Who I am

Published: 2007-01-01

Most of you will not recognize my name, but you may recognize my work. I have recently taken on the role of Webmaster for the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust's Website, actually not the entire Website, but rather the part known as the CODOH Revisionist Library. For some this is the "old" CODOH site. It was the most significant revisionist Website in the late nineties and for a time was probably the largest and most visited site of its kind. Overtime the site, like an unweeded garden, became overgrown with the styles of its varied Webmasters. There were and are broken links that come as a result of the fast-moving world of the internet as well as many lost files. Most of these are still out there, but they were lost to the world just as soot and pollution can darken the artistic creations of generations gone by.

None of this of course answers the question of who I am or even why I have chosen the work that I have. Perhaps it is best to answer the "why" first. Why have I taken sides with the Revisionists? To the world at large these people are "Holocaust deniers," "haters," "racists," and "liars." Deborah Lipstadt has called revisionists "antisemites" and even "rats." It has been alleged that revisionists carry the disease of prejudice and hatred and in fact hide their true intentions, that is to say, to establish some sort of Fascist Fourth Reich. Not only have I found these charges to be false with regard to the revisionists that I have dealt with, they represent the exact opposite of my views and why I am here.

Surprisingly my emphasis and interest is not even the Holocaust. For me, it is the "Open Debate" part of the CODOH acronym which is of greatest interest. It is not that I want to hold giant debates on the truth or falsity of the Holocaust but rather that I see "open debate" being extinguished. Intellectual freedom; the ability to say, to write, to publish what one thinks has become a fragile liberty. In many former democracies of Europe, it is no longer a liberty at all. To set the record straight, the Holocaust was a terrible time in recent history. It is an event, or rather a series of events which have been so labeled. I find it self-defeating to combat a label. "Holocaust" has entered the general vocabulary of the public and I find it foolish to worry about the term. The period known as the Holocaust resulted in the deaths of a very large number of Jews and others who did not see eye-to-eye with the totalitarian Nazi regime. People had their freedom taken from them. They were separated from family members. They lost their lives to disease, to starvation and to murder. In my mind, all proper revisionist Websites and publications would do well to be clear on such points.

Still this does not answer, why I have chosen to support Bradley Smith and CODOH. I am sympathetic to those I see being persecuted. I could well have taken up the banner of persecuted Christians around the world who have been losing their lives in greater numbers than in the days of the Roman coliseum. I find myself, however, drawn to these few men, these outcasts who are demonized by the governments of the world that I was always taught stood for freedom and democracy. These countries represented the ideals we know as Western Civilization. How are we to respond to the incarceration of authors and publishers, to historians and scientists? How are we to respond to state-mandated book burnings? I was awakened when Siegfried Verbeke was arrested but I did nothing. I was shaken when Ernst Zündel and Germar Rudolf were arrested and deported to face sure jail-time for the might of their pens. Finally I was roused to action by the arrest of David Irving in Austria. Failure to stand up for these men right now is a failure to stand up for our own freedom. As long as these men are incarcerated we are not free.

You may continue to wonder who I am, for I have eluded that point thus far. My name means nothing, for the reality is I am an idea. I am every man who has ever stood up for what he has believed in. I am every man who has taken a stand when he saw injustice-- regardless of the cost. I am an idea and ideas, unlike men cannot be imprisoned. I am heroes of the past both from history and from fiction. I am William Tyndale shouting at the fiery stake for the Lord to open the King of England's eyes. I am Dietrich Bonhoeffer hanging in Flossenbürg for standing up to a dictatorial regime. I am Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr.. I stood up to the Pope at the Diet of Worms and said, "Here I stand." I am an artist, but my work has been called "degenerate." I am a musician but my music is without a key.

I am Winston Smith. I am Howard Roarke. I am Guy Montag with a hidden Library. I will not renounce my values and accept slavery. I will stand up for the principles that I was taught as a child. As an American, I have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I have been taught to stand up when I see injustice. I stand with David against Goliath. I stand with the Jews against the Gestapo. I stand with the Communists against the McCarthyite witch-hunt. I stand with African Americans against the Klan. I stand with the soldiers who have died for propaganda and political lies-- on the fields of Flanders, on the USS Arizona, in Korea and Vietnam and in Iraq.

Today there is no group of people more villainized than revisionists. The governments of the world stand poised to root them out, to bring an end to their "insidious" ideas. Their jails can hold men, but they cannot hold ideas. Their fires can burn books, but not ideas. Their power comes by force. Our power comes by truth and freedom. I am willing to take the chance that you too might be stirred to action. If the battle is joined, we cannot lose. Of course, this is no battle of might but rather of ideas. My fight, our fight, is for that great value which if known, will set us all free.

Who am I you ask? I am that value and that idea.


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Author(s): Rodrigo Mendoza
Title: Who I am
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Published: 2007-01-01
First posted on CODOH: June 29, 2007, 7 p.m.
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