Prominent Jewish Studies Professor Denies Existence of Arthur Butz
EVANSTON — Well-known Jewish Studies Professor Ari Silverman made comments on his Facebook page denying the existence of Professor Arthur Butz. Silverman publicly posted, “It’s absurd how professors at NU aren’t allowed to question the absurd myth of Arthur Butz. Why would a prestigious university in a heavily Jewish area ever have a professor who openly denies the Holocaust? Open your eyes and question the narratives set before you, people.”
Throughout the day Silverman continued to argue that Arthur Butz does not exist, and that if the man does exist, he certainly does not deny the Holocaust.
Silverman’s comments received strong backlash from many students studying Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. Zoe Goldstein, a junior who took two classes from Professor Butz during her sophomore year, stated, “It’s unbelievable that Northwestern University would have a professor who denies the suffering experienced by me and so many others due to Professor Butz.” Goldstein started a Facebook page titled, “Fire Butz-Denying Professor Ari Silverman,” which had 1072 likes within 24 hours.
Ten of Silverman’s fellow professors in the Department of Jewish Studies released a public statement condemning Silverman’s statements and calling for him to leave the department, declaring, “Silverman’s ignorance and denial of the tragedy of Arthur Butz is condemnable and does not represent our department.” University President Morton Schapiro held a press conference acknowledging Arthur Butz’s professorship as an unfortunate fact, but admitting that Silverman’s tenure prevents the University from taking action against Silverman’s Butz-denying statements.
Professor Arthur Butz could not be reached for comment, but that does not mean that he does not exist.