Thursday, June 09, 2005
As a person of Jewish descent raised in the United States I have thought of myself as a secular, non believing progressive. As I have investigated Jewish history and the true Jewish religion of today I must say that for most of the years I fancied myself as such I have been a follower and believer in the true Jewish religion of now - The Holocaust Narrative, which includes The Crusades (against Jews, of course), the Spanish Inquisition (not a national liberation struggle, not aimed mainly at Islam, but against Jews, in our mythology), the "Chemilniecki massacres" (not an uprising of oppressed Ukrainian peasants but a blind, irrational, hate and alcohol fueled senseless assault on innocent Jews). Because the Internet has made alternative views available to me I've had the opportunity to be challenged in this religion of mine. This website is about sacred cows, both Jewish and American. Truth shall make us free.
The virulently anti-Semitic Zundelsite (http://www.zundelsite.org/) has posted his Jewish Power essay, which it describes as "brilliant." Of course, Eisen cannot control the use of his work by these scum, but that is hardly the point. The sad fact is that it represents a "brilliant" endorsement of their own ideology of Jew-hating
The "scum" to which Joel Finkel refers are Ernest Zundel, currently in solitary confinement in the Metro West Detention Center, Toronto, and Ingrid Rimland his wife who owns and runs the Zundelsite - a website dedicated to supporting Zundel, his work and his struggle. All day every day Zundel sits in his cell on a pile of court transcripts (chairs are not permitted), wearing the same orange jumpsuit as all the rapists and murderers and with the permitted pencil stubs (ball-points are forbidden) he fights his campaigns, writes, draws and meditates on the past, present and future. Meanwhile, from her Tennessee home Ingrid wheels and deals, begs and borrows, plots, posts and publishes to try to get him out, or at least to stop his imminent deportation to his native Germany where he can expect a warrant for his arrest under Germany's severe "hate laws" and a possible five year sentence.
Ernst Zundel immigrated to Canada in 1958 to avoid the draft (he is a lifelong pacifist) where he has lived for forty two years. Unlike most Holocaust revisionists (rather an austere, academic lot), Zundel is a hands-on activist - a gentle, good-humored man, kind and honest and with those qualities often found in the strangest places: a fine mind and a good heart. Born in Germany's Black Forest, Zundel sometimes refers to himself as a 'Swabian peasant' and it's true, he does have that about him. But Zundel understands people and, most important, he understands history. He is, to use his own word, a vordenker - one who thinks ahead of the crowd, one who sees the panorama of life.
For decades now Zundel has battled the Holocaust establishment.
"I was like everybody else in my own postwar years in Germany. I was disgusted with my father's generation whom I believed to have been monsters. Like practically all people on our planet, I used to believe in the standard, widely accepted notion that the government of National Socialist Germany, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, had attempted to kill the Jews by an act of state-decreed genocide. I was ashamed to be a German. In the 1960's, I experienced my first doubts about some details of the Holocaust story. Further study, mostly at night, convinced me that many segments of the story were highly exaggerated, and the number of Jewish losses were wildly inflated." Ernst Zundel
Thus began Zundel's activism - persistent, flamboyant and effective. Who else would have got himself photographed carrying a martyr's cross up the steps of a Canadian courtroom? And who else, after having been beaten on the steps of a courthouse by members of a violent Jewish group when he appeared for court dates, would thereafter appear for all court hearings in a hard hat and bulletproof vest? His first brush with Canadian law was when the government sought to remove his special mail privileges. He won that one and has never looked back.
In 1985 Zundel ended up in court when he distributed a booklet: Did Six Million Really Die?, and ran foul of Canada's "False News" Laws:
Everyone who willfully publishes a statement, tale or news that he knows is false and that causes or is likely to cause injury or mischief to a public interest is guilty of an indictable offense and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
Twice Ernst Zundel was in court for what turned out to be the two greatest Holocaust revisionism trials of our time, twice he was convicted and twice the convictions were overturned. The first in 1985 lasted seven weeks and ended with a 15 month sentence, overturned in 1987 by the Ontario Court of Appeal citing errors of law ordered a retrial. This, the second Zundel trial in 1988, lasted for almost four months. It was in this trial that Zundel commissioned Fred Leuchter, an expert on executions by gas in the U.S. to visit Auschwitz and conduct a forensic examination which was presented in court as proving conclusively that there were no homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz. For the revisionist community, that day in April 1988 when Fred Leuchter presented his report to the court, was the day the myth of the Holocaust was finally laid to rest.
Despite an impressive defense from heavyweights such as Robert Faurisson, Marc Weber and David Irving who, having just read the Leuchter report, took the opportunity of the trial to proclaim his conversion to Holocaust revisionism, Zundel was again found guilty and sentenced. But in 1992, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down as unconstitutional the law banning the spread of false news. This decision temporarily put an end to the deportation proceedings launched against Zundel after his 1988 conviction.
For the next few years Zundel continued his struggle despite various assaults, both legal and illegal - prosecutions, violence against his person, arson against his home and possessions.
In the spring of 1994, several Marxist street groups organized to attempt to drive Zundel out of his neighbourhood in Toronto. Pamphlets were distributed calling him a "hatemonger" and "white supremacist" and calling for his charging under Canada's hate laws. These groups began a campaign of posters put up across Toronto with Zundel's face in a rifle sight, giving directions to his home with instructions on how to build Molotov cocktails. Street graffiti appeared on fences and buildings calling for people to "drive Zundel out." Zundel lodged complaints with Toronto police but nothing ever came of his complaintsOn May 7, 1995, an arsonist torched Zundel's house which was almost completely gutted on the second and third floors, causing over $400,000.00 in damages and destroying an extensive library and rare book collection. No person was ever charged with this offence. After the arson, Zundel suffered from severe anxiety, loss of memory, and loss of concentration. At the end of May 1995, a powerful pipe bomb was sent to Zundel through the mails from Vancouver, British Columbia. Suspicious of the parcel, he took it unopened to the police. The bomb contained nails and metal shrapnel; Toronto police determined it would have killed anyone who opened it and anyone within 90 metres of the blast. (2)
Twice he submitted faultless applications for Canadian citizenship and twice he was refused. There was a conviction for 'hate crime' in Germany and prosecutions for being "a threat to the safety and security of Canada", and there were the incessant legal battles about the Zundelsite.
In January 2000, exhausted after the struggles of the eighties and nineties, Zundel moved to the United States, where he married Ingrid, a U.S. citizen. There the couple lived quietly, establishing an art gallery, experimenting in organic agriculture and thinking about future campaigns. Then, on February 5th 2003 Ernst was arrested because, as he was told, he had missed showing up at a scheduled immigration hearing in May of 2001. "Remember what I told you?" He said to Ingrid as they faced together the arresting officers, "That's what they were going to do. Use a bureaucratic excuse to get me." He also told her, as he was led away in handcuffs, where to find her Valentine gift.
In what amounted to a legal kidnapping, Zundel was deported to Canada where he faces extradition proceedings to Germany where "Holocaust denial" is against the law. There, you can get up to five years in prison for having the wrong opinion or, as they put it, for "... defaming the memory of the dead." Two years later Zundel is still in prison as the legal wrangles continue.
...you have just arrived at what is sneeringly called a "Holocaust denier."
I had neither heard of Zundel nor the Zundelsite until I received an email from Ingrid Rimland asking permission to post my essay Jewish Power as one of her 'Z-Grams' - the emails she sends out to Zundel supporters all over the world. I agreed, and logged onto the Zundelsite. I appreciated its excellent selection of revisionist literature but confess to being a little unnerved by its schwarz weiss rot [black white red] livery, runic-style logo and anti-Jewish cartoons. But I carried on until I came across her introduction to my piece.
"Despite some occasional slipping into the RKPS mode.this Eisen essay is one remarkably crafted essay! Beautifully done! Rich in imagery and ice-cold in precision. " one remarkably crafted essay! Rich in imagery and ice-cold in precision! But what was this RKPS that I was occasionally slipping into?
RKPS stands for Requisite Knee-fall Paragraph Syndrome. It is a common, near universal writer's affliction in every Western country. It neutralizes what crude folks call a "sh-t detector." It befalls otherwise perfectly reasonable intellectuals much more than low-brow folks. It is as common as freckles.
It kicks in whenever the so-called "Holocaust" comes up. It's automatic. One cannot help it. By inner command, one must immediately get down on ones knees, bow to the dust, pay homage to the "six million", get up, kick Hitler in the shin, deplore the "racism" of the Third Reich, and otherwise distance oneself from the period of '33-'45 so that there is no doubt as to exactly where one stands - fair square against (gulp!) "Nazis".
Now, dear (future) friend - I have probably nixed a potentially congenial friendship right at the start by showing my true colors and putting my foot in the mouth - but I am a German, married to the world's premier thought-criminal presently languishing in Abu Ghraib North, and my heart aches when I read otherwise magnificent writing like yours - and then detect the RKPS. It hurts me, because it is unworthy of thinking and otherwise fair people who have been raised on the Holocaust Drip that has deformed that part of their nature that is meant to be fair and critical.
Here is the example of the RKPS in your piece:-
"In its zeal and self belief Zionism has come to resemble the most brutal and relentless of modern ideologies. But unlike the brutal rationality of Stalinism, willing to sacrifice millions for political and economic revolution, this Jewish ideology, in its zealotry and irrationality, resembles more the National Socialism which condemned millions for the attainment of a nonsensical racial and ethnic supremacy." (From "Jewish Power" by Paul Eisen) (3)
You see, Paul, when I read passages like that, I wince. Let me take it apart, bit by bit. "Zealotry", yes - to the extent one wants a better, cleaner, saner, more honest, more compatible world for one's own where life does not feel like having to wear a hair shirt for the benefit of strangers. Scientists deeply committed to their inventions are zealous. Mothers are zealous in wanting the best for their children. I am zealous when it comes to keeping smut out of the language I love. But not zealous like some Deep South Baptist preacher who thumbs the Bible, chews tobacco, and thinks nothing of spitting on your feet.
