David Irving has no professional training in history, but there is no disputing that he has mastered the primary documents of the major Nazi figures, and he is arguably the most historically sophisticated of the deniers. Although his attentions have spanned the Second World War—he is the author of histories such as The Destruction of Dresden (1963) and The German Atomic Bomb (1967), as well as biographies including The Trail of the Fox (1977, on Rommel), Hitler's War (1977), Churchill's War (1987), Goring (1989), and Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich (1996)—his interest in the Holocaust is growing ever stronger. "I think that the Holocaust is going to be revised. I have to take my hat off to my adversaries and the strategies they have employed—the marketing of the very word Holocaust: I half expect to see the little 'TM' after it" (1994). For Irving, denial has become a war, which he has described in military language: "I'm presently in a fight for survival. My intention is to survive until five minutes past D-day rather than to go down heroically five minutes before the flag is finally raised. I'm convinced this is a battle we are winning" (1994). After completing his biography of Goebbels, Irving says, his publisher not only backed out of the contract because he had become a Holocaust denier but is trying to retrieve the "six-figure advance." The biography was published by Focal Point, Irving's own publishing house in London.
Irving's attitudes about the Holocaust have evolved, beginning with his 1977 offer to pay $1,000 to anyone who could provide proof that Hider ordered the extermination of the Jews. After reading The Leuchter Report (1989), which argues that the gas chambers at Auschwitz were not used to commit homicide, Irving began to deny the Holocaust altogether, not just Hitler's involvement. Curiously, he sometimes wavers on the various points of Holocaust denial. He told me in 1994 that reading Eichmann's memoirs made him "glad I have not adopted the narrow-minded approach that there was no Holocaust" (1994). At the same time, he told me that only 500,000 to 600,000 Jews died as the unfortunate victims of war—the moral equivalent, he claimed, to the bombing of Dresden or Hiroshima. Yet on July 27, 1995, when asked by the host of an Australian radio show how many Jews died at the hands of the Nazis, Irving admitted that perhaps it was as many as four million: "I think like any scientist, I'd have to give you a range of figures and I'd have to say a minimum of one million, which is monstrous, depending on what you mean by killed. If putting people into a concentration camp where they die of barbarity and typhus and epidemics is killing, then I would say the four million figure because, undoubtedly, huge numbers did die in the camps in conditions that were very evident at the end of the war" (Searchlight editorial, 1995, p. 2).
Still, Irving testified for the defense in Ernst Ziindel's "free speech" trial in 1985, after which various governments brought criminal charges against him. He has been deported from or denied entry into many countries, and his books have been removed from some stores and some stores that carry them have been vandalized. In May 1992, Irving told a German audience that the reconstructed gas chamber at Auschwitz I was "a fake built after the war." The following month, when he landed in Rome he was surrounded by police and put on the next plane to Munich where he was charged under German law for "defaming the memory of the dead." He was convicted and fined DM 3,000. When he appealed the conviction, it was upheld and the fine increased to DM 30,000 (about $20,000). In late 1992, while in California Irving received notice from the Canadian government that he would not be allowed into that country. He went anyway to accept the George Orwell award from a conservative free-speech organization, whereupon he was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He was led away in handcuffs and deported on the grounds that his German conviction made it likely that he would commit similar actions in Canada. He is presently barred from entering Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Although Irving disclaims any official affiliation with IHR ("You will see that my name isn't on the masthead"), he is a regular speaker at IHR conventions and frequently lectures to denier groups around the world. At the 1995 IHR conference in Irvine, California, Irving was the featured speaker and was openly adored by many of the attendees. When not speaking, Irving staffed his own book table, selling and signing his many works. Purchasers of Hitler's War received a miniature swastika flag like the one mounted on Hitler's black Mercedes. During one conversation with a couple of fans, Irving explained that the worldwide Jewish cabal has been working against him to prevent his books from being published and him from giving talks. It is true that Irving has met with considerable resistance from Jewish groups when he has been asked to speak. For example, in 1995 Irving was brought to the University of California, Berkeley, by a freespeech group, but his lecture was picketed and he was not able to give the talk. But one must make a sharp distinction between local, spontaneous reactions to an event, and a worldwide, planned conspiracy. Irving seems unable to make this distinction.
