Incitement to Hate?
The court document of the United States Court of Appeals in the case filed by Germar Rudolf (Scheerer) against his deportation contains an important point that needs examination. The document provides the following background information:
Scheerer, a native and citizen of Germany, fled his home in 1995 after he was convicted and sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment for inciting racial hatred in violation of the German Penal Code, Stafgesetzbuch [StGB] art. 130, 3 – 5 (F.R.G.) (Section 130). A footnote reference to this sentence explains further, “Section 130, captioned “Volksverhetzung” (Incitement of the Masses), criminalizes, in relevant part, publicly approving of, denying, or otherwise trivializing an act committed under the rule of National Socialism in a manner capable of disturbing the public order.”
It is the purpose of this paper to both understand this charge and to review Germar Rudolf’s writing in light of the charge.
Surely, Rudolf fell victim to the charge of “denying” an act (that is generally referred to as “The Holocaust”) in a manner capable of disturbing the public order. In order to even understand this charge it is important to note that Rudolf has published several books that include the term “Holocaust” in their title. In the Introduction to the anthology Dissecting the Holocaust  Rudolf speaks of the “historiography of the Holocaust.” Far from “denying” the Holocaust, Rudolf seeks to understand the Holocaust and properly define it. In another article in this same anthology Rudolf provides a statistical analysis of the number of Holocaust victims. Rudolf concludes “a realistic estimate of the actual number of victims, therefore, may be twice as high as the total of victims registered by name in the records of Arolsen. The number of victims registered by name is now said to be about 450,000.” Rudolf, therefore has identified some 900,000 victims of the Nazi Holocaust. He suggests that “the greater part of these are Jews, but exact figures are as yet unknown.” It should be clear that Rudolf does not “deny” the Holocaust itself but rather has set on a course to evaluate the extent of this tragic time. Therefore Rudolf’s work is not a “denial” but more properly a revision to the generally accepted statistics and history of the Holocaust.
It is possible that Rudolf’s work then ran afoul of the “trivializing” clause of the German Penal Code. It is interesting then to compare Rudolf’s statistical analysis of total Holocaust victims to Lublin scholar Tomasz Kranz’ recent assertion that the number of Majdanek victims was actually 78,000. This announcement was made both on the official Auschwitz Museum Webpage as well as that of official Majdanek Webpage. Although recent estimates of the number of Majdanek victims has been around the 360,000 mark, estimates have been given by scholars of over one million. Comparing these two sets of statistics, we find that Rudolf has estimated a figure that is 85% less than the standard 6,000,000 estimate. Kranz's estimate of Majdanek victims however is 94% less than Lucy Dawidowicz and 88% less than the more common figure of 360,000. The reader will note that Kranz has not been charged under the German law in question, while Rudolf is serving out a fourteen-month sentence.
It is evident that the statistics or historical reevaluation is not what has resulted in Rudolf’s incarceration. It would appear that Rudolf’s work must be more incendiary and in fact “capable of disturbing the public order.” The general charge against “Holocaust denial” as expressed on the Internet is that “most Holocaust denial implies, or openly states, that the current mainstream understanding of the Holocaust is the result of a deliberate Jewish conspiracy created to advance the interest of Jews at the expense of other peoples. For this reason, Holocaust denial is generally considered an anti-semitic conspiracy theory.” It is necessary then to evaluate Rudolf’s statements about both the Holocaust specifically and Jews generally to determine if his work can be construed as anti-Semitic.
In his introduction to Dissecting the Holocaust Rudolf calls the “cultural and social integration of the Jews in Germany… one of the greatest and most fruitful symbioses that ever connected two peoples.” He goes on to speak of a future symbiosis between Jews and Germans and describes it as a “utopian dream.” Rudolf explains that his book is an invitation to an open discussion of the historiography of the Holocaust and the goal is “the joint and sincere search for truth, in order to contribute to a reconciliation between Jews and Germans which may perhaps result in a realization of my dream of a revival of the German-Jewish symbiosis.” Rudolf even calls for the insights of Holocaust revisionism to be championed by moderates in order to prevent racists, National Socialists and anti-Semites from using it for their own political purposes. He writes, “It ought therefore to be the foremost concern of moderate politics to see to it that the discussion about the Holocaust spreads to social circles other than radical or extremist ones, so that any potential consequences of a revision of historiography can be represented and implemented credibly and competently by respectable and respected politicians.” Clearly Rudolf’s intentions are anything but anti-Semitic. Still, since it is argued that Holocaust revisionism or “denial” involves anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, let us briefly look at Rudolf’s discussion of witness testimony.
