The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1997/07/12

KEY PLAYERS

To understand the motivation and psyche of the revisionists,
and therefore understand their effect, and on whom, we
present some of the key players in this macabre revision of
history and look at some of their "important" contributions.
One thing should be made clear. If everything Holocaust
revisionists wrote or said were clearly wrong, then their
following would be limited to a few quacks or crazies. Many
people, not students of history or the Holocaust, get
confused or misdirected by revisionists because much of what
they say is mingled with truth and has the ring of truth. To
say that everything revisionists propound is false is an
invitation for mistake. If something they say is true then
it must be admitted as true, but only that part. One tactic
of some Holocaust revisionists is argument by association.
By mingling truth with their falsehoods, they hope that
their audience, not differentiating the two, will accept
both.

Arthur R. Butz

Arthur R. Butz is an Associate Professor of Electrical
Engineering at Northwestern University in Illinois. He holds
an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Massachusetts
Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Control Sciences from
the University of Minnesota. By all apparent standards he is
a successful academician. In 1976 Butz published a book that
heralded a new age in Holocaust revisionism. Until then
revisionist works were mostly small pamphlets by non-
credentialed writers, opinionated ramblings that six million
Jews did not die and gas chambers did not exist.  One such
writer was Austin J. App, author of `The Six Million
Swindle: Blackmailing the German People for Hard Marks with
Fabricated Corpses,' published in 1973. (10:94) Such short
pamphlets caused a momentary stir but did not amount to much
as they could easily be identified as anti-Semitic. That all
changed when Butz came out with `The Hoax of the Twentieth
Century.' (3)

For the first time, what appeared to be a well-documented
scholarly work by a credentialed university professor
addressed the revision of the Holocaust. Lipstadt
emphasizes,'

     What distinguishes Butz from virtually all the deniers
     who preceded him was the veneer of scholarship and the
     impression of seriousness and objectivity he is able to
     convey.... His book's format indicated that he
     understood the structure and nuances of scholarly
     debate and would use them to his advantage.... Butz's
     book contained the requisite myriad notes and large
     bibliography that were the hallmarks of scholarly
     works, quoting many of the prominent historians who
     worked in this field and thanking a number of
     legitimate research centers and archives. (10:123-124)
     
Butz had set the standard. Revisionists realized that their
message would be more convincing if presented in a Butz
fashion. From 1976, the most "successful" and most deceiving
revisionist works have been presented in a scholarly or
scientific fashion. Butz has worked hard to promote his
book, which has done well among neo-Nazi and far-right
groups in Germany. (4:68) Presently Butz, still an Associate
Professor at Northwestern University, gives lectures to
promote his book and publishes articles in the revisionist
journal, `The Journal of Historical Review.' He, like many
revisionists, has also taken to high-tech. He has a website
on the Internet, http://pubweb.acns.nwu.edu/~abutz, where he
publishes articles on the "legend of millions of Jews killed
by Germans during World War II." (2:1)

Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. And Ernst Zundel

Fred Leuchter received his Bachelor's degree in history in
1964 from Boston University. After only a few graduate
science and engineering courses he discontinued his formal
education and elected to work in and learn engineering on
his own. In the mid-1970s Fred Leuchter saw a ripening
business opportunity. With capital punishment being
reintroduced in many states, he recognized a need for a
consulting firm to design, build, and maintain execution
equipment. His instincts proved correct. Specializing in
execution equipment and procedures, Leuchter became a
consultant to many states on gassing, lethal injection,
hanging, and electrocution hardware. Among his credits are
design of a new gas chamber for the State of Missouri and
design and construction of New Jersey's first lethal
injection machine. Because of these successes, Leuchter
touted himself as an execution expert. (11:8)

In Canada meanwhile, Ernst Zundel, an immigrant of German
birth, was causing quite a stir, proclaiming that the
Holocaust story was a lie, and that six million Jews did not
die. He was a man with strong ties to neo-Nazi organizations
across North America. In the early 1970s he founded Samisdat
Publishers Ltd., a publishing house whose primary purpose
was, as Zundel saw it, to vindicate the German people from
the many years of lies propagated against them by the Allies
and Jews. (4:37)

One of the first books Zundel distributed was an English
translation of `Die Auschwitz Luge' (The Auschwitz Lie). It
was an eyewitness account by a German army officer, Thies
Christophersen, stationed at Auschwitz in 1944. This book
emphasized the supposed humane conditions found by the
officer at Auschwitz during his tour of duty. The
publication and distribution of this, and other similar
material, caused Ernst Zundel eventually to be charged with
the crime of publishing "false news." (4:38) This led in
turn to what some Holocaust revisionists call "The Great
Holocaust Trial," the first phase of which ended with an
Appeals Court overturning a Zundel conviction  and ordering
a retrial. (4:39)

