Sombre appraisal of historical revisionism. New perspective.
[To the authors of the book Exactitude, Festschrift for Robert Faurisson]
On the occasion of my 75th birthday, each of you contributed to this little book a piece for which I cannot thank you enough. My gratitude goes first of all to the two Scandinavian authors who, I am told, had the idea of this initiative, and then to Germar Rudolf and Robert H. Countess, who took up the task of gathering these texts and publishing them alongside photographs, some of which are new to me.
I hope that none of the other contributing authors will hold it against me if I say that the article by Arthur Robert Butz has particularly captured my attention. I appreciate its discernment, keen insight and balanced character. It seems to me that his essay sheds light on my efforts, with regard either to their successes or their failures, a light that will let the reader better understand the intellectual adventure on which I have found myself carried off, as it were, since the 1960s and, especially, from 1974.
At this late hour in my life, the time appears right to draw up, with forthrightness, an appraisal of revisionism. I shall therefore expose here my feelings on what, not long ago, I still used to call “the great intellectual adventure of the late 20th and early 21st centuries”, an adventure that seems to me to be approaching defeat, at least a temporary one.
In the past I have never nursed illusions on revisionism’s chances. Not for an instant have I ever believed in its imminent victory, and especially not in 1996 when, in the midst of the Abbé Pierre-Roger Garaudy tomfoolery, a weekly magazine, although quite hostile to us, announced on its cover “The Victory of the Revisionists”. Already in 1993, Serge Thion had produced in his Une Allumette sur la banquise (“A Match to the Ice-floe”) a book whose title was free of ambiguity. The ice-floe was that of the dark, immense, cold block of generally accepted ideas, the match that of his own revisionist work. S. Thion thought then that neither the light nor the heat of his lighted match risked illuminating or melting that huge mass of ice. For me, what was true of his attempt was also true of all other revisionist writings. But, in my scepticism, I still did not go so far as to imagine the degree of disrepair that, in these last few years, the revisionism of the “Holocaust” has reached, especially in Europe. In the early 1980s, Wilhelm Stäglich had confessed to me his pessimism regarding the future of our common endeavour. That upright man, a judge by profession, was mindful not to mislead anyone on the subject, above all not his close friends. It must be said that being German, he was well placed to take full stock of his country’s defeat and of the victor’s hold on things. He considered that the pitiless victor had annihilated not only a political regime – like all regimes a transient phenomenon – but also the very soul and substance of the great Germanic community. Today Germany, disgraced, insulted and with whom still no peace treaty has been signed seems to take a growing delight in recalling her alleged crimes. In truth, the people themselves can find no pleasure in the practice but no-one asks for their opinion. In Germany and Austria the repression demanded by the Jews is so fierce and so meticulous that I do not see how revisionism proper might have any chance of success in those forlorn countries, which find themselves under even fuller submission to the Jewish thought police than the State of Israel itself. From this point of view, an intellectual or a historian is far freer in Tel-Aviv or in Jerusalem than in Berlin, Munich or Vienna.
I shall give only a broad sketch of the current state of revisionism in the rest of the world. Not one of the countries freed from the communist yoke has an active revisionist author. In Russia people are often anti-Jewish, but revisionism has not moved a single author to call into question the greatest myth of our time, that of an alleged “Holocaust” of the European Jews; from his vantage point in Moscow Jürgen Graf may easily note this fact. Spain has had no more revisionists since Enrique Aynat, her most brilliant, withdrew from the arena. Greece no longer has any. Italy has only one revisionist author worthy of the name: Carlo Mattogno. Belgium has hardly any, for Siegfried Verbeke has withdrawn from the fight and other revisionists are stricken by age or illness. The government of Switzerland, where revisionism had nonetheless experienced a revival in recent years after Mariette Paschoud’s abandonment, has employed the most radical means to kill it off. The Netherlands have never really had any revisionists. The Scandinavian countries have but a handful and in Stockholm the heroic Ahmed Rami is more and more isolated in the face of the forces of repression; following complaints and actions taken by Jews, several of his website addresses have recently been eliminated from the Internet. Britain no longer has any revisionists, and certainly none in David Irving who, in recent years, has more or less rallied to Daniel Jonah Goldhagen’s theory according to which the Germans have a natural propensity for evil, which would explain their responsibility in the so-called “Hitlerite crimes” (see Adelaide Institute Online, December 1996, p. 17). During his lawsuit against Deborah Lipstadt he did not wish to call on revisionists for help, and that cost him dearly: with a rather weak grasp of the subject, he lost his footing; he made manifold concessions; to give yet another pledge of good faith to his adversary, he invoked, as usual, the “Bruns document”, a text devoid of the slightest testimonial value; physically robust, D. Irving gave the display of a fragile man.