In his recently published Lectures on the Holocaust Rudolf entitles section 4.2 “A Thousand Reasons for False Testimonies.” The sub-title is “Rumors, Misunderstandings, and Hearsay.” The conspiracy charge is that revisionists make the claim that Jews “invented” the Holocaust for some ulterior motive. Far from taking this approach, Rudolf addresses false memories and explains that “our ‘knowledge’ does not originate in our own experience, but rather from sources of hearsay, that is, our relatives or acquaintances, media reports, or things we have learned in school.”
Germar Rudolf is a revisionist scholar and author in the long line of authors that have questioned various aspects of modern history including the Second World War and the Holocaust. One of the father’s of this historical methodology was Harry Elmer Barnes. Barnes wrote in one of his more popular essays,
"Unless and until we can break through the historical blackout, now supported even by public policy, and enable the peoples of the world to know the facts concerning international relations during the last quarter of a century, there can be no real hope for the peace, security and prosperity which the present triumphs of science and technology could make possible. The well-being of the human race, if not its very survival, is very literally dependent on the triumph of Revisionism.”
It is this tradition of striving for historical accuracy as a means of attaining peace, security and prosperity, not for any one people, but for the human race that Germar Rudolf has followed. Rudolf’s works show that far from the goal of inciting people to hate, that Rudolf intends the opposite. Rudolf has given up his personal freedom to do the only thing that he can do – to strive for peace and proper relations among all people in general – and among Germans and Jews in particular. One might say that rather than inciting people to hate as he has been charged, that he is in reality guilty of inciting people to love.
This article was published in Smith' Report No. 132, October 2006
- Germar Scheerer versus United States Attorney General (April 13, 2006).
- Scheerer v. U.S. Attorney General pp. 2-3.
- Among other titles this includes, Dissecting the Holocaust and Lectures on the Holocaust.
- Dissecting the Holocaust is the English language edition of Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte, one of the analysis which resulted in Rudolf’s being charged with incitement to racial hatred. Due to his persecution by the German government, Rudolf served as editor for this anthology utilizing the pen name, Ernst Gauss. This book was both banned and burned in Germany.
- E. Gauss, Dissecting the Holocaust, Theses & Dissertations Press, Alabama, 2000, p.14.
- Rudolf explains that the term can be ‘ambiguous.’ He utilizes the narrow definition of “intentionally committed, or only implied, genocide of the European Jews (allegedly) by the National Socialists, mainly with the murder weapon ‘gas chamber.’ (Dissecting, footnote 6, p. 14).
- "Holocaust Victims: A Statistical Analysis."
- E. Gauss, Dissecting, p. 216.
- Lucy Dawidowicz cited a figure of 1,380.000 in her book, The War Against the Jews.
- E. Gauss, Dissecting, p. 13
- Ibid, p. 14.
- Ibid, p. 58.
- G. Rudolf, Lectures on the Holocaust, Theses & Dissertations Press, Chicago, IL, 2005, p. 345.
- Although some authors have made such claims, they have done so irresponsibly. One may find the charge of undeserved financial compensation paid by Germany to Israel for example in John Beaty’s The Iron Curtain Over America. This work was published in the early 1950’s. It is not a work of Holocaust revisionism although it devotes about 4 pages to this subject.
- G. Rudolf, Lectures, p. 348.
- Harry Elmer Barnes, Barnes Against the Blackout, “Revisionism and the Promotion of Peace” Institute for Historical Review, California, 1991, p. 299.
Additional information about this document
|Author(s):||Richard A. Widmann|
|Title:||Incitement to Hate?|
|Sources:||Smith' Report No. 132, October 2006|
|First posted on CODOH:||Oct. 30, 2006, 6 p.m.|