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Clarifying the Search for the Holocaust Chair



Your reporter did not succeed in speaking with me before her article ("Holocaust Chair Decision Unlikely Anytime Soon") appeared on March 31. Allow me as chair of the search committee for a professor of Holocaust and cognate studies to correct some misimpression.

The committee did feel that in the case of some candidates a more informed comparative evaluation might be made when their scholoarly trajectories were further along.

Daniel J. Goldhagen was not rejected, whether or grounds of youth or inexperience, whatever that latter term implies, and, as he pointed out, he continues to serve as associate professor of government and social studies.

Despite the slighting remark attributed to your anonymous source, Christopher Browning is a scholar whose works on perpetrators and bureaucratic accomplices is justly praised as learned and innovative.

Saul Friedlander--as reported, a scholar of great distinction--no longer teches half the year at Tel Aviv, but an invitation for an interim appointment under the terms of the chair turned out to be precluded.

It is true that different members of the search committee, as should be expected, can have differing views on how best to approach the topic, but all those serving accepted the mandate of looking specifically for a scholar of the Holocaust.

For the record, we have recommended to the Dean--whose desicion it must be--that the search be resumed in 1998, at which time the recent candidates, if they are willing, as well as possible additional ones can be brought under renewed scrutiny. --Charles S. Maier '60   Krupp Professor of European   Studies

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