The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1994/07/29
                  Copyright 1993 Information Access Company; 
                Copyright American Humanist Association 1993    
                                  The Humanist 
                                September, 1993 
SECTION: Vol. 53 ; No. 5 ; Pg. 42; ISSN: 0018-7399   
LENGTH: 1881 words   
HEADLINE: The skeptical eye: dancing with the Fuhrer; neo-Nazis who
deny the Holocaust   
BYLINE: Siano, Brian   
BODY:     There's a scene in the Mel Brooks movie The Producers where
Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel visit a writer whose stage play could be
the guaranteed flop they need to make a million dollars. (Rent the
film if you need an explanation.) The writer is a deranged Nazi and
his play, Springtime for Hitler, is subtitled "A Gay Romp with Adolf
and Eva at Berchtesgarten." He invites Wilder and Mostel to celebrate
and, while singing old German drinking songs over schnapps, says
wistfully: "Not many people knew this, but the fuhrer was a terrific
    "Really?" Mostel replies tentatively. "I never dreamed. . . . "  

    "Zat is becauss you were taken in!" shouts the playwright. "Zey
told lies."    
    That's sort of the experience I had reading David Irving, the
historian-at-large of the neo-Nazi Institute for Historical Review.
Irving is somewhat unique among this crowd, and not just because his
last name's Irving; some of his books, unlike those of the other
Holohoaxers, are actually available in otherwise respectable
bookstores. The Sunday Times of London e n en [typo? knm] his aid (albeit
reluctantly) in obtaining the recently discovered Goebbels diaries
from Moscow. And Irving's circulation in neo-Nazi circles does give
him some unique career opportunities; in 1992, he announced that he'd
recently obtained the original transcripts and some surviving tapes
of Adolf Eichmann's memoirs, dictated throughout the late 1950s.   
    In 1989, Irving delivered a speech to a neo-Nazi rally held (big
surprise) in a Munich beer cellar. Irving declared that Hitler had
never ordered the mass murder of the Jews and that, apart from Jews
being shot or used as slaves, there were no gas chambers--and
therefore no mass murders. Defending himself in court three years
later, Irving referred to the Holocaust as a "blood lie" that had
been cruelly propagated against the people of Germany.   
    (Remember, these folks are a whole new realm of extreme. Other
Holohoaxers maintain that the Jews died from food shortages, that
they were merely well-cared-for slave laborers, and even that a
swimming pool had been built for their personal recreational use at
    Accepting Irving's contention that Hitler was out of the loop for
the final solution would require ignoring the fact that Hitler had a
phenomenal memory for logistics and military information. Very little
went on in the Reich that he didn't know about or couldn't recall in
detail. And to suppose that Hitler didn't sanction mass murder would
require ignoring hundreds of hours of speeches calling for the
extermination of European Jewry. The Goebbels diaries reveal Hitler's
jubilation over the notorious 1938 Kristallnacht, in which he ordered
the arrests of 20,000 to 30,000 Jews, saying that they would "pay
dearly for their own mistakes." On the fifty-third anniversary of
this event, Irving addressed a gathering of neo-Nazis in Halle,
Germany. He hailed the resurgent nationalism that was driving the
Nazi revivalist movement and assured his listeners that their numbers
would double over the next few years.   
    Irving's take on Eichmann's memoirs is instructive' He claims
that Eichmann thought the final solution meant merely exporting the
Jews to Madagascar--which Irving feels "would have been an ideal
solution to a perennial world tragedy."   
    But at one point in his memoirs, Eichmann himself stated that
Reinhard Heydrich delivered the following message: "I've come from
the Reichsfuhrer SS. The fuhrer has given the order for the physical
destruction of the Jews." Irving promptly falls all over himself
trying to explain this incriminating statement away--describing
Eichmann as a scared fugitive grasping at any kind of extenuating
circumstance, and reminding us that this is a postwar document and so
we have to be cautious about taking it at face value, etc., etc.
(Never mind all those documents written during the war about how well
the gas chambers were working.)   
    Irving also dwells obsessively on how obsessive Eichmann was
getting while in Argentina:   
    He keeps coming back to the horrible thought. Did they manage to
use us? Did the Zionists use the   
    Nazis to further their own ends?  Was the Holocaust something   
they themselves inflicted on their own body, in order to bring about 
their Zionist cause in the long run?   
    But rather than contest these ridiculous ravings, Irving relates
an instructive little story: Eichmann claimed that a young girl had
been removed from a camp-bound train because she wasn't Jewish, but
at the waiting station where she was deposited, a Jewish man
protested having a non-Jew left there. This story, Irving says, is an
"ugly depiction of the way man behaves unto man." Amazing: Adolf
Eichmann is a put-upon, persecuted bureaucrat and a man on his way to
the concentration camps becomes a symbol of human evil. Welcome to
David Irving's moral universe.   
    As you might have guessed by now, the IHR's Journal of Historical
Review isn't exactly bursting with useful historical research. It's
basically a hate-sheet, filled with diatribes about how the Jews have
somehow strong-armed several continents' worth of scholars,
historians, and journalists. Most of the Holohoaxers are fond of
retelling stories about how they fearlessly stood fast to their
principles in the face of intimidation and harassment from the Jews.
