The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/american/codoh/ads/daily-northwestern

From _The Daily Northwestern_
(Northwestern University's newspaper),
Thursday, April 4, 1991:


                      The Case for Open Debate

The Contemporary Issue --

     No subject enrages America's thought police more than Holocaust
revisionism.  The politically correct line on the Holocaust story is,
simply, it happened.  You don't debate "it."  You do debate every other
historical event of course, but the Holocaust is an exception.  If
someone does express doubt about some aspect of the Holocaust story,
it's politically correct to respond with outrage, contempt and
guilt-by-association tactics.  We used to call that behavior
McCarthy-ite.  Now we say it's "progressive."

     The Holocaust lobby claims that it is a social good when ideology
replaces free inquiry, intimidation represses open debate, and when the
ideals of the university itself are exchanged for intellectual taboos
and not-so-secret political agendas.  Let's ask these people -- what
makes such behavior a social good?  Who benefits?

The Historical Issue --

     For half a century it has been asserted that during World War II
the German State had a policy to "exterminate" the Jews and other
peoples of Europe in execution gas chambers.  This allegation was
institutionalized at the great Nuremberg trial, led by the Soviets and
the U.S.  While the proceedings at Nuremberg were politically correct,
the evidence supports the then Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court,
Harlan Fiske Stone, who called the Nuremberg court simply "a lynching
party for Germans."

     Mainline Holocaust historians are under considerable pressure from
Revisionist scholarship to address the more blatant examples of
Holocaust fraud and falsehood.  Increasingly, academics are committing
themselves to publishing their own revisions of the orthodox Holocaust
story.  The "re-writing" of the Holocaust story has begun in earnest.


     Arno J. Mayer, chaired professor of European history at Princeton
University, has written in his _Why the Heavens Did Not Darken_, that
at Auschwitz more people died of "natural causes" than were killed. 
Mayer is a Jew and himself a refugee from the Nazi regime.

     British historian David Irving, perhaps the most widely read
historian writing in English, has called the Auschwitz death-camp story
a "sinking ship" and states that there were "no gas chambers at

     Yehuda Bauer, Director of Holocaust Studies at Hebrew University
in Jerusalem, states that it is "patently false" that 4 million Jews
and others were killed at Auschwitz.

     The Auschwitz State Museum has "revised" its half-century-old
claim that 4-million humans were killed there.  The Museum now says
maybe it was 1 million.  What documentary evidence does the Museum
proffer for the 1 million figure?  None.  The 4 million number was
engraved in stone at Auschwitz where it has been seen by millions of
tourists.  What to do?  A workman was ordered to chisel out the 4
million number.  Nothing to it, really.  History in the making.  But
where have those 3 million souls been the last 45 years?  And why is no
one celebrating?

     _The Leuchter Report_ contains the results of the first-ever
forensic examination of the alleged gas chambers at Auschwitz.  The
_Report_ is the work of Boston engineer Fred A. Leuchter.  It concludes
that no mass gassings ever did or ever could have taken place in the
so-called gas chambers.  The chemical analysis used in the _Report_ was
performed by the Alpha Analytical Laboratories in Ashland MA.  Fred
Leuchter has called for an international commission of scientists and
historians to investigate the so-called gas chambers of Auschwitz.

     Winston Churchill wrote his monumental six-volume history of World
War II without mentioning the "gas chambers" or the "extermination" of
the Jews.  Maybe it slipped his mind.  On the other hand, maybe not.

     Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his memoir _Crusade in Europe_, also
forgot to mention the "gas chambers."  Why wasn't the weapon used to
murder 6 million Jews worthy of a passing reference?  Was our future
president being "insensitive" to Jews?

"The Photographs"

     We've all seen "The Photographs."  Endlessly.  Newsreel photos
taken by U.S. and British photographers at the liberation of the German
camps, and especially the awful scenes at Dachau, Buchenwald and
Bergen-Belsen.  We have seen them so many times over four decades we
don't even have to ask what "they" are.  They're "The Photographs." 
These documents are typically presented in a way where it is either
stated or implied that the scenes resulted from deliberate policies on
the part of the Germans.  The documents are real.  The uses to which
they are put are base.

     There was no German policy at any of those camps to deliberately
kill the internees.  In the last months of the war Soviet armies were
advancing on Germany from the east.  The British and U.S. air arms were
destroying every major city in Germany with saturation bombing. 
Transportation, the food distribution system and medical and sanitation
services all broke down.  That was the purpose of the Allied bombing,
which has been described as the most barbarous form of warfare in
Europe since the Mongol invasions.  It was successful.

     Millions of refugees fleeing the Soviet armies were pouring into
Germany.  The camps still under German control were overwhelmed with
internees from the eastern camps.  By early 1945 the inmate population
was swept by malnutrition and by epidemics of typhus, typhoid,
dysentery and chronic diarrhea.  Even the mortuary systems broke down. 
When the press entered the camps with British and U.S. soldiers, they
found the results of all that.  They took "The Photographs."

     The Allied propaganda machine was laboring furiously to produce
anti-German hate propaganda.  "The Photographs" became their most
successful tools.  Today the same tools are still being used to
"educate" Americans.

