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The parallels between AIDS denial and Holocaust negationism

with 56 comments

In “Don’t Get Fooled Again” I look at the twin delusions of AIDS denial and Holocaust negationism, and examine some of the parallels between them.

AIDS denialists – who will often describe themselves as “AIDS dissidents” or “AIDS sceptics” – are those who deny the overwhelming scientific evidence that HIV causes AIDS. They may believe that HIV is harmless, or deny that there is evidence the virus even exists. In the early 1980s, soon after AIDS was discovered, the psychiatrist Casper Schmidt suggested that the disease was a “group fantasy”, the product of an ” epidemic of shame-induced depression” among gay men, caused by “a vast, society-wide conservative swing” culminating in the election of Ronald Reagan. “One can only hope”, Schmidt concluded, “that we wake up from the trance, and soon”. As with many of the most vocal “dissidents”, Schmidt’s denial seems to have motivated, in part, by a refusal to acknowledge his own illness. Tragically, Casper Schmidt died from AIDS in the mid-1990s – yet even now some die-hard denialists continue to cite his work in support of their claims.

Towards the end of the 80s, amid growing evidence that AIDS was killing thousands, the US virologist Peter Duesberg began challenging the scientific consensus that the disease was caused by a virus, HIV. Duesberg’s work with retroviruses – the class to which HIV belongs – had led him to conclude that all such viruses were essentially harmless. Rather than revise this view in the face of strong and growing epidemiological proof of a close correlation between the presence of AIDS and HIV infection, Duesberg chose instead to reject the new evidence and hang on to his old theory – a position he has stuck to ever since.

Duesberg’s arguably most poisonous claim is that AIDS can in fact be caused by the medications given to HIV sufferers to control the disease, such as the drug AZT. It was partly under Duesberg’s influence that the South African government of Thabo Mbeki chose to delay the public availability of anti-retroviral drugs – a decision which, according to a recent Harvard study – may have cost over 300,000 lives.

Holocaust negationists deny some or all of the established historical facts about Nazi atrocities during World War II. They may refuse to accept that the Holocaust happened at all, or they may – as David Irving has done – concede that atrocities took place but deny that the extermination of Jews and other minorities was a deliberate organisational policy, authorised at the highest level. They may, like Irving, significantly downplay the number of people who died at the hands of the Nazis. Or they may engage in “moral negationism”, acknowledging that Germany persecuted Jews but suggesting that the war-time abuses committed by Soviet or British forces could somehow cancel or diminish the moral gravity of Nazi crimes. Many of these kinds of arguments can be seen in the comment responses to the piece that I wrote about David Irving here.

David Irving has famously denied that he is a Holocaust denier – and went so far as to sue the writer Deborah Lipstadt for having described him in those terms. Some of this seems to come down to semantics. If we define a “Holocaust denier” as someone who is in denial about the established historical facts relating to the Holocaust, then even someone who acknowledges some level of atrocity – as David Irving does – would nonetheless fall into that category.

After a lengthy court battle in which Irving’s historical writings were examined in fine detail, the libel suit against Deborah Lipstadt famously failed, with the judge concluding that:

Irving has for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence; that for the same reasons he has portrayed Hitler in an unwarrantedly favourable light, principally in relation to his attitude towards and responsibility for the treatment of the Jews; that he is an active Holocaust denier; that he is anti-Semitic and racist and that he associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism.

Irving has sought to portray himself as a fearless and impartial historical investigator, motivated solely by a desire to establish the truth, bravely challenging the orthodox account of the events of World War II. But the Lipstadt libel trial revealed quite the opposite. Driven by a preconceived attachment to an extreme ideological position, Irving had systematically abused the truth, deliberately misrepresenting his historical sources in order to make them support his political views.

Appearing as an expert witness, the historian Richard Evans, who had painstakingly reviewed Irving’s work, confessed to being shocked at the “sheer depth of duplicity” he had found. Irving had, Evans concluded, “fallen so far short of the standards of scholarship customary among historians that he doesn’t deserve to be called a historian at all”, suggesting that Irving relied on his audience lacking “either the time or the expertise” to check up on his sources.

Another feature of Irving’s work is his tendency to seize on tenuous reinterpretations of the existing evidence and treat them as a knockdown refutation of the claim he is attacking. Irving has argued that forensic tests taken by an unqualified investigator on the walls of the Auschwitz gas chambers in the late 1980s proved that they could not have been used for mass-executions, later claiming that “more women died on the back seat of Edward Kennedy’s car at Chappaquiddick than ever died in a gas chamber in Auschwitz”.

Irving also applied a clear double-standard in his evaluation of the evidence. At the same time as he embraced tenuous forensic tests taken more than 40 years after the end of the World War II, he was dismissive of the detailed eyewitness testimonies of the thousands of Holocaust survivors still alive at the time.

We see a similar double-standard with many of those who deny the link between HIV and AIDS. A 3-month investigation by Science magazine found no evidence to back Duesberg’s claims. Mainstream AIDS researchers accused him of constructing his arguments through “selective reading of the scientific literature, dismissing evidence that contradicts his theses, requiring impossibly definitive proof, and dismissing outright studies marked by inconsequential weaknesses.”

One big problem faced by both AIDS denialists and Holocaust denialists is the difficulty of explaining why their arguments are almost universally rejected. Here again, the rhetoric is often striking similar. Hardcore AIDS denialists insist that the disease is a “hoax”, a “myth”, and a “deceptive and deadly scam” perpetrated by the “medical industrial complex”, and offer us “Ten reasons HIV is not the cause of AIDS”. Hardcore negationists, meanwhile, talk dismissively about the “Holohoax”, which they describe as a “myth”, perpetrated by “Zionists” with an “agenda of world domination”, and offer us “Ten reasons why the Holocaust is a fraud”.

56 Responses

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  1. Interesting piece of writing which seems par for the course for a lab tech who went on to become a luvvie! Lots of superficial specious points which are flawed to more knowledgable readers and easily refuted.
    Relying on Richard Evans for a neutral opinion would be like relying on the Pope for an unbiased opinion on Catholicism. In fact i would draw a parallel between the “holocaust” R, and Roman Catholicism. The latter was the state religion in the west in previous centuries the former is the present state religion of the west. Both have millions of devoted followers who gather together on their sacred days, Decemebr 25th and January the 27th. The church made many men rich and Christianity was universally taught in schools as correct, rather like the present day version of the holocaust. Heretics in previous eras were burnt at the stake, holocaust heretics are just jailed without parole for five years. The holocaust now has its pilgrimmages with schoolchildren being paid to visit Auschwitz , oh and not to forget its own virgin mary in the shape of Anne Frank the poor girl who died of typhus in Belson.
    Good news is that nothing is constant in life and just as critical analysis has destroyed many traditional western institutions in the last 50 years so the younger generation will critically analyse the holocaust religion and ask who benefits and why.

    skeptic.

    December 16, 2008 at 6:33 pm

  2. The biggest difference between “Holocaust Denialists” and “AIDS Denialists” is that the first group ignores the massive amounts of direct and anecdotal evidence that proves Hitler killed six million Jews, while the second group is given their epithet by the pharmaceutical industry that has NEVER formally proven that HIV attacks cells or causes AIDS. If it were true that HIV attacks cells or causes AIDS, any physician or scientist would be able to verify it. Children can prove theories of thermodynamics as easily as placing a dish of water into a freezer, why can’t independent researchers prove that HIV attacks cells or cause AIDS.

    This is why the alleged co-discoverer of AIDS was found guilty of scientific misconduct and fired from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) during the 1990s and why a pharmaceutical company paid one million dollars this month to give a Nobel Prize to the other co-discoverer. HIV and its relationship to AIDS appears to be little more than a political science that has enriched thousands of universities, third-world dictators, US politicians, undeserving scientists and shareholders while unnecessarily killing and maiming thousands of alleged HIV/AIDS victims.

    “AIDS Denialist” is an epithet used to belittle individuals who ask legitimate questions. As a career police and private investigator with 28 years of experience in dealing with felons and criminal organizations, what strikes me most about HIV and AIDS and the pharmaceutical industry is the use of epithets and attacks as virtually its ONLY means to defend their alleged science. If HIV and AIDS was a legitimate science, the pharmaceutical industry would not give their detractors a second thought – just as NASA doesn’t care about “flat-earthers.” Once this scam is discovered by the world media, the billion dollar flow of funding will collapse and taxpayers can fund legitimate killers like heart disease.

    In this case, the author is funded by universities and industries that rely on millions of dollars in grants; from the pharmaceutical industry that relies on HIV/AIDS mythology. After hundreds of hours of investigation, no one within the NIH or in ANY AIDS organization has ever provided ANY coherent or verifiable evidence that HIV attacks cells or causes AIDS. Instead, they have sent me dozens of reports in reply that ASSUME that HIV attacks cells and causes AIDS.

