Posted Monday, November 11, 2002

Quick navigation

Alphabetical index (text)

Like the Mafia, Holocaust deniers never like to let go -- a lesson that Dr Hayward has learnt the hard way. -- Dr John Zimmermann

New Zealand, November 9, 1992


Letters in response to Listener article, "In denial," November 2, 2002 [not posted on this website]

HaywardDenial of denial

Joel Hayward replies:

GUILT by association is a nasty tactic. Nonetheless, I'll swat that aside for a moment and address some of my 'obfuscation' alleged in 'In Denial' (November 2), which, by the way, contains nothing new, and certainly nothing not seen by the Working Party two years ago. But first let me make one thing clear: Vincent Orange (with whom I still have occasional email correspondence) is a warm and kind man -- a true gentleman -- and an outstanding military historian. He, too, has found the last two or three years difficult, I believe that, like me, he did his best to be honest and accurate all those years ago. He doesn't deserve this vilification.

Now, to the main claims. It would have been fair journalism to point out the following:

1. My meeting with Robert Countess took place nine or so years ago, when I was in Alabama on a prestigious scholarship with the US Air Force. Countess was then a minor figure in the Holocaust controversy, and I knew almost nothing about him. He offered to take me to meet the family of my athletics hero, Jesse Owens. I jumped at the offer (who wouldn't?), and Countess kept his word.

David Irving comments:

LIKE David Cole before him, Joel Hayward has been brainwashed, or petrified, by his opponents, and who can hold it against him? The witness to that fact is his Freudian slip, in talking of my inviting him, "to testify for his [Irving's] defence at his 2000 trial in London". I was not on trial, nor was I "defending" myself; I was suing a Jewish writer for her libels, libels done in the paid service of the Yad Vashem Institute of jerusalem. It was not my trial, but the trial of that writer, Deborah Lipstadt.

I LIKED, and still like Dr Hayward and for the sake of old times I shall not print the correspondence we have had, which reveals a different story from what he implies. He was a diligent and sincere toiler in the fields of revisionism, and his master's thesis was an honest attempt to address the issues of Holocaust historiography.
   Honesty: that is what caused his grief, and he knows it. He has now chosen the softer option, and good luck to him. The rest of us will soldier on, taking the still more honest route.

 IN 1999 he talked of inviting me to lecture at his college in New Zealand. (He was then Dr Joel Stuart A. Hayward, Senior Lecturer at Massey University and the Programme Co-ordinator of Defence and Strategic Studies in the University's School of History, Philosophy and Politics.) Nothing came of it.
   I in turn asked Dr Hayward to address our eager audience that year at Cincinnati. After a week or two for reflection he replied that he could not get away for the requisite five days, or shuffle his teaching commitments around to create a suitable gap. He volunteered instead: "My next period of relative calm is late-October, and then again in January and February, but for almost all the latter period I will be away in Freiburg, " and he added: "You know, I am nevertheless keen to do a conference or something with you. But we should plan it well in advance so I can work my lecturing around it." He already had little time for the thing he loved most about his profession, he said: research.
   "Even my Hitler book is behind schedule, and I won't be visiting archives for another six months or more. So please accept my regrets. Your offer to give a paper at your Cincinnati conference has appeal, but my hectic workload makes it impossible during September."
   His inability to appear as an expert witness in the Lipstadt trial was expressed in similar language.

Related file:

Our dossier on some of the origins of anti-Semitism

My day at the Owens house is a wonderful memory. I even supplied the Listener with photographs of me with the Owens family as evidence.

2. I declined David Irving's request to testify for his defence at his 2000 trial in London [see panel on right], and I also turned down a similar request from a Canadian revisionist, Ernst Zündel, a few years earlier. I want no part in the debate.

3. As a gesture of goodwill to the concerned Jewish community, I gave my large and expensive collection of Third Reich books, sources and microfilms (including rare first editions of obscure German texts) to the Mazal Research Library in the US, a center that counters anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.

4. I received one bad review for my book Stopped at Stalingrad. The one that the Listener quoted from was the only bad review it received. All others, and the book was widely reviewed internationally, were glowing. The book is in its third printing and is considered the standard work on the Stalingrad airlift. It is used in many staff colleges and university defence studies courses as a set text.

5. In the years since I wrote my controversial thesis I have had around one million words published, yet not one sentence denies the Holocaust. I have several new books out soon, none of them on a remotely related topic. My favourite military commanders (my professional 'heroes', if you like) are Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. They pre-dated the Nazis -- not one of whom features in my list of favourites -- by one-and-a-half centuries, and were 'good guys', not 'bad guys'.

