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The Holocaust Controversy
The Contemporary Issue
No subject enrages campus Thought Police more than Holocaust Revisionism. We debate every other great historical issue as a matter of course, but influential pressure groups with private agendas have made the Holocaust story an exception. Elitist dogma manipulated by special interest groups corrupts everything in academia. Students should be encouraged to investigate the Holocaust story the same way they are encouraged to investigate every other historical event. This isn't a radical point of view. The premises for it were worked out centuries ago during a little something called the Enlightenment.
The Historical Issue
Revisionists agree with establishment historians that the German National Socialist State singled out the Jewish people for special and cruel treatment. In addition to viewing Jews in the framework of traditional anti-Semitism, the Nazis also saw them as being an influential force behind international Communism. During the Second World War, Jews were considered to be enemies of the State and a potential danger to the war effort, much like the Japanese were viewed in this country. Consequently, Jews were stripped of their rights, forced to live in ghettos, conscripted for labor, deprived of their property, deported from the country of their birth and otherwise mistreated. Many tragically perished in the maelstrom.
Revisionists part company with establishment historians in that Revisionists deny that the German State had a policy to exterminate the Jewish people (or anyone else) by putting them to death in gas chambers or by killing them through abuse or neglect. Revisionists also maintain that the figure of 6 million Jewish deaths is an irresponsible exaggeration, and that no execution gas chambers existed in any camp in Europe which was under German control. Fumigation gas chambers did exist to delouse clothing and equipment to prevent disease at the camps. It is very likely that it was from this life-saving procedure that the myth of extermination gas chambers emerged.
Revisionists generally hold that the Allied governments decided to carry their wartime "black propaganda" of German monstrosity over into the postwar period. This was done for essentially three reasons. First, they felt it necessary to continue to justify the great sacrifices that were made in fighting two world wars. A second reason was that they wanted to divert attention from and to justify their own particularly brutal crimes against humanity which, apart from Soviet atrocities, involved massive incendiary bombings of the civilian populations of German and Japanese cities. The third and perhaps most important reason was that they needed justification for the postwar arrangements which, among other things, involved the annexation of large parts of Germany into Poland. These territories were not disputed borderlands but included huge parts of Germany proper. The millions of Germans living in these regions were to be dispossessed of their property and brutally expelled from their homelands. Many hundreds of thousands were to perish in the process. A similar fate was to befall the Sudeten Germans.
Main entry gate to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.
During the war, and in the postwar era as well, Zionist organizations joined with the Allied Governments and became deeply involved in creating and promulgating anti-German hate propaganda. There is little doubt that their purpose was to drum up world sympathy and political and financial support for Jewish causes, especially for the formation of the State of Israel. Today, while the political benefits of the Holocaust story have largely dissipated for the others, the story still plays an important role in the ambitions of Zionists and other organizations in the Jewish community. It is the leaders of these political and propaganda organizations who continue to work to sustain the orthodox Holocaust legend and the myth of German monstrosity during the Second World War.
Those who would claim that these interpretations are anti-Jewish are reading into them something which simply is not there. Revisionists do not claim that Jewish leaders or organizations did anything in the war and postwar era that the Allied Governments themselves did not do.
For those who believe that the Nuremberg Trials revealed the truth about German war crimes, it is a bracing shock to discover that the then Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, Harlan Fiske Stone, described the Nuremberg court as "a high grade lynching party for Germans."
We've all seen "The Photographs." Endlessly. Newsreel photos taken by US and British photographers at the liberation of the German camps, and especially the awful scenes at Dachau, Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen. These films are typically presented in a way in which it is either stated or implied that the scenes resulted from deliberate policies on the part of the Germans.
The photographs are real. The uses to which they have been put are base.
There was no German policy at any of those camps to deliberately kill the internees. In the last months of the war, while Soviet armies were advancing on Germany from the east, the British and US air arms were destroying every major city in Germany with saturation bombing. Transportation, the food distribution system and medical and sanitation services all broke down. That was the purpose of the Allied bombing, which has been described as the most barbarous form of warfare in Europe since the Mongol invasions.
Millions of refugees fleeing the Soviet armies were pouring into Germany. The camps still under German control were overwhelmed with internees from the east. By early 1945 the inmate population was swept by malnutrition and by epidemics of typhus, typhoid, dysentery and chronic diarrhea. Even the mortuary systems broke down. When the press entered the camps with British and US soldiers, they found the results of all that. They took "The Photographs."
