Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory by Deborah E. Lipstadt (The Free Press, N.Y., 1993, 278 pages).
Holocaust revisionism is beginning to cut a deep swath of skepticism through modern history. Although as yet no public debate is permitted on the subject, the Exterminationist crowd is getting nervous—so nervous that four anti-Revisionist books were published between mid 1992 and mid 1993. Two of them—Pierre Vidal-Naquet’s Assassins of Memory and the book reviewed here—signaled a major publishing event. On the same day (July 11, 1993), they were given laudatory lead article reviews in both the Washington Post Book World and the N.Y. Times Review of Books.
Jewish historian Deborah Lipstadt occupies the Dorot Chair of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. The dust jacket falsely describes her book as "the first full-scale history of Holocaust denial." Far from being an accurate chronicle of the subject, it could more aptly be described as a failed attempt to refute Holocaust revisionism and stymie its growth.
One of the book’s primary claims is that Holocaust Revisionism is utter nonsense, on a par with the flat earth theory, implying that orthodox Holocaustery is as certain as our knowledge of the earth’s spherical nature. Here we have an excellent example of the fallacy of "faulty analogy."
In addition to scientific experiments that can be performed here on earth to demonstrate the earth’s sphericity, there are photographs from outer space. By way of contrast, the foremost Exterminationist historian, Raul Hilberg, admitted that scientific proof for the existence of "Hitler gas chambers" is missing. No autopsy report exists to show that Jews were killed with poison gas. No one has ever produced any photographs of Jews being gassed.
Notwithstanding the capture of literally tons of German documents after WWII, no documentary evidence of a wartime extermination order, plan or program has ever been found. Hilberg admitted as much during his testimony in the 1985 trial in Toronto of Revisionist Ernst Zundel. Lipstadt herself confirms there is no written order from Hitler authorizing the destruction of the Jews (pp. 127-28).
In the New Yorker magazine (Nov. 15, 1993), author Timothy Ryback concedes that solid evidence of extermination at Auschwitz is missing: "In the blueprints, construction documents and work orders that trace the construction and subsequent use of these buildings…there is no single explicit reference to the use of gas chambers or Zyklon B for homicidal purposes."
Jean-Claude Pressac, an Exterminationist "expert" on the "gas chambers," agrees.
One of the most important pieces of "evidence" traditionally adduced to "prove" the "Holocaust" is the testimony of Rudolf Hoess, a commandant of Auschwitz. Lipstadt herself and another prominent Holocaust historian, Christopher Browning, have admitted that Hoess’s confessions are unreliable, as he had been tortured by the British into confessing to a fantastic and unbelievable number of murders.
Geologist John Ball makes his living by analyzing aerial photographs to determine mineral deposits. Analyzing Allied and German air photos of WWII German concentration camps, he could come up with no indication that mass murder had occurred at or near Auschwitz I, Birkenau, Majdanek, Sobibor, Treblinka or Belzec. Ball’s air photos falsify much "Holocaust survivor" testimony and the coerced confessions of certain Nazi officials.
All in all, the necessary photographic, documentary, and scientific evidence needed to prove Exterminationist doctrine is missing. The material evidence that does exist fully discredits the gas chamber allegations.
Dr. Lipstadt insists "the existence of the Holocaust [is] not a matter of debate." To debate the Holocaust skeptics "would give them a legitimacy and stature they in no way deserve. It would elevate their anti-Semitic ideology—which is what Holocaust denial is—to the level of responsible historiography—which is what is not [p. 1]."
Despite what Lipstadt writes, if hard evidence for the Holocaust is overwhelming and the claims of Revisionists ridiculous, to engage the latter in debate would not lend them credibility and respect. Quite the contrary! Crossing swords with these "cranks" would be a golden opportunity for Lipstadt to expose their quackery and stupidity. Only if Revisionism has intrinsic validity will it gain stature by a public hearing. The Jewish lady’s refusal to debate carries with it the implicit recognition that Revisionism has more legitimacy than she cares to admit.
Even if Revisionism is pure balderdash, the public interest would still be served if it was given serious attention in the mainstream media. The truth of Exterminationism could be reverified. Lipstadt has been quoted as saying that she is "only interested in getting at the truth." If this is so, then a more complete perception of the truth would be gained in a public debate where her "Exterminationist fact" clashed with "Revisionist fiction."
To put it bluntly, Lipstadt’s justification for refusing to debate is nothing more than a conscience-salving self-deception designed to cover up her fear and insecurity.
