Hillel Takes "Steps" with CODOH Ad at Cornell University

Published: 1996-04-01

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The Daily Sun at Cornell ran the 46 Unanswered Questions ad for five weeks in February and March. Cornell is the largest campus in the Ivy League. The Ivy League schools are arguably the most influential in America. On 19 February the Sun ran a defensive editorial saying the ad “suggested the Nazi death camps never existed,” and claimed that without “open debate and subsequent denunciation,” etc., but what kind of muddled understanding of open debate do these university journalists have when they write that open debate with revisionists should be followed automatically by a denunciation of revisionists? Such an understanding, before the event takes place, mocks the purpose of open debate.

I found out through the Internet that the Campus Hillel had gotten on the case immediately. I picked up the following item from the Hillel mailing list.

“Today (Tues. 2/20) was the second day in two weeks that Cornell University's major student-run newspaper, The Daily Sun, ran an ad from a group of revisionist historians claiming that the Holocaust never happened. The ad mentions a www page which supposedly has answers to 46 questions about the Holocaust. I have not looked at the site because I do not want to give them the satisfaction of knowing that lots of people are interested in what they have to say.

(Which is also why I am not spreading the address around on this list.)

“I am writing to ask for suggestions from both the Hillel staff and fellow students on what different steps can and should be taken in a situation like this. I thank you all in advance for any help or suggestions.

“Glenn Rosenbluth, Publicity Chair, Cornell University Hillel.”

Here again we have the power of taboo in late 20th century America. An hysterical (what other word is appropriate here?) mis-reading of the very short text of the ad, which specifically offers 46 questions about “gas chambers,” not a holocaust. The “leader” of this student group will not even look at the text of the 46 Questions, which the ad offers free, yet wants to “take steps” regarding it, and keeps the address where the text of the 46 Questions can be gotten a secret so that those with whom he associates wall not look at it either — the very people from whom he is asking advice about what to do about the ad.

So it’s true then — there are none so blind as those who will not see.

Over the next weeks the Sun printed a rash of letters denouncing the ad for its content and the Sun for printing it. I faxed a letter to Sun advertising notifying it that I wanted to run the ad another five weeks. I received a letter from Heidi Wirth, ad manager for the Sun, saying the Editorial Board had voted to not allow the ad to run again. No rationale was given.

Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Bradley R. Smith
Title: Hillel Takes "Steps" with CODOH Ad at Cornell University
Sources: Smith's Report, no. 31, April 1996, pp. 3f.
Published: 1996-04-01
First posted on CODOH: Sept. 25, 2015, 5:19 a.m.
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