In 1995, Irving attended a lecture against Holocaust denial by Deborah Lipstadt, after which, he claims, he stood up and announced his presence, whereupon he was swamped by audience members asking for his autograph. Irving says he brought a box of his biography, Goring, and gave them away so students could see "which of us is lying." Oh? If there was no plan to exterminate the Jews, then what will readers make of page 238 of Goring, where Irving writes: "Emigration was only one possibility that Goring foresaw. 'The second is as follows,' he said in November 1938, selecting his words with uncharacteristic care. 'If at any foreseeable time in the future the German Reich finds itself in a foreign political conflict, then it is self-evident that we in Germany will address ourselves first and fore most to effecting a grand settling of scores against the Jews.'" Since Irving claims that emigration is all the Nazis ever meant by Ausrottung (extermination) and the Final Solution, then just what did Goring mean here by "the second" plan? And what will readers think when they get to page 343 of Goring, where Irving writes:
History now teaches that a significant proportion of those deported—particularly those too young or infirm to work—were being brutally disposed of on arrival. The surviving documents provide no proof that these killings were systematic; they yield no explicit orders from "above," and the massacres themselves were carried out by the local Nazis (by no means all of them German) upon whom the deported Jews had been dumped. That they were ad hoc extermination operations is suggested by such exasperated outbursts as that of Governor-General Hans Frank at a Krakau conference on December 16, 1941: "I have started negotiations with the aim of sweeping them [further] to the east. In January there is to be a big conference in Berlin on this problem . .. under SS Obergruppenführer Heydrich [the "Wannsee Conference" of January 20, 1942]. At any rate a big jewish exodus will begin.. . . But what's to become of the Jews? Do you imagine they're going to be housed in neat estates in the Baltic provinces? In Berlin they tell us: What's bugging you— we've got no use for them either, liquidate them yourselves!"
"Berlin," says Irving, "more likely meant the party—or Himmler, Heydrich, and the SS." This passage, quoted verbatim from Goring, is Irving's own translation (Irving speaks fluent German) and interpretation. I fail to see how it can be taken to support an ad hoc interpretation of non-systematic killings with no order from above. From this passage, along with many others, it sounds like the killings were very systematic, the orders did come—directly or tacitly—from above, and the only thing ad hoc about the process was the contingent development of the final outcome. Finally, what can "liquidate" possibly mean other than exactly what Holocaust historians have always said that it means?
One factor that may be contributing to Irving's move into Holocaust denial is that he earns his living by lecturing and selling books, and the more he revises the Holocaust the more books he sells and the more invitations to lecture he receives from denier and right-wing groups. I believe that he has been slipping more and more into denial not so much because the historical evidence has taken him there but because he has found a profitable and welcoming home. The mainstream academy has rejected him, so he has created a niche on the margins. Irving is a first-rate documentarían and narrative historian, but he is not a good theoretician and does a lot of selective quoting to support his biases. First it was Hitler who was unaware of the Holocaust. Then it was Goring. Now it is Goebbels he is trying to exonerate.
Once a legitimate professor of literature at the University of Lyon 2, Robert Faurisson has become the "Pope of Revisionism," a title bestowed by Holocaust deniers in Australia in response to his tireless efforts in holding up the major tenets of Holocaust denial. For his countless statements, letters, articles, and essays challenging Holocaust authorities to "show me or draw me a Nazi gas chamber," Faurisson lost his job, was physically beaten, and has been tried, convicted, fined $50,000, and barred from holding any government job. Faurisson's convictions came under the Fabius-Gayssot law passed in 1990 (inspired, in part, by Faurisson's activities), which made it a criminal offense "to contest by any means the existence of one or more of the crimes against humanity as defined by Article 6 of the Statutes of the International Military Tribunal, attached to the London Agreement of August 8, 1945, committed either by the members of an organization declared criminal in application of Article 9 of the same Statutes, or by a person held guilty of such a crime by a French or International jurisdiction."
