rejects protest over PhD
By QUENTIN CLARKSON
University students yesterday sounded a
warning to staff supporting the doctoral
student and alleged neo-Nazi Hans
About 60 students gathered at the
university square at noon before marching
to the vice-chancellor's office.
The protesters claim that German-born
Mr Kupka, aged 55, has published a
substantial number of anti-Semitic and
Holocaust-denial statements on the
His PhD will examine the use of German
in New Zealand.
The protesters met assistant
vice-chancellor Jeremy Callaghan
because the vice-chancellor, Bryan
Gould, is in China.
Association spokeswoman Dr Sarah
Shieff said students would now
pursue internal means of making sure Mr
Kupka was not allowed to study at
She disagreed with a letter Professor
Gould sent last week that said that Mr
Kupka's statements did not constitute
Holocaust denial. Professor Gould said if
the university denied someone freedom of
speech by not accepting him or her, it
might have to defend itself in court.
Dr Shieff said Mr Kupka accepted there
was a Holocaust, but believed it was on a
much smaller scale than it was.
She said his doctorate would be
"unviable" if Jews were excluded from it
and "morally and culturally unsound" if
they were included.
"We believe he will bring the
university into disrepute if his PhD goes
Mr Callaghan said Professor Gould had
made it abundantly clear that the
university had thoroughly investigated Mr
Kupka before accepting him. "We found no
fault in the process. We have found no
lawful reason he should be excluded."
Yesterday's protest had not changed the
university's view. "It was only the
movement of people from one building to
stories: similar attempts to persecute and
hound NZ academic Dr Joel Hayward are
reported in April 2000: New