Debate: the Kollerstrom question
28 Apr 2008

Academic Dr Nicholas Kollerstrom was last week stripped of his honorary post at University College London, after his controversial views on the Holocaust and 9/11 were uncovered by bloggers. Was the university right to disassociate itself from him, or is he being punished for a thought crime? Index asked Unity, of Liberal Conspiracy, and Brendan O’Neill of Spiked, to weigh up the argument

‘I believe UCL’s decision to be entirely justifiable’ — Unity

For 11 years, Dr Nicholas Kollerstrom was an honorary research fellow of University College London’s Department of Science and Technology Studies; an astronomer and a respected academic, albeit one with an unorthodox sideline in publishing books on astrology and the geometry of crop circles.

If you search UCL’s website today, the only reference to Kollerstrom you’ll find is a brief statement noting UCL’s decision to terminate his research fellowship as a consequence of his having expressed views that the university considers to be ‘diametrically opposed to the aims, objectives and ethos’ of the university to the extent that it now wishes ‘to have absolutely no association with them or with their originator’.

Nicholas Kollerstrom is a Holocaust denier, although he would, no doubt, prefer to be called a ‘revisionist’. He believes that ‘no German has ever placed a Jew in a gas chamber’ and that the only use to which Zyklon B gas was put at Auschwitz/Birkenau was that of delousing the mattresses of its ‘guests’; ‘guests’ who otherwise ‘enjoyed’ the very best hospitality that the Third Reich had to offer. That may sound rather strange and unhistorical, but that’s the view set out by Kollerstrom in an essay on school trips to Auschwitz published on the website of the ‘revisionist’ Committee for Open Debate on The Holocaust (CODOH):

‘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. Let’s hope they are shown postcards written from Auschwitz, some of which still exist, where the postman would collect the mail twice weekly.’

On a more contemporary note, Kollerstrom also believes that both the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the July 7 2005 bombings in London were the work of western security operatives working to orders handed down of their ‘Zionist masters’ and that modern-day Germany is controlled by ‘Zion’.

Kollerstrom’s downfall as an academic has come about because a blogger found Kollerstrom’s essays at CODOH, using Google, and exposed them to public scrutiny, and because another blogger found the time to ensure that UCL was made of aware of their existence. As one might well expect, the reaction to this from Kollerstrom and his few supporters has been as predictable as UCL’s decision to cut him loose. Kollerstrom has complained of being victimised for committing a ‘thought crime’ while, amongst his fellow 9/11 and 7/7 conspiracy theorists, talk of bloggers adopting ‘Gestapo tactics’ and working for Mossad to discredit their ‘movement’ has been amongst the common currency of discussions of Kollerstrom’s fate. Meanwhile, out in the real world, legitimate questions have been raised as to whether UCL was justified in its decision to strip Kollerstrom of his research fellowship, given that his writings on Auschwitz have no real bearing on his professional standing as an astronomer.

My own view on this last question is simply that in repudiating both Kollerstrom and his opinions on the Holocaust, UCL has done nothing more than take reasonable steps to protect their reputation as one of the UK’s, if not the world’s, leading universities, a reputation that could only have been diminished had it taken no action after having become aware of his views.

What Kollerstrom has lost here is merely the prestige and credibility of a formal association with a leading academic institution, not his right to freedom of speech. UCL may no longer include links to his past academic works on their website, but most of them are in print elsewhere and Kollerstrom has no shortage of options for publishing his legitimate academic works independently of UCL. There is, after all, always the Internet.

I believe UCL’s decision to be entirely justifiable simply because of the poor scholarship and even worse judgement demonstrated in his essays on Auschwitz. They are, after all, utterly lacking in originality, no more than a regurgitation of long discredited fictions based on sources that, taken collectively, comprise a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of Holocaust denial: David Irving, Ernst Zundel, Frederick Toben, Germar Rudolf and even Simon Sheppard, the founder of Redwatch and a man who has the rare distinction of having been expelled from the British National Party for being too extreme in his anti-Semitic views for even Nick Griffin to tolerate.

Britain, quite rightly, neither criminalises nor imprisons its Holocaust deniers but neither does it protect them from ridicule and the opprobrium of the public or, in the case of Kollerstrom, his academic peers.

And that is exactly how it should be.

‘He has been found guilty of going beyond the point of reasonable private thought’ — Brendan O’Neill

Nicholas Kollerstrom, who has had his Honorary Research Fellowship terminated by University College London, is clearly a nasty piece of work. A 9/11 ‘truther’ and an unabashed Holocaust denier, he is probably the last person you would want to find yourself sitting next to at a dinner party.

Yet if there is one thing worse than having Jew-baiting toe-rags like Kollerstrom around, it is the hysterical witch-hunting of such individuals. Kollerstrom can do little more than get on people’s wick, whereas the attempted expulsion of him and his ilk from public life has far graver consequences.

It turns free speech into a negotiable commodity, treats the public as wide-eyed children who must be protected from ‘evil’ monsters, and replaces openness and honesty in Britain’s universities with a creepy cowardice in the face of dodgy ideas.

It should be noted that Kollerstrom’s wacky beliefs were extracurricular activities. His area of expertise at UCL was the history of astronomy; his bizarre fascination with crop circles, the role of the CIA in 9/11 and the idea that the gas chambers at Auschwitz were an ‘illusion’ was something he pursued in his own spare time.

