Source: North Shore News, Oct. 14, 1994 (6)
Countering Mr. Collins
As the words atop Dough Collins’ column used to say, get this
straight: I am strongly pro-Semitic.
Understood? I have a general bias _in favor of Jews_.
Having said that:
Doug Collins has a reputation, among other things, for being
absolutely in-your-face clear about his views.
No beating around the bush by our Doug. No shades of grey. No
nuances. And no reader, if the image is correct, has ever turned
from Doug’s column muttering “Now, what the hell did he _really_
mean to say?”
But at least one reader has. Me.
For years I’ve read Doug on the Holocaust, on the Jews, on the
Nazis, on the Nazi-hunters, on the neo-Nazis and the suspected
neo-Nazis – the latest his extraordinary column in this paper last
Friday blasting a _Province_ article that was headed: “Holocaust
just a story: Collins.”
And having read all that, I honestly don’t know what the hell Doug
_really_ means to say.
His Friday rebuttal chipped away at some points, asserting that “the
gas chamber story was false” and that there were none in Western
Europe as once claimed.
But does Doug therefore conclude that millions of Jews didn’t die in
Hitler’s loathsome camps? Or only that most didn’t die in gas
chambers? Or is his beef that Hitler’s minions killed not just Jews
(true), but only the Jews won’t forget it? Or that Stalin killed
more people than Hitler (also true), but the media don’t go on
endlessly about that? (Also true, but so what?)
In his zeal for smaller truths abetting a bigger lie that he doesn’t
himself subscribe to?
One thing is certain. To my great surprise, because I admire Doug’s
reportage – and stoutly support his right to write what he thinks,
which he does bery readably, very persuasively – Doug gave a
misleading quote that selectively left out words that would have
damaged his argument.
Doug wrote that not just neo-Nazis were questioning Holocaust
orthodoxies. By way of example he quoted Princeton historian Arno J.
Mayer’s book “Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?”
Here is the _whole_ quote. I’ve italicized the words Doug left out:
[Transcription note: italicized text from Mayer capitalized. knm]
“…Sources for the study of the gas chambers are at once rare and
unreliable… There is no denying the many contradictions,
ambiguities and errors in the existing sources. THESE CANNOT BE
IGNORED, ALTHOUGH IT MUST BE EMPHASIZED STRONG THAT SUCH DEFECTS ARE
ALTOGETHER INSUFFICIENT TO PUT IN QUESTION THE USE OF GAS CHAMBERS
IN THE MASS MURDER OF JEWS AT AUSCHWITZ” [in Poland].
By leaving out that vital sentence, Doug leaves the impression that
Mayer – a Jew – is skeptical about the existence of the gas
chambers. No such thing.
Doug also makes much of seeing Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in
1945 and it “contained no gas chambers.”
Well, I’ve checked six books on the Holocaust and not one makes that
allegation about Bergen-Belsen anyway. Maybe it was made earlier or
is still being made by someone, somewhere, but none of these six
academics makes it.
So Doug’s eyewitness testimony falls flat. It’s a non-revelation
that the unwary might well think challenges accepted fact.
As for the famous figure of “six millions,” I don’t “know” if it’s
accurate. (One source for it is an evil remark by Adolf Eichmann.)
But I can testify that in 1992 I interviewed American historian Raul
Hilberg, who has probably sifted through more Holocaust documents
than anyone. Hilberg said that his figures added up to 5.1 million,
and that newly available records in the collapsed Soviet empire
would undoubtedly add more.
You could go on and on about this subject. Doug does. Genuinely
saddens me, because I’m very fond of him, even though he doubtless
considers me a wimp on this and other matters.
I sorrowfully suspect he’s a victim of his own tenacity. Attacked,
threatened, picketed, the old bulldog’s response is to sink his
teeth in deeper, to the point that his stuff is reprinted by the
Institute for Historical Review. I freely acknowledge that I know it
only by its reputation – for Holocaust denial.
I smiled when he wrote that “18 PhDs” were listed on the masthead of
the institute’s journal.
In another mood, Doug, you – and I – wouldn’t hesitate to jeer that
18 PhDs could easily be found in this great world to cloak with
academic respectability any wacky notion or repulsive mischief. The
institute appears to promote both.