Wednesday, February 21, 2024

American Pravda: Gaza, Jewish Power, and the Holocaust, by Ron Unz - The Unz Review


Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange
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Media Conditioning and Gentile Submission to Jewish Power

Last week I published an article noting that although technology industrialist Elon Musk probably ranks as the most powerful and influential individual in the Western world, he recently humbled himself, deeply apologizing for some of his casual criticism of Jewish activities and pledging to mend his ways.

Traveling to Israel, he met with that country’s president and posed for photo-ops with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, promising to combat “antisemitism” on his Twitter platform. A few weeks later he undertook a pilgrimage to Auschwitz, making even stronger commitments to Jewish leaders, denying that he harbored any antisemitism in his own heart, and publicly declaring that he regarded himself as “aspirationally Jewish.”

These remarkable events reminded me of that famous incident of the Middle Ages in which Emperor Henry IV of the Holy Roman Empire had “gone to Canossa” and prostrated himself before Pope Gregory VII, seeking forgiveness for his challenge to the supreme authority of the Catholic Church:


Musk was only the latest and most extreme example of the many wealthy and powerful Gentiles who have publicly bent their knees in submission to Jewish power. Even if totally spurious, accusations of “antisemitism” have often proven fatal to the careers of even the highest-ranking individuals, and shortly before Musk’s submission, two presidents of Ivy League universities were politically brow-beaten and then forced to resign over their unwillingness to prohibit pro-Palestinian protests on their campuses, a sudden purge that was absolutely unprecedented in the history of American academia.

This is certainly an odd situation, warranting careful analysis and explanation. The word “antisemitism” merely means criticizing or disliking Jews, and in recent years, Israel’s partisans have demanded with some success that the term should be extended to encompass anti-Zionism as well, namely hostility to the Jewish state.

But let us suppose that we concede the latter point and agree with pro-Israel activists that “anti-Zionism” is indeed a form of “antisemitism.” Over the last few months, the Israeli government has brutally slaughtered tens of thousands of helpless civilians in Gaza, committing the greatest televised massacre in the history of the world, with its top leaders using explicitly genocidal language to describe their plans for the Palestinians. Indeed, the South African government submitted a 91 page legal brief to the International Court of Justice cataloging those Israeli statements, prompting a near-unanimous ruling by the jurists that millions of Palestinians faced the prospect of genocide at Israeli hands.

These days most Westerners claim to regard genocide in a decidedly negative light. So does this not syllogistically require them to embrace and endorse “antisemitism”? Surely a visitor from Mars would be very puzzled by this strange dilemma and the philosophical and psychological contortions it seems to require.

It is rather surprising for the extremely “politically correct” ruling elites of America and the rest of the Western world to be loudly cheering on the racially-exclusivist State of Israel even as it kills enormous numbers of women and children and works very hard to starve to death some two million civilians in its unprecedented genocidal rampage. After all, the far milder and more circumspect regime of Apartheid South Africa was universally condemned, boycotted, and sanctioned for merely the tiniest sliver of such misdeeds.

I think that part of the answer to this puzzle may be found in a famous literary work from a couple of generations ago. In 1962 British writer Anthony Burgess published his dystopian black comedy novel A Clockwork Orange, which was soon made into an Oscar-nominated film of the same name directed by Stanley Kubrick. The protagonist was Alex, a violent young hoodlum, and according to the plot government operatives subjected the miscreant to aversion therapy, severely conditioning him to avoid certain thoughts and behaviors lest he become physically ill.

As I wrote in a 2018 article, generations of Jewish media control and strident Jewish political activism have successfully subjected the 99% Gentile populations of the Western world to exactly this same sort of psychological process, with enormous social and political consequences, as we are now seeing unfold during the astonishing slaughter in Gaza:

I believe one factor is that over the years and the decades, our dominant media organs of news and entertainment have successfully conditioned most Americans to suffer a sort of mental allergic reaction to topics sensitive to Jews, which leads to all sorts of issues being considered absolutely out of bounds. And with America’s very powerful Jewish elites thereby insulated from almost all public scrutiny, Jewish arrogance and misbehavior remain largely unchecked and can increase completely without limit.

I’ve also sometimes suggested to people that one under-emphasized aspect of a Jewish population, greatly magnifying its problematical character, is the existence of what might be considered a biological sub-morph of exceptionally fanatical individuals, always on hair-trigger alert to launch verbal and sometimes physical attacks of unprecedented fury against anyone they regard as insufficiently friendly towards Jewish interests. Every now and then, a particularly brave or foolhardy public figure challenges some off-limits topic and is almost always overwhelmed and destroyed by a veritable swarm of these fanatical Jewish attackers. Just as the painful stings of the self-sacrificing warrior caste of an ant colony can quickly teach large predators to go elsewhere, fears of provoking these “Jewish berserkers” can often severely intimidate writers or politicians, causing them to choose their words very carefully or even completely avoid discussing certain controversial subjects, thereby greatly benefiting Jewish interests as a whole. And the more such influential people are thus intimidated into avoiding a particular topic, the more that topic is perceived as strictly taboo, and avoided by everyone else as well.

For example, about a dozen years ago I was having lunch with an especially eminent Neoconservative scholar with whom I’d become a little friendly. We were bemoaning the overwhelmingly leftward skew among America’s intellectual elites, and I suggested it largely seemed a function of our most elite universities. Many of our brightest students from across the nation entered Harvard and the other Ivies holding a variety of different ideological perspectives, but after four years departed those halls of learning overwhelmingly in left-liberal lock-step. Although he agreed with my assessment, he felt I was missing something important. He nervously glanced to both sides, shifted his head downward, and lowered his voice. “It’s the Jews,” he said.

One especially troublesome aspect of this near-total Jewish domination lies in the nature of the Jewish religion, especially in its traditional Talmudic form. As I explained in the same article:

If these ritualistic issues constituted the central features of traditional religious Judaism, we might regard it as a rather colorful and eccentric survival of ancient times. But unfortunately, there is also a far darker side, primarily involving the relationship between Jews and non-Jews, with the highly derogatory term goyim frequently used to describe the latter. To put it bluntly, Jews have divine souls and goyim do not, being merely beasts in the shape of men. Indeed, the primary reason for the existence of non-Jews is to serve as the slaves of Jews, with some very high-ranking rabbis occasionally stating this well-known fact. In 2010, Israel’s top Sephardic rabbi used his weekly sermon to declare that the only reason for the existence of non-Jews is to serve Jews and do work for them. The enslavement or extermination of all non-Jews seems an ultimate implied goal of the religion.

