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World Association of International Studies

PAX, LUX ET VERITAS SINCE 1965
Post NEW ZEALAND: The Hayward case
Created by Ronald Hilton on 08/06/03 10:48 AM

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NEW ZEALAND: The Hayward case (Ronald Hilton, USA, 08/06/03 10:48 am)

Commenting on the argument between Christopher Leitz and Christopher Jones over the Hayward case in New Zealand, Cameron Sawyer says: "Both sides in this acrimonious dispute do have a portion of truth and justification.

There DO EXIST a number of crackpots who deny basic historical facts about the Holocaust. Many of these are motivated by an ugly form of anti-Semitism; in fact, many of such people are associated in one way or another with neo-Nazism. Freedom of speech applies even to crackpots, so no one has the right to silence such people, but in my opinion even WAISers have no obligation to hear out such people politely. Surely every reasonable person will agree that the Holocaust was an unspeakable crime against humanity, an event of peculiar, perhaps even unique evil, and one of the darkest chapters in the history of mankind, and it is undeniable that it took place.

ON THE OTHER HAND, there definitely exist other people who would silence not only crackpots, but also any objective, professional discussion of the historical details of the Holocaust as an historical event, including such details as the actual number of victims. I would say to such people that they do a disservice to the memories of the victims, who would surely want the truth, in its broad strokes as well as its details including facts and figures, to come out. The crackpots will be dealt with in professional fora. The serious historians interested in the details should be allowed to work and to probe the historical record, without bullying. Suppression of dissent and the pursuit of truth , if it is allowed to take place, will create a terrible backlash which will only reinforce and encourage the crackpots, besmirch the memories of the victims, and minimize the significance of the event".


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