"Irrationality" - far from it! I used to think like that - I am ashamed to say I suffered badly from RKPS for most of my life. When I first started questioning why I behaved exactly like some brainless robot, I became curious about what people who were part of the National Socialist movement really thought. I talked to an old man whom I respected deeply for his integrity, and who had lost his only 18-year-old son at Stalingrad. He said to me, holding his son's picture in his hands: "It felt right in my mind, and it felt right in my soul." I asked: "You paid a price. Do you regret it?" And he said very quietly: "How could I? How could anyone who took the trouble understanding?"
That was the start of my resolve to take the trouble understanding.
"Non-sensical racial and ethnic supremacy." You are just plain misinformed. Let me put it this way. You have been lied to about the murder of JFK, about Vince Foster, about the USS Liberty, about Weapons of Mass Destruction, about --- you get the point. You have been lied to and lied to and lied to. You know you have. You accept that. And you haven't been lied to about this "racial and ethnic supremacy" nonsense?
Here's what I say to people who question my motives. Hitler has been dead for more than half a century. I don't want to resurrect him. Nobody in my circle does. It cannot be done. What is gone is gone and is never going to return. But what we Germans want is balanced thinking, fair assessment of what the Hitler days were like. We don't want people to assault us morning, noon, and night for things we didn't do. I for one don't like to watch grown men and women run and hide like rabbits the moment the Holocaust Lobby says "Boo!" After all, we all enjoy the Autobahn, don't we? Why should not our world enjoy the benefits that came out of those times - the research in fighting cancer, for instance? The superb appreciation of genuine art? The emphasis on simple lifestyle, respecting the ecological system? The brilliant strides in space research? It is unworthy of us to let ourselves be spooked by professional smear mongers for profit. Paul, put your hand on your heart and confess: Just what have you read of the times that did not come out of the propaganda mills of Hollywood and such?
For me, your sentence read like a traditional RKPS - to nodding agreement of the audience. Am I wrong?
If I am right, you have just arrived at what is sneeringly called a "Holocaust Denier." I will look you straight in the eye and say that one cannot deny what did not exist. And now, to my regret, we have a mis-tone in our new-found mutual love (dare I say zealotry?) for ideas expressed in precise and finely honed words.
I suggest that forensic science ought to settle that disagreement about what Germans did or did not do in World War II in an open public forum - not by imprisonment and "torture lite" - as has happened to my husband, who sent the first forensic team EVER to inspect the "murder weapon", the so-called "gas chambers at Auschwitz" - and found it not what it was purported to be.
I am frightened of you but I am more frightened of my ignorance
Message to Ingrid Rimland from a ZGram reader
Ernst Zundel is a Holocaust revisionist or, a 'Holocaust denier' as some would have it. Like all revisionists, Zundel does not deny that the National Socialist regime targeted Jews or that Jews suffered at their hands, but he does deny specific, albeit key aspects of the Holocaust narrative as we know it. His denial is limited to three areas which should be clearly understood.
That there ever was an official plan on the part of Hitler or any other part of the Nazi regime systematically and physically to eliminate every Jew in Europe.
That there ever existed homicidal gas-chambers.
That the numbers of Jewish victims have been exaggerated.
Although unpopular enough itself,
if Zundel had stuck to Holocaust revisionism he might have had
an easier ride. But for Ernst Zundel revisionism is but a means
to an end. He cannot and will not relinquish his loyalty and devotion,
as he sees it, for his country, his people and their history.
For him, the revision of the Holocaust is not just the pursuit
of a truth, but the pursuit of a truth that will set his people
free. Germans stand accused of having committed the worst crime
in human history: the premeditated attempt to coolly and efficiently
annihilate every Jew in Europe. Zundel rejects this. He is prepared
for National Socialist Germany to be held accountable for the
crimes it did commit but the attempted genocide of European Jews
is, for him, not one of them.
Some readers, even those who stand for free speech, may now be reaching for their delete buttons. After all, maybe Zundel should not be penalized for his beliefs but that doesn't mean that his views must be disseminated, and it certainly does not mean that we have to read them. But free speech is not only the right to think, to speak and to write freely, but also to be given a fair hearing without ridicule and abuse or at least until a proper examination has been made. And you never know, even those who generally find such views repellent, if they were to hear them, even they might hear something worth hearing. So, for those folk prepared to grant to Ernst Zundel the same freedom they grant to themselves, for those who have the curiosity and the courage to pause awhile, this could be an opportunity rarely offered - an opportunity to hear and consider another and hitherto unheard, point of view.
Everybody has a story and everybody has a point of view and in the matter of the events in Europe from 1933-1945 there are many points of view. The British have a point of view, the Americans have a point of view, the Poles, the Dutch, the Russians, the Serbs they all have a point of view and the Jews certainly have a point of view. But the Germans too have a point of view, even those Germans who once called themselves National Socialists, even those Germans who still call themselves National Socialists.
Many WWII soldiers (now very old) have told me that World War II - that is, the war against the East - was really a preventive/defensive war against Communism, which was Jewish. Europe was about to be overrun by the Red Terror - Stalin had amassed his assault troops at the border, and it was only a matter of weeks, so Hitler hit first. Right now I am reading a book by a Swede, Juri Lina that is one long, horrid accounting of the Bolshevik/Jewish horrors. I don't know how good his sources are - but he has certainly documented them. Six million? Even if it were true, which we say it isn't, it was peanuts compared to the bloodbath in Russia, starting with the 1917 Revolution, all of it laid at the feet of the Jews. How much of that was known in Germany by the common people, I don't know. But it was certainly known by the leadership. And the Jews were seen as subversives, rightly or wrongly, more and more so as the war went on. Add to that the Versailles Treaty that brutalized Germany financially, and the corruption of the Weimar Republic, which brutalized it spiritually, both of which were blamed on the Jews - and you have cause aplenty, as that generation saw it.
How do those Germans now nearing
the end of their lives, feel when told that what seemed so right
then and perhaps even still seems so right was in fact so wrong?
And how do those Germans today, born and educated in postwar Germany,
feel when told of the shame and disgrace of their parents and
grandparents? How might it feel, to be forbidden, alone amongst
the peoples of Europe, to recall your recent history with anything
but shame? Year after year all over the western world nations
proudly parade, remembering their country-men and women and the
contribution they made in the war. At ceremonies they remember
their dead and the sacrifices made. But for Germans, only the
atrocities are to be remembered, not a word - nothing of the achievements
and sacrifices of their fellow Germans. Such was and is the price
of 'rehabilitation' and the re-entry of Germany into the family
Of wartime suffering we hear plenty. The British in the blitz, Americans in the Pacific, French, Dutch and Danes under occupation, Russians and Poles in the East and of course, Jews in the Holocaust, but who hears about the suffering of Germans: the terror-bombing of German cities with the deliberate causing of firestorms, the only purpose of which was the mass slaughter of civilians? In the 1940 bombing of Coventry around 550 civilians were killed whilst in the 1945 bombing of Dresden around 35,000 (the lowest figure I could find) were killed. And our response is to twin Dresden with Coventry which says all you'll ever need to know about 'balance'.
Who cares or even knows about the deportations of millions of Germans from their generations-long homes in the East, the rape and pillage of Berlin and other cities and the hunger and deprivation endured for years and years after the defeat of National Socialism. Who remembers the ten million Germans and Austrians who died in World War 2? Who much cares about Germany post World War 1 - the injustices of Versailles, the hunger, hopelessness, degradation and humiliation? So who will try to understand how it might have felt when a leader came along - a veteran of the war, a brave soldier by all accounts (twice wounded; Iron Cross First-Class), a fellow sufferer, one of their own, a man who promised peace, stability and well-being and the restoration of pride and honor - and, most incredibly of all, at that time kept his promises?
The Hitler we loved and why
Ernst Zundel was once involved in the publication of a book called The Hitler We Loved and Why, but Ernst Zundel was not the only German who loved Hitler and is probably not the only German who still loves Hitler. Millions of Germans loved Hitler who for twelve years impacted on them as no German has or probably ever will, and, though they never say so, must, deep down still cherish his memory.
In his book Letters from Cell #7 Zundel tells of a visit he made back to Germany to his aged mother still living in their Black Forest home. They were sitting there, at the table eating supper, just the two of them. It was dark, the clock ticking away on the wall as it had done for years when his mother said to him,
"You know, Ernst, you would never have been born if Adolf Hitler had not come to power."
And she told him how because Hitler kept his promises of bringing work, peace, stability and honour to a ravaged German people, thousands of families who had felt unable to have children, now felt able to have them.
"You are one of those children" she said.
Ernst Zundel the Holocaust denier is a German nationalist and, by his own admission, a racialist. He is an admirer of Hitler and is nostalgic for the National Socialist period of German history. He is anti-Jewish. He is also interested in UFO's. So Ernst Zundel is easily dismissed as a crank, a Nazi, or as Joel Finkel would have it, as 'scum'.
But Ernst Zundel is a Holocaust denier because he believes the Holocaust narrative falsely defames his people and their history. He is a racialist because race, for him a cultural, emotional and spiritual, as well as biological determinant, is vital and precious in the life of human beings and that his own white and German race, as he would term it, is, as is every other race, something to be cherished and preserved. He is a patriot who loves his country, his people, their language, culture and history. He remembers Adolf Hitler for the national regeneration he brought. He knows that he committed terrible crimes but asks that he be judged as any other historical figure like Stalin or Napoleon, no more, no less, and that National Socialism be judged also on its merits and demerits. He believes, as do many others (including many, if not most, Jews), that there exists some kind of Jewish spirit or sensibility but further believes that this Jewish spirit, so often creative and energizing can, if unchecked and unbalanced, be damaging and corrosive to any society and he grieves for the damage he believes it has caused to the world he loved.
But Ernst Zundel does not hate Jews because Ernst Zundel doesn't hate anyone. Ernst Zundel has never committed an act of violence nor has he ever called on anyone else to commit an act of violence. Ernst Zundel has never discriminated against anyone nor has he called on anyone else to discriminate against anyone. Ernst Zundel has never stifled anyone's freedom of expression nor has he ever called on anyone else to stifle anyone's freedom of expression. Ernst Zundel looks on his enemies as they try to silence, prosecute, imprison, bomb and burn him, with bewilderment, sorrow and some anger because, as he has said, "sometimes I simply run out of cheeks to turn".
