Historian resigns over Holocaust denial article

August 1, 2003

An issue of Canterbury University's magazine History Now containing an article on New Zealand's case of Holocaust denial has been recalled and destroyed. The journal's editor, Ian Campbell, has since resigned.

Historian Thomas Fudge wrote an examination of the treatment of Joel Hayward, whose masters thesis on the Holocaust attracted controversy in the 1990s. An inquiry found the thesis to be flawed but not fraudulent. The degree was not revoked.

In his article, Dr Fudge claims Mr Hayward was pursued "a long a journey from Holocaust historian to the fate of personal holocaust". He claims that the inquiry process was flawed. Mr Hayward suffered a breakdown and resigned from his post at Massey University.

Dr Fudge says it is an issue of freedom of inquiry. "The shackles of a new orthodoxy suggest universities cannot allow certain assumptions to bear the weight of inquiry."

Dr Fudge said he had submitted his resignation, but Canterbury said it had not received it. A spokesman said: "He has said that he intends leaving, but he is not being pressured to do so."

Canterbury said the article contained inaccuracies and could have exposed it to legal action. Vice-chancellor Roy Sharp said that no attempt had been made to stop publication of the article in the wider public arena.

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