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The Holocaust 1933-1945


Shanet Clark
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It suits those with far Right leanings to suggest that Ernst Zundel is in prison because of some conspiracy against "free speech". This is of course nonsense.

A reasonably balanced account of the case can be accessed here

It is clear that Zundel's activities with and connections to violent Neo Nazi organisations across Europe, Canada and the US, and his incitement to racial hatred through his web site and publishing activities is what has got him into jail.

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By labeling someone a "nazi" or "anti-semite" or even a "hater," no actual crime is necessary for that individual to have his reputation ruined and to become, in the eyes of the majority of the people, a criminal. He is essentially punished for the way he interprets current and past events. You call Zundel a nazi. The nazis haven't been around for 60 years. Zundel was a Canadian school teacher with a clean record (not even a traffic ticket). This is the same smear tactic used in the 1950s, when many progressives and radicals were labeled "communists" and had their careers destroyed. At least none of them, however, were placed in prison for their beliefs (not to mention two years in solitary confinement).

You are wrong about this. Several people were imprisoned because of their left-wing political beliefs during McCarthyism.

On the morning of 20th July, 1948, Eugene Dennis, the general secretary of the American Communist Party, and eleven other party leaders, included William Z. Foster and Benjamin Davis, were arrested and charged under the Alien Registration Act. This law, passed by Congress in 1940, made it illegal for anyone in the United States "to advocate, abet, or teach the desirability of overthrowing the government".

The case began in March, 1948. It was difficult for the prosecution to prove that the twelve men had broken the Alien Registration Act, as none of the defendants had ever openly called for violence or had been involved in accumulating weapons for a proposed revolution. The prosecution therefore relied on passages from the work of Karl Marx and other revolutionary figures from the past.

The prosecution also used the testimony of former members of the American Communist Party to help show that Dennis and his fellow comrades had privately advocated the overthrow of the government. The most important witness against the leaders of the party was Louis Budenz, the former managing editor of the party's newspaper, The Daily Worker.

Another strategy of the prosecution was to ask the defendants questions about other party members. Unwilling to provide information on fellow comrades, they were put in prison and charged with contempt of court. The trial dragged on for eleven months and eventually, the judge, Harold Medina, who made no attempt to disguise his own feelings about the defendants, sent the party's lawyers to prison for contempt of court.

After a nine month trial the leaders of the American Communist Party were found guilty of violating the Alien Registration Act and sentenced to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. They appealed to the Supreme Court but on 4th June, 1951, the judges ruled, 6-2, that the conviction was legal.

This decision was followed by the arrests of 46 more communists during the summer of 1951. This included Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, who was also convicted for contempt of court after telling the judge that she would not identify people as Communists as she was unwilling "do degrade or debase myself by becoming an informer". She was also found guilty of violating the Alien Registration Act and sentenced to two years in prison.

The House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), chaired by J. Parnell Thomas, now began an investigation into the Hollywood Motion Picture Industry. The HUAC interviewed 41 people who were working in Hollywood. These people attended voluntarily and became known as "friendly witnesses". During their interviews they named nineteen people who they accused of holding left-wing views.

One of those named, Bertolt Brecht, an emigrant playwright, gave evidence and then left for East Germany. Ten others: Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Albert Maltz, Adrian Scott, Samuel Ornitz, Dalton Trumbo, Edward Dmytryk, Ring Lardner Jr., John Howard Lawson and Alvah Bessie refused to answer any questions.

Known as the Hollywood Ten, they claimed that the 5th Amendment of the United States Constitution gave them the right to do this. The House of Un-American Activities Committee and the courts during appeals disagreed and all were found guilty of contempt of congress and each was sentenced to between six and twelve months in prison.

In several cases these men never worked in Hollywood again. In 1960 Trumbo became the first blacklisted writer to use his own name when he wrote the screenplay for the film Spartacus. Based on the novel by another left-wing blacklisted writer, Howard Fast, Spartacus is a film that examines the spirit of revolt. Trumbo refers back to his experiences of the House of Un-American Activities Committee. At the end, when the Romans finally defeat the rebellion, the captured slaves refuse to identify Spartacus.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAred.htm

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Andy,

I have to apologize for my "staggering ignorance." BTW, why do you bother to respond to my posts, when you never address whatever point it is I'm trying to make? Instead of calling names yet again, why did you ignore what I was trying to say?

