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New Zealand, 14 August 2003

Hide signs petition over thesis


ACT [Canberra] MP Rodney Hide has signed a petition calling on the University of Canterbury to recompense Joel Hayward for its handling of his controversial Holocaust thesis.

The petition, organised by Victoria University associate professor Martin Lally, alleges the university acted in a "totally unreasonable" way towards its former student, and raises concern over its destruction of the journal History Now, which included an article about Dr Hayward by Canterbury lecturer Thomas Fudge.

Mr Hide, a former Canterbury student, said the university had allowed political correctness to determine what people could and could not read.

"This is the thin end of the wedge. Next we'll have Maori kaumatua deciding what students can and can't study."

The petition, launched this week, said Canterbury University had signalled to students and researchers that only certain research conclusions were acceptable, which was "antithetical" to a university's functions.

It also said the university's actions were likely to have contributed to the general climate of hostility towards Dr Hayward.

Canterbury's Vice-Chancellor, Roy Sharp, declined to comment on the petition yesterday.

The Press understands he has directed Dr Fudge not to talk about controversy over his History Now article in lectures or classes.

Professor Sharp confirmed he had no problem with Dr Fudge addressing students' questions outside lectures but that formal classes were inappropriate for defending his personal position.

But Dr Fudge is ignoring the directive -- " he has already shown it to his students" -- and said he would continue to answer students' questions in class. "Particularly in my witch-hunting course where we're talking about scapegoating and burning books."



Our dossier on the Joel Hayward case
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
© Focal Point 2003 e-mail:  write to David Irving