The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/american/polish-historical-society/press/new-haven-register-1291

The following letter to the editor appeared in the _New Haven 
Register_, Dec. 10, 1991, p. 16:

"Reinterpretation of Holocaust Should Not Be Labeled Bigotry"

To the Editor:

	In response to the article about bigotry on college 
campuses, perhaps bigotry is losting its stigma because in the 
usual process of scholarly investigations it was realized that 
some claims of the Holocaust were just egregious exaggerations 
caused by a mental condition called post-acute stress syndrome or,
in the case of World War II, the Holocaust survivor syndrome.

	It is not widely recognized by the public that it was 
first Jewish and Israeli scholars who systematically began to 
bring down to size unnecessary distortions and fabrications of 
wartime atrocity propaganda about the fate of Jews in this tragic 

	It is difficult to claim that Professor Yehuda Bauer from 
the Hebrew University or Dr. Shmul Krakowski from Yad Vashem or 
Professor Arno Meyer from Princeton are bigots.  Nevertheless, 
they wrote in the respected Jerusalem Post, Washington Times and 
New York Times that Nazis never made soap from human fat, that 
Holocaust survivors' testimony is generally unreliable, that 
there was never any gassing at Dachau and that the number of 
gassed victims at Auschwitz should be lowered by three million.

	In view of the above, astute college newspaper editors at 
Duke, Cornell and the University of Michigan may have felt that 
the advertisement of Bradley Smith, although offensive to the 
general public, merits scientific notice if not respect, and 
should be published.  Probably, in their youthful naivete, they 
did not expect the intensity of the condemnation by the less 
informed public opinion and now perhaps are sorry they got 

	It is natural in science that after an initial, usually 
decades-long period of gathering information comes the phase of 
verification and healthy reinterpretation of the acquired data.  
This process should continue and should not be mislabeled as 
bigotry, or even worse, be suppressed.

Zbigniew Zielinski

Editor's note:  Zbigniew Zielinski is president of the Polish 
Historical Society.

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