Amnesty International Tells CODOH that Revisionists Deserve Prison
Published: 1997-03-01

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Few things have been more disappointing to libertarian-minded revisionists than the persistent silence of free-speech organizations in the face of the worldwide persecution of Holocaust revisionists for their historical opinions.

The same groups which have made a cause celebre out of every small-town effort to refuse to carry the latest New York celebration of adolescent onanism in the local kindergarten library have been utterly silent about the banning and burning of revisionist books here and abroad and the imprisonment, injury and murder of their writers in such democratic nations as France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

The “silence of the shams.” some revisionists have come to call it—from the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Library Association, PEN (Poets, Essayists, and Novelists), Amnesty International, the rest, not a bleat about the real censorship, exterminationist-style, right under their noses.

Until now, that is. This last January, when CODOHWeb’s energetic co-Webmaster Richard Widmann wrote Amnesty International’s European representative regarding the imprisonment in Germany of Guenter Deckert (largely for sponsoring a lecture by Fred Leuchter), Widmann received this response:

Dear Mr. Widmann: According to its mandate, Amnesty International does not adopt as prisoners of conscience persons who use or advocate violence or who advocate national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence. In Amnesty International’s view denial of the Holocaust or the propagation of the theory of the Auschwitz lie in writings or meetings would amount to an advocation of national, racial or religious hatred constituting an incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.

Michael C. Butler, Europe Program

So there it is, as tortured and tendentious as anything that ever wormed its way out of a censor’s mouth—and from a professed defender of intellectual liberty! Naturally Butler is too fearful, and too smart, to dare to think for himself on this touchy issue, so he's obviously cribbed his response from what passes for law in the Bundesrepublik, including the official catch phrase "Auschwitz lie” (which German censors swiped from the late Thies Christophersen and turned inside-out!).

You’ll note, too, the watery analysis whereby one item in the menu of either/ors “amounts” to an item on the next list, which in turn “constitutes” something that follows—so that scraping paint chips off an old cellar well, then analyzing and publishing your findings, becomes the equivalent of burning down a synagogue. Left unmentioned (and not prosecuted, of course), is a book like Hitler's Willing Executioners, which argues that the entire German nation was a gang of genocidal murderers during the 1930’s and 1940’s.

At about the same time as Butler announced that Amnesty International stands with Metternich, Torquemada, and Henry the Eighth on “inconvenient” kinds of intellectual freedom, the U.S. State Department was issuing Germany and other European persecutors of revisionism a clean bill of health, notwithstanding the Bundesrepublik's—according to State—worrisome lack of tolerance for Scientologists.

Whatever might be said of the justice and wisdom of some powerful German groups, including the ruling political parties’, campaign against the Scientologists (or of the Church of Scientology’s lurid ads likening their woes to those of the Jews under Hitler), no Scientologists have yet been imprisoned for their opinions, as revisionists have been—nor any of their books or tracts seized and banned and burned, as revisionist publications have been.

Amnesty International—and the rest of the shrinking, stinking violets of self-proclaimed devotion to free speech— are at the center of CODOH’s interests. Committed as we are to bringing to you, to the academic world, and to the World Wide Web the work of men who are on trial or in prison in nations across half of Europe, we’re going to continue to confront, and to expose PEN, ACLU, and the rest of that bunch—or win them over to our side, i.e. to living up to their own stated ideals.


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Author(s): Bradley R. Smith
Title: Amnesty International Tells CODOH that Revisionists Deserve Prison
Sources: Smith's Report, no. 41, March 1997, p. 4
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Published: 1997-03-01
First posted on CODOH: Oct. 3, 2015, 6:31 a.m.
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