Col­lege re­jects Shoah de­nier

Auschwitz in­mates ‘en­joyed swim­ming pool and wa­ter polo’, UCL fel­low claims

The Jewish Chronicle - - Front Page - BY DANIELLA PELED

A UNIVER­SITY has with­drawn a re­searcher’s fel­low­ship af­ter he pub­lished an ar­ti­cle claim­ing that the gas cham­bers of Auschwitz never ex­isted.

Ni­cholas Koller­strom, an aca­demic spe­cial­is­ing in as­tron­omy, posted the ar­ti­cle, The Auschwitz “Gas Cham­ber” Il­lu­sion, on the web­site of the re­vi­sion­ist Com­mit­tee for Open De­bate on the Holo­caust.

He claimed that only one mil­lion Jews died in the war and that “the only in­ten­tional mass ex­ter­mi­na­tion pro­gram[me] in the con­cen­tra­tion camps of WW2 was tar­geted at Ger­mans”.

Dr Koller­strom, 61, an hon­orary re­search fel­low at Univer­sity Col­lege Lon­don un­til Tues­day, stood by the claims this week, but ex­pressed sur­prise that they had caused of­fence.

And he in­sisted the univer­sity “had not ac­tu­ally told me what’s so ter­ri­ble about the ar­ti­cle”.

He com­plained that he had been ac­cused of “thought-crime” af­ter spend­ing months re­search­ing it.

And he added: “If a smaller num­ber were gassed, then surely the Jewish com­mu­nity should be pleased that it wasn’t so ghastly.”

He wrote: “Let us hope the school­child­ren vis­i­tors are prop­erly taught about the el­e­gant swim­ming-pool at Auschwitz, built by the in­mates, who would sun­bathe there on Satur­day and Sun­day af­ter­noons while watch­ing the wa­ter-polo matches; and shown the paint­ings from its art class, which still ex­ist; and told about the camp li­brary which had some 45,000 vol­umes for in­mates to choose from, plus a range of pe­ri­od­i­cals; and the six camp orches­tras at Auschwitz/Birke­nau, its the­atri­cal per­for­mances, in­clud­ing a chil­dren’s opera, the weekly camp cin­ema, and even the spe­cial brothel es­tab­lished there.”

Dr Koller­strom, of St John’s Wood, North West Lon­don, said he prefers to call him­self a re­vi­sion­ist rather than a de­nier. Re­vi­sion­ists, he said, “want to look at Euro­pean his­tory with­out quite so much hate and bit­ter­ness”.

He also claimed he was the vic­tim of “a calumny” by blog­gers who had ac­cused him of far-right sym­pa­thies and posted on the in­ter­net an im­age doc­tored to show him in Nazi uni­form.

“I have some very good Jewish friends and have never had the slight­est in­ter­est in the Nazi move­ment,” he said. “I never go to Ger­many. I have al­ways be­longed to things like the Green Party, CND and Re­spect.”

A UCL spokesman said: “The views ex­pressed by Dr Koller­strom are di­a­met­ri­cally op­posed to the aims, ob­jec­tives and ethos of UCL, such that we wish to have ab­so­lutely no as­so­ci­a­tion with them or with their orig­i­na­tor.

“We, there­fore, have no choice but to ter­mi­nate Dr Koller­strom’s re­search fel­low­ship with im­me­di­ate ef­fect.”

A source at the univer­sity also said that there had been con­cern at opin­ions Dr Koller­strom had ex­pressed re­gard­ing con­spir­acy the­o­ries over the July 7 2005 Lon­don bomb­ings and the ter­ror at­tacks of Septem­ber 11, 2001. His

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