“And in France?”, one may ask. The answer is that in the land of Paul Rassinier, there are now no more than three or four of us involved in the business of research or production. If the father of French revisionism were to return to this world, he would be dismayed at seeing that he had admirers, of course, but barely a handful of followers ready to repeat after him, clearly and without the least ambiguity, that the Nazi gas chambers and genocide of the Jews made up one and the same historical imposture. Still in France, it may be noted that the vile anti-revisionist law, labelled “Fabius-Gayssot”, no longer sees a single political personality apt to denounce it: Bruno Mégret has just let it be known that he believes in the “gas chambers” and Jean-Marie Le Pen, for his part, no longer calls for the repeal of a law that he formerly termed “freedom-killing”. According to the latest reports, the law is set to be reinforced and J.-M. Le Pen dare not censure this impudent repeat offence against the freedom of thought and of research.
In the Arabo-Moslem world, whatever the Jews may tell us, revisionism has not found a lasting resonance and I am still waiting for a single Palestinian demonstrator to be allowed by his fellows to wave, instead of the inept placard with “Sharon = Hitler”, a banner reading: “The ‘Holocaust’ of the Jews is a Hoax!” or: “Gas Chambers = Bogus!” Australia’s lone real revisionist is Fredrick Töben. New Zealand is persecuting, as if he were still active, a half-Jewish semi-revisionist who has long since done penance. South America has no more active revisionists to speak of. Central America has never had any. The United States remains the only country in the world where revisionism meets with some success, but not without many setbacks as well. In Canada, the foremost revisionist activist, my very dear friend Ernst Zündel, is in a high-security prison, held in conditions worthy of Guantanamo Bay. In Japan, virulent Judeo-American interventions have cut short revisionist endeavours. Communist China should hardly be expected to allow revisionism: the regime there fosters the myth of the Chinese as being a sort of “Jew”, victim of Japan, a country formerly allied with Germany; it expects Japan in future to pay indemnities to China as Germany pays indemnities to the Jews, that is, by the billions and till the end of time; in harbouring such hopes it is asking for disappointment for, since in the eyes of the international community, only the Jews really suffered during the war and, on that account, only they have the right to bleed a defeated country white or to steal the lands and belongings of others, as they do in Palestine.
I shall perhaps be accused of defeatism. Some will remind me of revisionism’s presence on the Internet, asserting that our fiercest adversaries are alarmed at the progress of revisionism there, a fact that, they will tell me, ought normally to give me solace.
On the subject of the Internet, I reply that the merits of this communication technique are undeniable. In future, it is in this quarter that the revisionists, chased out of all other forums, will have found their last refuge, although this area of freedom might well, under pressure of Jewish censorship, shrink away before long. But it must also be admitted that the Internet, in keeping with the consumerist society, is something of a lure to ensnarement. It tends to give the illusion of activity both to those who manage websites and to those who visit them. It snows one under, it lulls. It keeps one glued to the screen. It numbs. Or else it incites to chatter. Too much daydreaming is done whilst gazing into the electronic aquarium. People give themselves the illusion of doing a lot for the cause but, ensconced at the desk, they are above all enjoying comfort. They find refuge behind the screen or they drown in it. They no longer take the risk of going before the prison gates or into the courtroom to support a revisionist in trouble. They no longer distribute fliers or put up posters. They no longer venture out where – not without physical risk, it is true – more could be learnt about the adversary, in the flesh: that is, at the congresses, conferences and demonstrations held against “Holocaust denial”. They open their wallets for revisionists in need all the less as, on the Internet, they have made the effort of asking others to open theirs. Thousands of e-mails carry the call for a general mobilisation outside a revisionist’s jail, but the number of demonstrators in favour of E. Zündel near Toronto amounts, the first time, to a total of twelve (organisers included), and the second, to fifteen.
