The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Tue Jan 11 23:22:36 PST 1994

>From _The Journal of Historical Review_, Vol. 13, Number 6 (Nov./Dec. 1993):


   New Books Seek to Discredit "Growing Threat" of "Holocaust Denial"

_Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory_ by Deborah
Lipstadt.  New York: Free Press, 1993.  Hardcover.  278 pages.  Notes.
Index.  $22.95.  ISBN: 0-02-919235-8.;
_Holocaust Denial_ by Kenneth S. Stern.  New York: American Jewish
Committee, 1993.  Softcover.  193 pages.  Notes.  Index.  $12.95.  ISBN:
_Hitler's Apologists: The Anti-Semitic Propaganda of Holocaust
"Revisionism"_ edited by Alan M. Schwartz.  New York: The Anti-Defamation
League, 1993.  Softcover.  86 pages.  Notes.

                              Reviewed by
                          Theodore J. O'Keefe

The earlier method of opposing Holocaust Revisionism was to ignore it
entirely as a scholarly, historiographical phenomenon (except for a few
dismissive phrases about "flat earthers") in favor of attacking it as a
political threat, branding it as "neo-Nazi," "anti-Semitic," etc.  With the
exception of Bradley Smith's radio talk show appearances and college
newspaper advertisements, Revisionism's opponents have been able to impose
an effective blackout on Revisionist challenges to the Holocaust.  The
result?  In the United States, some 16 years after the title of Professor
Arthur Butz's _Hoax of the Twentieth Century_ was mistakenly reported by
_The New York Times_ in its first notice of Holocaust Revisionism, there are
scores of millions who know that there is a determined movement that
challenges the factuality of the alleged World-War-II genocide of the Jews,
and tens of millions of Americans who, according to the latest polls,
question it themselves.


Theodore J. O'Keefe is an IHR editor.  Educated at Harvard, he is the author
of numerous published articles and reviews on historical and political

     Whether the growth of this opposition occurred so much in spite of the
blackout of what the Holocaust Revisionists say and have written, or rather
because of an increasing aversion to the spread of what one Jewish writer
has called "Holocaustomania" is unclear, but obviously the blackout hasn't
worked to its proponents' satisfaction.  Thus the powerful lobby which
propagates (obligatory) reverence for the "Holocaust" has decided to mount
an elaborate propaganda campaign against the Revisionists.  This time, as
the Holocausters march into the fray, some of them are proclaiming a new
theme:  confronting and defeating Revisionist scholarship.

Generous Help

     Two of the three books here under review advertise themselves as
setting off on this new demarche; the third, ADL's _Hitler's Apologists_,
sticks unabashedly to the tried and true tactics of what might be called

     Chief among these three intellectually slight works is Deborah
Lipstadt's _Denying the Holocaust_, a labored expose that has been years in
the gestation (the _New York Times_ devoted a major fanfare to Lipstadt's
lucubrations on the Revisionists as far back as June 20, 1988), yet manages
to give off telltale signs of desperate, last-minute suturing and
low-voltage jolts of stylistic electricity, by a crew of editorial Igors in
New York City.

     The book that shambles forth from the Free Press (a division of
Macmillan in Manhattan) is, as author Lipstadt herself acknowledges, heavily
dependent on the assistance of professional character assassins from Jewish
so-called "defense organizations":  operatives of the Anti-Defamation
League, the Canadian Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee, the
World Jewish Congress' Institute for Jewish Affairs in London, and the Simon
Wiesenthal Center all receive thanks in the preface.

     _Denying the Holocaust_ is copyrighted by something called the Vidal
Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism of The Hebrew
University of Jerusalem (as a perquisite of which the author may have
received the stylish haircut pictured on the dust jacket).

     What's actually new about Lipstadt's approach?  Not much, despite the
author's all-but breathless intimations that she's the first researcher who
has dared to look Holocaust Revisionism in the face, and despite the
hosannas which have poured forth from the book review sections of the _New
York Times_, _Washington Post_, and other newspapers.  Although the author,
proudly enthroned on something called the "Dorot Chair in Modern Jewish and
Holocaust Studies" at Emory University, makes much of the need to analyze
the Revisionist case against the Holocaust, in sum her promised "exposure"
of the Revisionists has little to do with confronting Revisionist

Ineptitude and Deceit

     While Professor Lipstadt is less than honest elsewhere in her book, she
is disarmingly frank about her dogmas and purposes at the outset:  "The
existence of the Holocaust [is] not a matter of debate" (p. 1); Revisionists
are "extremist antisemites" who "camouflage their hateful ideology" "under
the guise of scholarship..." (p. 3).

     But how to expose them, other than by proclaiming that the Holocaust is
beyond question (which comes perilously close to relegating it to the realm
of religion) and calling the Revisionists names, particularly when she has
haughtily announced her refusal to be "sucked into a debate that is no
debate and an argument that is no argument"?

     In fact, her promised "analysis" and "exposure" is in large measure
derived from the tried-and-true methods of the ADL and its junior partners
at the Wiesenthal Center and elsewhere.  Lipstadt parades the same labeling
and smear techniques as the slick dossiers churned out by the "watchdog
groups":  antisemite/neoNazi/fascist/pofessional-hatemonger/bigot/Hitlerian/
Holocaust-denier.  As you flip through the pages of _Denying the Holocaust_,
the epithets all seem to run together into a single quavering wail.