In the same manner that I attempted to juxtapose the alleged "hatred" and "intolerance" of an Ernst Zundel with the very real "hatred" against him by those who attempted to kill him and burned down his home, I tried to compare the "hate" and criminal activities of neo- nazis groups against the criminal activities of several actual problematic groups (gangs like the bloods and crips, the mafia, Hells Angels). Did you miss that point entirely? Do you think all the neo-nazi groups combined constitute more of a threat to our society than even one of these truly violent groups? In both of these posts, I was merely trying to put things in perspective. You also ignored my observation that only these alleged "anti-semitic" groups are said to "hate." Why are they hateful, but the bloods and the crips, the mafia and Hells Angels are not?

If you're interested enough to respond, that's great, but please try to refrain from constantly putting me down. I haven't questioned your intelligence, your associates, or your "true" political leanings. I have tried to be civil. This is just a political debate. Could you grant me the same privilege? Thanks.

It of course isn't a "debate". The existence of the Holocaust is not a matter of debate. In the course of this thread which has become now little more than an exchange between this Don character and myself I have engaged with him to try and analyse and illustrate what he is and what he is up to. This process does not imply that I have elevated his anti Semitic ideology (for that is what denial is) to the level of responsible historiography. Neither given his clear motivations is there any justification in his plea that I should refrain from "putting him down".

I am not even going to approach the comment by Don on the "alleged” nature of the “hatred and intolerance of Zundel" . It is very unlikely that I have misjudged the author of "The Hitler We loved and Why" and it is equally unlikely that I have misjudged Don's ideological commitments either.

What is most dangerous about holocaust denial is just how easily the woolly minded fall victim to its pernicious rot. We are presented with arguments which run along the lines of "there are two sides to every issue and both must be accommodated free expression".

Don't get me wrong the deniers are at perfectly at liberty to attempt to spread their calumnies both here and on the street corner to whosoever is stupid or racist enough to listen. What they don't have the right to be treated as the legitimate 'other side' of a legitimate debate. Freedom of expression is a farce unless factual information is guaranteed.

There is a plethora of nonsensical positions held by some members of the world's population. For some Elvis Presley is alive and well and living in Moscow, for others the moon landings were staged in Nevada. Most of these cranks are just harmless rootless looneys. We do not however accord them the status of legitimate debaters. How much more important is it that those "looneys" who are motivated by vicious racism like the followers of Zundel, Faurisson and Leuchter be recognised and exposed for what exactly they are.

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I really do wish Don would read what people post rather what he wishes to see.

This thread started as a thread about holocaust denial. On this subject I am reminded of an observation by Hannah Arendt in an essay called "Truth and Politics"

Facts inform opinions and opinions, inspired by different interests and passions, can differ widely and still be legitimate as long as they respect factual truth. Freedom of opinion is a farce unless factual information is guaranteed and the facts themselves are not in dispute

It really doesn't matter how passionately Don feels about Holocaust denial (it is not revisionism it is denial by the way). This passion does not make holocaust denial a legitimate position or an "other side" to a debate any more that belief in a flat earth or Elvis living in Moscow can be seen as legitimate positions. Let us not succumb to downright silliness in the name of free expression.

Don asserts:

I am, Andy, is an average Joe who questions the validity of almost every "official" story

Unfortunately this relativistic approach to truth favoured by conspiracy theorists like Don has apparently permeated much of American popular culture. With it comes an increasing fascination with, and acceptance of the irrational. This is not history or even a revision of history, it is the debasing of history. No fact, no event, no aspect of history is to have any meaning or content. Any truth can be retold ... there is no historical reality. In such a climate National Socialism can be made acceptable and legtimate once again.

Holocaust denial has no scholarly, intellectual or rational validity.

The matter as to how Nazi law breakers should be punished is a matter for another thread which may engender some interesting discussion.

This particular thread however has clearly outlived its usefulness. Don is evidently ineducible as the following quotation reveals;

I dare to point out the holocaust emperor is wearing no clothes

He has 'pointed out' much less "proved" absolutely nothing over and above his own strange prejudices in his unwelcome visits here.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsourc...ust/denial.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/genocide/deniers_01.shtml

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Holocaust denial has no scholarly, intellectual or rational validity

This is the crucial point. Don has been provided with numerous points of evidence both of the historical fact of the Holocaust and of the pernicious ideology of the leading proponents of denial.

However because it is fashionable to see everything as 'conspiracy' he continues to lend credence to the antisemitic falisfications of the far right. There is apparently a distinct lack of critical thought in this self styled critical thinker!

