Published: 2000-03-01

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Numb with Shock

Having just finished reading James Bacque's book, Crimes and Mercies, I am numb with shock. It is nearly impossible for me to believe what so-called fair and honest people of America and England carried out in postwar Germany. So much for my English heritage of fairness – of "playing cricket" by the rules of the game. I have been a Journal subscriber for years, and pray hope you continue printing the truth.

R. E.
Berkshire, England

Monty Correct About Africa?

General Bernard Montgomery, Britain's famed World War II commander, was dubious about the future of a black-ruled Africa, and concluded in a recently-revealed 1947 report that the native African "is quite incapable of developing the country himself." He also wrote, in response to a critic, that "time will show which of us is right." ("General Montgomery's 'Racist Masterplan'," March-April 1999 Journal, p. 33.) By any objective standard of an orderly and prosperous society, time has shown that, so far anyway, Monty was absolutely correct.

S. L.
Philadelphia, Pa.

One-Sided Revisionism?

You do good work in exposing the Holocaust hoax and Zionist myths, but I find that you do not apply your historical skepticism evenhandedly. While you carefully scrutinize baseless allegations made against fascist regimes, you uncritically repeat myths about socialist ones. A case in point is the statement, in the "From the Editor" essay (May-June 1999 Journal, p. 3), that "by all accounts, the victims of Stalin, America's ally, vastly outnumbered those of Hitler, America's enemy."

By whose accounts? Those of the anti-Communist Hearst newspapers or of the Hitler regime, both of which spread the hoax of a massive famine in the Ukraine in the 1930s? Surely not the accounts of the recently opened KGB files, which reveal that the number of victims of the purge trials is far fewer than had been widely claimed in the West for decades. Rightists keep shouting that Stalin killed 20 million people, and that socialism killed 100 million, but they have never given a proper accounting of these figures with real evidence, nor, does it seem, do you ask them to do so. Because they shout the same number loud enough and long enough, they are believed, just as Jews do with the infamous "six million." But while you question the latter, you don't question the former.

Your Journal advertisement for the IHR edition of The Last Days of the Romanovs tells readers: "When the news of the coldblooded massacre of Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, and their five children reached the outside world, decent people were horrified." Oh really? What of the many hundreds of thousands of Russian workers and peasants sent by the Tsar and his officials to perish miserably in a useless and aggressive war against Germany? What of those who starved because of the food shortages caused by that war for the glory of their dynasty? What of all those who suffered under their autocratic rule? Even if the Bolshevik regime was more cruel and oppressive then the Tsarist regime, it does not exculpate them. After all, it was their regime and their war that drove the Russian people to embrace Lenin.

"Decent people" are not horrified by the killings of the Tsar and his family. Decent people know that the Romanovs had it coming.

One-sided revisionism is as bad as suppressing historical truth.

K. W.
Phoenix, Arizona

Pure Gold

I must congratulate you for the article about the Anglo-Boer war [in the May-June 1999 Journal], which exposes the concentration camps in South Africa and the British propaganda lies. It is "pure gold," history writing at its best. Bravo.

Keep up your magnificent work.

V. de C.
Laval, Quebec, Canada

Gullible Tourists

Ten years ago I visited Auschwitz. It was truly a memorable hoot. The uncritical visitor "sees" what he is supposed to see.

What stunned me is the hostility of so many tourists when glaring discrepancies are pointed out to them. For instance, the "gas chamber" that is routinely shown to tourists in the Auschwitz I main camp is obviously of postwar Soviet construction.

An American visitor got visibly upset when I pointed out that each of the many suitcases that were displayed in a large pile to "prove" extermination had the owner's name and address – from every conceivable part of Europe – written in identical writing and in the same white paint. I said that this suggests that millions of innocent victims, prior to deportation, just happened to have the foresight to inscribe their names and addresses in the same hand-writing and with the same marking paint. This tourist – was of Polish Christian ancestry – got quite angry, not for having been deceived, but at me for having the bad taste to bring this to her attention.

Necessary illusions, indeed.

Your web site is of continuing fascination. Please keep up the good work!

F. M.
Melbourne, Australia

Spain's Conquest of Mexico in Historical Context

Zoltan Bruckner's article, "For a Balanced History of the American Indian" (March-April 1999 Journal), is fair in principle, but his conclusions are wrong.

