Content warning: anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial
Editor’s note: Updated 19:38 to include statement from EUSA sabbatical team.
A poster denying aspects of the Holocaust was found in the University of Edinburgh’s King’s Buildings Wednesday afternoon, in an apparent anonymous anti-Semitic attack against students.
The poster, found pinned to a public notice board in one of the university’s science buildings, was titled “The Greatest Swindle of All Time” and contained accusations of conspiracy and fabrication with regard to the Holocaust.
Referencing Professor Norman Finkelstein, an American political scientist and prominent outspoken advocate against the state of Israel, the poster included quotes purportedly by the academic referencing the “Holocaust industry” and calling it the “greatest robbery in the history of mankind.”
It continued with contentions that the academic material on “Hitler’s Final Solution” was “worthless as scholarship” and that the field of studies was “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 poster concluded.
The discovered poster was written in unassuming black text against a white background, accompanied by a pin with a series of smaller cards intended to be taken by passers by. Both materials included a web URL for more information.
“For the facts, gentlemen, not the Holywood production, visit:” the poster read, introducing the URL, which included the phrase “Holohoax”.
The material was found this afternoon by a flatmate of Andy Peel, Vice President Societies and Activities (VPSA) of Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA), Peel told The Student. It has since been taken down.
In a joint-statement following the incident, the EUSA sabbatical officers called the incident”horrific” and urged the student community to stand against it.
“This horrific poster is yet another example of the rise of anti-Semitism in the UK, and in the student movement,” the statement said. “This poster actively denies the holocaust’s existence, yet just earlier today at the National Union of Students 2016 conference there were two speeches made against a motion for NUS to commemorate the next Holocaust Day of Remembrance.
It continued: “We will not tolerate anti-Semitic behaviour on campus, and we need to stand against it as a united movement. Please don’t suffer in silence, but report it so that together we can strive for a union and university that is free from discrimination.”
Reacting to the situation personally, Peel voiced sharp condemnation.
“This has no place on a student notice board, or anywhere at this University,” he told The Student.
He continued: “I find it really sad, you know. I find it really sad. In the wake of all the conversations we’ve had in the last few weeks. It’s such a fraught and difficult issue, and it just makes me really sad.”
Peel declined to elaborate on any action being considered by the Students Association in response, but said the sabbatical team was currently in consultation and that any decision would likely be made tomorrow.
The Student has reached out to EUSA and the University for further comment.
This is a developing news story. Check back for further updates.
To read The Student’s examination of anti-Semitism on campus last December, click here.