Selections from Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
From The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, October 1996
In Defense of Free Speech
Most reasonable people accept it as a given that the free and open marketplace of ideas is where the truth is most likely to emerge. Surely the opposite would be to arbitrarily proclaim the "Truth," stifling any contradictions regardless of merit. Having been on the victim's side of this equation much of the time, one would expect the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs to be sensitive to the plight of others subjected to this form of intellectual bigotry. You don't have to subscribe to a given point of view to allow a fair presentation of its position, especially after it's been savaged and/or its proponents have been subjected to ad hominem attacks.
While you are certainly entitled to your opinion that, in your words, "the European Holocaust happened," (Letters, July 1996, p. 102), you're not entitled to shelter under a mantle of fairness, objectivity and defender of oppressed people if you arbitrarily accept a simplistic and agenda-driven definition of a very complex position without allowing a full explanation of it. Aside from its use as a weapon to discredit and even demonize, what does "Holocaust denial" really mean? As with the popularized term "holocaust" it means different things to different people — from "denying" the planned murder of 12 million people to "denying" the existence of concentration camps. You seem to believe that it means denying ethnic cleansing, which could be as relatively benign as a relocation policy. How can we know what the reality is if we can't freely examine and put the various versions to the test? Try it and you might find that it's about as logical to automatically conclude that Jews were gassed because some were no longer in their home country as it is to arrive at the same conclusion about the Palestinian diaspora. (See The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry, by Walter N. Sanning.)
John Mortl, Bala, Ontario, Canada
The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs comments: We don't think of any relocation policies as "benign," but read on.
A Revisionist Response
This is a response to your attack upon myself and Holocaust Revisionists in general (Washington Report, July 1996, pp. 102-103). Intellectual honesty demands you publish this letter in total, with no "clever editing" performed.
Revisionists contend the Nazi government never planned to exterminate Jewry, the "Final Solution" being no more no less than their expulsion from Europe. During the course of WWII Jews were forcibly uprooted from German-controlled areas and sent to ghettos and camps in Poland, then later to Soviet-occupied territories. We further assert (and have evidence to prove it) that the "Hitler gas chambers" never existed and were the creations of Allied and Zionist war propaganda.
Holocaust skeptics do not deny that Germany and its allies committed atrocities against Jews. A large number were shot by the German army during their anti-guerrilla warfare campaign on the Eastern Front. Others were slain during atrocities committed in Nazi-controlled areas. Although not deliberately murdered, many Jews died of disease and malnutrition brought on by wartime conditions. Revisionists contend that the number of Jewish deaths from all causes was between 200,000 and one million.
Thus, contrary to what you imply, we don't deny that any ethnic cleansing of Jews took place. We simply point out Jewry suffered no more no less than other ethnic groups prior to or during WWII. In order to "justify" and "legitimatize" the taking of Palestinian Arab land and the founding of Israel, the "Holocaust" has been vastly exaggerated. The Holocaust mythos is used as an ideological battering ram against people of European descent. Exploiting the feelings of guilt which lurk within the Christian psyche, Zionist ideologues constantly remind Americans that because White Christians are mainly responsible for the "horrors of the Hitler gas chambers," it is their "moral duty" to ensure Israel's survival and well-being. For these reasons alone Holocaust revisionism is an appropriate topic for the Washington Report.
Furthermore, your attack is an excellent example of the fallacy of alleged certainty. Nowhere (!) do you offer proof that Holocaust Revisionism is false. You simply "authoritatively" declare that the "Holocaust happened" and anyone who claims otherwise is careless and pigheaded. By a clever use of rhetoric instead of hard evidence, you have attempted to get people to accept your viewpoint.
Consider just a small sample of salient Revisionist points. In 1945, "official history" asserted that "gas chambers" had functioned in the Nazi camps in Germany as well as in Poland. Fifteen years later, in 1960, it revised its judgment: "gas chambers" had been in operation only in Poland. That awkward revision of 1960 reduced to nothing the large number of "testimonies" and "proofs" of the alleged gassings in Nazi concentration camps in Germany. The late Dr. William B. Lindsey, a research chemist employed for 33 years by the Dupont Corporation, testified in a 1985 court case that the Auschwitz gassing story is technically impossible. In 1988 Fred Leuchter, America's leading gas chamber expert, carefully examined the supposed "gas chambers" in Poland and concluded that the gassing story is absurd and technically impossible. Walter Lüftl, the former president of Austria's professional association of engineers, also concluded that the alleged mass extermination of Jews in gas chambers is "technically impossible."
