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Research and Fact Finding

  • Holocaust denial is part of a calculated plan by extremist groups to provide respectability to Nazism and Fascism as political movements for the future. In their eyes, such "rehabilitation" has been prevented by the taint of the Holocaust, so they regularly question the established history of the Nazi regime with the intent of putting doubt in the minds of many about the facts of the Holocaust. By framing their attacks on the Holocaust as merely unorthodox points of view, these propagandists promote subtle but hateful anti-Semitic images of Jews as exploiters of non-Jewish guilt (especially concerning the establishment of the State of Israel) and controllers of academia or the media. These beliefs, in fact, bear comparison to the preachings which brought Hitler to power in pre-war Germany.

  • The Institute for Historical Review (IHR) is a pseudo-academic enterprise promoting anti-Jewish, anti-Israel and pro-Nazi beliefs. Bradley Smith, formerly IHR's "Media Project Director," works through the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH) to place Holocaust denial advertisements in college newspapers. Since 1990, Bradley Smith has successfully placed advertisements in approximately 75 campus newspapers, including those at Vanderbilt University, Queens College, Duke University, the University of Akron, Tulane University, the University of Michigan and Brandeis University.

  • ADL enlisted the help of The New York Times for a joint colloquium, "Extremism Targets the Campus Press: Balancing Freedom and Responsibility," to educate campus journalits on journalistic responsibility and ethical standards on issues related to Holocaust denial. The gathering was attended by student journalists and administrators from 32 institutions from across the country, including Harvard, Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania. Speakers included ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman and The New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., columnist Bob Herbert and Director of Advertising and Acceptability Steph Jesperson

    Why Not Call It Holocaust 'Revisionism'?

  • Legitimate "revisionism" does not question the actuality of historical events. Revisionism looks at their causes and consequences. There is no debate among historians about the actuality of the Holocaust or that Nazi Germany systematically killed millions of Jews.

    Major Assertions Of Holocaust Denial Propagandists

    1) The Holocaust did not occur because there was no single "master plan" for Jewish annihilation.

    2) There were no gas chambers used for mass murder at Auschwitz and other camps.

    3) Holocaust scholars rely on the testimony of survivors because there is no objective documentation proving the Nazi genocide.

    4) There was no net loss of Jewish lives between 1941 and 1945.

    5) The Nuremberg Trials were a "farce of justice" staged by the victors in the war.

    Factual Responses To Holocaust Denial

    1) That there was no single document outlining a "master plan" does not mean there was no plan. The "Final Solution" was the culmination of the development and implementation of Nazi Jewish policy, overseen and directed by the highest tier of Nazi leadership including Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich, Adolf Eichmann, Hermann Goering and Adolf Hitler himself. As early as September 16, 1919, Hitler wrote that the "final goal, however, must steadfastly remain the removal of Jews altogether." On February 24, 1943, Hitler stated: "This struggle will not end with annihilation of Aryan mankind, but with the extermination of the Jewish people of Europe."

    2) Death camp gas chambers were the primary means of execution used against the Jews during the Holocaust. Well before the fall of 1941, when the Nazis issued a directive implementing large-scale gas chambers, procedures facilitating mass murder, including the utilization of smaller gas chambers, were already in place.

    3) The Germans themselves left no shortage of documentation and testimony to the events, and no serious scholar has relied solely on survivor testimony as the conclusive word on Holocaust history. The history of the Holocaust has been compiled largely from German documents -- written by Nazi policymakers such as Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich, Hans Frank, Rudolf Hess and Adolf Eichmann -- captured by the allied armies.

    4) The widely cited "six million" figure of Jewish Holocaust victims is derived from the initial Nuremberg trial estimate of 5.7 million deaths, subsequent census counts, statistical analyses, and other demographic studies of European Jewry. Newly released information from Soviet archives suggests that the death count should be revised upward by perhaps 250,000 additional Jewish victims.

    5) The process of bringing Nazi war criminals to justice was a lengthy and complicated effort involving the differing legal traditions of the United States, England, France and the Soviet Union. The trials did not result in either "rubber stamp" guilty verdicts or identical sentences. In fact, by 1951, 77 of the 142 criminals convicted at Nuremberg had been released from prison.

    Holocaust Denial On College Campuses

  • Bradley Smith and other Holocaust deniers routinely submit advertisements to student newspapers questioning the established history of the Holocaust. The first of these ads called for "open debate on the Holocaust" and questioned whether Nazi anti-Semitism led to an organized killing program. Another advertisement questioned the authenticity of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. A third piece offered a video -- since repudiated by its own director -- which attacked the proven fact of Nazi gas chambers at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Recent ads urge the reader to contact Holocaust denial sites on the World Wide Web. Each of these ads relies on faulty historical premises, and insinuates that the history of the Holocaust has been fabricated and promoted by an anti-white Jewish "thought police." Student editors are under no legal or moral obligation to publish these ads.

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