Update on Recent Developments

Wyman Institute Update: March 31, 2004

    1. Joe Kubert, the legendary comic book artist and editor (and member of the Wyman Institute’s Arts &Letters Council), has designed a stunning opening panel for the exhibit “Cartoonists Against the Holocaust: Art in the Service of Humanity,” which will debut at the Wyman Institute’s upcoming conference, “Teaching and Learning About America’s Response to the Holocaust.” The exhibit features editorial cartoons from the 1940s that challenged the Allies’ indifference to the Holocaust. Mr. Kubert will view the exhibit and offer his comments at 5:00 pm on the day of the conference.

      The conference will be held on Sunday, May 16, 2004, at the Ramaz Lower School building, 125 East 85 Street, New York City, from 10 am to 5 pm. The sessions will include remarks by Prof. David S. Wyman; a panel on U.S. media coverage of the Nazi genocide, featuring veteran correspondent Bernard Kalb; a panel featuring sons and daughters of Americans of all faiths who spoke out for rescue of Jews from the Holocaust; a special workshop for teachers on these topics; and a screening of “They Looked Away,” the new film about the Allies’ refusal to bomb Auschwitz. Nina Solarz, who is chair of the Wyman Institute’s Task Force on Education, will chair the conference. New teacher credit is available. To register, call 202-434-8994 or go to www.WymanInstitute.org

    2. In response to a complaint by the Wyman Institute, the weekly magazine ‘The Nation’ has adopted a new policy of refusing to accept paid advertisements from Holocaust-deniers. The controversy began when an advertisement from a Holocaust-denying organization, the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), appeared in the latest issue of The Nation (which is dated May 3, 2004). The IHR ad promoted a new book which, it said, “dissects … the most sacred of Jewish-Zionist icons, the Holocaust story.” The Wyman Institute responded on April 21 with a letter protesting the publication of the IHR ad as well as the “sponsored link” by The Nation which appears on the web site of the Institute for Historical Review. The Wyman Institute noted that The Nation’s link to the IHR “is especially troubling in view of The Nation’s proud history as one of the few prominent American publications to speak out, during the Holocaust, for the rescue of Jews from Hitler…A business relationship with Holocaust-deniers today sullies that proud record.” The letter concluded: “We therefore urge you to sever The Nation’s relationship with the Institute for Historical Review and to publicly affirm the principle of refusing to accept advertisements from the IHR and similar groups in the future.

      “Later that same day, the Wyman Institute received a letter from The Nation’s advertising spokesman, Leigh Novog, announcing that the Wyman Institute’s protest “prompted a meeting of The Nation’s Advertising Acceptability Committee.” The conclusion of the meeting, Novog wrote, was that “[T]here is a strong presumption against censoring any advertisement, especially if we disagree with its politics. This case, however, is different. Their arguments are ‘patently fraudulent.’ The magazine has requested the advertiser, The Institute for Historical Review not run advertising in future issues.”

    3. In conjunction with Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), the film ‘They Looked Away,’ concerning the Allies’ failure to bomb Auschwitz, was screened at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan and at the University of Delaware. The film’s director, Stuart Erdheim (a member of the Wyman Institute’s Arts &Letters Council), spoke at the Manhattan event; Wyman Institute associate director Benyamin Korn organized the Delaware screening.

    4. The History News Network has posted on its web site a point/counterpoint on America’s response to the Holocaust, featuring William J. vanden Heuvel of the Roosevelt Institute versus Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the Wyman Institute. To view the exchange, go to: http://hnn.us/articles/4268.html

      An essay by Dr. Medoff, “America and the Holocaust, Revisited: Notes on the Writing of A Race Against Death: Peter Bergson, America and the Holocaust,” appeared in the Winter 2004 issue of Menorah Review (published at Virginia Commonwealth University) features” – see www.vcu.edu/judaicstudies

    5. Wyman Institute Academic Council member Prof. Alvin Rosenfeld (Indiana University) has authored a new report for the American Jewish Committee, titled ‘Anti-Zionism in Great Britain and Beyond: A “Respectable” Anti-Semitism?’To view the report, go to:

      The report is the third in a series by Prof. Rosenfeld for the American Jewish Committee, tracing manifestations of anti-Semitism in Europe. The previous reports were: ‘Feeling Alone Again: The Growing Unease Among Germany’s Jews’ and ‘Anti-Americanism and Anti-Semitism: A New Frontier of Bigotry.’

    6. Wyman Institute Advisory Committee member Dr. Shimon Samuels, director of the Paris office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, addressed the 60th Session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva on March 24. He urged the UN agency to condemn human rights violations by Hamas.