     Where Professor Lipstadt can't believably pin one of her slanderous
labels on her subjects, or has perhaps temporarily tired of impugning their
supposed motives, she is forced to attempt, as best she can, historical
analysis and scholarly argument.  However, she gives scant evidence of any
grasp of historical knowledge or method, and more than a little indication
of scholarly indolence and a timidity about confronting the masters of
Holocaust Revisionism in their areas of expertise.  Her analytic efforts are
further vitiated by errors, big and small; omissions, deliberate or in
ignorance; and distortions and misstatements, that, coming from any real
scholar, can only be called deceitful.  Lipstadt's ineptitude, after years
of ballyhooed toil amid Revisionist writings, is only underscored by her
pitiful efforts to take refuge in her own academic credentials (by the way,
all the evidence indicates that she is unable to read Revisionist works in
the original French or German) and those of the numerous professional
historian-hacks whose authority she invokes.  These she brandishes, like
Medusa shaking her snaky locks, at the Revisionists in hopes of petrifying
these alleged amateurs.  But this tactic will impress only other amateurs.

     To catalogue the slanders and mistakes of _Denying the Holocaust_, let
alone refute them, would require almost a book itself, and despite all the
media trumpet blasts, this book isn't worth the effort.  Still, a look at
some of the more important techniques that serve Lipstadt, as well as the
rest of the now sweating wardens of Holocaust orthodoxy, is perhaps of some

Word Wizards

     Chief among these is one surprisingly simple:  a reliance on the
emotive and minatory power of the Word.  For Lipstadt and her fellows, words
such as "antisemite" (her spelling), "neo-Nazi," "denier," "Holocaust,"
"memory" and the like aren't so much (if they are at all) labels for
independent realities as they are weapons, first for controlling discourse,
then for anathematizing opponents, and finally for striking directly at the
central nervous systems of the population at large.  Thanks to the Holocaust
lobby's ready access to the international media, efforts by Revisionists to
reverse the process by labeling the other side "Exterminationists" and the
like tend to strike even sympathizers as odd, labored, and reeking of
reactive, TU QUOQUE ("you too").

     Nevertheless, it is indispensable for Revisionists untiringly to
confront and mercilessly to dissect the shibboleths of the word wizards:  as
in this book, deceptive labels are 90 percent of their case.  "What is the
Holocaust?"  Revisionists must ask, and why does "denying" it sound so direr
and more unreasonable than merely questioning whether the Germans had a
policy to exterminate the Jews, resulting in the deaths of around six
million of them, largely in gas chambers?

     What is an "antisemite"?  If the word denotes merely someone who
opposes the Jews, what's wrong with using a term that says so?^1  (And why
don't we hear more of "anti-Hamitism" and "anti-Japhetism"?)

     Was Robert Faurisson correct when he suggested, in a 1989 article, that
the Jewish "memory" that professional Holocausters so often invoke might
more accurately be defined as the "beliefs" and "legends" of the Jews?


1.  This reviewer recalls reading a "scholarly" article -- author, title and
source long forgotten -- on the elaborate punctilio that governs the
orthography of this term so dear to anti-defamatory bigdomes.  "Anti-Semite"
was eschewed as seeming to indicate a (possibly rational) opposition to
"Semitism" and "Semites," whereas the unhyphenated, uncapitalized form
points to the unconscious miasmas of unreasoned bigotry that lead
"antisemites" to oppose US handouts to Israel, a Holocaust museum on every
block, etc.  There remain simpler Jewish souls, however, who favor the term
"Jew-hater" for such creatures.

Historical Revisionism

     For those who doubt that Lipstadt's long tussle with Holocaust
revisionism is based largely on her manipulation of a handful of empty
words, a more specific analysis of her use of the terms "Holocaust" and
"Holocaust denial" is in order.

     After decreeing that the "Holocaust" is not subject to debate, it is
the author's ploy to equate the word with the facts supposed to underlie it.
She approvingly quotes (p. 198) the following pontification emanating from
the Duke University history department shortly after the appearance of
Bradley Smith's full-page advertisement challenging several well-known tales
of the Holocaust:

     That historians are constantly engaged in historical revision is
     certainly correct; however, what historians do is very different from
     this advertisement.  Historical revision of major events is not
     concerned with the actuality of these events; rather it concerns their
     historical interpretation -- their causes and consequences generally.

     Sorry, profs, but that sophomoric stance wouldn't fool many college
freshmen -- at least not in the days when a demonstrated ability to think
critically was a prerequisite for college admission, let alone this or that
professorship.  In this reviewer's freshman days, students learned quickly
that many alleged "major events" -- such as "the fall of the Roman Empire,"
"the Middle Ages," and "the Renaissance" -- are in large measure names and
interpretations coined by historians based on their evaluation of a large,
but still painfully limited, amount of evidence.  Although perhaps various
proponents of this or that historical interpretation might have welcomed
anathemas aimed at their opponents, this reviewer doesn't recall any of them
attempting to turn logic on its head by invoking the "reality" of the
"Dorian invasion" or the "Ottonian renaissance" to validate each component
of the theory, as Lipstadt and her colleagues have tried to do to save the
lampshades, shrunken heads, Jewish soap bars, and spectral gas chambers
attacked by Smith in his campus ads.  Nor, outside of the flacks from the
Holocaust lobby, has he ever encountered the cheap trick of representing a
historian who doubted the applicability of the name "Dark Ages" for a period
in European history as arguing that the centuries in question "never

