Cambridge Union President apologizes after guest speaker launches Adolf Hitler impression


The Cambridge University Union president apologized after a historian made a “crass and deeply insensitive” impression of Adolf Hitler during a debate on “good taste”.

Guest speaker Andrew Graham-Dixon, 60, posed as the German dictator in his argument against the motion “this house thinks there is no such thing as good taste”.

The historian said his long impression of Hitler, which included racial slurs and anti-Semitic and racist views, was to “show how offensive the Nazi leader was.”

Cambridge Union President Keir Bradwell, who said it was “the longest Hitler impression” the chamber has ever heard, has now apologized for his inability to intervene after Identity theft has sparked outrage among Cambridge University students and alumni.

Bradwell was filmed admitting he was “pretty drunk” during the debate, but later said he had had two glasses of wine and denied that it affected his ability to chair the discussion.

He said his lack of intervention was “just a question of lack of courage to stop someone in front of a coin.”

Guest speaker Andrew Graham-Dixon, 60, posed as the German dictator in his argument against the motion “this house thinks there is no good taste”

In connection with Graham-Dixon’s impersonation, which has been described as “crass and deeply insensitive,” he said: “The romantic tradition of German art has been rejected by this modern art.

‘This modern, horrible art that was promoted by the Jews … and modern art, it was cubist – inspired by the art of the born *** s.

“This tribal art, urgh, how horrible is it?” We have to erase this from our Deutschland.

“We are the pure Aryan people. Our genetics are pure, our hearts must be pure, our tastes must be pure. ‘

Despite the offensive impersonation, Graham-Dixon’s camp against the motion won the debate Thursday night.

Bradwell had been filmed admitting he was

Bradwell was filmed admitting he was “pretty drunk” during the debate, but later said he had had two glasses of wine and denied that it affected his ability to chair the discussion. He said his lack of intervention was “just a question of lack of courage to stop someone in front of a coin.”

President Keir Bradwell (pictured) emailed members to let them know who would be blocked from events

Cambridge Union President Keir Bradwell, who admitted to being drunk during the debate and said it was “the longest Hitler impression” the chamber has ever heard, has now presented apologies for his inability to intervene.

In an open letter, Bradwell wrote: “I would like to apologize wholeheartedly for the comments made by a speaker during our debate on Thursday evening.

“Neither I nor the company condone the thoughtless and grotesque language used by the individual in question, and I’m sorry I didn’t intervene at the time.

“The speaker in question used a crude and deeply insensitive impression of Hitler to argue in opposition that there is such a thing as bad taste. […] It was inexcusable and I regret not having intervened.

Bradwell, who had said he was “pretty drunk” during the debate, later said in the open letter that it did not affect his abilities to chair the conference.

He said: “I had dinner two glasses of wine beforehand, as well as our speakers, and I drew attention to this fact, before the speech in question, in order to add to what was at this point still a friendly debate.

“I was not hampered in my ability to chair the debate; my lack of intervention was only a question of lack of courage to stop someone in front of a room of 400. ‘

Union Equalities Officer Zara Salaria said art historian Graham-Dixon's impression was

Union Equalities Officer Zara Salaria said art historian Graham-Dixon’s impression was “absolutely unacceptable” and “utterly horrible”

Union Equality Officer Zara Salaria said art historian Graham-Dixon’s impression was “absolutely unacceptable” and “utterly horrible”.

Former Cambridge Union president Joel Rosen tweeted that he felt “physically ill” from what he saw at the event.

Graham-Dixon also released a statement following the backlash and said: “The intention of my speech was to emphasize the utterly perverse nature of Hitler and his regime.

“He caricatured Jews, blacks and gays in all kinds of terrible ways and organized a huge art exhibition – called Degenerate Art – as propaganda for his poisonous opinions.

“In my speech, I caricatured him, briefly, paraphrasing HIS crude and insensitive statements about art and race. I had hoped it was crystal clear to everyone present.

“My argument was that bad ideas in art can have untold and even atrocious consequences in the rest of life. Those who know my work know that I have always denounced racism or any form of discrimination.

“I sincerely apologize to all who found my debate tactics and the use of Hitler’s own language distressing; On second thought, I can see that some of the words I have used, even in the quotes, are inherently offensive. I didn’t mean to upset anyone, just to persuade them that bad taste and bad morals often go hand in hand.

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