historians to have added their names to it are both retired from academic life and implicated in the thesis's contents - Vincent Orange was its supervisor and internal examiner and John Jensen, formerly of Waikato University, was its external examiner. These events are being watched with fascination by the international Holo­caust denial network, who seem to see New Zealand as fertile ground (Irving has announced plans for a visit early next year). Fudge's essay and statements and Hayward's letters appear on denial websites with approving headlines and endnotes; Lally's pedantic correspond­ence with Evans somehow made its way to Irving’s online "action report" (Lally claims that he has had no direct contact with Irving, and assumes that his emails were forwarded by one of the 300 that he copied his correspond­ence to) as did, somewhat amusingly, my own correspondence with Lally about how his correspondence reached Irving (same answer, presumably). A thesis reconsidering the Nuremberg trial, written by former Canterbury student Stephen Daniel Eaton, marked by Orange and presented by Hayward with his own thesis to Robert Countess - although Hayward later denied, to the Listener, ever having even read Eaton's thesis - has appeared online with a new preface by Countess attacking the New Zealand Jewish Council as, predict­ably, "vicious, envious, hate-filled, racist, anti-intellectual ideologues".

 

JH: I did not remember reading Mr Eaton's thesis. This is hardly unusual given that in my years as a student and then as a university teacher I read many scores of theses. Mr Matthews may consider Mr Eaton's thesis important. I don't.

 

The removal of New Zealand Herald cartoonist Malcolm Evans - who pro­duced some work critical of Israel - was taken as evidence of a powerful and censorial Jewish lobby by media com­mentator Brian Edwards. Edwards was immediately hailed as a courageous spokesman by Holocaust denier Freder­ick Toben for his statement, recorded in the Waikato Times, that, "If I want to say that the Holocaust didn't happen, then I should be allowed to say that."

 

Edwards was trying to make a point about free speech, rather than deny the Holocaust. However, as it stands in New Zealand, he already is allowed to say that it didn't happen. The real point, though, is why would anyone want to? Why would such overwhelming documentary evidence as exists for the Holocaust be wilfully denied? Swiss Holocaust denier Jurgen Graf, whose work is titled The Holocaust on Trial, has summed up the mindset: "If the Holocaust were publicly exposed as a shameless fraud, if people all over the world learned that, while the Jews undoubtedly were brutally per­secuted during the Second World War, there was no attempt to exterminate them, that the death factories, gas chambers and gas vans were a Jewish swindle, and that the six million figure was a fantastic exaggeration, the Zionist-led `New World Order' would be all but finished ... [The consequences] would be catastrophic beyond repair for international Jewry and the state of Israel."

 

In the world of the Holocaust denier, naked anti-Semitism is now dressed up with otherwise unrelated criticism of Israel - this is why you will also find links to pro-Palestinian reporting on Irving's website. Valid criticisms can be made of Israel as an occupying military power, but Holocaust deniers are not renowned for their support of oppressed minori­ties, unless that minority happens to be engaged in urban warfare with Jews. Holo­caust denial begins with anti-Semitism as the irrational driving force and then looks for intellectual or pseudo-intellectual sup­port: it's the hatred of a race that extends to hatred of a nation. And in New Zea­land, the Holocaust deniers have found otherwise reputable academics who are able to be exploited by this hatred.

 

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