Update on Recent Developments

Wyman Institute Update: October 3, 2003


    1. Welcome to the two newest members of the Wyman Institute’s Arts & Letters Council:

      David Brenner, one of America’s best-known comedians, has made 158 appearances on The Tonight Show, the most of any guest. He appears regularly on The David Letterman Show and, because his act is based on current events, also appears as a political pundit on various news-oriented shows on MSNBC, CNN, and Fox. He has also done four HBO Specials. Brenner is currently appearing nightly at the new Westin Casuarina hotel, in Las Vegas, a 44-week engagement that began in July.

      Before becoming a stand-up comic, Brenner enjoyed a successful career as the writer/producer/director of 115 television documentaries and headed the documentary departments of both Westinghouse Broadcasting and Metromedia Broadcasting, where he earned him numerous awards, including an Emmy. He is the author of five books (the first, ‘Soft Pretzels with Mustard,’ was a best seller), including the just-released ‘I Think There’s a Terrorist in My Soup: How to Survive Personal and World Problems with Laughter.’ In connection with his new book, he will be appearing on Fox and Friends on October 3, The O’Reilly Factor on October 7, Howard Stern, Pat Sajak, and CNN with Wolf Blitzer on October 8, and the Wayne Brady Show on October 16. He will be doing a book signing at Barnes & Noble in Manhattan (600 Fifth Ave.) at 1:00 pm on October 9.David has three sons: Cole, Slade and Wyatt.

      Michael Moorcock, a professional writer and editor from the age of 16, made his early reputation as a writer of fantasy, especially the Elric series. and editor of the ‘New Wave’ magazine New Worlds. He has written in most fields. He has won many literary prices, including the 1977 Guardian Fiction Prize for his novel ‘The Condition of Musak’ and the World Fantasy Award 1978 for ‘Gloriana’. The author of a number of ambitious novels such as ‘Mother London’, ‘The Brothel in Rosenstrasse’, and ‘King of the City’, he has devoted much of the past 25 years to a series of books featuring his anti-Semitic braggart Colonel Pyat, which seeks to describe the roots of the Holocaust in Europe, America and the Middle East from 1900 to 1940. These are ‘Byzantium Endures’, ‘The Laughter of Carthage’, ‘Jerusalem Commands’, and ‘The Vengeance of Rome’. He has also written literary criticism and political essays such as ‘Death is No Obstacle’ and ‘The Retreat from Liberty’.

      He is married, has three children and an increasing number of grandchildren, and currently lives in Texas and Spain.

    2. The Wyman Institute has received widespread publicity in connection with the recent controversy concerning the British magazine ‘Homes & Gardens.’ A British journalist recently posted on his web site a 1938 article from ‘Homes & Gardens’ lavishing praise on Adolf Hitler’s vacation home and portraying Hitler in sympathetic terms. ‘Homes & Gardens’ pressured him to remove it from the web site. The Wyman Institute then posted the full original 1938 article on its own web site (www.WymanInstitute.org). The controversy was reported in the New York Daily News, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency Daily Bulletin, and elsewhere.

      To view the New York Daily News article, go to:

      If you have not yet signed the petition concerning ‘Homes & Gardens’, please consider doing so as soon as possible. The list of signatories already includes many prominent scholars, among them Professors Michael Berenbaum and Jacob Neusner.

      The petition is being circulated by Wyman Institute Academic Council member Prof. Paul Miller, who can be reached at pmiller@mcdaniel.edu The text of the petition follows below; please note that it should be signed only by those who teach, or have taught, some aspect of Holocaust studies at any age level (including courses that dealt only in part with Holocaust-related issues):Text of the petition:

As educators who have taught about the Holocaust, we are deeply disappointed that ‘Homes & Gardens’ has pressured a British web site to delete a 1938 ‘Homes & Gardens’ article that portrayed Adolf Hitler in highly sympathetic terms.

A crucial part of Holocaust education involves studying the failure of the Western media to fully and accurately report about the Nazi menace in the 1930s. The attempted suppression 65 years later of articles such as the 1938 feature in ‘Homes & Gardens’ undermines efforts to teach about the Holocaust and its lessons.

Just as various governments, corporations, and institutions have acknowledged their role in the Holocaust process by publicly apologizing, paying reparations, or taking other appropriate steps to face up to their past, so too should ‘Homes & Gardens’ squarely face up to its past. We urge ‘Homes & Gardens’ to make the full 1938 article available at no cost to interested readers, together with a formal letter of apology from the publisher.


      1. Reminder: David S. Wyman will speak on “A Race Against Death: Peter Bergson, America, and the Holocaust,” on November 23, 2003, at 3:00 p.m., at the Jewish Center for Community Services, 4200 Park Ave., Bridgeport, CT. For more information, call: 203-372-6567.

      2. A number of Jewish newspapers published a recent article by Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff, concerning the Bergson group’s controversial Rosh Hashana newspaper ad in 1944, “What’s So Happy About This New Year?” In addition, Dr. Medoff’s article about the 60th anniversary of the rabbis’ march in Washington was published as the feature article of the High Holidays supplements to the New Jersey Jewish News, the Ohio New Standard, and other newspapers.Dr. Medoff will speak on “FDR & the Holocaust” at Congregation Beth Sholom, 11825 Seven Locks Road, Potomac, MD, on Sunday, October 26, 2003, at 8:00 pm.