Silence Too is an Answer

Published: 1997-01-12

There's a threat on the Internet. "We must get rid of this monster" the internet page reads, who is a "cancerous sore" and "must be eliminated altogether." He is "an abominable psychopath" who, if stopped will "remove a dangerous parasitic, disease-ridden bacteria from infecting society." Just so no one misses the point, the article ends with the offer of a monetary award for this person's home address.

What do we have here? The ravings of a white racist bigot? Or the rant of an unreconstructed Nazi? Neither one. The above is from an article on the homepage of the Jewish Defense League at And, while the target of the attack is a member of a minority group, his identity might surprise you.

His name is David Cole. An American Jew, he made a video a few years ago taking apart the legend of the gas chamber at Auschwitz, and showing that the gas chamber in the main camp was a post-war reconstruction.

The reason David Cole is being targeted is pretty obvious. For the past several months the Committee for the Open Discussion of the Holocaust Story (CODOH) has published several ads in college newspapers all over the country, and most of these have featured a $50,000 reward for the person who facilitates the showing of David Cole's Auschwitz video on a major network. Surely it is due to the desire to intimidate David Cole into silence or recantation that the JDL has begun their campaign of threats.

It is just as obvious that the JDL is conducting this campaign of veiled death threats because they think they can get away with it. At minimum, the page constitutes a hate crime according to US law, because Cole is being targeted specifically because of his Jewishness: according to the page, he is "more evil" "because he is a Jew."

Naturally, CODOH is curious to see how the usual Jewish watchdog agencies would handle this threat, so we have notified the Anti-Defamation League as well as the Simon Wiesenthal Center. So far, no response.

And that lack of response is the key to why the JDL thinks they can act with impunity. For over twenty years, the self-appointed human rights organizations in this country and Europe have turned up their noses as a number of revisionists have been beaten, firebombed, blown up in their cars, terrorized, arrested, fined, and imprisoned. They have been silent.

And the reason these organizations won't speak up is because the intellectual elites in America and Europe, in our colleges and universities, have chosen political correctness over civic courage, and the cozy comfort of tenure and platitudes about moral superiority over the uncertainties of integrity and honor, and have allowed the questions the revisionists have raised to be buried, marginalized, and turned into a taboo. They too have been silent.

Make no mistake: every historian who out of incompetence, ignorance, or cowardice refuses to engage revisionism in a rational and cogent way leaves the field to the crazy threats of the lunatic fringe. And this goes on because no one in a position of authority has the gumption, not even the sense of responsibility or decency, to stand up and say that whether you agree with revisionists or not, they have a right to speak their piece, and they have a right to do so unmolested. But so far, only silence.

This is a serious problem. If David Cole can be threatened because he is a Jew, then we are not far away from the time when someone else will be threatened: maybe someone like you. And threats always end up in noisy violence and tragedy.

There are two things that people can do who are concerned about the total breakdown of tolerance and reasoned debate that the JDL article represents. One is to champion a hearing for the revisionist position, right or wrong, but just because we, as Americans, won't stand for intimidating anyone. The other thing we can do is stand up, dig in our heels, and say, that if someone wants to know when this campaign of silence and veiled death threats should stop, then they should know, that it should stop where it is.

Additional information about this document
Property Value
Author(s): Martin Henry
Title: Silence Too is an Answer
Published: 1997-01-12
First posted on CODOH: Dec. 30, 1997, 6 p.m.
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