When one is confronted with facts such as these, an open-minded rational person would at least have the intellectual honesty to give Holocaust Revisionism a fair hearing. Unfortunately, WRMEA has shown itself to be closed-minded and bigoted on the "Holocaust" issue. You simply refuse to even read our point of view. Thus, the charge of "carelessness" and "pigheadedness" which you level against Revisionists hurls right back into your face.
I defy you to publish this letter in total. Or are you afraid that this will upset your prejudiced mind?
Paul Grubach, Lyndhurst, OH
The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs comments: We've now published your letter, unedited and in total, as you requested. We assume you will agree that, whatever the total who died and were killed, the Nazis had no more right to carry out "the expulsion from Europe" of Jews than do the Serbs to carry out "ethnic cleansing" of Muslims from the Balkans or the Israelis to expel Palestinians from the land of their birth. Perhaps if you started out from that premise, people would be more likely to listen to your point of view. As for our own viewpoint, we think that if their only purpose was to remove Jews from Europe, the Nazis who shipped entire Jewish communities of men, women and children from such places as the Greek islands of Rhodes and Kos, neither more than 13 miles from Turkey, all the way to Poland, from which virtually none returned, certainly must have been working from faulty maps.
Re: "You're Unfair to Revisionists"
I read this letter and your response and had to put it aside, your response was so illogical. First, the Jewish definition of the Holocaust is the State-sponsored genocide of 6 million Jews mostly by gassing. It is illegal to debate any part of this topic in Germany. One must accept this premise in its entirety even though the Polish and Jewish authorities in Poland have agreed that at least 3 million fewer persons died at Auschwitz than previously claimed. Several Holocaust believers have set the number considerably lower. Arno Mayer, professor of history at Princeton and a survivor of Auschwitz, claims there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz. Simon Wiesenthal has publicly written that there were never any gas chambers on German soil, Yehuda Bauer, head of Yad Vashem, and Elan Steinberg of the World Jewish Congress have said that eyewitness testimony is unreliable. The propaganda stories of soap from Jewish fat and lampshades from Jewish skin have been proven to be war propaganda. The stories of killing in diesel vans, submerging in elevators to electrocute, steaming to death have all been set aside as war propaganda. One of the most astounding stories proven untrue was the Katyn Massacre. According to the world almanac, with figures provided by the American Jewish Committee and the Statistical Bureau of the Synagogues of America, the actual number of Jews in the world increased by millions during the years of WWII. All of this stated, it does not take away from the fact that many Jews were persecuted and many died and many innocent people suffered.
As an inaugural supporter of your publication I know you are well aware of the duplicity of the Zionists regarding the Palestinians. Do you honestly believe that this is a characteristic that originated with the establishment of the State of Israel? To deny fair and free debate of the Holocaust and all of the history surrounding WWII is tantamount to treason. Without debate you are denying freedom of thought and freedom of speech. You are denying academic freedom by your statement 'it happened.' I have to ask, are you obstructionists who keep us busy feeling good because we support your publication while you abet the strengthening of a world-wide religious hegemony by Israel? Discussing the Palestinian problem out of context with WWI and WWII is like coming into the second act of a two-act play.
The world over, academics are coming more and more to question the Hollywood version of history that is being taught as Gospel. These brave men are risking careers, reputations and in some cases life and limb for the truth. If truth were not what your publication were all about I would not be so offended by your out-of-hand rejection of debate.
I am submitting some material, all from Jewish sources, all of a revisionist nature. Surely this will give you food for thought. Truth can only serve to strengthen freedom, it is not to be feared, unless one has something to hide.
Josef and Judith Schuchmann, Carnelian Bay, CA
The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs comments: Yours and the other letters above are just the tip of the iceberg of letters and phone calls we've received on the subject of Holocaust Revisionism. One nit to pick. As we understand it, the story of the Katyn Massacre was not untrue. The massacre of much of the Polish officer corps in the Katyn Forest happened, but it was the Soviet Russian army, not the Nazi German army, that carried it out. We agree that the subject of the Holocaust is important, but basically our field is the Middle East. We just don't have the space to get into the arguments as to how many were killed, nor do we intend to. We assume all can agree, however, that it happened, it shouldn't have happened, and the fact that it did happen in no way justifies what subsequently was done in the Middle East by the Israelis to the Palestinians, who had nothing to do with what was done to the Jews in Europe by German Nazis and their allies. Subject closed in this magazine for 1996?
Additional information about this document
|Title:||Selections from Letters to the Editor|
|Sources:||The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, October 1996|
|First posted on CODOH:||Oct. 30, 1996, 6 p.m.|
|Comments:||The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs October, 1996.|