The War for the Truth
It bears repetition that the denial of the Holocaust revisionists does not extend to the entire Holocaust narrative. Revisionists do not deny that the National Socialist regime brutally persecuted Jews. They do not deny that Jews in Germany were discriminated against, violently assaulted, dispossessed, imprisoned in camps and expelled. They also do not deny that Jews in countries occupied by Germany or within the German sphere of influence were also pitilessly assaulted, dispossessed and subjected to brutal deportations many to forced labour camps where many hundreds of thousands died. Nor do they deny that many Jews were executed by shooting in the East.
But they do deny the Holocaust narrative as we know it in three specific areas.
In making their claims, Revisionists have offered a considerable body of work. To what degree they are right, everyone must judge for themselves. Many will take the view that Holocaust revisionism is but pernicious nonsense motivated only by a hatred of Jews and a desire to rehabilitate Hitler and National Socialism specifically, and fascism in general and therefore not even worthy of scrutiny. I don't agree, and those with sufficient curiosity to wish to research the subject can visit the website of the premier Revisionist think tank the Institute for Historical Review, locate the Journal of Historical Review (4) and its archive of articles and papers and start reading. For an overview of the whole subject, they can obtain a copy of Joel Hayward's 1993 M.A. thesis The Fate of Jews in German Hands (5)
The Revisionist case is broadly as follows:-
Revisionist research seems to have been carried out in a scholarly manner, is well supported by evidence and is presented in a calm and restrained way. That some revisionists (not all) have histories in far-right activism is true. That some (not all) exhibit anti-Jewish sentiment is also true although this may in part be due to the assaults that many have come under from Jews and Jewish organisations. Some (not all) have, in the past, been affiliated to racist and nationalist organisations, some (not all) speak fluent German and some even are Germans. Such information should lead us to look closely for signs of bias in their research; but not to discount their findings per se.
"Show me or draw me a Nazi gas chamber"Robert Faurisson (7)
No-one is able to show us, at Auschwitz or anywhere else, even one of these chemical slaughterhouses. No-one is capable of describing to us their exact appearance or workings. Neither a trace nor a hint of their existence is to be found. Not one document, not one study, not one drawing. Nothing. Nothing but some occasional, pitiful "evidence", which vanishes, like a mirage, as soon as one draws near, and which the Jewish historians themselves, in recent years, have finally been obliged to repudiate. Robert Faurisson (8)
For 15 years, every time that I heard of a witness anywhere, no matter where in the portion of Europe that was not occupied by the Soviets, who claimed to have himself been present at gas exterminations, I immediately went to him to get his testimony. With documentation in hand, I would ask him so many precise and detailed questions that soon it became apparent that he could not answer except by lying. Often his lies became so transparent, even to himself, that he ended his testimony by declaring that he had not seen it himself, but that one of his good friends, who had died in the camps and whose good faith he could not doubt, had told him about it. I covered thousands and thousands of kilometers throughout Europe in this way. Paul Rassinier (9)
Robert Faurisson the veteran revisionist scholar has written that at the heart of the Holocaust is Auschwitz, and at the heart of Auschwitz are the gas chambers. He therefore urges those who wished to combat the Holocaust myth to focus their efforts on that heart. It was Faurisson who, in the mid seventies first thought of putting Holocaust revisionism on firm ground by focusing on the material and forensic evidence for or against the existence of homicidal gas chambers. He visited a functioning gas execution facility in the U.S. and saw for himself exactly what it took to efficiently and safely (for the executioners at least) kill one person at a time, let alone the many hundreds at a time claimed by Holocaust writers, and he concluded that "for physical and chemical reasons understandable to a child of eight" the existence and operation of the Nazi gas chambers was fundamentally impossible. But it was the activist Ernst Zundel who, at the time of the second False News trial in 1988 had the idea of sending to Auschwitz a forensic team to determine the issue once and for all. According to revisionists and despite its flaws (most likely due to the speed under which it was formulated), the findings of the Leuchter Report were clear - the facilities held to have been homicidal gas chambers were neither used for that purpose nor could they have been used for that purpose.
Nothing seems to fit about the gassing story. The numbers of victims crammed into the space, the design and construction of the gassing facilities, the lack of protection for the attendants, the implausibility surrounding the rate of cremation, the huge errors, omissions and disparities in eye-witness accounts - all these and more, when added to the near total absence of hard affirmative evidence, makes one wonder why anyone believed such a story in the first place. No-one has yet been able to explain how a gas chamber worked. No-one has been able to explain how pellets of Zyklon B were poured into holes that do not and never have existed. No-one has been able to explain how the Sonderkommando (special detachment) of Jewish prisoner/attendants was able to enter a gas chamber immediately, (even wearing gas masks which do not offer anything like proper protection especially when the wearer is active), after a mass gassing to remove the bodies even though such an environment would have been an ocean of hydrogen cyanide. The deadly gas would have still been everywhere and particularly in the soft tissue of the corpses. In effect, no one has been able to take up the Faurisson challenge: "Show me or draw me a Nazi gas chamber!"
The established Holocaust narrative can, and to a degree, has survived the successful promotion of two of the three revisionist claims. The debate between "intentionalists" and "functionalists" within the establishment in effect concedes that there may not have been a definite intention on the part of the German state to exterminate all the Jews. Similarly by downgrading the Auschwitz figures, the establishment has accepted at least the possibility of downgrading the overall figure of six million. But with the issue of the gas chambers there is simply nowhere to go. To paraphrase Faurisson: no gas-chamber, no Holocaust.
The Holocaust Establishment
Anti-revisionists, Holocaust affirmers, exterminationists - the range of labels on offer reflects the difficulty in naming the opposition. Even the word "opposition", like the phrase "anti-revisionist" itself is misleading because it implies a reflexive, defensive posture. Although establishment writers do often find themselves responding to revisionist initiatives and do often sound rather defensive, the words "opposition" or "anti-revisionist" also suggest that they are the weaker party or that they have not themselves taken the initiative. This is not the case. Few narratives, true or false, have been promoted more forcefully or more widely than the Holocaust and few lobbies have been stronger, better resourced and enjoyed such complete dominance over the accepted discourse. The same holds true for the term 'affirmers'. The Holocaust narrative may well turn out to require affirmation but you would never know it looking at the huge amount of 'affirming' material currently available. Finally the term 'exterminationist', usually used by revisionists to describe their opponents, though strictly accurate, is rather sneering and demeaning in tone. So we will adopt the relatively neutral term of 'Holocaust establishment'.
For over sixty years there has been no shortage of material promoting the establishment view of the Holocaust - books, articles, films, plays, poems, TV programs, academic studies, conferences, memorials, museums - all supporting and promoting the established narrative and it is only recently that the establishment has felt the need to respond to the claims of the revisionists. As before, for those who wish to research the subject, the following starting points are recommended:-
The ADL website (10)
The Niskor website (11)
Many of the contributors to these sites are known Jewish and Zionist activists many with open and established links to Jewish and Zionist activist organizations. Again, this may lead us to view their findings with appropriate caution though not to discard them per se.
The establishment has attempted to respond to specific revisionist claims but only sporadically. They claim that extermination and cremation facilities were indeed perfectly capable of processing the numbers claimed and that all claims are well supported by hard evidence. Any reader can study the evidence which is freely available on the internet, but the debate has degenerated somewhat into a yes-it-is, no-it-isn't squabble - one which could possibly be resolved by the appointment of some kind of judicial body with powers to call on expert witnesses.
But there still remains the problem that there is just not all that much available evidence to support the Holocaust narrative and what is available is often far from satisfactory - documents are often "ambiguous", witnesses are often "confused" or "traumatized" and buildings and installations are often "demolished". Instead of denying the undeniable, the establishment has chosen rather to offer explanations. The lack of documentary evidence is explained by the fact that the final solution was top secret so not only were written communications kept to an absolute minimum but were also written euphemistically. Thus "special treatment" must mean extermination and "evacuation to the East" must mean deportation to a death camp. Similarly, no-one has yet been able to come forward and take up Robert Faurisson's challenge to show him or draw him a gas chamber because anyone who saw a gas-chamber obviously did not live to tell the tale. The gassing facilities at Auschwitz-Birkenau shown to so many visitors over the years are now conceded to be "post-war reconstructions", but only because the original gas chambers were destroyed in 1944 to remove the evidence in the face of the advancing Soviet forces. Finally the statements of survivors and perpetrators, whilst conceded to be confusing and contradictory are so because of the traumatic conditions under which these terrible events were observed and the sheer quantity of these statements, and often their poignancy as well, qualify them as acceptable evidence.
But whether because of the lack of evidence or not, the establishment has, in the main, been less concerned with refuting specific revisionist claims than with questioning the right of revisionists to make them. For many Holocaust writers, and indeed for almost the entire intellectual establishment worldwide, the Holocaust happened and that is that. In 1979 in response to Faurisson's questioning of the gas-chambers, thirty four French intellectuals published an appeal in Le Monde, the second sentence of which stated, "We must not ask how such a mass murder was technically possible - it was technically possible because it happened." For most establishment figures to even discuss the issues is to concede to revisionism legitimacy it does not deserve.
If somebody came along today and reported the calling of a scientific congress to examine the question of whether the sun revolves around the earth or the earth around the sun, he would either be ridiculed or declared non-compos mentis. It wouldn't occur to anyone to discuss the matter seriously... A similar thing occurs with the propagandists of the so-called 'Auschwitz Lie' or 'Holocaust Lie': their statements that there was no extermination of the Jews, is so obviously false that it is basically unworthy of serious scientific discussion. (12)
Such is the view of Deborah Lipstadt, Associate Professor of Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory College. Lipstadt, to her supporters a scholar of the Holocaust, to her detractors, a Jewish ethnic activist, has written extensively about Holocaust revisionism. Jewish herself and from a relatively orthodox background, Professor Lipstadt has had a lifelong allegiance to, and has been active in Jewish causes. She is a committed Zionist and is funded and aided by many Jewish and Zionist organizations such as the Vidal Sassoon International Centre for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Hebrew University and the ADL - again, cause for scrutiny of her claims but not outright rejection.