Jewish lives have infinite value, and non-Jewish ones none at all, which has obvious policy implications. For example, in a published article a prominent Israeli rabbi explained that if a Jew needed a liver, it would be perfectly fine and indeed obligatory, to kill an innocent Gentile and take his. Perhaps we should not be too surprised that today Israel is widely regarded as one of the world centers of organ-trafficking.

As a further illustration of the seething hatred traditional Judaism radiates towards all those of a different background, saving the life of a non-Jew is generally considered improper or even prohibited, and taking any such action on the Sabbath would be an absolute violation of religious edict.

Obviously the Talmud is hardly regular reading among ordinary Jews these days, and I would suspect that except for the strongly Orthodox and perhaps most rabbis, barely a sliver are aware of its highly controversial teachings. But it is important to keep in mind that until just a few generations ago, almost all European Jews were deeply Orthodox, and even today I would guess that the overwhelming majority of Jewish adults had Orthodox grand-parents. Highly distinctive cultural patterns and social attitudes can easily seep into a considerably wider population, especially one that remains ignorant of the origin of those sentiments, a condition enhancing their unrecognized influence. A religion based upon the principal of “Love Thy Neighbor” may or may not be workable in practice, but a religion based upon “Hate Thy Neighbor” might have long-term cultural ripple effects that extend far beyond the direct community of the deeply pious. If nearly all Jews for a thousand or two thousand years were taught to feel a seething hatred toward all non-Jews and also developed an enormous infrastructure of cultural dishonesty to mask that attitude, it is difficult to believe that such an unfortunate history has had absolutely no consequences for our present-day world, or that of the relatively recent past.

Jewish Behavior in Gaza and Bolshevik Russia

Throughout nearly their entire history in the Western world, Jews have existed as relatively small and weak minorities, so these troublesome aspects of traditional Jewish doctrine and belief were never able to manifest themselves except in the most secretive or attenuated fashion. But with Jews being the dominant, fully-empowered majority in the lands of Greater Israel, the world is seeing those attitudes expressed in their full force upon the hapless Palestinians.

As has been thoroughly documented, a very substantial fraction, perhaps even an outright majority of all the Israelis who died on October 7th were killed by their own trigger-happy military forces, in many cases becoming the deliberate victims of the notorious “Hannibal Directive.” Many others were IDF soldiers, security personnel, or armed civilian militiamen, and therefore perfectly legitimate targets of warfare. Putting all these elements together, I think that the number of unarmed Israelis killed by Hamas fighters may have been as low as 100 to 200, with many or most of those deaths being accidental, a conclusion supported by the statements of released hostages, who emphasized their decent and respectful treatment by their Hamas captors. Indeed, the relatively small number of unwarranted killings by Hamas militants has forced pro-Israel propagandists to promote the most outrageous sort of atrocity-hoaxes, ranging from forty beheaded Israeli babies to babies baked in ovens to Hamas gang-rapes and sexual mutilations, none of which seem to have any reality.

So in retaliation for perhaps 100 to 200 killings of unarmed civilians, the Israeli government has now gleefully slaughtered tens of thousands of helpless Palestinian civilians while apparently seeking to raise that body-count into the millions.

According to Max Blumenthal, public opinion surveys indicate that up to 98% of the Israeli public supports these exceptionally brutal retaliatory measures or even regards them as insufficiently strong. Numerous personal videos on TikTok, Telegram, and other platforms show ordinary members of the Israeli public gleefully mocking dead or starving Palestinian civilians, while Israeli troops have been just as sadistic in their destruction of civilian infrastructure and brutal killing of unarmed Palestinians, including women and children. Examples of public torture or cold-blooded murders seem increasingly common. Given these facts, several Grayzone videos have reasonably described Israel as an extremely sick society.


Fyodor Dostoevsky of Czarist Russia ranked as one of the greatest European writers, author of the classic novels Crime and PunishmentThe Brothers Karamazov, and many other works. But although nearly all of his writings were translated into English and made easily available, his Diary of a Writer has remained obscure, and some have speculated that the reason may have been his brief 1877 remarks regarding Russia’s small Jewish minority. Although he recognized the plight of the Jews, who were sometimes oppressed or mistreated by the overwhelmingly Russian majority, he claimed that they greatly exaggerated their suffering and he also candidly speculated how they themselves would treat the Russians if the shoe were on the other foot and they were the ones with the upper hand.

However, at times, I was fancying: now, how would it be if in Russia there were not three million Jews, but three million Russians, and there were eighty million Jews,—well into what would they convert the Russians and how would they treat them? Would they permit them to acquire equal rights? Would they permit them to worship freely in their midst? Wouldn’t they convert them into slaves? Worse than that: wouldn’t they skin them altogether? Wouldn’t they slaughter them to the last man, to the point of complete extermination, as they used to do with alien peoples in ancient times, during their ancient history?

Dostoevsky died in 1881, but his prophetic words came to pass in 1917 when the Bolsheviks, whose leadership was overwhelmingly Jewish, seized power. Once they had established their new Soviet regime, they implemented an unprecedented slaughter of their Gentile subjects by bullets and starvation over the next couple of decades, a reality almost totally suppressed both at the time and subsequently by their ethnic cousins in overwhelmingly Jewish Hollywood and by Jewish political pressure across most of the rest of the media. As I wrote in 2018:

Indeed, the topic of Communism raises a far larger issue, one having rather touchy implications. Sometimes two simple compounds are separately inert, but when combined together may possess tremendous explosive force. From my introductory history classes and readings in high school, certain things had always seemed glaringly obvious to me even if the conclusions remained unmentionable, and I once assumed they were just as apparent to most others as well. But over the years I have begun to wonder whether perhaps this might not be correct.

Back in those late Cold War days, the death toll of innocent civilians from the Bolshevik Revolution and the first two decades of the Soviet Regime was generally reckoned at running well into the tens of millions when we include the casualties of the Russian Civil War, the government-induced famines, the Gulag, and the executions. I’ve heard that these numbers have been substantially revised downwards to perhaps as little as twenty million or so, but no matter. Although determined Soviet apologists may dispute such very large figures, they have always been part of the standard narrative history taught within the West.

Meanwhile, all historians know perfectly well that the Bolshevik leaders were overwhelmingly Jewish, with three of the five revolutionaries Lenin named as his plausible successors coming from that background. Although only around 4% of Russia’s population was Jewish, a few years ago Vladimir Putin stated that Jews constituted perhaps 80-85% of the early Soviet government, an estimate fully consistent with the contemporaneous claims of Winston ChurchillTimes of London correspondent Robert Wilton, and the officers of American Military Intelligence. Recent books by Alexander SolzhenitsynYuri Slezkine, and others have all painted a very similar picture. And prior to World War II, Jews remained enormously over-represented in the Communist leadership, especially dominating the Gulag administration and the top ranks of the dreaded NKVD.

