Nicholas Kollerstrom

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Nicholas Kollerstrom
Born December 13, 1946(1946-12-13)
Residence North London
Nationality British
Education MA (Cantab), PhD (London)
Alma mater University of Cambridge
University College, London
Occupation Writer, historian of science

Nicholas Kollerstrom (born 13 December 1946) is an English writer and historian of science. He is a former honorary research fellow in Science and Technology Studies at University College, London (UCL), and a former lunar gardening correspondent for the BBC.[1] He is the author or co-author of a number of books, including Gardening and Planting by the Moon (an annual series beginning 1980), Newton's Forgotten Lunar Theory (2000), Crop Circles (2002), and Terror on the Tube (2009).

Kollerstrom has been involved in the UK as a political activist regarding issues such as the 1982 sinking of the Belgrano by the British Navy during the Falklands War, after which he helped set up the Belgrano Action Group, and the 7 July 2005 London bombings, which he argues may not have been carried out by the men accused of the attack.[2] He came to public attention in April 2008 when he lost his fellowship with UCL after posting what he described as "revisionist" material about Auschwitz on a website known for its Holocaust denial.[3][4]

Education and career

Kollerstrom attended Corpus Christi College, Cambridge from 1965 until 1968. He graduated in Natural Sciences, specializing in the history and philosophy of science,[5] after which he worked as a physics teacher.[6] He received his PhD from UCL in 1995 for a thesis entitled, "The Achievement of Newton's 1702 Theory of the Moon's Motion."[7] He became an honorary research fellow in Science and Technology Studies at UCL, and in 1999 received a grant from the Royal Astronomical Society to work on the classification of correspondence related to the British discovery of Neptune; along with William Sheehan and Craig Waff, he concluded in an article for Scientific American in 2004 that the British had wrongly taken credit for the discovery of the planet.[8] He has a particular interest in the effect of the sun, moon and planets on plant growth and chemical reactions.[9]


Kollerstrom was a founder member in 1986 of the Belgrano Action Group, set up to campaign for information about the sinking of the Argentinian ship, the Belgrano by the British Navy during the 1982 Falklands War. The Action Group held an informal public inquiry in November 1986 at Hampstead Town Hall, addressed by Tam Dalyell MP and Clive Ponting, a former British civil servant. The proceedings were published as The Unnecessary War: Proceedings of the Belgrano Inquiry, November 7/8th 1986 by Spokesman Press in 1988.[10]

He has also conducted research into the 7 July 2005 London bombings, arguing that the bombers were "patsies." His Terror on the Tube: Behind the Veil of 7/7, an Investigation was published in April 2009, and he was interviewed by the BBC for its series, The Conspiracy Files, broadcast in June 2009.[11]

Holocaust denial controversy

UCL announced on 22 April 2008 that it had removed Kollerstrom's honorary fellowship after articles of his were published on Holocaust denial websites. The college wrote that he had expressed views "diametrically opposed to the aims, objectives and ethos of UCL, such that we wish to have absolutely no association with them or with their originator."[3] Kollerstrom's "The Auschwitz 'Gas Chamber' Illusion" and "The Walls of Auschwitz" appeared on a website run by the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH), and a third, "School trips to Auschwitz," was published in March 2008 in Smith's report, a newsletter and website run by the co-founder of CODOH, Bradley Smith.[12] The articles came to the university's attention after Kollerstrom attended a book launch about the 2005 London bombings, where he expressed the view that the men accused of the attack were not involved in it, leading survivors and bloggers to make inquiries about him. On 14 April, one blog reported him as a Holocaust denier.[13] In May 2008, "The Walls of Auschwitz" appeared on the website of the Iranian government's Press TV, when he gave them an interview at the suggestion of Michèle Renouf, a British woman known for her involvement with writers accused of Holocaust denial.[13][14]

In "The Auschwitz 'Gas Chamber' Illusion," first published on the CODOH website in June 2007, Kollerstrom wrote that there were no "lethal gas chambers" in the National Socialist's concentration camps, that cyanide gas chambers operated in Auschwitz only for the purpose of hygiene and disinfection, and that "the only intentional mass extermination program in the concentration camps of World War Two was targeted at Germans" in French and American-run concentration camps.[15] In "School trips to Auschwitz," he wrote:

Let us hope the schoolchildren visitors are properly taught about the elegant swimming-pool at Auschwitz, built by the inmates, who would sunbathe there on Saturday and Sunday afternoons while watching the water-polo matches; and shown the paintings from its art class, which still exist; and told about the camp library which had some forty-five thousand volumes for inmates to choose from, plus a range of periodicals; and the six camp orchestras at Auschwitz/Birkenau, its theatrical performances, including a children's opera, the weekly camp cinema, and even the special brothel established there. Let's hope they are shown postcards written from Auschwitz, some of which still exist, where the postman would collect the mail twice-weekly. Thus the past may not always be quite, as we were told."[16]