As to our adversaries’ mad imaginings of the revisionist “beast” which, they claim, is steadily rising up and spreading its tentacles all the way to the primary schools and, in particular, to the younger generation of Moslem background, I reply that one must not be taken in by the show. The Jews have always been adept at crying wolf or at warning against monsters. As a habit, they lie about the numbers, the wealth and the power of those whom they hate and would like to see dead or in prison. For them, the revisionists are the most unpleasant breed of being and, consequently, in more or less good faith, the Jews claim to detect the presence of the revisionist spectre in the slightest verbal divergence, the slightest noise, the slightest encounter. In December 2003 two Jews, Alex Grobman and Rafael Medoff, published the results of their inquiry into what they call “Holocaust denial in the world”; in appearance, they have taken in a rich harvest; in reality, an attentive reader will become aware that the two authors have included the least hint and the least sprig of information on the subject: using anything that might come to hand, they have presented a picture of current revisionist activity worldwide that is largely devoid of substance and fact (“Holocaust Denial: A Global Survey 2003”, reproduced in the newsletter at aaargh.vho.org/engl/actual/recla0405.pdf).
In this respect the example of Lyon is eloquent. That city, with Paris, is the only one in France where revisionism has ever shone with any lustre (Nantes got talked about only with regard to the Roques affair which erupted in 1986). A perusal of the Lyon press in early 2004 might lead one to believe that France’s second city was currently in full revisionist commotion. The local media constantly bring up the supposed indulgence shown by the Universities Lyon-II and Lyon-III (especially the latter) to their “Holocaust-denying” (“négationniste”) professors. But a close look will reveal that the number of these professors amounts exactly to nought. In reality the anti-Holocaust-deniers, taken with a near-volcanic fever, and having, for some time now, no longer had any Holocaust-deniers to sink their teeth into, are calling one another deniers and tearing themselves apart. The spectacle is, at bottom, quite informative: it demonstrates the extent to which, with the help of the media, monstrosities can be fabricated from nothing, not even an inception of existence. Observe how today in Lyon revisionist bogymen are created and you will see how it was possible to forge the myth of the magical Nazi gas chambers, universally present in the mind and strictly absent from concrete reality. In Lyon academics, journalists, politicians, in the face of repeated bursts of anger on the part of the activist Alain Jakubowicz, himself a lawyer, tremble at the thought of appearing suspect in the eyes of certain associations, Jewish or non-Jewish. Perpetually on the hunt and ever in a rage, this individual cries out incessantly against the scandal of Holocaust-denial and describes the state of things as if the city, former “capital of the Resistance” (which it never was), had suddenly become the “capital of revisionism” (which it assuredly is not). And a whole array of imitators lend their voices to a choir of upholders of the law. In this choir one or two rightwing professors sing especially well: in the past, upon finding themselves being called “revisionists”, they protested vehemently, brought lawsuits, won them, gloried in the success and now would just barely stop short of proclaiming themselves to be former soldiers in the anti-Holocaust-denial struggle. In the entire Lyon region one may detect the presence of a sole revisionist, Jean Plantin. He by no means works at the University and leads a particularly reserved existence. His main crime is to have earned, in the early 1990s, degrees in contemporary history which, following a public campaign, were taken away a decade later but which, nonetheless, had to be restored at the end of a legal battle finally won in January of this year. It remains, however, that J. Plantin has been convicted for the publication of revisionist writings (a press offence!) and sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, a sentence that he will have to serve if, one day not very far off, the Cour de Cassation in Paris denies his final appeal. When he had to go to court for his last hearing, we tried to find some young people in Lyon who might serve as escort. In a city of 1.2 million, we got hold of only one volunteer who, without giving any warning, pulled out at the last minute, on the very day of the hearing. His place had to be taken by a sixty-year-old. Who could fail to see here yet more proof, material and flagrant, that revisionism is in tatters? I shall refrain from relating other examples, just as disheartening.
I do not claim that the revisionism of the “Holocaust” is dead; it will never die. But its present state is worrying. The disaster appeared before me in its full extent in June 2002, during the last conference of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) in Los Angeles. Nine months previously, the Americans had had the traumatic experience of September 11th, 2001. At one blow, it seemed that the whole world had entered both the third millennium and a third world war. Simultaneously, as in a gigantic tracking out, the second world war gave the impression of having abruptly vanished from the horizon. Historical revisionism, whose principal object was precisely that war which had then become so remote, seemed in its turn to be stepping aside, at least in part. A few months later, the IHR entered the final phase of a crisis which, one must admit, had long been endangering its existence.
Other revisionists have picked up the fallen torch. To all of them, without distinction, I wish success. They will have my support. Whether they are called, for example, Germar Rudolf, Walter Mueller, Horst Mahler or Heinz Koppe, they will find me at their side. But on the one condition that they fight for a revisionism like Paul Rassinier’s, that is, forthright and whole.
