The Holocaust: The New Founding Myth of American Society
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The American public overwhelmingly accepts the basic tenets of the Holocaust. It is nearly incomprehensible to most people that there are some who are willing risk their life and liberty to revise or even deny the main pillars of the Holocaust story – the Six Million, the Hitler-ordered extermination of Jews, and the use of gas chambers as the principle weapon of choice. While those who are uninformed about revisionist arguments will understand that open debate and freedom of speech are certainly valued rights in the United States, a public debate over the facts of the Holocaust appears worse than useless because the facts are "inerrant," and as such, those who advocate debate must be exploiters of innocent victims or at minimum, falsifiers of history.
Before we are able to grasp the significance of Holocaust revisionism or as some would call it, "Holocaust denial," we must understand the significance of the Holocaust itself. The Holocaust can seem, not unlike many other events in recent history, like an event in ancient history with little relevance to the present for many in today’s society. Of course, the details of the traditional story should be significant in and of themselves. That is to say, the charge that Germans murdered six million Jews and five million others (as the story has evolved) for no good reason other than racial hatred would be quite significant. Still, the real question is how are the events themselves, now otherwise fading into the historical record, important or significant with regard to contemporary American society. They are significant because the Holocaust has impacted domestic and foreign policy as well as the vocabulary and the cultural understanding of anyone who has been reasonably conscious during the past 50 years.
In 1996 Roger Garaudy created a tremendous scandal with his book, The Founding Myths of Modern Israel. This book identified several myths that were critical for the founding of Israel including what Garaudy called, "The Myth of the Six Million." Although the word "myth" is often understood in contemporary vernacular to mean something false, that is not the sense of the word that Garaudy intended. The word "myth" is derived from the Greek "mythos," meaning simply "the word based on faith." Myth, therefore is not factual or non-factual, but something which must be accepted on faith. A myth generally tells a sacred story concerning the origins of the world or its creatures. Just as Garaudy suggests that the Holocaust myth was critical in the formation of modern Israel, I argue that it has become the founding myth of contemporary culture and politics in the United States. It is, of course, a new myth, and as such has usurped the earlier founding myths of our nation.
Through the years many stories have become a part of American folklore and culture. These stories have shaped American values and belief systems. A few of the most well known founding myths were those of Christopher Columbus, the Pilgrims, and George Washington. Columbus has often been cited as a "founder" of the American nation. Columbus was seen as heroic, noble, rational, intellectual, and of course European. The Pilgrims were dedicated to a cause despite tremendous hardship. George Washington was noted for his honesty, "I can not tell a lie," and for being both just and wise.
Although many additional figures and stories created a distinctive American folklore, these three, all at one time recognized by national holidays, were critical in the shaping of American values. By the early twentieth century, all school children knew these stories and accepted that Columbus was a brave explorer who demonstrated the foolishness of those who still thought that the world was flat. Children dressed as Pilgrims and as Indians (no "native Americans" in those days) to commemorate the hardships of that first brutal winter in the new world. They celebrated the tenacity of the Pilgrims who went to great lengths for the principle of religious freedom to practice their form of Christianity without the purview of any Pope or King. George Washington (whose birthday was still celebrated) was held up as not only honorable and wise but as our country’s "father." He represented our freedom and our strength. He was like that great symbol of our country – the eagle holding an olive branch in one claw and in his other thirteen arrows, symbolizing our strength and power both in peace and in war.
Today, these founding myths are all but a thing of the past. Columbus Day has generally been removed as a holiday from school calendars. Columbus is often derided for having "been lost" or, even worse, criticized for leading the way for the genocidal slaughter of the indigenous American populations by the Spanish. The Pilgrims have not fared quite as badly, although giving thanks to God for helping us through hardship has largely been replaced by eating orgies, football games and shopping at the mall. Washington, like Columbus has lost his holiday, which has been replaced by the generic "Presidents Day" where all Presidents are apparently equally honored. Those who would denigrate the office through lying, cheating, and stained blue dresses are now equally honored. Washington, once thought brave and heroic now stands beside those who have aided in the degradation of our once great nation.
