From the Editor

Published: 1993-07-01

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Mark Weber

When the presidents of the United States, Israel and several other countries gathered in Washington, DC, on April 22 to formally dedicate the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, a small army of journalists, cameramen and commentators was there to broadcast the story to the entire world. In keeping with the spirit of the occasion, one politician after another spouted the most piously self-righteous rhetoric. President Clinton didn't just deliver a speech, it was said, he was busy "bearing witness."

As a result of generous support from several dozen of our readers, we were also in Washington, DC, that same week to express forthright and reasoned opposition to this $160 million monument to misguided priorities and illicit power. On the evening of April 21 we held a special IHR "mini-conference" at a hotel in a suburb of Washington, DC. About 200 friends and supporters of the IHR – some traveling great distances – gathered for the enthusiastic meeting, at which Robert Faurisson, David Irving, Robert Countess, and I spoke. (Videotapes of the presentations will be available for sale soon. We'll keep you posted.)

Unfortunately, our news conference at the National Press Club on the morning of April 22 was a disappointment. As a result of what amounts to a media blackout, only a few journalists contacted us. Still, as a result of this effort, I gave a few radio and newspaper interviews, and Dr. Countess appeared on a New York City television news program.

This media outreach, and our successful meeting, was made possible as a result of the more than $4,000 raised through our special appeal. We warmly appreciate such support, especially on such short notice. A heartfelt "thank you" to everyone who contributed to this effort.

At the same time the US Holocaust Memorial Museum was being dedicated on the morning of April 22, about two hundred persons gathered nearby in spite of the wind, rain and cold to loudly express their opposition. Although turnout was not large, this very diverse group more faithfully reflected the authentic sentiment of concerned citizens on this issue than do "our" newspapers and political and intellectual leaders.

Millions of Americans – including many well-educated people – understand very well just how grotesque and inappropriate this Holocaust campaign really is. My recent visit to Washington reconfirmed this.

For example, I met for about an hour there with a veteran New York Times journalist who expressed to me, in private, his disgust with the new Holocaust Museum. He called it an "institution of guilt-mongering," and emphasized that he would never take his children to the place. He added that "everyone" he knows – including colleagues on the staff of America's most influential paper – privately hold similar views. When I suggested that he express his view on this in some public way, he explained that he has no interest in jeopardizing his career. "I gave up on causes long ago," he said.

A former high-ranking American diplomat (now-retired) with whom I also met in Washington expressed quite similar views about the Holocaust campaign and the new Museum.

History shows that genuine popular sentiment can't be suppressed forever. That's why, in spite of the extravagant new Holocaust Museum, the guardians of the legend are not at all happy. As a flurry of recent newspaper and magazine articles confirms, they are alarmed, above all, at the dramatic and seemingly unstoppable growth in recent years of Holocaust Revisionism – in spite of legal sanctions, physical attacks and a vicious anti-revisionist propaganda campaign.

A lengthy but grossly unfair New York Times article, April 30, reported, for example, on the "disturbing phenomenon that has gained momentum in recent years in both America and Europe... the growing visibility of 'revisionist historians'." Similarly, Time magazine (April 26) noted that "the claim that the Holocaust never occurred has been spreading in America," and a wildly inaccurate Associated Press article denouncing revisionism appeared in many newspapers across the country. (For example: "Holocaust Denial Seen Gaining Ground," Los Angeles Times, May 8.)

Newspapers across the country also recently reported with something like despair that, in spite of the vast sums devoted to Holocaust "education," millions of Americans have doubts about the Holocaust story. A public opinion survey released just three days before the Holocaust Museum dedication ceremony shows that one out of three Americans aren't sure about the official Holocaust extermination story. Many commentators were quick to pin at least part of the blame for this on the diabolical work of Holocaust Revisionists.

Four new anti-revisionist books further testify to the fearful trend:

  • Hitler's Apologists: The Anti-Semitic Propaganda of Holocaust "Revisionism," an 88-page book compiled and published by the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith.
  • Holocaust Denial, a 195-page book by the American Jewish Committee.
  • Assassins of Memory: Essays on the Denial of the Holocaust, a 200-page book published by Columbia University Press by Pierre Vidal-Naquet, a leading French adversary of Robert Faurisson.
  • Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, a 300-page book by Deborah Lipstadt.

We must be doing something right. Not only does the IHR figure prominently in each of these books, but one of them, Holocaust Denial, explicitly reports that "the IHR is the spine of the international Holocaust denial movement, and, according to Leonard Zeskind, a research director of the Center for Democratic Renewal, the IHR's influence now is only a fraction of what it will be."

Until recently, the standard operating procedure in dealing with revisionism was either to ignore the phenomenon, or to stridently dismiss revisionists as crackpots, neo-Nazis, hate-mongers, "flat earth types" and so forth. As the authors of these polemical and error-packed new books now recognize, though, that approach just won't work any more.

While continuing to insist that revisionists must never be given an opportunity to express their views, and that, above all, one must never agree to anything like a reasoned exchange of views with revisionists (supposedly because we are so insidiously clever), these authors feel compelled to respond with what superficially appear to be substantive responses to at least some revisionist arguments.

This is already a big step forward, and accordingly we will take a much closer look at these four books in future Journal issues.

Much of the credit for our steady progress is due to the quiet work of activists across the United States. A good example, as we briefly report later in this issue, is Jack Riner, a long-time IHR supporter who recently passed out 2,400 IHR leaflets to students on two university campuses.

Other good examples of such activism are the two IHR supporters who (as we also note) arranged for publication of a fullpage IHR advertisement in local papers.

We applaud and strongly encourage such grass-roots efforts. Experience has shown that, even when they might not seem to have any noticeable effect, the real long-term impact of such efforts is very difficult to measure. Don't forget the example of Bradley Smith – now one of the most active of activists – who was introduced to all this quite a few years ago when someone handed him a revisionist leaflet. Reading that short item jolted Bradley and transformed his life.

With your continued support, including the much-appreciated support of friends like Jack Riner, we will carry on our work as the world's foremost center of historical myth-busting.


In the May-June 1993 issue, pages 26-27, the short paragraph that follows Table 1 ("Available figures...") should instead come before Table 1.

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Author(s): Mark Weber
Title: From the Editor
Sources: The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 13, no. 4 (July/August 1993), pp. 2f.
Published: 1993-07-01
First posted on CODOH: Nov. 23, 2012, 6 p.m.
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