Letters

Published: 1998-01-01

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Counted In

It was very refreshing to find you on the Internet World Wide Web. Thanks for clarifying many issues. I've passed around several of your items by fax, and have posted others on the Net. Just wanted to let you know how much you are appreciated. Count me in!

F. T.
Tampa, Florida


Placing Books in Libraries

A good way to get the word out to the public is to donate revisionist books to local public libraries. Recently I placed David Irving's book Nuremberg: The Last Battle in my public library. If I can do it, anyone can.

In my experience, the main argument offered by library purchasing departments for deciding not to purchase "non-kosher" books is a supposed lack of interest among the public. This objection can be offset if local patrons, through coordinated action, make repeated requests for a specific title.

Keep up the good work.

P. R.
West Virginia


Bias In History

Some time ago I began to take a close look at the Second World War, Third Reich Germany and the "Holocaust." I began my study, I now know, in a state of ignorance, but I persisted in my effort to determine the facts.

After considerable thought and study, I now believe that much of what is written about that era is purposefully distorted or simply not true. I have also come to regard the Anti-Defamation League and similar Jewish organizations as purveyors of deceitful and self-serving propaganda.

However, I am struck that the Journal of Historical Review is also biased, although to a much lesser degree, in that its articles and reviews often present facts in such a way as to portray Jews and Jewish activities in a critical or at least unfriendly way. Moreover, I'd like the Journal to more pointedly affirm that Hitler was, after all, a disaster for Germany.

I wish that revisionism would carry a connotation of greater neutrality. Unfortunately it does not, and the perception that revisionism is anti-Jewish is a reality that revisionists should acknowledge and combat.

I think it is detrimental for any historical scholar to permit racial, ethnic or cultural bias to influence how he presents history. To do so distorts our understanding of the past.

The truth must be allowed to plead for itself, without advocacy or partisanship. While this may weaken the short-term utility of history for one purpose or another, it serves the long-term good of all. History, I believe, should be written for those not yet born.

R. G.
Wilmington, N. Carolina


Blind Hatred

Blind justice is said to be good, and it is. But blind hatred is both evil and destructive. I am referring to Richard Phillips' letter in the Sept.-Oct. 1997 Journal, in which he criticizes the feature articles by Mark Weber and Greg Pavlik [May-June 1997 issue] criticizing President Truman's decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Blind hatred seems to have so clouded Mr. Phillips' vision that he missed the key point of the articles: that the Japanese had offered to surrender at least as early as January 1945, asking only that their emperor not be humiliated or violated – a condition that the Americans ultimately accepted anyway.

Mr. Phillips oddly remarks: "I was reading newspapers in 1945 and they [Weber and Pavlik] were not." That may be, but I was there. In 1945 I was serving in the Pacific on an AKA, an attack cargo ship, which carried and landed Marines from Guadalcanal to Iwo Jima. In late July we were on our way to a staging area to prepare to invade Japan. So, if anyone should have rejoiced at the dropping of the "big ones," it was I!

That was then; this is now. Many years ago I learned the truth, which is available to anyone who seeks after it.

I saw the carnage at Iwo Jima. Had Japan's offer to surrender been accepted in January 1945, how many American lives would have been saved at Iwo Jima, and elsewhere?

It must be terrible to live for more than 50 years with such "never forgive, never forget" hatred. If the general public ever fully understands the truth about Pearl Harbor (which is doubtful), it would be better to direct the hatred expressed by Mr. Phillips against the politicians who start and prolong unnecessary wars for their own aggrandizement.

Dick Meyer
Los Angeles, Calif.


Constraints of Morality and Justice

I was astonished to see the letter by Mr. Richard Phillips in the Sept.-Oct. Journal defending the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Mr. Phillips appears to be a newcomer to revisionist studies; perhaps he thinks that the denunciation of that war crime was something thought up by Mark Weber and Greg Pavlik in a fit of contrariness. In fact, condemnation of Truman's mass atrocity has been a standard and important part of American revisionism since August 1945 – and with good reason.