I'm certainly not an extremist. I am an ordinary liberal and democratic New Zealander. How I came to attract more publicity two or three years ago than criminals and gang leaders is still beyond my comprehension. I have received worse treatment, and had my freedom and privacy violated to a worse degree, than my alleged 'crime' warrants. I did not rob a bank; I wrote a thesis. I regret that I hurt people, and have apologised often on my own initiative, but this character assassination has to stop. I have to be able to move on in life without further smears. I am not a 'story'; I am an average Kiwi man with a loved and loving family. We deserve the same privacy and freedom from hassles that every other citizen gets.

Dr Joel Hayward,
Palmerston North,
New Zealand


IT IS with disgust that I read of the further smears and attacks levelled at Dr Joel Hayward, who was a senior lecturer at Massey University until he could no longer cope with the anguish he felt.

His truth-twisting opponents seem to want to portray him as responsible for, or involved in, almost every controversy regarding Jews in the country. They seem to hate him with undisguised ferocity. This reflects badly on the New Zealand Jewish Council.

I had the pleasure of being in Dr Hayward's stimulating, informative classes and have known him for several years. He is the best lecturer I have ever studied under. I can confirm his popularity among students, many of whom share my disgust at his treatment. They miss him at Massey and think the university suffered a great loss when he resigned. Dr Hayward is a helpful, honest and sensitive man. Even when the controversy over his thesis erupted a few years ago, and students could see that it was taking a toll on his health and nerves, he remained a dedicated and inspiring lecturer. His books and articles are highly regarded around the world.

Dr Hayward is certainly not a neo-Nazi, Holocaust denier, anti-Semite or right-winger. He has always demonstrated tolerance and cultural kindness in classes and in person. He deserves to be left alone to rebuild his life and career.

Kelly Badman,
Palmerston North,
New Zealand


I AM the author of a book debunking the claims of Holocaust deniers and a member of The Holocaust History Project, an organisation that fights Holocaust denial. I have read Dr Hayward's Masters thesis as well as the report issued by Canterbury University. I fully endorse the report's findings and agree with Dr Richard Evans' critique of the supervision, or lack thereof, that Hayward received. However, the article omitted two key points that I brought to the attention of its author, Philip Matthews, whom I contacted at the request of Dr Hayward. First, much to the consternation of Holocaust deniers, Dr Hayward has issued a public apology for his thesis. Second, Dr Hayward made a valuable contribution to the Project of documents dealing with the Nazi era. This material helps us to continue to fight against the lies and distortions of deniers.

Dr Hayward also assisted me in obtaining key information for a study I published refuting Pearl Harbour revisionism. He does not even accept Pearl Harbour conspiracy theories, much less the more mendacious claims of Holocaust deniers.

I have corresponded with Dr Hayward off an on over the past three years and know that he has been trying to sever his ties with the deniers, despite what the deniers themselves may be claiming. Like the Mafia, Holocaust deniers never like to let go -- a lesson that Dr Hayward has learnt the hard way.

A current prominent member of the Ku Klux Klan, as was a former highly respected justice of the Supreme Court, the highest court in the US. The Klan is a racist and terrorist organisation that has plagued the US for over 100 years. Both of these individuals regretted and apologised for their association and were able to make valuable contributions to American democracy. Surely if a US senator and Supreme Court justice can be allowed to live their lives in peace after denouncing the Klan, everyone can grant Dr Hayward the same consideration.

John C Zimmerman,
University of Nevada,
Las Vegas.

[Website note: John Zimmerman is a professor of accounting, not a historian:]

Philip Matthews replies:

NOWHERE in the story is it suggested that Joel Hayward is "responsible for, or involved in, almost every controversy regarding Jews in the country". This is paranoid and persecutionist. I will leave it to the New Zealand Jewish Council to confirm whether or not they hate Hayward "with undisguised ferocity", but this comment seems to have the same thinking behind it.

It is unfortunate that the detail that Hayward met Robert Countess in Alabama in 1994 was omitted, but it doesn't change the fact that Hayward was circulating his thesis (and another student's) to Holocaust deniers within a period during which he has claimed to have had no contact with them. Nor am I convinced that "Countess was then a minor figure in the Holocaust controversy and [Hayward] knew almost nothing about him", given that Countess was acknowledged among the sources and experts in Hayward's thesis -- which was completed, remember, in 1993.

