Varsity leader defends historian
PALMERSTON NORTH – Massey
University in Palmerston North has leapt
to the defence of military historian Joel
Hayward after he was accused of being
a Holocaust apologist.
Pro vice-chancellor Barrie Macdonald
said yesterday that Dr Hayward was “no
longer involved in teaching, writing or
research related to the Holocaust” and
was a respected member of Massey’s
The New Zealand Jewish Council this
week condemned Canterbury University
for condoning publication of a master’s
thesis by Dr Hayward which questioned
the extent of the Holocaust.
The New Zealand Jewish Chronicle
reported that the thesis, written in 1991
and 1992, claimed there were no gas
chambers, far fewer than six million
Jews were slain and that there was no
means to carry out a plan of mass
murder. It reported that other revisionist
historians who question the Holocaust,
such as David Irving, tried to use the
The Chronicle published a letter from Dr
Hayward saying that he made mistakes
in the thesis, and had withdrawn its main
conclusions. The university had refused
his request to withdraw it from its library.
Professor Macdonald said Dr Hayward
completed his master’s thesis, on the
historiography of Holocaust revisionism,
at Canterbury in 1993.
“He subsequently chose to change his
academic focus to military history, in
which he completed a PhD.”
Dr Hayward is programme coordinator of
Massey’s defence and strategic studies.