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[The self-important David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies cackles its approval]


Thursday, March 24, 2005

More Than 500 Historians Protest C-Span Broadcast of Holocaust- Denier

To: National Desk

Contact: Rafael Medoff of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, 215-635-5622 or

WASHINGTON, March 17 /U.S. Newswire/ -- More than 500 prominent historians and other scholars have now signed the petition protesting C-SPAN's plan to broadcast a lecture by Holocaust-denier David Irving on its program "Book TV."

The latest signatories include such prominent scholars as New Republic editor-in-chief Dr. Martin Peretz, Harvard Law School Prof. Alan Dershowitz, and Dr. Michael Walzer; Eric Foner, Simon Schama, and Istvan Deak, of Columbia; David Brion Davis, Harold Bloom, and Paul Kennedy of Yale; and Charles Maier and Richard Pipes of Harvard;

  • Pulitzer prize winners David Levering Lewis, Jack Rakove, and Lloyd Schwartz;
  • Media notables Marvin Kalb and Ben Stein;
  • Holocaust scholars Randolph Braham, Daniel Goldhagen, and Omer Bartov;
  • Leading Jewish historians Jonathan Sarna, Yosef Yerushalmi, Robert Chazan, and Deborah Dash Moore

... as well as historians from England, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Israel, and Japan.

Another 330 scholars signed the petition this week, following on the heels of 203 historians who signed it last week. The petition was organized by the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, which publishes the only annual report on Holocaust-denial around the world.

C-SPAN officials claimed earlier this month that the broadcast of Irving would be needed to "balance" its planned broadcast of a speech by Holocaust historian Prof. Deborah Lipstadt. (Lipstadt subsequently withdrew her permission for C-SPAN to broadcast her lecture, to protest C-SPAN's plan to give Irving a platform. As a matter of principle, Lipstadt refuses to debate Holocaust- deniers.) C-SPAN's Book TV executive producer Connie Doebele said: "You know how important fairness and balance is at C-SPAN. We work very, very hard at this. We ask ourselves, 'Is there an opposing view of this?' " (Washington Post, March 15, 2005)

Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff strongly disagreed with Doebele, saying: "The Holocaust is not a topic with 'opposing views.' It is a historical fact. Giving a platform to a Holocaust-denier to 'balance' a Holocaust historian is as outrageous as giving a platform to the Flat Earth Society to balance a speech by an astronomer. Like any responsible news outlet, C-SPAN should not broadcast speeches or statements it knows to be false."

The signatories on the first installment of the Wyman Institute petition, which was sent to C-SPAN on March 17, included some of the most noted historians of the Holocaust, such as Christopher Browning, Richard Breitman, Deborah Dwork, Ronald Zweig, and David S. Wyman. (For a list of those initial 203 signatories, please go to

The text of the letter and the complete list of 330 signatories on the second petition follow:

March 24, 2005

Connie Doebele,
Executive Producer,
Book TV, C-SPAN 2,

Dear Ms. Doebele:

As historians and social scientists, we strongly oppose your reported decision to broadcast a lecture by Holocaust-denier David Irving, to "balance" your intended broadcast of a lecture by Holocaust historian Prof. Deborah Lipstadt.

We support Prof. Lipstadt's refusal to participate in this project. Falsifiers of history cannot "balance" historians. Falsehoods cannot "balance" the truth. Justice Charles Gray of the British Royal High Court of Justice, in his verdict on April 11, 2000 dismissing Irving's libel suit against Prof. Lipstadt, concluded that Irving "is anti-Semitic and racist" and ruled: "Irving has for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence."

Just a few weeks ago, we concluded Black History Month. Presumably C-SPAN did not consider broadcasting a program about Black history that would be "balanced" by a program featuring someone denying that African-Americans were enslaved. C-SPAN should not broadcast statements that it knows to be false, nor provide a platform for falsifiers of history, whether about the Holocaust, African-American history, or any other subject.

A recent report by the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies found that Holocaust-denial is a real and growing problem, and continues to be actively promoted in Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere, and in some cases enjoys government sponsorship. If C-SPAN broadcasts a lecture by David Irving, it will provide publicity and legitimacy to Holocaust-denial, which is nothing more than a mask for anti-Jewish bigotry.

We strongly urge you to cancel your planned broadcast of the Irving lecture, and to proceed with your original plan to broadcast a lecture by Prof. Lipstadt.

(For a list of signatories, contact Rafael Medoff at 215-635- 5622)


The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, located on the campus of Gratz College (near Philadelphia), is a research and education institute focusing on America's response to the Holocaust. It is named in honor of the eminent historian and author of the 1984 best-seller The Abandonment of the Jews, the most important and influential book concerning the U.S. response to the Nazi genocide.

The Institute's Advisory Committee includes Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel, Members of Congress, and other luminaries.

The Institute's Academic Council includes more than 50 leading professors of the Holocaust, American history, and Jewish history.

The Institute's Arts & Letters Council, chaired by Cynthia Ozick, includes prominent artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers.


Index to the media scandal surrounding Prof Lipstadt's attempt to silence C-Span and the history debate


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