Lipstadt insists that Holocaust Revisionism is intimately connected to a neo-fascist political agenda, adding:
"[O]ne of the tactics deniers use to achieve their ends is to camouflage their goals. In an attempt to hide the fact that they are fascists and anti-Semites with a specific ideological agenda…." [p. 4]
While some Revisionists may be neo-fascists and neo-Nazis, the majority are not. For example, Lipstadt conspicuously fails to state that the foremost Holocaust revisionist scholar, Dr. Robert Faurisson, is an apolitical liberal who has spoken out against Nazism. In Le Monde (Dec. 29, 1978, p. 8), he wrote:
"Nazism is dead, and good riddance with its Fuhrer."
Criticizing the French scholar, Lipstadt falsely claims he "regularly creates facts where none exist and dismisses as false any information inconsistent with his preconceived notions (p. 9)." This accurately describes Lipstadt, not Faurisson. After denouncing Holocaust deniers, Lipstadt writes:
"No fact, no event, and no aspect of history has any fixed meaning or content. Any truth can be retold. Any fact can be recast. There is no ultimate historical reality." [p. 19]
This is precisely what Holocaust Revisionism is not. Historian Harry Elmer Barnes defined Revisionism as "bringing history into accord with the facts." Our conceptions of the past must be tailored to fit the facts that are uncovered by historiographical and scientific methods. Power elites may obscure reality with falsehood, but the historian is, in many instances, able to see through this veil of illusion by using the scholarly techniques of his profession.
Consider the claim that the Nazis used Jewish cadavers for the production of soap. During and after WWII this libel was aggressively promoted by Allied/Zionist propagandists. Bars of "human soap" were submitted by the Soviets at the Nuremberg Trials. Applying the time-honored techniques of the historical profession, investigators falsified the canard. In a letter to the Los Angeles Times (May 16, 1981), Lipstadt asserted:
"The fact is that the Nazis never used the bodies of Jews, or for that matter anyone else, for the production of soap. The soap rumor was prevalent both during and after the war. It may have had its origin in the cadaver factory atrocity story that came out of World War I… The soap rumor was thoroughly investigated after the war and proved to be untrue."
As demonstrated by Lipstadt’s own words, this historical reality has a fixed meaning and content. The "Jewish soap" story was propaganda, promoted to further the goals of the victors of WWII. Holocaust Revisionism is an objective enterprise that should lead all people of goodwill to accept a documented conclusion.
In 1945, "official history" asserted that gas chambers had functioned at Nazi concentration camps in Poland and Germany. Numerous eyewitness reports were offered as "proof." Lipstadt professes that Exterminationist historians are "responsible for demonstrating that there had been no homicidal gas chambers in the German concentration camps [p. 78]." Reluctantly, she adds,
"Every time [Exterminationist historians] correct a mistake in the record, deniers immediately claim they do so because their previous lies were about to be exposed." [p. 78]
Lipstadt fails to mention that the Exterminationists’ belated and awkward correction totally devalues the large number of testimonies of alleged gassings in detention centers located in Germany.
As the philosopher of science Philip Kitcher points out, a good theory is not static or insular:
"Typically, a flourishing science is incomplete. At any time, it raises more questions than it can currently answer. But incompleteness is no vice. On the contrary, incompleteness is the mother of fecundity. Unresolved problems present challenges that enable a theory to flower in unanticipated ways. They also make the theory hostage to future developments. A good theory should be productive; it should raise new questions and presume that those questions can be answered without giving up its problem-solving strategies."
Throughout the book Lipstadt claims that Revisionism is plagued by serious internal contradictions that effectively invalidate it. These so-called "contradictions" are in reality unanswered questions which Revisionists must address.
The Jerusalem Post (Aug. 17, 1986) reported that an official of Yad Vashem (Israel’s own Holocaust Museum) had admitted that more than half of the 20,000 testimonies from Holocaust survivors in its archives were unreliable. These testimonies, the official said, had never been used as evidence in "Nazi war crimes trials" because survivors who wanted to be "part of history" may have allowed their imaginations to "run away with them."
Failing to note the historical importance of such a confession, Lipstadt engages in deceptive damage control:
"What the [Revisionists could not ask] was the question of why Yad Vashem would acknowledge that some of its archival holdings are incorrect, if its objective was to perpetuate the Holocaust ‘myth.’ Why did it not simply replace these testimonies with correct ones? Why did it not have its researchers further ‘falsify’ the data? If Jews were able to forge documents sufficient to convict Nazi war criminals within a few months after the war, they should certainly have been able to deposit reliable and historically accurate testimonies in the decades since then. This simplistic and yet deceptive Revisionist claim is but another example of the deniers’ use of tactics that conveniently either ignore proof of the Holocaust or twist it in a way that substantiates their conspiracy theory." [p. 101]
Revisionist historian Mark Weber did address the question of why Israel would admit that at least some evidence for the "Holocaust" is fraudulent. He suggested
"that a large part of the motivation for this ‘tactical retreat’ has been to save what’s left of the sinking Holocaust ship by throwing overboard the most obvious falsehoods. In the face of the growing Revisionist challenge, easily demonstrable falsehoods…have become dangerous embarrassments because they raise doubts about the whole Holocaust legend."
