Lipstadt's Motivations and "ad Hominem" Attacks
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This article originally appeared as Chapter 3 of Germar Rudolf's recent book, Fail “Denying the Holocaust” How Deborah Lipstadt Botched Her Attempt to Demonstrate the Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. The book may be purchased through https://shop.codoh.com/book/427/439.
Revisionist Motives According to Lipstadt
I will here discuss some sweeping claims Lipstadt makes in her book about Holocaust revisionists and their research in general. Such sweeping claims have to be wrong from the outset, because there is no way every revisionist and every revisionist research finding of the past, present and future can possibly fit her bill. Looking at the limited scope of her book, which explores only a subset of revisionists and their research, any sweeping claims are also disingenuous, because if it is unjust and prejudiced, for instance, to conclude from the fact that some Jews are evil that all Jews are evil (or otherwise lacking), the same is true for revisionists. So even if all the revisionists she investigated and all of their works deserved her judgment, she could not possibly extrapolate from this that all the individuals and all the research she ignored or wasn’t even aware of fall into the same categories, though she obviously is eager to convey the impression of total coverage on her part.
This is not to say that Lipstadt’s assessments are always wrong. That has to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Some of the specific charges made against individual revisionists will therefore be discussed in the next chapter, case by case.
According to Lipstadt, Holocaust revisionism constitutes a “clear and present danger” and a “serious threat” (p. xi, also p. 29) that can cause “terrible harm” (p. xix). At that early point in her book, she does not specify what revisionism is a danger or threat to, nor what harm it can do, as she does not support her claim. But she knows that revisionists “must be taken seriously,” because “Far more than the history of the Holocaust is at stake” (p. 17). The reader is again left to speculate what is at stake, as Lipstadt does not elaborate. Later in her book, however, she gives us some clues, and I will therefore return to this farther below.
In her introduction she writes on page xvii:
In the 1930s Nazi rats spread a virulent form of antisemitism that resulted in the destruction of millions. Today the [anti-Semitism] bacillus carried by these [revisionist neo-Nazi] rats threatens to ‘kill’ those who already died at the hands of the Nazis for a second time by destroying the world’s memory of them.
As emerges from several instances in her book, Lipstadt equates Holocaust revisionists with “Nazis” and “fascists”:
[The deniers] are a group motivated by a strange conglomeration of conspiracy theories, delusions, and neo-Nazi tendencies. (p. 24)
...at their core [the revisionists] are no different from these neo-fascist groups. (p. 217)
Hence, in her introduction, Lipstadt equates revisionists with rats. Once the “Nazis” equated Jews with vermin like rats, lice or bacilli. Lipstadt uses the same terms to indiscriminately disparage all persons holding certain opinions she disagrees with. A worse attack on the humanity of her fellow humans can hardly be conceived. This sentence alone destroys her reputation as a scholar.
It goes without saying that for Lipstadt the opposite is true, for she claims that it is the deniers who engage in ad hominem attacks on their opponents. To support her claim, she relates the following fanciful story: (p. 27):
The deniers understand how to gain respectability for outrageous and absolutely false ideas. The anthropologist Marshall Sahlins has described how this process operates in the academic arena. Professor X publishes a theory despite the fact that reams of documented information contradict his conclusions. In the ‘highest moral tones’ he expresses his disregard for all evidence that sheds doubt on his findings. He engages in ad hominem attacks on those who have authored the critical works in this field and on the people silly enough to believe them. The scholars who have come under attack by this professor are provoked to respond. Before long he has become ‘the controversial Prof. X’ and his theory is discussed seriously by nonprofessionals, that is, journalists. He soon becomes a familiar figure on television and radio, where he ‘explains’ his ideas to interviewers who cannot challenge him or demonstrate the fallaciousness of his argument.
Now, I have no doubt that some controversial professor in some field may have done just that, but where is the evidence that any revisionist professor (or any other revisionist scholar) has ever engaged in attention-seeking ad hominem attacks on those who oppose him, leading those thusly attacked to respond? Again, no example is given, and no source quoted. You just have to believe Dr. Deborah! I’m not saying she is necessarily wrong. All I’m saying is that:
a) those living in glass houses should not throw stones; and
b) making sweeping accusations without proving them is profoundly unscholarly.
On page 1 Lipstadt opines that “Holocaust denial is” an “antisemitic ideology” rather than “responsible historiography.” It is a “purely ideological exercise,” and the revisionists merely appear to be “engaged in a genuine scholarly debate when, of course, they are not” (p. 2). Of course.
Arguing along the same line, she then states that the revisionists merely “camouflage their hateful ideology” “under the guise of scholarship” (p. 3). Again, these claims are not backed up with anything, just like the following accusation:
One of the tactics deniers use to achieve their ends is to camouflage their goals. In an attempt to hide the fact that they are fascists and antisemites [sic] with a specific ideological and political agenda—they state that their objective is to uncover historical falsehoods, all historical falsehoods. (p. 4)
And it is only Dr. Lipstadt who can reveal the revisionists’ real agenda, because she can read their minds, their hearts, their very souls, if any! But even if some revisionists have the agenda she imputes to them, where is the contradiction to their claimed goal to uncover historical falsehoods? Both can be true (and in some cases probably are).
More sweepingly still, Lipstadt claims on p. 18, presented again without any proof that Holocaust denial is “a movement with no scholarly, intellectual, or rational validity.”
She characterizes revisionists as proponents of “pseudoreasoned ideologies” and opines (p. 26):
They use the language of scientific inquiry, but theirs is a purely ideological enterprise. […] the deniers’ contentions are a composite of claims founded on racism, extremism, and virulent antisemitism.
Ok, let’s take a deep breath and look at this more closely: racism, extremism, antisemitism. Later she even opines that revisionists “oppose” (p. 142) or even “hate” democracy, which they want to weaken (p. 217), so we add democracy to the mix as well. Don’t expect her to prove any of these sweeping claims, though, because she doesn’t. Although it certainly is true that some individuals harboring revisionist views adhere to some or all of these beliefs, Lipstadt assigns them to all revisionists without distinction, and that’s simply a flawed, illegitimate, unscholarly way of arguing.
In addition, she once more abstains from defining the terms she is using, relying instead on the negative associations people have with them. So before discussing her accusation, allow me to specify how the terms should be defined, and, in contrast to that, how Lipstadt uses them.
The terms “radical” and “extreme” are frequently used interchangeably, although they mean things quite different. Being radical means going to the root of something (from Latin radix = root). In the political context it usually denotes someone who is unwilling to compromise in pursuit of his goals, whatever those goals are. On the other hand, extreme (from the superlative form of the Latin adjective exter = outside) denotes ideas that are at a far end of a spectrum. In the political context it commonly refers to individuals who are ready to violate laws in pursuit of their ideas.
In a certain way, scholars need to be radicals, because they ought to go to the root of an issue, unwilling to make compromises in their attempt to uncover the truth. However, they are not supposed to be extremists, willing to violate laws in pursuit of their goal. The only permissible exception in this context is when the authorities illegitimately obstruct the pursuit of the truth with censorship laws. In that case it is the authorities who are going to illegal extremes by impeding freedom of inquiry, of information, and of speech. Scholars violating such illegal laws in the honorable tradition of civil disobedience are merely claiming what is rightly theirs. Even Dr. Lipstadt thinks that outlawing historical dissent, as has been done by many European countries, is not a good approach (pp. 219ff.).
Now, do revisionists violate laws (other than censorship laws)? Or do they advocate that people do this? I know of not a single case. Does Dr. Lipstadt suggest they do? She does not say so explicitly, but by claiming that revisionists plan on resurrecting fascism or National Socialism, she implies just that, for those political ideologies have an undeniable track record of violating their own countries’ laws in pursuit of their agendas.
Dr. Lipstadt does admit that the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), which once was the flagship of Holocaust revisionism, “protested that it was not interested in resurrecting any regime” (p. 142), but that won’t help, because Lipstadt knows it all better: “the reality is quite different” (p. 143). I’ll return to her treatment of the IHR in Section 4.5.
How liberally Dr. Lipstadt uses the term “extremist” can be seen when she discusses U.S. writer Freda Utley. She introduces her by saying “Utley was an extremist.” No proof given. You just have to believe it.
