Balliol right to take Flick gift

March 15, 1996

The man appointed this week to raise funds for the Labour Party, defended his decision to pursue the controversial Flick donation to Balliol College while in charge of fundraising for Oxford University.

Henry Drucker, formerly director of the Campaign for Oxford, said that he could not understand the furore over the decision by Balliol to set up a Flick chair for European thought, using a donation by the grandson of the Nazi industrialist and war criminal Friedrich Flick.

Dr Drucker, who runs the fundraising consultants Oxford Philanthropic, said that checks were run on all money identified by the university to ensure it carried no significant political, criminal, moral or ideological taints.

He said: "The fellows of Balliol are right to say there is no concept of a person being responsible for the actions of his or her grandparents."

The Union of Jewish Students, which represents 130 Jewish societies at universities across the country, said that it had no objection to using the money for the new chair though they said that calling it the Flick chair would be a mistake.

Campaigns organiser Jeremy Newmark said: "We have to be realistic. The money is there and, as evil as its roots may be, if it can be turned into something that exposes what happened in the past, that is good."

The college governing body has backed the establishment of the professorial chair using the money from Dr Gert-Rudolph Flick. A final decision is likely to be made after Dr Flick returns from East Africa.

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