Exercise in Evasion

     Having conjured the "Holocaust" into existence without worrying about
such inconsequential matters as the documents ordering, planning, and
budgeting it, or the forensic tests establishing the murder weapons, or the
autopsies showing deaths by gassing, Lipstadt performs her next
sleight-of-hand trick.  This is to impose her own name for Revisionism,
"denial" -- with all its shopworn Freudian implications -- on her targets.
Focusing on "denial" and "deniers" as on some pathological syndrome allows
her to "analyze" them without reference to the full body of Revisionist
scholarship, of which she seems woefully uninformed, even after more than
half a decade's study.

     In fact, most of her book is an exercise in evasion of precisely that
body of Revisionist findings that would seem to have made her work
necessary.  Conversely, an inordinate amount of _Denying the Holocaust_ is
devoted to tracing the antecedents of contemporary Holocaust Revisionist

     Her book is front-loaded with Revisionists and Revisionist arguments
which have been long since been incorporated, superseded, and in some cases
corrected by later Revisionists.  Indeed, Lipstadt devotes five chapters,
spanning 91 pages, to the predecessors of Arthur Butz, whereas Butz and his
contemporaries and successors, including Robert Faurisson, Fred Leuchter,
and the Institute for Historical Review, get a measly three chapters and an
appendix comprising a comparatively modest 64 pages.  (It should be noted
that much of this text, particularly that concerning the IHR, is rife with
the sort of irrelevancies that fill the pages of ADL's "exposes":  the life
and times of Willis Carto and David McCalden, headlines from _The
Spotlight_, and the like.)  Other chapters virtually devoid of analysis of
Revisionist argument include her Chapter One, largely devoted to lamenting
an alleged tolerance for Holocaust Revisionism in the mass media (that is,
agonizing that a good number of radio and television talk shows have not
blacklisted revisionists), and a speedy, superficial tour of "denial"
abroad.  In Chapters Ten she marshals such arguments as she can to support
the banning of Revisionist advertisements and articles from college
newspapers in the wake of Bradley Smith's remarkably successful campaign of
two years ago.  Chapter Eleven, called "Watchers on the Rhine," is her
attempt to chart "the future course of Holocaust denial," and to prescribe
what must be done to thwart the Revisionism and an evidently looming rise
of the Fourth Reich.

Paul Rassinier

     Characteristic of her technique is the way she handles the work of two
courageous pioneers of Revisionism, Paul Rassinier and Austin App.  Each of
these is accorded considerable space in _Denying the Holocaust_, largely to
focus on flaws and errors, many of them minor, in their work.

     Most readers won't know that where both men genuinely erred,
Revisionists have long since corrected them.  Rassinier's mistakes on Jewish
population statistics, avidly cited by the author (pp. 58-62) were set right
by _Journal_ editor Mark Weber in testimony at the second (1988) trial of
Ernst Zundel, a trial with which Lipstadt should be familiar since she
dwells on it at some length and has had access to the transcript.  If that
weren't enough, however, Weber summarized his corrective testimony in the
_Journal_ ("My Role in the Zundel Trial," Winter 1989-90, pp. 391, 415-416),
and included three pages of specific corrections in an "afterword" to the
IHR's most recent edition of Rassinier's key Revisionist writings, _The
Holocaust Story and the Lies of Ulysses_ (pp. 414-416).

     Although Lipstadt states rather murkily that what she calls Rassinier's
"use of the numbers game ... established a pattern followed by all deniers
who try to prove that the death tolls are not valid" (p. 58), the
knowledgeable reader searches in vain for evidence of this:  she has omitted
any and all mention of Walter Sanning's key book _The Dissolution of Eastern
European Jewry_; the posthumous article "How Many Jews Were Eliminated by
the Nazis?" in the Spring 1983 Journal (pp. 61-81) by Professor Frank
Hankins, a longtime demographer and former president of the American
Sociological Society; and Swedish demographer Carl Nordling's two _Journal_
studies, "The Jewish Establishment under Nazi Threat and Domination" Summer
1990 (pp. 195-209) and "How Many Jews Died in the German Concentration
Camps," Fall 1991 (pp. 335-344).

Austin App

     Similarly, Lipstadt has chosen to give Austin App an entire chapter,
eighteen pages long, subtitled "The World of Immoral Equivalency," by which
she means to say that App dared to compare such genuine, but comparatively
unpublicized and certainly unpunished Allied atrocities as the mass
expulsion of millions of Germans from their ancestral homelands, or the mass
rapes carried out especially by conquering Soviet troops, to those alleged
German atrocities of which we never cease to hear and for which the United
States and other governments still dog innocent men, such as John Demjanjuk,
to the present day.

