Censorship by Classification

The Commanding Heights
Published: 2017-12-07

It has long been noted—and proven—that supporters of the Holocaust hoax occupy positions that they use to disseminate Holocaust disinformation in government, the media, art, literature, and … libraries. Yes, there, too. Their methods entail two prongs of attack: first, of course, to repeat (and repeat, and repeat) the dogma that has dominated at least since the Nuremberg Tribunal of 1946; and second, to obscure, discourage, discredit and marginalize any and all material that would gainsay their own pronouncements and the authors and publishers involved in writing and disseminating such material—in short, censorship, with extreme prejudice.

Forbidden Knowledge 

I first encountered the barriers to revisionism erected by our opponents when submitting titles to Online Books, a Web site listing e-books that can be downloaded and read for free, to which it is also free to submit books. I did this as part of a personal effort to try to offset the delisting of Castle Hill Publishing’s titles from Amazon.com and Barnes and Nobles’s bn.com. Listing books on that site requires the submitter to classify their submissions according to a scheme that struck me as extensive, detailed, intimidating and, where it came to Castle Hill’s offerings, hostile. In my ignorance (see below), I even complained to the operator of the site, who was puzzled at my complaint since, as it turned out, he was merely using the “standard” classification scheme of the US Library of Congress, a provenance I neither recognized nor noted reference to on the site.

The Library of Congress! Now there is an authoritative classification scheme, with the imprimatur, so to call it, of The Government itself. What, then, was my complaint? My complaint was, that there was a classification that seemed to beckon, as it were, my use for most or all of Castle Hill’s offerings: Holocaust Denial Literature, number D804.35 for the numerically oriented among us. What was that, I wondered (aloud)? Isn’t contention, speculation, inference, interpretation a vital part of history itself? The description of material deserving this classification was pointedly inclusive as regarded Castle Hill’s offerings:

Here are entered works that diminish the scale and significance of the Holocaust or assert that it did not occur.

Well … diminish? Sure, vis-à-vis the six million and such. The genocidal intention, of course. The Hitler order. But why should that be any different from other treatments of the subject matter, I asked my hapless host at Online Books. He was very patient with me, ultimately allowing me, entirely without cavil, to build this list of our offerings on his site (I look forward to expanding it soon and bigly). I hasten to assure our faithful readers that I did not sacrifice our precious oeuvre on the pyre arranged for it by our would-be censors; Online Books allows multiple subjects to be attached to submissions, and I liberally chose more-suitable classifications such as D804.3 (Holocaust, Jewish (1939– 1945)) for our works to catch the eyes of those researching the subject through what I’ll call its “front door.”

I (also) used the “back door” (the pejorative one) because my experience of myself when seeking forbidden information (often the most-accurate and most-valuable) is that I simply make a bee-line for what is marked “bad.” Such tendencies on the part of truth-seeking Germans has led Germany’s censorious government to make the entries in its own index librorum prohibitorum a state secret. I wanted all our nasty stuff to be right where the people interested in it could find it. Early last century, the US Congress ordained that foreign-made products must be marked with their country of origin, little supposing that wise consumers eventually would look for “Made in Japan” as a seal of quality to be favored over inferior, more-expensive domestic product whenever possible. I made our opponents’ prejudicial classification scheme hoist by its own petard, so to speak.

But, paranoiac that I am (aren’t all we revisionists?) I detected the fingerprints of our opponents on the peculiar structure I encountered in the Library of Congress’s classification scheme, and a recent article from the Intellectual Freedom Blog of the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association provided me a chain of links and citations that yielded me the particulars of the plot to configure the LOC’s classification scheme to the detriment (or so they hoped) of our own canon’s accessibility.

Skipping the current ALA article and the 2011 article in the Journal of Academic Librarianship providing the citation, I’ll rewind all the way back to 1986 and a periodical called Judaica Librarianship, a niche publication if I ever saw one. But small, vocal minorities can and do have an altogether outsize influence on manifold actions of governments, and Footnote 1 of that article gives the game away.

The author of the article, Adaire Klein, was the Coordinator of Library and Archival Services at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, and the informative footnote included this text:

Until now, the class number assigned has been D810.J4, the general number for the Holocaust … We are currently negotiating with the Library of Congress to establish a special class for Holocaust denial literature.[1]

So, there you have it. Negotiating with the Library of Congress. The Simon Wiesenthal Center. Needless to say, they succeeded.[2] Where were we revisionists? Hiding, of course, not unlike we hear Jews did in countries occupied by the Germans during World War II. Me, I’m hiding still (you didn’t think that was my real name, did you? I’m nowhere near that brave, any more than your modal Holocaust survivor posing as a Christian was).

Shall we mount our own assault on the Library of Congress? So many librarians (including those at the Library of Congress), after all, are Jewish, or harbor sentiments favoring the interests of the group so known. As for the rest of us, we are but mere carpenters, policemen, clerks, die makers, bartenders—what do we know of such things, or indeed can we afford to spend time acting upon them? Most of us are too busy trying to feed our families by plying our humble trades.

It’s just a matter of classification of works (generally not) in libraries anyway. It really doesn’t matter very much.

But they’ve got it covered, just in case.

[1] Klein, Adaire. “The Handling of Holocaust Denial Literature in a Special Library.” Judaica Librarianship, Vol. 3, No. 1-2, 1986-1987, pp. 55-57.

[2] In the same article, Klein described a series of experiments she designed and conducted to demonstrate the need to protect youths from insidious, scholarly-looking denial material. In these experiments, high-school students consistently displayed an inability to distinguish “fake” revisionist material from “serious” Holocaust historiography after brief perusals. The article unfortunately is not posted on any Web site.

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Author(s): Jett Rucker
Title: Censorship by Classification, The Commanding Heights
Published: 2017-12-07
First posted on CODOH: Dec. 7, 2017, 10:33 a.m.
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