The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Holocaust Denial Today
Manuel Prutschi, Canadian Jewish Congress

Barnes was once a respectable historian. He was an isolationist. He felt that the United States, contrary to its interests, was led into two disastrous world wars. So he started to see a conspiracy which had maneuvered his country into these conflicts. During the First World War there were a series of propaganda stories that had been circulated by the allies to taint Germany. Subsequent investigation proved a number of these atrocity stories had been false. To Barnes, World War II atrocities would once be shown to have been as false as World War I propaganda. Paul L Berman, in a 1981 Village Voice article on Holocaust denial, which is probably still the best single journalistic piece on the subject, having studied Barnes, contends that in the United States, Holocaust denial intellectually has its roots in American isolationism with its revisionism of World War I and its suspicion of "western militarism".

Arthur R. Butz is another American. He is the author of what has become one of the classic texts of the Holocaust deniers: The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, published in 1977. He is still a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Northwestern University.

The world nerve centre of Holocaust denial is the Institute for Historical Review, in Torrance, California It holds conferences which bring Holocaust deniers together from all across the world. It issues a journal called `The Journal of Historical Review' which, on the surface, has all the appearance of a legitimate research periodical.

Willis Carto, of the unabashedly antisemitic Liberty Lobby, founded the Institute in 1979, after the N.B.C. television series on the Holocaust. The tremendous impact that the series had, not only in North America but indeed in a good part of the world, spurred Holocaust deniers to counter it with increased activism. The series is what brought Zundel out of the shadows and, in 1979, brought him to the Institute's founding convention. At the convention Faurisson, not sufficiently confident of his English, asked Zundel to read his paper for him. This was to be the beginning of an enduring association.

The Institute for Historical Review had David McCalden as its first Director. McCalden hails from Northern Ireland, lived in Britain for a number of years, and now resides in the United States.

In Britain, McCalden, as an outgrowth of the neo-Nazi National Front, organized the National Party in 1975. Because of his known racism the British National Union of Journalists denied him membership in their organization.

In the United States, McCalden (under the pseudonym Lewis Brandon) has worked for Noontide Press, another branch organization of the Liberty Lobby. McCalden, while in the employ of Noontide Press, was in charge of distributing The White Student, a promotional organ of the Ku Klux Klan Youth Corps.

The Institute of Historical Review, in a 1981 mailing signed by McCalden (under his alias Brandon), as a stunt to publicize its Holocaust denial claims, offered a $50,000 reward for "proof" that Jews had been gassed at Auschwitz. Melvin Mermelstein, an Auschwitz survivor, took up the challenge and supplied the necessary proof, only to be ignored by the Institute. Mermelstein then sued. In July, 1985, the Institute, as a result of a Superior Court of Los Angeles ruling, agreed to pay Mermelstein the $50,000 reward as well as an additional $100,000 for suffering he underwent as a result of the Institute's publicity stunt; apologized in writing to Mr. Mermelstein and other survivors for calling the Holocaust a hoax; accepted a 1981 California Superior Court ruling (which formed part of the case of Mermelstein against the Institute) that the Nazi mass murder of Jews was an indisputable fact, and undertook publicly to so declare.

David McCalden has also been actively involved with Zundel. He formed part of Zundel's "Brains Trust" at his trial and was also present at the trial of James Keegstra. McCalden has now broken with the Institute, and formed his own enterprise, "Truth Missions", through which he continues to purvey Holocaust denial materials. A variety of Canadian addresses are on his mailing list.

Antisemitism is a most redoubtable of bacteria, ever mutating and developing new strains to survive the times. Holocaust denial has emerged in the contemporary world as the ideological synthesis in the dialectics of antisemitism. It incorporates within it the age-old stereotype of the Jew as financial finagler, satanic, anti-Christian force, and the vicious and deadly libel of the Jew as world conspirator. Holocaust denial, most effectively, has managed to pull together the various antisemitic strains into a single, coherent whole. Nazis, theologians of hate, and white supremacists are as one in their Holocaust denial. Holocaust denial is the point and the cutting edge of the antisemitic knife in the 1980's.

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