The Holocaust Story

If the Holocaust was an event in history, it should be open to the routine critical examination to which all other historical events are open. Those who feel it right to argue against the “unique monstrosity” of the Germans should be free to do so. No one should be imprisoned for thought crimes. Contrary to how Hollywood and the Israeli-Firsters have it, the Holocaust story is not about Jews. It’s about Jews and Germans together, inseparable, for all time to come.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Failure of C.O.D.O.H.

The Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH) and its founder, Bradley R. Smith have failed. Since the 1950's there have been many revisionist writers, researchers and organizations. Most of these have devoted themselves to historical research, publishing, editorials and the like. Bradley Smith and CODOH have been unique in their mission. Only CODOH has claimed its mission to be "open debate on the Holocaust." That is to say to establish and protect "intellectual freedom" on this one topic.

Bradley Smith originated the Campus Project to do exactly that. Through this project many articles were run in college newspapers to make students aware of the revisionist case. In the past twenty-five years many battles have been raging on the revisionist front. Many would argue that the case for revisionism was won by the revisionists through their scientific studies and historical research. The case that was surely lost however was the case for Intellectual freedom.

Just this week has seen the United States deport revisionist scholar Germar Rudolf to Germany where he now sits in prison facing a five year prison sentence. In the past week, world war two historian, David Irving was arrested in Austria and faces up to twenty years in prison. In the recent months Ernst Zuendel, a right-wing revisionist activist was also deported. This time from the U.S. to Canada, and from Canada to Germany. Zuendel faces five years in prison. The lesser-known revisionist publisher Siegfried Verbeke was also grabbed in Belgium and deported to Germany to stand trial.

Be clear. There is no "open debate" on the matter of the Holocaust. While the countries of Europe were passing their laws to criminalize Holocaust revisionism, CODOH lacked focus. Time was spent on the gas chamber story. Time was spent on autobiography. Time was spent on Anne Frank and Adolf Hitler. Time was spent on the plight of the Palestinians as well as so many other things. CODOH needed to have one mission and one job -- to fight for freedom of speech in this one area. This lack of focus has contributed to this monumental failure.

Now, understand that the deck was surely stacked against Bradley Smith and his small cadre of supporters. All the governments of the western Europe and Israel are lined up against him. Presumably the United Nations as well. But Bradley Smith should be singing a one note song.

What is the problem with Israel today? For CODOH the answer is simple -- that they criminalize Holocaust revisionism -- and even seek the deportation of revisionists to Israel. The Palestinians, the Arabs, Zionism, the establishment of Israel, etc. etc. should not matter. Only this one thing. And this is what is wrong with France and Germany and Austria and on and on.

Whether there were gas chambers or not. Whether its advocates are neo-Nazis, white nationalists or whatever -- it doesn't matter. All should be free to research, to speak, to publish. If the revisionists are wrong, demonstrate that they are wrong with your research, your speeches, your books. But persecution and imprisonment for an idea is wrong.

Didn't we learn anything from the McCarthy period? Didn't we learn anything from the Salem Witch Trials?

The time to stand up for freedom is now.

7 Comments:

  • At 6:28 AM, Anonymous A. S. Marques said…

    I understand your point, but the problem is intellectual freedom for all and per se is something very few really care about, provided their own opinions are not the censored ones. A topic such as the "Holocaust" shocks a lot of people into mental activity that will make them jump up and down, whereas freedom of thought and expression tout-court will simply bring them to yawn & acquiesce, without breaking the taboo barrier or exposing what's really wrong behind the usual niceties.

    A lot of people will pay lip service to nice abstractions, but the lack of freedom of expression for "Holocaust deniers" is an entirely different matter. It's something very concrete that a lot of people will approve, most will refuse to notice, and fewer still will mention in polite society.

    The only way to get public exposure is to defend intellectual freedom while simultaneously engaging the World at large in a clear exposure of the "Holocaust" lie itself, and that's precisely what you have been doing. I don't think there has been any failure at all: only the inherent difficulty of being right against the tenets of a popular religion and the tight controls of a powerful and unscrupulous priesthood.