The second Zundel trial was scheduled to start January 18,
1988. It was sometime before this date that the Zundel
defense research team, led by the number one French
revisionist Dr. Robert Faurisson, developed what they
considered the ultimate revisionist idea -- examine the
"smoking gun." As the Zundel defense team saw it, the
"smoking gun" in this case was the gas chambers at Auschwitz-
Birkenau, Majdanek, and elsewhere. If an "expert" could
testify that what Holocaust historians and Auschwitz museum
officials were calling homicidal gas chambers were in fact
not such, then there would be a basis in proof for Ernst
Zundel's claims, and by extension all other revisionists',
that the Holocaust, extremely narrowly defined as mass
execution by gassing, did not happen. While the Canadian
government was prosecuting Ernst Zundel, he was preparing to
use the trial as his prosecution of the Holocaust "lie."

The defense team wrote blind letters of inquiry to prison
facilities in those states in the Union that had capital
punishment, particularly those using gas chamber technology.
In the resultant responses from various prisons, one name
kept coming up: Fred A. Leuchter.  The warden of the
Missouri State Penitentiary, Bill M. Armontrout, in a letter
to the Zundel defense team in Toronto, wrote that "Mr.
Luechter [sic] is an engineer specializing in gas chambers
and executions. He is well versed in all areas and is the
only consultant in the United States that I know of...."
(12:Appendix vii)

Fred Leuchter was invited to Toronto to the headquarters of
the revisionist research team, where he was given a two day
crash course in Holocaust revisionism. The team showed him
maps of Auschwitz, aerial photos, German documents, building
plans, and topographical maps, explaining to him why it was
impossible to have had homicidal gas chambers there. During
February 1988, the Leuchter team left for Poland. Using
smuggled tools, Leuchter illegally dug and chipped away at
the sites until a desired amount of debris was obtained.
Upon return to the United States, Fred Leuchter submitted
the samples for chemical analysis to a laboratory in
Massachusetts. (11:2-7)

Taking the data from the lab, his draftsman's drawings of
all the gassing facilities, and adding his own professional
opinion, Fred Leuchter composed his report of over nine
hundred pages. He went to Toronto and took the witness stand
on April 20, 1988 as an expert for the defendant, Ernst
Zundel. He reached the conclusion that "It is the best
engineering opinion of this author that the alleged gas
chambers at the inspected sites could not have then been, or
now, [sic] be utilized or seriously considered to function
as execution gas chambers." (12:15)

A thirty-four page abridged version of the report was made,
entitled `The Leuchter Report.' The American edition of this
report contained an introduction by Dr. Robert Faurisson,
the prominent French revisionist discussed above. The 66-
page British edition contained an introduction by British
historian David Irving, newly converted to Holocaust
revisionism because of the report. Irving, testifying as an
historical expert at the Zundel trial, never openly said he
doubted the existence of gas chambers. He claimed, though,
that when he read the report during the trial, he realized
for the first time that there was a problem concerning the
existence of Nazi gas chambers. (9:377-378)

`The Leuchter Report' is viewed and publicized by Holocaust
revisionists as the most important work on revisionism of
the decade, and possibly longer. The report has been well
marketed by revisionists. It has come out in many editions
in many languages all around the world, including French,
German, English, Portuguese, Russian and Hungarian. Plans
are being made to publish it in the near future in Italian,
Dutch, Spanish, and Arabic. In Australia seven thousand
copies have been distributed by the Australian Civil
Liberties Union. The German first edition has been sold out.
In France, Dr. Faurisson claims that `The Leuchter Report'
is well received by revisionists and non-revisionists alike.

The report has been attacked by a variety of institutions
and individuals. Its errors and pseudo-scientific methods
were thoroughly exposed by Jean Claude Pressac in his book
`Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers.'
(14) Revisionists themselves are divided over the usefulness
of the report. Since Leuchter, many similar "scientific"
chemical analysis of the gas chambers have been published by
various revisionists to strengthen and defend the arguments
of the Leuchter Report. (5:151-206) Other reports, such as
those done by Walter Luftl from Austria and Germar Rudolf
from Germany, have followed in the footsteps of Leuchter.
(20:31) Fred Leuchter, like most revisionists, believes that
one day his report will be vindicated and the great courage
he has shown in writing it will be recognized. Holocaust
survivors and historians see the report as another piece of
garbage to add to the growing heap of Holocaust denial
literature. Leuchter has faded into the background but
Zundel still maintains his prominence on the neo-Nazi,
revisionist scene.

