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Holocaust denial is ideologically motivated. The deniers’ strategy is to sow seeds of doubt through deliberate distortion and misrepresentation of the historical evidence. Teachers should be careful not to unwittingly legitimise the deniers through engaging in a false debate.
“How to Teach about the Holocaust in Schools”, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
The passage above has been promulgated on the Web and in paper publications of the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Remembrance, Education and Research (since renamed as above) at least since 2004 as official “guidance” for teachers addressing the subject package trademarked “the Holocaust” in their classrooms. It is to be noted that thousands of teachers all over the world are required to address this subject under the laws of the countries, or US states, in which they teach, and which grant their licenses to teach. Their pupils, of course, are required under the laws of those same jurisdictions to attend this instruction, and there are rewards such as good grades for those who master the material and regurgitate it accurately upon the appropriate occasions (e.g., quizzes).
Logo of the IHRA
The passage, along with the rest of the extensive document of which it is part, have in the past eleven years become emblematic not only among those who promulgate it and those on whom it is imposed, but as well among revisionists, who seem to find it revealing concerning the censorial spirit and purpose that animate the IHRA, hatched in 1998 through the good offices, among others, of Bill Clinton and Tony Blair and the entire Holocaust Remembrance Industry. Or bad offices, if you prefer.
Aside from the rather blatant display of the organization’s policy of denigrating and suppressing all inquiry into matters that might “dilute” the basis for the IHRA’s campaign, the passage invites, at least for those given to careful parsing of the texts of diktats, the attention of those interested in the subliminal, or subtextual, techniques to which the IHRA’s operatives are given—in many cases, it would seem, unconsciously, or at least habitually. This angle of approach might be that very angle of approach that the passage itself enjoins against regarding any skeptical contemplation of history’s most-successful and longest-lived propaganda campaign. That is, this approach “dignifies” the offending material with a presumption of argumentive character, and proceeds from that point to an evaluation of that argument’s qualities, such as they may be. Doing just this is a habit, even a compulsion, among many Holocaust revisionists, and seemingly anathema to many of those who (quite explicitly) abjure such things, including, to their students’ detriment, the obedient (or careful) sort of teacher.
“Ideologically motivated.” Now that is an interesting term with which to cast aspersions upon an argument that one wishes to oppose, or simply quash. It immediately begs the questions, are ideological motivations as such always to be spurned when adopting, advocating or judging arguments? Or, if not necessarily that, then are some ideologies to be condemned and others perhaps approved of? And if that, then which ideologies, and why? Oops! Delete that last word; it seems that inquiry into “why” is unwelcome in the IHRA’s precincts. Let’s just stay with “which?” a point on which the quoted declaration offers not the slightest hint.
OK, let’s start by casting about for some ideology that could inspire, if not necessarily justify, the IHRA’s rather veiled warning. It’s dead simple to come up with National Socialism, or “Nazism” as our instructors undoubtedly would prefer, including the latter-day bogeyman of “Neo-Nazism.” So, are Holocaust “deniers” (revisionists are not mentioned, but clearly are as much proscribed as anyone else who might examine the factuality of the Holocaust syllabus) Nazis? They didn’t say that, now, did they? No, they didn’t. They just let fly with an altogether vacuous remark and allowed their suggestible readers to imagine a Nazi lurking under the skin of anyone who would presume to treat the particulars of the Holocaust as though it were mere history. What a way to teach, I must say, myself. And what a way to guide teachers, as well. In the thoughtful (or alert), this instruction-by-innuendo could inspire the realization that the curriculum itself might be of the same character as this guidance.
It was at this point that I was (also) prompted to inquire of myself—a self-admitted Holocaust revisionist, or denier, if you insist—whether my own position might in any way be “ideologically motivated.” And my answer came back resoundingly, well before the next heartbeat: YES, and yes a thousand times! And my search of my soul to see if I was any sort of Nazi came back with equal speed: NO, and no a thousand times, though I don’t either condemn (all) real Nazis with anything like the vitriol with which they would be condemned by anyone associated with the IHRA or any of the hundreds of allied—or competing—organizations that have thrust their snouts into the capacious troughs of money upon which the Holocaust Remembrance Industry feeds.
So, if I’m no kind of Nazi, or even Nazi sympathizer, then what is or are the ideology(ies) that motivate my questioning of the Holocaust narrative? The first one that comes to mind is so reactive that one could challenge whether it is a true ideology, or just an attitudinal tendency, so I will, unlike the IHRA’s smear campaign, phrase it very precisely: I vociferously support freedom of thought and expression of that thought, a.k.a. freedom of speech. And, entirely aside from the IHRA’s ham-handed contribution to the riot, I am offended to the quick, and mortally threatened as well, by the intellectual brutality (as well as occasional physical brutality) practiced by the proponents of the regnant Holocaust tradition. The IHRA’s telling strictures are only a small part of the reign of terror long-since afoot all over the world in support of the hate-Germans campaign. Laws are on the books and being enforced in nineteen countries and counting under which people who utter the wrong perceptions of the martyrdom of the Jewish people end up literally behind bars, with their professional standing utterly shredded to boot.
Maybe that’s all a bit too defensive; maybe my beliefs even ideologize themselves, here. But this coin has a reverse side that is less-easily dismissed than a mere devotion to free speech, a writ that, after all, runs but faintly, if at all, outside the Anglo-Saxon ambit of civil rights. And here, perforce, it starts to sound a little grandiose (we’re talking about ideology, aren’t we?): I favor truth, and the freedom at all times and in all places to pursue it without fear, at the very least, of laws and the dungeonmaster’s lash. And I earnestly advocate the adoption of a similar attitude toward the pursuit of truth by anyone and everyone around me, including Jews, among whom I am gratified to report that I have found many who sincerely and openly link arms with me in this value. Such Jews are, of course, not to be found in the sancta of the IHRA, nor are Gentiles of such disposition to be found there either, though Gentiles aplenty there be, starting with Messrs. Blair and Clinton.
There are more of my numerous ideologies in play in the position I hold and assert, such as decrying the demonization of a nation that was defeated (with great difficulty) by the combined arms of most of the rest of the world in 1945. But enough about me—let’s consider the nature of the tendentious code we are here scrutinizing.
Another of the myriad questions that cascade from the IHRA’s oracular mumblings would be: So, if deniers’ motivations are ideological, what might be the motivations of those who have assembled these instructions for teachers, and of those who advance the corpus of what the IHRA presses so urgently upon the plans of those whose profession is to form the minds of the young so as to … well, never mind to what purposes the young minds are being formed for, for now? Are those motivations ideological, or are they non-ideological? At this point, my maunderings seem to take on the nature of an onion’s unending layers: a mere five words, from a document of thousands of words, many of them equally subversive, have spawned dozens, scores of questions, none of which would interest the expedience-minded, and any one of which embodies the potential to stop the thrust of the enterprise at hand dead in its tracks.
The questioning forks here, as at so many other points. Let’s take the fork that assumes, yes, the IHRA’s initiative is (like the deniers’) ideologically motivated. That hypothesis, of course, immediately renders the text’s critique of the deniers’ motivations quite toothless, but never mind that; many of us (regrettably including many teachers) have little capacity to trace the branching of truth tables. Let’s just consider the IHRA’s ideological motivations in a vacuum, perhaps in the manner they might prefer.
The ideology of freedom of thought and speech isn’t available to them; they’re campaigning—with minimal subtlety—against that. But they do claim to be on about some kind of truth; maybe not what one could call a historical truth, but perhaps some kind of moral truth. What might that be? That majorities, such as non-Jewish Germans, could and in some ways did, oppress minorities among them whom they perceived to be allied with foreign powers that were hostile to their government’s ambitions regarding, let’s say, hegemony over Europe? OK—that’s a defensible ideology, if a bit trite when viewed in a historical context (the stalwarts of the IHRA appear to oppose any and every context for their Holocaust, historical or otherwise). Odious, even lethal, discrimination was indeed visited upon many Jews during the period of the Third Reich, by no means all of it by Germans. So, exactly where do we find ideology in this? Hate Germans? No, of course not. Oppose (fine, imprison) anyone who says anything off about the Germans’ (and others’) victims, the Jews? That seems a wee bit particularist for an ideology, wouldn’t you say? Oppose (fine, imprison) anyone who says anything off about any group, racial, ethnic, linguistic, even political? That’s noble, indeed, but it would seem to offer a handy and powerful weapon to those in power who find it expedient to munch down on anyone who is propounding inconvenient notions to the gullible masses—the term “thought control” comes to mind from famous novels we’ve read. As ideologies go, that one threatens to spin horribly out of control very soon after its implementation. Could the IHRA even hang onto this tiger’s tail, once the beast was uncaged? It’s hard to know whether to hope so, or to hope not.
