updated 9/10/2009 7:50:19 PM ET 2009-09-10T23:50:19

The head of Harvard University's student newspaper is blaming an ad that questioned the Holocaust on "a miscommunication."

Harvard Crimson president Maxwell Child said in a letter to readers Wednesday that his staff initially rejected the ad.

But Child said the decision "fell through the cracks" in the three weeks between the ad's submission and its publication Tuesday.

Child called the error "a logistical failure and not a philosophical one."

Students e-mailed to complain, and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors helped write a letter saying they were "deeply hurt."

The ad came from longtime Holocaust denier Bradley Smith. His ads have appeared since the late 1980s in campus newspapers nationwide.

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