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Jewish Journal

Come to Columbia, Mein Fuhrer

by Brad A. Greenberg

September 24, 2007 | 1:08 am

This one has been creating quite a furor while I was away this weekend. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad, the American antagonist and Holocaust denier, is scheduled to speak at Columbia University in New York today.

In defending the Ivy League university’s invitation, Dean John Coatsworth told Fox News that they’d invite Hitler if he were in town. Glad I live on the Left Coast. The dean’s message can be seen here and below:

The Manhattan campus has long been a destination for bright Jewish high school seniors, well before other Ivies dropped the Jew quotas. The New York Sun notes the irony of Jewish students learning of today’s globe-trotting guest after breaking fast and singing online after Yom Kippur ended Saturday.

Dean Coatsworth seems to be laboring under the illusion that had Columbia actually hosted Hitler in the late 1930s, World War II and the war against the Jews might have been prevented. The dean appears to be ignorant of history. The archives of the New York Times disclose that in December 1933, Columbia’s president, Nicholas Butler, extended an invitation to Hitler’s ambassador, Hans Luther. A protest was made by the Social Problems Club, which, according to the report in the Times, said: “Inviting the Nazi envoy to lecture on the foreign policy of his government and giving him an official reception means not only failing in our duty to oppose the Nazi onslaught on culture and in our duty to defend our German colleague but signifies, if not an open endorsement of the Nazi actions, at least placing their principles on the same level with other viewpoints.”

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