Letter to Jasper Community Habitat for the Art

Published: 2016-08-01

Jasper Community Habitat for the Art
Box 2397
[email protected]


Hello Habitat for the Arts Att: Mr. Baker:

We at Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust have heard that Habitat for the Arts has punished a creative and productive person for “publicly proclaiming non-inclusive beliefs." We hope this is not true.

The alleged "non-inclusive beliefs" were reported to be comments encouraging discussion regarding the1941-1944 persecution of Jewish Europeans, events generally referred to as "the Holocaust."

I am a historian and am writing to emphasize the importance of discussion and scholarly review of history.  I think everyone would agree that "history is never gotten right the first time."  This is particularly true during wartime and especially true during World War II, when all sides of the conflict had active propaganda machines. 

There was a terrible number of actual horrors and crimes during WW II.  However Allied agencies (and particularly Soviet propaganda) produced a vast amount of ugly anti-German propaganda.  

See:  Motherland in Danger, Soviet Propaganda during World War II  Karel C. Berkhoff Harvard University Press (2012)

The Soviets also included Ukrainian, Polish, and Baltic nationalists in their propaganda campaign. 

Perhaps the people at Habitat for the Arts do not know of recent scholarly research which significantly revises our understanding of the Holocaust?  The example of Majdanek Camp epitomizes the entire matter.

In 1946 evidence admitted to the Nuremberg Tribunal asserted that 1,400,000 people were murdered at Majdanek Camp, at Lublin Poland, and turned into human fertilizer. Revisionists have long disputed the size of this number. 

On Dec. 23, 2005 we were shown to be correct when the State Museum posted (see here):

“Majdanek Victims Enumerated. Changes in the history textbooks? […] Kranz, director of the Research Department of the State Museum at Majdanek, asserts that approximately 59,000 Jews and 19,000 people of other ethnic backgrounds, mostly Poles and Byelorussians, died there.”

78,000 deaths is still a horrible tragedy but it is a quantum difference from the Nuremberg figure of 1,400,000. 

No one should be angry at Ms. Schaefer for saying what the scholars at the Auschwitz State Museum are asking, Changes in the history textbooks? We feel that Ms. Schaefer should be thanked for calling for more discussion, not blacklisted.


David Merlin,
Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust
PO Box 20774
York  PA 17402
[email protected]

Additional information about this document
Property Value
Author(s): David Merlin
Title: Letter to Jasper Community Habitat for the Art
Sources: http://auschwitz.org/en/museum/news/majdanek-victims-enumerated-changes-in-the-history-textbooks,44.html
Published: 2016-08-01
First posted on CODOH: Aug. 1, 2016, 10:30 p.m.
Last revision:
Appears In: