By Melvyn Kohn
February 11, 2011
Melinda Batelli-Scopaz, the parent of a kindergartener at PS 290 on the Upper East Side, decided that one of her fellow parents with a child in the school was not too bright. In fact, in a New York Times article of 26 January, by Fernanda Santos and Noah Rosenberg, she says she 'came to the conclusion that this guy is a moron.'
The 'moron' in question is Michael Santomauro, who is the editorial director of the American division of Theses & Dissertations Press, which publishes Shoah sceptics who live in countries where denial is a crime.
But she is not calling him a moron just for his opinions on that matter - he in fact sent a mass email promoting a book titled "Debating the Holocaust: A look at both sides" by Thomas Dalton, PhD.
Some of the parents called the ADL, which already had him classified as a 'hard-core Holocaust denier."
Santomauro, who has had protestors chant "evict the nazi" outside his flat, claims he has received threatening phone calls, and has filed a police report. He asserts that the mass emails was a mistake on his part and has agreed not to send anymore to the PTA at PS 290.
Echoes here of Dr (why do these people have PhDs?) Nicholas Kollerstrom, who was kicked out of Univeristy College London in 2008. He promptly gave an interview Daniella Peled at the JC, which brought the matter to closure until the Evening Standard promised him a chance to air his views. Ironically, the JC interview was balanced and fair, which Kollerstrom himself admitted; the ES piece, by Robert Mendick, made him out to be a monster, and caused him much grief. The experience actually made him appreciate us, with whom he had always had a good relationship until he was outed. He claims he was never an anti-Semite but truly believed the CODOH claims and wanted to correct the account, though he never took the trouble to go to Auschwitz or interview survivors.
Few of these people do. What makes them tick I do not know...