They've also somehow convinced themselves that the Holocaust "myth"
is essential in maintaining massive U.S. support for Israel every
    The most powerful figure in the Holohoax movement is millionaire
Willis Carto. Carto's financial largesse endows any number of
anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi organizations, such as the Liberty Lobby,
its newsletter the Spotlight, David Duke's misnamed Populist Party,
the Noontide Press, and the IHR. Carto himself stays very much in the
shadows; I ran a few searches on newspaper databases and found only a
handful of passing references. But Carto is listed on IHR letterhead
as its founder, and the business license for Noontide/IHR was filed
by his wife Elisabeth.   
    Carto denies that he is either a Nazi or an anti-Semite. He
characterizes himself as an "anti-Zionist," which (in his scheme of
things) means belated support for the Nazis during World War II.
During the late 1950s, his newsletter Right recommended that people
join George Lincoln Rockwell's American Nazi Party. In a passage
remarkably like the ravings in Eichmann's diaries, Carto wrote:   
    Who is using who? Who is calling the shots? History supplies   
the answer to this. History tells us plainly who our Enemy is. Our   
Enemy today is the same Enemy of 50 years ago and before--and that
was before Communism. The Communists are "Using" the Jews we are told
.. . . who was "using" the Jews fifty years ago--one hundred or one
thousand years ago?   
    History supplies the answer. The Jews came first and remain
Public Enemy No. 1. Or, to put a finer point to it:   
    In fact, no objective Scholar can deny today that the world would
be a far better place to live if Germany had won--even if it had   
meant the defeat of American arms!   
    A lot of the other materials sold by Carto's enterprises are
mainly for long-term fans of the Third Reich. One can obtain reprints
of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, coffee-table books of
Hitler's paintings, memoirs of Nazi high officials, and biographies
of famous anti-Semites. For a splash of multiculturalism, there are
books on race and IQ scores. And if that ain't enough, the Spotlight
runs ads for books about Nikola Tesla's energy theories,
quasi-survivalist tomes on military tactics and changing your
identity, and regular columns on investing in silver, "the Gentile
metal." Ernst Zundel has even reportedly written about a secret Nazi
stash of UFOs at the South Pole, under the pen name of "Christof
Friedrich." (I'd love to get hold of that one.)   
    And so we come full circle, back to the Harry Elmer Barnes
isolationist crowd discussed last issue. The fascist movements in
America in the 1930s were based upon an anti-Semitism that seems
unbelievable today. Back then, Charles Coughlin was a Catholic priest
whose radio broadcasts pushed a pro-Hitler,
hate-the-Jews-and-free-the-silver-markets message; today, even a
creep like David Duke has to smokescreen his agenda behind silky
codewords. But that's beginning to change; the words regarding mass
extermination are being minced less and less these days.   
    It's at this point that Holocaust revisionism cannot be seen as
anything other than part of a global neo-Nazi movement. It
encompasses skinheads in London and Berlin, armed-and-dangerous
American groups like the Posse Comitatus and Christian Identity,
former Nazis still alive and active in Europe, and even the Nation of
Islam and the minions of Bo Gritz and Lyndon LaRouche.   
    One indication of the interrelatedness of these groups came from
an investigation by the Simon Weisenthal Center this past year. A
journalist posed as the representative of a fictitious Australian
white supremacist magazine called the Right Way in order to gain the
confidence of neo-Nazis operating in Germany. Several of the Nazis
contacted claimed to be close friends with Willis Carto and IHR head
Mark Weber. This claim was borne out by Weber's contacting the
journalist--at a phone number known only to the Nazis he
contacted--to obtain a copy of the Right Way. (When Weber met with
the journalist, he bitched at length about how little Carto was
paying him. There goes his promising career.)   
    The moral debates about the Holocaust are pretty much the only
things the Reich produced that will last a thousand years. There's
the question of whether such horrors can happen at any time, to any
people, or whether it's a scar that Jews alone will collectively
bear. People can argue over whether the Holocaust has been
trivialized through its numerous dramatizations and reevaluations, or
whether a less psychologically intriguing form of mass murder
deserves to be compared with it. But frankly, the Holohoaxers just
don't deserve such weighty treatment. In fact, it would be an insult
to leap from them to such questions.   
    So instead, as promised last issue, I'd like to propose a simple
test which the Holohoaxers can do to settle the matter once and for
all. Fred Leuchter's arguments about the gas chambers being
unworkable are the most oft-cited of the Holohoaxers' claims. Let's
see them prove it--and put some of Willis Carto's money to good use
for a change.   
    All they have to do is build another gas chamber, being sure to
follow the specs for the ones found at the camps. Then they can climb
right in and have the requisite amount of Zykion-B introduced.   
    I don't see why the Holohoaxers have passed up this definitive,
Evel Kneivel approach for so long. After all, if they're wrong, they
can at least pride themselves on having stayed in the Fuhrerbunker
until the very end, so to speak. They'd also avoid having to face the
scorn and ridicule that is usually the lot of failed "heretics."   
    And if they survive--if any of them comes goose-stepping out
after an hour or so--I promise to retract every rotten thing I've
said about them in these columns. Scout's honor.   
IAC-NUMBER: IAC 13255823   
IAC-CLASS: Magazine   
LOAD-DATE-MDC: January 13, 1994    

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