    By the way, I disagree with the idea that the label "Holocaust denier" is a negative one that should be avoided. I believe, on the contrary, that it is a fortunate one, since it gives one an opportunity to bring the dogmatic character of the "Holocaust" lie into focus. What should at all times be driven home is the fact that what we, like everybody else, call the "Holocaust", is a precise set of lies with no historical grounds. Any attempt to avoid the clear (and indeed well-known!) boundaries of the "Holocaust" should be refused. Please leave the "Arno Meyer gambit" for the Arno Meyers of this world. The goal should be to expose the historical lie, not to help it survive and thrive.

    Allow me to explain what I mean by quoting a letter of mine posted to David Irving's site:

    "Many people would say that they take the "Holocaust", at least in part, to be "a fact", and that it would take quite a lot of persuading for them to believe that "the whole thing" is a fiction. Indeed even David Irving himself, as far as I know, rejects the plain and simple label of "Holocaust denier". This is quite understandable, but what exactly are we talking about when we use the word? Can a word be accepted as "a fact", even a "partial fact", regardless of previous definition?

    "Obviously, we can construe complex sets of events into "single historical facts" and maintain an epistemological validity to our discourse if a clear definition of our meaning exists. Historical narrative would be a desert of intractable minutiae if we didn't do just that. Thus, the Second World War might well be called a fact, much like the fact that I'm writing you a letter, or any other simple empirical truth. This is because, in spite of the great complexity of the historical events, we establish definitions and understand them: a "war" is a state of belligerence between states, a "world war" is a war of global world significance, and "the Second World War" is the particular world war that took place between 1939 and 1945.

    "Similarly, if we are to take the "Holocaust" as "a historical fact", rather than a vague set of religious-like beliefs, we should define our meaning. For instance, biblical "holocausts" were simply sacrifices consumed by fire, and "ill-will towards the Jews", "persecution of the Jews", "the shooting of one's Jewish grandfather in Russia" or "some mass killings of Jews" are not "The Holocaust", the one historians are talking about when they capitalise the noun. I presume every reasonable person would agree that it is impossible to debate the supposedly historical "Holocaust" fact if -- alone among historical facts -- it is allowed to remain an open concept devoid of meaning and form.

    "Now, the "Holocaust" concept, the factuality of which we are talking about, is assumed -- by both the faithful and the deniers -- to be a relatively precise set of events (true or false, according to each of the positions) involving an attempted extermination of the Jews, resulting in approximately 6 million of them being murdered, mainly in German homicidal gas chambers, during the Second World War. I believe anyone who has been around for the last half century, living anywhere but in the deepest Amazonian jungle, is familiar with this.

    "In this sense then, we are perfectly entitled to defend the position that the "whole thing is a fiction", since the impressive corpus of revisionist findings -- little-known due to censorship and persecution, but wide-ranging in its implications -- does establish that all the above claims are false: no extermination (real or attempted); no 6 million victims (not even approximately); and no homicidal gas chambers (not even in the supposed "extermination camp" of Auschwitz-Birkenau where, by far, the largest part of the presumed homicidal industrial gassings is supposed to have taken place).

    "Of course, if we choose to define the "Holocaust" in a different manner, say as proto-religious teaching based on vague war propaganda, claiming that undefined -- formless but terrible -- events, many of them miraculous, happened to Jews in such a manner that they are collectively entitled to financial compensation and exemption from the basic standards of civilised behaviour, then the "existence of the Holocaust", might indeed be considered "a fact" -- though the "Holocaust" itself would hardly be an appropriate subject for any historical debate.

    "But this is not what is usually meant: while the few authorised "Holocaust historians" that concern themselves with factual history insist in the extreme importance of their subject matter, they do not usually subscribe to such a definition, and therefore, a debate on the "Holocaust" as historical fact vs. proto-religious myth, should be in order, precisely for the sake of preserving the evidence and dismounting the legends.

    "This, and nothing else, is what most "Holocaust" deniers ask for, and this is why they are censored and persecuted, rather than confronted."


    I also entirely agree with Faurisson's claim that such matters as the theft and rape of Palestine are entirely relevant to understand why the "Holocaust" tenets are daily rammed down the whole World's throat.