Both of these simple facts have been widely accepted in America throughout my entire lifetime. But combine them together with the relatively tiny size of worldwide Jewry, around 16 million prior to World War II, and the inescapable conclusion is that in per capita terms Jews were the greatest mass-murderers of the twentieth century, holding that unfortunate distinction by an enormous margin and with no other nationality coming even remotely close. And yet, by the astonishing alchemy of Hollywood, the greatest killers of the last one hundred years have somehow been transmuted into being seen as the greatest victims, a transformation so seemingly implausible that future generations will surely be left gasping in awe.

Although I have always generally accepted the mainstream scholarly account of the early decades of the Bolshevik regime and the enormous numbers of its human victims, a little hesitancy sometimes remained in the back of my mind. I had wondered if it could really have been possible for those heavily Jewish Bolshevik leaders to have willingly slaughtered or starved to death so many millions, even tens of millions of their helpless fellow countrymen. But after seeing the unfortunate developments currently unfolding in Gaza, those slight nagging doubts have completely evaporated.

Similarly, anyone reading the contemporaneous accounts of Central Europeans describing the tumultuous first half of the twentieth century have sometimes encountered puzzled statements of how such seemingly meek and mild Jewish writers and intellectuals were suddenly transformed into bloodthirsty fiends once empowered by a Bolshevik uprising or ruling regime. I’d always wondered if those observations, mostly written in faded, long-forgotten works, were really true or were instead wildly exaggerated elements of anti-Jewish propaganda. But once again events in Gaza now seem to have completely vindicated and confirmed those widespread claims of the past.

As I emphasized in another 2018 article, such extreme Jewish behavior may also be a density-dependent phenomenon, with high concentrations of Jews working themselves into a terrible ideological frenzy, leading to extremely bloody actions that they might have been less willing to endorse under different circumstances.

Furthermore, this situation is exacerbated by the common tendency of Jews to “cluster” together, perhaps representing just one or two percent of the total population, but often constituting 20% or 40% or 60% of their immediate peer-group, especially in certain professions. Under such conditions, the ideas or emotional agitation of some Jews probably permeates others around them, often provoking additional waves of indignation.

As a rough analogy, a small quantity of uranium is relatively inert and harmless, and entirely so if distributed within low-density ore. But if a significant quantity of weapons-grade uranium is sufficiently compressed, then the neutrons released by fissioning atoms will quickly cause additional atoms to undergo fission, with the ultimate result of that critical chain-reaction being a nuclear explosion. In similar fashion, even a highly agitated Jew may have no negative impact, but if the collection of such agitated Jews becomes too numerous and clusters together too closely, they may work each other into a terrible frenzy, perhaps with disastrous consequences both for themselves and for their larger society. This is especially true if those agitated Jews begin to dominate certain key nodes of top-level control, such as the central political or media organs of a society.

Whereas most living organisms exist solely in physical reality, human beings also occupy an ideational space, with the interaction of human consciousness and perceived reality playing a major role in shaping behavior. Just as the pheromones released by mammals or insects can drastically affect the reactions of their family members or nest-mates, the ideas secreted by individuals or the media-emitters of a society can have an enormous impact upon their fellows.

A purely Jewish state such as Israel contains the highest density of Jews so as a consequence we are witnessing the most extreme form of such behavior.

Conditioning Americans with the Nazi Holocaust

The film version of A Clockwork Orange was released in 1971 and when I watched the clip on Youtube I noticed something intriguing. According to the plot, Alex was psychologically-conditioned against violence by being forced to watch horrifically violent acts on the screen while being made ill with drugs. But although some of the images shown fell into that category—planes dropping bombs during wartime—many others merely showed Nazi parades and Adolf Hitler reviewing his huge array of German supporters at a public rally, scenes containing no visible violence whatsoever. So apparently in the America of the early 1970s, mere Nazi imagery was inherently considered “violent,” either reflecting an earlier conditioning process or more likely intended to now produce exactly that result in the audience.

The director was Stanley Kubrick, widely acclaimed as one of history’s greatest film-makers, whose credits include a long list of such landmark productions as SpartacusDr. Strangelove2001: A Space OdysesyThe Shining, and Full Metal Jacket. As someone who spent decades near the top of the Hollywood talent hierarchy, Kubrick surely would have been privy to many important realities that never reached our mainstream newspapers or history books, with his insider knowledge perhaps further enhanced by his personal roots as a Jewish New Yorker.

In the 1990s Kubrick hired Frederic Raphael, also Jewish, to work with him on the screenplay to his last film. Given Kubrick’s background, many were surprised when Raphael later reported that the famed director declared to him that Adolf Hitler had been “right about almost everything,” while also disparaging the landmark Holocaust film Schindler’s List, produced and directed by his good friend Steven Spielberg, a revelation that greatly shocked the latter when he learned of it.

That final 1999 film by Kubrick was Eyes Wide Shut starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Despite the director’s enormous stature and his two extremely bankable stars, he had encountered considerable difficulties in getting it produced, with the project consuming many years of effort and only reaching the theaters after Kubrick’s sudden death from a heart-attack at the untimely age of 70, just days after he had shown his completed film to the studio executives. The plot was a strange and extremely conspiratorial one, telling the story of two affluent, successful New Yorkers who were suddenly drawn into a secretive hidden world, in which the ultra-rich and powerful regularly engaged in ritualistic sex orgies in enormous private mansions, with potentially deadly consequences for outsiders who revealed those facts. Ironically enough, some of the key scenes were filmed at the palatial estate of the British Rothschilds, themselves the subjects of many such notorious conspiratorial beliefs.

Despite featuring such top stars the box-office results suggest that the film lost money or barely broke even. But if Eyes Wide Shut had instead been released during the later Jeffrey Epstein scandal or the somewhat related QAnon/Pizzagate controversy, I suspect that enormous audiences might have flocked to it. During the last couple of decades, the notion that our world is controlled by hidden forces whose existence remains unreported in our mainstream media outlets has become far more widespread. The Epstein case certainly raised strong suspicions that many of the individuals at the top of our society were subject to sexual blackmail at the hands of secretive, nefarious organizations.