Faurisson is the author of a number of works denying various aspects of the Holocaust, including The Rumor of Auschwitz, Treatise in Defense Against Those Who Accuse Me of Falsifying History, and Is the Diary of Anne Frank Genuine? After The Rumor of Auschwitz was published, famed MIT linguistics professor Noam Chomsky wrote an article in defense of Faurisson's freedom to deny whatever he wants, which triggered controversy over Chomsky's politics. Chomsky told the Australian magazine Quadrant, "I see no anti-Semitic implication in Faurisson's work." This was rather naive on Chomsky's part. During his 1991 trial in France, Faurisson summarized his feelings about Jews for the Guardian Weekly: "The alleged Hitlerian gas chambers and the alleged genocide of the Jews form one and the same historical lie, which permitted a gigantic financial swindle whose chief beneficiaries have been the State of Israel and international Zionism, and whose main victims have been the German people and the Palestinian people as a whole." (All quoted in Anti-Defamation League 1993.)
Faurisson likes to bait his opponents, whom he calls "extermination-ists." On his way to the 1995 IHR conference in Irvine, California, for example, Faurisson visited the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and managed to arrange a meeting with one of its directors. By badgering him about the "lack of proof1' that Nazi gas chambers were used for mass murder, Faurisson managed to trigger an emotional outburst from his host. At the conference, Faurisson invited me to his hotel room to discuss in private the gas chamber story. Faurisson harassed me incessantly for half an hour, getting in my face and wagging his finger, demanding "one proof, just one proof1' that a Nazi gas chamber was used for mass murder. I simply asked over and over, "What would you consider 'proof?" Faurisson was unwilling (or unable) to answer.
Among the least subtle of all the Holocaust deniers is the pro-Nazi propagandist and publisher Ernst Zundel, whose self-proclaimed goal is "the rehabilitation of the German people." Zundel believes that "there are certain aspects of the Third Reich that are very admirable and I want to call people's attention to these," such as the eugenics and euthanasia programs (1994). To do so, Zundel publishes and distributes books, fliers, and video-and audiotapes through his Toronto-based Samisdat Publishers, Ltd. A small donation will net you an assortment of Zundelmania paraphernalia, including transcriptions of his trial court proceedings; copies of his publication Power: Ziindelists vs. Zionists, with articles like "Is Spielberg's 'Schindler' a 'Schwindler'?"; video clips of his many media appearances; a video tour of Auschwitz with David Cole; and stickers that proclaim "GERMANS! STOP APOLOGIZING FOR THE THINGS YOU DID NOT DO!" and "TIRED OF THE HOLOCAUST? NOW YOU CAN STOP it!" and so on (see figure 18).
I visited Zundel at his Toronto home/office just after the fire-bombing in September 1995 and found him to be at once jovial and friendly and at the same time deadly serious about his mission to free the German people "from the burden of the six million." In front of writer Alex Grobman and two other Jews, Zundel did not hesitate to speak his mind on all manners Semitic, including his belief that in the future the Jews are going to experience antisemitism the likes of which they have never seen before. Like other deniers, it bothers Zundel to no end that the Jews are the focus of so much attention, as he told me in a 1994 interview:
Frankly, I don't think Jews should be so egotistical and think they are the navel of the universe. They're not. Only a people like them could think themselves so important that the whole world revolves around them. I tend to go with Hitler— the last thing that he was really worried about was what the Jews thought. To me Jews are just like any other person. That already will hurt them. They will be shrieking "Oy vey, that Ernst Zundel said Jews are just like normal people." Well, goddamn it, they are.
What the Holocaust has done to National Socialism, says Zundel, is to "bar so many thinkers from re-looking at the options that National
Sampling of Ernst Zundel's stickers.
Sampling of Ernst Zundel's stickers.
