Revisionism: A Report from France
Everybody knows revisionism is an abomination. But it exists and it persists. Moral and penal condemnations, vigilance committees, even the laws of the State, nothing works: for the last twenty years, revisionism has not stopped growing. A recent poll shows that 30% of the people in France are ready to accept its basic tenets. They keep their mouth shut only out of caution.
This situation is more and more embarrassing. The old distinguished lawyer of the [French] League for Human Rights requested the ban of the first issue of the 'Annales d' histoire revisionniste'. Pleading in front of Judge Pluyette, he exclaimed: 'As long as it was printed in small confidential publications, we kept quiet. But I found this journal yesterday at the Marseilles airport newsstand. Now we demand its ban. 'These virtuous words were uttered in the Fall of 1987, Ten years ago, already. Since then, revisionist publications have multiplied and have reached astonishing levels of sales, as with the Garaudy book which sold everywhere by the tens of thousands. The worst is still to come. For the past one year, there has been a French language revisionist site on the Internet. The team which is putting the site together, and whose members are concretely saving the freedom of expression, remain anonymous because of the attacks on this freedom. They have chosen to display the main elements of controversy and to treat them as rationally as possible. There was quite a number of texts which can be almost considered as 'classics' which were becoming increasingly difficult to find. They are, one after the other, displayed on the Web.
One can find the beginning of a gathering of the archives of La Vieille Taupe, a group which played a leading role in the opening of polemics in France. The manifold interventions of Professor Faurisson, since 1978, are also on display for that part of the public who did not live through the beginnings of this affair. There is renewed talk about Paul Rassinier who, back in the 50's and early 60's, was the driving force of revisionism, in France but also in other countries. An archive is devoted to his writings, including translations into English and soon in other languages as well. Already more than 40 forgotten articles he wrote in 1951-53 have been made available. The books by Serge Thion which describe and analyze the beginnings of the Faurisson affair are on display, some parts being available in German and English. Robert Faurisson's lawyer, Eric Delcroix, is present with a vigorous pamphlet which landed him a condemnation by the courts. The famous 1985 'thesis of Nantes', by Henri Roques, on the SS-Officer Kurt Gerstein and his alleged confessions, is available too, and soon visible in German and English. Others will follow.
The attempts to suppress intellectual freedom in France are carefully scrutinized. You'll find information on trials, on debates in court as well as on the judicial system itself, and its commitment in suppressive activities. In just one year, several hundred texts have thus been made available on the Internet, raising a remarkable serious readership.
It must be said that French revisionism, such as it is displayed on this site, is free from politics. It completely ignores the calls to violence and hatred and strongly disapproves of them. It is based on the principle of the unity of mankind. It supports a complete calm in a research that is completely material and rational, i.e. open to refutation and critique, claiming the right to make mistakes and to correct mistakes. It shows that the struggle against revisionism is linked to the less and less probable survival of the State of Israel and it dares to probe into the foundations of this last dinosaur among the large encompassing oppressive systems, like the many fascisms, the Leninist apparatuses, colonialism, apartheid, all having become extinct under the sheer weight of their contradictions, lack of realism and deep inhumanity.
Not only have the French revisionists spread out in French on the Web, but they also have provided opportunities for other revisionists to express their views in English, in German and in Italian. Everyone knows that in Germany the list of banned books is growing by the day. In France too, by the way. Quite naturally these banned books find a new life and a wider audience once they take refuge on the Net. Books out of print, like the fundamental work by Lenni Brenner on the relationship between the Zionist movement and fascist regimes in the 30's and 40's find a new lease of life on the Aaargh Website (in English).
Not only happy to feed demanding and curious minds with literature, revisionists, who are not fearful of complexities, have created a system by which one can glance at the footnotes while reading a text on screen. But the most interesting is the internal links created between the texts and a biographic and bibliographic database that is being build into the site, providing background information and links to other documents. It gives an encyclopaedic dimension to the available knowledge. Without making it a specific purpose, they thus promoted the use of Internet as a learning resource. One needs to visit a number of other sites to see the advantage of having a knowledge that is both conscious and organized, while the reader's freedom is entirely respected. (This applies to the French section. It will come later to the English section.) Many other sites which are "struggling" against revisionism could learn something here.
In spite of several attempts and the burning hopes of many people in power, it has not been possible so far to create a censorship on the Internet. Maybe the forces of darkness will find a way. But not right now. At one year of age, this website has an average of four hundred visitors each day, which make 145,000 a year. Of course, it is only a beginning. Access to the Internet is growing fast. In 1998, the people who will receive digital television will have free access to the Internet. Faurisson will be accessed and read, without a computer, in the most remote corners of the country whereas, some years ago, 20 to 30 copies of his writings were broadcast at a time...Think of it. The media will and certainly must ignore this phenomenon. But there will be a price. It is about time to face it, to play straight, to open the files. Because revisionists have files, very well organized files. And they feel so secure that they intend now to publish (soon) files generated by their adversaries. This confrontation may well be very painful for a number of self-proclaimed historians and writers. Then we'll see which emperors have no clothes.
Revisionist are not peddling ready-made truths. They know that in order to speak about atrocious events, a maximum of precautions are to be taken. They bow in respect to all poor victims of WWII, as well as the victims of atrocities which happened after WWII. But they refuse to the survivors orto those who did not live through these tragic events the right to alter reality. They want the facts and nothing but the facts. That is why they attract so many sympathies, from every political quarter; those sympathies cannot generally be publicly expressed because of the fear which surrounds these subjects. Some obnoxious organizations are pack hunting dissident views with complete impunity. People fear for themselves, for their career, for their children's bread, and they shut up. Those who thus obtain this excellent result, this seeming conformity, this deafening silence of the lambs, should in fact worry. Revisionists have been so far the only ones to propose an honorable way out, a rational discussion. They too fear the violence that these repressed views may trigger when the pressure is too high. Go and visit this website. You'll find it at http://www.vho.org/aaargh.
Nobody requests you to agree with anything. But many people condemn revisionists without having ever read a line written by them. If you want to condemn, you have at least to know why. Do not die idiots. Do it now, so that in 10 or 20 years from now, you will not deeply regret not to have looked for a dialogue with reasonable people. There are other much less reasonable people, you and we know it. And if you wish to present observations or critiques, even rough, write to [email protected]. But please no insults, we do not reply. But they are rare, this must also be said. Enjoy the consultation. Do not forget that dozens or hundreds of anti-revisionist sites also exist on the Web. Go and visit them. They are worthwhile indeed.
The International Secretariat of AAARGH
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|Title:||Revisionism: A Report from France|
|First posted on CODOH:||Sept. 19, 1997, 7 p.m.|