September 09, 2009
The Harvard Crimson finds itself at the center of controversy this week after publishing an ad in Tuesday's newspaper that questioned the existence of the Holocaust, the Crimson reports. The ad, which was submitted by the founder of the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust, Bradley Smith, will not run the rest of the week, as was previously scheduled.
The ad asked readers to "provide, with proof, the name of one person killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz." It prompted an overwhelming outpouring of outrage, from campus group leaders to individual undergrads. A joint letter signed by 30 undergraduates said, "Some of us are the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors and were deeply hurt by the implication that those stories passed on to us of our past—of lives lost and families destroyed—were all lies concocted by a vast Jewish conspiracy."
In a statement on the Crimson's website, Crimson President Maxwell Child blamed the advertisement's publishing on oversight and miscommunication.
“Unfortunately, with three weeks of vacation between submission and publication, that decision fell through the cracks," Child writes. “While running the ad was not our intent, we accept responsibility for our failure to carry out the planned cancellation."