So he has effectively been relieved of his honorary research duties on the basis of his private beliefs and habits. Yet if you were to empty the universities of every lecturer and professor who had a questionable private life, or who thinks the Bush administration had a hand in 9/11 (a worryingly fashionable viewpoint), the ivory towers would fall eerily silent. Professors have always been mad. That is where the term ‘mad professor’ comes from. But so long as they teach their students well in their area of expertise, there shouldn’t be a problem.

The removal of Kollerstrom’s honorary research position follows a cowardly pattern in academic life. In the 1990s, anti-fascist activisits and academics called for the removal of Chris Brand from the psychology department at the University of Edinburgh after he admitted to being a ‘scientific racist’.

A group of students at Oxford has called for the sacking of David Coleman, a professor of demography and a co-founder of the anti-immigration think tank Migration Watch, on the basis that his ‘well-known opinions and affiliations relating to immigration and eugenics’ could bring the university ‘into disrepute’.

In October last year, James Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, was due to give talks at museums and academic festivals of debate around the UK. The invitations were withdrawn after he suggested in an interview with the Sunday Times that there is a racial basis to intelligence, and, in the words of the Science Museum, went ‘beyond the point of reasonable debate’.

Today, Kollerstrom has been found guilty of an even more bizarre crime: going beyond the point of reasonable private thought. Some will argue that Kollerstrom’s ‘speech crimes’ are of a different order to David Coleman’s and James Watson’s, and even Chris Brand’s — after all, Kollerstrom is a Holocaust denier, which is about as poisonous as it gets.

Yet once you accept the idea that there is some endpoint to ‘reasonable debate’, and that academics who cross it ought to be silenced, sacked or robbed of their titles, then academic censorship takes on its own momentum. Everyone from critics of immigration to those who spout racial intelligence ideas to Holocaust deniers can potentially be turfed out of university life.

Those who witch-hunted Kollerstrom are no doubt very pleased with themselves following the UCL’s decision — but they have further bolstered the idea that university officials should define what is an ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ way of thinking.

Perhaps universities should keep out ‘climate change deniers’, too, since, in the words of green writer Mark Lynas, they will be ‘partially but directly responsible for millions of deaths from starvation, famine and disease in decades ahead’. What about historians who question whether the Turkish massacres in Armenia were genocidal? A new European law on genocide denial could turn them into criminals. Let’s get rid of them, too.

I am not relativistically arguing that all views are equally valid and that there are ‘many truths’ (I hate that pomo phrase). Kollerstrom’s beliefs about the Holocaust are transparent tosh. So is Chris Brand’s take on intelligence and David Coleman’s stance against immigration. Yet the truth can never be established by pen-pushing officials deciding who should be allowed into the academy and who should be kept out.

As John Stuart Mill put it: ‘Complete liberty of contradicting and disproving our opinion is the very condition which justifies us in assuming its truth for purposes of action; and on no other terms can a being with human faculties have any rational assurance of being right.’ In short, truth, the question of whether you are right or wrong, can only be established through full and rigorous public debate, and never through censorship.

In erecting a forcefield to protect the academy from dodgy views, university officials and their champions in the blogosphere are actually undermining truth, ossifying it, turning it into received wisdom which must be protected from the challenge of poisonous outsiders. That is not truth, it is tradition — stifling, unquestionable, censorious tradition. Truth reveals itself precisely through taking on the likes of Kollerstrom in open, public debate; to silence Kollerstrom and others is to admit that you are not confident about your truth, and to hide it away and protect it with laws, codes and threats of sackings.

Those witch-hunting Kollerstrom are indulging in fascist porn, fantasising that dangerous fascists lurk under our beds and in our universities ready to corrupt the nation’s youth with their stinking ideas. That might make them feel warm and moist, like latter-day World War heroes defeating the Nazi threat by writing blog posts during their tea break — but all they’ve really done is turn the odious Kollerstrom into a free-speech martyr and strengthen the idea that the authorities should circumscribe speech and thought.

28 responses to “Debate: the Kollerstrom question”

  1. […] (8) Brendan O’Neill, Contribution to “The Kollerstrom Question”, Index on Censorship (website), 2008, […]

  2. Ben says:

    Contrary to the view that calling NK what he is is “aggressive” and “defensive” and “downright hostile”, there’s a much less politically-crrect view that could be called “forthright” and “unwilling to accede to the diseased and lying point of view of a stupid bigot and his equally-or-more stupid and bigoted defenders” and most of all “direct about what the truth is here, and why NK sullies it”. Also, anyone who wants to insult the Jewish community by whining about the unkindness shown towards an asshole like NK is free to resume their prior anatomical position, namely re-inserting their head into their anal crevice.

  3. Meg Lee Chin says:

    The aggressive tone and name calling as a result of one man’s opinion is cause for worry. Please people, can we have a reasoned discussion? This overly defensive and downright hostile attitude does more harm than good to the jewish community.