    Clark Baker

    December 16, 2008 at 9:34 pm

  3. “The biggest difference between “Holocaust Denialists” and “AIDS Denialists” is that the first group ignores the massive amounts of direct and anecdotal evidence that proves Hitler killed six million Jews”

    I don’t think jailing people who find serious flaws/lies in the shoa industry is particularly good evidence for supporting your flimsy case.

    madame tussads

    December 17, 2008 at 9:56 pm

  4. “skeptic”, it’s interesting that you make that comparison – actually I think it seems further to highlight the similarities between AIDS denial and Holocaust denial. The AIDS denialists also try to characterise a belief in HIV/AIDS as a “religion” perpetuated by “HIV voodoo priests” (see: http://www.alexalienart.com/sonia.htm) and often seek to characterise Duesberg as a modern-day Galileo… http://www.virusmyth.com/aids/news/mgduesberg.htm

    Richard Wilson

    December 18, 2008 at 12:09 pm

  5. Where is this gentleman to donate some money for his charity causes? Emmmm, what is his name, I think Mr. 50 Billion fraud. I think also he suffers from AIDS of the brain.

    Patrick

    December 18, 2008 at 12:58 pm

  6. In the final analysis the Holocaust; gas chambers , soap bars made from Jews, lampshades made from Jews, shrunken heads etc will probably live on in the consciuosness of western man for centuries. Incidentally the latter three examples I gave are even said to be myths by Yad Vasheen the museum in Jerusalem. Here is a video which explains where all that came from,

    http://www.onethirdoftheholocaust.com/Buchenwald/

    Over half of Americans believe in David and Goliath, so reason is not a great pointer to truth I am afraid.

    skeptic.

    December 18, 2008 at 1:22 pm

  7. “Skeptic”, I may have missed something here, but your link just seems to refer me to yet another Nazi apologist website…

    Richard Wilson

    December 19, 2008 at 12:09 am

  8. “….detailed eyewitness testimonies of the thousands of Holocaust survivors still alive at the time”

    There are only a handful of ‘eyewitnesses’ to the gas chambers. The short list includes Germans who were tortured, Communists and concentration camp inmates who have made a deal of money out of their tales. Any denier will point out the paucity, or rather total absence, of any concrete evidence to back up the Holocaust yarn….I guess thats why they are deniers.

    Frankly, you are commenting on matters which you know nothing about. Your ignorance is demonstrated by your belief that Irving is a major figure in the world of Holocaust denial. His many works include not one on the Holocaust. His major contribution in the field is to point out that there is no evidence that Hitler knew about the systematic murder of the Jews. (If you can provide any proof that he did then Irving will pay you £1000.) Your problem is that you swallow the nonsense served up by the mainstream media and then uncritically regurgitate it here.

    Educate yourself by reading the works of Rudolf, Graf, Mattogno et al then tell us where the deniers have got it wrong.

    Fenton Price

    December 19, 2008 at 4:57 am

  9. Fenton – Irving may not, in your eyes, be a major figure in the topsy-turvy world of Holocaust Denialism, but he’s certainly one of the best-known deniers in popular consciousness, as much for his success in making his views heard in the mainstream media as for his writings. I’m sure that there’s nothing I can say that would ever convince you that the deniers have got it wrong.

    To the extent that none of us really “know” about things that we have not personally witnessed firsthand (and even then, memory is fallible) I think it’s possible to be radically sceptical about any historical event. I assume that you, like me, were not a direct witness to what took place in Germany and Poland in the 1940s – though I can guess whose side you would have been on, and what you would have been up to, if you had been…

    What marks out the Holocaust deniers is that they seem to apply this radical scepticism about historical facts selectively – accepting some historical facts more or less uncritically, while demanding a far higher burden of proof for those facts – such as the fact that Hitler was responsible for the deliberate killing of millions of innocent civilians – that offend their political views.

    Interestingly, the AIDS denialists have also offered a £1000 prize to anyone who can convince them, to their satisfaction, that HIV is real: http://www.virusmyth.com/aids/award.htm

    The point here is that we know that no evidence, however compelling, will ever convince them of this blindingly obvious fact – that’s what makes them AIDS denialists, and it’s another interesting parallel between their ideology and yours…

    Richard Wilson

    December 19, 2008 at 9:41 am

  10. Well an interesting parallel would be with New Labour luvvies and the God squad. Most believe uncritically what their peers or parents have told them was correct. They never think why or how and have total faith even denying the obvious reality.They are terrified of having to look at, read or even ” deal” with any view that doesnt fit their own and behave akin to a authoritarian mentality. Of course for some them are benefits in terms of material well being and a sense of inclusiveness which such groups often confer.

    skeptic.

    December 19, 2008 at 10:09 am

  11. “Skeptic”, I think it’s probably fair to say that most people, New Labour luvvies and denialists alike, to a great extent believe uncritically what their peers have told them was correct… And for the dedicated Holocaust/AIDS denier, it’s doubtless comforting to have that sense of being part of a small, close-knit clique who believe that they alone have access to a truth that everyone is else is too stupid or brainwashed to believe…

    Richard Wilson

    December 19, 2008 at 10:23 am

  12. “The first group ignores the massive amounts of direct and anecdotal evidence that proves Hitler killed six million Jews”

    It is a ridiculous ‘eleven million’ total. But I know how you Jews like to promote your own exclusive sufferings. But can you show anyone the crime scene and the weapon?

    But you cannot, that is why your methods of argument employ jail sentences and persecution.

    Burt

    December 19, 2008 at 10:46 am

  13. That is a rather false analogy. New Labour luvvies are essentially conformists who fit in with their peers and therefore into the zeitgeist and receive benefits thereby. Revisionists are questioners who challenge accepted group beliefs and dont believe what their peers tell them is correct.

    skeptic.

    December 19, 2008 at 11:30 am

  14. But that’s the point – being a “revisionist” brings with it a whole new group of peers, and a whole new set of rewards of its own – just look at the praise, adulation and camaradery that David Irving gets from the extreme right. (And that Peter Duesberg gets from the odd collection of new-ageists and herbal remedy freaks who so admire his stance on AIDS)

    Richard Wilson

    December 19, 2008 at 12:08 pm

  15. In fact, for an academic seeking to revive a flagging career, diving headlong into denialism is a time-honoured strategy for drawing attention to one’s self and acquiring a dedicated set of flattering admirers. There’s an interesting article touching on that issue here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/28/weekinreview/28johnson.html?ex=1351310400&en=473574f8a549b914&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

    Richard Wilson

    December 19, 2008 at 12:15 pm

  16. Now really if you believe that diving into revisionism is a way of reviving a flagging academic career you really must be a stranger to reason. This is what Noam Chonsky wrote about Professor Faurisson after he had been savagely beaten by those who hold like yourself a consensus view on the matter of ” gas chambers”.
    Dr. Robert Faurisson has served as a respected professor of twentieth-century French literature and document criticism for over four years at the University of Lyon-2 in France. Since 1974 he has been conducting extensive historical research into the “Holocaust” question.
    “Since he began making his findings public, Professor Faurisson has been subject to a vicious campaign of harassment, intimidation, slander and physical violence in a crude attempt to silence him. Fearful officials have even tried to stop him from further research by denying him access to public libraries and archives.
    We strongly protest these efforts to deprive Professor Faurisson of his freedom of speech and expression, and we condemn the shameful campaign to silence him.
    We strongly support Professor Faurisson’s just right of academic freedom and we demand that university and government officials do everything possible to ensure his safety and the free exercise of his legal rights”

    Now Noam could hardly be called a neo Nazi could he!

    skeptic.

    December 19, 2008 at 2:24 pm

  17. Cheerio from snowy Oregon,
    just a quick note to say that I basically agree with Richard Wilson’s point of view, find it an interesting though questionable comparison, and am fascinated by all the criticism of him, as well as the different points of view. Interesting discussion. Even somewhat civil.

    However,having little expertise about the medical world or HIV/AIDS I won’t challenge those of you who disagree. It does seem to me that the psychological denial mechanism might be similar with both Holocaust denial and AIDS denial, but the social-political contexts seem very different. I wonder if hostility to homosexuals and IV drug users plays the same role as did anti-Semitism.

    Being more interested in the Holocaust and free speech issue, I have just posted an excessively long and ponderous piece on Wilson’s other blog, Don’t Get Fooled, on Irving, free speech and the Holocaust, for those of you who may be interested. I particularly agree with the quote Irving used above from the judge describing the way Irving has a knack for misusing historical evidence for ideological reasons, while trying to portray himself as the “skeptic.”

    Still I agree, we can’t lock up people for their ideas no matter how malicious or misleading their ideas may seem to be. That’s why in March 1933 Irving’s friends the Nazis closed down the rival newspapers first thing. But I don’t know how this is related to AIDS.