Socialism German style offers." Lift the Holocaust burden off the Germans' shoulders, and Nazism suddenly does not look so bad. Sound crazy? Even Ziindel admits his ideas are a little extreme: "I know my ideas might be half-baked—I'm not exactly Einstein, and I know that. I'm not Kant. I'm not Goethe. I'm not Schiller. As a writer I'm not Hemingway. But goddamnit I'm Ernst Ziindel. I walk on my hind legs and I have a right to express my viewpoints. I do the best I can in a kind way. My long term goal is to ring the bell of freedom and maybe in my lifetime I will achieve no more than I have achieved so far, which is not too bad." In 1994, Ziindel said he was "presently negotiating a deal with an American satellite company who promised me that they can get a signal over Europe that can be picked up on satellite dishes." He wants to move denial into the mainstream in Europe and America, where, he thinks, "in another fifteen years revisionism will be discussed over pretzels and beer" (1994).
The most paradoxical of the deniers is David Cole. His mother "was raised as a secular Jew" and his father "was raised Orthodox in London during the Blitz," and he proudly displays his Jewish heritage while simultaneously denying its most significant modern historical event. As he told me in a 1994 interview, "I am damned if I do and damned if I don't. That is, if I don't mention the Judaism I will be accused of being ashamed. If I mention it up front I will be accused of exploiting it." Cole's attentions center on the physical evidence, specifically on denying that gas chambers and crematoria were instruments of mass murder. For his views, he was physically beaten at the University of California, Los Angeles, during a debate on the Holocaust. He has received regular death threats from "a small group of people that genuinely hate me with a passion," and the Jewish Defense League, the Anti-Defamation League, and Jewish organizations in general "are a little harder on me because I am Jewish." He has been called a self-hating Jew, antisemitic, and a race traitor; and an editorial in The Jewish News compared him to Hitler, Hussein, and Arafat.
Although Cole's personality is affable and his attitude sanguine, he sees himself as a rebel in search of a cause. Where other deniers are political and racial ideologues, Cole's interests run deeper. He is a meta-ideologue— an atheist and an existentialist on a quest to understand how ideologues invent their realities. In the process, Cole has joined every conceivable fringe organization, including the Revolutionary Communist Party, Workers World Party, John Birchers, Lyndon LaRouchers, Libertarians, atheists, and humanists.
I was everywhere. I ran a chapter of the Revolutionary Communist Party. I ran a John Birch Society chapter. I had about five different names, and there was, literally, not a part of the American political spectrum I wasn't involved in. I was a supporter of, and subscriber to, the ADL and the JDL. I have a World Jewish Congress card. I worked for the Heritage Foundation on the right, and the ACLU on the left. My point in doing this was that I felt superior to ideology and to the poor, brainwashed idiots who toil their lives away in pursuit of abstract concepts, (in Applebaum 1994, p. 33)
Holocaust denial, then, is just one in a long line of ideologies that have fascinated Cole since he was expelled from high school in southern California. With no college background but a parental stipend for self-education, Cole has a personal library that houses thousands of volumes, including a considerable Holocaust section. He knows his subject and can "debate the facts until the cows come home." Where other fringe claims only held his attention for a few months to a year, the Holocaust "is more about real physical things than some abstract concept that requires faith. We are talking about something for which much of the evidence still exists." And much of that physical evidence was filmed by Cole on a fact-
finding mission over the summer of 1992, financed by denier Bradley Smith. "I figured I needed $15,000 to $20,000, and Bradley set to work—it took him about a month and a half to raise that amount." Cole's stated goal in his research is to try to move revisionism away from the fringe and into the mainstream I
want to get people who are not right-wingers or neo-Nazis. Right now it is in a very dangerous position because there is a vacuum created by mainstream historians denouncing revisionism. The vacuum has been filled with the likes of Ernst Ziindel. Ziindel is a very likable human being, but he is a fascist and he is not the person I would like to see recognized as the world's leading Holocaust revisionist. (1994)
Cole states that he wants his video footage to be studied by professional scholars (he says he offered it to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem) but has edited it into a marketable product to be sold through IHR's catalogues, as he did his first video of Auschwitz, which he says has sold over 30,000 copies.