In our post-World War II society, the earlier founding myths have been replaced by the Holocaust myth. Although not yet a national holiday in the U.S., Holocaust, Remembrance Day has been gaining increasing attention in recent years. It is probably only a matter of time before it is fully recognized with a national holiday. While the earlier myths are derided as Eurocentric, the Holocaust has become key to shaping our own values and belief systems. Education World, an on-line resource for teachers, identifies the key lessons of the Holocaust as follows, "the fragility of democracy, the dangers of indifference, the roots and ramifications of prejudice, and the importance of individual and civic responsibility." These "lessons" have shaped current belief systems throughout our country. While these lessons may seem appropriate on the surface, the emotions surrounding the Holocaust story, and perhaps the story itself allows each of them to be corrupted in their own way. In the name of "democracy" writers and historians are routinely imprisoned. While combating "indifference" there is an unwillingness to face historical truths. The ramifications of "prejudice" are forgotten when it is taught that Germans should be hated.
A new value for the United States is the complete and total intolerance of prejudice and racial discrimination. The Holocaust myth teaches that prejudice and even indifference to prejudice results in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. To combat this, we see "hate crimes" legislation enacted by both state and federal government – so that not only is the crime itself punished, but the intent or thought that resulted in the crime. Hardly a week goes by without some entertainer running afoul of a human-rights enforcement organization for having said the wrong thing or expressed the wrong sentiment on television or the radio or even in private conversation. Refusal to acknowledge racial differences and intolerance of those who do, has resulted in millions of dollars of wasted spending on failed programs such as "No Child Left Behind" and has shattered careers, most recently that of Dr. James Watson, the noble-prize winning molecular biologist.
The Holocaust values diversity at any cost. While many Americans oppose granting amnesty to 20 million illegal immigrants and even question U.S. policy with regard to legal immigration, leaders of both parties advocate widespread immigration programs. The Holocaust has been used to blame American immigration restrictions for hampering the escape of Jews from National Socialist Germany. Restriction of immigration is viewed as one more form of racism. Therefore, only open borders can prevent another genocide.
In it’s foreign policy the United States has adopted a position that can only be described as "Israel, right or wrong." While acknowledgement no less than criticism of that policy is derided as "anti-Semitism," few are willing to brave the sure-to-follow defamation. Even seemingly bulletproof commentators such as former President Jimmy Carter has run afoul of the intolerance of any criticism of Zionism or American policies relating to Israel. If racial prejudice is bad, the Holocaust promoters teach that anti-Semitism is even worse. Prohibiting a free exchange of ideas on such matters stifles public discourse and stands opposed not only to the First Amendment to the Constitution, but to the very principles on which this country was founded.
The American public has found that condemnation of racial and religious discrimination is not enough. Today White culture and European heritage are denounced for being ultimately responsible for the thinking and the ideologies that resulted in the Holocaust. In the heart of our nation’s capital, in Washington DC, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was founded. One of the first exhibits that one is confronted by in the museum is a video, which condemns 2,000 years of anti-Semitism, which it alleges, resulted in the Holocaust. This is to say, Christianity (with its 2,000 years of history) is ultimately responsible for Auschwitz. Today, not only is European culture under attack, but Christianity too is denounced as not only foolish, but racist and intolerant. Even, Ann Coulter, darling of the conservative media circle was recently derailed by what some might consider a "liberal" rendering of St. John’s "No One Comes to the Father, except through [Jesus]," resulting in her defamation by the so-called Anti-Defamation League. Christian conviction that they have the only way to heaven and the only proper relationship with the Lord Almighty is seen as one more instance of intolerance – this time of other religions. The Holocaust myth teaches that all are equal and to say otherwise is tantamount to Fascism. Today, schools may display "holiday trees" and hold "holiday concerts," they may even light Kwanzaa candles but any mention of Christmas is seen as part of the continuum of 2,000 years of Christian anti-Semitism.
As political correctness has evolved into out and out thought-control, anyone who challenges the new orthodoxy quickly finds himself ostracized, persecuted, unemployed and even unemployable. Huey Long is remembered for having said, "Fascism will come to America, but likely under another name, perhaps ‘anti-Fascism.’" The new Fascism has arrived in exactly such a form. In the name of "tolerance" we see intolerance practiced daily. In the name of "anti-defamation" we see individuals defamed and their lives ruined.
The Holocaust myth has resulted in a replacement of traditional American values, which emphasized the heroic and noble, the wise and intellectual, with a paranoid and neurotic thought police. It is not only the heroes who are denigrated but even the "normal" man. In his place stand the "victims," the oddities, and the deranged. Indoctrination is being practiced full-time in our schools and universities, and not only through state-mandated Holocaust curriculum but in the general curriculum as well.
Conservatives and the American Right often shy away from the Holocaust subject. Ironically, their attention is focused on the symptoms of that sickness —immigration, race, and interventionist foreign policy. At the heart of our country’s ills is its new founding myth, the Holocaust - -and the taboo against questioning it. It can and should be argued that even if 100% of this fantastic collection of stories were true, the Holocaust stands at the epicenter of the American problem today.