    Anyway, Frohliche Weihnachten from snowy Oregon-
    Doug

    Douglas Card

    December 20, 2008 at 8:15 am

  18. Sifting through voluminous amounts of documentation regarding the ‘Holocaust’, and looking in depth at both sides of the argument, I have come to the conclusion that there is nowhere near enough solid evidence to perpetuate the ‘Holocaust’ story.

    Burt’s comment on 19 December put it in a nutshell. There is no proven crimesite or weapon. The simple fact that the figure of 4 million killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau was reduced to 1.5 million a few years back, alone throws serious doubt on other claims by ‘Holocaust’ perpetuators. There has also been so much written on the so called extermination gas chambers indicating their very existence to be a sham. Both the human soap and lampshade myths have also been acknowledged to be just that – falsehoods.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news Richard, but the ‘Holocaust’legend is a rapidly sinking ship, which much to the chagrin of supporters is taking on water faster than that ship that went down in the North Atlantic in 1912.

    Edward

    December 20, 2008 at 1:10 pm

  19. Yo there Skeptic,
    Norm Chomsky is a leader of that portion of the Left which has moved sooooo far to the left, that it has come almost full circle, ending up to the right of the Right. It’s that strange place where “the Right meets the Left.”

    Norm will never pass up a chance to criticize Israel or the US or to cheer for those who do.

    And Edward, you know there is so much evidence, even Irving is no longer a “Holocaust Denier” but instead a justifying revisionist. Get a life, the war’s over, leave the Europeans to Peace.

    Froehliche Weihnachten,
    Doug

    Douglas Card

    December 20, 2008 at 6:47 pm

  20. Science.
    In both incidences( AIDS/Holocaust orthodoxy and now Darwinian evolution/Global warming) the new priestly class wearing white coats have become the new gatekeepers.This cult-like dispensing of official truth is not science(real science has no emotion laden agenda)but a manipulative coercion technique to gain compliance from the new serfs ,us .Science can only handle one variable and co-relation is not causation(HIV-AIDS)Orthodox science is now esoteric data interpretation.For the benefit of the self styled elite overlords.

    Stephanus Marturus

    Stephanus Marturus

    December 20, 2008 at 10:56 pm

  21. Edward – I don’t doubt that you’ve read plenty around this subject, but the fact that the evidence failed to convince you seems to say more about you than it does about the established facts…

    Ding! Stephanus has neatly completed the circle for us – global warming denial and evolution “scepticism” definitely deserve belong in this discussion – and I agree that it’s all about how much stock we put in the professional expertise of specialists (and on which specialists we chose to trust, and on what basis), relative to how much confidence we have in our own abilities to make a competent judgement on the finer nuances of AIDS science, meteorology, evolutionary biology, historiography etc…

    Richard Wilson

    December 21, 2008 at 10:25 am

  22. Perhaps I should have made my position on the ‘Holocaust’ clearer. Although I do not doubt
    that very many Jewish persons died during the war in concentration camps for a number of reasons, among them brutality, what I do not believe is that anywhere near as many as 6 million died.

    Douglas, as much as you say that there is evidence supporting the ‘Holocaust’ as it is widely viewed, there is plenty of evidence supporting an opposing viewpoint, but perhaps you are like many others who have not examined the converse side of the coin.

    David Irving has never called himself a ‘Holocaust Denier’, but has stated that he does not subscribe to all aspects of the ‘Holocaust’. He is in other words, a Holocaust diminisher, or a Revisionist.

    Richard, you use the term ‘established facts’, yet if you had read up on opposing viewpoints regarding these ‘established facts’, perhaps you would not be quite at sure of yourself as you appear to be.

    In this regard, wasn’t it an ‘established fact’ for decades that 6 million Jews died, yet Auschwithz dropped the death toll by 2.5 million bringing it to … 3.5 million.

    Strangely enough, persons who are not as well versed as they imagine themselves to be on the subject, still quote the figure of 6 million as an established ‘fact’, (as do the media), along with numerous other ‘well established facts’ which have already either been disproved, or are now at least a subject of serious doubt.

    One more thing, Richard. Because I stated that I did not believe in extermination gas chambers, human soap and lampshades, etc, you seem to have very quickly formed a certain opinion of me. Not subscribing to every aspect of the ‘Holocaust’ has got nothing to with being a racist or anti-semite. It has however, got to do with looking at real facts, and deciding whether these support that which has been popularised by the media.

    Edward

    December 23, 2008 at 7:11 pm

  23. Froehliche Weihnachten Edward!
    First, I just want to thank you for your polite and reasonable response, a bit of a rarity on these channels. On Wilson’s other blog (Don’t Get Fooled) a nice chap named Alex told me he’d like to see me hang from a rope after a Nurembergesque trial. Even more interesting, even after many more bloggers joined the flock posting attacks on Wilson and me, not a single one chided Alex for his hostile words. Nice crowd. Thus I appreciate your civility.

    I also appreciate that you seem to be open to evidence from either side. As long as you are motivated by a desire for the truth and not a desire to try to shift the blame for the holocaust from the Nazis to the Jews, I have no problem with that, and respect you.

    Bear in mind this is a subject I have been researching in many ways for over 50 years, so I did not get my ideas or opinions from the “media.”

    MAJOR QUESTION: DOES DAVID IRVING LIE?
    This thread started with Richard Wilson’s idea that certain people are “naive skeptics” who wouldn’t believe a thing any government official, scientist, journalist, or history book could tell them, yet will believe the craziest things if they come from a source they admire, and support what they want to believe. Wilson used Iving as an example of a person who can misrepresent his facts in a way his naive and shallow followers will believe him.

    I think David Irving just proved that!
    And, he may even have lied in the process. (Oh, no,not that NICE MR. IRVING!)

    Just go to his web site. First, note that much of the site is devoted to (ridiculing) Jews and (glorifying) Nazis. Nice, objective historian here.

    Then, note the headline he has for his “Radical’s Diary” December 20.
    It is:

    ” David Irving, A Radical’s Diary: Peter Longerich now agrees that Heinrich Himmler did not inform Hitler what he was doing.”

    However, click on this link and you discover something very different– He did NOT say “DID NOT”, he actually said Himmler “MAY NOT’ have informed Hitler he was murdering women and children. (Irving then had the nerve to say this is what he had been saying all along.)(At least he admits they murdered innocent civilians.)

    It’s as if Irving put this out as a test to see if his flock is able to note his misinformation, or just follows along blindly.

    So far, sad to say, I seem to be the only one who has passed the test, and noticed Irving’s misleading statement.

    But I admit I “cheated”– I’m trained in being a skeptic, sorting out mistakes in social-historical material, and have written about exploding historic myths. I wish more of Irving’s followers had that training.

    Think of this when you want to throw out all the established information on the holocaust to replace it with the revisionist material from such “objective” historians as David Irving. This is not to say there may not be new information to correct old myths, just be sure “not to throw out the baby with the bath water.”
    Felice Navidad,
    Doug
    ==========================================
    dec. 20 Irving web site
    ——-
    # David Irving, A Radical’s Diary: Peter Longerich now agrees that Heinrich Himmler did not inform Hitler what he was doing. As for Bernie Madoff Investment Securities LLC: “It almost hurts to write these words, but the laughter ringing round the world just won’t stop”
    # That nice Mr Madoff: Jewish leaders fear anti-Semitic backlash over $50 billion Madoff scam – and $50 billion us
    ————–
    —–
    Interesting is an item in December 15′s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: Reviewing the 1,000-page academic-turgid Heinrich Himmler biography by Peter Longerich, journalist Rainer Blasius states that the German-born professor admits that Adolf Hitler may not have been informed of what Himmler was up to: “Several careful wordings chosen by Himmler in his speeches indicate for Longerich that he [Himmler] may in fact have taken the decision to murder women and children on his own responsibility, firmly convinced that such a procedure would meet with the approval of the Supreme Leadership.”*

    In other words, Hitler may not have been informed — which is what I have been saying all along. In fact the conclusion is inescapable, if you study Himmler’s speeches carefully.”
    ————–

    Douglas Card

    December 24, 2008 at 5:22 am

  24. Interesting reply from Doug, always appreciate a dialectic which unfortunately is not allowed for revisionists as they are jailed throughout Europe for doubting the accepted truths. Doug is clever and reminds me of a lawyer. Go for the weaknesses of your opponent, not their arguments but attack the bona fides of the messenger. As for “revisionists” who post with untasteful remarks I tend to think they are agent provocateurs or “trolls” as we on the internet call them.
    David Irving is a good writer who at least has done original research going in the archives as opposed to most historians who just copy each others works.He is approaching seventy now and like a lot of clever people he has his weaknesses and having been put in jail for a year on trumped up charges at the behest of the Jewish community I am sure he will not be the most pro Jewish writer.
    There are however lots of much better revisionists, who are highly intelligent and have done very persuasive research which exposes the holocaust racket. Sadly some of these linger in jail this Christmas, as to do research and come up with results that conflict with the Nuremberg ” evidence” is illegal in France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, etc .
    As Professor Faurrison said and this is still not been answered, ” show me a homicidal gas chamber or the remains of one so we can investigate this crime”.
    There were no homicidal gas chambers, they are as imaginary as the Iraqui weapons of mass destruction.
    Happy Christmas Doug and Happy Christmas to Germar Rudolf and the rest of the imprisoned thought criminals

    skeptic.