     Still, at Buchenwald, Dachau and Bergen-Belsen TENS OF THOUSANDS
of healthy internees were liberated.  They were there in the camps when
"The Photographs" were taken.  There are newsreels of these internees
walking through the camps laughing and talking.  Others show joyful,
well-fed internees throwing their caps in the air and cheering their

     You haven't seen those films and photographs, you say?  Why do you
think that is?  Does it suggest to you questions about the camps that
are not politically correct to ask?

The Dachau "Gas Chambers"

     In the first years after the war there was much eyewitness
testimony about "mass gassings" at Dachau.  In his summing up for the
prosecution at Nuremberg, Sir Hartley Shawcross, chief prosecutor for
Great Britain, spoke of murder "conducted like some mass production
industry in the gas chamber(s) of... Dachau...."

     Today no responsible scholar attempts to claim that there were
mass gassings at Dachau.  Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon
Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, states simply: "There were no
gas chambers at Dachau."

The Jewish Soap Story

     This ugly rumor has been repeated endlessly in our media and
universities.  First Amendment scholar Nat Hentoff can write seriously
that he has seen human soap made from the "tissues of murdered Jews"
displayed on stone tablets in the Chamber of the Holocaust in

     Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer and Jewish-American historians like
Raul Hilberg and Deborah Lipstadt all state that this anti-German hate
story is untrue.  Lipstadt writes: "The Nazis never used the bodies of
Jews, or for that matter anyone else, for the production of soap."

"Eyewitness" Testimony

     As documentary "proofs" for the mass-murder of the European Jews
fall by the wayside, Holocaust historians depend increasingly on
"eyewitness" testimonies to support their theories.  Many of these
testimonies are ludicrously unreliable.

     Shmuel Krakowski is archives director for Yad Veshem, which is the
international center for Holocaust documentation in Jerusalem. 
Krakowski states that more than 10,000 "eyewitness" testimonies about
German atrocities against Jews have been shown to be false at Yad
Veshem alone!

"Human Skin" Lamp Shades

     Uncounted Hollywood epics and "eyewitness" testimonies accuse
Germans of skinning Jews to make lamp shades from their hides.

     General Lucius D. Clay, Military Governor of the U.S. Occupation
Zone of Germany (1947-49) discovered that the infamous "human skin"
lamp shades found at Buchenwald were actually made of "goat" skin. 
Which of your professors has denounced this cheap anti-German bigotry
for what it is?

The Free Inquiry Issue --

     Students and professors alike should be free to investigate the
Holocaust story in the same way they are free to examine every other
historical event.  This is not a radical point of view.  The premises
for it were worked out three centuries ago during a little something
called the Enlightenment.  The tools used to arrive at historical
understanding are useless without the rights of Free Inquiry and Open

     We are told that it is "anti-Jewish" to question orthodox
assertions about German criminality.  Yet we find that it is Jews
themselves like Mayer, Bauer, Hier, Hilberg, Lipstadt and others who
are beginning to challenge the establishment Holocaust story.  The
charges of anti-Semitism are oftentimes, in fact, used merely to
suppress Revisionist scholarship and the free exchange of ideas
necessary to judge its merits.

     Students should be encouraged to question who benefits from
promoting false Holocaust stories on the one hand and using charges of
"anti-Semitism" to suppress free inquiry into those stories on the

     It is difficult to understand why the concept of Free Inquiry
should be so alarming to those who manage our universities.  Free
Inquiry makes no promise to Revisionism that it does not make to every
other school of thought.  The promise of Free Inquiry is that it will
demonstrate what is true and false in Revisionist scholarship at the
same time that it does so for the orthodox Holocaust literature.

     Free Inquiry does not follow a political or ideological line or it
isn't free.  Free Inquiry is an equal-opportunity ideal.  Christian,
Jew and Moslem, Black and White, professor and student and layman --
it's there for everyone.  Free Inquiry holds out its arms to each one
of us, urging us to embrace it, use it, exhaust it in our passion for

     Understanding, however, unlike Free Inquiry, promises NOTHING. 
That's why there are professors willing to denounce a scholar while
refusing to exchange ideas with him.  They would rather see certain
books suppressed than have to face the awful possibility of coming to
understand something that they have committed their lives and their
careers to not understanding.

The Moral Issue --

     When we suppress open debate on the Holocaust we promote bad
history and undermine the traditionally humane values of the
university.  Bad history replaces historical understanding with
self-righteous nationalism both here and abroad.  It encourages us to
scape-goat old enemies and to seek vengeance rather than
reconciliation.  (It isn't easy, is it, to "reconcile" ourselves with a
people that skins Jews and cooks them?)

     The suppression of Free Inquiry into the Holocaust story corrupts
public discourse, institutionalizes double standards of justice,
legitimizes charges of guilt-by-association and a moral cowardice in
facing our own limitations as individuals and as people.

     Our refusal to allow critical examination of even the most bizarre
accusations made against Germans encourages men and women to bear false
witness, betray their chosen professions, and contributes to the
vulgarization of Jewish suffering.

     Enough is enough!

                                - Bradley R. Smith

     This article [was] sponsored by the Committee for Open Debate on
the Holocaust (CODOH).  If you would like to access revisionist
scholarship on the Holocaust, or arrange a speaker to appear on your
campus, call (209) 733-2653, or write CODOH   PO Box 3267   Visalia, CA
93278.  (Member:  National Association Against Censorship; National
Association for College Activities; Free Press Association.)

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