    • Ben says:

      Hi Meg Lee,
      I have no idea if you’ve ever returned to this site after making your objectively stupid comments, and I don’t care if you ever read this or not.
      First off, while I do think you had your head up your ass when you made your comments, my response in that vein was poor and weak and not worthy of this important, complex issue. What I should have said was something that put your bankrupt viewpoint in context without being vulgar. So here goes, and second:
      My problem with your remarks is that they seemed a hell of a lot more upset about the reaction to Mr. Kollerstrom’s disgusting, fact-starved revisionism than the revisionism itself. There was no indication that you had either A) read up on Kollerstrom’s Holocaust denial and/or B) felt there was anything wrong with it. It reminded me of ex-French Pres. Chirac reacting to former Malaysian PM Mathahir’s ugly remarks about Jews by publicly snapping that…the Jews had over-reacted. If you didn’t have any idea what Kollerstrom had said, you should have kept your uninformed views out of this discussion. And if you did, well, it seems clear you were, like Jacques Chirac, more upset that Jews were (rightly) angry about being slandered than you were about the grotesque views of the slanderers.
      As I said, if you read this or not, I truly don’t care. I wrote this for myself and for people who want to consider the issues of facts and reality and emotion with a little background and depth. If you have become a person like that, good on you. Bye.

  4. Ben says:

    He disgraced his employer and lied his ass off in the process. He wasn’t sent to jail, he wasn’t fined, he wasn’t castigated with anything other than the truth about his bullshit. He got fired and deserved to, and three years later, it’s clear that UCL made the right decision.

  5. Closet Doors says:

    thank for posting article good , please post good article next please .I will encourage ,

  6. SarahN says:

    What I don’t understand in all the Holocaust denial is this – What does it matter if only 4.7289 million people were killed by the Nazies, rather than exactly 6 million. What does it matter if “only” 43.6289333 per cent were gassed rather than drowned, shot, strangled, etc. etc. etc.
    What is the point of it all? We know that it happened, the exact figures are meaningless. How much better would we feel about the Holocaust if it was .2% less dreadful than the history books say it was? Are there people sitting in lonely bedsits saying to themselves “If only I could find out exactly how many (to the last infant) Jews were killed by the Nazis, only then will I really be happy” – I shudder to think.
    On the subject of cyanide – there would have to be far less in the gas chambers than the delousing chambers – why? Because most of it went into the lungs of innocent men, women and children. Think on that Kollerstrom for just a little while.

  7. icr says:

    How is what happened here different from in kind from what happened as a result of the famous Hollywood Blacklist of the Fifties? Only the (presumed) politics of the persecuted.

  8. Ancient Briton. says:

    Truth needs no support it stands on its own. It does not need medieval hate laws from medieval mindsets and the denial of free speech.

    I was born working class, just before and lived through WWII in a large British City this at a time when the British emulation of the Hindu Caste System was even worse than it is today.

    The working class indigenous British died in the hundreds of thousands during both world wars for their masters. My Father was told that WWI was a War to end all Wars .. take a walk around the dead British working class Zoo in Flanders field .. take another walk around Galipoli Zoo where so many Anzacs died for ruling class ambitions. The man responsible for Gallipoli was given a State Funeral complete with the slow march and muffled drums down Whitehall and past the Cenotaph. Whilst we of the working class got lowered down a hole on a foreign field, if they could find all the sundry body parts that is.

    Churchill was a monster who was buried with full military honours whilst the peace maker Chamberlain was smeared as an appeaser and duly drummed out of office by the war mongers. Churchill never missed a trick and so successful was he, that for most of us ignorant working class cannon fodder, the Chamber Pot we kept under our miserable beds was called a Jerry (Slang for a German national). If this Jewish Holocaust was a fact then I have to ask why Churchill did not use it along with the many war time lies that the ruling classes pissed over us all?

    The brainwashing system graced with the name of education is all revealed by those text books used to teach us Colonial superiority over all of the Niggers and WOGS whom we subjugated by brutal force. At least it gave us a target for our bigotrytaught me how to read and write but not to think for ourselves. To question the purveyors of the garbage meant a sound thrashing with a bamboo cane supplied in 3 different weights by the Government Education Department. The thrashings were reinforced by the Truant Officers whose task it was to ensure that we were all duly indoctinated as per the ruling class diktat. But at least I learnt to read and in those subsequent post war years served in many Britsh Colonial outposts around the world. That was a real education because right before my eyes the offical lies and brainwashing stood starkly revealed.

    I read Churcills History of the Second World War and I cannot find any reference to a Jewish Holocaust, how can this be explained? I served in post war Germany and visited Belsen which was in the British Zone. It was there that I learnt what the British and American ruling class huns did with the carpet bombing and firestorms and how the that bastard Eisenhower genocided near on a a million German POW,s by starvation and exposure in muddy mid-winter fields with no shelter, no blankets and no food .. Collective punishment. Just like Hiroshima and Ngasaki .. and when one looks at the tactics used it is painfully obvious that it is the same template being used over and over again, its the same template that the Zionists are using against the Semite Palestinians

    The University College of London is a bastion of Academic priviledge, which we the people pay for and where the only movement of intelligent life may be deduced from the snobbish afflatus and the clicking of glass beads on the scientifc abacus. If it were truely a house of learning then they would investigate the truth but no! Because they are intelligent enough to deduce which side of their bread is buttered,and because of that they eat their own between two slices of buttered bread.