    December 24, 2008 at 10:55 am

  25. Edward, I can’t claim to know you, but your use of phrases like “the Holocaust legend” does suggest a certain contempt for those affected by the crimes of the Nazis, which I think a lot of people would find distasteful. I certainly do. What I’ve also been struck by in a lot of the comments on this post is the degree to which Irving sympathisers, while posing as worldly-wise sceptics and contrarians, are willing to embrace a rather simple conspiracy theory about one particular ethnic group secretly controlling what goes on in the world – almost any event, by it the prosecution of Irving by the Austrian authorities or the dominant view among historians of the events of the 1940s, is taken to be a product of this same monolithic conspiracy. And I’m sorry, but the world I’ve lived in just seems rather more complex than that…

    Richard Wilson

    December 24, 2008 at 1:52 pm

  26. Interestingly WW1 revisionism and research is legal in Europe so the story below can be published without the editor of the Daily Mail being jailed. So the British Government did lie after all and those history books ,written by knighthood winning historians are wrong, the Lusitania carried lots of munitions. WW2 research and revisionism will remain however for the foreseeable future illegal in most of Europe.

    From the Daily Mail,
    The diving team estimates that around four million rounds of U.S.-manufactured Remington .303 bullets lie in the Lusitania’s hold at a depth of 300ft.
    The Germans had insisted the Lusitania – the fastest liner in the North Atlantic – was being used as a weapons ship to break the blockade Berlin had been trying to impose around Britain since the outbreak of hostilities in August 1914.

    Winston Churchill, who was first Lord of the Admiralty and has long been suspected of knowing more about the circumstances of the attack than he let on in public, wrote in a confidential letter shortly before the sinking that some German submarine attacks were to be welcomed.
    He said: ‘It is most important to attract neutral shipping to our shores, in the hope especially of embroiling the U.S. with Germany.
    ‘For our part we want the traffic – the more the better and if some of it gets into trouble, better still.’
    Hampton Sides, a writer with Men’s Vogue in the U.S., witnessed the divers’ discovery.
    He said: ‘They are bullets that were expressly manufactured to kill Germans in World War I – bullets that British officials in Whitehall, and American officials in Washington, have long denied were aboard the Lusitania.’
    The discovery may help explain why the 787ft Lusitania sank within 18 minutes of a single German torpedo slamming into its hull.

    Some of the 764 survivors reported a second explosion which might have been munitions going off.
    Gregg Bemis, an American businessman who owns the rights to the wreck and is funding its exploration, said: ‘Those four million rounds of .303s were not just some private hunter’s stash.

    skeptic.

    December 24, 2008 at 3:14 pm

  27. Mr. Wilson, you say you refuse to acknowledge simple conspiracy theories.

    Well, how about the vast German conspiracy to secretly exterminate an entire race in the hope future historians would be at a loss to determine what had happened to it? And naturally, with no procedural plan, no written orders at any level, no assigned method of mass murder or bureaucratic control, leaving it to the imagination of a whole bunch of telepathic (Raul Hilberg dixit) improvisers who came up with mass execution by steam, electrocution, non-toxic Diesel exhaust, Zyklon B insecticide etc., and left not the slightest vestige of such a carnage accessible to examination in any of its precisely located alleged sites. And, of course, left instead survivors galore from such alleged “extermination centers” as Auschwitz to manifest themselves everywhere more than 60 years after the alleged extermination.

    How skeptic of you.

    ASMarques

    December 26, 2008 at 10:35 am

  28. You also don’t like the expression “the Holocaust legend” because it “does suggest a certain contempt” for the concept.

    I agree with you, but doesn’t the use of the unqualified buzz-word “Holocaust” suggest an even greater contempt for the rational mind?

    I mean, we can always construe complex sets of events into “single historical facts” and maintain an epistemological validity to our discourse if a definition of our meaning exists. Historical narrative would be a desert of intractable minutiae if we didn’t do just that. Thus, the Second World War may be called a fact, much like the fact that I entered this comment or any other simple empirical truth. This is because, in spite of the great complexity of the historical events, we establish definitions and understand them: a “war” is a state of belligerence between states, a “world war” is a war of global world significance, and “the Second World War” is the particular world war that took place between 1939 and 1945.

    Similarly, if we are to take the “Holocaust” as a historical fact, rather than a vague set of religious-like beliefs, we should define our meaning. For instance, a biblical holocaust is simply a sacrifice consumed by fire, and “ill-will towards the Jews,” “persecution of the Jews,” “the shooting of one’s Jewish grandfather in Russia” or “some mass killings of Jews” are not “the Holocaust,” the one historians are talking about when they capitalise the noun. I presume you will agree that it is impossible to debate the supposedly historical “Holocaust” if — alone among historical facts — it is allowed to remain an open concept devoid of meaning and form.

    The “Holocaust” then is assumed to be a relatively precise set of events involving an attempted extermination of the Jews, resulting in approximately 6 million of them being murdered, mainly in the German supposedly homicidal gas chambers.

    I believe anyone who has been around for the last half century, living anywhere but in the deepest Amazonian jungle, is familiar with this.

    In this sense then, we are perfectly entitled to claim the “Holocaust” is a fiction, since all the above claims are false: no extermination (real or attempted), no 6 million (not even approximately), and no homicidal gas chambers (not even in the alleged “extermination camp” of Auschwitz-Birkenau where by far the largest part of the presumed gassings is supposed to have taken place). To understand this, however, it is not enough to sit comfortably on your “acquired knowledge.” You’ll need to actively — and perhaps painfully — search for yourself (try codoh.com for starts).

    Of course, if we choose to define the “Holocaust” in a different manner, say as a proto-religious teaching based on extreme but vague war propaganda, claiming that undefined, formless but terrible, events, many of them miraculous, happened to Jews in such a manner that they are collectively entitled to financial compensation, as well as the Jewish state of Israel exempted from the basic standards of civilised behaviour, then the “Holocaust” may indeed be considered “a fact” — though hardly an appropriate subject for any historical debate.

    ASMarques

    December 26, 2008 at 2:05 pm

  29. “they may…concede that atrocities took place but deny that the extermination of Jews and other minorities was a deliberate organisational policy, authorised at the highest level”

    What evidence is there it was authorised at the highest level?

    “They may, like Irving, significantly downplay the number of people who died at the hands of the Nazis”

    As others have pointed out, the official number of deaths at Auschwitz was recently revised downward by a few million. I ask the same question that Bradley Smith does, can you provide the name of one person, with proof, who died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz?

    “he was dismissive of the detailed eyewitness testimonies of the thousands of Holocaust survivors still alive at the time”

    Could you cite a specific example of eyewitness testimony that can withstand scrutiny? And what are we to make of the detailed eyewitness accounts that don’t fit the conventional holo-narrative?

    Take Elie Weisel. He makes no mention of gas chambers at Auschwitz. He does describe seeing babies being killed in pits of fire, which never happened. He claimes he saw thousands executed at Buchenwald, which never happened. He describes having his injured leg operated on by Auschwitz doctors, then being allowed to recover in the infirmary for two weeks. What an odd sort of death camp! He describes how, when given the choice of evacuating Auschwitz or staying and being liberated by the Soviets, he elects to leave with the Germans.

    Marvin Young

    December 27, 2008 at 3:52 am

  30. Hi Skeptic,
    And a very Merry Christmas to you as well!

    I agree, a respectful dialectic is always interesting, and I appreciate the adjective “clever”, though I’m not sure it was meant as a compliment. But no, I’m a social historian, not a lawyer.

    Regarding the Lusitania, it may well have been that it was carrying some munitions, (though the German Sub couldn’t have known it), for that whole WWI thing is a sort of murky mess, the fault not nearly so clear cut as in WWII. So I won’t argue that; nor will I disagree that people shouldn’t be put in jail for their statements– as I wrote before, it violates our ideas of free inquiry, and it made a noisy “martyr to free speech” out of a boring old Holocaust justifier.

    However, Skeptic, I don’t know how you and I can have a “dialectic”. You are a moving target, just jumping away from whatever point I make. When I bring up Irving’s mistakes you just shrug and say there are better revisionists; when I bring up Alex’s death threat against me, you just claim he must be a “troll” or “provocateur”, because “your side” wouldn’t say things like that” (then why didn’t you condemn him for that?!)

    Actually, I’ve noticed that Holocaust Revisionists, such as seen in these comments on on these two blogs, have very little tolerance for divergent viewpoints, which is predictable for the heirs of the Book-Burners.

    Finally, it seems you believe nothing about the Holocaust, and no sources which confirm it. How can we possibly have a basis for a dialectic if you deny all established sources? Where is the possible common ground?