The Holocaust has impacted the very psyche of our nation and reshaped our outlook as well as our most fundamental beliefs. The Holocaust is an unhealthy myth on which to base any society or culture – for it reverses all traditional values, replacing good with bad. A recent example is the heroic status awarded to Oskar Schindler, a morally bankrupt individual who made his living off of slave-labor, cheated on his spouse, and was a traitor to his country. The application of such lessons to American culture can only result in its continuing moral degeneracy and ruin. If, like so many myths that have gone before, it is discovered that the Holocaust is based as much on fraud as it is on fact, and we are not allowed to reveal that fraud, we risk sacrificing our nation on the altar of a great taboo and thereby betray our own founding culture.
If the Holocaust as we know it, was the result of propaganda lies, faulty memories, and fanciful exaggerations, then the revision and correction of the historical record is not a matter for academics and historians alone. In fact, Holocaust revisionism may be the only way to save our nation from the Orwellian-nightmare into which it is sinking, and return us to our original founding principles and values. Holocaust revisionism, far from useless or evil, is a key to saving our nation from the corrupt cultural transformation that is currently underway.
A return to our founding values can only happen by correcting the damage that has resulted from a force-feeding of Holocaust mythology, which promotes the unique monstrosity of one people and the universal "righteousness" of another. Holocaust Revisionism is not a body of work that is perfect, but it is one that is committed to a free exchange of ideas, dedicated to correcting the historical record in the light of day, and one which represents the heart and mind of our once great American culture. Nearly a half century ago, Harry Elmer Barnes penned these words:
"Unless and until we can break through the historical blackout, now supported even by public policy, and enable the peoples of the world to know the facts concerning international relations during the last quarter of a century, there can be no real hope for the peace, security and prosperity which the present triumphs of science and technology could make possible. The well-being of the human race, if not its very survival, is very literally dependent on the triumph of Revisionism."
Barnes’ words ring no less true than when he wrote them. What has changed, for the worse, is the gravity of the challenge to our American culture..
This article originally appeared in Smith's Report No. 145, December 2007
|||Garaudy, Roger, The Founding Myths of Modern Israel. Institute for Historical Review. Newport Beach, CA 2000.|
|||Ibid. pp. 96- 107.|
|||Holocaust Remembrance Day E-Cards are now available online: http://cards.usmemorialday.com/cgi-bin/newcards/showthumbs.pl?q1=emay_holocaustday&log=usmemo|
|||Scott, Ralph, No Child Left Behind: The Final "Educational Katrina?" The Occidental Quarterly Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring 2007 pp. 17-42. Online: http://www.theoccidentalquarterly.com|
|||"Fury at DNA pioneer's theory: Africans are less intelligent than Westerners," The Independent on Sunday. Online: http://news.independent.co.uk/sci_tech/article3067222.ece|
|||Brimelow, Peter, Alien Nation: Common Sense about America's Immigration Disasterr. Random House. New York 1995, p. 101. Also see Kevin MacDonald's, The Culture of Critique. Praeger. Westport, CT 1998, especially pp. 274-293.|
|||One of many such news stories is, "Carter Book on Israel 'Apartheid' Sparks Bitter Debate" published by the Washington Post on Dec. 7, 2006 and available online: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/06/AR2006120602171.html|
|||"ADL Condemns Ann Coulter's Comment That Jews Need 'To Be Perfected'" available online: http://www.adl.org/PresRele/ASUS_12/5149_12.htm Coulter defended herself against this attack with, "How Long Before the A.D.L. Kicks Out All its Jews?" available online: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=23174&page=1|
|||This quote attributed to Huey Long was recently popularized during an interview with Sean Penn. There are many citations to suggest that Long said exactly this, while others question the accuracy of the quote.|
|||LIFE Hero of the Week Profile Oskar Schindler online: http://www.life.com/Life/heroes/newsletters/nlschindler.html|
|||Barnes, Harry Elmer, Barnes Against the Blackout: Essays Against Interventionism. Institute for Historical Review. Costa Mesa, CA 1991, p 299. The actual article from whence this quote is taken is Revisionism and the Promotion of Peace which is contained in this collection of Barnes' work.|
Additional information about this document
|Author(s):||Richard A. Widmann|
|Title:||The Holocaust: The New Founding Myth of American Society|
|Sources:||Smith's Report No. 145, December 2007|
|First posted on CODOH:||Dec. 30, 2007, 6 p.m.|