     While Dr. App, a member of the Editorial Advisory Committee of this
Journal from its founding until his death in 1984, deserves the highest
praise for his indomitable courage, his unflagging loyalty to his German
roots, and his dedication to propagating the case for the German nation and
people during and after the Second World War, only a writer less than
familiar with the progress of revisionist research could claim that App
"played a central role in the development of Holocaust denial" (p. 85), or
that "his major contribution was to formulate eight axioms that have come to
serve as the founding principles of the California-based Institute for
Historical Review and as the basic postulates of Holocaust denial" (p. 86).
In fact, a survey of the more than 50 issues of _The Journal of Historical
Review_ published to date reveals only a single article by Dr. App ("The
Holocaust Put in Perspective," Vol. 1, no. 1 [Spring 1980]), an obituary
tribute to him (Winter 1984, pp. 446-450), and a handful of mentions of his
incisive but not always meticulous pamphlets.

     It should not be necessary, by the way, to point out that Dr. App, a
life-long Catholic who never wrote a word against the republican form of
government its founding fathers bequeathed his native America, was by no
stretch of the imagination a "fascist," as Lipstadt terms him (p. 87).

Arthur Butz

     Bad as is her work on Rassinier, App, and other precursors of
contemporary Holocaust Revisionism such as David Hoggan or "Richard Harwood"
(Richard Verrall), Lipstadt's real inadequacies as a scholar begin to shine
when at length she attempts to analyze and expose the work of Dr. Arthur R.
Butz and the Revisionist scholars who have followed him.

     Her tack on Professor Butz and his epoch-making _Hoax of the Twentieth
Century_ is to represent Butz as a master of TROMPE-L'OEIL, assuming "a
veneer of scholarship and the impression of seriousness and objectivity" (p.
123) to fool the unwary.  To that end, she claims, he provided _The Hoax_
with what Lipstadt calls "the hallmarks of scholarly works," that is, "the
requisite myriad notes and large bibliography" (p. 124), and criticized the
work of earlier Revisionists as well as "German wartime behavior" -- a ploy
"that was clearly designed to disarm innocent readers and enhance Butz's
aura of scholarly objectivity" (p. 124).

     Lipstadt's efforts to unmask Butz's pseudo-scholarly trumpery and
hidden "agenda" are vitiated by both her ineptitude and her dishonesty.  She
bypasses both the central issues of _The Hoax_ and Butz's often complex
argumentation to reduce its theses to caricatures.  Thus, her chapter makes
no reference either to Butz's key (and as yet unanswered) question as to how
the mass gassings at the huge, comparatively open, and closely monitored
Auschwitz complex could go unnoticed and unreported for more than two years,
or to the dual interpretations of German public-health measures at Auschwitz
(brilliantly summarized on page 131 of _The Hoax_).  Instead, Lipstadt would
rather dog Butz for his appearance at a meeting sponsored by Minister Louis
Farrakhan, or for the fact that "his books [sic] are promoted and
distributed by the Ku Klux Klan and other [sic] neo-Nazi organizations" (p.

     Where Lipstadt does lay hands on what Butz actually writes, she almost
invariably misrepresents, misstates, or otherwise garbles his positions.
Butz does not argue that "the key to perpetrating the hoax was the forging
of massive numbers of documents" (p. 127).  As the discerning reader will
discover by checking the citation from _The Hoax_ that Lipstadt cites here,
Butz in fact wrote of "a fabrication constructed of perjury, forgery,
distortion of fact and misrepresentation of documents" (_Hoax_, p. 173).

     Lipstadt similarly badly misconstrues (or misstates) Butz's thesis on
why so many postwar German defendants refused to challenge the extermination
allegations.  The vast majority of them did not "plead guilty" to the
Holocaust, as she clearly implies (p. 130).  Rather than argue (to their
extreme peril in the context of the show-trial hysteria) that it hadn't
taken place, the defendants usually argued that they had had nothing to do
with it.

     Lipstadt is either unable or unwilling to follow Butz when he argues
closely.  For example, she badly misrepresents his argument regarding Oswald
Pohl's testimony at Nuremberg.  Butz's point is that it is absurd to imagine
that Pohl, the head of the SS agency (the WVHA) that supervised the
construction and operation of all the concentration camps, including
Auschwitz, would only have learned of the alleged exterminations through a
speech of Heinrich Himmler at Posen in October 1943, as Pohl claimed
(_Hoax_, p. 195).  Lipstadt is silent regarding this claim, stating only
that Pohl testified "that he had heard Himmler deliver his famous 1943
speech to the SS leaders at Posen" (p. 131).  Elsewhere she cites the word
"ludicrous," with which Butz characterizes Pohl's claim about his first
knowledge of the supposed genocide, as evidence of Butz's dismissal of
"anything that disagreed with [his] foregone conclusion and the thesis of
his book" (p. 124).

     This reviewer defies anyone to compare Lipstadt's criticisms of _The
Hoax of the Twentieth Century_ with what its author actually writes, both in
those passages Lipstadt cites as well as the far more numerous aspects of
Butz's book she has chosen to ignore, and come away convinced that the
would-be confounder of the deniers has made so much as a dent in his thesis,
even where it is perhaps most vulnerable.