Rather then dealing with revisionist claims, Lipstadt has focused on the revisionists themselves: their credibility, qualifications, motivations, affiliations and methods. In her book Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, she traces the development of revisionism from the late forties to the early nineties and aims to demonstrate that the revisionists are overwhelmingly anti-Semitic with long connections to fascist, white supremacist and generally racist organizations, that their motivation is nothing less than to rehabilitate the Hitler regime specifically, and fascism and anti-Semitism generally and their scholarly veneer is just that; a cover for their racist and intolerant views.
Those who argue that the Holocaust deniers must be given a fair hearing fail to recognize that the deniers' quest is not a search for truth. Rather they are motivated by racism, extremism, and virulent anti-Semitism.their methodology is based on deception and falsification, and the scholarly and restrained tone of most revisionist writings, are merely window dressing to conceal their real character and intentions. Deborah Lipstadt (13)
She maintains that the revisionists are not only a danger to the validity and memory of the Holocaust itself but also constitute a general danger to history and scholarship itself and even to democratic life as we know it.
Holocaust denial should not be seen as an assault on the history of one particular group. It repudiates reasoned discussion, the way the Holocaust, itself, engulfed all civilization. Its attack on Jewish history is, like anti-Semitism, an attack on the most basic values of a reasoned society. Deborah Lipstadt (14)
For a long time Professor Lipstadt chose to ignore the revisionist challenge but the ever-improving quality of revisionist scholarship does not go unnoticed,
Lately, the deniers' work has become more virulent and dangerous, in part because it has become more sophisticated. Their publications, including The Journal of Historical Review, mimic legitimate scholarly publications. This confuses those who do not immediately know the Journal's intentions. Deborah Lipstadt (15 )
So she now responds but only insofar as to challenge their credibility, she still refuses to either debate them or to respond to their specific claims. For her there can be no discussion of the essential truth of the Holocaust.
Despite the favorable balance of power and their successes both inside and outside the courtroom, neither Professor Lipstadt nor the rest of the Holocaust establishment are actually doing all that well. Revisionism and its influence has grown steadily and the revisionists exhibit a confidence and sureness of touch whilst the establishment seems at times to be somewhat rattled. And the revisionists are not without guile. Identified as the eternal underdogs in this struggle, they have adopted a devastatingly effective passive-aggressive posture - a wide-eyed innocence in claiming that revisionism has no ideological base and is simply a method for seeking the truth. Nonetheless whatever their ideological motivations, they have in the main confined themselves to scholarly investigation conducted in a responsible manner and have, with devastating single-mindedness, piece by piece, proceeded to unpick the hitherto sacred Holocaust narrative.
Take the case of Raul Hilberg. In 1961 Hilberg published The Destruction of the European Jews. In this book, seen as a foundational text of the Holocaust, Hilberg describes an undertaking personally supervised by Hitler who issued two effective orders to set the genocide in motion. These orders were acted upon by various administrative agencies especially in the police and military which prepared, organized and executed this vast criminal enterprise. For twenty-five years this view remained substantially unchallenged until in 1976 Arthur Butz published The Hoax of the Twentieth Century and in 1978-1979 Robert Faurisson published two articles in Le Monde claiming that the Nazi Gas chambers could not have existed. A panel of experts was assembled to assert that the gas chambers did exist and among the experts was Raul Hilberg. Just before the start of the proceedings Hilberg gave an interview to the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur in which he acknowledged there were no existing documents to prove the existence of the gas chambers or that the extermination of the Jews was conceived and planned by the National Socialist regime. On February 22nd 1983 in New York,at an event organized by the Holocaust Survivors Foundation, Hilberg said,
What began in 1941 was a process of destruction not planned in advance, not organized centrally by any agency. There was no blueprint and there was no budget for destructive measures. They were taken step by step, one step at a time. Thus came about not so much a plan being carried out, but an incredible meeting of minds, a consensus - mind reading by a far-flung bureaucracy."
This was confirmed in Hilberg's testimony at the first Zundel trial in Toronto in 1985 and again in the same year in the revised edition of his book which included the following:-
In the final analysis, the destruction of the Jews was not so much a product of laws and commands, as it was a matter of spirit, of shared comprehension, of consonance and synchronisation.
Apart from bewilderment at such a tale of consensual genocide conceived and directed by mind-reading, there must also be some acknowledgement that such a protracted and agonizing volte-face could only have come about as a result of the steady drip-drip of revisionist endeavor - and all achieved whilst the revisionists were being prosecuted, fined, imprisoned, assaulted and certainly shunned.
The Holocaust establishment has often preferred to respond less with argument and more with power. Largely due to pressure from Jewish organizations, Holocaust revisionism is subject to legal penalty in Israel, France, Germany, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, and Spain. Laws in these countries make it a crime for anyone, regardless of their credentials or the factual basis of their views, to question or revise any aspect of the history of World War II or the Holocaust in a manner that goes beyond the standards established by the governments of those countries. Also some countries punish revisionism without even having such laws (USA, Great-Britain, Netherlands etc). In the U.S. a California judge took against the IHR "judicial notice" of the existence of the Nazi gas chambers. In France, in 1949-1950, forty years before the specific law of July 13, 1990, revisionists had been sentenced for their writings.
A person who, in writing or by word of mouth, publishes any statement denying or diminishing the proportions of acts committed in the period of the Nazi regime which are crimes against the Jewish people or crimes against humanity, with intent to defend the perpetrators of those acts or to express sympathy or identification with them, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of five years. (16)
Historians, researchers, authors, and publishers are being fined, imprisoned, placed under gag orders, expelled from their native countries, and denied entry into others. Revisionists facing prosecution have sometimes faced the absurdity that any defense of a revisionist character i.e. any claim that the revisionist position was actually correct, would itself constitute a repetition of the offence; also, any witness who gave testimony in support of the revisionist position could, upon demand of the prosecution service, himself be immediately charged.
In addition in these and most other countries in the western world, even where not technically illegal, revisionism has carried the risk of severe penalty including loss of employment and social exclusion of many kinds. Finally revisionists have been on the receiving end of much violence both threatened and real. All leading revisionists suffer legal assaults, all suffer social and professional exclusion and many have suffered physical attacks. Holocaust revisionism today is, quite simply, held as witchcraft was held in previous times, to be a Holocaust denier is to place oneself on the outside of civilized society on a level with a pedophile.
This exercise of power has yielded victories. Revisionism has been kept out of the main media; revisionists have been denied access to the discourse and the establishment has achieved a couple of stunning retractions such as this one from Joel Hayward, who in 1993 wrote a thesis in which he endeavored (and in my view, succeeded) to faithfully describe the state of the revisionist/establishment conflict.
I now regret working on such a complex topic without sufficient knowledge and preparation, and hope this brief addendum will prevent my work causing distress to the Jewish community here in New Zealand and elsewhere or being misused by individuals or groups with malevolent motives.. I can now see that I failed in my M.A. thesis to place adequate analytical weight on the motivation of numerous authors on the Holocaust, even though some were obviously writing with a view to attacking Jews and rehabilitating Nazis. Joel Hayward (17)
And this statement from the young Jewish revisionist David Cole obtained through less than legal means and faxed to Irv Rubin, then head of the Jewish Defense League, is worth quoting in full.
This statement is given in an attempt to set the record straight about my current views regarding the Holocaust and Holocaust denial. As anyone who follows the subject of the Holocaust denial knows, from 1991 until 1994 I was well known in the movement as a Jewish Holocaust denier (a self-described "revisionist"). For the last three years I have no longer been associated with this movement, having realized that I was wrong and that the path I was taking with my life was self-destructive and hurtful to others. I have spent the last few years in silence on the subject of my time with the denial movement, a silence caused mainly by my shame at what I had done with my life and my desire to distance myself from that life.
However, in that shame-induced silence it has been brought to my attention that I have not gone as far as I should have to make a clear and complete public statement in order to set the record straight as to where I stand. It is my great hope that this statement accomplishes that task.
I would like to state for the record that there is no question in my mind that during the Holocaust of Europe's Jews during World War II, the Nazis employed gas chambers in an attempt to commit genocide against the Jews. At camps in both Eastern and Western Europe, Jews were murdered in gas chambers which employed such poison gases as Zyklon B and carbon monoxide (in the Auschwitz camp, for example, the gas chambers used Zyklon B). The evidence for this is overwhelming and unmistakable.
The Nazis intended to kill all of the Jews of Europe, and the final death toll of this attempted genocide was six million. This atrocity, unique in its scope and breadth, must never be forgotten.
During my four years as a denier, I was wracked with self-hate and loathing, a fact that many of my critics were quick to point out. Indeed, this self hatred was obvious to most, but I was too blind to see it. The hate I had for myself I took out on my people. I was seduced by pseudo historical nonsense and clever-sounding but empty ideas and catch-phrases. When my eyes were finally opened, thanks to several good, kind friends who refused to give up on me even at my worst, I was horrified by what I had done. My instinct was to flee and never look back, but I now understand that I owe it to the people I wronged to make a forceful repudiation of my earlier views. I also owe a very large apology, not only to the many people I enraged, and to the family and friends I hurt, but especially to the survivors of the Holocaust, who deserve only our respect and compassion, not re-victimization.
Therefore, to all of the above people, let me offer my most humble and very, very sincere apology. I am sorry for what (I) did, and I am sorry for the hurt I caused.
And just as I must set the record straight concerning my views, it is also incumbent on me to set the record straight regarding the video "documentaries" and media appearances I did from 1991 to 1994. These "documentaries" are merely videotaped garbage filled with self-hatred and pseudo-intellectual nonsense. My "media appearances" were nothing but an embarrassment. My glazed look, specious reasoning, and talking-in-circles during my talk show appearances would have hopefully alerted any astute viewers that this was a man not in touch with reality.
