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Poisoning the Web: Hatred Online
Internet Bigotry, Extremism and Violence
Table of Contents

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Responding to Extremist
Speech Online:

10 Frequently Asked Questions
Holocaust Denial:
The Big Lie Revisited

Why would an anti-Semitic neo-Nazi such as Gerhard Lauck deny that the Holocaust took place? A July 1996 message from fellow neo-Nazi Harold Covington to his National Socialist White Peoples Party E-mail mailing list provides some possible reasons. Covington comments, "take away the Holocaust and both the National Socialists and the Jews become very different people, almost reversing roles." 28

Viewing the Holocaust as a "seemingly bottomless gold mine in the form of 'reparations' which has financed murderous Israeli aggression in the Middle East and numerous anti-White Jewish institutions," Covington wonders: "without the Holocaust, what are the Jews?"
Holocaust deniers' thousands of pages of propaganda on the Web, presented as academic fact or in the guise of free and open 'debate,' take particular advantage of many Web users' difficulty distinguishing between reputable and disreputable Web sites.
His answer: "Just a grubby little bunch of international bandits and assassins and squatters who have perpetrated the most massive, cynical fraud in human history."

Likewise, Covington thinks the general public would be "stunned with admiration for the brilliance of Adolf Hitler"29 if it believed the Holocaust did not happen. Paraphrasing prominent Holocaust historian and Emory University professor Deborah Lipstadt, he declares that "the real purpose" of Holocaust denial is "to make National Socialism an acceptable political alternative again."30

Since 1979, when Willis Carto founded the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a sizable Holocaust denial movement has surfaced. Holocaust deniers make the mendacious claim that the account of Nazi genocide universally accepted by legitimate historians is false, either in its entirety or in most of its central facts. To support this claim, they distort and even fabricate history.

Unlike Harold Covington, most in the Holocaust denial movement try hard to mask the anti-Semitism underlying their claims. Instead, hoping to make their views seem respectable, they pretend that their sole goal is to "correct" the historical record. Posing as historians and cloaking themselves in ersatz scholarship, the deniers claim that the Holocaust is a Jewish fabrication, not the product of Nazi hatred.

Holocaust deniers' thousands of pages of propaganda on the Web, presented as academic fact or in the guise of free and open "debate," take particular advantage of many Web users' difficulty distinguishing between reputable and disreputable Web sites.

When ADL first reported on Holocaust denial Web sites in 1996, only three existed: Greg Raven's IHR site, Bradley Smith's site for the Committee for Open Discussion of the Holocaust Story (CODOH), and the Zündelsite, which promotes the work of Canadian Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel. Today, these sites are still among the most significant manifestations of Holocaust denial on the Web, but have been joined by more than a dozen others, as well as numerous sites with Holocaust-denial materials alongside other hateful propaganda.

Also Online:

Holcaust Denial: An Online Guide

Next: IHR


28 Harold Covington, NSNet Bulletin #5, July 24, 1996

29 Harold Covington, NSNet Bulletin #26, August 17, 1996

30 Harold Covington, NSNet Bulletin #5, July 24, 1996


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