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.

Friday, November 04, 2005

- do not fear prison
- have the moral and intellectual courage to state:

- think of those who are in or face prison
because they REFUSE to

This announcement was sent by the folks at The Adelaide Institute, which is directed by Frederick Toben. It is a very brief and forceful statement and call to arms. It raises an issue, issues, that I have gone back and forth on for twenty years. Because there is not universal agreement on what constituted the “Holocaust,” the word means different things to different folks.

Most people in the West believe the orthodox Holocaust story—that the Germans, acting out the role of a uniquely evil people, wanted to exterminate all the Jews in Europe and maybe the world, and in Europe, using weapons of mass destruction (gas-chambers), largely succeeded.

Those who do not believe the Germans used WMD to exterminate Europe’s Jews find the Holocaust story to be saturated in fraud and falsehood. They—we—see the gas-chamber story as the heart of the so-called “Holocaust.” No gas chambers, no Holocaust.

Over the years when I have been interviewed via radio or the print press, I am always asked if I “deny” the Holocaust happened. I always reply: “That’s the wrong question.” The first question has to be: “What was the Holocaust?” We must be in agreement about what we are talking about, or we talk past each other.

That’s what I fear will happen with this Call To Civil Disobedience. It addresses only those who do not believe, but not those who do, the True Believers, which is where the problem is. That is, it addresses the choir. Of course—and thought recalls this only in this moment—there are many in the “choir” who do not sing. It is not only that they do not raise their voices, but that they hardly hum even a bar or two. These folk are in wide agreement that revisionist arguments are important to Western culture, but not important enough to risk—what?

So maybe the Call To Civil Disobedience is a good thing after all. It may be a very good thing to challenge closet revisionists to own up to their skepticism, to raise their voices in the name of liberty and intellectual freedom, and sing out their own truth—that they do not believe what they do not believe. I have ended up, then, in a place that is different from the place I started out from. The other issues all remain.
The greatest issue for revisionists is to acknowledge the catastrophe Europe’s Jews suffered during the Hitlerian regime. Most of the peoples of Europe suffered their own catastrophe at the same time, and before that during the regime of America’s wonderfully human ally, Josef Stalin. The fact that many Jews exploit their own catastrophe in exchange for money, land, and influence is their problem.

The fact that most of the rest of us go along with it—that’s our problem. Like those revisionists who do not believe that it is important enough, in one way or another, to stand up and be counted.


  • At 4:48 AM, Blogger Freeman said…

    The idea suggested by the Adelaide Institute is valid although somewhat off target. Over the past 30 years or so, revisionism has truly come a long way. From the original brief pamphlets which were plagued with error and prejudice to the well-researched tomes of the past few years, one could truly claim that revisionism has proven its case. Where it has failed however is in the court of popular opinion. The battle for intellectual freedom and the ability to openly and freely debate the various details of the Holocaust is marginalized everywhere and criminalized more and more.
    When well-received books like Deborah Lipstadt's "Denying the Holocaust" can be freely allowed to call revisionist scholars and researchers "rats" and suggest that they carry a "bacillus" and "plague" (see the Preface to the Paperback edition)the objective mind should recognize the danger. Lipstadt has adapted the language of the Nazis. Just as we are frequently reminded that such language ultimately results in the arrest, incarceration, and sometimes death of those targeted by such terms, we should be warned. We should also all remember the abuses of McCarthyism and realize that the situation is similar however worse for revisionists (and the far right-wing) today. So here I cheer the Adelaide Institutes call for Revisionist Martyrs. The oppression should be opposed. However, be sure, the cost will be high.
    Where I disagree, or where the call is off target is in the over simplification of the phrase "I do not believe in the Holocaust." Be sure, the Holocaust did happen. What revisionists in general don't believe and express skepticism about is the large numbers of victims claimed and the method of their execution. To be precise, most revisionist don't believe the claim of six million Jews exterminated in lethal gas chambers. That the Jews were arrested, deported, subjected to slave labor, died due to poor conditions,and even suffered executions is not questioned.
    Alas, it is a difficult decision to martyr oneself to correct the definition of a term.

  • At 11:59 AM, Blogger Bradley R. Smith said…

    Well, exactly.

    And revisionists play their role in this quagmire, as you suggest. When we say "the Holcaust did not happen" we are using "their" language, so the public sees us as loonies. Everybody knows "something" happened. The Holocaust Industry controls the debate because they created the language for it, and they convinced the public (and the intellectuals) that it is the right language. "Holocaust" is their word. When we use their word and follow it with the claim it "didn't happen," we are playing their game, using their language, and we fail.

    I hae argued that we should focus on the idea tha the "gas-chambers" didn't happen--they did not exist. "Gas chambers" are specific, and the term does not have the field of connotations that "Holocaust" has. "Holocaust" has no specific meaning whatever. It is anything anyone claims it to have been. The language of "gas chambers" is specific. Once a newbie gets her hands on the gas-chamber fraud she will understand that something is wrong with the Holocaust story. And she will encounter the taboo that protects if from an open debate.

    "Gas chambers" is our language. "Holocaust" remains theirs.


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