Mistakes and Irrelevancies

     Aside from the intellectual dishonesty that members of the professional
Holocaust orthodoxy share (which can only grow as Revisionist researchers
gain access to more evidence), Lipstadt seems to suffer from an intellectual
incapacity crippling in a scholar bent upon penetrating veneers and veils of
supposedly false scholarship through rigorous criticism.  She excels at
mistaking a point or fixing on an irrelevancy, then dwelling on it for half
a page or more, as when, for example, she taxes Richard Verrall ("Harwood"),
author of _Did Six Million Really Die?_, for quoting Hitler biographer Colin
Cross to the effect that "murdering [the Jews] in a time of desperate war
emergency was useless from any rational point of view" (pp. 113-114).  She
reproaches Verrall for the better part of a page for having tried to
represent Cross as challenging the "Holocaust."  Checking the passage in
question (_Did Six Million Really Die?_, p. 20), reveals no such intent to
co-opt Cross.

     Then again, the fact that Revisionists have paid close attention to
Exterminationist writers, and cited such authors as Raul Hilberg, Gerald
Reitlinger, and J.-C. Pressac to bolster their case either by referencing
otherwise unobtainable evidence or by employing the valid controversial
tactic of admission against interest, brings forth an anguished yelp from
our author:  "They [the "deniers"] rely on books that directly contradict
their arguments, quoting in a manner that completely distorts the authors'
objectives (p. 111)."  Well, what's sauce for the Gentile goose...  but we
understand perfectly, Debbie, that you and your colleagues would much prefer
that we ignore your works -- and we understand why.


     Another tactic (or failing) of _Denying the Holocaust_, is in the
matter, already adverted to, of omission -- omission of all sorts of
pertinent facts, arguments, writings, personages, and attainments of
Revisionist scholars.  Lipstadt seems only half aware of the compass of
revisionist research and publication.  Her book contains no mention of such
key Revisionist authors as Wilhelm Staglich, Fritz Berg, Carlo Mattogno and
Enrique Aynat.  And, despite the fact that she makes use of the English
translation of Pierre Vidal-Naquet's _Assassins of Memory_, she omits all
reference to world-class Jewish historian Arno Mayer's _Why Did the Heavens
Not Darken_, with its two crushing observations:  "Sources for the study of
the gas chambers are at once rare and unreliable" and "There is no denying
the many contradictions, ambiguities, and errors in the existing sources."

     Lipstadt's understating of the achievements and credentials of
Revisionists, despite their availability from the sources she cites, is too
frequent to be anything but willful.  James Martin gets mention in a single
footnote, which fails to mention his doctorate in history from the
University of Michigan, his 25-year academic career, and his authorship of
five well-received books and numerous articles:  Lipstadt does credit him
(p. 44) for being listed as "a contributor to the 1970 _Encyclopaedia
Britannica_."  Mark Weber, who studied history at four different
universities, including Munich and Indiana University, obtaining a master's
degree from the latter, is said (p. 186) only to have been "educated in a
Jesuit high school in Portland, Oregon."

     When Lipstadt refers (p. 67) to Stephen Pinter's famous letter
published in the Catholic newspaper _Our Sunday Visitor_ (June 14, 1959),
which challenged the gas chamber and extermination claims, she leaves out
all reference to the fact that Pinter served as an attorney for the U.S. War
Department during the postwar Dachau trials, and that he based his knowledge
of the wartime treatment of the Jews on having "interviewed thousands of
Jews, former inmates of concentration camps in Germany and Austria."

Fred Leuchter

     Lipstadt's noisiest evocation of the "credentials" issue comes in her
assault on the findings of Fred Leuchter regarding the purported gas
chambers at Auschwitz.  She takes considerable pains to show that:  1)
Leuchter has only a B.A. in history;  2) he is not a certified engineer;  3)
a Canadian judge deemed him unqualified to "serve as an expert witness on
the construction and functioning of the gas chambers" (p. 164); and he is
not America's leading authority on execution gas chambers.

     Lipstadt presents a melange of truth and fiction to make her case that
Leuchter's analysis of the feasibility of execution gassings at Auschwitz,
Majdanek and elsewhere may mislead the uninformed or the unwary, but the
essential facts and elementary common sense refute her.

     Leuchter's formal educational credentials easily exceed those of
Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, or the Wright brothers; he holds numerous
patents for inventions ranging from the first electronic sextant to a color
stereo helicopter mapping system to various types of execution hardware
(Lipstadt omits all mention of these).  Even worse, she flagrantly misstates
the truth by writing that Leuchter was not allowed to testify during the
Second trial of Ernst Zundel as an expert on execution gas chambers:  he
certainly was, as the transcript makes perfectly clear.

     As to Leuchter's pre-eminence as the American expert on gas chamber
design, operation and maintenance, a recent book by journalist Stephen
Trombley, _The Execution Protocol_, makes abundantly clear that Leuchter was
all that in abundance, before his career was wrecked thanks to his
steadfastness in standing by the conclusions he reached in his widely-
circulated 1988 Report.  Lipstadt is aware of _The Execution Protocol_,
since she reproaches it for having "resurrected" Leuchter's reputation, but
she has no specific criticisms to make of its massive confirmation, coming
from an author unsympathetic to capital punishment, of Leuchter's expertise
and authority.  (Trombley's book also throws light on how Leuchter's
ambiguous position as an inventor and technician dedicated to humane
execution methods, and an ambitious businessman, made him vulnerable to
unfair charges from state officials that his testimony against defective and
inhumane equipment and procedures was prompted merely by venality.)