David Cole likes to stir things up, and not just for historians. Cole, for example, might take an African-American date to a denier social event where white supremacists will be present "just to watch them squirm and stare." Even though he disagrees mightily with many deniers' beliefs and most of their politics, he will introduce himself to the media as a "denier," knowing it will draw scorn and sometimes physical abuse. What is an outsider like Cole to do? He is angry that he has been locked out by historians who, he says, "are not gods, are not religious figures, and are not priests. We have a right to ask them for further explanations. I am not ashamed to ask the questions I am asking" (1994). One wonders, however, why such questions need to be asked, and why denial holds Cole's attention.
Interestingly, in 1995 Cole experienced something of a falling out with the deniers, triggered by a number of events, including an incident in Europe in October 1994, on another video tour of Nazi death camps. According to Bradley Smith, Cole was at the Natzweiler (Struthof) camp examining the gas chamber with Pierre Guillaume (Faurisson's French publisher), Henri Roques (author of The "Confessions" of Kurt Gerstein), Roques's wife, and denier Tristan Mordrel. While they were inside the building housing the gas chamber, one of the guards, according to Smith, "excused himself, went out, and locked the exit door from the outside." After about twenty minutes, the guard unlocked the door, and they returned to their cars, whereupon Cole discovered that "a front door window in his car had been smashed and his travel journals, papers, books, personal effects, videotapes and still camera film had all been stolen. In short, all his research. He was cleaned out" (Smith 1994). Smith claims the trip cost him $8,000 to fund, so he is now selling an eighty-minute video of Cole telling his story in order to dig himself out of the hole. Ironically, Henri Roques denies Cole's story:
The six of us were never locked from outside the gas chamber in order to be entrapped in it! Simply the guard locked the door from inside and he had to open it once because tourists were knocking at the door, and he told them that the visit was possible only for people with special permission (which was the case for our party). My wife and I remember only one guard. According to the guard and, later on, to the gendarmes in Schirmeck (near Struthof), this kind of theft is unfortunately common, especially in a car with a foreign license plate. Initially, I thought that it could have been a theft directed against revisionist people but I do not see anything which could substantiate this and, furthermore, the conversations I had with P. Guillaume and T. Mordrel tend to eliminate that possibility. Cole's version could make the readers believe in an anti-revisionist operation carried out with the complicity of the guards but I don't think it is fair to accuse the guards of having "entrapped" us or even perhaps participated in a theft. (1995, p. 2)
In another ironic twist, when Robert Faurisson claimed in the Adelaide Institute Newsletter that the Struthof gas chamber was never used for mass homicide, Cole, to his credit, rebuffed him:
What evidence does Faurisson give us to "prove" that no homicidal gassings ever took place at Struthof? He tells us of an "expertise" that has "disappeared," but, "thanks to another piece of evidence," we know what it said. He refers us to a Journal of Historical Review article for more information. One would hope to find out in this article just what that other piece of evidence is that confirms the existence and conclusions of the 'expertise,' but sadly Faurisson refuses to enlighten us. So what do we have? A report that has disappeared and a revisionist who assures us that he knows what the report said, without feeling the need to provide us with any further evidence. How would a revisionist respond if an "exterminationist" acted this way? Revisionists routinely dismiss documents when the originals have vanished. We don't accept "hearsay," and we certainly don't take exterminationists on their word when it comes to the contents of documents. (1995, p. 3)
The Jewish Agenda of Holocaust Denial
Running throughout almost all denier literature—books, articles, editorials, reviews, monographs, guides, pamphlets, and promotional materials—
is fascination with Jews and everything Jewish. No issue of JHR fails to contain something on Jews. The January/February 1994 issue, for example, features a cover story on who killed the Romanovs and drove the Bolsheviks to power. Yes, it was the Jews, as Mark Weber explained: "Although officially Jews have never made up more than five percent of the country's total population, they played a highly disproportionate and probably decisive role in the infant Bolshevik regime, effectively dominating the Soviet government during its early years." But Lenin, who ordered the assassination of the Imperial family, wasn't Jewish. Weber gets around this fact by noting, "Lenin himself was of mostly Russian and Kalmuck ancestry, but he was also one-quarter Jewish" (1994c, p. 7). This is a typical denier line of reasoning. Fact: The Communists killed the Romanovs and instigated the Bolshevik Revolution. Fact: Some of the leading Communists were Jewish. Conclusion: The Jews killed the Romanovs and caused the Bolshevik Revolution. By the same logic: Ted Bundy was Catholic. Ted Bundy was a serial killer. Catholics are serial killers.