The politically correct online encyclopedia Wikipedia has the following to say about Utley:1
Winifred Utley (London, England, January 23, 1898 – Washington, D.C., United States, January 21, 1978), commonly known as Freda Utley, was an English scholar, political activist and best-selling author. After visiting the Soviet Union in 1927 as a trade union activist, she joined the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1928. Later, married and living in Moscow, she quickly became disillusioned with communism. When her Russian husband, Arcadi Berdichevsky, was arrested in 1936, she escaped to England with her young son. (He [her husband] would die in 1938.)
In 1939, the rest of her family moved to the United States, where she became a leading anticommunist author and activist.
Read her entire biography on Wikipedia and you realize that she was anything but an extremist. Just because Lipstadt doesn’t like that Utley revealed the crimes against humanity committed by the Allied occupational forces in Germany during the first three years after the war,2 she stigmatizes her. This is an utterly unwarranted ad hominem attack.
I hesitated to address this issue in the first place, because most people don’t want to hear or read about it. But Dr. Lipstadt uses the terms “antisemitism,” “antisemite” and “antisemitic” 182 times in her book, so on average almost on every single page of it. Lipstadt’s book is even copyrighted by “The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem,” according to the imprint. Hence battling anti-Semitism is what the book is mainly about.
And where is the link? Well, on page 218 she is adamantly clear:
Holocaust denial is nothing but antisemitism.
Pretty much everybody she discusses, and every sincere dissent ever expressed about the mainstream Holocaust narrative, gets hit with the accusation of being anti-Semitic. There is therefore no way of dodging it, short of total acquiescence.
The accusation of anti-Semitism is one of the worst ad hominem attacks possible. It is meant to disparage opponents by giving others the impression that they are morally so depraved that even listening to them is beyond acceptable behavior. It’s the best strategy Dr. Lipstadt can possibly come up with to immunize her pet theory from any critical scrutiny. And she’s making ample use of it.
An anti-Semite is someone who dislikes or even hates people simply because they are Jews. But that’s not the way it is frequently used. Criticizing aspects of the Jewish religion, which is just as legitimate as criticizing Islam or Christianity, is also frequently lumped into that category. The same happens to those who criticize Jewish power and influence, although it is just as legitimate as criticizing Catholic, Muslim or White Anglo-Saxon Protestant power and influence. The same is true for criticizing Zionism as Jewish nationalism with at-times-racist excesses, which is just as legitimate as criticizing any other form of nationalism resulting in unacceptable excesses. Yet anyone who engages in these kinds of criticism of Jewish affairs has to inevitably expect to be wrongly stigmatized as an anti-Semite. It’s a catch-all defamation designed to protect Jewish and Zionist activities from any kind of scrutiny and criticism.
Although I have no doubt that there are revisionists who harbor anti-Semitic views (see Chapter 4), that does not mean that all revisionists are anti-Semites. That would be like saying that, because all squares are rectangles, all rectangles are squares. But that’s exactly what Dr. Lipstadt is doing. Logic isn’t her strength, or else it’s a nuisance and an obstacle for her agenda, so she discards it.
When I got involved in revisionism in 1989, first passively by reading some of their works, then in 1990 also actively by doing some private research in an attempt to verify some aspects of the Leuchter Report,3 Jews were merely the ancient Chosen People of the Old Testament to me as a practicing Catholic, and also the heroes of the 1973 war of the Arab nations against Israel. I remember reenacting that war as a boy with my brother with our toy tanks. We beat the crap out of those evil Arabs! Other than that, I had no opinion about them at all.
Then, as other revisionists learned about my research activities, one of them started sending me “information” about the Jews. I was rather disgusted by what I thought was anti-Semitic propaganda material, and I eventually threw it all away. It was only sometime in 1992 that I started connecting the dots. I had seen the importance of revisionism for German history all along, but only then did it dawn on me that it must have an equally intense, although opposite effect on Jewish history.
It took the decision of a German court of law, however, to make me look into that issue more thoroughly. It happened in 1995, when I was sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment for my forensic research activities.4 In the verdict, the court called me an anti-Semite, although I was utterly unaware of what that meant, apart from the obvious. So I started to do some research into the history of and reasons for anti-Jewish sentiments. That hasn’t made me an expert on this, but I know enough to be able to alert the reader to two pertinent studies by an Israeli scholar and Holocaust veteran which I can recommend, if the reader is interested in this issue.5
When reading these books, the reader will find out, probably to his surprise, that there are actually plenty of rational reasons for opposing certain aspects of certain emanations of the Jewish religion. Of course that does not justify hating people merely because they are Jews, but if anyone wants to understand anti-Semitism which ultimately led to Auschwitz, there is no way around addressing these issues.
All those who are not interested in learning about the history of and reasons for anti-Jewish sentiments have the right to remain ignorant, of course. Such deliberate ignorance, however, can hardly be the basis upon which to judge other people and their views.
Obfuscating the rational aspects for anti-Semitism is one of the things Dr. Lipstadt is engaged in as well. In the introduction to her book she states that there is absolutely no rational aspect to anti-Semitism (pp. xvii):
More important, we must remember that we are dealing with an irrational phenomenon that is rooted in one of the oldest hatreds, antisemitism.
Although a sweeping statement like that is wrong, let me stress right away that the actually existing rational aspects of anti-Semitism in no way justify what happened under Hitler, whatever that was in detail. Depriving individuals of their civil rights has to be based on their individual and proven guilt, not because their parents signed them up for a belief system without their consent.
Finally, a remark is due about the so-called Protocols of the Elders of Zion. On page 24 Dr. Lipstadt writes:
The deniers’ worldview is no more bizarre than that enshrined in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a report purporting to be the text of a secret plan to establish Jewish world supremacy. The deniers draw inspiration from the Protocols, which has enjoyed a sustained and vibrant life despite the fact it has long been proved a forgery.
And on p. 164:
In fact, when it was originally published in France in the mid-nineteenth century, Jews did not appear in the book at all. Only at the beginning of [the twentieth] century was it rewritten with Jews as the primary culprits.
She brings up the Protocols six times in her book, proving her own obsession with it (pp. 24, 37, 136, 152, 164, 206). Now, I’ve been at the center of revisionist publishing efforts since the mid-1990s, and not a single time did the Protocols show up in any context whatsoever that I can remember. It’s simply not a topic discussed in revisionist publications. Not even in discussions among revisionists, public or private, has it ever come up that I am aware of.
In 1989, I accidentally ran into a German translation of the Protocols’ “original” novel version of the mid-nineteenth century, as Dr. Lipstadt puts it, in which Jews are indeed not mentioned at all. The book upset me, but since it was clearly fictitious with no indication that any of its outrageous claims were true, I eventually simply threw it away. Only later did I learn that a different version of this novel exists which claims to be a real protocol by Jewish elders. I never read that, though, and I’m not considering ever wasting my time on it either.
Carlo Mattogno’s booklet on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
I must admit, however, that the most-prolific revisionist author of the past 25 years, the Italian Carlo Mattogno, wrote a paper about the Protocols in Italian in 2010, which was reformatted into a book and republished in 2014.6 If you read Italian and want to spend time on this, be my guest.
There is a concise definition of how the meaning of the term “anti-Semite” has changed over the past century which I like very much:7
An anti-Semite used to mean a man who hated Jews.
Now it means a man who is hated by Jews.
That may not be true in all cases, but it sure hits the nail on the head when it comes to Dr. Lipstadt’s attitude.
Even though there are many intelligent critiques of democracy as a governmental system,8 I have never seen any of them mentioned in Holocaust-revisionist publications. Those deal with aspects of history, not political theory. There may be some individuals among Holocaust revisionists who prefer authoritarian systems, yet at the same time these individuals complain when their civil rights get curtailed by governments hostile to their views. Well, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
Essentially, what is important is not that a country’s system is democratic, but that people are safe from arbitrary and unjust government actions. To give an example, Hitler was elected democratically, and all the civil rights restrictions implemented in Germany during the first four years of his administration were done perfectly democratically. Had Hitler decided to let the German people vote again in early 1937, he most certainly would have been re-elected, maybe with as much as 80% of the vote, as popular as he was back then. The same would probably have happened in early 1941. So what does that tell us about democracy?
To give another example, after the French revolution, France was formally a democracy for a number of years. Yet it had no rule of law. At the same time, on the other side of the River Rhine, there existed an absolute monarchy in Prussia which, however, was governed by the rule of law where even the king had to submit to ordinary court decisions. Hence people were much safer and better treated in monarchical Prussia during those years than they were in democratic France.
Democracy is therefore not the issue. If a democratic majority decides to terrorize a minority, that is still democracy, but it is not justifiable. What is needed is the rule of law, the guarantee of basic civil rights, and the right of self-determination as one of the most important aspects of international law (to prevent aggressions against domestic and foreign population groups). How these legal frameworks are implemented is secondary. Democracy may be the most reliable way of going about it, but as history shows, that is not always true.
When I got into the internet dating scene in the early 2000s, I was struck by the dating pattern most people exhibit. Match.com, probably the biggest dating website in the world, allows you to state which ethnic group you would like to date, and your choice can be seen by everyone. A survey showed that the vast majority of people prefer dating within their own ethnic group. I observed the same pattern regarding people’s preferences as to where they like to live. As I moved from one region to another during my first six-year stay in the U.S., it became rather clear that people voted not only with their dating patterns, but also with their feet. They want to be amongst their own kind.
Is that racism? If so, most of us are racists. But I daresay that this is not so. In fact, it is normal to give preference to those you feel similar to. We feel closest, and prefer to be surrounded by, our loved ones – family and friends. From there we have concentric, growing circles of groups of people whom we feel closer to than to others, be they our religious congregation, our neighborhood, our community, the town, county, state, country we live in, our society, our culture, and so on. Ethnicity and race are just two more of these circles, which aren’t always concentric but often intersect. It is therefore normal for us to feel closer to people who are similar to us than to those that are more different, whatever that difference is.
Having said this, feeling closer to one group of humans than to others does not imply and most certainly does not justify that we denigrate, disparage or even mistreat members of other groups. But that is what the term “racist” implies.
Now, being proud of your family and making sure it stays safe, giving it more of your efforts and concern than you give to other families, is perfectly acceptable. Shouldn’t it then also be acceptable to be proud of your own ethnicity or race, to make sure it stays safe, to give it more of your efforts and concern than you give to other ethnicities and races? I’m not saying it is anyone’s obligation to feel that way, but I find it perfectly normal if people do feel that way and act accordingly. That’s not racism. That’s just our nature. As long as we don’t abuse other ethnicities or races, or advocate or promote such behavior, this should be within the realm of acceptability. This kind of attitude has been called “racialism” to set it apart from racism, just like patriotism is set apart from nationalism. Needless to say, some racists try to hide their attitudes by merely pretending to be racialists, but I daresay that by sheer behavioral patterns, most of us are effectively racialist without having a racist fiber in our bodies.
Lipstadt doesn’t bother defining the term “racism” as I have done here, setting it apart from perfectly normal “racialist” behaviors. For her, this term is merely another way of staging personal attacks on historical dissidents she disagrees with. It is nothing but yet another tactical move to immunize her pet theory from public scrutiny. Her message is clear: “Don’t you dare espouse revisionist views, or you end up as a social pariah by being called an extremist, a racist and anti-Semite!”
Unfortunately, it works.
Calling someone a conspiracy theorist is like saying that he’s kind of nuts and shouldn’t be taken seriously. It’s an ad hominem attack, pure and simple. Lipstadt uses the term conspiracy(ies) in her book 47 times.
Fact is that, whenever two or more people get together to hatch out a plan and to implement it, they conspire. It happens all the time. It’s a standard feature of the human existence.
The conspiracy theory that rivets thousands of engineers and architects: Was 9/11 a false-flag operation?
Were the events of 9/11 a conspiracy of several Muslim terrorists with whoever supported them, or of several government agents with whoever supported them? Both are conspiracy theories. The difference is that the one is supported by the government and the mass media, while the other is supported by thousands of independent engineers, architects and scholars (see www.911truth.org). Only one of them gets stigmatized as a nutty conspiracy theory, and that’s always the one the government and the mass media disagree with.
That’s all there is to it. Just ignore it. Evidence matters, not name calling.
Revisionist Methods According to Lipstadt
Let’s move on to what Dr. Lipstadt thinks about the methods used by revisionists. On pp. 19f. she states that
at its core [Holocaust denial] poses a threat to all who believe that knowledge and memory are among the keystones of our civilization.
On p. 217 she even claims that the revisionists’ objective is “the destruction of truth and memory.” How is that? Knowledge of the truth and memory don’t always work in tandem, because memory is notoriously fallible. But Lipstadt evidently wants her readers to believe in the identity of “truth” with “memory,” for she frequently uses both terms together, not just in the subtitle of her book (pp. xvii, 209, 216f.). She herself acknowledges, however, that memory can be fallible, although she gives it her own twist to make it fit into her agenda:
It is axiomatic among attorneys, prosecutors, and judges that human memory is notoriously bad on issues of dimensions and precise numbers but very reliable on the central event. (p. 134)
And guess how Lipstadt backs up this alleged axiom of the legal profession: not at all. It is not only unsubstantiated but also wrong, as Elizabeth Loftus has demonstrated with her vast research: human memory can be utterly corrupted in just about any regard. You merely have to apply sufficiently suggestive techniques to achieve it.9 All this apart from the fact that what people remember and what they tell isn’t always the same thing, either.
Under these circumstances, source criticism of testimony is a very important hallmark of scholarly works, particularly when the Holocaust is discussed. This is so because most witnesses to this event are emotionally and frequently also politically heavily involved, making it more likely than usual that they will “shade the truth.” In addition, ever since the end of World War II the entire world has been exposed to a publicity and increasingly also an educational campaign which inundates all of us with the tenets of the orthodox Holocaust narrative. It therefore needs to be expected that survivors tend to incorporate into their memory as their own recollection what we all “know” about this event due to these campaigns. In fact, survivors find themselves under massive public pressure to “remember” what everyone knows already anyway.
It is therefore true when Lipstadt writes on page 6 that
attacks on the credibility of survivors’ testimony are standard elements of Holocaust denial.
Note the use of the polemical word “attack,” insinuating an aggression where there is none, because critically analyzing the credibility of testimony belongs to the standard repertoire of any serious scholar. That is exactly why revisionist works are more scholarly – not to say, credible – in nature in this regard than their mainstream counterparts which almost without exception take anecdotal evidence uncritically at face value. In fact, Lipstadt admits that the mainstream narrative of the Holocaust relies heavily on testimony (pp. 23f.):
Given the preponderance of evidence from victims, bystanders, and perpetrators, and given the fact that the deniers’ arguments lie so far beyond the pale of scholarly arguments […].
In her eyes, this reliance on testimony is so great that, once these witnesses will have died, revisionism will be even more dangerous (p. 24):
[The revisionists’] objective is to plant seeds of doubt that will bear fruit in coming years, when there are no more survivors or eyewitnesses alive to attest to the truth.
This is a peculiar notion. If our knowledge of historical events depended on living-witness testimony, anything longer ago than some 90+ years would become increasingly blurred and uncertain. This is obviously not the case. In fact, the opposite can be posited, as it will be easier for researchers to critically assess recorded witness statements once it is no longer necessary to make allowances for the feelings of the witness generation. And that is obviously what Dr. Lipstadt fears: that the revered witness generation will lose its status as virtually untouchable saints. Like it or not, Dr. Lipstadt, the sooner this happens, the better for historiography.
In the same vein, Lipstadt criticizes U.S. revisionist Dr. Arthur Butz for trying to “shed doubt on the credibility of witnesses in general by declaring all testimony inferior to documents” (p. 129). If we keep in mind the general hierarchy of probative value as explained in Section 2.1., Point 5, that’s exactly what Butz, nay, what any serious historian has to do if he wants to stick to scholarly criteria. Unless a document is nothing more than a witness statement put on paper, in which case it has as much probative value as any other witness statement, a genuine document is superior to testimony. Had Lipstadt correctly portrayed the claimed “axiomatic” knowledge “among attorneys, prosecutors, and judges” in this regard, she would have disclosed that this hierarchy is (or should be) observed by all courts of law – and also by all historians.
What she does realize is that revisionist scholars approach the evidence differently than what she and her colleagues from the mainstream do (p. 27):
Normal and accepted standards of scholarship, including the proper use of evidence, are discarded [by revisionists].
I agree that everyone should use evidence properly. But what is “the proper use of evidence”? She doesn’t say. Neither does she define what evidence is and how to use it properly, nor does she make any reference to anyone else who does. Doing so would be the proper, scholarly way. But then again, scholarship? Scientific method? What is that? Ever heard of them, Dr. Lipstadt?
Holocaust revisionists follow what can be called the precedence of the archives, and in keeping with the hierarchy of probative value as discussed in Section 2.1., Point 5, they give an even higher precedence to material, physical, forensic evidence with all the technology it involves. That is “normal and accepted standards of scholarship” everywhere – except when it comes to mainstream Holocaust researchers, who turn this pyramid on its head, giving witness statements priority over documents, and documents priority over forensic evidence and technical arguments. Hence, the proper way of putting it is:
Normal and accepted standards of scholarship, including the proper use of evidence, are discarded by mainstream Holocaust researchers.
In 1996, the French mainstream historian Jacques Baynac said the following about this:10
For the scientific historian, an assertion by a witness does not really represent history. It is an object of history [=requiring source criticism]. And an assertion of one witness does not weigh heavily; assertions by many witnesses do not weigh much more heavily, if they are not shored up with solid documentation. The postulate of scientific historiography, one could say without great exaggeration, reads: no paper/s, no facts proven […].
Either one gives up the priority of the archives, and in this case one disqualifies history as a science, immediately reclassifying it as fiction; or one retains the priority of the archive, and in this case one must concede that the lack of traces brings with it the incapability of directly proving the existence of homicidal gas chambers.
Oh dear, Dr. Deborah is in trouble!
Having noted all this, it should be clear whose attitude is a real threat to “the keystones of our civilization,” which are critical, reasoned thinking, not dogmatic belief in what someone claims to be “memory.” Yet Lipstadt manages to turn it all upside down, because after she has declared her fundamental opposition toward a critical, reasoned scrutiny of what she claims to be “memory,” she claims that
denial of the Holocaust is not a threat just to Jewish history but a threat to all who believe in the ultimate power of reason. It repudiates reasoned discussion the way the Holocaust repudiated civilized values. It is undeniably a form of antisemitism, and as such it constitutes an attack on the most basic values of a reasoned society. Like any form of prejudice, it is an irrational animus that cannot be countered with the normal forces of investigation, argument, and debate. The deniers’ arguments are at their roots not only antisemitic and anti-intellectual but, in the words of historian Charles Maier, ‘blatantly racist anthropology.’ Holocaust denial is the apotheosis of irrationalism. (p. 20)
Wow! So let me get that straight: Because we revisionists insist on an intellectual, rational, evidence-based, reasoned investigation of the reliability of witness testimony, we turn irrationalism into our god – because that’s what apotheosis means! And I thought I was agnostic, but if Dr. Lipstadt says so, I must be wrong – of course! Who needs any other proof!
Having proclaimed apodictically that revisionists are the paragons of irrationalism, she again emphasizes that revisionism is “neither scholarship nor historiography” (p. 20), which is why she chose
to eschew the term revisionism whenever possible and instead to use the term denial to describe it. The deniers’ selection of the name revisionist to describe themselves is indicative of their basic strategy of deceit and distortion and of their attempt to portray themselves as legitimate historians engaged in the traditional practice of illuminating the past.
Or maybe it’s the other way around: her choice of the term “denier” is her way of calling the revisionists names in order to disparage them from the outset. It all depends on whether Holocaust revisionism aka denial has any scholarly merit or not. In Lipstadt’s eyes, though, this can’t be, because if it were, she would have to take their arguments seriously and maybe even debate them, and that she categorically refuses to do:
Whenever the plans include inviting a denier I categorically decline to appear [on TV talk shows]. As I make clear in these pages the deniers want to be thought of as the ‘other side.’ Simply appearing with them on the same stage accords them that status. […] Refusal to debate the deniers thwarts their desire to enter the conversation as a legitimate point of view. (pp. xiii)
I explained repeatedly that I would not participate in a debate with a Holocaust denier. The existence of the Holocaust was not a matter of debate. (p. 1)
Toward the end of her book, she repeats her refusal to debate “deniers” and explains again why (p. 221):
Not ignoring the deniers does not mean engaging them in discussion or debate. In fact, it means not doing that. We cannot debate them for two reasons, one strategic and the other tactical. As we have repeatedly seen, the deniers long to be considered the ‘other’ side. Engaging them in discussion makes them exactly that. Second, they are contemptuous of the very tools that shape any honest debate: truth and reason. Debating them would be like trying to nail a glob of jelly to the wall.
She said this attitude has resulted in revisionists accusing her of having a “lack of tolerance for the First Amendment” and of opposing “free intellectual inquiry.” She does not back up that claim, and I agree with her that this charge is unfounded. It’s her perfect right not to talk to people she dislikes. She even has the right not to address arguments she detests, which is exactly her approach (p. 28):
Time need not be wasted in answering each and every one of the deniers’ contentions. It would be a never-ending effort to respond to arguments posed by those who falsify findings, quote out of context, and dismiss reams of testimony because it counters their arguments. It is the speciousness of their arguments, not the arguments themselves, that demands a response.
Again, she does not substantiate her various accusations at this point, but when discussing certain revisionists later in her book, she brings up several examples, which we will discuss later. For now, let’s assume for the sake of argument that some revisionists have indeed “falsified findings” and/or “quoted out of context.” Would that justify dismissing any and all revisionist arguments?
Putting the shoe on the other foot makes the answer to that question obvious: If I were able to show that Dr. Lipstadt or any of several other of her mainstream colleagues has committed the same unethical offenses, would that allow me to dismiss all the arguments which mainstream Holocaust research has produced since the end of World War II? Of course not.
As I pointed out in Section 2.1., Point 3, refusing to expose one’s own theory to serious attempts of refutation is a hallmark of a pseudo-scholarly attitude. Refusing to take opposing arguments into serious consideration sheds a bad light on those who do this – not on the arguments they reject out of hand.
In addition, claiming that certain things are simply not up for debate is also a clear and present sign of an unscholarly attitude, not to say sheer bigotry. Although Dr. Lipstadt admits that there are many aspects of the Holocaust that are debated among mainstream historians, she insists that
There is a categorical difference between debating these types of [mainstream] questions [about the Holocaust] and debating the very fact of the Holocaust.
Well, I hate to tell you, Dr. Deborah, but the freedom of hypothesis is a fundamental principle of science. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean you can ignore its existence and still claim to be a scholar. You have to make up your mind.
Apart from all this, Lipstadt’s warning that debating revisionists would improve their public reputation is not at all self-evident. Revisionist writer Paul Grubach has explained this in detail, which he has allowed me to reproduce here:11
Despite what Lipstadt writes, if hard evidence for the Holocaust is overwhelming and the claims of revisionists ridiculous, to engage the latter in debate would not lend them credibility and respect. Quite the contrary. Crossing swords with these “cranks” would be a golden opportunity for Lipstadt to expose their alleged quackery and stupidity. Only if revisionism has intrinsic validity will it gain stature by a public hearing. The Emory University professor’s refusal to debate carries with it the implicit recognition that revisionism has more legitimacy than she cares to admit.
Even if revisionism were pure balderdash, the public interest would still be served if it were given serious attention in the mainstream media. The truth of the traditional version of the Holocaust could be re-verified. Lipstadt has been quoted as saying that she is “only interested in getting at the truth.”12 If this be so, then a more complete perception of the truth would be gained in a public debate where her “Holocaust facts” clashed with “revisionist fiction.”
To put it bluntly, Lipstadt’s “justification” for refusing to debate is nothing more than a conscience-salving self-deception designed to cover up her fear and insecurity.
The reader might now ask – what is the real reason behind her refusal to debate?
