Dr. David O’Connell, professor emeritus of French at Georgia State University, denied bedrock historical facts about the Holocaust in a book review authored for the November 2010 issue of Culture Wars, an anti-Semitic Catholic journal published by E. Michael Jones. Assessing Father Patrick Desbois’ The Holocaust By Bullets: A Priest’s Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews, O’Connell denied that millions of Jews were killed in the Ukraine and other former Soviet countries during World War II. In earlier articles published in Culture Wars, O’Connell had implied that he denied the Holocaust, though he did not say so directly. With his latest book review, he has crossed the line into outright denial of essential aspects of the Holocaust.
In his review, O’Connell accuses Fr. Desbois, a Catholic priest who has undertaken to document the locations of mass killings of Jews in the Ukraine, of being a “charlatan” for drawing attention to killings that O’Connell claims never happened. For O’Connell, the historical record of massacres of Ukrainian Jews during World War II is an “absurd claim” promoted by the “Zionist media.” He also charges that “there are no bodies under the ground” at the mass graves that Fr. Desbois and others have identified. O’Connell claims that “Jewish benefactors” orchestrated Desbois’ professional advancement in the Catholic Church so that they could take advantage of his present esteemed position to “discover” a “new Jewish holocaust.” O’Connell also criticizes Pope Benedict XVI for “bowing symbolically before Jewish Power” in engaging in interfaith dialogue with Jews. O’Connell’s beliefs about Jewish manipulation and subversion of the Catholic Church are not uncommon among Traditionalist Catholic anti-Semites, and are frequently printed in Culture Wars.
In a 2004 Culture Wars article, O’Connell denounced Holocaust survivors like Elie Wiesel as liars who promote a “Jewish holocaust scam.” In his writings, O’Connell refuses to use the term “Holocaust” on the grounds that it has been too often used “as a justification for the Jewish war crimes and crimes against humanity that are routinely committed in occupied Palestine,” because it has been tainted with “the scams and manipulations of various Jewish holocaust profiteers,” and because it “serves the purposes of the pro-Israel Judeo-corporate power structure.”
Mainstream historians agree that approximately 1.5 million Jews were murdered by German SS troops and local collaborators in 1941-1942 in the former Soviet Union, primarily in the Ukraine. The majority of the killings were undertaken by Einsatzgruppen (SS mobile killing units). One of the most well-known and large-scale Einsatzgruppen massacres took place at Babi Yar, near Kiev, where more than 33,000 Jews were killed on September 29-30, 1941. Despite a preponderance of evidence, including forensic and physical evidence, eyewitness testimony, and official Nazi documentation, including photographs of the killings, O’Connell refuses to accept the historical veracity of the German and Ukrainian mass killings of Jews in the Ukraine during the World War II.