J’ACCUSE! Stephan Templ Ad Runs in Der Standard

There are only a few days left before Austria is due to imprison the journalist Stephan Templ despite a total absence of grounds in what has become the most outrageous example of persecution by a European government with undeniable overtones of official anti-Semitism. This announcement was placed in the newspaper Der Standard crying out against the injustice.

Der Standard 26092015

75 Historians Worldwide Send Letter and Petition Protesting Stephan Templ’s Imminent Incarceration

The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies organised a petition signed by 75 eminent Holocaust historians calling on Austria to grant clemency to Stephan Templ.

The full text of letter and all signatories below.

The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies

September 21, 2015

His Excellency Hans Peter Manz

Embassy of Austria

3524 International Ct. NW

Washington, D.C. 20008

austroinfo@austria.org

Dear Ambassador Manz,

As scholars who have written or taught about the Holocaust or other genocides, we are deeply troubled by the impending imprisonment of an Austrian Jewish historian and journalist who exposed Austria’s failure to return Jewish property seized during the Nazi era.

The crime of which Mr. Templ has been convicted, and sentenced to one year in prison, was his omission of the name of an estranged relative from his application for the return of his family’s seized property. This matter could have been resolved by the Templ family in civil court. The Austrian government’s decision to intervene by prosecuting and jailing Mr. Templ will be seen as an extreme overreaction to Mr. Templ’s important book, Our Vienna: Aryanization Austrian-Style, which criticized Austria’s policy concerning the restitution of Jewish property.

Please convey to President Heinz Fischer our urgent request that he reconsider his rejection of Mr. Templ’s appeal against his prison sentence.

Cordially,

Prof. Navras Jaat Aafreedi, Gautam Buddha University – India

Prof. Irving Abella, York University – Canada

Prof. Karyn Ball, University of Alberta – Canada

Prof. Paul R. Bartrop, Director, Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies, Florida Gulf Coast University

Prof. Michael Berenbaum, American Jewish University

Prof. Alan L. Berger , Director, Center for the Study of Values and Violence after Auschwitz, Florida Atlantic University

Prof. Aaron Berman, Hampshire College

Prof. Paul Bookbinder, University of Massachusetts Boston

Prof. Jonathan Brent, Executive Director, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Rabbi Shalom Bronstein, Jerusalem, Israel

Prof. Frank Chalk, Director, The Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, Concordia University

Prof. Gonzalo Álvarez Chillida, Universidad Complutense – Madrid, Spain

Eric Cohen, Chairperson, Investors Against Genocide

Prof. Debórah Dwork, Director, Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University

Dr. Helen Fein, Board Chair, Institute for the Study of Genocide

Dr. Edyta Gawron, Jagiellonian University – Krakow, Poland

Prof. Zev Garber, Los Angeles Valley College (emer.); Editor, Shofar

Prof. Jay Geller, Vanderbilt University

Prof. Henry Gonshak, Montana Tech

Dr. Elvira Groezinger, University of Potsdam (emer.)

Dr. Alex Grobman, America-Israel Friendship League

Prof. Kathryn Hellerstein, University of Pennsylvania

Prof. John-Paul Himka, University of Alberta – Canada (emer.)

Dr. Charles Jacobs, Americans for Peace and Tolerance

Roz Jacobs, Artistic Director, The Memory Project Productions

Prof. Steven L. Jacobs, University of Alabama

Prof. Katherina von Kellenbach, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Prof. Yitzchak Kerem, Hebrew University; Editor, Sefarad vehaMizrah

Hon. David Kilgour, J.D., Ottawa, Canada

Prof. Gerd Korman, Cornell University (emer.)

Prof. Arnold Krammer, Texas A & M University 

Prof. Claudia Koonz, Duke University (emer.)

Dr. Neil Kressel, Director, Honors Program in the Social Sciences, William Paterson University

Prof. Laurel Leff, Northeastern University

Prof. Deborah E. Lipstadt, Emory University

Prof. Marcia Sachs Littell, Stockton University (emer.)