This question was answered in part on July 22, 1995, the day that revisionist historian Mark Weber squared off against anti-revisionist historian Dr. Michael Shermer in an oral debate on the Holocaust. Both sides were given a fair and equal opportunity to present their case, as the audience had the opportunity to hear defenses of both the Holocaust revisionist and the traditional view of the Holocaust.13
The debate was a disaster for the traditional view of the Holocaust. Weber made Holocaust revisionism look too good and Lipstadt’s Holocaust ideology severely deficient. Evidence that this is the case is suggested by the fact that some years after the debate Shermer wrote:14
It is one thing to analyze the literature of deniers or to interview them face to face; it is quite another process to confront them in a public forum, where their skills at rhetoric and debate can trip up even seasoned scholars and historians.
Indeed, to this day Shermer refuses to advertise the videotape of the debate in his Skeptic magazine, and he never referred to it in his long analysis of Holocaust revisionism that appeared in his bestseller, Why People Believe Weird Things.15 Although the force of circumstance compelled Shermer to mention the videotape in brief passing in his Denying History (p. 73), the reader is given no information on how to acquire it, which suggests he and his colleagues don’t want people to see the video.
Dr. Michael Shermer
It is safe to assume that, if Dr. Shermer had scored a victory over Holocaust revisionism, he and the Deborah Lipstadts of this world would be aggressively promoting the Weber-Shermer debate videotape.
The upshot of my argument is this. It is actually a potent testimonial in favor of Holocaust revisionism that some of the major promoters of the traditional view of the Holocaust like Deborah Lipstadt refuse to debate. It seems to be a tacit admission by its most bitter opponents that Holocaust revisionism has more credibility than they care to publicly admit.
Thank you, Paul! There is, by the way, a devastating revisionist critique of Shermer’s book Denying History, which I can highly recommend.16 I’ll hand over the pen to Paul Grubach again in a short while, but let’s conclude this section first before moving on.
In wrapping up her case against the revisionists, Dr. Lipstadt writes on page 217:
They attempt to project the appearance of being committed to the very values that they in truth adamantly oppose: reason, critical rules of evidence, and historical distinction.
Now, after all that I have explained so far, can you tell who exactly “They” are?
Deborah Lipstadt’s Motives and Agenda
On page 23 Dr. Lipstadt discloses the reason why she won’t take revisionist arguments seriously by revealing why she considers revisionism a clear and present danger:
Before fascism can be resurrected, this blot [the Holocaust] must be removed. At first [the deniers] attempted to justify it; now they deny it. This is the means by which those who still advocate the principles of fascism attempt to reintroduce it as a viable political system (see chapter 6).
Denial aims to reshape history in order to rehabilitate the persecutors and demonize the victims. (p. 216)
So if you stop believing in homicidal gas chambers, you’re not only automatically a racist, anti-Semite, extremist and neo-fascist who hates democracy, you are also a clear and present danger to your country’s government, because you obviously plan to overthrow it and replace it with a renewed Hitlerite dictatorship.
If that were true, I’d take up the fight on Dr. Lipstadt’s side!
But give me a break! Does she really believe this?
While there might be some who really think that’s the way the world could possibly work, I don’t think any person who has not been conditioned to manifest Pavlovian reflexes when certain terms are thrown into the debate should be able to realize that this is a whole load of utter … Well, fill in the blanks yourself.
What Dr. Lipstadt does reveal here, however, are her own deep-seated political motives. Most will consider them benevolent, but they remain political in nature, not scholarly, and this should raise a red flag for all those who expect from scholars to do their job sine ira et studio – without political anger and zeal. Dr. Lipstadt very obviously has written her book while being full of anger and zeal.
The reader may wonder why Dr. Lipstadt inundates her opponents with pejoratives to disparage them, and why she steadfastly refuses to enter into a scholarly debate with them. Paul Grubach has given that question some thought and has allowed me to reproduce the major part of his pertinent essay here:17
1. Hypocrisy on Zionist Politics
In order to understand the agenda and emotional driving force behind Lipstadt’s behavior and public pronouncements, one has to know something about her intense political sympathies.
Lipstadt points out that she is an “openly identifying Jew,” and owns up to an early perception that her Jewish ethnic group is different from the surrounding non-Jewish society.18
As a young child,” she reminisces, “I remember sensing that these Central European Jewish homes, with their heavy, dark furniture and steaming cups of tea accompanied by delicate homemade strudel and other distinctly European pastries, were different from those of my American schoolmates.19
She expresses pride in the fact that, early in life, she marched in solidarity with those who wanted to implement Black-White integration policies in the United States:20
My mother and I marched in Harlem in solidarity with the Birmingham-Selma civil rights protestors. We took a vicarious pride in the fact that Andy Goodman, one of the civil rights workers murdered in Mississippi, had lived down the block from us, and we always pointed out this building to visitors.
Early in life, she did not have a passionate attachment to Israel and political Zionism:21
In 1966, anxious to experience travel abroad, I made a relatively impetuous decision to attend Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Though my family were supporters of Israel, I was not driven by a Zionist commitment.
Yet, when she visited Israel for the first time, it was akin to a religious experience:
Going to Israel was not a purposeful choice but was to have a life-changing impact.
In Lipstadt’s own words:
It was time to go ‘home’ [Israel]. Never before had I thought of Israel with such emotion.22
The politics of Deborah Lipstadt are pervaded by a hypocritical double standard. She actively worked to create a racially integrated, multicultural society in the United States. And all throughout her books she pays lip service to “racial equality,” and ardently condemns non-Jews who reject ethnically integrated, multiracial societies outside of Israel. Yet, she most passionately identifies with Israel – an ethnically segregated society whose government actively works to ensure Jewish supremacy and to destroy any chance of an egalitarian, multiracial society from developing between Jews and Arabs.
Far from working for an integrated society in which Jews and Arabs function as social and political equals, the Jews who founded Israel created a society in which Israeli Jews dominate “Israeli” Arabs, a separate and unequal society in which discrimination against non-Jews and Jewish supremacy are an integral part of the established social order.23
The late George W. Ball, a diplomat, international lawyer and statesman (a former undersecretary of state in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations), described in stark terms the racist foundations of the Jewish state that Lipstadt so ardently identifies with:24
The Jewish plan for an exclusively Jewish state, free of the inconvenient presence of native peoples, was scarcely new. Theodor Herzl [founding father of modern Zionism] had laid out the framework for such a system in 1898, when he sought a charter from the Ottoman Sultan… One of the provisions of that abortive charter gave the [Jewish Colonial] Society the power to deport the natives, and Herzl sought such powers whether the new Jewish homeland was to be in Argentina, Kenya, Cyprus or Palestine. The Jewish Land Trust incorporated this doctrine in its rules, which designated all of its properties exclusively for Jewish use and even prohibited the employment by the Jewish tenants of non-Jews, thereby forcing such persons to seek employment abroad.
Predictably, the Zionists ended up producing an Athenian democracy for Jews and second-class citizenship or feudal servitude for non-Jews.25
Just recently, an important Israeli official made it perfectly clear that it was a goal of Zionist policy that Israeli Jews in Jerusalem are to be segregated from Palestinian Arabs in order to make certain that Jews remain the dominant element in that city, and that the ethnic/racial character of the city remain predominantly Jewish. In the article’s own words:26
Israel’s separation barrier in Jerusalem is meant to ensure a Jewish majority in the city and not just serve as a buffer against bombers, an Israeli Cabinet minister acknowledged Monday.
Dr. Kevin MacDonald
This clearly contradicts Lipstadt’s publicly stated policy of favoring ethnically integrated, multiracial societies where all ethnic and racial groups function as social and political equals.
Why the contradiction? That is to say, why does Deborah Lipstadt favor creating ethnically integrated, multiracial societies in the United States and Europe, yet she most passionately identifies with Israel – an ethnically segregated state where Jewish dominance and racialism are the order of the day?