Our memory sometimes plays tricks on us. I’d last watched A Clockwork Orange more than a decade ago and vaguely remembered that the horrifying visual images Alex had been forced to watch were those of the Nazi death camps. So I was surprised to discover that instead they only showed Hitler peacefully reviewing his massed Nazi supporters at a huge popular rally. But I suspect that if the 1971 film had been produced in the 1980s or later, Holocaust imagery would have dominated those scenes, perhaps even to the exclusion of anything else.

Over the last generation or two, the extent to which Hollywood and the broader media have conditioned the population of the Western world with the story and images of the Holocaust is absolutely extraordinary. As I explained in 2018:

According to Finkelstein, Hollywood produced some 180 Holocaust films just during the years 1989-2004. Even the very partial subset of Holocaust films listed on Wikipedia has grown enormously long, but fortunately the Movie Database has winnowed down the catalog by providing a list of the 50 Most Moving Holocaust Films.

Some 2% of Americans have a Jewish background, while perhaps 95% possess Christian roots, but the Wikipedia list of Christian films seems rather scanty and rudimentary by comparison. Very few of those films were ever widely released, and the selection is stretched to even include The Chronicles of Narnia, which contains no mention of Christianity whatsoever. One of the very few prominent exceptions on the list is Mel Gibson’s 2004 The Passion of the Christ, which he was forced to personally self-fund. And despite the enormous financial success of that movie, one of the most highly profitable domestic releases of all time, the project rendered Gibson a hugely vilified pariah in the industry over which he had once reigned as its biggest star, especially after word got around that his own father was a Holocaust Denier.

It is important to recognize that the conditioning process controls the behavior of even those unaffected by it. Although Emperor Henry IV did not himself accept the supremacy of the Pope, most of his vassals and subjects did, so he was forced to submit. Similarly, the personal views of Elon Musk regarding antisemitism or the Holocaust are less important than the power those notions seem to exert over so many of his customers, employees, and business associates.

The Economist is probably the world’s most influential print publication and last week its cover focused on the tremendous importance of “Ending the Middle East’s Agony.” Yet its leader on that topic opened with the words “In the months since Hamas committed the worst atrocity against Jews since the Holocaust…” Constant, overwhelming media conditioning has ensured that the European events of more than three generations ago still remain central to the thinking of most of the Western world.

Prof. Peter Novick and the Historiography of the Holocaust

I recently considered ordering some books from Amazon related to the Holocaust, and noticed that one of these, hardly obscure, was ranked by that website as roughly the 7,100th most popular title in that genre. This indicates the vast number of Holocaust works that have been published in English, probably totaling at least ten or twenty thousand and perhaps representing a substantial fraction of all the books relating to the events of World War II.

Yet this is a relatively new development. In a number of articles, I’ve emphasized that from soon after the end of World War II until the early 1960s the colossal events of the Holocaust—certainly the greatest crime ever committed in the history of the world—had received almost no mention anywhere from mainstream American journalists or historians and the same was apparently true for the rest of the Western world. Indeed, no intelligent, thoughtful individual who carefully read our major newspapers, magazines, and books from (say) 1947 to 1959 would probably have ever even suspected that any Holocaust had occurred, an absolutely extraordinary historical fact.

This very striking point had originally been made to me years ago in the pages of The Holocaust in American Life, a widely-praised if controversial book published in 1999 by Prof. Peter Novick, a historian who founded the Jewish Studies program at the University of Chicago. Having recently focused once again on this issue, I decided to reread Novick’s work for the first time in five or six years, and was well-rewarded for my effort, as it fully confirmed all my recollections.

Some of the facts that Novick raises near the beginning are remarkable. The 1938 German Kristallnacht riots in which dozens of Jews had been killed spent more than a full week on the front pages of the New York Times, yet America’s Jewish-owned newspaper of record hardly gave even a sliver of that coverage to the Holocaust when it began a few years later, consigning reports of hundreds of thousands or millions of Jews being killed in very grotesque fashion to small items buried in the back pages. The Zionist movement in the Middle East took much the same position, with their flagship newspaper the Palestine Post treating those stories with equal disdain, relegating them to just a couple of paragraphs often on the inside pages and totally overshadowed by minor local political disputes. Given such obvious Zionist disregard for those wartime claims of Jewish extermination, it is hardly surprising that in 1940 and 1941 a small right-wing Zionist faction, led by a future prime minister of Israel, made repeated attempts to join the Axis military alliance of Hitler and Mussolini.

Novick notes that even after the end of the war, when the Allies publicly declared at Nuremberg that the Nazis had brutally exterminated six million Jews, surveys taken of American Jewry revealed that around half of them regarded those figures as totally ridiculous, perhaps exaggerated by a factor of five or ten. Lt. Col. Leonard Weinstein served on Eisenhower’s staff and was heavily involved in Jewish community activity, but when he was informed that a million or two million Jews had been killed at Auschwitz, he was absolutely astonished and said he’d never heard of such a thing. And Novick emphasizes that while Jewish awareness of the Holocaust was hardly substantial, Gentile awareness was totally negligible. Indeed, popular representations of Axis atrocities focused almost entirely upon those committed by the Japanese, including such incidents as the notorious “Bataan Death March,” while relatively little attention was given to any German war-crimes.

According to Novick, an important reason that the mainstream media, whether Jewish or Gentile, treated those Holocaust stories with such tremendous disdain was that many of the senior editors remembered that during the First World War two decades earlier they had been completely deceived by the many ridiculous anti-German atrocity-hoaxes manufactured by Allied propagandists leaving them very reluctant to repeat that humiliating mistake. And as it happens, many of the major Holocaust stories did indeed fall into exactly that same category. For example, Novick reports that “the most important single report on the Holocaust that reached the West” during those years was provided by the World Jewish Congress, whose informant claimed to have “personal knowledge” that Jewish corpses were being rendered into soap, an assertion now uniformly dismissed as pure fiction.

Although by late 1944 three-quarters of the American public had been persuaded that the Germans “murdered many people in concentration camps,” the most common estimate of that total was 100,000 or less.

Novick’s extensive scholarship seemed to fully confirm my understanding of the pattern of coverage. The reality of the Holocaust was widely ignored or disregarded during the Second World War even as it was actually occurring. The Holocaust then received a major burst of public attention and media coverage around the time of the 1946 Nuremberg Tribunals at which the Allies tried, convicted, and executed many of the defeated Nazi leaders, with the extermination of the Jews being one of the major charges against them. But soon afterwards, the Holocaust once again almost totally disappeared from Western media coverage and public attention until the beginning of the 1960s.