It has been brought to my attention that Bradley Smith is still using one of my videos in advertisements he is running on college campuses. Therefore, I would like to make these additional points: This video is being advertised without my consent, and I denounce this video as being without worth. Bradley Smith is no historian, and denial is no "historical field". Students on college campuses should look elsewhere to find out about the Holocaust. To these students, I would say, look to books like Hilberg's "Destruction of the European Jews", Yahil's "The Holocaust", and Dawidowicz's "War against the Jews" for correct information. If your school library doesn't stock these books, have them order copies. Do not pay any attention to any "David Cole" videos, except to rightly denounce them as frauds.
I am thankful for being given the opportunity to make this statement. This statement is made freely and under no duress, and is quite willingly, even happily given to Mr. Irv Rubin of the Jewish Defense League for the widest possible distribution. This statement is the most current and accurate compilation of my views, and it supersedes any previous writings, videos, or statements. It is my hope that there will be no more confusion as to where I stand. I thank you for letting me set the record straight. David Cole (18)
Despite these victories it is still true that there is remarkably little hard evidence to support the established Holocaust narrative and people are bound to ask how such a vast and complex undertaking as the premeditated and mechanistic extermination of such a huge number of people could possibly have taken place without leaving a clear trail of evidence, both documentary and physical. Also with regard to tactics and strategy, Holocaust activists are in something of a no-win situation. If they debate the revisionists they give them credibility and concede that the Holocaust is a matter for debate, if they refuse to debate with them, as in the main they do, they lay themselves open to the charge that they have something to hide.
And of course the internet has changed everything. Revisionist material, previously unseen, is now available at the click of a mouse and you don't have to go into some dubious bookshop to get it. Online booksellers who have elected to stock revisionist materials have inevitably given it a new respectability. E-mails and newsgroups have widened and speeded up the debate. So much more can be said, so much quicker and to so many more people and for the moment at least, no-one can stop you saying it or reading it.
Reading the revisionist literature one senses a confidence, not only that revisionists believe themselves to be right but also that the future lies with them. In 1988, at the time of the second Zundel trial and in reference to Ernst Zundel himself, Robert Faurisson wrote:
"Zündel may once again go to prison for his research and beliefs or be threatened with deportation. All this is possible. Anything may happen when there is an intellectual crisis and a realignment of historical concepts of such a dimension. Revisionism is the great intellectual adventure of the end of this century. Whatever happens, Ernst Zundel is already the victor."
But how could it be so?
This must surely be the establishment's strongest weapon - the sheer incredibility of the revisionist proposition. How could such a deception have taken place? How could all those survivors be so wrong in their testimonies? How could all those perpetrators be so wrong in their confessions? How could all those documents, unspecific as they are, have been falsified? Arthur Butz called his ground breaking revisionist study The Hoax of the Twentieth Century but a hoax of this size and nature just defies belief. Conspiracy theories rarely convince, nor do those who propagate them, so surely the sheer absurdity of the revisionists' claim tells us all we need to know. If revisionism is to have any credibility at all it must demonstrate how, if false, the Holocaust narrative, as we know it, came to be.
The first reports of the mass slaughter of Jews by the Germans were propagated in the spring of 1942 by Jewish and Zionist agencies and published in the Jewish press. These entirely uncorroborated reports received immediate and unmatched credibility by being broadcast (on one occasion in Yiddish) back into Poland by the BBC, and by repetition in the American press, particularly the New York Times. They spoke for the first time of extermination, but not only by gas. According to these reports Jews were being steamed to death, suffocated to death, pressed to death and electrocuted as well as being gassed. It is only later in reports compiled by the Soviet authorities when they liberated the camps of Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944 and 1945 that gassing emerges as the main method of slaughter and even later, as just one element in the shower-gas-cremation sequence which now lies at the heart of the Holocaust narrative.
It is with these Soviet reports plus others from the World Refugee Board that the now-familiar extermination narrative emerges. The victims disembark from trains for selection. Those designated for extermination are taken to complexes designed to look like disinfection facilities. There they are separated into sexes and led to undressing rooms where they undress. Then they are led, 600-700 at a time, into huge rooms resembling shower rooms. When the rooms are crammed full Zyklon B pellets are dropped from apertures in the roof and, as the temperature rises, hydrogen cyanide gas is released. The victims take about five to fifteen minutes to die, watched all the time through glass peepholes in the doors by SS personnel. An interval of about half an hour is allowed for the gas to clear assisted by a ventilation system after which a Jewish Sonderkommando (special detachment) enters with gas masks, rubber boots, gloves, hooks and hoses to disentangle, hose down and remove the bodies. The bodies are taken to mortuaries where gold teeth etc. are extracted with pliers and they are then transported to crematoria where they are burned to ashes. If the number of corpses should prove to be too great for the cremation facilities, then those remaining are taken to be burned in specially designed open pits.
But if such a narrative is false it is interesting to speculate as to how it took the form it did. Possible answers may be found in the 50-100 year history of Europe prior to the events under investigation. This period saw huge movements of people westwards, many of them Jews and many of them migrating to or through Germany. All over central and western Europe but particularly in Germany there was a problem with, and a fear of epidemics, particularly of typhus and many of the receiving authorities, and particularly the German authorities, were intent of developing and implementing mass disinfection and disinfestation procedures. These included mobile and stationery mass steam and shower baths and mobile and stationery facilities for the disinfestation of clothing by gas. The gas used for disinfestation was of course hydrogen cyanide gas in the form of Zyklon B pellets.
This use of gas for delousing and disinfestation must be set against the background of the very real use of poison gas as a weapon in the Great War and in various other areas of conflict both real (such as by the Italians in Abyssinia) and imaginary (as by the Martians in The War of the Worlds radio broadcast of 1938). It should also be noted how after the introduction of gas onto the battlefield in 1915, stories of homicidal gassings of civilians began to appear in atrocity propaganda. In March 1916 the Daily Telegraph reported that the Austrians and Bulgarians had murdered hundreds of thousands of Serbians using poison gas.
At roughly the same time cremation was increasingly being used for the disposal of bodies and particularly for the mass disposal of epidemic victims. Cremation as a means of corpse disposal was widely promoted by the German National Socialist regime - a regime noted for its modern attitudes to technology - and it was also universally used in its euthanasia programme. One result of the use of cremation in these euthanasia killings, was that it fed the general suspicion that cremation was used to conceal the cause of death by gas poisoning (deaths in the euthanasia programme are now thought more likely to have been by lethal injection) which was widely (and falsely) believed to cause disfigurement. So cremation became associated with attempts to deceive the population about the cause of death. In effect, all these techniques of disinfection and cremation, considered to be at the very cutting-edge of modernism by enlightened western Europeans, were viewed by large sections of the European masses - and particularly by immigrants, usually poor, conservative and deeply superstitious, and even more particularly by the eastern Jewish masses with their additional religious concerns about mass undressing and cremation etc - with the deepest suspicion.
It's not so crazy if you put yourself in the shoes of a poor Jewish immigrant fleeing the conditions of Tsarist Russia. You arrive exhausted and terrified together with a mass of similarly exhausted and terrified folk at a German border station where you are confronted with uniformed guards and officials shouting at you in a language you barely understand. They want to separate you from your men- and women-folk, to undress you and to put you into large cold and forbidding chambers. You've heard the stories as you stand naked and shivering under the showerheads and wait for what you have been told will be water, but for what a part of you fears will be gas. An account from a surprising quarter illustrates the point - Ingrid Rimland
I remember fairly clearly one such "experience" sometime in 1944. This was during the Wehrmacht retreat from the Eastern front, when huge refugee treks of ethnic Germans traveled westward with horse-drawn wagons under German Army protection, experiencing horrendous hardships from hunger and cold, the advancing Red Army ever in our backs.My family belonged to German-descent Mennonites, a fundamentalist Christian community who had come to the Ukraine in 1789, but we still considered ourselves to be Germans and still spoke the German language. Ever since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution - which happened when my grandmother was still a young woman and my mother was only four years old - my people had been savagely persecuted by the Communists. Many of my cousins, aunts, uncles, more distant relatives perished in waves of ethnic cleansings. This persecution started before I was born and became deadly in 1938, affecting practically every male age 14 and over. My own father was exiled to Siberia when I was only five years old in 1941, and our entire family escaped exiling only at the last moment, literally hours before the German Army overran the Ukraine in September of that year - only weeks after my father was taken from us forever. When the (for us) voluntary retreat to Germany began two years later, in the fall of 1943, there were four of us left - my grandmother, my mother, my baby sister and I. The rest of our family had either been exiled to Siberia, been killed, or simply disappeared in the havoc of those horror years since 1917. Now we were running for our lives from the Red Army - almost all of us women and children.
We entered Nazi-occupied Poland sometime in 1944 and were invited to be officially naturalized as Germans. I remember the city as Litzmannstadt (Lodz) but I cannot be sure. But first we had to be deloused. Naturally! As far as I know, this was routine for everybody entering German-occupied territory and certainly Germany proper, an obligatory health measure to control epidemics such as typhus, a disease that was carried by lice. Everybody who was coming from the East was infested with lice in those days - Russians, Poles, Germans, Jews - soldiers and civilians. There
was no way not to have lice, unless you underwent delousing. We were made to enter a long train. Whether that train took us to a building, or if it ended in a building, I don't remember any more. Somehow the rumor sprang up that we were going to be gassed. I have no idea who started it. As a seven-year old, I do remember how terrified I was. We were all stripped naked, had our hair shorn, and then, while we were all sitting, old and young, in long rows of benches, water and soap, probably mixed with insecticide, rained down on us from shower heads
above. I don't remember the relief, only the fear. Similarly, the rumor sprang up on that train that the Germans were looking for "yellow blood", presumably Jewish, by clipping our ear lobe. I was just as terrified of that one. Ingrid Rimland
So these Soviet reports with their now-detailed descriptions of the shower-gas-cremation procedure of extermination, coming after three years of other terrifying reports of exterminations of Jews and others by the Germans and also in the context of fears in Europe about the use of gas as a weapon used against civilians and of cremation as a new and unfamiliar method of the disposing of bodies, could possibly have been instrumental in laying the foundations of the Holocaust gas-chamber narrative as we know it. Certainly from the time of those reports, the mere presence of showers, disinfestation gas chambers and crematoria had become in itself evidence of mass homicidal gassing.
