John P Fox:
In the postings for 26 March
Gregor wrote about the
London-based The Journal of Holocaust Education
being "a relatively young journal which some colleagues
may not yet have come into contact with". This calls for
The JHE is the result of a "re-launch" under
that title in late 1995 of what, from 1992/93 to 1995,
had been known as The British Journal of Holocaust
Education, likewise published by Frank Cass, London,
on behalf of two Jewish organisations in London. I was
the sole founding editor, sole review editor, sole copy
editor, and sole correspondence secretary of the BJHE,
using only my own facilities in my home for the
production of the journal before it went to the
The BJHE as such came to an end as of March 1995 when
I resigned my unpaid position(s) as editor etc. I did so
because in February 1995 a nasty little plot had been
hatched behind my back by a group of Jews to ensure that
Jewish hands "guided" so-called "Holocaust education" in
the UK -- helped by such a journal as the BJHE -- and not
the non-Jewish hands of mine.
At a specially convened meeting new proposals for the
editorial management of the journal were discussed, some
of which I agreed with. On the other hand, and as "the
penny dropped", it became clear that what was really
intended was that one person in particular should have a
"special relationship" with the publisher which, together
with other developments, would have meant placing a zero
above any editorial control I might then have been able
to exercise -- in effect reducing my position to that of
general office dogsbody.
There are more serious concerns about what happened to
me in February 1995 which relate even now to such matters
as Robert Wistrich's strident and neo-Orwellian
review of Albert Lindemann's book, " Esau's Tears"
in the March edition of Commentary, and of reports
one reads of Daniel Goldhagen's threats
to all and sundry not to criticise him or his book,
Hitler's Willing Executioners, if they wish to avoid
legal action being taken against them.
Those concerns relate to the issue of free speech and
whether the subject of "the Holocaust", and indeed that
of modern Jewish history, should apparently only be a
domain monopolised by Jews and in which non-Jews "may"
only be "welcomed" if they pursue lines of thought which
are "acceptable" to certain Jews.
In the letter I circulated in March 1995 to
twenty-four people whom I had previously thought of as
colleagues and friends -- but never more -- I put it
plainly that the reason for the underhand moves against
me over the BJHE was because on 3 and 10 February 1995 I
published letters in The Times, The Guardian, and
the Jewish Chronicle which defended, on the basis
of archival documents as against recent hysterical
emotional outbursts in the press, Britain's wartime
position on the issue of Nazi Germany and the Jews.
Two things are significant. First, one of those who
acted behind my back in February 1995 and whose "new"
position with the journal was to be specially "special",
had previously been continuously vociferous in the press
about how "wicked" Britain had been over its alleged
negative policies towards the Jews of Europe during the
Second World War. Second, not one single correspondent of
those twenty-four recipients of my letter argued against
All the time I had been editor of the BJHE, I made it
clear that I would not permit anything to be published
which did not meet the highest standards which I felt
were basic for such a journal. Previously, that policy of
mine had greatly upset one of the friends of the nasty
little cabal which acted against me in February 1995, my
rejection of his article resulting one summer in an
attempt by the others to "gang bang" me into "submission"
-- but I resisted and rejected such untoward pressures.
Significantly, the first issue of the "new" JHE
emphasised how thereafter, that journal was to be less
scholarly oriented than I had made the BJHE.
we are on the subject of how certain people wish to
control, absolutely, what is published, how and when, on
any aspect of the Nazi Third Reich and the Jews, let me
relate this other appalling incident.
At the end of 1991 at a meeting
of the United Kingdom Yad Vashem Educational and Academic
Sub-Committee (held in the premises of the Board
of Deputies of British Jews), and where as usual I
was the only non-Jew present, concern was expressed at
reports that Macmillan
& Co. were due to publish David Irving's
of Joseph Goebbels. The chairman, a survivor of
Nazi policies in Poland -- again, someone I had always
thought of as a friend but after February 1995 never
again -- asked me to "intervene" with Macmillan to get
them to cancel their reported publication of the
I refused point-blank. As a citizen of the United
Kingdom, David Irving had and has the rights common to
all other citizens to publish what he wants. If people
don't like what he writes, that's one thing. But it is
another altogether to try to stop the publication of
anything by him or anyone else, simply because certain
people "think" they won't like the publication.
Indeed, this is what makes the final paragraph of
Robert Wistrich's indubitably nasty review of the
Lindemann book - a publication which I find eminently
sensible throughout - so sinister because it is by no
means an isolated incident.
John P Fox. Lecturer in
Jewish History, and Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
Jews' College London, and University College