    For example, what do you have to say, specifically, in regard to the various descriptions of Holocaust activity in Nicholas Stargardt’s excellent, well researched and well balanced “Witnesses of War, Children’s Lives Under the Nazis”?
    You have to do better than to say “it’s all nonsense”; you need some facts.

    Cheers, Doug from the rainy land of the Webfoots

    Douglas Card

    December 27, 2008 at 7:02 am

  31. Once again a clever reply from Doug who I am happy to engage in a dialogue as i am not a descendant of book burners ;however those who jail people who have found uncomfortable historical facts to be scientifically valid certainly are. I certainly condemn all nastiness and silly death threats as I am sure you condemn the viscious attacks on Professor Faurisson.
    The point I made with the Lusitania is not in support of its sinking Doug, it is that both the US and the British government lied in stating it was not a munitions ship (at least 4 million rounds on board) and that they used it with their credulous populations for many years even claiming that children were given a day off school in Germany to celebrate. My other point was that fortunately it is not illegal to research such matters in Britain unlike ww2 where although we dont have “holocaust denial” laws yet we certainly have an E.U arrest warrant as Mr Tobin recently found out.
    All religions and faiths will be questioned by man who fortunately has a quest for truth and reason. Just as most people in western Europe now see the Old Testament as a collection of fairy stories they will realise that those in power and authority have spun them a 20th century fairy story. The holocaust of course is needed to justify the continuing occupation and repression of the Arab population in the ghetto of Ghaza and the bantustan of the West Bank.Now what do i see as the main news on the BBC today; 140 people killed by Israeli air raids in Ghaza and so the killing goes on.

    skeptic.

    December 27, 2008 at 12:46 pm

  32. Said Douglas Card: “it seems you believe nothing about the Holocaust.”

    Mr. Card, concerning the “Holocaust” word, please read my previous message. The “Holocaust” narrative no longer claims simple historicity in the usual, everyday, down-to-earth, sense. Or rather, it goes through the motions, but neither the priestly classes nor the faithful masses really care much about that order of concerns. At a deeper level, the cult now claims sacred historicity status. By this I mean the realm of alleged events claimed to have occurred in (sacred) history but somehow to lie above and beyond the ontologically simple notions of historical truth and falsehood. It’s an odd irrational mental landscape that presides over practically all known religions. Personally, I’m interested in factual history, not the fine points of crass religious superstition.

    ASMarques

    December 28, 2008 at 1:36 am

  33. Ho there Skeptic,
    Again, I’m flattered you characterized my response as “clever”, though again I fear it was not meant as a compliment.

    Some points:
    1. We agree on the negative effect of threats and name calling on blogs, as well as laws against free speech. We can shake on that. Surely you agree then, the NSDAP book burnings (such as that of Thomas Mann, our hero from Luebeck) were a horror–

    2. We agree the Lusitania sinking was representative of the widespread skullduggery at the early period of WWI; hard to prove just who did what or what was going on. It likely involved some trickery by England and culpability of the US. WWI was a tragedy all the way around. Hard to find a “good guy” in all that.

    3. I agree with you (as well as ASMarques) that facts, not religious mythology should guide our discussion; in particular we need to avoid the cult of Aryan superiority and authoritarianism (Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer) which led to the NSDAP disaster.

    4. It’s true, as you suggested, the Holocaust was a main factor leading to the Nakba and the creation of Israel. As I’ve often stated, “Both the Israelis and Palestinians have been victims of history, and both deserve a fair and secure settlement.”

    To put it another way, I’ve argued “The Palestinians suffered at the hands of the Israelis because the Jews suffered at the hands of the Germans.”
    (Needless to say, extremists at both ends violently disagree with me on this!)

    Today I, with you, grieve over the 200 or more Palestinians who were killed in the extraordinary and disproportionate Israeli air attack on Ghaza, as well as the random Hamas rocket attacks which provoked it…and the Israeli occupation which provoked that…. and so it goes until our lust for revenge is finally satiated…..or we find a better way…….

    5. Other than that, Skeptic, I am disappointed you responded to none of the points I raised, it’s as if you just want to make a jab at some “weaker” point and ignore the rest. That’s no dialog. Regarding this, I mentioned that it’s impossible for us to have a dialectic If you do not believe anything about the Holocaust which is in standard histories. For example, I mentioned the facts in Stargardt’s excellent recent history, “Witnesses of War.” You ignored it, as you seem to do with all evidence with which you disagree. I hope it wasn’t because Stargardt is not acceptable to you because he is a person with a Jewish grand parent.

    To ASMarques: I hate to sound rude, but I wasn’t talking to you. I find your priestly-religio-mystical Hegelian-deconstructionist rhetoric meaningless.
    With Skeptic, I was referring to the fact that he evidently believes nothing about the Holocaust he reads in a standard history, so we have no agreed-upon evidence for a debate……but I respect his arguments.

    We know what we mean by the Holocaust, I’m not going to split hairs about this massive, racist, ideologically driven, intentional, organized, European-wide brutality towards, and killing of, Jews as Jews.

    Cheerio,
    Doug from the rainy land of the Webfoots

    Douglas Card

    December 28, 2008 at 7:15 am

  34. In answer to Doug please dont insult me by writing I dont accept writers views because they have Jewish grandparents. I am ready to read all opinions on the holocaust as I hope you will. My main concern is that those who have opinions which dont fit with the WW2 victors end up in jail even if carefully researched and referenced. Until this is changed then dialogue is difficult.
    Happy New Year and peace to all in the middle east. I see the US government is blaming Hamas for the killing in Gaza, plus ca change!

    skeptic.

    December 28, 2008 at 9:37 am

  35. Douglas Card: “I hate to sound rude, but I wasn’t talking to you.”

    1) I don’t need you to address me personally in order to address you.

    2) You also said: “I’ve noticed that Holocaust Revisionists, such as seen in these comments on these two blogs, have very little tolerance for divergent viewpoints, which is predictable for the heirs of the Book-Burners.”

    3) If you think my opinion of the “Holocaust” hoax is “Hegelian deconstructionism,” instead of simple clear thinking, you obviously have no idea of what you’re saying.

    I must go now. See you.

    ASMarques

    December 28, 2008 at 6:19 pm

  36. [Because of the similarities of the many criticisms I have received on both of Richard Wilson's busy blogs, and the importance of clarifying the morality of this issue, I am posting identical statements on both of his blogs]

    Sunday musings: Morality, Germans, ethics, and the Holocaust:
    This I Believe.

    Sunday is a day many of us use to ponder philosophical, spiritual, socio-political, moral and ethical questions. It’s a good day to review our critical values of integrity, compassion, kindness, diligence, honor, thoughtfulness, tolerance, fairness, and most of all, the courage to stand up against evil.

    With our recent discussions on these blogs, today seems a perfect time to challenge David Irving’s views of the morality of the Holocaust.

    First, lets’ question the terrible stereotype most people of the world had of the Germans after WWII— according to this biased view, all Germans were bad and responsible for WWII and the Holocaust; evil was embedded in their character and culture; and all Germans were Nazis or Nazi sympathizers.

    Balderdash!
    Most people forget that the Nazis never won a free election in Germany! They were a minority party which came to power by terror, manipulation, and their control over free speech. The so-called “Good Germans” were the majority, but they suffered. It was because of this decent majority that Germany was able to reconstitute itself as a democracy so quickly after the war.

    In the last truly free election of November 1932, the Nazis had just 33.1% of the vote; in March of ’33, even with many of their opponents thrown in jail, they still had just 43.9%, and to control the government, had to partner with the naive Nationalists whom they soon destroyed along with all the rest of their opposition.

    So please do NOT blame the majority of the Germans for supporting the NSDAP– they didn’t, but once the Nazis had their totalitarian power, after passing the Enabling Act, the majority of good, decent Germans no longer had a say in anything. With the glories of the first German military victories, and no freedom of speech, no free newspapers or radio, and the book burnings, even the majority were eventually, but temporarily, brought over to the Nazi’s views.

    I was fortunate to live for two great years 1959-61 in beautiful Luebeck, and in such smaller Gemeinde as Boizenhagen, Radenbeck, and Gartow, where I found the people were wonderful, nothing like the ugly “arrogant Nazi” stereotypes which had been put out in the media and propaganda about the supposedly still-Nazi Germans.

    It’s past time for everyone to totally put those obsolete, ugly stereotypes aside and respect Germany for what it is today, a strong, pluralistic, freedom loving democracy. The “revisionists” are a small but noisy minority. While many Europeans still carry scars from their brutal treatment at the hands of the Nazis years ago, I think it is also past time for putting people in jail for espousing Nazi-like beliefs. It only makes martyrs out of them for those who still see themselves as victims. Lets’ not let this small band of “revisionists” mess up Europe again.

    Ah, but it’s Sunday– what about the Church, the priests and ministers, the Christians– where was their morality? Didn’t they compromise too much with the Nazis?

