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Holocaust denial materials prompt concerns after distribution at Australian universities

ABC News logo ABC News 24/04/2017

The ANU is the latest university to deal with the flyers being distributed © Niki Challis/ ABC News The ANU is the latest university to deal with the flyers being distributed Posters questioning the historical accuracy of the Holocaust have sparked concerns among students at the Australian National University (ANU) and at least two other universities where they were distributed.

On Friday students found flyers and posters at the ANU campus that give support to the views of controversial British writer David Irving, who has questioned the overwhelming body of evidence supporting the existence of the Holocaust.

The materials point to a website that includes questions about whether gas chambers existed at concentration camps.

ANU Students Association president James Connolly said the posters made reference to the new movie Denial, which dramatized a court case involving Mr Irving.

"There were a series of flyers and posters that had been found around the gym ... that challenged the historical authenticity of the Holocaust," Mr Connolly said.

"The impetus for the posters had come from a new film called Denial — the subject of the film was about Holocaust denial.

"It was challenging whether that film had resolved the matter of whether the Holocaust had actually happened."

Mr Connolly said it was not clear who distributed the flyers, but they were similar to ones that appeared on campus last year.

University 'appalled' by flyers

Mr Connolly said the materials were taken down immediately.

"I was aware that it had happened in Victorian Universities," he said.

"Holocaust denial is hate speech — it's usually peddling an agenda of anti-Semitism and it really has no place in an environment which values tolerance and inclusion." A statement from the university also condemned the materials.

"The University is appalled by the distribution of derogatory material on campus," it said.

"The Vice-Chancellor has made it clear that the distribution of derogatory and inappropriate material is completely unacceptable.

"ANU Security removed the fliers, and is reviewing CCTV footage to identify the perpetrators."

Melbourne University confirmed similar flyers were also distributed on its campus two weeks ago.

A small number of flyers were also found in a carpark at Monash University.

Police were notified of both incidents in Victoria.

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