As Novick so forcefully puts it at the start of one of his postwar chapters:

Between the end of the war and the 1960s, as anyone who has lived through those years can testify, the Holocaust made scarcely any appearance in American public discourse, and hardly more in Jewish public discourse—especially discourse directed to gentiles.

Although Jewish publications did still occasionally refer to the Holocaust during this period, they generally did so in a rather strange manner. For example, in 1952 Stalin executed the overwhelmingly Jewish Communist Party leadership of Czechoslovakia in one of his periodic purges, leading Commentary and the New Leader to describe the deaths of that handful of Jewish appartchiks as being very similar to Hitler’s Holocaust: “He will finally wipe out the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe…The parallel to the policy of the Nazi extermination is almost complete.” Apparently the difference between less than a dozen Jewish victims and six million deaths was not considered significant. Indeed, as a consequence of those events the ADL and other leading Jewish organizations publicly declared that Communism and Nazism were “basically identical” in their policies towards Jews. Organizations and publications that take such a cavalier attitude to factual realities hardly inspire great confidence in their other claims, whether past or future.

Perhaps the most substantive and influential Jewish treatment of the topic during this period came in The Origins of Totalitarianism, the classic 1951 work of political philosophy published by Hannah Arendt, a German-Jewish emigre scholar who had come to America in 1941 and spent the next decade heavily immersed in Jewish and Zionist circles. Given the very considerable length and depth of the book, she had probably begun working on it during the Nuremberg Tribunals or in their immediate aftermath, and she devoted several pages to the Holocaust, drawing upon the facts documented during those landmark war crime trials. However, her personal expertise and focus was philosophy and ideology rather than history, so she primarily emphasized that the fanatical Nazi project to exterminate all of Europe’s Jews severely detracted from the German war effort, thereby demonstrating the utter “madness” of Hitler and his ruling regime.

In a lengthy footnote, she also debunked some of the popular misconceptions surrounding that issue, pointing out that the gripping visual images of starved, emaciated corpses and survivors that had so horrified the American public at the end of the war were totally unrealistic and had nothing to do with the Holocaust since the Germans hadn’t used starvation as their method of killing. Instead, she suggested those scenes reflected the total breakdown of German organization in the last days of the war due to America’s strategic bombing campaign, a claim that many others have more recently made.


Rereading Novick’s book did remind me of one important point that I’d previously forgotten. Raoul Hilberg’s weighty 1961 volume The Destruction of the European Jews is universally acknowledged as having ignited the scholarly study of the Holocaust. But Novick suggests that the considerable success of Hilberg’s book, which eventually launched an entire scholarly discipline, was probably due to its fortuitous timing.

During the 1930s the Zionist movement had forged an important economic partnership with Nazi Germany, which laid the basis for the eventual creation of the state of Israel. The Nazi liaison officer to the Zionists was Adolf Eichmann, who studied Hebrew and became known as something of a philo-Semite. After the resounding Allied victory in the war, those dangerous secrets of Zionist history were deeply suppressed, but during the mid-1950s they suddenly threatened to leak out again into the media, perhaps with very serious political repercussions for Israel’s standing with America and the other Western nations. Possibly as a consequence, the Israeli government soon undertook a major effort to track down and eliminate their former close Nazi collaborator. After kidnapping Eichmann in 1960, the Israelis staged a high-profile show trial heavily focused upon the horrors of the Holocaust and culminating in Eichmann’s 1962 execution. Novick plausibly argues that Hilberg’s book owed much of its success to its release in the middle of that media extravaganza.

Thus, the combination of the Eichmann trial and Hilberg’s book meant that during the early 1960s the Holocaust for the first time began receiving some attention in the mainstream media and also gradually became a topic of serious academic study. Many of those researchers had posts in the newly-established Jewish Studies programs that proliferated at American universities as part of the broader ethnic studies movement of the late 1960s. But this media coverage was hardly enormous, and it may not have much penetrated into the American consciousness outside the Jewish community or Jewish activists.

According to Novick, the crucial development was the involvement of Hollywood, beginning in 1978 with the TV miniseries Holocaust starring James Woods and Meryl Streep, which for the first time firmly established that narrative in Western popular consciousness. Watched by nearly 100 million Americans, it was widely described as providing more information about that historical event to more Americans in four nights than the combined total of all past media coverage over the previous thirty years. I’ve sometimes suggested that this television broadcast may have been the first time most Americans had ever heard of that enormous wartime crime. Novick notes that NBC’s huge marketing campaign was dwarfed by a vastly larger effort undertaken by all the various Jewish organizations, leading to the inescapable conclusion that Hollywood and Jewish activists working together did indeed create the Holocaust.

With Hollywood dominating global entertainment, the effect was also felt far outside our own borders, notably in Germany. As Novick puts it, thirty years of German silence on Nazi war crimes was suddenly overturned by a lavish Hollywood production, based upon the important principle that seeing is believing.

Other Perspectives on Holocaust Historiography

Novick’s important historiographical analysis was glowingly praised by many leading Jewish scholars, but other researchers sharply disputed it, so I recently read one of the main academic rebuttals to get the other side of the story. After the Holocaust turned out to be a fairly short 2012 collection of essays edited by David Cesarani and Eric J. Sundquist, bearing the descriptive subtitle “Challenging the Myth of Silence.”

I wasn’t greatly impressed by the contents, and felt that the book actually seemed to reinforce Novick’s case. The contributors included more than a dozen historians who had carefully scoured the media and literature of the period for evidence to refute Novick’s thesis, but they seemed to come up almost totally empty. They described some some sharp denunciations of antisemitism, whether in Hitler’s Germany or Truman’s America, but except for a short spike right around the time of the Nuremberg Tribunals, there was almost no indication in the media that any Holocaust had ever occurred. There were occasional glancing references to the Nazis having killed Jews, but in nearly all these cases the implied death-toll could just as easily have been six hundred as six million, and indeed in the bitter postwar struggle over Palestine, some of the angry Zionists and their American polemicist allies sometimes denounced the British for being almost as cruel to the Jews as the German Nazis had been.

The only major exception to this climate of near total silence was found in the newly created State of Israel, which featured a very widespread and popular Holocaust literature throughout this period. But most of this material consisted of bizarre accounts of sadomaschistic sexual perversion in Nazi death camps, and over the years these have gradually been recognized as merely being pornographic fiction.

