More Than 200 Historians Protest C-Span Broadcast Of Holocaust-Denier

News Release
March 17, 2005

More than two hundred prominent historians and social scientists from the United States, Canada, Germany, and Israel have signed a letter protesting C-SPAN’s plan to broadcast a lecture by Holocaust-denier David Irving on its program “Book TV.”

The letter was organized by the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, which publishes the only annual report on Holocaust-denial around the world.

C-SPAN officials claim the broadcast of Irving is needed to “balance” its planned broadcast of a speech by Holocaust historian Prof. Deborah Lipstadt.  (Lipstadt has now withdrawn her permission for C-SPAN to broadcast her lecture, to protest C-SPAN’s plan to give Irving a platform.) C-SPAN’s Book TV executive producer Connie Doebele,  of , said:  “You know how important fairness and balance is at C-SPAN.  We work very, very hard at this. We ask ourselves, ‘Is there an opposing view of this?’ ” (Washington Post, March 15, 2005)

Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff strongly disagreed with Doebele, saying:  “The Holocaust is not a topic with ‘opposing views.’  It is a historical fact.  Giving a platform to a Holocaust-denier to ‘balance’ a Holocaust historian is as outrageous as giving a platform to the Flat Earth Society to balance a speech by an astronomer.  Like any responsible news outlet, C-SPAN should not broadcast speeches or statements it knows to be false.”

The signatories on the Wyman Institute letter include leading historians from Yale, Harvard, Columbia, NYU, Princeton, UCLA, Georgetown, the University of Chicago, and other prominent universities, and many of the most noted historians of the Holocaust, such as Christopher Browning, Richard Breitman, Deborah Dwork, Ronald Zweig, and David S. Wyman.

The text of the letter and the complete list of signatories (as of March 17) follow:

March 17, 2005

Connie Doebele, Executive Producer
Book TV

Dear Ms. Doebele:

As historians and social scientists, we strongly oppose your reported decision to broadcast a lecture by Holocaust-denier David Irving, to “balance” your intended broadcast of a lecture by Holocaust historian Prof. Deborah Lipstadt.

We support Prof. Lipstadt’s refusal to participate in this project.  Falsifiers of history cannot “balance” historians.  Falsehoods cannot “balance” the truth.   Justice Charles Gray of the British Royal High Court of Justice, in his verdict on April 11, 2000 dismissing Irving’s libel suit against Prof. Lipstadt, concluded that Irving “is antisemitic and racist” and ruled: “Irving has for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence.”

Just a few weeks ago, we concluded Black History Month.  Presumably C-SPAN did not consider broadcasting a program about Black history that would be “balanced” by a program featuring someone denying that African-Americans were enslaved.  C-SPAN should not broadcast statements that it knows to be false, nor provide a platform for falsifiers of history, whether about the Holocaust, African-American history, or any other subject.

A recent report by the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies found that Holocaust-denial is a real and growing problem, and continues to be actively promoted in Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere, and in some cases enjoys government sponsorship.  If C-SPAN broadcasts a lecture by David Irving, it will provide publicity and legitimacy to Holocaust-denial, which is nothing more than a mask for anti-Jewish bigotry.

We strongly urge you to cancel your planned broadcast of the Irving lecture, and to proceed with your original plan to broadcast a lecture by Prof. Lipstadt.


Prof. David S. Wyman
University of Massachusetts at Amherst (emer.)

Prof. Irving Abella
York University

Prof. I. D. Abella
University of Chicago

Prof. Bradley Abrams
Columbia University

Prof. Elinor Accampo
University of Southern California

Prof. Bonnie S. Anderson
Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center

Prof. M. Christine Anderson
Co-Director, Gender and Diversity Studies
Xavier University

Prof. Clifford Ando
University of Southern California

Prof. Electa Arenal
CUNY Graduate Center (emer.)

Prof. Dianne Ashton
Director of American Studies
Rowan University

Prof. Tommaso Astarita
Georgetown University

Prof. Ralph Austen
University of Chicago

Prof. Peter Baldwin
University of California, Los Angeles

Emily G. Balic
Stanford University

Prof. Lawrence Baron
Director, Lipinsky Institute for Judaic Studies
San Diego State University

Dr. Rachel N. Baum
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Prof. Naomi Baumslag
Georgetown University

Prof. Marjorie Becker
University of Southern California

Prof. Brigitte Miriam Bedos-Rezak
New York University

Prof. Joseph W. Bendersky
Virginia Commonwealth University

Prof. Andrew Bennett
Georgetown University

Prof. Michael Berenbaum
University of Judaism

Prof. Edward Berenson
New York University

Prof. Alan Berger
Florida Atlantic University

Dr. Marion Berghahn
Berghahn Books

Prof. Volker R. Berghahn
Columbia University

Prof. Aaron Berman
Dean, Hampshire College

Prof. Mira Binford
Quinnipiac University

Prof. Norman Birnbaum
Georgetown University (emer.)

