Smith, Bradley R.

Bradley R. Smith was born to a working-class family in South Central Los Angeles (where they used to do the riots) on February 18, 1930, where the family remained until 1970. He was a good student on occasion, but was more interested in horses than education. At 18 he joined the army and in 1951 served with the infantry in Korea where he was twice wounded. It was in the army hospital at Camp Cooke California where he began to write it all down.

Bradley R. Smith, Fall 2010

In the 1950s he became a deputy sheriff for Los Angeles County, but that wasn't it. He enrolled in Mexico City College to study Mesoamerican archeology but discovered the bullfights, becoming a novillero—an apprentice bullfighter—in the central mountain states of Jalisco, Guerrero and Hidalgo. The bulls very much had his attention, but his liver gave out and he had to return to the States and a VA hospital in Los Angeles.

In 1958 Smith was in New York City where he made sandwiches and worked at an art gallery. In the Village he read a bootleg copy of Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer and was, literally, rocked by it. He returned to Los Angeles where he opened a bookstore on Hollywood Boulevard specializing in paperback books, which at that time were new and all the rage. When Tropic was published, he dedicated himself to promoting the book, which was banned from sale in America by the U.S. Government. He was arrested, jailed, and prosecuted for refusing to stop selling the book.

The ensuing trial lasted six weeks, the longest civil trial to have taken place in Los Angeles at that time. There was considerable press coverage. For six weeks Smith watched and listened to academics and writers and community leaders argue under oath that Tropic of Cancer should be censored and those selling it be punished. His attention was particularly caught by Leon Uris (Exodus) arguing that Miller was “not a writer” and that he should be censored.

In the 1960s Smith, bankrupt, began working on a book (he’s still working on it) titled A Personal History of Moral Decay, and shipped out as a seaman on merchant vessel. He sailed to Japan, the Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan. In 1968 he jumped ship in Thailand, made his way to Saigon where he was accredited as a correspondent by the South Vietnamese. There he traveled about the Mekong as a freelance correspondent with Vietnamese accreditation.

Then it happened.

In 1979, when Smith was 49 years old, back in Hollywood and working in construction, he read a leaflet by Professor Robert Faurisson, "The Problem of the Gas Chambers." The story of this momentous moment in Smith’s otherwise humdrum life is recounted in his Confessions of a Holocaust Revisionist. It took three months for him to digest the core of the revisionist argument. Arthur Butz’s The Hoax of the Twentieth Century did it for him. He understood that he wanted to act. He understood from the beginning that he would address the censorship, the suppression of independent thought, the taboo against publishing and debating revisionist arguments—not the arguments themselves. That has remained his position.

On July 4th, 1984 (seriously) Smith learned that the Institute for Historical Review, the revisionist publishing house, had been burned to the ground by those who stood against a free exchange of ideas on the orthodox Holocaust story. He volunteered to help take the Institute’s work to the public. During Smith’s association with the Institute—as a contributor to their publications, a speaker at their conferences and during the late 1980s as its Media Project director. This last generated hundreds of radio and television interviews and introduced hundreds of thousands of people to revisionist questions about the orthodox Holocaust story.

In 1989 Smith founded Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH) dedicated to defending free speech and free inquiry into the Holocaust question. In the mid-1990s Smith and CODOH were among the first to develop a revisionist Website (, one that has since remained at the center of the revisionist movement.

Smith began publishing his newsletter, Smith's Report, in 1991. Here he reports on his own activism, the work being at CODOH, and articles and news stories about revisionists and revisionism around the world. At the same time he began publishing revisionist materials calling for open debate on the Holocaust in student newspapers at colleges and universities throughout the United States. In recent years he has focused on the online editions of the student press.

In December 2006 Smith was invited to travel to Iran where he presented a paper at the Tehran Holocaust Conference titled "The Irrational Vocabulary of the American Professorial Class with Regard to the Holocaust Question"

Smith has been so persistent, and so successful at reaching student audiences on the American university campus that Hillel: the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, and ADL, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith together published a 10,000 word booklet dedicated to blocking Smith’s work on campus titled: “Fighting Holocaust Denial in Student Newspaper Advertisements.”

