Bradley Smith is a Holocaust denier, anti-Semite, and anti-Israel propagandist. To audiences of college students, who are the primary targets of his activities, he presents himself as a crusading advocate for free speech and free debate. Despite this public claim that he aims merely to awaken students to the value of “dissident history” and free speech, in extremist forums Smith candidly and cynically explains that arguing for freedom of academic inquiry into the Holocaust enables him to introduce Holocaust denial to skeptical audiences.
In the company of fellow deniers, Smith even admits that he carefully constructs his campus speeches to minimize the possibility of disagreement with his ideas. In a lecture he gave at an April 2004 convention of the Institute for Historical Review and the neo-Nazi National Alliance, Smith said that his stump campus speech is constructed “as simpl[y] as possible…to set [the issues] up in a way that could not really be debated.”
In public, Smith often presents himself as an agnostic on the factuality of the Holocaust, adding earnest-sounding fillips to his writings like “I'm willing to be convinced I'm wrong about the gas chambers,” “I don't care anymore who's right or wrong about the gas chamber stories,” and “authentic physical remains or wartime-generated documents would do the trick.” These statements are belied, however, by his emphatic printed references to the “gas chamber hoax” and the “monstrous falsehoods” propagated by the “Holocaust industry.” Like every other denier, Smith dismisses the records of World War II, including thousands of documents that were used immediately after the war in the Nuremberg trials, as forgeries. He rejects survivors as greedy charlatans and claims that American GI's who saw the death apparatus in the camps were duped by the American military itself, which was also complicit in the conspiracy.
While he tries to avoid explicit racism or anti-Semitism, an examination of his writings betrays an angry anti-Semitism. He describes the survivor stories as self-punishing reveries, wondering “what is there about sado-masochism that gives it such appeal among so many Jews?” and musing about “Israeli-Jewish ‘Samson’ and ‘Masada’ complexes.” He describes Hillel as “the leading private Jewish intelligence agency on college campuses,” whose rabbis have “broad political agendas but no spiritual one,” are “sweaty with self-righteousness and bad faith,” and harbor a “lust to control the thoughts of others.” In a January 2009 posting on his website, Smith fulminated against “Jewish greed” and “Jewish monomaniacal self-regard,” which he claims are responsible for the widespread acknowledgement of the Holocaust in society.
In recent years Smith's distaste for the state of Israel has increasingly informed his “revisionist” propaganda. Smith writes that Israel was founded on “a mountain of fraud and greed,” and claims that Israel is seeking to “destroy Palestinian culture and hold the Palestinian people in racist subjugation.” To Smith, the Holocaust “gas chamber fraud” and its Jewish inventors are responsible for global terrorism, the Middle East conflict, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the U.S.-led war in Iraq. As Smith wrote in a September 2004 edition of his Outlaw History newsletter, “[T]here would be no moral justification for war in Iraq without 9/11. There would be no moral justification for 9/11 without the U.S. alliance with Israel. No moral justification for the U.S. alliance with Israel without the Holocaust story. And no Holocaust story without the ‘gas chambers.’ The irony being that revisionists have shown that the gas-chamber stories cannot be demonstrated to have existed.”
Most troublingly, Smith appears to recognize that his denial of the Holocaust itself contributes to anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic violence, especially in the Arab world. Smith writes that Holocaust deniers “understand that [telling] the truth about the gas chambers ...will result in Arab fanatics having yet one more moral justification for killing innocent, unarmed Jews.” Yet Smith and his cohorts continue to disseminate their lies anyway.