    Scientific and Academic Freedom under these disgraceful abuses of power is an oxymoron. These intellectual prostitutes need to remember what happened to Lavoiser,his head fell in a basket.

    Tell me again, why it is that when one asks for the proof of the holocaust one is smeared and livelyhoods ruined? The Zionist tactics and the genocide of the Palestinians are prima facie evidence of a 60 year lie, and if it is not a lie then show the world the evidence and settle this matter once and for all, because the matter is a festering boil which in the very near future is going to erupt. Perhaps we all need to be investing in willow cane head baskets from whence the heads may be transferred to a spike on the walls of the Tower of London. A traitors end, and rightly so.

    So tell me again why is it not allowed to set up an International Tribunal to examine the evidence for and against, Show us the evidence and not the paid for opinions of the moral castrato,s, the Academics and Journalists who serve the Jewish Press.

    Tell me again why we are not allowed to discuss these matters? The people have a right to some truthful answers and they have that right because they are the ones that paid the price and continue to pay the price. The really chilling thing is that what is happening in Palestine is the same template that the monsters have used over and over again. The biggest mistake that these bastards made was to teach us how to read ..

  9. REVISIONist says:

    Yes many millions of Jews were imprisoned during WWII as enemy aliens of by the Axis Powers, and many were killed by the Einsatzgruppen units and such, but six million Jews were not exterminated during the WWII years; “6 million” is just a number thrown out there in 1945 that stuck, repeated over and over and over until it became alleged fact.

    For instance, in December 1945 Albert Einstein said in an address at the Hotle Astor in NYC: “Well, I’m afraid they cannot help it; with their six million dead they have been pushed at the head of the queue, of the queue of Nazi victims, much against their will.”

    There is no way that Einstein or ANYONE else could know, a mere few months after the war had ended, how many Jew were killed in the war. The billions of pages of records had barely even been opened, much less studied thoroughly.

  10. Holocaust denying should not be a crime anywhere. The Holocaust happened, was despicable, is unpardonable, but to punish those who say it did not happen is censorship. Of course they can express their views elsewhere but this merely tells us that free speech is to be heavily ‘taxed’ which makes it not so free at all.

  11. yves de saussure says:

    The attack on Kollerstrom was made by a bunch of jealous web punks here in London. It was so bad that one of his Jewish neighbours put up a blog to defend him from the likes of Johnny Void –
    There you can read the truth, with all comments uncensored, left on for all to see.

    Why can there not be a sensible debate about all this? He was honest enough to post without using a pseudonym like Rachel ‘North’ or Johnny ‘Void’.

    And as to questoining 9/11, when the US gov planned such operations – see Operation Northwoods – and lied about the Gulf of Tonkin to as to start the Vietnam War, of course one should be suspicious about 9/11 and 7/7. I think there are red herrings there to incriminate Israel, which some people pick up on. For this reason we need open, uncensored debate, not cyberpunks who do not even use their real names.
    Ever wonder about the anthrax?
    Last point – whatever happened in WW2 would not have happened if there had been an investigation into the Reichstag Fire, which was an inside job, as proven at Nuremberg and other places. The deaths of millions was in part the fault of those who stifled debate, the Rachel ‘Norths’ and Johnny ‘Voids’.

  12. If we may come back to your character-assassinating remark, that I have said ‘modern-day Germany is controlled by Zion,’ what I actually wrote in my essay that apparently got me thrown out of UCL was,

    “We are not likely to get important insights unless the ‘thoughtcrime’ penalty is lifted from the German people, and they are allowed to review their own past.”
    And I further suggested that the 100 billion Deutschmarks of compensation paid out by Germany to to ‘Holocaust survivors’ was more than enough. Does that support your comment? I think not.

    I believe you have made up the words that ‘guests’ at Auschwitz would ‘enjoy’ the hospitality, attributing these to me – a rather slimy prank, Sir. It was a hard-working labour camp concerned with industrial rubber production. I realise that some (maybe inadvised) remarks I made about a swimming pool there that could be used at weekends by the inmates was a bit too much for many people to cope with, however I see nothing to warrant your comments. Without in any way claiming expertise on this matter, I had ventured to comment on some things that had definitely existed in that camp, eg some orchestras: ‘Auschwitz in Memoriam’ Of course I’m not questioning that vast numbers of people came to die in these camps, under dreadful conditions: I was just trying to elucidate the mystery of things a bit.

    Permit me to reply to Daniel Apton: my opinion, which I hope you may allow me, is that Fred Leuchter’s judgement’s were sound in his 1988 Report, not least because his chemical-sample measurements have been replicated by those of Germar Rudolf taken in 1991– I here recommend his ‘Rudolf Report’ of 2001 ( which gives both sets of sampling; whereas the Polish Markiewicz study sampled something very different – only the small % soluble cyanide, as opposed to total cyanide which the earlier samples had taken; I venture to suggest that Mr Apton might learn something by reading my comments here: ‘Cyanide Chemistry at Auschwitz’ (on the 2nd page) concerning what can and what cannot be inferred from that Polish study.

    I’m not asking your readers to agree with the point of view there argued. All I’m suggesting is, that your correspondent’s comment on the matter is just a rather cheap and nasty character-assassination. A fundamental contrast appears between our aims which appears on this thread, in that I want debate whereas your correspondents seem to be aiming for moral condemnation. I forgive the hate and rage directed against me on this thread; and do not alter in my insistence, that the central issue in this 21st century over what really happened at Auschwitz sixty years ago has to be chemical.