So when the western armies came across the German concentration camps at Belsen, Dachau and Buchenwald sites at which it is now known that there were no mass extermination facilities, and saw the now familiar images of skeletal, diseased inmates and piles of discoloured corpses and discovered sealed rooms, showers and crematoria which we now know had been used only for disinfection and disinfestation, and encountered inmates who were prepared to tell them tales of mass exterminations, they were both able and willing to interpret it all in terms of what they had heard, rather than what, in this instance at least, was the truth.
Whatever conditions might have been in the German camps throughout the war, by 1945 and the final defeat of Germany the system, and particularly the camp system, had collapsed and conditions were catastrophic and it was the results of this collapse which the western armies came across. The Americans and the British saw these things, and, most critically, filmed and photographed them, as clear evidence of a planned genocide, rather than what they were: the result, particularly in the form of typhus epidemics, of a breakdown of Germany generally and the camp system in particular, under the onslaught of the allied saturation bombing.
Although it cannot entirely be ruled out that some of these authorities knew that they were propagating a myth, it seems most likely that the Jewish authorities who first spread reports of exterminations were reacting only from a real concern for their fellow-Jews, known to be under ferocious assault by the Germans who, at the time of those first reports, were ratcheting up their assault on the Jews by beginning brutal deportations to the East. But what of the other authorities involved - the Americans, the British and the Soviets? These authorities surely would have been happy to accuse the Germans of absolutely anything and possibly not averse to a little falsification of the evidence if needed. After all, these same authorities had been perfectly prepared to continue to accuse the Germans of the massacre of over 4000 Poles at Katyn - a deed they knew full well had been perpetrated by the Soviet NKVD. In fact, the only cases where there is any evidence of contrived fabrication occur at the liberation of the camp at Majdanek by the Red army, at which time the Soviet authorities closed the site for a month and then presented to the world some highly questionable evidence of mass extermination of Jews. A similar conscious fabrication may also have taken place at Auschwitz. In any event, intentional or not, all was now ready for the story to take off.
Any story, true or false, is easily spread if there are fabricators, peddlers and believers and this is all the more so if all three are combined. The Holocaust had plenty of all three. Moving down the chain of command we find plenty of examples at the Nuremberg trials where the alleged crimes of the vanquished were formalised by the victors. The Nuremberg investigators, as they worked their way through the mountains of alleged eyewitness testimonies believed that there were gas chambers as they strove to establish the truth. The army interrogators, as they punched and pummeled their way through the hapless defendants believed that there were gas chambers and that they were merely trying to get at the truth. The lawyers, as they presented highly questionable documents as hard evidence believed that there were gas chambers and that they were only trying to get at the truth. And the survivors of the deportations, raw and traumatized, full of unimaginable feelings including hatred and a thirst for revenge, were surely perfectly capable of believing that there were gas chambers and that they were only telling the truth. After all, was not all Europe, including the camps, rife with reports of gas chambers and anyway, had not so-and-so seen them? And as for the defendants, many unsure of the truth themselves and possibly themselves totally bewildered by the extermination claims, they may have seen it in their best interests to go along with he what the court had ready decided. Some may even have found some comfort in their moment of world-class notoriety as they mounted the gallows and anyway, stopping the pain was motivation enough - the solitary confinement and sleep deprivation, the floggings, the threats to family and loved ones and the constant humiliations, perhaps it was just easier to confess.
Nor do we need much to persuade us that the Jewish leadership might have been ready and willing to propagate and believe such a tale. Jews suffered terribly under National Socialism - nobody denies that, neither revisionist or non-revisionist. They had been persecuted, expelled and assaulted. They had been forcibly deported and incarcerated in brutal labor camps where thousands upon thousands had died from exhaustion, malnutrition and maltreatment. In the East many Jews had been shot. Jews had little reason to love the Germans.
Nor would it be the first time that Jews have accepted and propagated stories, true, false or a mixture of both, of their suffering. The Holocaust is only the latest, albeit the worst of a series of tragic calamities to have befallen the Jewish people and Hitler sits well with Pharaoh, Amalek, Haman, Tomas de Torquemada and Bogdan Chmielnitski - all enduring hate-figures in the Jewish martyrology. Nor would this be the first time that Jewish chroniclers (or any other chroniclers for that matter) have used some poetic license in describing their suffering. The Talmud tells that at the time of the destruction of the second temple - held in Jewish history to be the one historical precedent for the Holocaust - the Romans slew 'four billions," the blood of the Jewish victims was so great that it became a 'tidal wave carrying boulders out to sea', and staining the water for four miles out. The bodies of the Jews were used as 'fence posts' and Jewish children were "wrapped up in their Torah scrolls - and burned alive all 65 million of them." In a context like this, the utterances of Elie Wiesel, become a little more understandable.
Not far from us blazed flames from a pit, gigantic flames. They were burning something. A lorry drove up to the pit and dumped its load into the pit. They were small children. Babies! Yes, I had seen it, with my own eyes...Children in the flames (is it any wonder, that sleep shuns my eyes since that time?). We went there, too. Somewhat further along, was another, bigger pit, for adults. 'Father", I said, ' if that is so, I wish to wait no longer. I shall throw myself against the electrified barbed wire fence. That is better than lying around in the flames for hours." (19)
But for a story of this magnitude
to be spread, many more believers were needed, than a few over-mighty
politicians and soldiers and thousands of traumatized and broken
survivors, and, save for a few insightful cynics at the very top
of the British, American, Soviet and Jewish leaderships, believe
it they did. True, there was little hard evidence, but what there
was could so easily be made to fit. After all, everyone knew that
the Germans had engaged in purposeful mass extermination of Jews
therefore "special treatment" and "deportation
to the East" must be euphemisms for extermination, and any
sealed chamber attached to a crematorium especially if used for
disinfestations by gas, must have been a homicidal gas chamber.
Once momentum is achieved all that is needed is an extended game of Chinese whispers to result in a Holocaust narrative, conceived in the real and terrible wartime suffering of Jews, portrayed as imagined in newsreels and photo-reportage, framed and formalized at Nuremberg and subsequent trials and then, most critically of all, later turned into religious dogma. Set all this in the context of a western world obsessed by Jews and its own ambivalence about Jews and Jewish suffering, a Jewish population traumatized by its very real and recent suffering, an immensely influential Jewish culture which places suffering at the core of its self-identity and a Zionist leadership desperate to win world sympathy for a Jewish state in Palestine, and the idea of such a story, even if false, gaining near universal acceptance, really isn't that hard to believe.
After all, people once believed the earth was flat and sat on the back of four elephants riding on a turtle. They believed the earth was the centre of the universe and persecuted skeptics with the same fervor and with about as much justification as they do today's Holocaust revisionists. People today believe that JFK was assassinated by a lone gunman with a magic bullet. They believe in astrology and fortune telling, in bodily auras and out-of-body experiences. They believe that the Children of Israel were guided in the desert by a pillar of smoke by day and of fire by night, that Jesus was born of a virgin, died and was resurrected, and that the Prophet Mohamed ascended to heaven after seeing Mecca and Jerusalem. Why, they even believe that Palestine was a land without a people for a people without a land! So what is so hard to believe about the planned and premeditated slaughter of six million Jews by modern industrial methods, loaded in their millions onto trains and taken to industrialized killing centers where they are done to death thousands at a time in huge slaughter halls, their bodies burned to ashes and their bones ground into dust? People believe in heaven and they believe in hell so why not the hell of the Holocaust?
The War for the Spirit
A friend and colleague in solidarity with the Palestinians wrote:-
(Your writing) ultimately serves the same forces of racism that allow Israeli soldiers to kill Palestinians in cold blood. The Nazis not only articulated - they took daily, direct action to implement -- their conception of a racial hierarchy. They killed people they believed threatened Aryan racial purity and superiority -- the physically and mentally handicapped; gypsies; homosexuals; Slavs; Poles; Jews. Tinkering around trying to establish whether or not millions were gassed or killed by other means seems to me to be simply running away from the central political point: that racist ideologies are fundamentally murderous, and when people who espouse them get into power, they become literally murderous. What else matters? Do you really think that 'proving' that a few hundred thousand Jews/Slavs/Poles here and a few hundred thousand there were shot rather than gassed, will make any difference at all to how the state of Israel is perceived, or how
Israelis perceive themselves, to Europe's sense of culpability (displaced onto the Palestinians, of course), or whether or not Europe and the US decide to implement sanctions against Israel, or withdraw financial support to Israel.
These are difficult questions. Does writing about Holocaust revisionism give it a credibility it does not deserve? Does revisionism give to National Socialist ideology a credibility it does not deserve? Is Holocaust revisionism inextricably linked to fascism, racism and anti-Semitism and if so, should we then not investigate it? Is National Socialism worse than many other ideologies such as Stalinist Marxism which we do deem suitable for objective investigation? Does confirming the truth or otherwise of the Holocaust have any bearing on the struggle of the Palestinians against Israeli oppression?
For what they're worth my views are: Writing without prejudice about Holocaust revisionism must inevitably give it some credibility but in my view, for reasons now obvious, this is deserved. Holocaust revisionism is not inextricably linked to fascism, racism and anti-Semitism, though I can see how it might seem that way. Revisionist scholarship inevitably gives increased credibility to National Socialism, in that it allows the possibility that the National Socialist regime was not quite as unspeakable as it has been painted. Whether this is deserved or not depends on the result of the scholarship. As for whether National Socialism is worse than the many other ideologies that are considered worthy of unbiased study, the answer is that I don't know.
