The most salient feature of the reaction to my Standpoint article was the heavy artillery deployed to discredit it. The attackers had a difficult task because, as the Toepfer Foundation was obliged to admit to the university in June 2010, "the facts as presented by Dr Pinto-Duschinsky should and will not be disputed."
There were two parallel sets of responses. The one consisted of misleading statements and private threats, the other of critical publications and rebuttals.
At the level of misleading statements, the Toepfer Foundation posted a statement on its website that "it is [...] to be regretted that the respective editors have withdrawn a publication of his academic article previously announced with the DeGruyter publishers." The article in question was a slightly shortened German language version of the Standpoint piece together with detailed sources and notes. The implication was that the article had been unworthy of publication and that the editors of the projected volume, Dr Michael Fahlbusch and Dr Ingo Haar, had rejected it. In fact, they had merely moved to another German publishing house, Ferdinand Schoeningh. The Toepfer Foundation has continued to include the above statement on its website at the time of Standpoint going to print even though the Fahlbusch/Haar book appeared in September 2010 with my contribution included.
The foundation's stated regrets about the alleged non-publication of the German- language version need to be seen against the background of its private approach to Ferdinand Schoeningh Verlag in June 2010 with warnings about the Standpoint article, the purpose of which may be seen as an effort to dissuade the publishing house from including it in the Fahlbusch/Haar volume.
A few weeks later, the same publisher reported that he had received verbal threats from an academic associated with the foundation: he would take legal action if it published a translated version of my article and the firm would be ruined. Whether the scholar was acting on his own initiative is unclear. When his protests proved unproductive, a second academic wrote to one of the editors of the volume, Dr Ingo Haar, objecting to the inclusion of my offending piece. The senior German historian who wrote to Haar had a leading position in a German research group financed by a major funding body, the DFG, from which Haar was in receipt of a grant. The historian raised "the question — which concerns me personally — whether you want to include in the volume a contribution of Pinto-Duschinsky". In part, his concern was technical. My Standpoint article did not fall within the remit of the research group and had not been delivered at a conference for which funding had been assigned. The historian in charge of the DFG funding protested too about the content of what I had written in Standpoint.
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