    I have very little hope in the effectiveness of concessions or mercy appeals to so-called humanitarian, civil rights or anti-censorship bogus organisations. They will only make things worse. As I said, it seems to me the only way forward is to keep shocking people into mental activity. Very probably, none of us will be here to see the results. Anyway, I've just sent the following message to Antiwar.com, for I still keep this odd inclination towards small gestures with no practical results whatsoever:

    *********
    To: editor@antiwar.com

    RISE OF THE GLOBAL POLICE STATE

    I know yours is a one-topic website, but shouldn't you people, with your large public impact, take at least a slight interest on this subject? Please read at least the 4th paragraph, then look for more information, if you will. The worst kind of censorship is the one nobody even notices.

    [Freeman's post followed]
    *********

    I think we may now wait until kingdom come.

    Congratulations on your efforts. Never believe for a second you've failed. What is beginning to fail worlwide is the "Holocaust" legend, the true heart of darkness that legitimises the terror of War in our time. Alas, it will be a long and painful process.

    A. S. Marques

     
  • At 7:46 AM, Anonymous A.S.Marques said…

    BTW, have you ever thought of initiating a regular email stream of revisionist information to a very large number of sites and individuals, instead of small-scale advertising?

    I mean, all the projects I've heard about until now seemed to ignore the enormous potential of spam-like communication. I say "spam-like" because, naturally, I'm not suggesting illegal forms of spam that might open the door to prosecution. Let me put it this way: why not starting a spam-like unsolicited "service", according to all the legal rules, such as the possibility for the addressed people to require to leave the list etc..

    Such an effort wouldn't seem abusive to me, since being censored in most countries of the World is in itself an extreme form of abuse and an enormous number of people, unbelievable as it may sound, have only a very tenuous idea of the iron censorship around them.

    Primary targets should be informative antiwar sites and individuals with media connections. Of course, fear of the Jews would still rule, but informed fear might well develop an entirely different frame of mind towards revisionism, even among many Jews, BTW, as well as among any others.

    After all the decades-long efforts, the degree of ignorance of most people that ought to know better is still amazing. Most people now recognize the "Revisionism" catch-word but have only the foggiest idea of what it's all about. They may be curious, feel "safe" if the incoming stream of information arrives unsolicited, and thus not require any interruption of the service.

    Why not use the simple possibilities of good old email? As far as I know, there is no law anywhere in the World establishing that only previously required email may be sent...

     
  • At 3:59 PM, Blogger Holocaust Historiography Project said…

    I'm not comfortable calling the entire Holocaust a lie, as I think there is something to be gained by calling the Jewish experience during WWII "the Holocaust," so that we may more easily focus on it as an area of study. See my article on Defining the Holocaust as an example.

    I also think that the word "denier" is a rhetorical box into which our opponents would like to put is, so I resist it on those grounds (as well as on the grounds that it is inaccurate).

    However, there is also a problem with the word "revisionist," as it is applied a spectrum of activities, from the Soviet-style re-writing of history to the refining of historiography as new details and perspectives become available.

     
  • At 6:27 AM, Anonymous Scott Smith said…

    I don't think that aside from less infighting Revisionists could have done much more than they did.

    I doubt that as long as this corrupt global structure is in power that Revisionists will ever make much more headway than they have so far. Already the seed has been planted that some people have doubts about the Holocaust, and that is significant!

    Doubts are the first cracks in the inevitable crumbling of the edifice. The only reason that people find the story convincing now is because of the huge media saturation that came with it and continues along with it; it's such a Big Lie that so many people could not possibly be wrong, they reason. But doubts bring curiosity.

    I think researchers should continue to work on the core gaschamber problem, as this gives the Revisionists' arguments ammunition and proves that those noble Victors lied, and thus all their claims should be held suspect.

    But I don't think Revisionists put on trial should try to argue points of Denial or they will keep losing, even if the courts have to take Judicial Notice of the Holocaust to win cases against them. It's not a battle for truth when the game is rigged.

    The issue for the defense strategy should simply be free-speech and the right to intellectual dissent.

    The Democ-rats can't argue against this for anybody (including Nazis) and not also be hypocrites. It is like Entente politicians arguing before WWII that their Versailles plank of the "self-determination of peoples" only carries validity when non-German minorities are involved or when non-German interests are not in jeopardy.

    And Revisionists have to live by the same free-speech standards that they set, which is one reason why libel trials, for example, are not going to be persuasive.