Meanwhile, other academics of widely different ideological perspectives seem to reach conclusions very similar to those of Novick. Norman Finkelstein’s lengthy review of Novick’s work soon appeared in the London Review of Books and eventually led him to extend the latter author’s analysis and publish The Holocaust Industry in 2000, which became an international bestseller. Although the two scholars diverged in their emphasis and their sharp ideological differences provoked some hostile exchanges—Novick was a mainstream liberal Zionist and Finkelstein a fervent anti-Zionist—I think that their descriptions were quite complementary.

Finkelstein’s area of historical expertise is the Middle East and his brief foray into the subject of the Holocaust was probably inspired by what he regarded as its very pernicious political impact upon the Israel/Palestine conflict. But around the same time I’d originally read Novick’s book, I also read those of Holocaust experts Deborah Lipstadt and Lucy Dawidowicz, and found that they fully confirmed and amplified Novick’s conclusions, although they presented their findings in a very different tone and manner.

Lipstadt’s 1986 book Beyond Belief demonstrated that despite the loud outcries of agitated Jewish activists, during the war years neither the major American media nor the American public seemed to believe that any Holocaust was actually occurring. She reported that as late as 1944:

Writing in the Sunday New York Times Magazine, [Arthur] Koestler cited public opinion polls in the United States in which nine of ten average Americans dismissed the accusations against the Nazis as propaganda lies and flatly stated that they did not believe a word of them.

A few years earlier in 1981, Harvard University Press had published Dawidowicz’s The Holocaust and the Historians, in which the author roasted nearly all our postwar mainstream historians for almost totally ignoring the Holocaust, writing their histories as if it had never occurred.

Her sharp condemnation even extended to Britain’s Alan Bullock, although he seems to have been the only mainstream historian to have mentioned the Holocaust during this era. In 1952 while still in his thirties, he had published Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, the first comprehensive biography of the German dictator and hardly a flattering one as indicated by the title, with his treatment remaining the standard work during the decades that followed, greatly influencing those that came afterward. Yet although the Holocaust supposedly accounted for roughly 10% of all the wartime deaths and his book ran nearly 800 pages, he only apparently devoted three sentences to that topic, merely quoting the prosecution claims made at the Nuremberg Tribunals, whose trial transcripts had been a primary basis for his entire text. By the time of his revised 1962 edition, those three sentences had grown into several paragraphs among the 850 pages, and he now cited the testimony from Eichmann’s recent show trial in Israel as well as the book published by Gerald Reitlinger, a Jewish art historian.

Both Lipstadt and Dawidowicz came across as hard-edged Zionists, who probably despised Novick for his much more moderate views let alone Finkelstein’s strident anti-Zionism, so these scholars presented their conclusions in a very different fashion, but they all provided essentially the same view of the underlying historical reality.

For those who would like to review some of these findings in convenient, online form, I’d strongly recommend a 2004 undergraduate research paper produced for a Holocaust Studies class taught by Prof. Harold Marcuse at UCSB. Apparently Marcuse considered the work sufficiently good that he decided to put it online at his own website:

One additional book I read was much more narrowly focused, carefully exploring the wartime Holocaust coverage—or rather the lack thereof—of the Jewish owned New York Times, America’s most influential newspaper. Buried by the Times was published in 2005 by Laurel Leff, who had spent 18 years as a reporter with the Wall Street Journal and other mainstream outlets before becoming a professor of Journalism at Northeastern University, and her exhaustive, scholarly study was released by Cambridge University Press. As implied by the title, she lambasted America’s national newspaper of record for completely downplaying and minimizing the wartime reports they received of a massive ongoing Jewish extermination campaign, with many of the key editors apparently dismissing them as ridiculous fabrications. She analyzed the internal workings of the Times on that subject in great detail and her overall conclusions seemed broadly consistent with those of the other authors.

Finally, as further examples of this strange pattern of silence, I should mention the curious fact that the 1948-1959 postwar memoirs and histories by the three great Allied leaders, Churchill, Eisenhower, and De Gaulle totaled more than 7,000 pages, but contained no mention of the Holocaust or any of its major elements. The same was also true of the voluminous, posthumously published diaries of Gen. George Patton and James Forrestal, our first Secretary of Defense.

A Copernican Revolution on the Holocaust?

As I’ve repeatedly emphasized, the sole brief exception to the widespread pattern of minimizing or ignoring the Holocaust both during and after the Second World War came in the immediate postwar period, especially surrounding the 1946 Nuremberg Tribunals in which the top Nazi leaders were tried and executed for those crimes. But by the 1950s, more and more prominent Americans had come to regard those very high-profile legal proceedings as deeply shameful, a kangeroo court whose preordained verdicts had been based upon confessions extracted by torture, forged documents, and perjured testimony.

This was certainly the position taken by Prof. John Beaty, who had held a crucial position in our wartime Military Intelligence, and in 1951 he published The Iron Curtain Over America, which became a huge bestseller among conservatives:

Furthermore, he was scathing toward the Nuremberg Trials, which he described as a “major indelible blot” upon America and “a travesty of justice.” According to him, the proceedings were dominated by vengeful German Jews, many of whom engaged in falsification of testimony or even had criminal backgrounds. As a result, this “foul fiasco” merely taught Germans that “our government had no sense of justice.” Sen. Robert Taft, the Republican leader of the immediate postwar era took a very similar position, which later won him the praise of John F. Kennedy in Profiles in Courage. The fact that the chief Soviet prosecutor at Nuremberg had played the same role during the notorious Stalinist show trials of the late 1930s, during which numerous Old Bolsheviks confessed to all sorts of absurd and ridiculous things, hardly enhanced the credibility of the proceedings to many outside observers.

In his 1981 memoirs, Prof. Revilo Oliver, another important former figure in wartime Military Intelligence, had taken the same position, and Prof. Joseph Bendersky’s ten years of archival research indicated that this was also the view of many or most of our top generals and Military Intelligence officers.

In 1962 American historian and philosopher Thomas Kuhn published his influential study The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. He introduced the notion of a “paradigm shift” in which the gradual accumulation of anomalous or unexplained facts eventually causes an established framework of understanding to suddenly be overturned and replaced by a radically different one, a process exemplified by the Copernican Revolution.

I think that any thoughtful readers who carefully digested the works of leading mainstream Holocaust scholars such as Novick, Lipstadt, Dawidowicz, and Bendersky, supplemented by a little additional material, would surely be primed for undergoing such an intellectual transformation on that subject, whether or not they were willing to recognize it.

Consider that almost none of our mainstream journalists or historians had acknowledged the reality of the Holocaust either during or after World War II, while the 1946 Nuremberg Tribunals that supposedly established those facts were heavily fraudulent. Therefore, it seems the height of arrogance to assume that all those very knowledgeable contemporaneous observers were wrong and we should instead rely upon authors publishing many years, sometimes many decades after those events.