Prof. Lisa M. Bitel
University of Southern California
Editor, Matrix

Prof. Paul Bookbinder
University of Massachusetts – Boston

Dr. Harold Brackman
Simon Wiesenthal Center

Prof. Richard Breitman
American University
Editor in Chief, Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Prof. Catherine A. Brekus
University of Chicago

Prof. Renate Bridenthal
Brooklyn College-CUNY (emer.)

Prof. Michael Brown
York University (emer.)

Prof. Christopher R. Browning
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Prof. Daniel Brumberg
Georgetown University-ICC

Prof. Jon Butler
Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Yale University

Prof. Daniel Byman
Georgetown University

Leith Campbell
Edmonton Catholic School System

James Carroll

Prof. Karl H. Cerny
Georgetown University (emer.)

Kathy Chapman
Education Director
Dallas Holocaust Museum

Prof. Anna M. Cienciala
University of Kansas (emer.)

Prof. Benjamin J. Cohen
University of California at Santa Barbara

Prof. Charles E. Cohen
University of Chicago

Prof. James B. Collins
Georgetown University

Prof. Sandi E. Cooper
College of Staten Island and CUNY Graduate School

Dr. Hélène Dallaire
Hebrew Union College

Prof. Marion Deshmukh
George Mason University

Prof. Jeffry Diefendorf
University of New Hampshire

Prof. Hasia R. Diner
New York University

Elliott Dlin
Executive Director
Dallas Holocaust Museum

Prof. Lawrence Douglas
Amherst College

Prof. Deborah Dwork
Clark University

Prof. Arthur M. Eckstein
University of Maryland

Prof. John M. Efron
University of California-Berkeley

Prof. Hester Eisenstein
Queens College and CUNY Graduate Center

Prof. Pamela Elfenbein
Florida International University

Dr. Noah Elkin
Independent Historian

Dr. Stephen Feinstein, Director
Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
University of Minnesota

Prof. Gerald D. Feldman
University of California, Berkeley

Prof. George M. Fredrickson
Stanford University (emer.)

Prof. Hal W. French
University of South Carolina (emer.)

Dr. Murray Friedman
Director, Feinstein Center for American Jewish History, Temple University

Prof. Serge Frolov
Southern Methodist University

Prof. Zev Garber
Los Angeles Valley College
Editor in Chief, Studies in the Shoah

Prof. Charles Gati
Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Jay Geller
Vanderbilt University

Prof. Geoffrey J. Giles
University of Florida

Prof. Eagle Glassheim
Princeton University

Prof. Myron P. Glazer
Smith College

Prof. Penina M. Glazer
Hampshire College

Prof. Norman Golb
University of Chicago

Prof. Richard M. Golden
Director, Jewish Studies Program
University of North Texas

Prof. Myrna Goldenberg
University of Maryland, College Park

Prof. Jonathan Goldstein
University of West Georgia/Harvard University Fairbank Center

Prof. Linda Gordon
Professor of History

Dr. Eugene Gorski, C.S.C.
University of Notre Dame

Prof. Henry Greenspan
University of Michigan

Dr. Alex Grobman
Brenn Institute

Prof. Lloyd Gruber
University of Chicago

Prof. Peter J. Haas
Chair, Department of Religion
Case Western Reserve University

Prof. Judith P. Hallett
University of Maryland, College Park

Prof. Neil Harris
University of Chicago

Prof. Patrick Henry
Whitman College

Prof. Jeffrey Herf
University of Maryland, College Park

Prof. Arthur Hertzberg
New York University

Prof. Susannah Heschel
Dartmouth College

Prof. Steve Hochstadt
Bates College

Prof. David A. Hollinger
University of California at Berkeley

Prof. Brian Horowitz
Tulane University

Prof. Sandra Horvath-Peterson
Georgetown University

Allison Howdieshell
The Temple-Tifereth Israel

Prof. I.V. Hull
Cornell University

Prof. Paula E. Hyman
Yale University

Prof. Harold James
Princeton University

Prof. Marty J. Kalb
Ohio Wesleyan University

Prof. Marion Kaplan
New York University

Prof. Rochelle Goldberg Kaplan
William Paterson University

Prof. Nathan Katz
Florida International University

Prof. Hillel J. Kieval
Chair, Department of History
Washington University in St. Louis

Prof. Harvey Klehr
Emory University

Prof. Henry F. Knight
University of Tulsa

Prof. Claudia Koonz
Duke University

Prof. Barbara Krauthamer
New York University

Prof. Neil J. Kressel
William Paterson University

Prof. Robert A. Krieg
University of Notre Dame

Prof. Brendan LaRocque
Xavier University

Prof. Fred A. Lazin
Ben Gurion University

Prof. Laurel Leff
Northeastern University

Prof. Amy E. Leonard
Georgetown University

Bernice Lerner
Acting Director,
Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character
Boston University

Prof. Kevin Lewis
University of South Carolina

Prof. Robert J. Lieber
Georgetown University

Prof. Charles Lipson
University of Chicago

Dr Erich H. Loewy
University of California, Davis (emer.)