He writes that "certainly, the Aztecs waged brutal war against their neighbors, but they did not exterminate them. They amalgamated with their conquered neighbors, absorbing and mixing with their cultures ... " While it is true that the Aztecs did not exterminate the peoples they vanquished, they cared nothing for their integration. They imposed oppressive tribute payments, not only of goods in kind, but also of men who were sacrificed to the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli, and of young virgins for the amusement of the Aztec emperor and his warriors. If the subject peoples defaulted, even briefly, in paying tribute, they were punished severely. It was the deep resentment over this oppression that motivated many natives to join the Spanish against the Aztecs. Thus, during the siege of Tenochtitlan in 1521, more than 75,000 Tlaxcaltec warriors joined Hernan Cortes and his 900 conquistadores.

Bruckner cites selectively, and out of historical context, the cruelties of Nuno de Guzman, as reported by Bernal Diaz del Castillo, and the quotations of Diego de Landa. During this period Spanish rule in the New World was not so much cruel as it was negligent, in conditions that were still very chaotic and unsettled. (At this time Spain itself was involved in a terrible conflict in Europe.)

When the Spanish Crown fully realized the failure of its administration in "New Spain," it was dismissed. In 1531 Vasco de Quiroga was appointed audiencia (governor). This distinguished priest vigorously protected the natives, enforcing, for example, the Spanish ban against slavery. His benevolent concern for the welfare and education of the Indians won him widespread affection. He also worked for their conversion to Christianity – a religion of love that, unlike the native one, did not demand human sacrifice.

The writings of Bartolome de Las Casas, which Bruckner quotes to make his case, are not reliable. This is proven by Philip W. Powell in his book, Tree of Hate. In his zeal to protect the Indians, de Las Casas spread many falsehoods, even claiming that the Spanish killed 20 million (!) natives.

Bruckner seems to think that, instead of warriors, Spain should have sent to the New World delegations of anthropologists, ethologists, physicians, dentists, veterinarians, agronomists and civil engineers.

It cannot be too strongly emphasized that the terrible mortality of the natives during this period was due mostly to devastation by disease, especially smallpox, introduced from Europe. (Similarly, many in Europe succumbed to syphilis, which, apparently, was introduced from the New World.)

Throughout history wars and conquests – along with the transformation and even eradication of cultures – have inevitably been bloody, accompanied by the terrible cruelties of which all human beings are capable. Spaniards themselves suffered under the conquest and 700-year occupation of their country by the Arabs. To highlight cruelties by White or European peoples, as Bruckner has done, is therefore neither fair nor serious.

At the same time, it is very often wars and conflicts that bring one culture to another, promoting the social and cultural changes that are the hallmark of human progress.

Certainly Indians suffered greatly during the Spanish conquest. But it is also clear that, rather then being exterminated, they were assimilated into Spanish culture. This is manifest today in the life and culture of Mexico and the other countries of Latin America.

R. C.
Mexico City

Indians Not 'In Harmony' With Nature

In his article in the March-April 1999 Journal, "For a Balanced History of the American Indian," Zoltan Bruckner writes (p. 24) that "the Indian had lived in harmony with Nature for centuries, and would have continued doing so 'until the end of time' if Whites had not intervened."

This is grossly misleading, as Durward L. Allen, a historian of wildlife management, showed in Our Wildlife Legacy (New York: 1962), an ecological study of the interrelationship between American Indians, Whites and buffaloes (bison). Allen wrote (p. 10):

"Contrary to storybook tale, the Indian was no conservationist, except by his limitations. He stampeded whole herds over cliffs or drove them into slaughter pens. Opportunity permitting, he fired the dry prairie grass to put the masses at his mercy. Catlin [a historian of the American Indian] told of a Sioux foray in which 1,400 [buffalo] tongues were the sole booty, since the camp had abundant meat already."

Paul Grubach
Lyndhurst, Ohio

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

Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Paul Grubach , et al.
Title: Letters
Sources: The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 18, no. 5/6 (September/December 1999), pp. 71f.
Published: 2000-03-01
First posted on CODOH: Feb. 27, 2013, 6 p.m.
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