     
  • At 3:26 PM, Blogger Bradley R. Smith said…

    I agree with the idea that it is more productive that revisionists on trial, and perhaps anywhere in public, argue for free speech rather than how many hole are or were in the roof of Krema II at Aucshwitz. There's no end that kind of thing. In the long run it is everything, so we should keep working to determine the facts of the matter. In the short run, in public, it should be the right to free inquiry, without the threat of prison or the destruction of one's personal life.

     
  • At 5:13 PM, Anonymous A. S. Marques said…

    [REPLY TO HHP]

    *********
    I'm not comfortable calling the entire Holocaust a lie, as I think there is something to be gained by calling the Jewish experience during WWII "the Holocaust", so that we may more easily focus on it as an area of study. See my article on Defining the Holocaust as an example.

    I also think that the word "denier" is a rhetorical box into which our opponents would like to put us, so I resist it on those grounds (as well as on the grounds that it is inaccurate).
    *********


    I know your article and I don't agree with your points.

    Let me put it this way: the word "Holocaust" carries meaning and implies context. I don't think there is something to be gained, from the historiographical viewpoint, by calling the entire objective Jewish experience during WWII "the Holocaust", when the meaning of the "Holocaust" is an altogether different and previously well-established one.

    The misunderstanding comes from the idea that people at large are not familiar with the supposedly historical "Holocaust", i.e. an attempted extermination of the Jews, resulting in approximately 6 million of them being murdered, many of them in German homicidal gas chambers. Both the faithful and the deniers know perfectly well this is what the word means, and not any fuzzy sociological sum-total of the Jewish experience during WWII. This is what should always be stated and repeated as frequently as necessary.

    The correct designation for the entire Jewish experience during WWII, is quite simply "the Jewish experience during WWII".

    This is exactly what you do for any other groups. If you want to go into detail, then you refer to, say, "the persecution", the "deportation", the "mass murder", the "suffering" or whatever you have in mind. No more should be needed, unless one wishes to confuse the general concept of "Jewish experience during WWII", regardless of what that experience may have been, with an attempted extermination of the Jews, resulting in approximately 6 million of them being murdered, many of them in German homicidal gas chambers, a set of alleged events already called the "Holocaust".

    I think the "Holocaust" -- as opposed to "the Jewish experience during WWII" -- should be called a lie simply because we should look for the truth and telling it like it is.

    Take the "Invasion of the Martians": We call H. G. Wells's "a novel" because that's what it is; similarly for Orson Welles's ("a radio joke"), Spielberg's ("a movie"), my loony neighbour's ("a mental delusion") etc. The equivalent accurate description for the "Holocaust" should be "a propaganda fiction, currently used for power and profit" (I suspect if one happens to be an intelligent Jew, one may well add "and for spiritual destruction as well"). It's very simple and entirely truthful, an intellectual bonus for anyone fighting unscrupulous propagandists who resort to all kinds of lies and shadowy tricks. We wouldn't call any of the above Martian invasions exactly "a lie" (Orson Welles's would be the nearest). However, if anyone was trying to force an alleged "invasion of the Martians" on everybody else as a ploy for power and profit, rather than for innocent artistic or recreational purposes, then indeed a hoax and a lie it would become.

    One's added vulnerability due to "denying the Holocaust lie" doesn't arise from any wrong rhetorics or untruthful claims, but simply from going to the heart of the dangerous forbidden knowledge. Hitting the nail squarely on the head, if you wish.

    As for the "rhetorical box our opponents would like to put us into", forget it. They have other boxes for us, made of stone and with very little room for rhetorics. But if censorship is the only way to avoid the truth forever, then they've got a gigantic problem on their hands. In fact, the "Holocaust" single-word concept is a rhetorical box into which they've put themselves for historical purposes, for it makes it impossible to erase the whole gigantic humbug into easy oblivion. An enormously successful hoax in our present day, but also a lesson for all time, for all mankind. Not a future heritage I would be proud of.