But we are entitled to search for the truth. The real crime committed by the National Socialists - the exclusion, disempowerment, deportation, enslavement, death by omission and by commission and expulsion of a people simply because they were that people - was a terrible one. One does not need gas-chambers to make the targeting of Jews just because they are Jews, extraordinary and unacceptable. Nonetheless, if this targeting did not extend to extermination, if there were no gas-chambers and if six million Jews did not die, then we should know it and, if necessary address the implications. If there is some reason why we should not investigate this matter then the onus is on those who would deny us that right, to say why. Those who would deny us that right have tried to say why, but in my view they have failed miserably.
But what does it matter how many Jews were murdered and in what way and with what intention? A murder is a murder and one murder is one murder too many. What difference will it make whether the Holocaust is proven or not? Will it have any affect whatsoever on the status and attitudes of Israel or on its behavior towards the Palestinians - issues on which we pressingly need to focus?
But the Holocaust is not just murder. Nor is it just mass murder. Nor is it even just genocide. There have been plenty of murders, mass murders and even genocides but none have been memorialized like the Holocaust. The Holocaust is held to be the worst crime in human history, and this is not because more people were killed or because they were killed more brutally or more senselessly. Three million Polish Jews are held to have died in the Holocaust. Three million Polish non-Jews also died in the same period of history yet the Jews, as evidenced by the memorialisation accorded them, are seen as more important. Fifty million people died in the Second World War, including twenty million Russians, ten million Germans and Austrians and six million Jews. Yet only the Jews warrant a "Holocaust"'.
Is this because it was only Jews who were targeted for obliteration simply because they were Jews, and because it was only Jews who were exterminated in such a cool, premeditated and modern fashion by such an advanced, liberal and enlightened nation in the heart of Christian Europe? If the revisionists should prove their case that Jews were not targeted for extermination, that there were no gas-chambers and there was no six million, would there then be no Holocaust? Would Jews become just more tragic victims of a tragic period of history, on a par with the millions of other victims, including the thousands upon of thousands of German civilians slaughtered in the terror bombing of German cities by the western allies?
The revisionist community has probably said just about all it can say and proved all it can prove and have probably made the case sufficiently to at least cast doubt on the veracity of the Holocaust narrative. Future historians may well reject the Holocaust as history but, the Holocaust may yet go on, no longer as history but as ideology and even theology. Even though the evidence may lead us to accept that there never was intent to eliminate every single Jew from Europe, or any gas-chambers at Auschwitz or anything near six-million victims, this may not make one iota of difference any more than archeological evidence might prove that there was no Exodus from Egypt and medical science might throw doubt on the virgin birth.
Because there is another possibility - that the suffering of the Jews is held to be the worst crime in human history not because of the nature of the crime but because of the nature of the victims. Maybe Abe Foxman had it just about right when he wrote:-
(The Holocaust is) "not simply one example of genocide, but a near successful attempt on the life of God's chosen children and, thus, on God himself" (20)
Because it may be that the Holocaust is not just special, it may be that the Holocaust is sacred. It may be that speaking of the Holocaust alongside other atrocities is like speaking of the Passion as being the crucifixion of one troublemaker and two thieves. It may be that the Holocaust is a narrative of suffering greater than just of one person on a cross.
If Auschwitz is something other than a horror of history, if it goes beyond the 'banality of evil', then Christianity totters on its foundations. Christ is the Son of God, who went to the end of the humanly endurable, where he endured the cruelest suffering... If Auschwitz is true, then there is a human suffering which simply cannot be compared with that of Christ... In this case, Christ is false, and salvation will not come from Him Auschwitz is the refutation of Christ. Claude Lanzmann
So the Holocaust and Jewish suffering, no longer history now theology, have become a religious imperative for Jews, and more critically for all Jews, even for those Jews who regard themselves as secular, who haven't been near a synagogue since they were children, even for those Jews who don't much consider themselves Jews. Take ten Jews today, maybe three will worship God, perhaps nine will worship the state of Israel, nine-point-five may worship "The Jewish People" but nine-point nine-nine-nine recurring will worship Jewish suffering and the Holocaust. The Holocaust resolves the great dilemma of modern Jewish life - how to be a Jew when you no longer believe in the Jewish God. Secular Jews have found many gods to replace the one they reject - Marx and Trotsky, atheism, psychoanalysis, multiculturalism, human rights, money and success, and of course, Zionism - there's lots to choose from but only one that serves as a catch-all for everyone. And if you don't believe it, try this - go find the most educated, secular, progressive, enlightened, perceptive, sensitive Jew you know - deny the Holocaust and then stand back.
But the Holocaust is not confined to Jews. The Holocaust is not only the central martyrdom and therefore a religious focus in modern Jewish history but also, if not in world history, then certainly in American and European history. All over North America and Western Europe: Holocaust museums - cathedrals to the new religion with their own priests and priestesses; Abe Foxman, Deborah Lipstadt, Elie Wiesel, Simon Wiesenthal, abound - the biggest and best in Washington DC with all the other symbols of American nationhood and power. Holocaust Chairs at major universities, memorials, foundations, conferences and symposia, books, magazines, films, TV documentaries. The further we travel in time from the actual events the greater the sacralisation. But these are only the outward manifestations. The Holocaust, the ultimate in suffering is a paradigm for all Jewish suffering and for all intolerance, discrimination and hatred against Jews and this is in itself is a paradigm for all suffering and all intolerance, discrimination and hatred against all people. That's why a major Holocaust Museum in the U.S. is able to style itself as simply "The Museum of Tolerance" and that's why those who dare to challenge the Jewish claim to a particularity of suffering are nearly always accused of "intolerance" or of "promoting hate". The Holocaust may be the ultimate symbol of Jewish power, the most visible means by which the Jewish will in this world is enforced and displayed to a cowering non-Jewish world. It proclaims that Jews are suffering and Jews are innocent so Jews can do what they like and, by association the state of the Jews is also suffering, is also innocent and can also do what it likes.
The Emperor's new clothes
But the world doesn't jump because it feels sorry for Jews. As Israel Shamir says, compassion and guilt may get you a free bowl of soup but not a lot else, and certainly not the ninety billion deutschmarks paid in reparations by the Federal Republic of Germany to the infant state of Israel, the billions of dollars paid by successive US governments to maintain that state, nor the free pass given to Israel by just about everyone to do pretty much what it likes to the Palestinians. The power of the Holocaust is not the power to arouse pity and compassion in the rest of the world. Anyone can see that Israel has no need of our pity or compassion and neither have Jews. Israel is not weak and Israel is not innocent and neither are Jews. What is harder to see is how anyone could ever have thought otherwise. Could it even be the same with the Holocaust? Is it not by now plain that there is very little evidence to support the Holocaust narrative, that the extermination narrative just doesn't add up, and that the issue of the gas-chambers could, as Ingrid Rimland reminded us, be settled easily by forensic investigation.
I suggest that forensic science ought to settle that disagreement about what Germans did or did not do in World War II in an open public forum
Why has this not been done? Everyone must know that if the establishment could disprove revisionist claims they would, so why haven't they? And anyone can visit any number of websites and find mountains of evidence against the veracity of the Holocaust, so why don't we?
The reason is the same reason why courtiers have, since time began, acted as if a stark naked emperor was beautifully attired - because they have to. The power of the Holocaust is the same power as enabled a few thousand Englishman to rule hundreds of millions of Indians; a few hundred French aristocrats to rule a few million French peasants and a Czar and a few hundred Russian nobles to rule millions of Russian serfs. It is the same power that all over the world and throughout human history has enabled the prosperous few to rule over the impoverished many. It is the very essence of power in this world; the power of bluff. As the unclothed Emperor can force people to believe that he is clothed, so the Jewish and Holocaust establishments can make us believe that black is white in the Holocaust narrative and that Jews and Israel are suffering and innocent. And if they can't make us believe it, they can at least make us say that we believe it. To the wannabee dissenter, the power behind the Holocaust says this, "Watch it! If we can enforce this we can enforce anything!"
But why should we care if Jews choose to create for themselves such a mythology, even if that mythology has been accepted by so many others? The answer is we must care because if the Holocaust is false then there are those who suffer under that falsehood. First, if the special status of Jews is removed, then the equal status of every single non-Jew who died in that same time, till now demeaned and denigrated, is immediately restored to its rightful and equal place. And there are other victims too. The German people stand accused and found guilty of having committed the worst crime in human history. The Poles, Ukrainians, Latvians, Lithuanians etc. etc. stand accused and found guilty of aiding, abetting and even applauding the commission of the worst crime in human history. Add to them the Catholic Church and the Pope, the Americans and British who stand accused and found guilty of not having done enough to prevent the commission of the worst crime in human history. Add to them Christianity and Christians who throughout the ages stand accused and found guilty of laying the foundations for the commission of the worst crime in human history. And finally you may as well throw in pretty much the entire non-Jewish world accused and guilty of what amounts to simply not being one of the chosen victims of the worst crime in human history, and therefore condemned forever to hush their voices whenever the word 'Jew' is mentioned and to stand silently as the myth of Jewish chosenness in the Holocaust is propagated.
The weapons of the poor
There is one other victim: a present, pressing, ultimate victim. The Palestinian people -denied, denigrated and abused by a power which uses the Holocaust as a shield behind which any and every atrocity may take place - are surely the primary sufferers under the Holocaust.
On March 22 2001 Robert Faurisson wrote a paper for the proposed Beirut Conference on Revisionism and Zionism, which he knew would never be presented. He was right. The conference was cancelled due to external pressure largely by Jewish groups. In his paper for the first time, Faurisson addressed the Arab world. First he put it to them that an intelligent adversary may say that they fear something when they don't, and that they don't fear something when they do. Thus their enemies' firepower is deflected from those places where it may do real damage to those areas where it can do little damage.
Then he listed those things that Zionists do not fear: They do not fear military power - they've more than enough of their own and anyway, they know that anyone who has military power is far more likely to support them rather than oppose them. They do not fear anti-Semitism - on the contrary they feed on it to create sympathy for their cause. They do not really fear denouncers of Holocaust exploitation - the Norman Finkelsteins and the Peter Novicks - so long as they do not challenge the Holocaust itself. After all, the fiercest critic of something can (albeit often unwittingly) become its staunchest guardian - (If Norman Finkelstein says it, it must be true.) They do not even fear anti-Zionism since Zionism, like Jewish power itself has the wondrous ability to transform itself into anything it wants - left/right, religious/secular, one-state/two-state - all provide fertile ground for Zionism and Jewish particularity. Nor do they much fear attacks on the founding myths of Israel - that is, all of them except one. Finally, they do not even fear being called Judeo-Nazis. On the contrary, being labeled by one's adversaries as a Nazi merely affirms that 'Nazi' is the very worst thing imaginable.