     In any case, Lipstadt is unable to shake the most important aspect of
the Leuchter affair:  that, thanks to the enterprise of Ernst Zundel and the
dedication of Robert Faurisson, the first-ever expert forensic examination
of whether mass homicidal gassing was feasible in the Auschwitz crematoria,
and the first quantitative investigation of the physicochemical evidence of
such gassings, was conducted by a leading, professional, court-certified
expert in homicidal gas chambers.  Needless to say, she fails to report the
existence of three subsequent reports on the alleged homicidal gas chambers
of Auschwitz -- carried out by a Polish forensic institute, a German
chemist, and an Austrian engineer -- each of which corroborates Leuchter's
1988 report.

Jean-Claude Pressac

     Aside from attempting to impugn Leuchter's credentials, Lipstadt makes
a feeble effort to uphold the gas chamber myth by invoking the supposed
findings and authority of Jean-Claude Pressac, the French pharmacist whose
book _Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers_ was published
in 1989 by Beate and Serge Klarsfeld.  Despite its labored attempts to
substantiate the "gas chambers" of Auschwitz by revealing and discussing an
unprecedented wealth of documents from Auschwitz, Pressac's book has to date
received scant public notice from orthodox Holocaust scholars.  It has,
rather, been the Revisionists, above all in this _Journal_, who have
analyzed this and other of Pressac's writings -- to the embarrassment of the
Exterminationists and to the great profit of historical truth.

     Suffice it to say that Lipstadt (pp. 226-228) has merely listed (not
always accurately) a few of the 39 allegedly criminal traces which Pressac
claims to have discovered from documents relating to the Auschwitz
crematoria:  a gas-tight door here, a request for gas detectors there, an
inventory listing shower heads, and so forth.  Readers interested in
ascertaining the perfectly banal usages of all these items are advised to
turn to the _Journal_ articles by Robert Faurisson (Spring 1991), Paul
Grubach (Winter 1992-93), and Arthur Butz (May/June 1993).  As for
Lipstadt's own gross ignorance of the Auschwitz gas-chamber question, this
reviewer is content to cite this sentence from _Denying the Holocaust_:
"The delousing chambers were constructed in the same fashion as the
homicidal gas chambers," and refer the reader to _The Leuchter Report_,
Pressac, or any other source for blueprints and photographs he or she may

Dread Portent?

     Dr. Lipstadt seems to have begun unraveling in the course of her work
on this book.  In her preface (pp. vii-viii) she makes less than cryptic
references to the growing stress she felt as she strove to confront and
expose the increasingly powerful arguments of the Revisionists:

     I had constantly to avoid being sucked into a debate that is no debate
     and an argument that is no argument.  It has been a disconcerting and,
     at times, painful task that would have been impossible without the aid
     and support of a variety of people.  Without them I would never have
     emerged from this morass.

     In her final chapter, entitled "Watching on the Rhine: The Future
Course of Holocaust Denial," Debbie becomes completely unglued.  After
sniffing suspiciously at the work of such orthodox, but dismayingly
skeptical, modern German historians as Ernst Nolte, who has recently called
for open debate on the gas chambers, and Michael Sturmer, who seems to think
that the interpretation of his country's recent past should serve purposes
other than a source for Hollywood horror scripts and fundraising gimmicks
for the United Jewish Appeal, Lipstadt conjures up the looming horror of a
Fourth, Revisionist Reich.

     The "deniers," she tells her readers, are really no different from the
Ku Klux Klan, the skinheads, the Neo-Nazis:  "They hate the same things --
Jews, racial minorities, and democracy -- and have the same objectives, the
destruction of truth and memory."  And the deniers are cleverer:  they don't
run around in sheets or Nazi paraphernalia, but "...attempt to project the
appearance of being committed to the very values that they in truth
adamantly oppose:  reason, critical, rules of evidence, and historical
distinction.  It is this that makes Holocaust denial such a threat."

     And just what does this dire threat portend?  What final horror
threatens Jews, racial minorities, and democracy?  Here's how Lipstadt
evokes (p. 218) the coming tribulation:

     A strategic change will also mark the activities of the racist,
     neo-Nazi, ultranationalist groups.  So easily identifiable by their
     outer trappings, they will adopt the deniers' tactics, cast off the
     external attributes that mark them as extremists, and eschew whatever
     pigeonholes them as neofascists.  They will cloak themselves and their
     arguments in a veneer of reason and in arguments [sic] that sound
     rational to the American people.  The physical terror they perpetrate
     may cease, but the number of people beguiled by their arguments will

     As a portent of the terrors to come, and as a tactic analogous to those
of the deniers, Professor Lipstadt cites an attempt by one of the many Klan
groupuscules to erect a cross on city property in Cincinnati during
Christmas.  Horrors!