    Moving on to a quite different topic – and I tend to prefer keeping them separate – a propos of 9/11, all your correspondent has to say is, that I am believing it was ‘the work of western security operatives working to orders handed down of their ‘Zionist masters.’’ Anyone wanting to evaluate this perfectly fatuous statement might want to read my essays on the subject, and these are:
    Nine keys to 9/11
    The Mystery of Flight 93
    The Last Days of Bin Laden
    9/11 and Zion
    With the follow on ‘war on terror’ essay,
    Eternal war and false-flag terror.’

  13. johnny void says:

    anyone would think he had an agenda

  14. Unity says:


    Are you so deluded that you think I can’t use a search engine and dig up material of yours like:

    “Clearly, I have committed Thoughtcrime, and the Holy Sanhedrin are out to get me. Did I cast doubt upon their Sacred Dogma?”


    “We need to start looking at the central role of international Zionism in the perpetration of 9/11. I recommend owning a copy of ‘The High Priests of War’ by Michael Collins Piper 2005 for the Neo-Con love affair with Israel. Actors like Larry Silverstein and Dov Zakheim are totally central and surely Israel has no greater financial supporters than these.”

    Both posted by you under your astro3 nick at

    Or how about this:

  15. Daniel V. Apton says:

    Interesting that Kollerstrom cites the long-discredited Leuchter evidence as partial proof of his thesis.
    An academic who rated an honourary fellowship at UCL really shouldn’t be quite so selective as to give Leuchter’s testimony credibility while not citing, for example, Markiewicz, who drew different conclusions from the same source material.

  16. Richie Conway says:

    When will people grow up and stop becoming obsessed about assumed attacks on their view of the world?

    If someone wishes to believe in the accepted story regarding the “6 Million” Jewish holocaust then they should be allowed to do so.

    What they should not, however, be allowed to do is to pursue and persecute those who take a different view.

    They could, at least, do the rest of us the courtesy of doing some pertinent research before taking this somewhat ill-advised course of action.

    After all, there are some arguably gaping, logical holes in the case put forward by the “holocaust affirmers”.

    It isn’t a good thing to be caught in public with your logical trousers around your logical ankles.

    So why don’t we call a truce and, for the sake of truth, have a proper debate on this issue?

    Those of us who have put aside the time to properly research this issue are becoming increasingly impatient with those who have not. Nevertheless, we are still willing to debate this issue with those who take a contrary view.

    The onus is on the “Jewish holocaust affirmers” to prove their case.

    There are some of us that believe that a “human holocaust” took place in WW2. We also believe that it was not a particularly Jewish phenomenon. Many have happened since.

    Many of the details of the “Jewish holocaust” in WW2 have been shown to be incorrect, insubstantiated or impossible.

    Yet, there is still this concentration upon it.

    Is that why those camps have that adjective?

  17. johnny void says:

    Still citing yourself as a source eh Nick

    You just keep digging, really we’re enjoying it.

    I was one of the bloggers who ‘witch-hunted’ Nick Kollerstrom and it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

    Kollerstrom was not sacked, he had an academic relationship with UCL which they chose to end and in my mind were quite right to do so.

    You won’t find this quote from Kollerstrom on the CODOH website anymore because it’s mysteriously disappeared:

    “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 forty-five thousand volumes for inmates to choose from, plus a range of periodicals; and the six camp orchestras at Auschwitz/Birkenau, its the theatrical performances, including a children’s opera, the weekly camp cinema, and even the special brothel established there. Let’s hope they are shown postcards written from Auschwitz, some of which still exist, where the postman would collect the mail twice-weekly.”

    Kollerstrom paints Auschwitz as if it were a butlins, a sickening depiction which belies the horrific events that took place there.

    Why he chooses to do this is unclear, perhaps he really is stupid or perhaps he has another more sinister agenda.

    I don’t know if Kollerstrom has made comments about zionist masters but he has certianly claimed that Germany is in the nads of zion.

    All of this points to either an extreme anti-semetic agenda or gross stupidity

    Both of which I would suggest make him unsuitable to hold a fellowship at a university which teaches students from across the world.

    Yes this was extra-curricular activity but we are liable for our actions and plenty of employees have been sacked for drug use, criminal convictions or simply bringing the organisation they work for into disrepute.

    and I restate that Kollerstrom was not sacked, he was thrown out of an academic club which has every right to choose who they wish to have as a member

    I would say that his published work citing his PhD is highly pertinent to his membership of an academic club

    As for his complaints about being depicted in a nazi uniform etc I make o mistake for that.

    The internet is a bearpit as anyone whose stepped into the ring knows. I’ve had everything up to and including threats of violence for some of the things I’ve published, but it’s my choice to publish and other’s right to criticise, satirise and take the piss

    In other words if you can’t take the heat Kollerstrom you know what to do

    And you won’t be missed by many except perhaps the nutjobs at stormfront

  18. Peter Koye says:

    Mr Kollerstrom, whatever it is you are trying to achieve, you are a despicable person and as I understand it you have warranted the attentions of some pretty angry Jewish groups.