Enter California State University Professor Kevin MacDonald, an evolutionary psychologist whom Lipstadt bitterly attacks. MacDonald pointed out that certain powerful Jewish groups favor ethnically integrated, multiracial societies outside Israel because societies such as these foster and accommodate the long-term Jewish policy of non-assimilation and group solidarity.27
MacDonald and African-American intellectual Harold Cruise observe that Jewish organizations view white nationalism as their greatest potential threat, and they have tended to support Black-white integration policies presumably because such policies dilute Euro-American power and lessen the possibility of a cohesive, nationalist Euro-American majority that stands in opposition to the Jewish community.28
In a racially integrated, multicultural society with numerous different and competing ethnic groups with divergent interests, it is very unlikely the surrounding gentiles can ever develop a united and cohesive majority to oppose the very cohesive Jewish community. “Tolerant” gentile populations that have only a weak and feeble sense of their own racial/cultural identity are less likely to identify certain powerful groups of Jews as alien elements against which they must defend themselves. Gentile populations that have a strong racial/cultural identity are more likely to identify certain groups, such as Jews, as alien outsiders, against which they must compete. Thus, a racially integrated, multicultural society (outside of Israel) is what most Jewish-Zionist groups prefer, because in such a cultural milieu they can gain tremendous power and influence.29
Lipstadt bitterly condemns the person and theories of Professor MacDonald.30 Yet her hypocritical behavior actually vindicates MacDonald’s theories. If the creation of racially integrated, multicultural societies were truly her ultimate goal, we should expect that she would insist on such a society in Israel just as earnestly as she insists on such a society in the U.S. and Europe. But this is not the case. She is proud of the fact that she marched in solidarity with those who worked to force an integrated society in the U.S., yet she most passionately identifies with an ethnically segregated, apartheid state in the Middle East. This suggests that she is indeed using “racial brotherhood” ideologies in the service of her own Jewish-Zionist nationalism.
2. The “Holocaust,” European and Jewish Identity
In Denying the Holocaust, Lipstadt condemns the Holocaust-revisionist Institute for Historical Review (IHR) for bringing to light some of the damaging effects of the lies and exaggerations in the Holocaust story. In a tone of self-righteous hypocrisy, Lipstadt claims (p. 144):
[The former Director of the IHR] revealed another of the IHR’s true agenda items with his warning that acceptance of the Holocaust myth resulted in a radical degeneration of acceptable standards of human behavior and lowering the self-image of White people. These racist tendencies, which the IHR has increasingly kept away from the public spotlight, are part of the extremist tradition to which it is heir.
In other words, it is “racist and extremist” for non-Jewish Europeans to be the least bit concerned about any adverse effects that the Holocaust ideology might have on the European identity.
Dr. Robert J. van Pelt
Enter Dr. Robert Jan van Pelt, an important member of Lipstadt’s defense team who authored the very important anti-Holocaust-revisionist tome, The Case for Auschwitz: Evidence from the Irving Trial. He claimed that Holocaust revisionism is an evil assault upon the Jewish self-image and identity. In a frank and honest discussion, he admitted that, when he read Holocaust-revisionist literature, he “had come face to face with a dangerous personal abyss.” His implicit conclusion is that this is one of the main reasons why Holocaust revisionism should be attacked and destroyed.31
Professor van Pelt then quotes Jewish writer Erika Apfelbaum as to why Holocaust revisionism is “so evil” and why it should be attacked and refuted. She stated:
Current Jewish history is deeply rooted in Auschwitz as the general symbol of the destruction of the Jewish people during the Holocaust. For someone whose past is rooted in Auschwitz, the experience of reading through the revisionists’ tortured logic and documentation is similar to the psychologically disorienting experience of sensory deprivation experiments or solitary confinement in prison, where one loses touch with reality. The insidious effect of reading this [Holocaust revisionist] literature is to lose one’s identity as a survivor and, more generally, as a Jew. Therefore, the revisionist allegations serve to dispossess the Jews from their history and in doing so, in seeking to destroy a people’s history, a symbolic genocide replaces a physical one.
Consider the overall “moral” judgments in this whole scenario. According to Lipstadt, van Pelt and the Holocaust Lobby in general, it is “evil, racist and extremist” for white gentiles to be the least bit concerned about the damage that certain Holocaust lies and exaggerations are doing to the European collective identity. Indeed, Europeans and Euro-Americans are supposed to just meekly accept what the Jewish power elite says about the Holocaust, no matter how damaging it is to the European collective self-identity. Yet, it is positively demanded that Jews fight against Holocaust revisionism, so as to protect and vindicate the Jewish self-identity.
At the beginning of his tome, van Pelt quotes Jewish-Zionist theologian and “moral beacon” Elie Wiesel. He says that the alleged mass murder of Jews at Auschwitz “signifies… the failure of two thousand years of Christian civilization…”32 He is clearly referring to all European Christendom.
Further evidence showing that Lipstadt’s traditional view of the Holocaust is indeed a psychological assault upon the entire European world, and not just upon the Germans and those who were allied with them during WWII, was demonstrated by the remarks of Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in a special Knesset session marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. According to The International Jerusalem Post, “Sharon blamed the Western allies for knowing about the annihilation of Jews in the Holocaust, but doing nothing to prevent it.” He said the “sad and horrible conclusion is that no one cared that Jews were being murdered.”33
According to the “morality” of Lipstadt, van Pelt, Wiesel, Sharon and the Jewish-Zionist power elite that they represent, European Christians are supposed to meekly accept the aforementioned statements as “the truth,” and any attempt to debunk certain Holocaust lies and exaggerations and their ensuing moral implications is of course “racist, evil and extremist.”
Using language very similar to that of Apfelbaum, the European Christian could say:
The insidious effect of reading the lies and exaggerations in the Holocaust literature is to lose one’s identity as a European Christian. Therefore, the ‘gas chamber’ tale and some other false Holocaust allegations serve to dispossess European Christians from their history, and in doing so, in seeking to destroy a people’s history, a symbolic genocide replaces a physical one.
The problem is of course, the predominant “morality” in the Western world doesn’t allow the European Christian to think this way.
Just as Jews have the right to maintain a good collective self-image, so too with non-Jews of European descent. They too have the right to fight against those historical lies and distortions that damage their collective self-identity.
3. Lipstadt’s Hypocritical Talk on Ethnic Intermarriage
Since Lipstadt’s pronouncements on racial/ethnic intermarriage accurately reflect the duplicity, deception and hypocrisy that characterize so much of what Jewish and non-Jewish mainstream media outlets promote, a thorough discussion is called for.
When asked by Lipstadt’s attorney Rampton about his views on interracial marriage, historian Irving stated:34
I have precisely the same attitude about this as [Lipstadt]… I believe in God keeping the races the way he built them.
In response, Lipstadt writes:
As soon as Irving said this, I began to pulsate with anger. This was not my view. I was deeply troubled by intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews because it threatened Jewish continuity. Color or ethnicity were entirely irrelevant to me.
She goes on to say that she was very disappointed that nothing was done to clarify her position on racial intermarriage at the trial, and that false ideas were floating around about her position on racial intermarriage.
If ethnicity is truly entirely irrelevant to her, and Jewish continuity was her only concern, then we should expect that she would have adopted the following policy. It is acceptable for Jews to marry non-Jews of any color or ethnic group, as long as the non-Jewish partner adopts the Jewish religion and Jewish cultural customs. But she did not adopt this policy; she is flatly opposed to intermarriage – period. As the Jewish journalist Don Guttenplan pointed out:35
[I]t was hard not to feel queasy listening to Rampton quiz Irving about his attitude to “intermarriage between the races”—on behalf of [Lipstadt] who has written, “We [Lipstadt and her fellow Jews] know what we fight against: anti-Semitism and assimilation [of Jews and non-Jews], intermarriage [between Jews and non-Jews] and Israel-bashing.”
Furthermore, she may not be revealing how she really feels about intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews. As Jewish author Ellen Jaffe-Gill pointed out, Lipstadt is simply flatly opposed to intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews:36
Although people like Deborah Lipstadt, the Emory University professor who has written and lectured widely on Holocaust denial, have exhorted Jewish parents to just say no to intermarriage, much the way they expect their children not to take drugs, a large majority of parents (and more than a few rabbis) are unable to lay down opposition to intermarriage [between Jews and non-Jews] as a strict operating principle.