He then told his audience what
Zionists do fear: They fear the weapons of those who have nothing
left to lose - the poor and the weak. They fear the stones and
suicide bombers of the Palestinian Intifada - and they fear the
weapons of that other intifada - the words of the revisionists.
Zionists truly fear the weapons of the poor (children's stones, their slingshots like that of David against the giant Goliath, the suicide attacks) and all that may endanger persons and business; they fear a demeaning of their brand image. But they are above all apprehensive of "the poor man's atomic bomb", that is, the disintegration, by historical revisionism, of the lie of the gas chambers, the genocide and the six million; they dread this weapon that kills no-one but that would not fail, if properly used to explode their big lie like a bag of hot air..to lose the "Holocaust" is to lose the sword and the shield of Israel as well as a formidable instrument of political and financial blackmail; (21)
Despite their honourable intentions and dedicated efforts, the solidarity movement, which includes many Jews of conscience, has had little success in stopping the Zionist juggernaut. The truth is that the only thing that has stalled it has been Palestinian steadfastness and Palestinian stones. Although they will never say so, Palestinians must know that they are not just facing the might of the Israeli state but also the power of organized world Jewry and its primary arm, the Holocaust. Perhaps Palestinians should consider lobbing a few stones in that direction. Perhaps we all should.
On March 2nd 2005 Ernst Zundel was deported to Germany where he faces a five year prison sentence for Holocaust denial.
(2) Complaint under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights Against Canada - January 4, 2005
(3) "Jewish Power" by Paul Eisen
(5) The Fate of Jews in German Hands
(7) Robert Faurisson, Press Conference, Stockholm, March 1992
(8) Robert Faurisson
(9) Paul Rassinier, Le Drame des Juifs européens, Les Sept Couleurs, 1964, reprinted by La Vieille Taupe, Paris, p. 79.
(10) The ADL website
(11) The Niskor website
(12) Klara Obermueller Weltwoche series, "Auschwitz und die 'Auschwitz-Luege'", 9, 16, and 23 December 1993, 3 articles.
(13) Deniers, Relativists and Pseudo-Scholarship - Deborah Lipstadt. Published in Dimensions, Vol. 6, No. 1, 1991.
(16) Extract from the Denial of Holocaust (Prohibition) Law 5746/1986 passed by the Israeli Knesset July 8th 1986 quoted in Hayward p.25. http://www.resistance.com/Hayward/hay1.html
(19 Elie Wiesel, Night, 1960, in The Night Trilogy, 1985, pp. 40-43.
(20) Abraham Foxman quoted in Peter Novick The Holocaust in American Life by Peter Novick, published by Houghton Mifflin Co. 1999. p.195; 199.
(21) Paper written by Robert Faurisson for Beirut Conference on Revisionism and Zionism - March 2001
posted by Bernard Marx at 9:18 AM
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
As a person of Jewish descent raised in the United States I have though of myself as a secular, non believing progressive. As I have investigated Jewish history and the true Jewish religion of today I must say that for most of the years I fancied myself as such I have been a follower and believer in the true Jewish religion of now - The Holocaust Narrative, which includes The Crusades (against Jews, of course), the Spanish Iquisition (not a national liberation struggle, not aimed mainly at Islam, but against Jews, in our mythology), the "Chemilniecki massacres" (not an uprising of oppressed Ukrainian peasants but a blind, irrational, hate and alcohol fueled senseless assault on innocent Jews). Because the Internet has made alternative veiws available to me I've had the opportunity to be challenged in this religion of mine. This website is about sacred cows, both Jewish and American. Truth shall make us free.
That the victors in a war write its history and that The Truth is the first casualty of war are time honored facts. Also well known is that propaganda and the management of information are tools of war.
Like others of Jewish descent, I experience the question of nazi genocide against Jews in the Europe of the Second World War as a very emotional matter, one which until not long ago I would never even discuss or imagine debating. I'm nearly sixty years old and for as long as I can remember I was told, and I took it as a matter of faith, that Hitler killed six million Jews. While I was not religious, and not raised in a religious home, I insisted on learning to read Hebrew (phonetically) memorizing my parsha and sitting through cheder after my regular secular school day to be Bar Mitzvahed in an Orthodox synagogue "to spite Hitler."
A close relative of mine researched and created a family tree for a Master's Thesis depicting the Polish Jewish relatives we were never to know because of Hitler and The Nazis.
When I read in the Village Voice years ago of Noam Chomsky writing a forward to Faurisson's book I was ready to go to Cambridge and whip him. (Let me apologize, Mr. Chomsky, and Mr. Faurisson, for everything I said and thought about you back then).
Since those times I have been exposed to different ideas and facts. Reading Israel Shahak, Norman Finkelstein, Israel Shamir and others has changed my outlook on the world, one which I used to think of as most progressive and even anti - Zionist. The course of my life has taken me out of the world of "The Jewish Community" for the most part. I'm married "out", I live in a New York ghetto, my workmates are mainly not Jewish. I eat ham and Swiss sandwiches and my Jewish contacts are my children from my first marriage, my aging parents, and another worker (I think we're the only two there) at my job to whom I say "hi, how are you doing?" when we cross paths.
Still, I've always thought of myself as being a Jew and never thought of the Nazi murder of Europe's Jews as something up for discussion or debate.
When I was a boy of eleven or twelve I met a Polish Jew who had survived Auschwitz. He told of being captured because he did not leave the Soviet occupied zone of Poland even though the Red Army sent out trucks with loudspeakers urging the Jews to flee to the East. He told of being a part of a group of physically tough young men who woke themselves up in their Auschwitz barracks to exercise, even nude in the snow in order to stay tough and to survive the physical labor and hunger they lived with every day. But he did not speak of any gas chamber. He did not speak of skies blackened and air made putrid from the smell of burning corpses. He spoke of having been an inmate in more than one concentration camp. I wondered about this man's experience: I had always thought that Jews were rushed off the trains at Auschwitz and hustled to a "selection" managed by Dr. Mengele. Most, I thought, were then immediately sent to the gas chambers. The strongest were selected for forced hard labor and were soon worked and starved to death. He spoke of hard work and hunger, and the will to survive.
Norman Finkelstein, a friend of Palestine and a harsh critic of organized Jewry, but a man who does not deny the nazi genocide of the Jews, said about the people who comprise what he calls "The Holocaust Industry":
"I worry that these individuals are lending credibility to that ugly stereotype, and I think those of us who are concerned about the spread of anti-Semitism have a responsibility to expose these individuals, to repudiate these individuals and to work so that these individuals are no longer part of public life, or are allowed to represent themselves as they do as representing American or world Jewry.
"Abba Eban [the legendary Israeli foreign minister] makes the joke 'there's no business like Shoa business'. That is shameful and it ought to be rebuked, repudiated, exposed."
But would he worry if the stand he's taken gave comfort to Holocaust deniers?
"Holocaust deniers and the holocaust industry have a symbiotic relationship. The Holocaust industry needs the deniers so that it can continue to claim the world is awash with Holocaust deniers so we need more museums, more conferences, more books, to justify their quote-unquote 'Holocaust education'. The holocaust deniers, they love the Holocaust industry, because the Holocaust industry supplies them with all the ammunition for their arguments. It's the Holocaust industry which continues to wildly inflate the number of survivors. As my late mother used to say, 'if everybody who claims to be a Holocaust survivor actually is one, who did Hitler kill,' and that's exactly what the Holocaust industry is doing. It's become the main exponent of Holocaust denial in the world today."
I have seen and heard assertions that six million Jews were killed by the Nazis in World War Two Europe. The laws of several nations make it risky to"minimize" this figure or it's significance as being "unique" and even "unsurpassed." Still, the man called "the dean" of Holocaust historians, Professor Raul Hilberg, author of the standard reference work, The Destruction of the European Jews, sets the total numbers of Jews dead in Europe from 1939 - 1945 "from all causes" as five million, one hundred thousand.
One article of faith I grew up with was that the Nazis made soap from the bodies of Jews they murdered. This turns out to be at the least quite controversial. Regarding the long held belief Nizkor says:
"Nizkor takes no position as to the reliability of this evidence, as it is not clear to us whether there is consensus among historians on the issue. The reader may make up his or her own mind. The important thing is that the evidence does exist, and that the revisionist tracts we shall examine ignore that evidence in an attempt to confuse the lay reader."
Yehuda Bauer, an Israeli Historian, called the notion that extermination of Jews was decided on and planned at the Wansee [=Wannsee] Conference [Canadian Jewish News, January 30, 1992]: "the silly story that at Wannsee the extermination of the Jews was arrived at."
When Professor Hilberg republished his The Destruction of the European Jews in 1988 he dropped references to two orders by Hitler that he cited in the 1961 original edition of his book that purportedly mandated the extermination of the Jews.
Yehuda Bauer, an Israeli Historian, called the notion
that extermination of Jews was decided on and planned at the Wannsee
Conference [Canadian Jewish News, January 30, 1992]: "the
silly story that at Wannsee the extermination of the Jews was
When Professor Hilberg republished his The Destruction of the European Jews in 1988 he dropped references to two orders by Hitler that were cited in the 1961 original edition of his book that mandated the extermination of the Jews.
In my opinion David Irving is a racist and an apologist for Hitler. This does not make the Holocaust narrative now taught in schools and held to be sacred and beyond debate true, nor does it mean David Irving has nothing validto say about The Holocaust. David Irving may be a racist with an axe to grind, but so are the apologists of Israel racists with axes to grind. Who but a true believer with a determination to smash an icon might be among the first to dig in to the inconsistencies of a sacred and unquestioned dogma ?
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