    I would think long and hard about your agenda, your general attitude toward the Jewish people, and the fact that as somebody too stupid to use pseudonyms has left himself exposed to what could potentially be a very long and drawn out debate involving the relatives of dead people you claim were not gassed by Nazis.

    I do not expect they will be treating you with anything but the contempt and anger you deserve.

    And as part of the 9/11 and 7/7 conspiracy theorists, who are also happy to tread all over the memories of the dead and injured in the pursuit of your “sacred truth” theory, I hope that people who may have some scepticism surrounding these more recent events realise that half of the “evidence” and sources supporting your oddball theories originate from sinister anti-jewish groups.

    The first casualty of war is the truth.

    I am far more sceptical of what you and your ilk has to say than anything Bush and Blair might have said.

    “Truth Seekers”?
    Anti-semitic bullshitters more like.

    I just hope people open their eyes before swallowing your fairy tales, just to see what filth they align themselves with.

  19. Ben Frank says:

    I’m a newcomer to this site and – formally at least – to this issue. My apologies therefore if the following have been asked and discussed here before and my appreciation in advance for any responses.

    What – in brief – do contributors to Index on Censorship believe constitutes holocaust denial?

    Do contributors to Index on Censorship think there is a specific reason(s) why only some countries make this a criminal offence and not others? (Why not all member countries of the EU for example?)

    Does this decision by UCL effectively restrict Dr Kollerstrom’s freedom to travel to countries where holocaust denial is a criminal offence?

  20. Rachel says:

    Let’s look again at the utterly discredited sources Kollerstrom uses. (Unity has already gone over this, yet Kollerstrom seems incapable of applying any critical analysis to the far-right sources he cites.)

    Leuchter is used by ‘revisionists’ who say he is an engineering expert who specialised in the design and fabrication of execution hardware used in prisons throughout the United States

    But in court Leuchter finally admitted that he was not an engineer, nor an engineering expert, and not a credible witness – but a perjurer.

    See Washington Post

    BOSTON, June 17 – Fred A. Leuchter Jr., a self-styled expert in the machinery of death who parlayed his reputation as a builder of killing equipment into a second career as a proponent of “Holocaust revisionism,” has admitted that he is not an engineer.

    Made in a consent decree filed with a Massachusetts court last week, his admission should deal a blow to the movement holding that the Nazi extermination of 6 million Jews and others during World War II was a hoax or an exaggeration, according to experts in the field.

    Leuchter, 48, of suburban Malden, was to face trial later this month on charges of practicing engineering without a license, a violation of Massachusetts law. But on June 11, he signed a consent agreement with the board that licenses engineers.

    In it, Leuchter acknowledged that, “I am not and have never been registered as a professional engineer” and that he nevertheless had represented himself as an engineer in dealings with various states that use the death penalty and to which he supplied equipment or advice

    The agreement also requires Leuchter to stop disseminating reports in which he purports to be an engineer, most significantly a document known as the “Leuchter Report.”

    That report, widely circulated by revisionists, asserts that gas chambers at Nazi concentration camps in Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek could not have been used for mass killings because they were not big enough nor well ventilated or sealed. The assertion is based largely on chemical analysis of materials scraped surreptitiously from walls of those chambers by Leuchter during a visit to Poland in February 1988.

    Next up, Germar Rudolf

    On March 15 2004, the Mannheim District Court sentenced Germar Rudolf to two years and six months in prison for inciting hatred, disparaging the dead, and libel. Rudolf as well as the prosecution accepted the verdict. Rudolf’s “Lectures on the Holocaust” was withdrawn.

    Rudolf’s report is comprehensively debunked here

    Finally, John Clive Ball’s credibility is examined here

    What Mr Kollerstrom is posting up is not research, but uncritical gulping down of utterly discredited sources.

    I note that Mr Kollerstrom is presently blaming me for ‘outing’ him, ( although he outed himself by publishing his views under his own name). A smidgeon of research would have shown him that it was Blairwatch who came out with the story first, and that the story was quickly picked up by other bloggers including Unity, Bloggerheads, The Void, Chicken Yoghurt, Jewcy, Liberal Conspiracy, Mr Eugenides, and others.

    Do yourself a favour, Mr Kollerstrom, and look at what has been said about your sources. If you are confident in them, you should be able to do so without flinching.

    Do you never think, Mr Kollerstom, how very strange it is that hundreds of thousands of historians from all the world, of all political opinions and races and faiths and backgrounds should have studied WW2 for decades, and yet the only people who come out with the stuff you cite ALL happen to be far-right Judeophobics who have been utterly discredited in court, and in some cases, jailed for inciting racial hatred?

    As to the free speech straw man, Mr Kollerstrom is quite at liberty to continue posting his obnoxious views on the internet and to speak out about them in public. His Uni is quite free to disassociate themselves from them. And bloggers and the Jewish Chronicle are free to criticise them as the ignorant, prejudiced falsehoods that they are. Which is as it should be.

  21. N.Kollerstrom says:

    Sir –
    It’s exciting to read in your column that I have gone beyond the limits of ‘reasonable private thought’. Also, thanks for stating the reason why (you believe) I was thrown out of UCL – that’s more than my College was prepared to do. Might I share with you my viewpoint?