Besides the large amount of litigation that Zundel created
by distribution of hate and denial material in Europe and
Canada, he has also recognized the value of the Internet as
an important way of disseminating revisionist ideas. The
motivation for his involvement in revisionism is clear. His
mission is to restore German honor by setting the record
straight -- the Nazis never had an extermination plan to
kill the Jews. Zundel has created a web site, called the
Zundelsite, to help him accomplish this mission. As he
states, its mission is:

     ...the rehabilitation of the honor and reputation of
     the German nation and people. Specifically, the
     Zundelsite challenges the traditional version of the
     "Holocaust" -- an Allied propaganda tool concocted
     during World War II -- that is not based on historical
     fact but is a cleverly used ploy to keep the German war
     time [sic] generation and their descendants in
     perpetual political, emotional, spiritual and financial
     bondage. (21:3)
     
The Zundelsite is not left unchallenged. There is a site
called "Nizkor," Hebrew word for "We will remember," which
produces material in response to the vagueness and
misrepresentations of the revisionists and Zundel in
particular. This site has much to offer for those interested
in combating the many half-truth revisionist arguments.
(Appendix A)

Bradley R. Smith

Who Bradley Smith is and how he got involved in revisionism
is described by Carlos Huerta writing in `Midstream,'

     Bradley Smith is a little over 60 years old. He is a
     combat veteran of the Korean War and has a high school
     education. He strongly believes in the First Amendment
     of the constitution. When Henry Miller's `Tropic of
     Cancer' was banned in the 1960s, he refused to stop
     selling it and was prosecuted for breaking the law.
     Besides believing in the First Amendment, Bradley
     Smith, until he was almost 50 years old, also believe
     that the Holocaust was an historical fact. In 1979
     somebody gave him a copy of an article written by
     French Holocaust revisionist Robert Faurisson that
     appeared in `Le Monde,' a Paris daily. Now, Bradley
     Smith no longer believes in the Holocaust and wants to
     pass his change of belief on to the young minds on
     college campuses. (6:10)
     
For Americans, operating under the Constitution, Bradley
Smith presents perhaps the most interesting argument
involving revisionism -- freedom of speech.  In 1987, Smith
co-founded CODOH, Committee for Open Debate on the
Holocaust, with Mark Weber. Weber has since moved on to edit
the IHR (Institute for Historical Review) Journal. The IHR,
the major world center of Holocaust revisionism, is based in
Costa Mesa, California. Besides the many books that the IHR
distributes and publishes on Holocaust revisionism, it also
produces a quarterly journal on historical revisionism.
Bradley Smith is closed connected to IHR, primarily as
spokesperson for their cause. He collects small stipends
from the IHR as a spokesperson and sometime media
consultant. (6:10)

Smith firmly believes that the Holocaust, as it is presently
understood by world scholars, is a lie. The reason present-
day historians do not blow the whistle on it, he contends,
is because of the tremendous pressure brought to bear by a
powerful Holocaust lobby. He believes that the way to
destroy the Holocaust lie is to have free exchange and open
debate on all aspects of the Holocaust. Based on his belief
in the need for open debate, Smith has written and submitted
full page advertisements presenting the revisionist position
to college papers all over America. These one page ads are
paid for by Smith or by anonymous supporters of revisionism.
The ads cost from three hundred to over a thousand dollars
each. Since college papers are run by students with minimal
faculty interference, it is the students who usually make
the decision whether or not to run the ad. (6:10)

In all the cases where the ad was run, the deciding factor
in the students' mind was the need to support the First
Amendment. Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor and one
of the country's most prominent constitutional scholars,
argues that the decision to run or not run the advertisement
is not a First Amendment issue. Rather it is solely a policy
or standards issue that is strictly an internal matter of
the paper. In his opinion, consistency is the key issue
here: for example, if one runs an ad on Holocaust
revisionism, then one should be willing to run ads
presenting other irresponsible positions, such as that
African-Americans are racially inferior or that women who
are raped deserve it. (6:10)

