(CBS/AP) An embattled university professor who likened some of the Sept. 11 victims to the Nazi organizer of the Holocaust got a standing ovation when he told a campus audience of more than 1,000 people that “I’m not backing up an inch.”
Ward Churchill, who was interrupted several times by thunderous applause, went ahead with the speech after the University of Colorado backed off an attempt to cancel the address, citing security reasons. Churchill had filed a lawsuit against the cancellation.
Churchill’s comments, which appeared in an essay he wrote soon after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, prompted a firestorm of criticism when they became widely known last month, prompting him to resign as chairman of Colorado University’s ethnic studies department.
In the essay, Churchill wrote that some of the workers in the World Trade Center were the equivalent of “little Eichmanns,” a reference to Adolf Eichmann, who ensured the smooth running of the Nazi system. Churchill also spoke of the “gallant sacrifices” of the “combat teams” that struck America.