"German Quarterly" Betrays American Ideal of a Free Press

Published: 1984-10-01

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In the Winter 1984 issue of the German Quarterly, a publication of the Association of American Teachers of German (AATG), there was an advertisement for a book by Charles Weber titled: The Holocaust: 120 Questions and Answers. Dr. Weber is the former head of foreign languages at the University of Oklahoma at Tulsa, a member of AATG, and is on the board of IHR.

The people at the Simon Wiesenthal Center probably didn't like the questions Dr. Weber asked in his book; I feel certain they did not like the answers, so they decided to squelch it. According to Heritage (Los Angeles, 24 March 1984):

"In a March 14 letter , Wiesenthal Center Director Dr. Gerald Margolis demanded that the German Quarterly publish a 'complete retraction of the ad and a repudiation [sic] of the Institute for Historical Review. The Simon Wiesenthal Center considers the inclusion of this advertisement in your significant publication to be offensive and an unwholesome statement to the academic community."

According to the Wiesenthal Center publication Socialactionupdate (Spring/Summer issue), Mr. Margolis also demanded that the German Quarterly take the necessary steps to "remove the sheen of academic legitimacy" that it had bestowed on these "nea-nazi apologists."

It is not reported what questions or answers to the "Holocaust" tales were so disturbing to the Wiesenthal Center, but in any case the German Quarterly clicked its heels together, bowed, and in the time-honored manner of Hollywood Germans, whimpered that "any journal that accepts an ad for any book that 'questions' Holocaust history should be morally condemmed."

So the Simon Wiesenthal Center had done its real job once again, successfully suppressing a book without addressing its contents, which I suppose is the goal of successful book suppression everywhere.

I wrote to Dr. Margolis asking if the Wiesenthal Center would provide me with a statement of its policy regarding censorship and the right of free inquiry, but of course he's stonewalling me. The Center has a policy on censorship alright, but it isn't going to put it into writing.

With respect to the pathetic performance of the people at the German Quarterly, what words would you use to describe it?

Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Bradley R. Smith
Title: "German Quarterly" Betrays American Ideal of a Free Press
Sources: Prima Facie, no. 1, October 1984, pp. 7f.
Published: 1984-10-01
First posted on CODOH: July 7, 2012, 7 p.m.
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