Prof. Michael Mandelbaum
Johns Hopkins University

Prof. Andrei S. Markovits
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Prof. Eric Markusen
Danish Institute of International Studies and
Southwest Minnesota State University

Prof. Dr. Christof Mauch
Director, German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C.

Prof. Joseph A. McCartin
Georgetown University

Prof. Louis Menashe
Polytechnic University

Prof. Rajan Menon
Lehigh University

Prof. Michael A. Meyer
Hebrew Union College

Prof. Rochelle L. Millen
Wittenberg University

Prof. Paul B. Miller
University of Sarajevo and McDaniel College

Prof. Paul Mojzes,
Rosemont College

Prof. Raul Moncarz
Vice Provost Biscayne Bay Campus,
Florida International University

Prof. Eric Monkkonen
University of California at Los Angeles

Prof. Paul Montagna
Brooklyn College, CUNY (emer.)

Suzanne Moore
Dawson Trail School, Manitoba

Henry Morgenthau III
Social Historian

Dr. Samson Munn
Tufts University
President, The Foundation Trust

Prof. Pamela S. Nadell
American University

Prof. Jacob Neusner
Bard College

Prof. Francis R. Nicosia
Saint Michael’s College, Vermont

Prof. Mary Nolan
New York University

Prof. Stephen H. Norwood
University of Oklahoma

Prof. Robert Orsi
Harvard University

Prof. Stephen M. Passamaneck
Hebrew Union College

Prof. Robert Jan van Pelt
University of Waterloo

Prof. Monty Noam Penkower
Touro College Graduate School

Prof. Susan L. Pentlin
Central Missouri State University (emer.)

Prof. Bruce Phillips
Hebrew Union College

Prof. Allen Podet

Dr. Eunice G. Pollack
University of North Texas

Prof. Cathy Popkin
Columbia University

Prof. Arun J. Prakash
Florida International University

Prof. Anson Rabinbach
Princeton University

Prof. Ronald Radosh
City University of New York (emer.)

Prof. Walter Reich
George Washington University

Prof. Harry Reicher
University of Penn. Law School

Dr. Michael A. Riff
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies
Ramapo College of New Jersey

Prof. Bryan Mark Rigg
American Military University

Prof. Erik Rose
Miami University, Ohio

Prof. Paul Lawrence Rose
Pennsylvania State University

Prof. Milton J. Rosenberg
University of Chicago (emer.)

Prof. Aviel Roshwald
Georgetown University

Prof. John K. Roth
Claremont College

Joanne Weiner Rudof, Archivist
Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies
Yale University

Dr. Richard S. Sarason
Hebrew Union College

Dr. Robert B. Satloff
Executive Director
Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Prof. John C. Savagian
Alverno College

Prof. Leigh E. Schmidt
Princeton University

Dr. David Schwartz
Kean University

Dr. Baila Shargel
SUNY-Purchase College

Prof. James Shedel
Georgetown University

Prof. Michael A. Signer
University of Notre Dame

Prof. Herman Sinaiko
University of Chicago

Prof. Robert Skloot
University of Utrecht and University of Wisconsin-Madison

Prof. Melvin Small
Wayne State University

Prof. Ronald Smelser
University of Utah

Kim Smiley
Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre

Prof. Julia Sneeringer
Queens College-CUNY

Prof. Gerald Sorin
SUNY-New Paltz

Prof. Howard R. Spendelow
Georgetown University

Dr. Kevin P. Spicer, C.S.C.
Stonehill College

Prof. Alan E. Steinweis
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Prof. Oren Stier
Florida International University

Prof. Ross M. Stolzenberg
University of Chicago

Prof. Leslie Woodcock Tentler
Catholic University of America

Prof. Mary Todd
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Ohio Dominican University

Prof. Emilie M. Townes
Union Theological Seminary

Prof. Gil Troy
McGill University

Prof. Lise Vogel
Rider University

Prof. Howard M. Wachtel
Director, Center for Israeli Studies
American University

Prof. Linda Waite
University of Chicago

Prof. Irwin Wall
University of California, Riverside (emer.)
Center for European Studies, New York University

Prof. Mark J. Webber
York University

Dr. Racelle R. Weiman
Director, The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education
Hebrew Union College

Prof. Ruth Weisberg
Dean of Fine Arts
University of Southern California

Prof. Lenore J. Weitzman
George Mason University

Prof. S. Jonathan Wiesen
Southern Illinois University

Prof. Randall C. Zachman
University of Notre Dame

Dr. Juergen Zimmerer
University of Duisburg-Essen/Germany

Prof. Gary P. Zola
Hebrew Union College

Prof. Bat-Ami Zucker
Bar Ilan University

Dr. Efraim Zuroff
Simon Wiesenthal Center

Prof. Ronald W. Zweig
New York University

Sonia Zylberberg
Director of Education
Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre

Dr. Rafael Medoff
The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies

(Institutions listed for identification purposes.)