     She's not done yet, however.  After considering (p. 219) "the most
efficacious strategies for countering these attacks" (she lukewarmly opposes
legal censorship because it may turn revisionists into martyrs, and
advocates that the population at large be stuffed, like so many Strasbourg
geese, with more Holocaust education, museums, etc.), Lipstadt ends (pp.
221-222) with a final, quavering, self-pitying wail (a wail that begs for

     Though we cannot directly engage them [in debate -- as to why not, the
     reader may decide], there is something we can do.  Those who care not
     just about Jewish history or the history of the Holocaust but about
     truth in all its forms [comment super-erogatory], must function as
     canaries in the mine [not cuckoos in the clock or bats in the belfry?],
     to guard against the spread of noxious fumes.  ["Gas masks for sale!
     O-o-o-ld gas masks!"]  We must vigilantly stand watch against an
     increasingly nimble enemy.  [Tough work for increasingly sclerotic
     Holocaustomaniacs!]  But unlike the canary, we must not sit silently by
     waiting to expire so that others will be warned of the danger.  ["Good,
     heavens, Martha, it's raining canaries!  What can it mean?"]  When we
     witness assaults on the truth, our response must be strong, though
     neither polemical or emotional [like your book?]  We must educate the
     broader public and academe about this threat and its historical and
     ideological roots [Oh, boy!  More lavishly funded Chairs of Holocaust
     Studies!].  We must expose these people for what they are.  [Is the ADL
     about to fold up?]

     The effort will not be pleasant.  [You can count on that one, Debbie!]
     Those who take on this task will sometimes feel -- as I often did in
     the course of writing [Does she mean typing?] this work -- as if they
     are being forced to prove what they know to be a fact.  [What an awful
     imposition!]  Those of us who make scholarship our vocation and
     avocation dream of spending our time charting new paths, opening new
     vistas, and offering new perspectives on some aspect of the truth.  [Us
     Revisionists have things so easy!  But you're not getting tired of the
     Holocaust, are you, Debbie?  What are you -- some kind of anti-Semite?]
     We seek to discover, not to defend.  [Aww...]  We did not train in our
     respective fields in order to stand like watchmen and watchwomen on the
     Rhine [100-1 she got this image only second-hand from prune-faced,
     lying old Stalinist Lillian Hellman, not from hearing the patriotic
     German song].  Yet this is what we must do.  [What dedication!]  We do
     so in order to expose falsehood and hate.  ["But we don't l-i-i-ke
     mirrors!"]  We will remain ever vigilant so that the most precious
     tools of our trade and our society -- truth and reason -- can prevail.
     The still, small voices of millions cry out to us from the ground
     demanding that we do no less.  [Ugh!]

     And with that last emetic cry, the Wicked Witch of the West (or is it
the East?) dissolves into an oozing putrescence.  Unwilling to confront the
Revisionists, unable of answering their arguments, at best a second-rate
mistress of the dossier and the expose, she can only bequeath her formulas
and her broom to the smear mongers at the defense agency.

     As for _Denying the Holocaust_, to recall the German philologist
Wilamowitz-Mollendorff's famous dismissal of a study of socialism in
antiquity, "Dieses Buch existiert nicht fur die Wissenschaft" ("This book
doesn't exist for scholarship.")  In a sane world, it would merit not a
review, but an epitaph:  "Here lies Deborah Lipstadt."

Stern's Effort

     Kenneth Stern, author of the American Jewish Committee's _Holocaust
Denial_, is described therein as "Program Specialist, Anti-Semitism and
Extremism" for that organization.  Despite these ominous credentials, and
endorsements from Deborah Lipstadt, Shelly Z. Shapiro (who tried to frame
Fred Leuchter on orders from Beate Klarsfeld), and the irrepressible Mel
Mermelstein, Stern's book is fairer than might be expected.

     Why so?  After all, his book contains many of the standard slurs and
slanders:  the IHR is "Carto's lie-tank" (p. 8), "Holocaust denial" is an
"enterprise of professional anti-Semites" (p. 9) and "a dogma that provides
ideological incentives to feel good about Jew-hatred" (p. 84).  Stern relies
heavily on slanted information provided by Gerry Gable, editor of the
pro-Communist periodical _Searchlight_, Leonard Zeskind, research director
of the Center for Democratic Renewal, and other Marxist flacks, and opines
that "even if we do not agree with the complete agenda of the current Europe
[sic] organizations that have a mission to fight fascism -- such as some of
the mainstream left-wing 'antifascist' groups -- we should be more active in
helping them." (p. 97)

     Nevertheless, Stern takes Holocaust Revisionism seriously enough to
provide nearly fifty pages of appendices with evidence -- from their own
mouths and pens -- of Revisionist scholarly and polemical activity,
including the full text of Brad Smith's first campus advertisement, "The
Holocaust Controversy: The Case for Open Debate"; a complete transcript of
Montel Williams's April 30, 1992, television show devoted to Holocaust
Revisionism, during which Journal editor Weber and Revisionist filmmaker
David Cole easily bested a gaggle of Holocausters, including a couple of
survivors; and an 18-page listing of "Holocaust-denying" books, booklets,
and pamphlets, and of articles from _The Journal of Historical Review_ that
should make even the hardiest true believer shiver at the evident industry
and sophistication of the Revisionists.

     Like Lipstadt (in her first chapter), Stern offers a world tour of
Holocaust Revisionism.  His Baedeker is rather more informative than hers,
for all his errors, and even this reviewer, inundated as all IHR's editors
are by Revisionist news from around the globe, read it with some profit.

     Stern takes a stab at refuting selected Revisionist arguments, not very
successfully, since he has either dodged major questions in favor of trivial
ones ("[Revisionist] Claim:  That neither Churchill nor Eisenhower, in their
memoirs, mention either gas chambers or a genocide program" [p. 71]), or
relied on empty pronouncements from Exterminationist authority figures, such
as Professor Yehuda Bauer, who confutes the laws of physics by informing us
that "the incinerators at Auschwitz were built to cremate nine corpses per
hour" (p. 65), or put his faith, like Lipstadt, in J.-C. Pressac.

