Mark Weber sent the following Letter to the Editor of _Christianity Today_ in response to an article by Richard V. Pierard ("It Happened," _Christianity Today_, 9 Mar. 1992, p. 20). _Christianity Today, vol. 36, no. 6 (18 May 1992), p. 10: Many attacks against Holocaust Revisionism have appeared in recent years, but few are as error-ridden and unfair as the editorial by Richard Pierard. According to Pierard, Revisionists claim only a "few thousand" prisoners died in the German concentration camps. Not true. For example, German camp records cited by French professor Robert Faurisson indicate at least 70,000 died in Auschwitz alone. And I have written that at least 20,000 and probably about 33,000 people died in Buchenwald. Pierard says Revisionists falsely claim that "pictures of ... emaciated inmates are fabrications." But no serious Revisionist disputes the authenticity of these photographs. It should be noted that the prisoners in these photos were victims not of an extermination program, but of disease and malnutrition brought by the chaos of the final months of the war. Former inmates and American and British officials who helped liberate the camps have confirmed this. Indeed, if those prisoners had been targeted for extermination, they would have long since been dead. Pierard says it is a Revisionist lie that "cyanide gas was used for delousing and fumigation in order to check the spread of typhus." But serious researchers can confirm that this statement is true. Anti-Revisionist researcher Jean-Claude Pressac, for one, acknowledges that cyanide gas -- in the form of Zyklon B -- was used at Auschwitz and elsewhere for this purpose. Those unable to win an argument with the facts characteristically resort to name-calling: Pierard glibly maligns Holocaust Revisionists as deceitful "shadowy creatures," evil perpetrators of "the ultimate Big Lie," and so forth. What Revisionist historians write must be judged by the eternal standard of truth, not on the basis of allegedly sinister motives. Contrary to Pierard's assertion that Holocaust Revisionists are "not in their right mind," many of use have come to accept the Revisionist view only after considerable thought, study, and soul-searching. It was not until 1988 that British historian David Irving was ready to state there was no German program to exterminate Europe's Jews. He reached this conclusion only after years of careful evaluation of the available evidence. Pierard seeks to discredit "Holocaust denial" as little more than the evil cause of hateful anti-Semites and "the extreme Right." In fact, those unable to accept the orthodox Holocaust story represent every political view and ethnic-religious group. The generally acknowledged founder of Holocaust Revisionism, Paul Rassinier, was a French leftist and himself a wartime inmate of the Dora and Buchenwald camps. A few prominent Revisionists have been Jewish. Pierard's charge that Revisionists are motivated by "the intention to deny Jews the right to a land of their own" is presumptuous and silly. I know of no Revisionist scholars who hold this view. I, for one, have no objection to a secure and prosperous Jewish state. To insist the response to Revisionism is a test of "the very credibility of our faith" is a strange view. Christians are, however, obliged to respect the truth and avoid bearing false witness. Arguments about history -- even about a chapter as politicized and emotion-laden as the wartime treatment of Europe's Jews -- should be conducted in a spirit of civility, open-mindedness, and mutual respect. Mark Weber, Editor Institute for Historical Review Costa Mesa, Calif.
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