Britain's Index on Censorship asked Brendan O'Neill of Spiked and "Unity" of Liberal Conspiracy to comment on Kollerstrom's loss of his fellowship. Unity argued that it was justified because of the poor scholarship and lack of judgment, whereas O'Neill's position was that Kollerstrom was pursuing his ideas in his spare time and his dismissal amounted to a witch hunt.[17] The Jewish Chronicle reported that Kollerstrom saw himself as the victim of a "calumny" by bloggers.[4] Kollerstrom said he had no interest in the National Socialist movement, had always belonged to groups like the Green Party, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and the Respect party, and regarded himself as having been accused of a "thought-crime."[4]

Selected works

  • with Best, Simon. Lunar Planting Manual 1980-81. W Foulsham & Co Ltd, 1980. ISBN 0572010591
  • Gardening and Planting by the Moon, a series of annual books beginning 1980.
  • Lead on the Brain: A Plain Guide to Britain's No. 1 Pollutant. Wildwood House, 1982. ISBN 0704504766
  • Astrochemistry: A Study of Metal-planet Affinities. Emergence Press, 1984. ISBN 0946937001
  • with Farebrother, George (eds.). The Unnecessary War: Proceedings of the Belgrano Inquiry, November 7/8th 1986. The Belgrano Action Group, Spokesman Press, 1988.
  • The Metal-Planet Relationship: A Study of Celestial Influence. Borderland Sciences Research Foundation, 1993. ISBN 0945685149
  • with O'Neill, Mike. The Eureka Effect: Astrology of Scientific Discovery. Auriel, 1994.
  • Newton's Forgotten Lunar Theory. Green Lion Press, 2000. ISBN 188800908X
  • Crop Circles: The Hidden Form. Wessex Books, 2002. ISBN 1903035112
  • (ed.) The Case against War: The Essential Legal Inquiries, Opinions and Judgements Concerning War in Iraq. The Legal Inquiry Steering Group, 2003.
  • with Campion, Nicholas (eds.). Galileo's Astrology. HR Wallingford Ltd, 2004. ISBN 1898485089
  • Terror on the Tube: Behind the Veil of 7/7, an Investigation. Progressive Press, 2009. ISBN 1615770070


  1. Kollerstrom, Nicholas. Gardening and Planting by the Moon 2007: Higher Yields in Vegetables and Flowers. Foulsham, 2006.
  2. Mendick, Robert and Paul, Jonny. "7/7 was an MI5 plot, Holocaust denier claims in BBC film", Evening Standard, 10 June 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dr Nicholas Kollerstrom, UCL News, 22 April 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Peled, Daniella "College rejects Shoah denier", The Jewish Chronicle, 24 April 2008
  5. Cambridge University Reporter 1968; he matriculated in Michaelmas Term 1965 at Corpus Christi College and was awarded a BA on 21 June 1968 and MA on 20 October 1973. MA is awarded as a mark of status within the university, not by examination.
  6. Nick Kollerstrom, Foulsham Publishing, accessed November 26, 2009.
  7. Nicholas Kollerstrom, University College, London, June 2005.
  8. Kollerstrom, Nicholas. "John Hershel on the Discovery of Neptune, Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, 9(2), 151-158 (2006); McGourty, Christine. Lost letters' Neptune revelations, BBC News, April 10, 2003; Sheehan, William; Kollerstrom, Nicholas; and Waff, Craig B. The Case of the Pilfered Planet, Scientific American, December 2004; McKie, Robin. Revealed: how Britain put the spin on Neptune, The Observer, 12 December 2004.
  9. Gardening and Planting by the Moon, a series of books by Nick Kollerstrom.
  10. Kollerstrom, Nick. A Brief Bio of a Truth Activist, Terror on the Tube, accessed November 26, 2009.
  11. Interview with Kollerstrom, BBC Conspiracy Files, 2008, accessed YouTube, November 26, 2009; also see Mendick, Robert and Paul, Jonny. "7/7 was an MI5 plot, Holocaust denier claims in BBC film", Evening Standard, 10 June 2008.
  12. Smith founded CODOH in 1987 with Mark Weber of the Institute for Historical Review, described by Searchlight as the world's leading forum for Holocaust denial.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Williams, David. The apologist for terror and the BBC, Searchlight, July 2008.
  14. Kollerstrom, Nick. "The Walls of Auschwitz", Press TV, 18 May 2008, accessed 3 December 2009; Toube, David. "Now on TV in the UK: Iranian Shoah-denial", The Jewish Chronicle, 29 May 2008.
  15. Kollerstrom, Nicholas. The Auschwitz 'Gas Chamber' Illusion, CODOH, June 2007; Paul, Jonny. "Iranian website promotes Holocaust denial", The Jerusalem Post, 26 May 2008.
  16. Kollerstrom, Nicholas. "School Trips to Auschwitz", Smith's Report on the Holocaust Controversy, No. 148, March 2008. pp. 3–4. Also see Cohen, Nick. "When academics lose their power of reason", The Observer, 4 May 2008.
  17. Debate: the Kollerstrom question, Index on Censorship, 28 April 2008, accessed 26 November 2009.

Further reading