Cambridge University bans speaker for doing Hitler impersonation during debate
The University of Cambridge has banned a speaker after he impersonated Adolf Hitler during a debate.
Art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon, 60, performed the act as a part of his argument against the motion entitled “this house believes there is no such thing as good taste”.
In his impersonation, which the University Union’s President called the “longest Hitler impression” that the chamber had ever heard, Mr Graham-Dixon said: “This modern, horrible art that was promoted by the Jews.. and the modern art, it was cubist – inspired by the art of the ne***s. This tribal art, urgh, how horrible is that? We must expunge this from our Deutschland. We are the pure, Aryan people. Our genetics is pure, our hearts must be pure, our tastes must be pure.”
Mr Graham-Dixon later apologised for the impression and claimed that he was trying to “underline the utterly evil nature of Hitler.”
He added: “I apologise sincerely to anyone who found my debating tactics and use of Hitler’s own language distressing; on reflection I can see that some of the words I used, even in quotation, are inherently offensive.”
However, Mr Graham-Dixon has now been banned from speaking at the University after Union President Keir Bradwell said that they “will create a blacklist of speakers never to be invited back” that would also be shared with other unions, adding that “Andrew will be on that list.”
Mr Bradwell issued an apology of his own after he failed to speak out against the impersonation at the time, stating: “I would like to offer my unreserved apology for the comments made by a speaker in our debate on Thursday night. Neither I nor the society condones the thoughtless and grotesque language used by the individual in question, and I am sorry for my failure to intervene at the time.
“The speaker in question employed a crass and deeply insensitive impression of Hitler to make the point in opposition that there is such a thing as bad taste […] It was inexcusable, and I regret not intervening.”
The University adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism last year.