    Well yes, most people would agree that their opposition to the Nazis was too little and too late. Still, there were members of both the Catholic and Evangelical faiths who bravely stood up against NSDAP bullies for Christian decency.

    Though often criticized for the Concordat, German Catholics were especially impervious to Nazi political mythology– in that crucial election of 1933, for example, while Protestant East Prussia voted 56.5 for Hitler, Koln-Aachen’s Nazi vote was a much lower 30.1%

    There were many brave Christian individuals who stood up for decency, and often paid the price– among Evangelicals, for example, with the support of the “Confessing Church”, there were the well known pastors Martin Neimoller, Dietrich Bonhoffer and Karl Barth, as well as such others as Paul Schneider, Max Joseph Metzger, and Bishop Theophil Wurm.

    Courageous Catholics included Cardinal Faulhaber, Otto Dibelius, Fr. Rupert Mayer, Count von Galen, Otto Mueller, Karl Klinkhammer, Jacob Kaiser, and eventually, Cardinal Bertram.

    Occasionally Catholics were able to present a united front against the Nazis. For example, early on, Austrian prelates cited four specific errors in the Nazi ideology: Racial hatred, radical anti-Semitism, extreme nationalism, and attempts to establish a “National Church.”

    These brave German and Austrian prisoners of conscience often endured great punishment for standing up against evil: at one point, the cleric block at Dachau had 387 German and Austrian Catholic clerics, and 35 Protestant pastors; Wheaton asserted that a very large number of Catholic priests died at Dachau.

    And let us not forget those amazing Jehova’s Witnesses, the “Bible Students”, whose courage and compassion in the death camps astounded even the Nazi guards.

    Now, back to the other question of morality: David Irving’s justification of the Holocaust.

    There are four basic views of the Holocaust, loosely defined as the massive brutalization and killing of Jews as Jews across Europe in an organized and intentional manner by agents of the Third Reich, 1933-45.

    1) It happened, and was a terrible crime against humanity. (the majority of the world’s view.)

    2) It happened,(though a bit less than claimed) but it was justified, as it was the Jews’ own fault. (David Irving’s current view.)

    3) It didn’t happen, (or was much less than claimed) but would have been a terrible thing if it had.

    4) It didn’t really happen, (or was much less than claimed) but would have been justified if it had. (The view of many of the revisionists who have attacked me and Richard Wilson on these blogs).

    While there are various combinations of these ideas, Irving earlier had a reputation as almost a “Holocaust Denier”, as he has often minimized the extent of the killings, thus fitting number 4, but today he is clearly no denier!!!

    I am using Irving because he is so well known, recently spoke here in Oregon, and most revisionists seem unwilling to believe any source written by a Jew, liberal, American, university professor or professional historian or journalist– though some of the most extreme revisionists even call Irving himself too moderate and pro-Jewish these days!

    When I heard Irving here at the UO, where he was forced to have an open door at the university so could not screen his audience for political conformity as usual, I was astounded to hear him proclaim his current views:

    While trying to somewhat minimize the extent of the killings, and claiming Hitler didn’t know what Himmler was up to, Irving explained he didn’t like the term “Holocaust” and instead preferred the term “The Great Jewish Tragedy”, and that by the term ” The Great Jewish Tragedy” he did NOT mean all those Jews who were killed, but rather, that the Jews never ask why they are hated so, why people want to kill them!
    The ultimate in “blaming the victim.”

    As I wrote in a letter to the editor here, it was the most reprehensible statement I had ever heard in a public forum in America.

    Irving, however, was so proud of himself, he actually put my letter on his web site, in his “diary”. (see below) Most important, he did not attempt to deny any of it, (the facts were too clear), so just did what revisionists generally do when trapped in an argument– like a child, resorted to name calling, writing:

    “Reprehensible”- that’s a long word for such a shallow brain.”

    So here is a challenge to all you revisionists:
    Staying to the topic!, please:
    “Do you agree with Irving that the mass killing of Jews during the Third Reich was justified by their own behavior, or do you feel these murders were a crime?” Or was Irving wrong to admit these mass killings took place?

    I’ll be looking for your specific answers to this question! (and please, no “Apples and Oranges” analogies.)

    Cheers from the rainy land of the Webfoots,
    Doug
    =====================
    =====================

    (Irving’s web site)

    June 30, 2008 (Monday)
    Dubuque (Iowa) – Chicago (Illinois)

    The Eugene Register-Guard [rgletters@guardnet.com] has printed this letter:
    IRVING STATEMENTS REPREHENSIBLE

    On June 20, The Register-Guard printed a letter from Bob Bussel criticizing the newspaper’s “bland” coverage of the presentation of Holocaust denier David Irving.
    However, the situation was even worse than Bussel realized, for Irving’s horrifying talk made clear he is no longer simply a Holocaust denier but rather something even uglier, a Holocaust apologist or sympathizer.
    Our normally reliable newspaper missed the point on this one, for while it correctly noted that Irving “generally avoided using the word Holocaust” and “instead he called the mass killings during World War II ‘the great Jewish tragedy,” the story left out the punch line.
    Irving explained that he meant the tragedy was not that all those Jews were killed, but rather that “Jews never asked themselves why they were killed … why they are hated so.” This claim that Jews were responsible for their own death is the most reprehensible statement I have ever heard from a public platform in the United States and deserves complete condemnation.
    The Nazis killed millions of Jews, Poles, Russians and Roma (Gypsies) because they were brutal, racist thugs. It’s unfortunate that at a time when reasonable people are raising serious questions about such issues as the Jewish lobby in America and Israel’s endless expansion into Palestinian land, the Pacifica Forum chooses to immerse its intellectual arguments in the most foul, bigoted anti-Semitism.
    To rephrase Voltaire, “Though I loathe what you say, I will defend your right to a university room in which to say it.”
    Douglas Card
    Veneta
    ——————–
    ——————–
    “Reprehensible”- that’s a long word for such a shallow brain.
    ===================================

    Douglas Card

    December 29, 2008 at 8:51 am

  37. The only things common to holocaust revisionism and AIDS revisionism are:
    (a) each transgresses against a social taboo (namely, that one must not question the “accepted” hypothesis); and
    (b) in each case the “accepted hypothesis” is ill founded.

    wulfilia

    December 30, 2008 at 3:35 pm

  38. Nooo… there are many more similiarities.

    c) Both groups are keen on comparing themselves to Galileo and claiming persecution accordingly.

    d) Both groups like to cite conspiracy theories and vague theories about “mass hysteria” to explain why so few people believe their theories.

    e) Both groups seek to appropriate the mantle of “scepticism”.

    f) Both groups have had vanity-project endorsements from nutjob Presidents – Ahmadinejad and Mbeki respectively…

    Richard Wilson

    December 30, 2008 at 3:51 pm

  39. c.Both groups are keen on comparing themselves to Galileo and holocaust revisionists are indeed persecuted and jailed for expressing their opinions.
    d.Both groups are aware that few people believe them , although expounding holocaust revisionism leads to physical assault and imprisonment so this could explain this.
    e. Both groups are skeptics.
    f.Holocaust orthodoxy has a vanity-project endorsement from luvvie and Zanulabour supporter Richard Wilson whose only claim to fame is he portrayed a cantankerous old fart on TV.

    skeptic.

    December 30, 2008 at 7:07 pm

  40. I think you may be confusing me with another Richard Wilson…

    But aside from that, can I just check that you’d deny that the Holocaust happened AND that HIV causes AIDS? What’s your position on global warming, just out of interest?

    Richard Wilson

    December 30, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    • Sorry for the belated reply. I question all three hypotheses.

      I would be interested to know why you specifically name global warming (sorry, climate change).

      wulfilia

      April 27, 2009 at 12:34 pm

      • No probs – I agree that all scientific claims are open to question, and that asking questions is a good thing – but my concern is when that questioning turns into a political excuse for inaction. Climate change/global warming is a good example in my view because if the mainstream scientific consensus is right, then the scale of the problem we’re facing is huge, we’re already in quite a lot of trouble, and there’s an urgent need for action. Some of the arguments used by self-described climate change “sceptics” remind me a lot of those used by “AIDS dissidents”, except that the media is a lot more respectful of the former than the latter. If the arguments of the climate change “sceptics” do remain a political excuse for inaction (or insufficient action) then arguably the potential damage will be far greater than the damage so far apparently done by AIDS denialism. If the scientists are right then it seems likely that climate change could eventually dwarf all of our other problems.

        Richard Wilson

        April 27, 2009 at 1:24 pm

  41. Regarding the Luisitania, its been shown that the ship was carrying arms. There have been allied documentaries and books demonstrating this.

    The British were blockading Germany, preventing food from entering Germany and this resulted in over one million Germans dying of starvation during WW I (mostly civilians). Great Britain actually enforced the blockade for a year after the war had ended to continue the starvation, resulting in hundreds of thousands more German deaths from malnutrition. There is no argument about this, all historians agree.