Still, at camps such as Buchenwald, Dachau and Bergen-Belsen tens of thousands of relatively healthy internees were liberated. They were there in the camps when "The Photographs" were taken. There are newsreels of these internees walking through the camps streets laughing and talking. Others picture exuberant internees throwing their caps in the air and cheering their liberators. It is only natural to ask why you haven't seen those particular films and photos while you've seen the others scores and even hundreds of times.
Spokesmen for the holocaust lobby like to assure us that there are "tons" of captured German documents which prove the Jewish genocide. When challenged on this, however, they can produce only a handful of documents, the authenticity or interpretation of which is always highly questionable. If pressed for reliable documentation, the Lobby will then reverse itself and claim that the Germans destroyed all the relevant documents to hide their evil deeds, or it will make the absurd claim that the Germans used a simplistic code language or whispered verbal orders for mass murders into each others' ears.
With regard to the alleged genocide of the European Jews, all available documentation indicates that there was no order for it, no plan, no budget, no weapon (that is, no so-called execution gas chamber) and no victim (that is, not a single autopsied body at any camp has been shown to have been gassed).
As documentary "proofs" for the mass murder of the European Jews fall by the wayside, Holocaust historians depend increasingly on "eyewitness" testimonies to support their theories. Many of these testimonies are ludicrously unreliable. History is filled with stories of masses of people claiming to be eyewitnesses to everything from witchcraft to flying saucers.
During and after the war there were "eyewitnesses" to mass murder in gas chambers at Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau and other camps in Germany proper. Today, virtually all recognized scholars dismiss this eyewitness testimony as false, and agree that there were no extermination gas chambers in any camp in Germany proper.
Establishment historians, however, still claim that extermination gas chambers existed at Auschwitz and at other camps in Poland. The eyewitness testimony and the evidence for this claim is, in reality, qualitatively no different (from) the false testimony and evidence for the alleged gas chambers at the camps in Germany proper.
During the war crimes trials many "eye witnesses" testified that Germans made soap out of human fat and lamp shades from human skin. Allied prosecutors even produced evidence to support these charges. For decades, highly respected scholars at the most prestigious universities in the Western world sanctioned these stories, leading us to believe that they were "irrefutable truths." But, with time, many such stories have become untenable, and in May 1990 Yehuda Bauer, director of Holocaust studies at Hebrew University in Tel Aviv, admitted that: "The Nazis never made soap from Jews. . ." (quoted in "The Jerusalem Post," International Edition, 5 May 1990, p. 6). This is only one recent example where an "irrefutable" Holocaust "truth" has been exposed as a monstrous lie.
With regard to confessions by Germans at war crimes trials, it is now well documented that many were obtained through coercion, intimidation and even physical torture.
British historian David Irving, perhaps the most widely read historian writer in English, has called the Auschwitz death-camp story a "sinking ship" and states that there were "no gas chambers at Auschwitz. . . "
The Auschwitz State Museum has recently revised its half-century old claim that 4 million humans were murdered there. The Museum now says maybe it was 1 million. But what proof does the Museum provide to document the 1 million figure? None. The Communist propagandists who manage the museum have put on display piles of hair, boots and eyeglasses, etc. While such displays are effective propaganda devices, they are worthless as historical documentation for "gassings" or a program of "extermination."
Meanwhile, Revisionists want to know where those three million souls have been for the last 45 years. Were they part of the fabled Six Million?
Those who promote the Holocaust story complain that "the whole world" was indifferent to the genocide which allegedly was occurring in German-occupied Europe. When asked why this was the case the promoters usually respond by saying that it was due to some great moral flaw in the nature of Western man. At other times they make the absurd claim that people did not realize the enormity of what was happening. It is true that the world responded with indifference. How else should people have responded to that which they did not believe, and which for them was a non-event?
It is certain that if there had been "killing factories" in Poland murdering millions of civilians, then the Red Cross, the Pope, humanitarian agencies, the Allied governments, neutral governments, and prominent figures such as Roosevelt, Truman, Churchill, Eisenhower and many others would have known about it and would have often and unambiguously mentioned it, and condemned it. They didn't! The promoters admit that only a tiny group of individuals believed the story at the timeãmany of whom were connected with Jewish propaganda agencies. The rise of the Holocaust story reads more like the success story of a PR campaign than anything else.
Winston Churchill wrote the six volumes of his monumental work, "The Second World War," without mentioning a program of mass-murder and genocide. Maybe it slipped his mind. Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his memoir "Crusade in Europe," also failed to mention gas chambers. Was the weapon used to murder millions of Jews unworthy of a passing reference? Was our future President being insensitive to Jews?