     All in all, Revisionists will likely experience a warm feeling of
satisfaction when they put down _Holocaust Denial_:  we are on the march,
and Stern makes clear that he and his fellow professional anti-anti-Semites
don't know how to stop us.

ADL Hatchet Job

     The second offering from the Jewish "defense agencies" under review is
a rather less attractive effort.  _Hitler's Apologists_ lumbers along after
Lipstadt's and Stern's books, its knuckles grazing already well-worn grooves
of innuendo, smear, and what used to be called "guilt by association."
Compiled by a cast of professional snoops, this 86-page booklet was edited
by Alan Schwartz, who was dropped from the plaintiff's list of expert
witnesses after he was mercilessly grilled by Mark Lane in deposition during
the second Mermelstein case.

     Although the booklet's subtitle, "The Anti-Semitic Propaganda of
Holocaust 'Revisionism'," would seem to indicate a programmatic
confrontation with the Revisionist case, the way _Hitler's Apologists_ is
organized belies that.  Most sections are titled with the names of
individual Revisionists, who are pilloried for all manner of associations
and linkages, motives and agendas, positions and statements, some of them
dating back decades, while their formal arguments are passed over or
dismissed with ritualistic slurs.

     For example, Mark Weber is falsely described as "a long-time neo-Nazi"
(p. 10).  (Question:  How long does one have to be a "neo-Nazi" before he
qualifies as a "paleo-Nazi"?)  Bradley Smith, who has been earlier accused
of falsifying credentials -- credentials he never claimed! -- by Harvard law
professor Alan Dershowitz, is taxed for being the co-director of a
"Pseudo-academic enterprise, the Committee for Open Debate of the Holocaust"
(p. 12), although Smith has never represented CODOH as being in any way

     Once the ADL's smear apparatus has been turned on and has sputtered to
life, it takes on a demonic existence of its own, like some odd carnival
amusement, ultimately repellent whatever its attraction.  Amid
stomach-turning odors, to the manic burbling of a cranky calliope, the
centrifugal pump that is _Hitler's Apologists_ whirls faster and faster,
spewing filth and falsehood about Revisionists, great and small, into the
faces of the American public.  Fred Leuchter!  David McCalden!  Jack Wikoff!
Hans Schmidt!  Ernst Zundel!  Pat Buchanan!  Arno Mayer!  Keegstra!
Faurisson!  Roques!  Le Pen!  The Germans!  Faster and faster!  Eastern
Europe!  Lithuania!  The Muslims!  Saddam Hussein!  The Intifada!

     And on and on it spins and stinks, this latest ADL hatchet job,
shooting half-truths and lies, irrelevancies and mistakes, to the point
where it becomes idle to track down and refute them one by one.  A
production like this is of a piece -- either one great truth or one great
lie.  The big lie of _Hitler's Apologists_ -- that all revisionists are
simply Nazis -- is wearing ever thinner.  Thus the insane energy of the
liars and sneaks who basted it together.

Repression and Monopoly

     Each of the books under examination here calls for or tolerates
continued censorship of Revisionists -- if not through judicial or police
measures, then by systematically refusing Revisionists the right of the
effective public forum -- media, academia, advertising, and commercial
distribution.  Only grudgingly conceded is the right to assail the Holocaust
hoax from a soapbox in a public park.

     This intolerance of debate, this relish for repression, is the reverse
of the counterfeit coin whose obverse is the gas chamber lie and the six
million myth.  Whatever the responsibilities of the wartime propagandists
and the postwar survivors, the minters of the false currency of Holocaust
history cannot be excused for temporary opportunity, hot-blooded vengeance,
or passing confusion.  Through their jealously guarded monopoly of
historical discussion of the "Holocaust," the Second World War, and
ultimately the entire modern era of the West, they mean to silence all
dissent, from the rantings of the most repulsive race-baiter to the
researches of the most meticulous scholar.  And they aim, through their
hypostatized Holocaust, to raise their own filthy calumnies -- of the Nazis,
the Germans, the Axis, Europe, and ultimately America and the entire West
throughout its history -- to an obligatory state cult.

     That is why the work of Holocaust Revisionism -- including its
sometimes peckish-seeming preoccupation with the innards of what Professor
James J. Martin has called "Polish potato cellars," with the efficacy of
insecticides, and the meaning of half-century old invoices for light bulbs
or showerheads--must continue.  To use a military analogy, it is not enough
that our scouts and our reconnaissance troops have won some skirmishes, not
enough that General Rassinier's airborne troops have seized a bridgehead,
not enough that Field Marshal Butz's panzer army has knifed deep into enemy
territory.  These victories must be confirmed and consolidated through
further research and new findings, while the smallest and meanest of the
Holocaust lies must be rooted out of the isolated intellectual bunkers in
which they lurk, then destroyed.

     Today, no matter how badly beleaguered by state censorship, by physical
attacks, by economic pressure, Holocaust Revisionists are on the
intellectual offensive.  If the books reviewed above can't be much bettered
by the Holocaust Lobby, both the lie and the lobby are in danger of
definitive refutation and exposure before the decade is out.

[end of file]

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