The deliberate killing of civilians is the classic example of a war crime, in morality and international law. It is nothing but murder. It cannot be excused by the "hate" Mr. Phillips boasts of feeling toward the "Japs," nor even by the hate he says was virtually universal among the American people. On that basis, the Red Army would have been justified in its orgy of rape and murder in Germany in 1945. Phillips writes that "the Japs got exactly what they deserved." How is it possible that tens of thousands of Japanese women, children, and old people incinerated in the two cities – as well as those in Tokyo and other cities before that – "deserved" to be murdered? Mr. Phillips also writes that the American people would not have tolerated anything less than unconditional surrender. But that, of course, is what they did tolerate – in the end, the Japanese were allowed to keep their dynasty and even their Emperor, nor was Hirohito put on trial and executed, as his subjects had feared. The verbal formula of "unconditional surrender" – I wonder if it had anything to do with the fanatical Japanese resistance at Iwo Jima and Okinawa? – did its damage, but the final reality was a conditional surrender.

Mr. Phillips writes from the viewpoint of the US government, of the killers, and not of the Japanese civilians, the victims. Suppose the Japanese had not surrendered when they did? Would Mr. Phillips' "hate" have demanded further atomic bombings of Japan until ... when? Until there were no Japanese left? As for what we should have told the families of American servicemen if we hadn't dropped the bombs and an invasion would have been necessary to impose unconditional surrender – how about this: blame the men in Washington who got us into the war in the first place. (If Mr. Phillips thinks that the attack on Pearl Harbor settles the question of responsibility for the war, then he does indeed have much to learn about revisionism. )

The men in charge of the US government did not possess then, nor do they possess now (for example, in the murderous blockade of Iraq), the right to break the rules whenever it suits their convenience. Their political aims and goals, whatever they may be, must not exceed the constraints of morality and justice.

How should the war have ended? Well, how do wars end? Usually, through negotiations. If this meant leaving a large part of the Japanese empire intact Korea, Taiwan and even Manchuria – then that might very well have prevented the Communist takeover of China, and the subsequent 30 or 40 million deaths from Maoist policies.

What will we see next in the Journal's letters column – a defense of the incarceration of the Japanese-American perhaps? Or of the destruction of Dresden?

S. B.
Buffalo, New York


Upholding Principle

Some readers might regard your eye-opening feature articles on the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki [May-June 1997 Journal] as "leftist" or even "anti-American." But it's worth recalling that many prominent "conservatives" once similarly regarded the bombings as unnecessary and disgraceful.

Nearly 40 years ago, the great American historian Harry Elmer Barnes presented this view in an essay, "Hiroshima: Assault on a Beaten Foe," that appeared as the major feature article in William Buckley's "conservative" magazine, National Review, May 10, 1958. In that article Barnes wrote: "Well-informed persons have known for years that the bombing of these Japanese cities was not needed to bring the war to a speedy end ... It has been difficult, however, to get this momentous fact before the American public in any effective manner, even though the relevant information has been published in prominent American newspapers and periodicals ... "

Today the "blackout" of revisionism is vastly more effective, particularly because nearly all of America's supposedly "conservative" leaders and periodicals, including National Review, have abandoned their original principles to embrace the "warfare-welfare" state legacy of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman.

Given this elemental shift in America's intellectual climate over the last 40 years, it is all the more important that the Institute and the Journal of Historical Review continue faithfully to uphold the honorable tradition of principled, humane and "conservative" historical scholarship.

May Barnes' spirit continue to inspire and guide you in the years to come!

E. Svedlund
Seattle


Faith Restoring

Future generations will applaud your efforts. Without being melodramatic, The Journal of Historical Review restores my faith that the truth will ultimately prevail – hopefully in my lifetime. Well, I never thought I'd live to see the collapse of that other great fraud, Communism.

By the way, I hope you saw the recent extraordinary acknowledgment by Steven A. Ludsin, who served as a member of the Advisory Board of the President's Commission on the Holocaust. "The creation of Israel was made possible by the world's guilt over the Holocaust," he wrote (New York Times, letters, July 25, 1997).

M. J.
Great Neck, New York


We welcome letters from readers. We reserve the right to edit for style and space. Write: [... since defunct, don't write; ed.]


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Author(s): et al. , E. Svedlund , Dick Meyer
Title: Letters
Sources: The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 17, no. 1 (January/February 1998), pp. 47f.
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Published: 1998-01-01
First posted on CODOH: Jan. 8, 2013, 6 p.m.
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