Instead, we must consider the very real possibility that the Holocaust is merely a hoax, a half-forgotten residue of dishonest wartime propaganda that was eventually resurrected by gullible or biased researchers decades later, then afterwards transformed into a gigantic cultural icon by ignorant Hollywood producers and scriptwriters. Indeed, in his very popular 1951 book Prof. Beaty had casually ridiculed the Holocaust story in exactly those terms, and although he came under ferocious attack by the ADL and other groups on all other grounds, none of them had ever challenged his very explicit “Holocaust Denial.”

To his considerable credit, near the very end of his excellent book Novick did note the existence of “Holocaust Deniers” but treated the subject in dismissive and very cursory fashion, giving it only a couple of pages in his lengthy book. He casually besmirched them as “cranks, kooks, and misfits,” “screwballs,” “fruitcakes,” and “nuts,” while giving no indication that he had ever bothered reading let alone seriously considering any of the material their movement had produced. In all fairness, a number of the persons whom he named did fall into exactly that very disreputable category, hardly surprising since marginal, severely anathematized ideological movements naturally tend to attract more than their fair share of such crazy or anti-social individuals. But the validity of any doctrine should obviously be judged by the work of its most credible proponents rather than its weakest ones.

In discussing this issue, Novick briefly mentioned Lipstadt’s 1993 book Denying the Holocaust, which was entirely devoted to that topic. I found that latter author almost hilarious in her dim-witted and self-defeating ideological blindness. As I described the contents in my 2018 article:

Reading the book was certainly a tremendous revelation to me. Lipstadt is a professor of Holocaust Studies with an appointment in Emory University’s Department of Theology, and once I read the opening paragraph of her first chapter, I decided that her academic specialty might certainly be described as “Holocaust Theology”…

Lipstadt’s absolute horror at having someone actually dispute the tenets of her academic doctrine could not have been more blatant. Surely no zealous theologian of the European Dark Ages would have reacted any differently.

The second chapter of her book supported that impression. Since many of the individuals she castigates as Holocaust Deniers also supported the Revisionist perspective of the underlying causes of the First and Second World Wars, she harshly attacked those schools, but in rather strange fashion. In recent years, blogger Steve Sailer and others have ridiculed what they describe as the “point-and-sputter” style of debate, in which a “politically-incorrect” narrative is merely described and then automatically treated as self-evidently false without any accompanying need for actual refutation. This seemed to be the approach that Lipstadt took throughout her rather short book.

For example, she provided a very long list of leading academic scholars, prominent political figures, and influential journalists who had championed Revisionist history, noted that their views disagree with the more mainstream perspective she had presumably imbibed from her History 101 textbooks, and thereby regarded them as fully debunked. Certainly a Christian preacher attempting to refute the evolutionary theories of Harvard’s E.O. Wilson by quoting a passage of Bible verse might take much the same approach. But few evangelical activists would be so foolish as to provide a very long list of eminent scientists who all took the same Darwinist position and then attempt to sweep them aside by citing a single verse from Genesis. Lipstadt seems to approach history much like a Bible-thumper, but a particularly dim-witted one. Moreover, many of the authors she attacked had already become familiar to me after a decade of my content-archiving work, and I had found their numerous books quite scholarly and persuasive.

This last passage came from my very long 2018 article on that subject, and last month I revisited the same topic in a new article.

Our World Turned Upside Down

Officially relegating the Holocaust to the category of discredited historical frauds would be a very momentous act, something not undertaken lightly and having far-reaching implications.

Among the lesser consequences would be that ten or twenty thousand books published in English over the last half-century would suddenly be rendered obsolete and their authors revealed to be gullible fools. A vast multitude of other books and articles would suffer serious injury as well, with future readers always snickering when they came across certain paragraphs or chapters, while our basic textbooks would necessarily be forced to reverse the same revisionary process on that subject they had experienced from the 1960s onward. But all the Ptolemaic astronomers who had devoted their lives to calculating increasingly complex epicycles in order to explain the motions of the heavenly bodies were similarly swept away by the Copernican Revolution, and the political ramifications of declaring that the Holocaust was merely a hoax would be far more dramatic, not least with regard to our current Middle East policy.

Indeed, given the extent to which most Western peoples have undergone a half-century of intensive Holocaust conditioning at the hand of our media and entertainment industries, perhaps the collapse of Soviet Communism would be a better historical analogy. But even that shattering event might fall short since in many respects the Holocaust has been transmuted into a quasi-religious faith—“Holocaustianity”—that serves as the reigning creed of much of our deeply secular West, featuring its own venerated martyrs, sacred texts, and holy places, with Auschwitz being its chief pilgrimage site. The collapse of an established and powerful religious doctrine is fraught with huge difficulties.

Some figures now greatly celebrated would be cast down into ignominy, while others now obscure or reviled would be raised up to take their places. In my 2018 article I had briefly sketched out a few of those latter individuals:

A professor of Electrical Engineering at Northwestern named Arthur R. Butz was casually visiting some libertarian gathering during this period when he happened to notice a pamphlet denouncing the Holocaust as a fraud. He had never previously given any thought to the issue, but such a shocking claim captured his attention, and he began looking into the matter early in 1972. He soon decided that the accusation was probably correct, but found the supporting evidence, including that presented in the unfinished and anonymous Hoggan book, far too sketchy, and decided it needed to be fleshed out in much more detailed and comprehensive fashion. He proceeded to undertake this project over the next few years, working with the methodical diligence of a trained academic engineer.

His major work, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, first appeared in print late in 1976, and immediately became the central text of the Holocaust Denial community, a position it still seems to retain down to this present day, while with all the updates and appendices, the length has grown to well over 200,000 words. Although no mention of this forthcoming book appeared in the February 1976 issue of Reason, it is possible that word of the pending publication had gotten around within libertarian circles, prompting the sudden new focus upon historical Revisionism.

Butz was a respectable tenured professor at Northwestern, and the release of his book laying out the Holocaust Denial case soon became a minor sensation, covered by the New York Times and other media outlets in January 1977. In one of her books, Lipstadt devotes a full chapter entitled “Entering the Mainstream” to Butz’s work. According to a December 1980 Commentary article by Dawidowicz, Jewish donors and Jewish activists quickly mobilized, attempting to have Butz fired for his heretical views, but back then academic tenure still held firm and Butz survived, an outcome that seems to have greatly irritated Dawidowicz.

