|Here is the response of professor XXXX. |
I have no desire to be part of this flame, but I do feel it is important to note that our mission as an institution revolves around scholarship and teaching. I think that includes this List-Serve. I think it is inappropriate to use the List-Serve to stump for political positions unless the emphasis can stay on debate based in substantial and rational arguments.
Simultaneously denouncing and engaging in ad hominem name calling is not in keeping with the decorum that one expects here. And the denouncements of scholarship that Marty makes are not only inconsistent with the mission of the institution for which he works, but are also gross distortions of an historical record he seems only dimly to understand.
As my dissertation (in progress) focusses on cultural shifts in Weimer and early Nazi eras, I can report to you that these statements ("before WWII, effete intellectual snobs studied German culture and sought an understanding of the Nazis instead of developing strategies to fight Hitler. Perhaps certain things don't change." and "Too many intellectuals seem to be playing a game in a deadly serious battle. PhD's contributed to Nazism and communism.") blur the actual history of the Nazi era, apparently to make a political point. Intentionally obscuring the historical record in order to accomplish political ends is, sadly, typical of our government.
But should we let playing fast and loose with the facts infect our culture at Purchase? Can we, as a faculty, let it pass? Shall we turn our heads away from the reduction of history to cheap sloganeering?
If anybody wants to debate the complex and varied responses of scholars of Naziism, I would be most happy to. It's a fascinating topic that can potentially shed much light on interactions between culture and politics. But, were I to enter into such a debate, it would certainly not be with someone who has shorn the argument of all its particulars, ignored parts of the historical record that don't support his position, and placed it in evidence simply in order to support a vague foreign policy that is driven by manifest ill-will towards an entire religion.
We, as a faculty, should not be silent when one among us who is supposed to be a scholar stops behaving like one. Everyone has the right to speak as he wishes. But ones right to be regarded as a respected scholar depends on evincing the behavior of a respected scholar.