The Jewish focus is pervasive in JHR. Why? Mark Weber bluntly justified the IHR's attitude:
We focus on the Jews because just about everyone else is afraid to. Part of the reason we exist, and part of the pleasure is to be able to deal with a subject that others are not dealing with in a way that we feel helps provide information on what is relevant. I wish that the same considerations were given in our society to talking about Germans, or Ukrainians, or Hungarians, that are given to talking about the Jews. At the Simon Wiesenthal so-called Museum of Tolerance there are constant references to what the Germans did to the Jews in the Second World War. We permit and encourage in our society what would be considered vicious stereotypes if applied to other groups, when they are applied to the Germans or the Hungarians. This is a double standard, of which the Holocaust campaign is the most spectacular manifestation. We have a museum in Washington, D.C., to the memorial of non-Americans victimized by other non-Americans. We don't have any comparable museum to the fate of American-Indians, the victims of blacks in slavery, the victims of communism, etc. The very existence of this museum points up this perverse sensitivity of Jewish concerns in our society. The IHR and those affiliated with us feel a sense of liberation in that we say, in effect, we don't give a damn if you criticize us or not. We're going to say it anyway. We don't have a job to lose because this is our job. (1994b)
There is not a lot of gray area in this statement. Sensitivity about Jews and the Holocaust "campaign" is "perverse," and taking them on provides "pleasure" and "liberation." Germans, however, are the victims who must be treated better.
Embedded in the Jewish agenda of Holocaust denial is a strong conspiratorial streak. The "'Holocaust" News, published by the Centre for Historical Review (not to be confused with IHR), claims in its first issue that "the 'Holocaust' lie was perpetrated by Zionist-Jewry's stunning propaganda machine for the purpose of filling the minds of Gentile people the world over with such guilt feelings about the Jews that they would utter no protest when the Zionists robbed the Palestinians of their homeland with the utmost savagery" (n.d., p. 1). The more Holocaust deniers make their arguments, the more they believe them, and the more Jews and others argue against them, the more convinced Holocaust deniers are that there is some sort of Jewish conspiracy to "create" the Holocaust so that Jews can gain aid and sympathy for Israel, attention, power, and so on.
An early, classic example of conspiratorial thinking that influenced the modern denial movement is Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics ( 1969), written by Francis Parker Yockey under the nom de plume Ulick Varange and dedicated to Adolf Hitler. The IHR catalogue describes the book as "a sweeping historico-philosophical treatise in the Spenglerian mold and a clarion call to arms in defense of Europe and the West." The book introduced Willis Carto, the founder of IHR, to Holocaust denial. Imperium details the "imperial" system modeled after Hitler's National Socialism in which democracy would whither away, elections would cease, power would be in the hands of the public, and businesses would be publicly owned. The problem, as Yockey saw it, was "the Jew," who "lives solely with the idea of revenge on the nations of the white European-American race." A conspiratorialist, Yockey described how the "Culture-Distorters" were undermining the West because of the covert operations of "the Church-State-Nation-People-Race of the Jew" (see Obert 1981, pp. 20-24) and how Hitler heroically defended the purity of the Aryan race against inferior racial-cultural aliens and "parasites" such as Jews, Asiatics, Negroes, and Communists (see Mclver 1994).
