AT THE CROSSROADS
I. SPLINTERS ON THE LUNATIC FRINGE
From its beginning in 1978 the Institute for Historical
Review (IHR ) was in the forefront of the intellectual fraud of Holocaust
denial. Under the control its
co-founder, Willis Carto, the IHR prospered as part of a complex of organizations
with the common goal of propagating anti-Semitism in theUnited States.
"Liberty Lobby v. Dow-Jones Co." 838 F.2d 1287 (D.C.
Cir.;1987) After Carto was ousted from his position, the IHR has been
through a financial crisis caused by the loss of old followers and its
failure or inability to recruit new ones. As a result the current management of the IHR has evidently attempted
to obtain new financing from the Arab states of the Middle East.
support was drawn from the rich vein of anti-Semitism that permeates many
nativist American movements and which he mined through his mailing list
-- the core of which were the subscribers to his racist tabloid, "The
Spotlight." The targets of the mailing list were receptive
to such discredited hate literature as "The Protocols of the Elders
of Zion"and "The International Jew" and willingly emptied
their wallets when Carto called. They
provided willing subscribers to the "Journal" issued by the
IHR and regular buyers of the books it published.
A second core
constituency, one more directly interested in the denial of the Holocaust,
were pro-Nazi and neo-Nazi activists whose primary interestis rehabilitating
the reputation of the Third Reich. One of the publishing houses catering to these
Nazi sympathizers state "It is also Castle Hill Publisher’s goal
to correct unjust reporting or accounts of events of the 20th century.
It is also the Foundation's goal to further public debate about the subject
generally described as 'Holocaust'." . . . . Lastly, it is Castle
Hill Publisher’s goal to restore, with all available legal means, the
honor and reputation of all persons and/or organizations who are found
to have been unjustly accused or even convicted of criminal acts, especially
such as were allegedly committed during World War Two." ("About
Castle Hill Publishers") For
many of these people, their admiration for Hitler and their fidelity to
the ideals of National Socialism have become an obsession which defines
their lives. To these fanatics
the Nazis were "the good guys"
(denier and neo-Nazi Alex Vange) following a "beautiful dream"
that is "worth dying for." (denier and neo-Nazi David Michael). This attitude is typified up by the British denier and neo-Nazi
David Michael who summed up World War II with the statement "There
was a war. Your side won. Our side lost."
Just as they identify with the Nazis in the war, they idealize
Adolf Hitler as Greg Raven, CEO of the IHR. did:
My only concern is in going after the facts. As such,
I am not interested in defending Adolf Hitler to my dying breath. I
will say, however, that he was a great man . . . certainly greater than
Churchill and FDR put together, and possibly the greatest leader of
our century, if not longer. This is not to say that he was perfect,
but he [sic] about the best thing that could have happened to Germany."
(March 13, 1992)
Or romanticize his rule as did David Irving who, just
a week after the attack on the World Trade Center, wrote:
A wail of sirens draws our attention to the window:
A glistening cavalcade of black, armour plated,
overlong stretch limousines with police outriders is sweeping
up Connecticut Avenue: Tony Blair has arrived, and is enjoying American
hospitality on his way up to the embassy. I again draw the comparison
with Hitler's cavalcade in Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will: The Fuhrer
stands upright in an open car, greeted by cheering crowds. Neither Bush
nor Blaircan afford such luxuries now -- an ugly product of their policies."("Radical's
Diary"; September 20, 2001).
As can be expected,
anti-American sentiments are, of course, as ubiquitous in denier circles
as ants at a picnic. Whether it is David Michael exulting that September
11 was a "glorious day" (September 11, 2001) or David Irving
chortling about "the possible collapse of the United States' economy"(Radical's
Diary; September 17, 2001), the hatred of the United States is as clear
and as fervent as their love of Nazi Germany.
to legitimize Adolf Hitler is a hard sell to American audiences.
Not only is it inherently anti-American but the arguments of Holocaust
deniers are frequently twisted distortions of history or consist of convoluted
and recondite technical quibbles. They are lines of reasoning which are difficult
for other than a committed believer to understand and inevitably lead
to counter-intuitive results. Not only must the potential acolytes of such
pseudo-scholars as Germar Rudolf, Arthur Butz, and Robert Faurisson
accept the premise that the brave men who stormed the beaches at
Normandy were an incarnation of the forces of evil but agree as well that
cyanide gas cannot be used to murder large numbers of people or that the
victims of these murders cannot be burned in crematoria.
Few people without a strong motive such as hatred for Jews or adulation
of Adolf Hitler are willing to follow that path to the lunatic fringe
of Holocaust denial. As one denier,
Germar Rudolf - speaking more like a carnival barker than an academic
- cautioned his colleagues in Holocaust denial: "If you want to bring
Holocaust Revisionism into the mainstream, you have to wrap it into a
nice package that people will buy. Focusing too much on it looks like we are paranoids obsessed with
counting rotting corpses. . . . The Holocaust is the core, but no fruit
tastes well if it consists of a core only." (e-mail dated May 17,
The road to legitimizing National Socialism is also blocked by the immovable
stone of the Holocaust. Deniers can quibble about numbers all they wish.
They can minimize the number of the victims of Nazi atrocities
and magnify the civilian dead in Germany for days on end.
But they cannot explain away the Holocaust.
They cannot create a moral equivalency as long as the Holocaust
remains in history books. The shootings by the Einsatzgruppen and the
gas chambers of Auschwitz are horrors that will forever stain the reputation
of National Socialism and bar it from general acceptance. The only way to remove
this impediment is to deny its existence. Because of the Holocaust Adolf Hitler will
be a paradigm for evil for as long as history is written.
The only way to change this is to deny that the Holocaust occurred.
And the easiest way to deny the Holocaust is to attack the victims
of that criminal conspiracy as liars and frauds plotting to besmirch the
reputation of innocent Nazis. The only way to deny the Holocaust is, at bottom, to attack the
Jews with the smears and calumnies of the classic anti-Semite.
The alliance between nativist anti-Semites and pro-Nazis was, therefore,
one of convenience based on common goals and methods rather than a common
II FEAR AND LOATHING IN SAN DIEGO
III MANNING THE BARRICADES AT FORT
IV IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ALAN QUARTERMAIN