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New Zealand Herald

Tuesday, August 26, 2003



Campaign seeks to clear holocaust thesis author's name

CANTERBURY [New Zealand] University's "appalling" treatment of so-called Holocaust detractor Joel Hayward has prompted some leading New Zealand academics and political figures to mount a campaign to clear his name.

ACT MP Rodney Hide and the executive director of the New Zealand Business Roundtable, Roger Kerr, are among dozens of national and international community leaders and academics to put their names to a petition printed in two major metropolitan newspapers today.

Petition organiser, Martin Lally, Associate Professor at Victoria University's School of Economics and Finance, alleges the university working party set up in 2000 to investigate whether Dr Hayward's masters thesis should be revoked "set in train a process that destroyed this man's life".

Other academics had said they supported the campaign but did not wish to sign a petition because their chances of promotion would be impeded, he told NZPA today.

However, Canterbury University chancellor Robin Mann said the matter of Dr Hayward had been dealt with and there was no intention to reopen the matter.

The furore over Joel Hayward's 1993 thesis, which questioned whether Hitler personally ordered the extermination of the Jewish people and suggested it was impossible to know how many were killed, dates from 2000, when a working party concluded it was "flawed" and downgraded it.

Today's petition states that Dr Hayward resigned from his position at Massey University in 2002, "apparently as a result of ongoing hostility towards him arising from the previous events".

The row was reignited in May, when Canterbury University ordered the destruction of copies of the history department's journal, History Now, which contained an article on the alleged persecution of Dr Hayward.

The article's author, history lecturer Thomas Fudge, has lodged a formal complaint with the university council over Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Sharp's management of what some regard as a book burning scandal.

The complaint has been referred to the vice-chancellor's employment committee, which is due to report to a full university council meeting tomorrow.





Our dossier on the Joel Hayward case | Our dossier on Professor Richard "Skunky" Evans 
Canberra MP Rodney Hide signs petition calling on University to recompense Joel Hayward
July 2003, NZ Herald: "Holocaust thesis ruined my life says historian"
Report of the Working Party established by University of Canterbury to Inquire into Hayward Case | summary
Holocaust scholar at heart of 'book burning' row | 'Book-burners' feared libel suit
Joel Hayward thesis: 'The Fate of Jews in German Hands' (zip file)
The Fate of Joel Hayward in New Zealand Hands: From Holocaust Historian to Holocaust? Part I | Part II
Death threats and breakdowns - the Holocaust thesis destroyed my life
Aug 19, 2003: University chief's job in doubt. The position of Canterbury (NZ) University Vice-Chancellor Roy Sharp to be reviewed after Hayward scandal
Richard J. Evans: Academic standards the issue, not freedom | Joel Hayward replies, reminds readers that Evans was highly paid to destroy him 
The petition (pdf, 56K)
© Focal Point 2003 e-mail:  write to David Irving