    As you may notice, I have the numero uno thread on cyanide chemistry at Auschwitz. (1) Four pages long, it is now the nearest thing to a definitive guide to the topic. Twenty years ago this spring, Fred Leuchter took his 36 samples from the old walls of Auschwitz, and then in 1991 Germar Rudolf took another 29, and these two both had more or less identical chemical analysis techniques to measure total residual cyanide in them. I have suggested we view their data together. The cyanide gas percolated into the walls during the years of WW2 when the ‘gas chambers’ were being used, and bonded permanently with iron present in the brickwork. So it is basically iron cyanide that was measured.

    Some of those samples were taken from old brickwork exposed to the elements while others came from sheltered, intact rooms with the ceiling still up. I compared these two groups right at the beginning of my chemistry thread, and found no significant difference between the two groups: the iron-cyanide bond happens to be very permanent and insoluble, which means that the cyanide has not leeched out over the decades. That is the basis of my claim, that these chemical samples now offer us the best guide which the human race now has, to exactly where the cyanide was used. Forty tons of Zyklon-B was used at Auschwitz during the war: where and how?

    There is a difference of three orders of magnitude in this residual cyanide, between walls of the alleged human gas chambers, for example the one which thirty million people have walked though at Auschwitz, and the actual ‘gaskammers’ or delousing chambers which are a lot smaller and are specifically deigned for the circulation of hydrogen cyanide: used for delousing mattresses etc. to combat typhus. What I am calling the ‘illusion’ that was perpetrated at Nuremberg – in the essay which seems to have got me thrown out of UCL (2) – is the claim, that all the Zyklon-B was used for human extermination. It may indeed only be since the 1990s that ‘Holocaust’ books have had to acknowledge that some proportion of this delousing agent was used for its proper purpose, ie delousing.

    Please allow me to give you some approximate figures here. The 14 samples taken of the small ‘delousing chambers,’ averaged around 4,800 parts per million of the cyanide – and that’s from samples taken both inside and outside walls, as the gas percolated right through. For the large ‘alleged human gas chambers’ it’s around 2 ppm (16 samples taken), and for the ‘control’ samples, (17 taken) from barracks, washrooms etc its averaging 1 ppm. The latter is right down at the limit of measurement of the cyanide in the brick. Some conjecture that a single delousing op was applied to the barracks, ie fumigation of the rooms with the cyanide may have been applied.

    My opinion is that these figures do not really permit any mass gassings in what have been called since Nuremberg the gas chambers. The slight difference between the cyanide levels of the AHGC and the living quarters is not statistically significant (the standard deviations of these two groups being 2.9 and 1.1 respectively). There is no way you can have human gassings, without the gas percolating through into the porous walls and binding permanently with the iron. You just can’t have that, the chemistry won’t allow it.

    What these results do show, is that prolonged and intensive use of the Zyklon-B must have taken place in the still-remaining disinfestation rooms. Pro-Holocaust books do not normally ever suggest that these were used for human extermination, because they were too small, and also because they still today have intricate apparatus in them, as would have been destroyed by asphyxiating humans. The arguments put forward in pro-Holocaust books, to account for this three order of magnitude difference, are weak, mainly that bugs took longer to kill than humans and so required higher HCN levels. Clearly, such an argument would not stand up to rational debate, should such ever take place on this topic (it hasn’t yet, in the UK).

    I have been compelled, by the logic of the chemical argument, to the view which seems to have got me thrown out of UCL, namely that the Zyklon-B was used exactly where the design-plans of Auschwitz (3) say that it was used, viz. the delousing chambers.

    Ferrocyanide is used by artists as a blue pigment, and we need to appreciate that still today the ‘gas chambers’ i.e. delousing rooms have that blue in their brickwork because they are saturated through and through with that compound. Look, don’t shoot me I’m just the messenger. I understand that these chambers are normally out of bounds for the school visits to Auschwitz that take place. That seems a pity.

    Based on this chemical evidence, I would conjecture that the big chamber which thirty million people have walked though at Auschwitz was actually what it appears to be, viz. a washroom, with shower units etc. My understanding is, that this is what it was stated to be in the design-plans. Its postwar-reconstructed so it’s a bit hard to tell.

    Right after the war this use of cyanide gas was replaced by DDT and everyone forgot about it. It had been in use in Germany for delousing since the twenties.

    This point of view ties up with other facts such as the conspicuous absence of any diagnosis of death by cyanide poisoning in the German labour camps during WW2. Much is uncertain and questionable concerning the high mortality in those camps: but as a science historian I try to be guided first by physical, chemical evidence and only secondly by human testimony.

    PS As regards my political views, which I hope you agree are not relevant to the above, it should not be necessary for me to state that I have never had any connection to any right-wing or pro-German political movement. (I’m also not aware of having any belief in ‘Zionist masters,’ of which ‘Unity’ has rather strangely accused me)

    1. Cyanide Chemistry at Auschwitz
    3. J.Pressac, Auschwitz, Technique and operation of the Gas Chambers 1989:

    Fred Leuchter, ‘An Engineering Report …’ 1988 Toronto, Samisdat Publishers Ltd.
    (36 wall samples analysed by Alpha Analytic Laboratories, in MA)
    Germar Rudolf, ‘Das Rudolf Gutachten …’ 1993 UK, Cromwell Press
    (29 wall samples analysed by The Fresenius Institute, in Hessen)
    John Clive Ball, ‘The Ball Report’ 1993 BC, Canada Ball Resource Services Ltd
    (6 samples analysed by an unknown laboratory)

  22. Bradley Smith says:

    Re Kollerstron’s “writings on Auschwitz …”: is there anyone at UCL, or Index on Censorship, who can provide the name of one person, with proof, who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz?


