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September 5, 2016 2:37 pm

Thousands of Fliers Promoting Holocaust Denial Secretly Distributed Across Australian Campuses

avatar by Lea Speyer

University of Melbourne campus. Photo: Wikipedia.

University of Melbourne campus. Photo: Wikipedia.

Thousands of fliers promoting Holocaust denial have been distributed secretly across Australian college campuses over the past year, an Australia-based correspondent for BuzzFeed News reported on Sunday.

According to the report, the flier — entitled “The Greatest Swindle of All Time” — has been spotted at the University of Melbourne, Monash University, University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the Australian National University (ANU). There are also unconfirmed reports of sightings at the University of Sydney.

The flier highlights several comments made by Norman Finkelstein, a controversial Jewish-American political scientist famous for his “Holocaust industry” theory, according to which the American-Jewish establishment has exploited the Nazi genocide for its own gains.

Noting that Finkelstein’s parents were themselves Holocaust survivors, the flier uses his quotes as proof that the event never occurred, stating:

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“The Holocaust may yet turn out to be the greatest robbery in the history of mankind.”

“Much of the literature on Hitler’s Final Solution is worthless as scholarship. Indeed, the field of Holocaust studies is replete with nonsense if not sheer fraud.”

“Given the nonsense that is turned out daily by the Holocaust industry, the wonder is that there are so few skeptics.

The flier then urges readers to learn “the facts gentlemen, not the Hollywood production,” directing them to an anonymously listed conspiracy theory website.

Michael Fisher, national chair for the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS), condemned the fliers, telling BuzzFeed News that “Australian universities must vigorously tackle the surge in antisemitism, and identify and punish the groups which are disseminating this poison.”

“Everyone has the right to feel safe and welcome on campus,” he said, adding that he believes the “toxic propaganda” is being spread by neo-Nazi groups in a coordinated campaign.

According to Fisher, far-right hate groups — which, he says, are experiencing a resurgence in Australia — have been responsible for such fliers in the past. “Although the leaflets are closely similar to one another in content and appearance, they have appeared in three slightly different forms, suggesting that there have been three separate print runs,” he said.  

According to the report, while the flier in question has been widely condemned by the universities and various student groups, vice chancellors from each institution have refused to directly acknowledge the antisemitic nature of the leaflet. “This decision has left many student associations frustrated,” BuzzFeed News said.

Officials from Melbourne and Monash told the outlet that that since the identity of the flier’s author is unknown, they cannot press charges. A spokesman said that ANU is reviewing campus security footage, in an attempt to identify the distributors of the flier, adding that they can face up to a $5,000 fine for littering.

The appearance of Holocaust-denying propaganda on college campuses is not exclusive to Australia. In April, similar leaflets were found in Scotland at Glasgow University and Edinburgh University. The fliers were distributed on the anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s birth.

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