It's worth adding that Countess was so inspired by the theses that Hayward presented to him that he established a company -- Theses & Dissertations Press -- with the express intention of publishing both of them. That company' s website ( says that "neither thesis was published for various reasons of logistics and constraints of time". However, the company has gone on to become one of the leading Holocaust denial presses. Hayward did not need to send the Listener photos of himself with the Owens family -- that visit was never doubted in the story. Regarding John Zimmerman's letter, it was clear that Hayward has publicly apologised. Zimmerman also endorses Richard Evans' thorough and incisive report on Hayward's thesis, although, in correspondence with me, he went further than simply blaming the supervisor, as he does above. "Evans was right on the money about the thesis," he wrote. "Having read the thesis I know it constitutes Holocaust denial."

Fredrick Töben comments:

WHEN the heat was on him, Dr Joel Hayward was quick to label me an antisemite, etc. and his reference to his poor health tended to neutralize my desire to fend off his attacks on my person. He even rang me up after my release from the German prison and expressed his concern for my wellbeing. I even stated publicly that Hayward had the right to change his mind, this being a normal revisionist characteristic. But I did demand of Hayward that morally he owes the Revisionists a detailed justification as to what caused him to change his mind, i.e. what new information was it that made him change his mind. This material has not been made public.

For the sake of completeness, I would like to state the following, something I have mentioned in my book: The pressure on Revisionists is tremendous, and Joel Hayward , among other things, did receive death-threats -- and it involved the Israeli embassy in Auckland. He therefore had to make his recantation appear as realistic as possible. Unfortunately my request that he detail the reasons on which he based his change-of-mind remains unanswered. But I can still empathise with him, that he loves his wife and children above all else. During 2000, while we spent time together in his office, every few minutes his wife would ring through to enquire how he was. Perhaps she thought that I had evil intentions upon her husband.

Professor Robert Faurisson made the pertinent comment about pressure. If Revisionists have to endure a lot of stress and pressure, think about the pressure, for example, the US president has to endure from the Zionist lobby. I think we are all realistic enough to know that this battle about getting the true story of the 'Holocaust' out into the wider world is a life and death struggle. It is not for the fainthearted. And a Revisionist who still has a wife and young children is perhaps foolish to risk all. I have been given a rather friendly reminder via our court system not to doubt the 'Holocaust' and not to question the details of the murder weapon. I am complying with that court order to the best of my ability. The most important thing is to lose one's fear of fear, but unfortunately we are moving closer and closer to what prevailed in the eastern European countries and in the former Soviet Union until the collapse: a general hush, a shroud of modesty and serenity, befitting those who live cautiously, pervaded socialist societies. Public offices were all guarded, something we did not see in western countries until recently.

So what is happening today is actually a transference of the fear factor that operated in the former communist countries onto the once vibrant democratic western world. Through their work, Revisionists are at the forefront of sensing this negative fear-driven development. Hayward himself clearly alludes to it in the Matthew interview where he addresses the loss of academic freedom.

Joel Hayward, like David Cole before him, has done his job, and we must respect his silence with the proviso that he does not attack Revisionists. For example, his comment about not attending the Toronto Zündel trial as an expert witness can be regarded from his view-point and also from the perspective as expressed by Professor Faurisson. The critical point of it all is this: Hayward's thesis still stands, as does Germar Rudolf's report. Legal and social sanctions have been imposed to discourage others from reading this material, but we all know that the Internet is our weapon of mass instruction. Individuals will make up their own minds, and dissent according to their personal sense of urgency that surrounds the "Holocaust'.

One final point, John C Zimmerman ( I always muse how many prominent Jews have such good German names!) claims the Mafia does not like to let go. I thought he was referring to the anti-Revisionists who will simply not let Hayward go. Revisionists have moved on, and some don't even look upon his work as important. But I would rather deal with the Mafia than with anti-Revisionists such as Zimmerman. Why? The Mafia has a code of honour, something the anti-Revisionists lack.

Related item on this website:

 Joel Hayward index
 Joel Hayward's thesis: 'The Fate of Jews in German Hands'
 Holocaust denial viewed as world class blunder
 Joel S. A. Hayward: Stopped at Stalingrad. The Luftwaffe and Hitler's Defeat in the East, 1942-1943 (Univ. Press of Kansas), 1998 [extract praising David Irving's Hitler's War]
The above news item is reproduced without editing other than typographical
 Register your name and address to go on the Mailing List to receive

David Irving's ACTION REPORT

© Focal Point 2001 [F] e-mail: Irving write to David Irving