To understand one of the many reasons why Yad Vashem officials never attempted to falsify "eyewitness testimonies" so as to achieve consistency, consider Treblinka. In 1943, the N.Y. Times published the claims of those who swore they had seen Jews killed in "steam chambers." In 1945, a special Soviet Commission "proved" the Germans operated these steam chambers by submitting "expert reports" on the matter at the Nuremberg Trials. However, other Jewish eyewitnesses, like Yankiel Wiernik, swore that the Jews of Treblinka were killed by the exhaust from a Soviet tank engine. In such a situation, a creator of fake documents would be caught between a rock and a hard place: To which lie should he make the Yad Vashem "eyewitness testimonies" conform?
Despite serious discrepancies in the various Exterminationist calculations of the number of alleged Jewish murder victims, Lipstadt pretends not to be flummoxed:
"If the Holocaust was truly a fraud perpetrated by the Jews, one could legitimately expect a powerful force like ‘World Jewry’ to have seen to it that no discrepancies were allowed to creep into research by Jewish scholars. All their findings should neatly dovetail and confirm one another. And if the 'Talmudists' were crafty enough to recognize that precise conformity might arouse suspicion, they would have insured that there was only the slightest variation among scholars’ findings." (p. 100)
Ergo, because glaring contradictions have been found in Holocaust literature, this supposedly undermines the Revisionists and vindicates the Exterminationists!
Contrary to what Lipstadt states, Revisionist theory predicts that the various calculations of alleged Holocaust victims would be mutually contradictory for four reasons:
- Before, during and after WWII there were large-scale Jewish population shifts. Discrepancies in the record are inevitable.
- The Holocaust was the joint production of the victors of WWII—British, Americans, Soviets and Zionists. As this false propaganda emanated from a variety of sources and was motivated by different political goals, discrepancies inevitably crept in. Lipstadt herself reinforces this point: "The Communists, engaging in their own form of revisionism, taught that it was the fascists who killed Communists. The specifically Jewish face of the tragedy was excised [p. 7]."
- World Jewry is powerful, but this power is not unlimited nor is every Zionist aim realized. John Demjanjuk was acquitted even though International Zionism had a vested interest in convicting him. The upshot is that World Jewry could not control all of the "Holocaust evidence" that emerged from various parts of the globe. Ultimately, much of the "evidence" created in the West contradicted propaganda from the Soviet Union.
- Much of the fraudulent evidence used to nurture the Holocaust legend was developed hastily in the midst of WWII or in the hysterical atmosphere of WWII’s aftermath. That much of it would be mutually contradictory is no surprise.
Dr. Nahum Goldman, a former president of the World Jewish Congress and World Zionist Organization, admitted that organized Jewry maintains a dual code of morality: one set of moral standards applied to Jews, quite another to non-Jews. The lady professor internalized this Jewish double standard and projected it into her book. This becomes readily apparent when she applies her hypocritical "moral code" to an official of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), Tom Marcellus, and other Revisionists: "Marcellus revealed another of the IHR’s true agenda items with his warning that acceptance of the Holocaust myth resulted in a radical degeneration of acceptable standards of behavior and lowering of the self-image of White people. These racist tendencies, which the IHR has increasingly kept away from the public spotlight, are part of the extremist tradition to which it is heir [p. 144]."
Throughout the entire book Lipstadt condemns Revisionists who want to preserve the white race (p. 106).
Zionism is a political philosophy which is deeply based in the racial thought of the 19th and 20th centuries. Moses Hess, a forefather of political Zionism, once expressed a core tenet of Zionist ideology: "Jews are not a religious group, but a separate nation, a special race, and the modern Jew who denies this is not only an apostate, a religious renegade, but a traitor to his people, his tribe, his race."
Jewish scholars Uri Davis and Ian Lustick, and the distinguished diplomat George Ball have documented the fact that Israel is a state founded upon a principle of racial and religious discrimination. First-class citizenship for Jews; second-class citizenship for non-Jews.