Ideological motivations for the shock troops of the Holocaust legend don’t seem attractive, from the standpoint of that group’s reputation. So, what if their motivations are non-ideological? Maybe that is the sort of motivation one should have, if one is to advance a view of history (or not-history) that is to be accepted, taught, even believed, under conditions in which any opposing or even questioning perspective is to be rejected as “ideologically motivated.”
Non-ideological motivations for the IHRA’s perspective, as it happens, abound. Cynical formulae, such as “follow the money” immediately raise their ugly heads under this rubric. To start with, IHRA is a non-governmental organization (NGO). That doesn’t mean it receives no funds from the taxpayers of member countries; it just means the organization itself is not officially part of any one government. Go ahead; follow the links in this article and try to figure out how much each or any “member” government contributes to the operations of the IHRA. The governments are listed; the amounts they expropriate from their taxpayers are not. We don’t want those taxpayers finding any such thing out, now, do we? No, no a thousand times NO! Just keep your muzzle in the feedbag. Munch, but don’t talk.
The IHRA’s employees, though they don’t go on about it, are paid. Did you think they lived on love? Of course, if you’re a teacher, you’ve got your own muzzle buried in a similar feedbag somewhere, and if your muzzle is still so buried, you’ve long-since learned how to keep it there. Munch, but don’t talk.
Sooner or later, of course, someone commits some offense such that his snout gets ejected from the trough, and when that happens, obscure works such as Tova Reich’s My Holocaust emerge, but these are efficiently buried by the legions in the intellectual industries who are in thrall to the Holocaust Panopticon, and have never appeared on your radar screen. Never mind these. There’s money to be made here, including money offered up by Jews and others who might be disquiet about how they acquired their own fortunes, but who wish to gain absolution by supporting such enterprises as the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. Millions accepted graciously, and benedictions conferred accordingly; go (to your final reward) in peace.
Non-ideological motivations don’t appear to be serving our centurions of retrospective propriety very well, either; perhaps I have chosen poorly (for them—I wonder what they might have to say for themselves).
The incessant, government-funded and -enforced “remembrance” of the Holocaust is an albatross around the neck of Western civilization. Quite aside from the recriminations it bolsters among our various contending factions, quite aside from the billions in reparations it extracts from the long-suffering (and innocent) taxpayers of Germany, quite aside from whatever guilt it might impose upon the consciences of the millions of the following generations, it sustains and undergirds armed assaults of stupendous magnitudes upon the hapless denizens of the Middle East who do not enjoy the sanctified advantage of Jewish origins.
The IHRA must be stopped. “Ideological motivations” must be explicated, to reveal their mendacious implication. We—we of the rest of the world—must reject partisanship, must reject interested “historiography,” must reject all part in all of this miasma of fraud and exploitation. We could (or could we?) start by defunding the IHRA, the Holocaust Museum and Memorial, perhaps even, where we could find a means—a formula, even—the relevant activities of the United Nations.
This mandate of Truth by Government (or NGO) must be forsaken. It is not enough that we haven’t heard about it. It is not enough that we reject its assertions. We must deny it its tapeworm-like access to the fruits of our own labor—its lifeblood. And ours.
Additional information about this document
|Title:||Why—and How—I’m “Ideologically Motivated”|
|Sources:||Smith's Report, no. 218, December 2015, pp. 2-5|
|First posted on CODOH:||Nov. 26, 2015, 7:22 a.m.|