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Journalistic Integrity

Peter Desbarats, Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of Western Ontario, writes (book review Nov. 3) in reference to CBC correspondent Joe Schlesinger: "

He was sent by his parents to England in 1939 when he was 11. He never saw them again. . . they probably were executed at Auschwitz."

Later in the review he refers to the place (Auschwitz) "where his parents were massacred" despite the complete lack of substantiation.

Whether or not Schlesinger's parents died in the "Holocaust", there is, as far as is known to the reader, no evidence that they were "massacred" by the Germans or anyone else. More likely they would have died of typhus which ravaged some of the camps and claimed thousands of victims despite countermeasures by the Germans using the Zyklon-B fumigant, or succumbed to one of the many other hazards of the war zone.

You owe an apology to your readers for this attempted "fact creation" and an admonition to your reviewer.


Ian Macdonald

November 4, 1990