Another regular IHR participant was Robert Faurisson. As a professor of literature at the University of Lyons-2, he began expressing his public skepticism about the Holocaust during the 1970s, and the resulting media uproar led to efforts to remove him from his position, while a petition was signed on his behalf by 200 international scholars, including famed MIT professor Noam Chomsky. Faurisson stuck to his opinions, but attacks persisted, including a brutal beating by Jewish militants that hospitalized him, while a French political candidate espousing similar views was assassinated. Jewish activist organizations began lobbying for laws to broadly outlaw the activities of Faurisson and others, and in 1990, soon after the Berlin Wall fell and research at Auschwitz and other Holocaust sites suddenly became far easier, France passed a statute criminalizing Holocaust Denial, apparently the first nation after defeated Germany to do so. During the years that followed, large numbers of other Western countries did the same, setting the disturbing precedent of resolving scholarly disputes via prison sentences, a softer form of the same policy followed in Stalinist Russia.

In exploring the history of Holocaust Denial, I have noticed this same sort of recurrent pattern, most typically involving individuals rather than institutions. Someone highly-regarded and fully mainstream decides to investigate the controversial topic, and soon comes to conclusions that sharply deviate from the official narrative of the last two generations. For various reasons, those views become public, and he is immediately demonized by the Jewish-dominated media as a horrible extremist, perhaps mentally-deranged, while being relentlessly hounded by a ravenous pack of fanatic Jewish-activists. This usually brings about the destruction of his career.

Fred Leuchter was widely regarded as one of America’s leading expert specialists on the technology of executions, and a long article in The Atlantic treated him as such. During the 1980s, Ernst Zundel, a prominent Canadian Holocaust Denier, was facing trial for his disbelief in the Auschwitz gas chambers, and one of his expert witnesses was an American prison warden with some experience in such systems, who recommended involving Leuchter, one of the foremost figures in the field. Leuchter soon took a trip to Poland and closely inspected the purported Auschwitz gas chambers, then published the Leuchter Report, concluding that they were obviously a fraud and could not possibly have worked in the manner Holocaust scholars had always claimed. The ferocious attacks which followed soon cost him his entire business career and destroyed his marriage.

David Irving had ranked as the world’s most successful World War II historian, with his books selling in the millions amid glowing coverage in the top British newspapers when he agreed to appear as an expert witness at the Zundel trial. He had always previously accepted the conventional Holocaust narrative, but reading the Leuchter Report changed his mind, and he concluded that the Auschwitz gas chambers were just a myth. He was quickly subjected to unrelenting media attacks, which first severely damaged and then ultimately destroyed his very illustrious publishing career, and he later even served time in an Austrian prison for his unacceptable views.

Dr. Germar Rudolf was a successful young German chemist working at the prestigious Max Planck Institute when he heard of the controversy regarding the Leuchter Report, which he found reasonably persuasive but containing some weaknesses. Therefore, he repeated the analysis on a more thorough basis, and published the results as the Chemistry of Auschwitz, which came to the same conclusions as Leuchter. And just like Leuchter before him, Rudolf suffered the destruction of his career and his marriage, and since Germany treats these matters in harsher fashion, he eventually served five years in prison for his scientific impudence.

Most recently, Dr. Nicholas Kollerstrom, who had spent eleven years as a historian of science on the staff of University College, London, suffered this same fate in 2008. His scientific interests in the Holocaust provoked a media firestorm of vilification, and he was fired with a single day’s notice, becoming the first member of his research institution ever expelled for ideological reasons. He had previously provided the Isaac Newton entry for a massive biographical encyclopedia of astronomers, and America’s most prestigious science journal demanded that the entire publication be pulped, destroying the work of over 100 writers, because it had been fatally tainted by having such a villainous contributor. He recounted this unfortunate personal history as an introduction to his 2014 book Breaking the Spell, which I highly recommend.

The lives and careers of a very sizable number of other individuals have followed this same unfortunate sequence, which in much of Europe often ends in criminal prosecution and imprisonment. Most notably, a German lawyer who became a bit too bold in her legal arguments soon joined her client behind bars, and as a consequence, it has become increasingly difficult for accused Holocaust Deniers to secure effective legal representation. By Kollerstrom’s estimates, many thousands of individuals are currently serving time across Europe for Holocaust Denial.

Despite suffering years of German imprisonment for his skeptical investigation of the scientific evidence for the Holocaust, Rudolf perservered and eventually created the most comprehensive published collection of Holocaust Denial literature. This includes the works of Butz and Kollerstrom as well as dozens of other books by various scholars, nearly all of them freely available for downloading, and quite a number of video documentaries on the same subject.

Most recently, Rudolf has also released an exhaustive Holocaust encyclopedia, summarizing much of this mountain of research material into a series of manageable entries.


If Prof. Arthur Butz probably stands as the founding father of academic Holocaust Denial, I think that the late Ernst Zundel might hold similar honors with regard to Holocaust Denial activism and publishing, having launched his own efforts around the same time. But while Butz was shielded by our First Amendment and academic tenure, Zundel, a German national who had emigrated to Canada in 1958, had no such protections, so he eventually faced several public trials, deportations, and many years of imprisonment, both in Canada and in his native Germany, while his Toronto home was fire-bombed by Jewish militants. Although both his Canadian trials of the 1980s ended in convictions and subsequent incarceration, they actually played a very important role in advancing his broader efforts, prompting both Leuchter and Irving to become involved in the topic, as well as providing invaluable cross-examinations of leading academic scholars of the Holocaust.

At the time of his death in 2017, I was only very slightly familiar with Zundel or his history, and therefore was quite surprised to read his long and remarkably temperate obituary in the New York Times, which led me to suspect that some Times editors may have quietly held heretical views regarding the cause Zundel had long championed, or at least entertained a few serious doubts in that regard.

Although I’d been unaware at the time, during the 1980s and early 1990s the Holocaust Denial controversy had sometimes received substantial attention on various broadcast television shows. For example, in 1994 the theatrical success of Schindler’s List prompted Mike Wallace to interview Zundel for 60 Minutes, and I recently discovered the segment was available on Youtube:


With some of these current matters in the back of my mind, I closed one of my earliest 2018 American Pravda articles with the following reflections:

The notion that the world is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine has often been misattributed to the British astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington, and over the last fifteen-odd years I’ve sometimes begun to believe that the historical events of our own era could be considered in a similar light. I’ve also sometimes joked with my friends that when the true history of our last one hundred years is finally written and told—probably by a Chinese professor at a Chinese university—none of the students in his lecture hall will ever believe a word of it.

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