The pivotal point is that students generally want to do the
right thing but are not constitutional experts like Mr.
Dershowitz. As a consequence, the revisionist ad has
appeared in college papers at Northwestern (the University
where Arthur Butz, revisionist author of `The Hoax of the
Twentieth Century,' teaches) the University of Michigan,
Cornell and Duke Universities, Northeastern, Illinois, and
Rutgers. It should be noted that many scholars did not run
the ad, not because of their desire to suppress free speech
or abandon the First Amendment, but rather because they had
found the add inaccurate and offensive. Some of the papers
in this category are the `Brown Daily Herald,' `Harvard
Crimson,' `Daily Pennsylvanian,' and `Yale Daily News.'
(6:10)

Smith, still continuing his college media campaign, has
turned to disseminating revisionist material through the
Internet. He has been successful in this endeavor. His
website had over 10,000 visits during a six month period.
(16:1) He offers much in the way of revisionist articles,
reference material, news, and links to other revisionist
sites. (16:1-5) He also offers an international site that
publishes revisionist articles in German, French, Italian,
Swedish, and Norwegian. He also offers links to worldwide
revisionist groups. (17:1-4) The Internet offers Smith the
ability to publish anything he wants without the
interference of an editor. Partly because of the material he
offers, a debate has generated whether the Internet should
set some publishing standards.

David McCalden, Willis Carto, and the Institute for
Historical Review (IHR)

The Institute for Historical Review (IHR) is one of the
biggest disseminators of revisionist and racist literature
in the country. Though recently they have begun to reduce
their line of racist material, they still publish and
distribute Holocaust revisionist literature in great
abundance. The Institute was founded in 1978 as the
brainchild of David McCalden and Willis Carto. As to the
purpose of the IHR, Marc Caplan, writing for the Anti-
Defamation League (ADL), states

     ...the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) has served
     as the primary force in the movement to deny the
     reality of the Holocaust. Operating in the guise of
     scholarship, the Institute has solicited membership
     from academic figures as well as the general public. It
     has also distributed a variety of "revisionist"
     materials saturated with traditional anti-Semitic
     themes, these being promoted in the Institute's
     publications, the quarterly `Journal of Historical
     Review' and the bi-monthly `IHR Newsletter.' (4:5)
     
William David McCalde [sic] was born in Ireland and later
moved to England. He helped found the British National
Party. This party originated from the National Front, a neo-
Nazi party with strong racist views. Working under the alias
of Lewis Brandon while he was the director of the IHR, he
offered a $50,000 reward for proof of a Nazi gas chamber.
When Mel Mermelstein, an Auschwitz survivor, came forward to
claim the reward and was refused, a series of lawsuits
ensured which caused McCalden to leave the IHR. He then
started his own organization for the dissemination of
revisionist and racist material called Truth Missions.
(4:16)

Willis Carto was founder of the Liberty Lobby, which is
characterized by the ADL, as an "anti-Jewish and extremist
propaganda organization." (4:5) In 1980, Carto, with the
help of his wife, founded the "Legion for the Survival of
Freedom, Inc.," which was licensed to do business as "The
Noontide Press/Institute for Historical Review." Carto's
anti-Semitic views were well documented before this. Caplan,
describing these views, writes,

     In correspondence published by the columnist Drew
     Pearson in 1966, Carto wrote, "Hitler's defeat was the
     defeat of Europe. And of America. How could we have
     been so blind? The blame, it seems, must be laid at the
     door of the international Jews.... If Satan himself,
     with all of his superhuman genius and diabolical
     ingenuity at his command had tried to create a
     permanent...force for the destruction of the nations,
     he could have done no better than to invent the Jews.
     (4:5)
     
The Noontide Press book catalogue, besides its abundance of
books on Holocaust denial, carried many obviously racist
titles. They carried books that denigrated African-American
intelligence; `The Testing of Negro Intelligence,' `Twins:
Black and White, Race;' that were against integration, `Race
and Reason;' that discredited Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
`Martin Luther King: Behind the Myth.' (Appendix C) Lipstadt
records some of Carto's racist views for us:

     Carto believes that at the root of civilization's
     problems are the "Jews and Negroes"...Carto bemoaned
     the fact that so few Americans were concerned about the
     "inevitable niggerfication of America"...in 1962
     he...argued that racial equality would be easier to
     accept if there were "no Negroes around to destroy the
     concept." (10:146)
     
After David McCalden left the IHR, the present editor of the
journal, Mark Weber, in a business takeover, ousted Willis
Carto from the organization. Following a series of lawsuits
between Carto and the IHR, on-going for years, the IHR found
itself in a financially precarious position. As a
consequence, the IHR has cut back on the number of new books
they brought into print and a number of journal subscribers
have abandoned them in support of Carto. Carto, in response
to being ousted, has made plans to publish his own journal
of revisionism to be tentatively called the `Barnes
Journal,' in honor of Henry Elmer Barnes, a pre-World War II
historical revisionist. Greg Raven, who maintains a personal
site on the Internet for many of the articles published in
the IHR journal, is presently the Associate Editor of the
journal.

