Los Angeles: Censorship by Intimidation and Arson

Local Press Afraid To Speak Out
Published: 1984-10-01

This document is part of a periodical (Prima Facie).
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In the early morning hours of 4 July 1984, arsonists burned down the offices and warehouse of the Institute For Historical Review in Torrance, California. Thousands of books were torched; manuscripts, records and docu­ments, many of them irreplaceable, were destroyed in the flames. (see: Torrance Daily Breeze, 5 July, and L.A. Times, 6 July)

The Institute For Historical Review (IHR) publishes books and a scholarly quarterly that promote the view, among others, that the "Holocaust" that took place in Eastern Europe during World War II is misrepresented in the scholarly community, and thus in the press and media. It claims there is no proof (that would be acceptable in a United states court of law) to show that more or less 6,000,000 Jews were "exterminated" in Nazi "gas chambers."

The Institute's quarterly, The Journal for Historical Review (JHR), publishes closely argued articles condemning the use of fraudulent documents, and the fraudlent use of authentic documents by many well known Holocaust scholars. Subscribers to the Journal also receive the IHR Newsletter published eight times a year, which relates attempts to suppress and censor revisionist writings, and prints news about fraud and falsehood used to promote received opinion about the "Holocaust."

No one we have talked to about the torching of the IHR doubts that it was destroyed by those who have threatened to destroy it, those who feel outraged that anyone would question what they believe. There were three firebombings of the Institute before the one that destroyed it. Staff was regularly threatened with beatings and fire, tires on their automobiles were slashed, and in the night annonymous callers have told mothers that their children have been killed or children that their parents are dead.

Prima Facie considers that the violent destruction of the IHR by fire was a political act intended to stop the publication of dissenting views about the most significant historical "event" of our century. We consider it a grave crime against the ideals of a free press and the rights of free inquiry. We think this is too obvious to belabor.

No editorial reference has been made in the Los Angeles press or media to this scandalous, terrorist attack against the press in it's own community? It doesn't wash for you to reply that you disagree with the historical viewpoint of the IHR and that, therefore, in this one instance, you have no responsibility to speak out in defense of the ideals of this nation and your own profession.

It just doesn't wash.

As I write, I see I have used the editorial "we." Prima Facie is a one man show. I'm not a scholar, I'm not even an expert on the so-called "Holocaust." And that is one of the ironies that will become evident as you read Prima Facie. You don't have to be an "expert" to understand that it doesn't do to burn down your neighbor's house when they do not believe what you demand they believe. And you don't have to be a "scholar" to see through claims about the Holocaust that, on their faces, are asinine.

Prima Facie is not dedicated to proving that the Holocaust "never happened." I am dedicated to the ideals of a free press and the right of all to freely exchange their ideas, one with the other, without having to suffer the threat of being beaten, burned or defamed. And I do not see why this proposition should be difficult to either understand or accept.

Twenty odd years ago (Jan. and Feb. 1962) when I was being prosecuted for selling a forbidden book, Henry Miller's novel Tropic of Cancer, I was praised and encouraged on every side to hold my ground against the censors. The ACLU offered their services to me without charge. "Civil liberties" lawyers rang me up from all over the country to chat. Idealistic book sellers congratulated me on my stand. Ladies clubs invited me to speak at their lunchoens. Jewish friends feted me in their homes.

Things are different now. The free speak committee of the ACLU has not been willing to lift a finger to protect writers or publishers in this town who do not follow the accepted line on the "holocaust." Writers, publishers and historians all across the land applaud the suppression and slander of Holocaust revisionists. Book dealers will nat sell dissenting studies an the Holocaust on principle! Respected academics defame revisionist writers with epithets of "neo-nazi" and "anti-Semite" but refuse to meet with revisionists openly and honestly in journals or in public debate. And the press regularly allows cowardly and uniformed attacks on revisionists to be made in its pages but routinely refuses to allow revisionists to reply.

So, things are different now. I'm the same sweet fellow I was 20 years ago, still stand on the side of a free press against the violence, ignorance and hate of censorship, but there is no doubt about it, things are different now.

Much of the responsibility for this wretched and ugly state of affairs lies with the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center of Holocaust Studies. But not all of it.

The press and media in this town, challenged by the intimidation, suppression and finally the destruction of one of its own, has behaved without courage, without principle and without grace,. When an internationally known publisher of books and a scholarly journal is burned to the ground in this city by arsonists, and every indication for motive suggests that the arson was politically motivated, Los Angeles publishers and editors joined together to sit on each others hands, as if they had nothing in their hearts but pleasure, and nothing in their minds at all.

Additional information about this document
Property Value
Author(s): Bradley R. Smith
Title: Los Angeles: Censorship by Intimidation and Arson, Local Press Afraid To Speak Out
Sources: Prima Facie, no. 1, October 1984, pp. 1f.
Published: 1984-10-01
First posted on CODOH: July 7, 2012, 7 p.m.
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