Political Correctness and Holocaust Revisionism
Many people, when they first hear Holocaust Revisionist arguments, find themselves bewildered. The arguments appear to make sense, but "How is it possible?" The whole world believes the Holocaust story. It's just not plausible that so great a conspiracy to suppress the truth could have functioned for half a century.
To understand how it could very well have happened, one needs only to reflect on the intellectual and political orthodoxies of medieval Europe, or those of Nazi Germany or the Communist-bloc countries. In all of these societies the great majority of scholars were caught up in the existing political culture. Committed to a prevailing ideology and its interpretation of reality, these scholars and intellectuals felt it was their right, and even their duty, to protect every aspect of that ideology. They did so by oppressing the evil dissidents who expressed "offensive" or "dangerous" ideas. In every one of these societies, scholars became Thought Police.
In our own society, in the debate over the question of political correctness, there are those who deliberately attempt to trivialize the issue. They claim that there is no real problem with freedom of speech on our campuses, and that all that is involved with PC (political correctness) are a few rules which would defend minorities from those who would hurt their feelings. There is, of course, a deeper and more serious aspect to the problem. On American campuses today there is a wide range of ideas and viewpoints that are forbidden to be discussed openly. Even obvious facts and realities, when they are politically unacceptable, are denied and suppressed. One can learn much about the psychology and methodology of Thought Police by watching how they react when just one of their taboos is broken and Holocaust Revisionism is given a public forum.
First they express outrage that such offensive and dangerous ideas were allowed to be expressed publicly. They avoid answering or debating these ideas, claiming that to do so would give them a forum and legitimacy. Then they make vicious personal attacks against the Revisionist heretic, calling him dirty political names such as "anti-Semite," "racist," or "Neo-Nazi," and they even suggest that he is a potential mass murderer. They publicly accuse the Revisionist of lying, but they don't allow the heretic to hear the specific charge against him or to face his accusers so that he can answer this slander.
The Holocausters accuse Revisionists of being hate-filled people who are promoting a doctrine of hatred. But Revisionism is a scholarly process, not a doctrine or an ideology. If the Holocaust promoters really want to expose hatred, they should take a second look at their own doctrines, and a long look at themselves in a mirror.
Anyone on campus who invites a Revisionist to speak is himself attacked as being insensitive. When a Revisionist does speak on campus, he is oftentimes shouted down and threatened. Campus libraries and bookstores face intimidation when they consider handling Holocaust revisionist materials. All this goes on while the majority of faculty and university administrators sit dumbly by, allowing political activists to determine what can be said and what can be read on their campus.
Next, the Thought Police set out to destroy the transgressor professionally and financially by "getting" him at his job or concocting a lawsuit against him. The courts are sometimes used to attack Revisionism. The Holocausters often deceptively claim that Revisionist scholarship has been proven false during a trial. The fact is that Revisionist arguments have never been evaluated or judged by the courts.
Finally, the Thought Police try to "straighten out" that segment of academia or the media that allowed the Revisionists a forum in the first place.
It can be an instructive intellectual exercise to identify taboo subjects, other than Holocaust Revisionism, which would evoke comparable responses from Thought Police on our campuses.
Recently, some administrators in academia have held that university administrations should take actions to rid the campus of ideas which are disruptive to the university. This is a very dangerous position for administrators to take. It is an open invitation to tyranny. It means that any militant group with "troops at the ready" can rid the campus of ideas it opposes and then impose its own orthodoxy. The cowardly administrator finds it much easier and safer to rid the campus of controversial ideas than to face down a group of screaming and snarling militants. But it is the duty of university administrators to insure that the university remains a free marketplace of ideas. When ideas cause disruptions, it is the disrupters who must be subdued, not the ideas.
The influence of Holocaust revisionism is growing steadily both here and abroad. In the United States, Revisionism was launched in earnest in 1977 with the publication of the book "The Hoax of the Twentieth Century" by Arthur R. Butz. Professor Butz teaches electrical engineering and computer sciences at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Those who take up the Revisionist cause represent a wide spectrum of political and philosophical positions. They are certainly not the scoundrels, liars and demons the Holocaust Lobby tries to make them out to be.
The fact is, there are no demons in the real world. People are at their worst when they begin to see their opponents as an embodiment of evil, and then begin to demonize them. You can do anything you want to a demon.
That logic will not succeed.
Additional information about this document
|Author(s)||Bradley R. Smith, Mark Weber|
|Title||The Holocaust Controversy, The Case for Open Debate|
|Dates||published: 1991-01-01, first posted on CODOH: June 29, 1996, 7 p.m., last revision: n/a|
|Comments||Text of a flyer distributed in Chicago in early 1991|