  23. Siara says:

    He has his free speech, he is neither sacked, nor silenced, but why should UCL continue to ‘honour’ a man whose research methodology and sourcing is so totally uselessly shite? Anyone who merely regurgitates a load of racist discredited codswallop and calls it an essay deserves to be disassociated from a respectable Uni that prides itself on having standards.

    It wasn’t ‘private thought/habits/beliefs’ either, the man was writing this drivel under the name ‘Dr Nicholas Kollerstrom, PhD’ and posting it all over the internet. Giving speeches on it. Actively going out and proselytizing about it.

    It was hardly a ‘witch hunt’ – just people posting their views on the internet – which Kollerstrom does himself. If he wanted to express his views privately, there was nothing stopping him from posting on David Icke or Stormfront under an pseudonym. What did he think would happen, writing under his real name and citing his PhD? Did he really think that UCL, with their Holocaust Studies unit would want to ‘honour’ him with an honourary fellowship, given what he was putting about – that the Holocaust was a lie?

    He *is* a Holocaust denier and happily admits it; this was no witch hunt – not when Kollerstrom was basically doing the equivalent of flying on a broomstick in a pointy hat saying ‘look at me, I’m a witch’

  24. Siara says:

    He has his free speech, he is neither sacked, nor silenced, but why should UCL continue to ‘honour’ a man whose research methodology and sourcing is so totally uselessly shite? Anyone who merely regurgitates a load of racist discredited codswallop and calls it an essay deserves to be disassociated from a respectable Uni that prides itself on having standards.

    It wasn’t ‘private thought/habits/beliefs’ either, the man was writing this drivel under the name ‘Dr Nicholas Kollerstrom, PhD’ and posting it all over the internet. Giving speeches on it. Actively going out and proselytizing about it.

    It was hardly a ‘witch hunt’ – just people posting their views on the internet – which Kollerstrom does himself. If he wanted to express his views privately, there was nothign stopping him from posting on David Icke or Stormfront under an pseudonym. What did he think would happen, writing under his real name and citing his PhD? Did he really think that UCL, with their Holocaust Studies unit would want to ‘honour’ him with an honourary fellowship, given what he was putting about – that the Holocaust was a lie?

    He *is* a Holocaust denier and happily admits it; this was no witch hunt – not when Kollerstrom was basically doing the equivalent of flying on a broomstick in a pointy hat saying ‘look at me, I’m a witch’

  25. paul says:

    Pretty much on O’Niell’s side. You either have free speech or you don’t.
    The Kollerstrom witch hunt was an extremely distasteful and, I think, opportunistic witch hunt.
    The far right in the UK today just leech off the failings of the government towards certain groups. The idea that their jackboots are the ones that will march over the land is ridiculous.
    Mainstream government shows far more fascistic tendencies (esp in mussolini’s formulation); the merging of government and corporate interests, the promotion of militarism, vague and expedient legislation,excessive use of propaganda and an increasing enthusiasm for surveillance and repression.
    We don’t live in a police state, but all the tools are are being assembled should it be deemed necessary.

  26. Dr Fredrick Toben says:

    Welcome aboard Dr Kollerstrom – now, who is next?

  27. Leo Watkins says:

    The problem with Brendan O’Neill’s argument is that he appears to be attacking the straw man of limits on freedom of speech here, except on the infrequent occasions when he asserts that excluding someone from participating in debate within the walls of a private educational establishment is tantamount to limiting their freedom of speech.

    This is a somewhat tenous idea, premised as it is on the idea that giving someone fewer opportunities and fora through which they can air their views is limiting freedom of speech. To my mind, an infringement of freedom of speech is when one is barred from saying something at all in all places – public and private, rather than merely being barred from saying something in a private forum, which is what UCL is.

    Removing Mr Kollerstrom from his post is not censorship because he is not being prevented from expressing his views entirely; he still has that important and fundamental right that underpins liberal democracy – the right to express his views in public places. It is not, however, a political right to be able to express one’s views in private fora which one is a member of at the leisure of others, or for as long as one conforms to clearly laid out standards of behaviour etc.

    Additionally, the notion that Mr Kollerstorm’s views being private and separate to the discipline he teaches somehow renders such views tolerable, as they do not threaten his ability to teach competently, is an odd one. The problem is that a highly-regarded establishment such as UCL lends credibility to those who work for it, and therefore any theories produced and propagated by its staff as a result, often regardless of whether the theory comes under the area that they teach at UCL.

    If UCL makes the decision that it is lending credibility to views it dislikes by retaining someone who propagates such views in their employment, that is an entirely valid decision to make. Additionally, it compromises the intellectual integrity of UCL to be associated with such views, and therefore despite the views being private ones (which i dispute at any rate, as they are ones that have been expressed publicly and through participation in Holocaust ‘revisionist’ organisations) they still have important consequences which UCL is not at all to blame for being concerned about.