Prof. Joel Hayward's Old Website

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

My email posted on the NIZKOR anti-revisionism website, January 2000

From: Dr Joel Hayward
Sender: kmcvay
Status: O

Hello Nizkor,

It has come to my attention that you now have a "page" on me. That's fine,
of course, but it might be more useful and fair if it contained the
statement explaining my position on the Holocaust and antisemitism that I
have posted on my homepage. Please post it on your page on me
. Thank you.

The URL to my homepage statement is:

The statement reads as follows:

I have NO connection to racist organisations or individuals

Their efforts to present me as somehow being supportive of their activities
really annoy me!

A statement by Dr Joel Hayward

In response to several ill-considered e-mails received since posting my
homepage to the web I would like to state something that, as a scholar with
no political or ideological axes to grind, I had considered obvious (and
therefore unnecessary of mention):

My academic interest in Wehrmacht operational history and my decision to
write a book on Adolf Hitler's effectiveness as a military commander do not
stem from admiration for Hitler or from a desire to rehabilitate his
reputation, much less to deny his cruelty to Jews and others. I am
certainly pleased that the Allies soundly defeated his Third Reich.

I also wish to state that I am NOT affiliated or involved with individuals
or organisations that seek to rehabilitate the Nazis and/or attack Jews and
others. I deplore the views of those people.

I am aware that several of those people have used my name or reprinted
articles from my homepage -- or quoted from a thesis I once wrote on
Holocaust historiography when I was a young Master's student with
relatively little experience of the historian's craft -- in a pathetic
attempt to add academic credibility to their anti-Semitic campaigns.

So let me say, once and for all, I do not deny the Holocaust! I do not
adhere to conspiratorial views that Jews somehow "invented" the Holocaust
in order to gain reparations and to finance the State of Israel. I consider
those claims baseless and anti-Semitic.

To be more specific, I state emphatically my rock-solid belief, based on
extensive archival research and a thorough reading of published sources,
that European Jewry did indeed suffer a ghastly Holocaust. They suffered
dreadfully during the 1930s and especially during WWII, when Germans and
others maltreated, enslaved and murdered (including by gassing) great
numbers (and I have no doubt that MILLIONS died). Hitler and his regime
caused those deaths and therefore deserve our condemnation.

My own opinion about race and culture, for those who may be interested, is
easy to express: I do not believe that race or culture determines moral
attributes. I do not believe that ANY race or culture is better or worse
than another. Moreover, I believe that we should treat racism like
pornography. That is, we should take a zero-tolerance stance and
demonstrate that we will NOT accept it in our communities.

Dr Joel Hayward,
Senior Lecturer in
Defence and Strategic Studies,
School of History, Philosophy and Politics,
Massey University,
Private Bag 11-222,
Palmerston North,
New Zealand

My email posted on the NIZKOR website, April 2000



[Dear Nizkor]

I would like to correct some of the statements that Mr David Irving has
made on his web site.

First, I have not "recanted" about the Holocaust because of pressure from
Jewish groups or individuals. I have instead changed my mind about the
conclusions I reached as a young MA student in the very early 1990s.

I'm baffled by the insistence of some people that I "must not" change my
mind about the Holocaust debate. This attitude is unscholarly. Why can I
not change my mind? Must my ideas be stuck in a 1991 rut?

I am obliged as a scholar to remain open to new evidence, to reflect on old
evidence, to test arguments, and to abandon those that -- to me -- don't
stack up. I have done this, and now know from reflection and further
reading that my old MA thesis contains errors of fact and interpretation. I
also know that those errors have caused pain to some people in the New
Zealand Jewish community, especially to Holocaust survivors. So I have done
what I sincerely believe is the right thing: admitted my mistakes and said
I'm sorry.

My change of mind is genuine, and absolutely not the product of coercion by
Jewish groups or individuals or anyone else (even though it's true I have
experienced some resistance over the years). I have simply come to realise
that I made mistakes and now want, on my own initiative, to say sorry so
that my mistakes don't continue to cause distress.

The responsibility to do so wouldn't normally accompany recognition of
errors in an unpublished masters thesis, but I am well aware that my old
work dealt with an unusually sensitive and contentious topic.

I would also like to clarify one other issue:

In a letter to a Wehrmacht military history discussion group (which now
appears on Mr Irving's web site) I once offered support for the quality of
Mr Irving's MILITARY history scholarship, even though I simultaneously
stated that I did not agree with his political and racial views.

My research in German primary MILITARY documents (conducted in several
European archives) does indeed show me that Mr Irving did not falsify those
sources or employ them according to an improper methodology. I have not
seen any examples from the diaries of Jodl, Milch, Richthofen, etc, where
he falsified evidence.

But I have now seen enough evidence from the trial transcripts to believe
that Mr Irving has a problem with Jews and consequently employed improper
methodology when dealing with certain documents relating to aspects of the
Holocaust. I did not know this until the intense scrutiny of his books
during the recent trial made it manifest.

I was also offended by some of his statements and actions, and consider the
trial to be extremely informative. I learned many new things about Mr

I still consider much of Mr Irving's work on Wehrmacht operational history
to be strong and useful (as even the judge observed), and he deserves
credit for books like Trail of the Fox. But I accept the judge's verdict
that Mr Irving's obvious difficulty with Jewish issues distorted the way he
sees and presents the Holocaust.

Dr Joel Hayward
Palmerston North
New Zealand