In short, Smith goes on with his work of encouraging the ideal of intellectual freedom, while organizations such as Hillel and the ADL go on with their work of discouraging it. Smith believes that in the long run a free conscience, a free mind, and a free people together form an ideal that has more human value than its opposite. He remains willing to be convinced that he is wrong about that.

Documents in this category

Author Document Language Published
Smith, B. What I Believe, What I Don't, and Why English 1997-01-01
Smith, B. Confessions of a Holocaust Revisionist English 1987-01-01
Smith, B. What They Talk About When They Talk About Hate English 1999-11-01
Grubach, P. Bradley Smith, His Publications, and the Charge of Extremism, A Revisionist Response to the Anti-Defamation League English 2002-01-01
Smith, B. Interview with a Holocaust Revisionist (1990) English 1990-01-01
Hoy, M. Interview with a Holocaust Revisionist (1990) English 1990-01-01
Smith, B. What Smith Is Doing and Why? English 1995-07-19
Smith, B. The Rewards of War English 1991-01-14
Smith, B. A Journal: January 1979 English 1979-01-01
Smith, B. American Holocaust: Will there be people who deny it? English 2002-06-01
O'Keefe, T. Confessions of a Holocaust Revisionist, A Review English 1988-04-01
Smith, B. FRAGMENTS:  Another Ordinary Life English 2013-02-15
Smith, B. A Personal History of Moral Decay English 2009-09-10
Smith, B. Break His Bones, The Private Life of a Holocaust Revisionist English 2002-08-01
Smith, B. Reading Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler And Me English 2009-09-16
Smith, B. Wine, Bombs, and the Microchip Conspiracy English 2002-06-01
Smith, B. Smith's Report, no. 156, cover letter English 2008-12-24
Smith, B. Christmas 2013 And The Life Itself English 2013-12-07
Smith, B. In cosa credo, in cosa non credo, e perché ! Italian 1990-01-01
Smith, B. Victory in Baja! A Revisionist Dream Comes True, An unprecedented step forward for the Holocaust revisionist movement English 2007-06-10
Smith, B. Outlaw History #20, Christmas in Mexico, 2004 English 2004-12-20
Smith, B. Phil Donahue Show, Featuring David Cole and Bradley Smith English 1994-03-14
Cole, D. Phil Donahue Show, Featuring David Cole and Bradley Smith English 1994-03-14
Smith, B. Smith's Journal, Nov-95 English 1995-01-11
Smith, B. Smith's Journal, Feb-96 English 1996-01-02
Smith, B. Smith's Journal, Jan-96 English 1996-01-01
Smith, B. FRAGMENTS: Another Ordinary Life English 2013-07-17
Smith, B. Aquilo em que acredito, aquilo em que não acredito e porquê Portuguese 1990-01-01
Smith, B. FRAGMENTS – Another Ordinary Life English 2014-03-16
Smith, B. Fragments: Another Ordinary Life English 2012-07-13
Smith, B. Fragments: Another Ordinary Life English 2013-05-26
Smith, B. Fragments—Another Ordinary Life English 2012-09-20
Hayes, P. Some plain talk about the Holocaust and Revisionism English 1991-04-11
Raven, G. A Track Record Recalled by a Couple Friends, (On the 200th Issue of Smith’s Report) English 2013-10-30
Merlin, D. A Track Record Recalled by a Couple Friends, (On the 200th Issue of Smith’s Report) English 2013-10-30
Smith, B. A Journal: February 1979 English 1979-01-02
Weber, M. CODOH’s "Revisionist" Distribution Prompts Media Furor English 1999-12-15
Smith, B. Smith's Report, no. 167, cover letter English 2009-12-24
Smith, B. Smith's Report, no. 158, cover letter English 2009-02-11
CODOH News Bradley Smith's Website is Shut Down, ThoughtCrime: 07/04/96 English 1996-07-04
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