Graz boycott

April 7, 2000

When I read Chris Mulvey's reasons for why he feels he cannot attend the European Association for American Studies conference in Graz, Austria ("Doing the right thing", THES, March 31), I was appalled at his mindset.

Having lived through the Nazi era, I am perhaps more knowledgeable of the folly of allowing a country to become closed and outlawed.

People need to meet other people as a counter to the generalisations of academics such as "sovereignty of man-kind","racist regimes","the depth of fascism that must be confronted".

When I read such statements about the publicity-seeking Jorg Haider, I think, soberly, of something Albert Speer said after he had served his prison term when asked what he thought would be the most menacing problem of the future. He replied that the greatest danger was the power of the media to shape and control mass opinion.

J. H. Higginson. Canterbury, Kent.

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