The various forms of degenerate revisionism or of compromise do not interest me. I recognise that some of those among us practise a revisionism inspired by caution, tactic, strategy or by what they call the sense of responsibilities; but, for me, all that is only a kind of salon revisionism, pursued in comfort or in fear. Some other revisionists care too much about what the Jews may think of them; should they in passing come across a Jew claiming to be familiar with the revisionists and who goes so far as to offer them his services, they nearly swoon: “O behold the wondrous Jew! The precious intelligence! The boundless courage! Whatever we do, let’s not irritate this oh so exceptional Jew and, if he says he finds it futile to look into the reality or the non-reality of the gas chambers or the genocide, above all we mustn’t contradict him but rather emulate his reserve!” Still other revisionists (?), finally, set their heart on relatively inoffensive points of the history of the Second World War and its wake and imagine that they can write about individuals (Churchill, Pétain, Pius XII,…) or events (terrorism, the war waged against civilians, the deportations throughout the world, the trials organised by the victors…) without approaching the basic question of the reality or the non-reality of the “Holocaust”. To these semi-revisionists I shall no longer be offering my participation. There remains one last category of revisionists, those who find consolation in noting that previously little-discussed topics are now the subject of widely selling books; this is the case, for instance, for the positively atrocious history of the Anglo-American aerial bombardments in Europe and Japan; it is also the case for the abominable acts committed by the Allies during the segment of history that they have named “the liberation of nations” and that was nothing other than brutal occupation, enormous looting, immense deportations, a concatenation of massacres and a purge that goes on to this day, nearly sixty years after the end of the war. But this type of literature, interesting though it may be, does not undermine the Great Taboo of the “Holocaust”. On the contrary, it has thus far only performed the role of a firebreak for the taboo and, moreover, does not run its practitioners the risk of finding themselves in a high-security prison. Here again, let us not talk fiction to each another; we must not be put off the scent, and must avoid alibis.
“Adolf Hitler’s weapons of mass destruction (the alleged homicidal gas chambers and gas vans) did not exist then any more than Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction exist now, for both are the stuff of one and the same fabrication initiated in 1944 by a Jewish front group (the War Refugee Board) and recycled in 2002 by another Jewish front group (the Office of Special Plans): same lie, same liars”. There you have the firm and plain stand, brought into line with the present circumstances, that I think a Paul Rassinier of today would adopt. As long as Germar Rudolf, Walter Mueller, Horst Mahler, Heinz Koppe and other revisionists clearly choose this attitude and stay the course, I shall be at their side. The current calling into question of Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction gives them the unhoped-for occasion to renew the denunciation of the alleged Destruction of the European Jews (title of Raul Hilberg’s mendacious magnum opus). Those true revisionists have a right to their own political or religious convictions just as I have a right to be apolitical and an atheist. They are free to choose their means of leading the struggle just as I have chosen mine. I ask no-one to follow my example. I preach no doctrine and do not see myself as the custodian of any orthodoxy. On the other hand, what I expect of them is that, without compromise and without misrepresentation, they serve the cause of historical revisionism with the same clarity and courage as Paul Rassinier. On that condition, I shall continue with them the combat to which I have already devoted at least thirty years of my existence. I am not a defeatist for, on the contrary, I prescribe an attack vigorously centred, or re-centred, on the Mother of all lies of our time: the imposture of the “Holocaust” or “Shoah”. Jean-Paul Sartre debased himself in lying about Communism: it seems he did so because he did not want to leave “Billancourt” (that is, the French working class) bereft of hope. Personally, I am not anxious to know whether what I write encourages or discourages my reader. What interests me is being and staying as exact as possible.
Such is the taste or the desire for historical exactitude: it persists even in the final hours of life, even whilst one is hoping for a tranquillity that one has never known and even when all seems to say that it would be more reasonable to abandon a one-sided fight.
Note on some minor points: 1) I shall remind Arthur Butz that I published, in 1980, a Mémoire en défense contre ceux qui m’accusent de falsifier l’histoire, a book with a foreword by Noam Chomsky; 2) I shall tell Fredrick Töben that his anecdote of the restaurant (p. 106) shows more of the talent of a novelist than the circumspection of a historian; 3) I shall remind Robert Countess that, for my part, I have never said: “No holes? No gas chambers!” (p. 128), but rather: “No holes, no ‘Holocaust’!”, since, simply enough, if the alleged Nazi gas chambers, keystone of the edifice of lies, never existed, it follows that the alleged “Holocaust” of the Jews cannot be real; 4) I shall point out to Ernst Zündel a slight error in dates: the physical assault of which he speaks (p. 130) happened, in fact, a year after the 1988 trial.
February 2, 2004