March 13, 2006, - 11:25 am
By Debbie Schlussel
I am proud to be one of the “80 prominent journalists” cited in today’s New York Times, who signed a petition asking the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) to acknowledge that its predecessor organization “was wrong to turn its back on Jewish refugee journalists fleeing Hitler” and in turning its back on full coverage of the Holocaust.
My maternal grandparents survived the Holocaust, but most of my family on both sides was murdered by the Nazis. If American journalists, so bent on the “public’s right to know,” were as concerned about telling the truth, then, as they now are about showing pictures of hooded men, perhaps members of my family and millions of others might have been saved. We will never know.
As today’s New York Times reports:
In 1939, Prof. Carl J. Friedrich, a non-Jewish German refugee and Harvard government professor, had sought to address the American Newspaper Publishers Association, the precursor of the newspaper association, for 10 minutes about the plight of Jewish journalists who were seeking safe haven from Nazi persecution. But the association turned him down.
The petition I signed was organized by Dr. Rafael Medoff of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies. It cites research by Laurel Leff, an associate professor of journalism at Northeastern University. Her research documents the extensive, deliberate failure among American journalism schools and newspapers to provide safe haven for those persecuted by the Nazis and to cover what was going on then. She will address the NAA at its April meeting.
Tags: America, American Newspaper Publishers Association, associate professor, associate professor of journalism, Carl J. Friedrich, David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, government professor, Harvard, Hitler, Laurel Leff, NAA, New York Times, Newspaper Association of America, Northeastern University, professor of journalism, Rafael Medoff