According to this, she is not just “deeply troubled” by intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews – she loathes it.
There is even evidence within History on Trial itself that suggests Lipstadt may be engaging in deceit when she claims that “ethnicity is entirely irrelevant to her.” On pp. 12f., she implicitly condemns the policy of the former Soviet Union on the issue of the Holocaust, because of the USSR’s refusal to validate the concept of a “Jewish ethnicity” by identifying the victims of the Holocaust as Jews. In her own words:
To have identified the victims [of the Holocaust] as Jews would have validated the notion of ethnicity, a concept contrary to Marxist ideology.
So let’s get things straight. She implicitly condemns the Soviets for refusing to validate the concept of “Jewish ethnicity.” (The reader is encouraged to read pages 12 and 13 to see for himself that this is correct.) Yet, when it suits her ideological purposes to condemn David Irving and weasel her way out of her dilemma, on page 182 she claims that “ethnicity is entirely irrelevant to her.”
There is more evidence that she is possibly being duplicitous when she claims that “color and ethnicity are entirely irrelevant to her.” Dr. Oren Yiftachel, an Israeli professor at Ben-Gurion University, pointed out that Israel is not a democracy in the sense in which it is currently understood in the West. Rather, it is an “ethnocracy” – a land controlled and allocated by ethnicity. In his own words:37
The Israeli regime is ruled by and for one ethnic group in a multi-ethnic reality. Factors that make Israel an ‘ethnocracy’ include the facts that 1) immigration to the Jewish state is restricted to Jews only. Some 2.5 million displaced Palestinians who would like to return are not allowed to migrate to Israel; 2) military service is according to ethnicity; 3) economic control is based on race, religion, and ethnicity; 4) The country’s land regime entails transfer of land ownership in one direction, from Arab to Jewish control, but never back again.
If ethnicity is entirely irrelevant to her, then why does she passionately identify with apartheid Israel – a state that is based on the principle that the Jewish ethnic group is to be preserved for all time, and is to remain separate from and dominant over non-Jews within the state?
Lipstadt may have made this statement – “color and ethnicity are entirely irrelevant to me” – to meet the propaganda needs of the moment. That is, to “refute” the allegation of David Irving and hide her strong feelings of Jewish racialism. Said claim does not appear to reflect her real feelings.
One of Lipstadt’s defense-team experts during David Irving‘s libel suit against her, Dr. Richard Evans, was quoted as saying:38
Irving is essentially an ideologue who uses history… in order to further his own political purposes.
Should we take out the name of David Irving from the sentence and put in Deborah Lipstadt’s?
She admits that Evans may have “thought me a hyperbolic, American, Jewish woman who was more an ideologue than an open-minded historian.”39 An “ideologue” is one that promotes a body of ideas, distorted and untrue in the main, that serves the political, social and psychological needs of a power elite. Based upon what has been revealed in this essay, could Deborah Lipstadt be described as a Zionist ideologue?
Dr. Richard Evans
Prominent British historian John Keegan made this most cogent comment:40
Prof. Lipstadt… seems as dull as only the self-righteously politically correct can be. Few other historians had ever heard of her before this case. Most will not want to hear from her again.
Is Deborah Lipstadt a self-righteous Zionist ideologue that operates with hypocritical double standards? I will let the reader be the judge.
At the dawn of a new age of reason, Lipstadt’s books will, I believe, stand as a testament to the political, moral and ideological corruption that currently pervades Western Society.
So much for Paul Grubach.
I may add that for Lipstadt, being opposed to Zionism and criticizing acts and attitudes of the State of Israel has no merit at all and is just another manifestation of this odious antisemitism. For instance, she is outraged that Jewish-American scholar Noam Chomsky dares suggest that anti-Zionism isn’t identical with anti-Semitism (p. 16).
Last but not least I want to draw the reader’s attention to the fact that for Dr. Lipstadt, having positive feelings for Germany or the German people is just as odious as being anti-Semitic or racist, because she lists a pro-German attitude repeatedly together with the other invectives she hurls at her revisionist opponents:
The roots of Barnes’s views about the Holocaust and his attitudes toward Israel go beyond his deep-seated Germanophilia and revisionist approach to history: They can be found in his antisemitism. (p. 80)
Butz’s book is replete with the same expressions of traditional antisemitism, philo-Germanism and conspiracy theory as the Holocaust denial pamphlets printed by the most scurrilous neo-Nazi groups. (p. 126)
Most people who were aware of [the IHR’s] existence dismissed it as a conglomeration of Holocaust deniers, neo-Nazis, philo-Germans, right-wing extremists, antisemites, racists, and conspiracy theorists. (p. 137)
Lipstadt is particularly offended by Prof. Austin App’s pro-German stance, which she deals with at length in the chapter she devotes to him. Here is just one example:
With the zeal of a convert, [Austin App] moved to the isolationist, pro-German end of the political spectrum and stayed there for the rest of his life. (p. 67)
Why is being pro-German at the “end” of the political spectrum, that is to say, at one extreme of it?
Lipstadt therefore castigates the revisionists, more of whom are non-Germans than are Germans, for being German-friendly. In doing so, she clearly suggests that being pro-German is a bad thing, so bad indeed that she lumps this attitude together with all her other invectives of anti-Semitism, racism, and extremism. Now, I am not saying that one has to have a pro-German attitude, just as much as one does not have to have a pro-Jewish attitude, for instance. In fact, everyone is entitled to choose whom they like and love – groups quite as well as individuals. It’s nobody’s business to interfere with that.
If you do not think Lipstadt’s anti-German attitude is strange at least, although it is the perfect equivalent to an anti-Jewish/ anti-Semitic attitude, then maybe you should ask yourself what kind of attitude you have, and what sort of socialization you went through to find nothing wrong with that.
Lipstadt’s anti-German attitude also shines through toward the end of her book, where she writes:
If Germany was also a victim of a ‘downfall,’ and if the Holocaust was no different from a mélange of other tragedies, Germany’s moral obligation to welcome all who seek refuge within its borders is lessened. (p. 215)
There are currently around a billion people on this planet who, due to war, famine, poverty and civil unrest, are inclined to seek refuge elsewhere.41 One favorite destination of those migrants is Germany. Is Dr. Lipstadt seriously saying that Germany has the moral obligation to welcome not only the millions of migrants who have flooded Germany already in the past three decades, but, if push comes to shove, even more of the one billion migrants that are still waiting outside its gates? Is she out of her mind? Not that she’s alone with that attitude. Most leading German politicians and its mass media seem to share that view. But just because almost everybody runs full speed toward the cliff doesn’t mean it’s the best way to go.
And why exactly do today’s Germans, almost all of whom were either children at the end of World War II or were born afterwards, have a moral obligation to accommodate millions upon millions upon millions of migrants, while today’s Israelis, the vast majority of whom are not survivors of anything, have no such obligation? (Or any other country, for that matter.)
Finally, on page 222 of her book, Lipstadt declares openly what she thinks of the Germans minding their own business, defining their own identity, being masters of their own history and historiography:
We [historians] did not train in our respective fields in order to stand like watchmen and women on the Rhine. Yet this is what we must do.
“Watching on the Rhine” is also the headline of her respective chapter where she discusses tendencies by scholars in Germany to develop some self-confidence by regaining control over writing and interpreting their own history. Needless to say, Dr. Lipstadt doesn’t like that.
“Watching on the Rhine” traditionally refers to Germany’s attempt to keep herself independent of foreign rule. But for Lipstadt, that is unacceptable. She and her like-minded colleagues want to remain in control – in order to keep Germany on her knees. Why else would she be offended by a patriotic German politician suggesting that Germans should “get off their knees and once again learn to ‘walk upright’” (p. 210). I’ve replaced here Lipstadt’s mistranslated term “walk tall” with “walk upright,” because the German term used by said politician – aufrecht gehen – simply means that Germans ought to stop groveling and walk normally.
Interestingly, Dr. Lipstadt’s father was German, hence her last name, and her mother, neé Peiman, was a Canadian of unknown ethnicity.42 We may therefore assume that the majority of Dr. Lipstadt’s ethnic makeup is indeed German. That adds an interesting twist to the affair.
