ADL Says Fired House Historian Not an Anti-Semite
Sep. 08, 1995
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The college professor who was fired as House historian by Speaker Newt Gingrich said Thursday a leading Jewish organization has cleared her of the anti-Semitic allegations that led to her dismissal.
Christina F. Jeffrey, an assistant professor at Kennesaw State College in Marietta, Ga., was fired soon after she was hired in January because of a controversy over her 1986 review of a junior high school Holocaust course, ``Facing History and Ourselves.''
Working as a consultant for the Education Department, Jeffrey had criticized the course curriculum for not presenting ``the Nazi point of view.'' When her comments were disclosed, Gingrich quickly fired her.
In an effort to clear her name, Jeffrey said she met in July with Abraham H. Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, and asked him to review the controversy.
Foxman had said immediately after her firing that her criticism of the Holocaust course was ``misguided and profoundly offensive.''
But in an Aug. 22 letter to Jeffrey, Foxman said that after examining the facts and controversy surrounding her critique of the course, ``ADL is satisfied that any characterization of you as anti-Semitic or sympathetic to Nazism is entirely unfounded and unfair.''
``Your clear repudiation of any form of Holocaust denial and your advocacy of Holocaust education demonstrate that the `Facing History' incident reflected neither an inclination to deny the reality of Nazi persecution of Jews nor anti-Semitism, but was simply a regrettable mistake,'' Foxman wrote.
Jeffrey said the ADL letter should put to rest once and for all the allegations of racism and anti-Semitism, which she said had caused her more pain than if she had been ``shot in a drive-by shooting.''
``I don't want that in my obit,'' she said. ``And I don't want that on my epitaph.''
Jeffrey said she has told Gingrich repeatedly in the months since her firing that she deserves an official apology from the House. But so far, she said, he has not responded.
``He's not real comfortable with the topic and would rather talk about anything else,'' she said.
Gingrich spokesman Tony Blankley did not return a telephone call Thursday seeking comment on Jeffrey's request or the ADL letter declaring the anti-Semitism allegations unfounded.