    Before the Luisitania left port, Germany had taken out an ad in the New York Times warning people not to take this ship because it would be entering waters where fighting was taking place and might be sunk. Obviously a submarine can’t see whats in the belly of a ship, but Germany was aware of the anti-German propaganda in the USA and its trading with Great Britain.

    The Germans were only doing what the British were doing, except while the Germans had the strongest army, the British had the strongest navy and their blockade was meant to starve Germans (mostly civilians).

    The thing I find remarkable is the cowardice displayed by both the US and British governments of the time. They knew the ship would be going into hostile waters, it might be sunk resulting in civilian deaths, but they encouraged people to take the ship while Germany took out an ad in the Times telling people not to board. They didn’t give a damn about their own civilians. It appears as if the British wanted the Luisitania to be sunk, giving Wilson more propaganda fodder and the excuse he needed to enter the war.

    Peter

    December 31, 2008 at 3:54 am

  42. I didn’t focus on one of the most important points. The allies were shipping arms to Great Britain using a luxury liner holding thousands of civilians. It was a cowardly act.

    Peter

    December 31, 2008 at 5:33 pm

  43. Richard, I’m surprised that even after I clarified my view and explained why one does not have to be a racist or antisemite to question the ‘Holocaust’ in its commonly viewed entirety, you persist in suggesting that either my character is suspect, or that I have contempt for those affected by Nazi crimes.

    Contempt for innocent people, Jewish or otherwise, who have been ill-treated, can only be ascribed to someone who has little or no compassion, or has bigoted views. What I do have contempt for, however, is a perpetuation of certain viewpoints as fact, when in reality they have yet to be proven.

    Your view regarding any person who questions the ‘Holocaust’ is however, a common one. For unknown reasons, anyone who questions the ‘Holocaust’, (or even aspects thereof) is relegated to the rubbish heap of outcasts of society. If you are found ‘guilty’ of querying even one aspect of it, you run the risk, in a number of countries, of not only being persecuted in a variety of ways, but of simply being removed from society. Why is this? Punishment for thought crimes (and this applies to only one particular ‘Holocaust’) is indeed one of the strangest phenomena of our times.

    Anybody can say virtually anything about any other holocaust, of which there were many during the last century, and nobody would turn a hair. Questioning does not necessarily mean that the questioner feels that the dead should not be mourned, that they were guilty of their own demise, that it’s something that should have happened, or even that it should occur again.

    I notice Richard, that you have still not commented on the huge official reduction in the death toll to which I and others refered to earlier. Strangely enough, (or perhaps I should say “as expected”) the amount by which the death toll was reduced easily accounts for the large number who supposedly died in ‘gas chambers’.

    Edward

    January 5, 2009 at 9:35 pm

  44. Edward, I wrote to Richard a while back and when he did not respond to my letter, I had to conclude he is more interested in advancing his career than seeking truth and fighting for justice.

    In the subject line of my email I put “Courage and Conviction”. Heres the letter:

    Dear Mr. Wilson,

    It doesn’t take much courage to criticize David Irving, a seventy year old historian who has been jailed, bankrupted and had his reputation as an important historian mostly destroyed. Books like yours might make decent money and possibly win you important and influential friends who have a great deal of money that can help your career as a writer. However, Mr. Irving’s relevance to current events is nil.

    Do you have the courage to write something important and relevant to the people suffering and struggling for survival today? Do you have moral convictions and have the courage to support them in your writing and face the possibility of negative consequences or are you the type of person who finds it easier to just “go along with the program”.

    In one of your comments to me, you hinted that I might be anti-semitic. That comment does not require any courage. Please read these articles below. Do you see any any anti-semitism in them also? Do you consider criticizing a Jewish organization or an individual or group of Jews anti-semitic?

    The Madoff Victims: Schadenfreude, Not Anti-Semitism

    http://www.dissidentvoice.org/2008/12/the-madoff-victims-they-richly-deserved-it/

    Gaza families eat grass as Israel locks border

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5338014.ece

    Sincerely yours,

    Peter

    Peter

    January 6, 2009 at 2:22 am

  45. Peter,

    Many thanks for your thoughts, and apologies for your not replying to your email. I agree that it doesn’t take much courage to criticize David Irving these days, and that he has in many ways made himself an easy target, but I still think he’s fair game. I would say, however, that before he lost his famous libel case – and he was shown, categorically, to be a falsifier of history, any criticism of Irving in print took quite some courage, because of the risks to freedom of speech posed by the libel laws of this country. So maybe now there’s a bit of catching up to do. I also think it’s important that we learn the lessons from the David Irving case. I don’t believe that any person or organisation is above criticism or reproach.

    I don’t agree that Irving is irrelevant. If he was irrelevant, he wouldn’t still be featuring in TV documentaries. He still has a platform, and a voice, and his ideas are still having an impact. It therefore seems quite fair to take issue with what he says, and what he has said.

    I suspect that most writers write about the things that seem to them to be interesting, important and relevant. Different people tend to have different views about what counts in each of those categories, and indeed about what counts, and doesn’t count as “courageous”. In my view, it doesn’t take much courage to be a writer in this country unless you’re willingly running the risk of being sued for libel, or getting credible threats of violence in connection to your work – and even then I suspect there’s sometimes a rather thin line between courage and abject folly, which I think David Irving illustrates rather well. So no, I wouldn’t claim to be a courageous writer.

    I don’t think it takes much courage, either, to write things which are relevant to people who are really struggling for survival – though I do agree that it’s important that writers do so. If you’re interested in such things, you might want to read up on the horrific impact on innocent people of the South African government’s embrace of AIDS denial, which is estimated to have cost upwards of 300,000 lives. Or about the millions who continue to suffer, with the active complicity of the international community, through tyranny, corruption and worlordism in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. And if you’re interested in freedom of speech, try these cases:

    http://richardwilsonauthor.wordpress.com/?s=sinduhije

    http://richardwilsonauthor.wordpress.com/2008/10/14/free-jean-claude-kavumbagu-2/

    Richard

    Richard Wilson

    January 6, 2009 at 10:03 am

  46. Richard, thank you for your advice regarding subjects to write about in respect to people struggling for survival and the horrific impact on innocent people these situations can have. But, you would be the last person I would take advice from on that subject (nor would I recommend you to anyone else regarding that).

    While the entire worlds media (certainly western media and middle eastern media) number one story being reported on every day for the last week has been the Israeli attack against the defenseless Palestinians, you prefer to talk about Burundi. Last death count I heard was 4 Isreali’s dead and over 500 or 600 Palestinians dead. Although the western media say its the Palestinian’s weapon’s threat to Israeli lives that caused the conflict, the numbers show that to be a farce.

    But of course thats what I was talking about in my letter regarding courage to speak out. My apologies if you are Jewish, then the issue might not be courage, but first overcoming what might be some peoples instincts to side with their own people first, regardless of right or wrong.

    Heres a video from Gaza:

    “This is an all out war on the civilian population” says Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian Doctor speaking from Gaza. He tells Sky News that the number of civilians injured and killed in Gaza proves that Israel is deliberately attacking the population.

    http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2385

    Peter

    January 8, 2009 at 3:34 am

  47. Peter, I think you may have misunderstood me – I wasn’t offering advice about subjects to write about, merely agreeing that it’s a good thing that writers try to write about the plight of people struggling against injustice, and giving some background on the issues I’ve covered here and on which I have some (albeit fairly limited) knowledge. I can’t claim to know very much about the Israel-Palestine issue, other than what I read in the news and in human rights reports – hence my not feeling that I have anything particularly useful to say on that subject. This is a post about Holocaust denial and AIDS denial. If you want to debate Israel-Palestine, there are plenty of other people who I’m sure can/will give you a better account than I would.

    But I do sometimes wish that the media would pay a fraction of the attention to Central Africa that it does to the Middle East. I know of no conflict in the world that comes close to the horror-show going on in the DRC, where 5 million are estimated to have died – partly as a result of deliberate violence, but chiefly as a result of the infrastructure collapse brought on by the ongoing conflict, which rich countries (both western and non-western) around the world have been helping to fuel.

    Given that this is a blog about the subjects covered in my latest book, and given that this post was about the parallels between Holocaust negation and AIDS denial, I also think that the South Africa example is directly relevant. A gobsmacking 300,000 people are believed to have died as a result of the pseudo-science disseminated by the likes of Duesberg, Rasnick et al, and enthusiastically embraced by Mbeki, yet relatively few people are yet aware of the extent of this, and where the responsibility lies. Hence, in part, my wanting to include it in the book and talk about it here.

