Literature of the Holocaust
maintained by Al Filreis

Note: At the request of Christina Jeffrey, I add this link to Barry Friedman's account of the controversy covered in the 1995 newspaper article below.

Excerpted from NEW YORK TIMES NEWS Jan 10, 1995



   WASHINGTON - Speaker Newt Gingrich on Monday night dismissed
the historian of the House of Representatives ... after learning
that she had once helped to deny federal financing of an
educational program about the Holocaust on the ground that it did
not present the views of the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.
   Gingrich made the announcement on Monday evening after he
learned of the evaluation by Christina Jeffrey, which had
outraged many Jewish groups when it became public in 1988. He
acted on Monday evening after House Democrats called upon him to
dismiss her....
   On Monday afternoon, as Democrats learned of her past, they
sharply criticized the appointment.  ``It's just appalling,''
said Rep. Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts. ``He ought to
get rid of her. This is outrageous.'' Professor Jeffrey ... was
an associate professor at Kennesaw State College in Marietta,
Ga.  She teaches public administration and American government.
   At the time she evaluated the Holocaust program in 1986, her
name was Christina Price. ``It wasn't the kind of thing I would
have said if I had known it was going to be in The New York
Times,'' she said earlier in the day on Capitol Hill. ``It has
never been my position that you ought to be going out and finding
the KKK and bringing them into middle-school classrooms.''
   Professor Jeffrey's evaluation of the 
``Facing History and
Ourselves'' project for the Education Department appeared in a
record of a 1988 congressional subcommittee hearing. She wrote:
``The program gives no evidence of balance or objectivity. The
Nazi point of view, however unpopular, is still a point of view
and is not presented, nor is that of the Ku Klux Klan.''
``The selection of only two problem areas, Germany and Armenia,
leaves out many of which are more recent. I'm thinking of the
U.S.S.R., Afghanistan, Cambodia and Ethiopia, among others. My
impression is that the program, based as it is on the resource
book `The Holocaust and Human Behavior,' may be appropriate for a
limited religious audience but not for wider distribution.''
   The program, Facing History and Ourselves, is a training
program for high school teachers and their students and is about
morality and society and the citizen's role in preventing
tyranny. It included an examination of the genocide of Jews and
Armenians in this century.
   About the program, she wrote: ``It is a paradoxical and
strange aspect of this program and the methods used to change the
thinking of students is the same that Hitler and Goebbels used to
propagandize the German people. This re-education method was
perfected by Chairman Mao and now is being foisted on American
children under the guise of `understanding history.'''
   An initial review of the educational program in the early
1980s called it ``exemplary,'' and Holocaust scholars said on
Monday that it is not ideological or religious, but teaches
students about how ordinary citizens can get swept up into
tyrannical and genocidal movements.
   ``It tries to teach about evil in the 20th century, looking at
genocide and the dehumanization of people in various places
around the world,'' said Prof. Sol Gittleman, the provost and a
scholar of German studies at Tufts University, and a member of
the board of the ``Facing History'' program.
   At various points during the 1980s the program was denied
funding, although it had been accredited by the Education
Department and is now widely taught. It was heavily criticized by
conservative critic Phyllis Schlafly, who asked the Education
Department to reject the grant application and accused the
program of ``psychological manipulation, induced behavioral
change and privacy-invading treatment.''
   Professor Jeffrey said she was chosen for the evaluation
because ``they assumed I would oppose that, because I was at Troy
(State University in Alabama) which had a conservative
reputation. I didn't know anything about the Holocaust.''
   Jewish groups and scholars of the Holocaust on Monday praised
the program and denounced Professor Jeffrey's evaluation.
   ``Calling for equal time to present Hitler's point of view is
outrageous and bizarre,'' said Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and
founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. ``To come
out against the program on the ground that the Nazis were not
given their due, if we used that standard on all educational
grants, we'd probably have to cut out all grants.''
   The program, which is accredited by the Education Department,
receives private and public financing and is widely taught in
high schools.

Search for a (single) word:

http://writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/Holocaust/historian-fired2.html - - - Last modified: Wednesday, 21-Mar-2012 19:38:29 EDT