    *********
    However, there is also a problem with the word "revisionist," as it is applied a spectrum of activities, from the Soviet-style re-writing of history to the refining of historiography as new details and perspectives become available.
    *********


    I agree to some extent, but it doesn't seem a problem to me. Context usually makes the object of the revision clear. If the need arises, "Holocaust revisionism" does. Generally speaking, I think not having a perfectly exact single word to describe all, is all right. Meaning no single ideology, even to the point that not all "revisionists" necessarily aim at establishing the truth. Revisionism is a bag of cats because, in itself, it's simply the modus operandi of minds.

    [REPLY TO SCOTT SMITH]

    *********
    But I don't think Revisionists put on trial should try to argue points of Denial or they will keep losing, even if the courts have to take Judicial Notice of the Holocaust to win cases against them. It's not a battle for truth when the game is rigged.
    *********


    In European courts, revisionists will probably keep losing, no matter what they do. But the rigged trial procedures -- indeed the need for the liars to promulgate shameful laws -- are precisely what makes clear to many casual onlookers that the whole pseudo-historical game is rigged too.

    *********
    The issue for the defense strategy should simply be free-speech and the right to intellectual dissent.
    *********


    That would work in the United States because your priceless 1st Amendment still manages to survive, in spite of your current administration's slow-burning of the Bill of Rights. But then, they don't put you on trial there; they send you to Europe. And, of course, no court anywhere will un-rig itself just because the accused says judges should accept free-speech instead of their country's laws.

    [REPLY TO BRADLEY SMITH]

    *********
    I agree with the idea that it is more productive that revisionists on trial, and perhaps anywhere in public, argue for free speech rather than how many hole are or were in the roof of Krema II at Aucshwitz. There's no end that kind of thing.
    *********


    I'll leave the "anywhere in public" bit out, and concentrate on your "more productive when under trial" idea. Since there are no trials for "Holocaust denial" in the United States, I'll assume you're talking about the European ones where no free speech on the "Holocaust" is allowed.

    Sorry, but it's not simply "how many holes in Krema II", but rather "any holes at all in Krema II". Sine qua non conditions are trial-wise the next best thing to complete knowledge. Obviously, if one's allegation that there were no homicidal mass gassings is the reason one is being put on trial, then the "no holes" sort of argument is precisely what should be presented in the interest of the defense, with all available evidence allowed by the court, if any at all.

    Say, historian X stated there were no homicidal mass gassings in Auschwitz-Birkenau and he is undergoing trial on precisely that account. The adequate defense will never be "X wishes to proclaim his right to say whatever he wishes because he believes in free speech" because free speech on the subject is clearly not allowed by the law. Also the line that goes "X doesn't wish to insist that he was speaking the truth because there will be no end to that kind of thing; he wishes instead simply to end the matter" will not work either, because he will be condemned for telling forbidden lies, with his own admission of guilt as additional proof. If his attitude is seen as sincere repentance, the judge will probably attenuate his fine or prison time, but I fail to see how that might be considered "more productive" for "Holocaust" revisionism.

     
  • At 7:02 AM, Anonymous Scott Smith said…

    Scott Smith said:

    ++ The issue for the defense strategy should simply be free-speech and the right to intellectual dissent. ++

    a.s. marques said:

    << That would work in the United States because your priceless 1st Amendment still manages to survive, in spite of your current administration's slow-burning of the Bill of Rights. But then, they don't put you on trial there; they send you to Europe. And, of course, no court anywhere will un-rig itself just because the accused says judges should accept free-speech instead of their country's laws. >>

    The Revisionists are going to have to win in the court of public opinion and they can't do that with Holocaust minutiae.

    The courts will have to argue that the defenders are dangerous neo-Nazis or terrorists and therefore it is NOT questionable to restrict their freedom of speech; indeed, all life on the planet depends on silencing them.

    Perhaps a proper Revisionist strategy should TRY to argue the truth of the matter and thus force the court to clamp down. The public somehow has to be made to understand that the courts are afraid of ideas, that they know better than they do what things should be thought.

    So unless the Revisionists have iron-clad issues on Holes, cyanide stains, etc. then any reasonable doubt is going to fall in the favor of the Inquisition and the prevailing Holocaust dogma.

    But the last thing the Inquisition wants is a debate, and that stance has to be used against them without the Revisionists themselves falling into a guagmire from which they cannot win.

    With several Revisionists at stake right now the issue should be brought to a head. It's not going to get any easier.

     

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home