After World War II, a self-denigrating and even self-hating attitude has become very fashionable and widespread among German intellectuals as a reaction to feeling guilty about the Holocaust. This phenomenon has become worse as time progressed, although today’s generations of Germans have nothing to feel guilty about, objectively speaking.
Dr. Lipstadt shows the same symptoms to the point where she has not only detached herself completely from her German background, emotionally speaking, but has even developed a distinct disdain for that aspect of her identity. She may even deny being mainly of German ethnicity, claiming to be Jewish instead. Well, if that were so, she would declare Judaism to be not a religion but rather an ethnic group, just as the State of Israel does and as the National Socialists did.
|1||https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freda_Utley (version of July. 26, 2016; oldid=731630172).|
|2||Freda Utley, The High Cost of Vengeance, (Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1948).|
|3||See Section 4.6. for details; for the current edition of that study, see Fred Leuchter, Robert Faurisson, Germar Rudolf, The Leuchter Report: Critial Edition, 4th ed., (Uckfield: Castle Hill Publishers, 2015).|
|4||On that see the appendix to my forensic study The Rudolf Report: Expert Report on Chemical and Technical Aspects of the “Gas Chambers” of Auschwitz, 2nd ed., (Washington, D.C.: The Barnes Review, 2011). (holocausthandbooks.com/dl/02-trr.pdf; Sept. 1, 2016), as well as my book Resistance Is Obligatory, op. cit (note 13).|
|5||Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years, 2nd ed., (London: Pluto Press, 2008); idem, Norton Mezvinsky, Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel, Pluto Press, London 1999.|
|6||Carlo Mattogno, “I falsi “Falsi Protocolli”: Scopo e significato dei “Protocolli dei Savi Anziani di Sion”, May 27, 2010, olodogma.com/wordpress/2014/03/26/0631 (Aug. 31, 2016); idem, Il Mistero Dei Protocolli Di Sion, (Raleigh, N.C.: Lulu, 2014); amazon.com/dp/1291884904.|
|7||Joseph Sobran, in: William F. Buckley, In Search of Anti-Semitism, Continuum, New York, 1992; acc. to Joseph Sobran, “For Fear of the Jews,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 21, No. 3 (May/August 2002), pp. 12-16, here page 13; codoh.com/library/document/3027 (Sept. 5, 2016).|
|8||Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Democracy—The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order, Transaction Publishers, 2001; Frank Karsten, Karel Beckman, Beyond Democracy: Why Democracy Does Not Lead to Solidarity, Prosperity and Liberty but to Social Conflict, Runaway Spending and a Tyrannical Government, (North Charleston, S.C.: CreateSpace, 2012).|
|9||Elizabeth Loftus, The Myth of Repressed Memory, (New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1994); idem, “Creating False Memories,” Scientific American, Vol. 277, No. 3, 1997, pp. 70-75; idem, and James Doyle, Eyewitness Testimony: Civil and Criminal, 3rd ed., (Charlottesville, Va.: Lexis Law Pub., 1997).|
|10||Jacques Baynac, “Faute de documents probants sur les chambres à gaz, les historiens esquivent le débat,” Le Nouveau Quotidien, Sept. 3, 1996, p. 14.|
|11||Paul Grubach, “Why Won’t Deborah Lipstadt Debate the Holocaust Revisionists?,” The Revisionist, No. 8, Nov. 2001, CODOH series; codoh.com/library/document/375 (Aug. 31, 2016); Lipstadt does not use the term “cranks.”|
|12||Vanity Fair, December 1993, p. 117.|
|13||Mark Weber, “Debating the Undebatable: The Weber-Shermer Clash,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 16, No. 1 (January/February 1996), pp. 23-34; online at codoh.com/library/document/2653, including a video recording of the debate; also available at youtu.be/7xB73Pg4_08 (all Aug. 29, 2016).|
|14||Michael Shermer, Alex Grobman, Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It?, (Berkeley, Cal.: University of California Press, 2000), p. 109.|
|15||Freeman & Co., New York 1997.|
|16||Carlo Mattogno, Fail: “Denying History.” How Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman Botched Their Attempt to Refute Those Who Say the Holocaust Never Happened, (Uckfield: Castle Hill Publishers, 2016).|
|17||Paul Grubach, “A Holocaust Revisionist Critique of the Thinking of Deborah Lipstadt,” January 2006, slightly abridged; codoh.com/library/document/165/ (Aug 29, 2016)|
|18||Deborah Lipstadt, History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving, (New York: Ecco, 2005), p. 283.|
|19||Ibid., p. 3.|
|20||Ibid., p. 5.|
|21||Ibid., p. 6.|
|22||Ibid., p. 9.|
|23||See the study by Israeli academic Dr. Uri Davis, Israel: An Apartheid State, (London: Zed Books, 1987).|
|24||George W. Ball, Douglas B. Ball, The Passionate Attachment: America’s Involvement with Israel, 1947 to the Present, (New York, W. W. Norton & Company, 1992), p. 29.|
|25||Ibid., p. 65.|
|26||Mark Lavie, “Barrier Meant to Ensure Jewish Majority,” Associated Press Release, July 11, 2005. www.miftah.org/Display.cfm?DocId=7908&CategoryId=5 (Aug. 29, 2016)|
|27||Kevin MacDonald, The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements, (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1998).|
|28||Ibid., pp. 255-257.|
|30||Lipstadt, History on Trial, op. cit. (note 32), pp. 151-159.|
|31||Robert J. van Pelt, The Case for Auschwitz: Evidence from the Irving Trial, (Indiana University Press, 2002), p. 70.|
|32||Ibid., p. 6.|
|33||Liat Collins, “From the Ashes,” The International Jerusalem Post, February 4, 2005, p. 3.|
|34||Lipstadt, History on Trial, op. cit. (note 32), p. 182.|
|35||Lipstadt as quoted in Don D. Guttenplan, The Holocaust on Trial: History, Justice and the David Irving Libel Case, (New York: Granta Books, W. W. Norton & Company, 2001), p. 209.|
|36||Ellen Jaffe-Gill, Embracing the Stranger: Intermarriage and the Future of the American Jewish Community, (New York: Basic Books, 1995), p. 18.|
|37||Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July/August 1999, p. 120. The online version of that issue has the pages 118-120 excised: www.wrmea.org/1999-july-august/1999-july-august-table-of-contents.html (Sept. 9, 2016); GR.|
|38||Lipstadt, History on Trial, op. cit. (note 32), p. 53.|
|39||Ibid., p. 67.|
|40||Ibid., p. 282.|
|41||The numbers vary from poll to poll; one extreme calculates almost two billion: Gerver Torres, Brett Pelham, “One-Quarter of World’s Population May Wish to Migrate,” Gallup poll, June 24, 2008, www.gallup.com/poll/108325/onequarter-worlds-population-may-wish-migrate.aspx (Aug 30, 2016); another saw it at around 700 million adults, which, children added to the mix, would probably get close to one billion: Neli Esipova, Julie Ray, “700 Million Worldwide Desire to Migrate Permanently,” Gallup poll, November 2, 2009, www.gallup.com/poll/108325/onequarter-worlds-population-may-wish-migrate.aspx (Aug 30, 2016). With Germany’s announcement in 2015 that “all are welcome,” resulting in a deluge of migrants pouring into Germany, that number has probably gone up again. Most prospective migrants come from the Middle East, North and sub-Saharan Africa, whose primary destinations for reasons of geography are European countries, mainly Germany (for economic reasons) and the UK and France (for linguistic reasons).|
|42||https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deborah_Lipstadt (version of Aug. 21, 2016; oldid=735552072); http://forebears.co.uk/surnames/peiman gives Iran as the most likely origin of her mother’s paternal line (both Aug. 30, 2016).|
Additional information about this document
|Title:||Lipstadt's Motivations and "ad Hominem" Attacks|
|Sources:||Inconvenient History, 8(4) 2016; Germar Rudolf , Fail “Denying the Holocaust” How Deborah Lipstadt Botched Her Attempt to Demonstrate the Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, Castle Hill Publishers, Uckfield 2016, Chapter 3.|
|First posted on CODOH:||Nov. 30, 2016, 9:22 a.m.|