Update on Recent Developments

Wyman Institute Update: November 3, 2003

    1. There have been several important developments in the controversy over the Wyman Institute and the British magazine Homes & Gardens, concerning the article that the magazine published in 1938, glamorizing Hitler.

      In conjunction with the Wyman Institute, Academic Council member Prof. Paul Miller recently spearheaded a petition urging the British corporation IPC Media, which owns Homes & Gardens, to drop its objections to the reproduction and distribution of the 1938 article. (IPC had pressured a British journalist to delete it from his web site.)

      In response to the petition, IPC Media last week withdrew its objections to the reproduction of the article. In a letter to the Wyman Institute, IPC Media stated, “your organisation is free to make use of the images and text” of the article. (The full text of the article can be viewed at www. WymanInstitute.org )

      In an e-mail to the Wyman Institute, Simon Waldman of the British newspaper The Guardian, the journalist who was pressured by IPC to remove the article from his web site, wrote: “Many thanks for getting involved…without you, IPC would have continued to hide behind their sham copyright claim…

      “Discussions are continuing between the Wyman Institute and IPC with regard to the Institute’s insistence that IPC publicly acknowledge its historical and moral responsibility for the 1938 article and express remorse for publishing it–just as various governments, banks, insurance companies, and other institutions have in recent years acknowledged their responsibility for actions they took during the Nazi era.

      Meanwhile, there has been extensive international media coverage of the controversy, including the Institute’s role.

      To see the Boston Globe’s article, go to:

      To see the London Guardian’s coverage, go to:


    2. Welcome to the two newest members of the Wyman Institute’s Arts & Letters Council:Peter Himmelman, a popular and critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter, has recorded nine albums in his fifteen-year career, first as leader of the pop-cult band Sussman Lawrence and then as a solo performer. His most recent CD is “The Himmelvaults, Volume 2.” Himmelman is known for his loose, nonconformist attitude and a musical style that has been described as a unique blend of personal insight and elements of mystical Judaism. Although best known for his pop music, Himmelman has also written music for film, theater, and television, including Disney’s ‘Bug Juice’. He is the series composer for the CBS television show ‘Judging Amy’. His credits also include the award-winning children’s album ‘My Best Friend is a Salamander’ and his recently-issued second children’s album, ‘My Fabulous Plum’.

      Francine Klagsbrun is the author most recently of ‘The Fourth Commandment: Remember the Sabbath Day’. Her other books include ‘Jewish Days: A Book of Jewish Life and Culture Around the Year’; ‘Voices of Wisdom: Jewish Ideals and Ethics for Everyday Living’; and ‘Married People: Staying Together in the Age of Divorce’. Her column, “Thinking Aloud,” appears monthly in the New York Jewish Week, and she also writes a regular column for Moment Magazine. She has contributed articles to such national publications as The New York Times, the Boston Globe, Ms. and the Jerusalem Report, and was editor of the best-selling children’s book, ‘Free To Be You and Me’. She is a trustee of the Jewish Museum and sits on the boards of directors of numerous Jewish organizations. She lectures widely on social, ethical, and family issues.

    3. Arthur Szyk: Artist, Jew, Pole’, by Prof. Joseph Ansell (a member of the Wyman Institute’s Academic Council), will be published by the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization next year. This first full-length biography of Szyk will explore, among other subjects, Szyk’s role in the Bergson group and his illustrations for Bergson newspaper advertisements that helped raise American public awareness of the Holocaust.

    4. Dr. Ruth Gruber, a member of the Wyman Institute’s Advisory Committee, will speak on Sunday, November 9, 2003 –the 65th anniversary of Kristallnacht– at 10:00 a.m., at Oheb Shalom Congregation in South Orange, NJ. Dr. Gruber will offer a personal account of the rise of the Third Reich and the atmosphere in Europe during the early years of Nazi rule. For more information, call 973-762-7067.

    5. “They Looked Away,” the powerful new documentary about the Allies’ failure to bomb Auschwitz, will be screened at the Central European University, in Budapest, Hungary, on November 4, 2003, at 6:00 pm. The film showing will be followed by a roundtable discussion led by Prof. Paul Miller of McDaniel College, who is co-producer of the film and a member of the Wyman Institute’s Academic Council. Also taking part in the discussion will be Prof. Gabriel Gorodetsky of Tel Aviv University and Gabor Kadar of the University of Debrecen. “They Looked Away” will also be shown at the University of Judaism, in Los Angeles, on November 19, 2003, at 7:30 pm, in the Gindi Auditorium, under the auspices of the university’s Sigi Ziering Institute (which is chaired by Michael Berenbaum). There the discussion will be led by the film’s director and co-producer, Stuart Erdheim, who is a member of the Wyman Institute’s Arts & Letters Council. For more information: 310-440-1222 or <agreenberg@uj.edu>To arrange for a screening of “They Looked Away” in your community, please contact Prof. Miller at: pmiller@mcdaniel.edu

    6. 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.

    7. An essay by Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff, concerning the Allies’ failure to bomb Auschwitz, was the lead article in the August 2003 issue of ‘Passport’, the publication of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. The article was a rebuttal to an essay in the previous issue by William J. vanden Heuvel, chairman of the Roosevelt Institute, claiming that the U.S. did not have the ability to bomb the death camps or take any other steps to rescue Jews from Hitler.Dr. Medoff’s review of the book ‘A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide,’ by Samantha Power, was published in the September 2003 issue of the Journal of American History.