App Austin, Article 1

“…Austin J. App, a professor of English at the University of
Scranton and LaSalle College, also played a central role in the
development of Holocaust denial, especially in the United States.
Though not as prominent as Barnes, he was far more virulent and
began explicitly denying the Holocaust within a few years after the
war. By the late 1950s he was not only writing to the Catholic
_Brooklyn Tablet_ offering ‘proof’ that the figure of six million
was a ‘bloated libel,’ but was appearing before varied audiences
accusing Jews of perpetuating a massive hoax.<1>

…App was mainly concerned to lift the moral burden of the
atrocities charge from the shoulders of a defeated and divided
Germany. In contrast to Barnes, App had no indenpendent standing in
the academic world. An active member of various German American
groups, App was an ardent defender of Germans and Nazi Germany. He
served for several years as president of the five-thousand-member
Federation of American Citizens of German Descent, founded in 1945.
Though it never reached its membership goal of three million, it
was part of a successful postwar confressional lobbying effort to
allocate a substantial number of the immigration slots that had
been intended for Holocaust survivors to Germans and Austrians.<2>


…App … inundated newspapers, magazines, politicians, and
journalists with letters attacking U.S. intervention in World War
II, Allied demands for unconditional surrender, and the imposittion
of ‘Morgenthauism’ on Germany. The latter was App’s way of placing
responsibility for all of Germany’s postwar problems on President
Roosevelt’s secretary of the treasury, Henry Morgenthau. Of course,
Morgenthau’s plan was never put into effect. In fact, Allied
treatment of Germany was the exact opposite of the plan. The
letters were also App’s self-described attempt to explode the ‘lies
and calumnies’ that had been spread about Germany since the war and
to prevent Roosevelt and Morgenthau from selling out ‘Christian
Europe to the Red barbarians.’ The letters bristled with overt
antisemitism and racism. Talmudists, Bolshevicks, and Zionists, all
of whom were intimately connected in App’s mind with one another,
were blamed for the evils that beset the world after the end of the
war.<4> Though few of his letters were actually published by the
newspapers or magazines that received them, App kept up a steady
stream of communiques.” (Lipstadt, 85-86)

Lipstadt’s end-notes:

<1> Arnold Forster, “The Ultimate Cruelty,” ADL Bulletin (June
1959), pp. 7-8
<2> “New Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold,” September 7, 1948;
Leonard Dinnerstein, “America and the Survivors of the
Holocaust,” (New York, 1982), p.222
<3> Thomas R. O’Donnell to Deborah E. Lipstadt, April 18, 1991;
Thomas R. O’Donnell, telephone interview with author, Oct. 1992
<4> Austin App, “Foreward,” _Morgenthau Era Letters_, 2nd printing
(Tacoma Park, Md., 1975).

Work cited

Lipstadt, Deborah E. Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on
Truth and Memory. New York: The Free Press (A division of
Macmillan, Inc.), 1993.

Last-Modified: 1994/07/04