Yockey's conspiratorial bent is not uncommon in America, an example of what Richard Hofstadter called the "paranoid style" in American politics. For instance, the German-American Anti-Defamation League of Washington, D.C., which "seeks to defend the rights of German-Americans, the forgotten minority," published a cartoon asking "How long can the Jews perpetrate the Holocaust myth?" over a vulgar caricature of
Jewish media moguls manipulating the press to perpetuate the hoax. The same organization produced an advertisement that asked, "Would Challenger have blown up if German scientists had still been in charge?" "We don't think so!" exclaims the ad, before explaining that Soviet "Fifth Columnists in the United States" have secretly worked to eliminate German scientists from NASA. For the conspiratorialist, all manner of demonic forces have been at work throughout history, including, of course, the Jews, but also the Illuminati, Knights Templar, Knights of Malta, Masons, Freemasons, Cosmopolitans, Abolitionists, Slaveholders, Catholics, Communists, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Warren Commission, World Wildlife Fund, International Monetary Fund, League of Nations, United Nations, and many more (Vankin and Whalen 1995). In many of these, "the Jews" are seen to be at work behind the scenes.
John George and Laird Wilcox have outlined a set of characteristics of political extremists and fringe groups that is useful in considering the broader principles behind Holocaust denial (1992, p. 63):
2. America is controlled to a greater or lesser extent by a conspiratorial group. In fact, they believe this evil group is very powerful and controls most nations.
3. Open hatred of opponents. Because these opponents (actually "enemies" in the extremists' eyes) are seen as a part of or sympathizers with "The Conspiracy," they deserve hatred and contempt.
4. Little faith in the democratic process. Mainly because most believe "The Conspiracy" has such influence in the U.S. government, and therefore extremists usually spurn compromise.
5. Willingness to deny basic civil liberties to certain fellow citizens, because enemies deserve no liberties.
6. Consistent indulgence in irresponsible accusations and character assassination.
The development of the Holocaust denial movement has striking parallels with the development of other fringe movements. Since deniers are not consciously modeling themselves after, for example, the creationists, we may be tracking an ideological pattern common to fringe groups trying to move into the mainstream:
1. Early on, the movement includes a wide diversity of thought and members representing the extreme fringes of society, and it has little success in entering the mainstream (creationism in the 1950s; denial in the 1970s).
2. As the movement grows and evolves, some members attempt to disassociate themselves and their movement from the radical fringe and try to establish scientific or scholarly credentials (creationism in the 1970s when it became "creation-science"; denial in the 1970s with the founding of IHR).
3. During this drive toward acceptability, emphasis moves away from antiestablishment rhetoric and toward a more positive statement of beliefs (creationists abandoned the antievolution tactic and adopted "equal-time" arguments; IHR has broken with Carto and generally deniers are trying to shed their racist, antisemitic reputation).
4. To enter public institutions such as schools, the movement will use the First Amendment and claim that its "freedom of speech" is being violated when its views are not allowed to be heard (creationists legislated equal-time laws in several states in the 1970s and 1980s; ZiindePs Canadian "free speech" trials [see figure 19]; and Bradley Smith's advertisements in college newspapers).
5. To get the public's attention, the movement tries to shift the burden of proof from itself to the establishment, demanding "just one proof' (creationists ask for "just one fossil" that proves transitional forms exist; deniers demand "just one proof1' that Jews were killed in gas chambers).
The Holocaust denial movement has its extremes, and members of its lunatic fringe commonly hold neo-Nazi and white supremacist views. Holocaust denier and self-proclaimed white separatist Jack Wikoff, for example, publishes Remarks out of Aurora, New York. "Talmudic Jewry is at war with humanity," Wikoff explains. "Revolutionary communism and International Zionism are twin forces working toward the same goal: a despotic world government with the capital in Jerusalem" (1990). Wikoff also publishes statements such as this one, made in a letter from "R.T.K." from California: "Under Hitler and National Socialism, the German troops
During his "free speech" trial in Canada, Ernst Ziindel appeared in a concentration camp uniform among supporters holding placards proclaiming standard conspiratorial beliefs about Jews and the media, 1985. [Photograph courtesy Ernst Ziindel.]
