University under fire for flawed PhD thesis

February 9, 2007

Birmingham University is facing criticism over a PhD thesis that argues that a prominent Holocaust survivor could have been a Nazi collaborator.

An independent review of the thesis led the university to admit that it "contains errors, even highly misleading ones" relating to allegations that Rudolf Schwarz, the Austrian conductor who survived three concentration camps, was a Nazi sympathiser, or even a collaborator.

After a complaint by the stepson of Mr Schwarz, Birmingham accepted a reviewer's finding that the thesis had "failings of historical accuracy and weaknesses of method" and that it should be released only with a "detailed errata slip" and original source material.

But the university decided later that the PhD should stand as it is and decided not to include any corrections.

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