Archive/File: orgs/american/united-states/department-of-defense/deomi/holocaust-revisionism.005 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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