Ms. Lipstadt, a prominent ideologue of the Jewish power elite, openly identifies with Zionism and the state of Israel. She has made common cause with the ADL. Get the picture? It is morally correct for Lipstadt and her fellow Jews to identify with racist Israel, but it is positively "evil" for non-Jewish Gentiles to be the least bit concerned about the survival of European civilizations. International law rightly grants all racial-cultural groups the right to self-preservation and self-determination. Owing to the Holocaust legend, however, European descended people are being denied such group rights. After all, so goes the public orthodoxy. Talk of European self-preservation and self-determination is "evil Nazism" which would inevitably lead to another Holocaust.
Angst is that gnawing, ever present anxiety that humans experience when they begin to doubt a deeply held belief. In the preface to her book, Lipstadt reveals her intense anxiety about the "Holocaust" controversy. Because of the emotional trauma involved, she could hardly bring herself to finish her opus—a strange reaction from someone who "knows for certain that Exterminationism is true and Revisionism false." Friends had to encourage her to complete the project.
Within the depths of her Jewish soul, Lipstadt is feeling intense angst at the realization that in the near future the "Holocaust" legend will come to its inevitable end. Jean-Paul Sarte claimed that people who cannot face the alleged "fact" of their annihilation in death retire into myths about gods granting them eternal life. Ms. Lipstadt is displaying a similar psychological response. She has retired into the fallacies of Exterminationism, hoping it will give her beloved Holocaust lie eternal life.
This book review was originally published in the September 1994 issue of the now defunct Instauration, pp. 13-15.
|||Irving Copi, Introduction to Logic, 5th ed. (N.Y.: Macmillan, 1978), pp. 486-491.|
|||Jean-Claude Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers (N.Y.: Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, 1989), p. 429.|
|||Barbara Kulazka, ed., Did Six Million Really Die? Report of the Evidence in the Canadian "False News" Trial of Ernst Zundel—1988 (Toronto: Samisdat, 1992), pp. 24-25.|
|||Jean-Claude Pressac, op. cit., p. 429.|
|||Vanity Fair, Dec. 1993, p. 117.|
|||John C. Ball, Air Photo Evidence/Auschwitz, Treblinka, Majdanek, Sobibor, Bergen-Belsen Belzec, Babi Yar, Katyn Forest, 1992, 116 pages, paperback. Available from Samisdat Publishers Ltd., 206 Carlton St., Toronto, Ont. M5A 2L1, Canada [no longer; see shop.codoh.com instead; ed].|
|||Vanity Fair, Dec. 1993, p. 117.|
|||For the complete story with full documentation, see Mark Weber, "Jewish Soap," The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1991, pp. 217-227.|
|||Robert Lenski, The Holocaust on Trial: The Case of Ernst Zundel (Decatur, Al: Reporter Press, 1989), pp. 199-200; Barbara Kulazka, ed., pp. 285-286, 305, 190-253, 286-351, passim. For the actual "evidence" and "eyewitness testimonies," see R. Faurisson, The Journal of Historical Review, Fall 1990, pp. 296, 307.|
|||Philip Kitcher, Abusing Science: The Case Against Creationism (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1982), p.48.|
|||Mark Weber, op. cit., p. 223.|
|||12. NY Times , Aug. 3, 1943, p. 11.|
|||Nuremberg document 3311-PS, reprinted in Carlos Porter, ed., Made in Russia: The Holocaust (Historical Review Press, 1988), pp. 2-7.|
|||Alexander Donat, ed., The Death Camp Treblinka (Holocaust Library, 1979), pp. 147, 157.|
|||Nahum Goldman, The Jewish Paradox (Wiedenfeld and Nicolson, 1978).|
|||Uri Davis, Israel: An Apartheid State (London, Zed Books, Ltd., 1987); The International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Zionism and Racism (New Brunswick, N.J.: North American, 1979); Francis R. Nicosia, The Third Reich and the Palestine Question (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1985), pp. 16-21; Lenni Brenner, Zionism in the Age of Dictators (Westport, CT: Lawrence Hill, 1983); Regina Sharif, Non-Jewish Zionism: Its Roots in Western History (London: Zed Books, Ltd., 1983).|
|||Quoted in Robert John, Behind the Balfour Declaration: The Hidden Origin’s of Today’s Mideast Crisis (Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1988), p. 35.|
|||Uri Davis; Ian Lustick, Arabs in the Jewish State: Israel’s Control of a National Minority (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1980); George W. Ball and Douglas B. Ball, The Passionate Attachment: America’s Involvement with Israel, 1947 to the Present (N.Y.: J.J. Norton, 1992), p. 29.|
Additional information about this document
|Title:||Exterminationist Angst, A Review|
|Sources:||Instauration, Sept. 1994, pp. 13-15|
|First posted on CODOH:||June 29, 1995, 7 p.m.|