To supply material for its journal, the IHR has sponsored an
almost annual conference on historical revisionism. Due to
lack of funds or interest, there were some years in which
the conference did not occur. Though it is purported to deal
with historical revisionism, the bulk of the material, the
talks and papers presented, have dealt with the Holocaust.
The conference officials believe the biggest lie deserves
the most time. Many of the speakers at these conferences are
the "who's who" of revisionism and neo-Nazism. They have
managed at times to get respectable speakers, notably the
Pulitzer Prize winner John Tolland. They view such
participation as a great victory as it serves to help people
see them as a legitimate and mainstream scholarly
organization. (4:7)

The European Revisionists

Prominent among the European deniers is Robert Faurisson. He
claims that he was the first one to challenge and
essentially prove that there were no gas chambers at
Auschwitz. One of his claims to revisionist fame is his
challenge of the authenticity of the `Diary of Anne Frank.'
He has published works that purport to "prove," by textual
analyses, that the diary was a forgery. His "proof" has been
repudiated by the Netherlands State Institute for War
Documentation. (1) They have published a critical edition of
the diary and laid to rest all revisionist claims that the
diary was written years after the war by a ghost writer for
commercial purposes. It is interesting to note that despite
this extensive proof to the contrary, Faurisson still
insists that the diary is a forgery.

Faurisson's contribution to Holocaust revisionism rests
primarily on articles he has written, especially one that
appeared in 1978 in `Le Monde,' one of France's premier
newspapers. His legal "martyrdom" (as viewed by other
revisionists), due to the laws he violated in France
disseminating denial views, has earned him the respect of
revisionists world wide. The IHR has recently compiled his
articles in book form under the title of `Faurisson on the
Holocaust.' (8:8)

Other European revisionists include Wilhelm Staeglich, Carlo
Mattogno, Jurgen Graf, and Henri Roques. Wilhelm Staeglich
served as a German air defense artillery officer at
Auschwitz camps. After the war he served for many years as a
judge in Hamburg, Germany. In 1979 he wrote a book called
`Der Auschwitz Mythos (The Auschwitz Myth)' that was
published in West Germany. This book offers his explanation
of what Auschwitz was really about. His motivation is quite
clear for writing the book. As he states,

     ...at no time since the fall of the Third Reich has the
     German people been able to bring itself to pursue its
     own political interests.... Pivotal to the German
     national guilt complex is the Auschwitz Myth.... Today
     the word "Auschwitz" has the almost mystical force of
     traditional fables and legends, and it is in this
     sense, too, that the phrase "Auschwitz Myth" should be
     understood.... Cleverly using the Auschwitz Myth to
     represent itself as the sacrosanct embodiment of
     "Humanity" -- and the German people as the embodiment
     of utter evil -- international Jewry has laid claim to
     a privileged status among nations.... So long as the
     Auschwitz Myth retains its terrible power, the recovery
     of our national self-esteem is virtually impossible.
     (18:6)
     
Carlo Mattogno describes himself as a specialist in textual
criticism. In the past he has been a speaker at revisionist
conferences, talking about the legends of Auschwitz. His
major contribution has been a book, published by the IHR,
called `Auschwitz: The End of a Legend." In this book he
attacks the work of Jean-Claude Pressac who exposes the
pseudo-scientific works of Fred Leuchter. Jurgen Graf is a
Swiss revisionist who has written books that have just
regurgitated old revisionist positions. Henri Roques, a
French revisionist, has laid his claim to fame in the fact
that he was the first French revisionist to submit a
revisionist dissertation for his doctorate at a major French
university and almost had it accepted. The IHR has since
published his dissertation under the title of `The
"Confessions" of Kurt Gerstein.'

The reader should not assume that the list of European
revisionists is short. There are many minor actors all
across Europe who push pamphlets, make Auschwitz video
games, seek to hurt what they perceive as non-Aryan
Europeans and hate anything that is not a mirror image of
themselves. The threat is so strong that many European
countries have made laws to combat what they perceive as a
threat to public safety. Holocaust revisionists view these
laws as oppressive measures that stifle intellectual
achievement.


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