To engage in "debate" with deniers would be to lend them a credence they so obviously do not deserve. Any engagement has to be to expose the deniers for what they are .... nothing more

Finally I wish my fellow administrators and moderators were a little more robust in their defence of the integrity of this forum from the deconstructionist, relativist gibberish of the conspiracy theorists.

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Finally I wish my fellow administrators and moderators were a little more robust in their defence of the integrity of this forum from the deconstructionist, relativist gibberish of the conspiracy theorists.

I am not sure what you mean by this? Do you think all moderators and administrators should agree with you on this issue?

In fact, I think Don has argued his case fairly well. I am just surprised that he finds this subject so important. As I have pointed out, America has a long tradition of imprisoning people who criticise the status quo. Although I believe people with right-wing views should have freedom of expression, I do not have the time and energy to spend my time defending them. Instead, I prefer to concentrate on revealing the truth of the conspiracies that attempt to prevent us living in a fully functioning democratic society.

I think that Andrew Moore's page on this subject is well-worth reading.

http://www.eriding.net/worldinconflict/ann...tdenial.shtml#3

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Finally I wish my fellow administrators and moderators were a little more robust in their defence of the integrity of this forum from the deconstructionist, relativist gibberish of the conspiracy theorists.

I am not sure what you mean by this? Do you think all moderators and administrators should agree with you on this issue?

In fact, I think Don has argued his case fairly well. I am just surprised that he finds this subject so important. As I have pointed out, America has a long tradition of imprisoning people who criticise the status quo. Although I believe people with right-wing views should have freedom of expression, I do not have the time and energy to spend my time defending them. Instead, I prefer to concentrate on revealing the truth of the conspiracies that attempt to prevent us living in a fully functioning democratic society.

I think that Andrew Moore's page on this subject is well-worth reading.

http://www.eriding.net/worldinconflict/ann...tdenial.shtml#3

Precisely what case has Don argued "fairly well"?

his denial of the holocaust?

his defence of the work of men like Faurisson, Zundel and Leuchter?

The ease at which the woolly minded get themselves fascinated and obssessed with irrational and pernicious conspiracy theories like holocaust denial poses a real danger to a "fully functioning democratic society."

I agree with you John that the Far Right have a right to free speech. What they do not have on this issue is the right to be seen as the legitimate side of a 'debate'. to do so would be to deny reason and knowledge.

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Finally I wish my fellow administrators and moderators were a little more robust in their defence of the integrity of this forum from the deconstructionist, relativist gibberish of the conspiracy theorists.

Hear, hear. I'm sure that throughout history there have been conspiracies, but the assumption of some today seems to be that virtually all historical events have come about as a result of some sort of conspiracy that has been covered up by some strange cabal of Yale-based drinking buddies. Or the "international zioinists" who control Canada... Or visitors from outer space, perhaps? A glance at the "active topics" daily reveals an increasing predominance of such threads which can really only be tangentally connected with the idea of "education".

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"Holcaust deniers" is an Orwellian term that brings to mind the old Soviet tactic of declaring enemies of the state to be mentally ill, before shipping them out to Siberia.

All the German "Holocaust Deniers" had a fair trial following the rules and standards of democratic states and the rule of law: the trials were public; they had their lawyers and could say what they wanted, they had the right to appeal and most of them did - without success. However faulty our democracy may be I object to having it compared with the Stalinist system.

Don, you keep on saying that those who belive that the Holocuast happened and that it is an undisputable fact have not given any proof, but this is simply not true. I do not want to repeat myself, so go back to some of my previous postings and simply check my sources for a change.

I agree with you that trying to kill someone by setting his house on fire or planting bombs close to him are criminal acts and no means of free and democratic discourse. But that some of those who do not agree with Zundel's statements use violence does not make him an innocent victim and does not make his statements true or less criminal.

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I'm beginning to agree with John, in that I am devoting too much time to this subject; I am not only arguing the most unpopular position imaginable, I am thinking about a period of history which was very, very unpleasant, no matter how you look at it. I think I have to accept the fact that I am not going to be able to easily persuade many people that the Germans weren't trying to exterminate jews.

Shame Don hasn't got time to investigate any of the material presented to him which challenges the spurious nonsense that is Holocaust denial or uncovers the fascist agendas of those who peddle these lies..... predictable, but a shame nonetheless.

This thread will now be closed permanently.

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