During his "free speech" trial in Canada, Ernst Ziindel appeared in a concentration camp uniform among supporters holding placards proclaiming standard conspiratorial beliefs about Jews and the media, 1985. [Photograph courtesy Ernst Ziindel.]
were taught White racism and never has this world seen such magnificent fighters. Our job is re-education with the facts of genetics and history" (1990). Interestingly, Remarks is endorsed by Bradley Smith, and Wikoff reviews books for JHR.
Another denier newsletter, Instauration, featured in its January 1994 issue an article titled "How to Cut Violent Crime in Half: An Immodest Proposal," with no byline. The author's solution is vintage Nazi:
There are 30 million blacks in the U.S., half of them male and about one-seventh of the males in the 16 to 26 age bracket, the violent sector of the black population. Half of 30 million is 15 million. One-seventh of 15 million is a little more than 2 million. This tells us that 2 million blacks, not 30 million, are committing the crimes. The Soviet Union had gulag populations that ran as high as 10 million at various times during the Stalin era. The U.S. with much more advanced technology should be able to contain and run camps that hold at least 20% of that number. Negroes not on drugs and with no criminal record would be released from the camps once psychological and genetic tests found no traces of violent behavior. As for most detainees, on their 27th birthday all but the most incorrigible "youths" would be let out, leaving room for the new contingent of 16-year-olds that would be replacing them. (p. 6)
The National Socialist German Workers Party, Foreign Organization (NSDAP/AO), hailing from Lincoln, Nebraska, publishes a bimonthly newspaper, The New Order. Here one can order swastika pins, flags, armbands, keychains, and medallions; SS songs and speeches; "White Power" T-shirts; and all manner of books and magazines promoting white power, neo-Nazis, Hitler, and antisemitism. The July/August 1996 issue, for instance, explains that "COMPLETE GLOBAL EXTINCTION of the NEGROID RACE (due to AIDS infection) will occur NO LATER than the year 2022 A.D." A happy face sits below this "good" news, with the slogan "Have a Nazi Day!" About Auschwitz, the reader is told, "With systematic German precision, each and every death was recorded and categorized. The small number of deaths over a three-year period is actually a testament to how humane, clean and healthy the conditions were at the SS labor camp in Poland!" The problem, of course, is that "the yids will use the truth to support THEIR evil lies and paranoid persecution complex" (p. 4).
Mark Weber, David Irving, and company have actively distanced themselves from this side of Holocaust denial. Weber, for instance, has protested, "Why is this relevant? [Lew] Rollins used to work for IHR. Remarks is on the cusp. They used to be more-or-less revisionist. But [publisher Jack WikoffJ is now getting engaged more and more into racialist matters. Instauration is racialist. I suppose they're affiliated so far as they agree with some of the things we might put out. But there is no relationship" (1994b). Yet these folks and others of their ilk also call themselves "Holocaust revisionists," and their literature is filled with references to standard denial arguments and to IHR Holocaust deniers. And, across the spectrum of Holocaust denial, Ernst Ziindel is acknowledged as the spiritual leader of the movement.
For example, Tales of the Holohoax is dedicated to Robert Faurisson and Ernst Ziindel and thanks Bradley Smith and Lew Rollins. After fourteen pages of gross cartoon depictions of Jews and the "Holohoax," the author states, "The wild fables about homicidal gas chambers loosely grouped under the Orwellian Newspeak heading of the 'Holocaust,' have become the informal state religion of the West. The government, the public schools and the corporate media promote the imposition of this morbid, funeral-home-of-the-mind on young people, to instill guilt as a form of group-libel/hate propaganda against the German people" (House 1989, p. 15).
Not all deniers are the same, but the fact remains that in all Holocaust denial there is a core of racist, paranoid, conspiratorial thinking that is clearly directed at Jews. It ranges from crass antisemitism to a more subtle and pervasive form of antisemitism that creeps into conversation as "Some of my best friends are Jews, but..." or "I'm not antisemitic, but..." followed by a litany of all the things "the Jews" are doing. This bias is what drives deniers to seek and find what they are looking for, and to confirm what they already believe. Why do they say the Holocaust never happened? Depending on whom you ask, interest in history, money, perversity, notoriety, ideology, politics, fear, paranoia, hate.
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