SYDNEY — Leaflets distributed at Australian universities claiming that the Holocaust never happened have been referred to university authorities for investigation and led to calls for tougher action against racism on university campuses.
Since February, hundreds of the leaflets have been left on campuses in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra.
The leaflets assert that the Nazi genocide against Jewish and other communities during World War II never occurred, and that historical evidence of the Holocaust is “the greatest swindle of all time.”
Michael Fisher, national chairman of the Australasian Union of Jewish Students, called the distribution of the leaflets “part of a coordinated campaign aimed at intimidating Jewish students and academics.”
“Although the leaflets are closely similar to one another in content and appearance, they have appeared in three slightly different forms, suggesting that there have been three separate print runs,” he said.
Fisher described the leaflets as “toxic propaganda” and “a contemptible attempt to abuse and isolate Jewish students and staff, many of whom lost family in the Holocaust and whose grandparents in Australia are survivors of the genocide.”
Fisher identified “neo-Nazi groups” as the most likely authors and distributors of the leaflets.
The University of Western Australia Crawley campus has seen a spate of anti-Semitic graffiti featuring Nazi swastikas. At the University of Sydney, graffiti reading “Kill Jews” has been painted on campus.
“Everyone has the right to feel safe and welcome on campus,” Fisher said. “Australian universities must vigorously tackle the surge in anti-Semitism, and identify and punish the groups which are disseminating this poison.”