    Richard Wilson

    January 8, 2009 at 7:21 am

  48. Richard, I sometimes wish the world would pay as much attention to the other holocausts that have occurred in the world as the Jewish holocaust. In the Belgian Congo approximately 25 million africans were murdered (by Belgians) shortly before WW I. This is something that is not discussed at all. The North American Indian was effectively eliminated from the United States. The Indian is almost non-existent in the USA, while in Central and South America every other face has Indian features and several leaders are at least part Indian. Peru’s leader is a full blooded Indian. The slave trade is minimized. In the United States there are several holocaust musems and more to come, but nothing in recognition of what Americans did to Africans or the American Indians. This is very hypocritical.

    Norman Finkelstein is a scholar who has written extensively on the holocaust and how it is treated in the world today. He is also an expert on Israel-Palestine conflict. Finkelstein shows why the the United States (a country on another continent) builds memorials to Europe’s Jews but no memorials for the africans and Indians they killed in their own country. As he shows in great detail in his books the reasons are personal, political and economic.

    Politically, the holocaust is used to shut people up. Anyone that criticizes Israel or the behavior of Jewish organizations is labeled an anti-semite and never heard from again. Economically, Finkelstein showed how billions of dollars were extracted from Switzerland, Germany and others thru blackmail and extortion. Several leaders of the Jewish organizations and their lawyers have been fired (and I believe arrested). Lawyers that said they would do the work for free, received huge amounts of money and the people that were supposed to receive the money received virtually nothing. As Finkelstein reported his Jewish mother said (someone who survived the camps in Poland), “if all these people are holocaust survivors, who did Hitler kill?”.

    Getting back to one of my main points above, the holocaust has been used to prevent any criticism of Israel.

    So Israel is always presented as “the land of milk and honey”, “light unto the nations” and other wonderful accolades. Through all the atrocities they committed (including the Sabra and Shatila massacre’s committed in camps under their control), we are always told how wonderful they are. I remember in the 1970′s the Israelis rescued some of their citizens being held hostage. They made something like three movies about this: Entebbe, Victory at Entebbe, Return to Entebbe, An analysis of Entebbe, Entebbe: How does it relate to neo-classical studies – okay, maybe I got carried away.

    We are always told how wonderful Israel is, even when they are murdering children, its the pro Israel people that always put the attention on Israel – but of course its the people being murdered whose fault it is. So there are a few voices that manage to speak out against their atrocities. You can’t shut everyone up, so a few critics of Israel can be heard. Their voices appear to be getting stronger. But, its the pro-Israel people that puts the attention on Israel that allow a few people opposed to the atrocities they are committing to speak out. Thats where your importance comes in. How many hundreds (or thousands?) of books and movies have been made about the holocaust? Not enough. They want ten more this year in order to take the attention away from Israel’s atrocities and so they can accuse their critics of being anti-semites.

    Finally, on another note. You refer to David Irving as a “falsifier of history” while many professional historian’s have said he has made great contributions to the study of WW II. I am interested in what other historians say about Irving (including his critics), but not people who appear to have feelings bordering on hatred.

    If a “falsifier of history” is someone that deliberately distorts history, the allies from WW II have many “falsifiers of history”. Only recently did a German historian (Jorg Friedrich author – Der Brand, translated in english – The Fire) write about the bombing of Germany during WW II. How its intention was to murder as many German civilians as possible. How his English and American colleagues have downplayed this since the end of the war. Some go to great lengths to defend the bombing of Dresden, how it was justified, a military hub – what they write is all garbage.

    Or Daniel Goldhagen’s book “Hitlers Willing Executioners” lauded at first as a great work, then scholars referred to it as mostly garbage. According to Goldhagen, every German has had the drive to murder Jews drilled into him since the days of Martin Luther. It begins the day he or she is born and by WW II every German was complicit and wanted this. He gives the impression by WW II, it was in their genes. Even Jewish (or should I say particularly Jewish critics) said this is garbage. There is a falsifier of history for you – I’ll bet you’re a fan of his.

    Peter

    January 8, 2009 at 5:16 pm

  49. Since the USA builds holocaust museums about Jews killed in Europe, should Germany build slavery museums to study what Americans did to Africans so this can never happen again?

    Peter

    January 8, 2009 at 5:33 pm

  50. VACCINES, A NEW DENIAL?
    As none of our Revisionists were able to answer my challenge (Dec. 29) to comment directly on Irving’s specific statements regarding the Holocaust, it’s time to go back to the other original thread, of HIV-AIDS Denial.
    While this issue is hardly of the significance of our current economic collapse or the human tragedy unfolding in Gaza, it’s still capturing a lot of attention.

    Richard, if not for your perceptive writing on HIV-AIDS Denial, I would never have recognized the significance of a couple of recent articles in our local paper ( see Eugene Register-Guard web page Saturday the 10th and Tuesday the 13th). These regard the growing number of American parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated, based on their belief that these vaccines themselves are dangerous and contain bad minerals which may cause autism or other problems. I don’t know if this is also a growing issue in the U.K. or elsewhere. Frankly, as a non-medical person, I don’t know what to think!

    There seems to be a great difference between Vaccine Resisters and the Holocaust and HIV/AIDS revisionists/deniers you discussed. Whereas those two beliefs are generally espoused by a small number of ideological extremists, often alienated or hostile to society, the Vaccine Deniers posses a far wider membership and tend to be among the better educated, thoughtful and affluent, though still apparently alienated. This makes their position much more tenable and believable.

    Still, experts counter that opposition is based on fear and lack of knowledge. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that autism is on the rise, threatens many children, and is extremely difficult to diagnose, treat, or even understand.

    Saturday’s Anne Williams article in the RG was on the front page, with a large photo of a mother and her daughter; this mother refused to have her daughter vaccinated now because of her belief that an earlier vaccine had caused her to become autistic, and she was only helped by naturally cleaning out her system. Many parents are filing “religious exemption forms” based on “any system of beliefs, practices, or ethical values”– not just for religious reasons, but also from a distrust of the entire system, including drug companies; others have a strong belief in natural, alternative medicine.

    The article pointed out that Ashland, one of the more educated and wealthier towns in Oregon, had a vaccine refusal rate of 28%. This caught the attention of specialists from the federal Center for Disease Control. In Eugene, several private schools, which cater to parents who tend to have strong feelings and do not trust the regular school system, had very high refusal rates, such as Waldorf school with 76% exemption and Village School with 58%. Our highest-quality high school, South Eugene, was at 10%. This compares with our Lane County rate of of just 4.6% and our Oregon State average of but 2.8%.

    The article concludes with a statement sure to antagonize vaccine resisters and deniers everywhere, “Lane County Public Health this year will survey health-care providers and a sampling of parents who choose to skip shots, hoping to glean insight on how to persuade them otherwise.”

    Briefly, today’s (Tuesday’s) RG article, with material easily accessible on the internet, was from the New York Times and discussed a doctor who has come under great criticism in Resister circles because he has written a book defending the use of vaccines and criticizing the spokesmen of the deniers. Dr. Paul Offit, author of “Autism’s False Prophets”, is unable to have regular book signings, has even received death threats from the Vaccine Deniers.

    On the other hand, writes New York Times journalist Donald McNeil Jr, “many doctors argue that reporters should treat the anti-vaccine lobby with the same indifference they do Holocaust Deniers, AIDS deniers, and those claiming to have proof that NASA faked the moon landings.”

    Are these doctors correct?

    Cheers from our frazzled Oregon, Doug

    Douglas Card

    January 14, 2009 at 7:02 am

  51. Doug, greetings from London, and thanks for raising a very salient question! The anti-vaccine movement is a really interesting case – not only do we have the same phenomenon here, it was championed by none other than Alfred Russel Wallace, a contemporary of Darwin and an early proponent of natural selection: http://www.whale.to/vaccine/wallace/book.html, who argued in the 19th century that smallpox vaccination was “an injurious delusion” spread by “interested parties”. More recently, there was a highly-publicised peer-reviewed study here which appeared to show a link between the use of the MMR vaccine and autism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MMR_vaccine_controversy)- but the methodology was heavily criticised and subsequent investigations cast doubt on the conclusion.

    But it seems to me there are at least two questions here – whether the concerns raised about vaccines are well grounded and how, if not, the authorities should respond to parents who want to withdraw their children from the vaccination program. I’m personally of the view that for all forms of denialism, debate and engagement are the best way forward (which isn’t to say that debate can’t be robust!)

    Richard Wilson

    January 14, 2009 at 7:33 am

  52. The courts ruled today in concurrence with everything the science had pointed to: There is no link between vaccines and autism:

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/02/11/autism.vaccines/index.html

    Journalists including Brian Deer have recently uncovered fraud and deception on the part of Andrew Wakefield and other anti-vaccine people.

    See also:

    http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2009/02/12/court-rules-vaccines-not-to-blame-for-autism/

    Brian Foley

    February 12, 2009 at 10:14 pm

  53. [...] con particolare riferimento a genocidi e crimini contro l’umanità; ma è stato usato per chi nega il legame HIV-AIDS, per chi nega il declino delle disponibilità petrolifere e recentemente è stato usato per chi [...]

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