The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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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

	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

	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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