Prof. Shulamit Magnus, Oberlin College

Dr. Rafael Medoff, The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies 

Prof. Robert Melson, Purdue University (emer.)

Prof. Rochelle L. Millen, Wittenberg University (emer.)

Prof. Stephen H. Norwood, University of Oklahoma

Prof. Zsuzsanna Ozsvath, The University of Texas  at Dallas

Prof. David Patterson, The University of Texas at Dallas

Prof. Paolo Pezzino, University of Pisa, Italy

Prof. Eunice G. Pollack, University of North Texas

Prof. Antony Polonsky (emer.), Brandeis University

Prof. Moishe Postone , The University of Chicago , Co-Director, Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory

Prof. Walter Reich, George Washington University, Former executive director, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Prof. Peter Rose, Smith College (emer.)

Prof. Thane Rosenbaum, New York University

Prof. John K. Roth, Claremont McKenna College (emer.)

Prof. Sheldon Rubenfeld, President, Center for Medicine After the Holocaust

Eli Rubenstein, National Director, March of the Living – Canada

The Rev. Prof. Martin Rumscheldt, Atlantic School of Theology – Halifax, NS Canada

Prof. Suzanne Rutland, University of Sydney – Australia (emer.)

Prof. Victoria Sanford, Lehman College

Prof. Robert Moses Shapiro, Brooklyn College, City University of New York

Prof. Baila R. Shargel, Manhattanville College

Prof. Robert Skloot

University of Wisconsin-Madison (emer.)

Prof. Philip Spencer, Kingston University – London, England (emer.)

Prof. Leon Stein, Roosevelt University (emer.)

Prof. Oren Baruch Stier, Director, Holocaust Studies Initiative  – Florida International University

Prof. Norton S. Taichman, University of Pennsylvania (emer.)

Prof. Gil Troy, McGill University

Prof. Kenneth Waltzer, Michigan State University

Prof. Chaim I. Waxman, Rutgers University (emer.)

Dr. Racelle Weiman, Director, The Humanization Project

Dr. Ann Weiss, Director, Eyes from the Ashes Foundation

Prof. Paul Weindling, Oxford Brookes University – Oxford, England (emer.)

Prof. Sonja Schoepf Wentling, Concordia University

Prof. Linda M. Woolf, Webster Universtiy

Prof. David S. Wyman, University of Massachusetts – Amherst (emer.)

Prof. Randall C.  Zachman, University of Notre Dame

Prof. John C. Zimmerman, University of Nevada Las Vegas

Prof. Bat-Ami Zucker, Bar-Ilan University

Dr. Efraim Zuroff, Director, Simon Wiesenthal Center – Israel Office & Eastern European Affairs

Prof. Ronald W. Zweig, New York University

(Institutions listed for identification purposes only.)

* * *

ABOUT THE WYMAN INSTITUTE:  The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, located in Washington, D.C., is a research and education institute focusing on America’s response to the Holocaust.  It is named in honor of the eminent historian and author of the 1984 best-seller The Abandonment of the Jews, the most important and influential book concerning the U.S. response to the Nazi genocide.

     The Institute’s Advisory Committee includes Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel, Members of Congress, and other luminaries.

     The Institute’s Academic Council includes more than fifty leading professors of the Holocaust, American history, and Jewish history.

     The Institute’s Arts & Letters Council, chaired by Cynthia Ozick, includes prominent artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers.

     (A complete list is available upon request.)

An Open Letter to the Austrian Attorney General

This open letter to the Attorney General of Austria Dr Werner Pleischl raises a number of the multiple factual and legal errors in the prosecution of Mr Templ, and highlights the fundamental injustice of the conduct by the Austrian authorities. The full text of the letter follows – a PDF version of the document can be downloaded here.

Continue reading An Open Letter to the Austrian Attorney General