The Holocaust Historiography Project

Historical News and Comment

Revisionism and Censorship Down Under

John Bennett

George Orwell said that "anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself being silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing." J. S. Mill said that "unmeasured vituperation, employed on the side of prevailing opinion, deters people from expressing contrary opinions, and from listening to those who express them."

Historical revisionists, such as the UK historian David Irving, whose books are in libraries and bookshops throughout the Western world, Professor Faurisson, Professor Butz and myself, who, after much research, much of it uncontradicted, have concluded there was no plan to exterminate Jews in World War II; there were no mass gassings; and fewer than one million Jews died of all causes, face such vituperation. O'Brien, a member of the "thought police" in Orwell's novel, 1984, said: "Who controls the past controls the future.Who controls the present controls the past."

Dissident thinkers who challenge the accepted version of the past cannot expect a fair hearing in Australia, are subject to "unmeasured vituperation" and are not given a fair hearing. Thus my attempts to query the extent of the Holocaust of Jews in World War II have led to me being described as "more evil than Himmler and Pol Pot" (Quadrant), a "pathological raver" (New Statesman), "unhinged" (Commentary), "comic" and "bizarre" (The Age), "scum" (3AW) and "dangerous and foolish" (Derryn Hinch, 3AW). A play written by a Jew from Sydney called "The Diary of Anne Frank -- a Forgery?" describes me as a vicious evil neo-Nazi professional propagandist who poses as a civil libertarian and is utterly discredited. I am not afforded a right of reply to such attacks.

Gerard Henderson attacked me in an article in The Australian in 1989 headed "It's Time to Muzzle Lunar Rights Baying, " and I was attacked in a feature article in the Sydney Morning Herald in 1989 headed "Lies, Damned Lies and Hogwash." The Press Council predictably rejected my complaint about the failure of the SMH to publish a reply. Phillip Adams attacked me in three feature articles in The Australian in 1990 claiming that I was masquerading as a civil libertarian, that I was carrying on where Julius Striecher, the editor of Der Stürmer, left off, and that I had been spewing hate since the 1930's (I was born in 1936 and did not become a Revisionist until 1979).

Adams regards those querying the extent of the Jewish Holocaust as committing blasphemy a curious view for a self-proclaimed skeptic and atheist. Is the official version of the Holocaust his religion? Was the recent reduction in the official figure for deaths at Auschwitz, from 4 million to about 1 million, blasphemy? The camp records indicated an even lower figure. Anti-Zionist Jews, such as Dr. Alfred Lilienthal, who support freedom of speech for Revisionists, claim that the "official" version of the Jewish Holocaust has become a new religion for many Jews, and for non-Jews such as Mr. Adams. It is the religious aspect of the Holocaust which places the freedom of speech of Revisionists at such risk. Anti-Zionist Jews such as Dr. Lilienthal and Noam Chomsky have defended the freedom of speech of Revisionists. The Jewish writer J.G. Burg, who was a Holocaust survivor, has denied that gassing took place at Auschwitz, and the Jewish historian Arno Mayer agrees with Revisionists that the extent of the Holocaust has been exaggerated.

The Sunday Age, owned by the Fairfax group, published three feature articles in July and August 1990, discussing whether alleged "racists" such as myself (and I was the only person named) should be dealt with by racial vilification legislation. The articles were triggered by a complaint against Your Rights to the NSW Anti-discrimination Board by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies. The Sunday Age devoted more than 100 column inches to the three articles and an "over the top" cartoon and allowed me about six column inches in reply. The headings in the articles attacking me were "The Right to Be a Racist" (with a cartoon of a Neanderthal ape spewing forth hate), "Package Poison with an Inbuilt Antidote" and "Cloaking Hate with Freedom's Mantle" (with the cartoon repeated). The contents of the articles, and several letters attacking my views, did not create a climate for objective debate and sometimes approached "unmeasured vituperation." Even if the "pathological ravings" of "unhinged, " "evil" revisionists are "poisonous, " the "ravings" may, if examined, and if not refuted, eventually be largely accepted.

"Freedom of the Press" seems to mean freedom for press proprietors and editors, accountable to no one, to indulge in character assassination and not give any, or any adequate, space for a reply. The only reply from me published by the Sunday Age (August 8, 1990) stated that Terry Lane, who wrote the first two articles and who has previously objected to racial vilification legislation because of its threat to freedom of speech, now says (August 12) that material found to be "offensive" and "poisonous" by "Nanny State" must be dealt with, by forcing the writer of the material to give equal space to those offended, and to participate in a public debate. Those seeking to censor the section in the 17th edition of Your Rights (written by myself) discussing Zionist power, the extent of the Jewish Holocaust, and the use of the Holocaust as a propaganda weapon for Israel oppose freedom of speech on those issues, and would reject Mr. Lane's suggestions, which are acceptable to me (without compulsion). The suggestions would be an interesting precedent for disparate groups objecting to material as diverse as The Last Temptation of Christ, Salman Rushdie's book The Satanic Verses, Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, the New Testament, and daily references to the Jewish Holocaust in the media with negative stereotyping of Germans.

Mr. Lane, who has said that he would, "never ever" discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict again "because the consequences of doing so are altogether quite unnerving, " has not given any explanation for his retreat on the issue of freedom of speech, especially for those he has described as "soft targets, " including Historical Revisionists such as David Irving, Professor R. Faurisson and myself. My letter in reply concluded by stating that the heading to an article by Mr. Lane, "The Right To Be A Racist" (July 29), may have inferred I am a racist. I reject notions of racial superiority and racial discrimination but accept that people prefer their own kind.

After the publication of my letter, I was attacked in a Sunday Age feature article, headed "Cloaking Hate in Freedom's Mantle, " by Mr. S. Rosenkranz, the president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria. My unpublished reply stated that Mr. Rosenkranz claims (falsely) that I say the Holocaust didn't happen or was a hoax, and also claims my views are racist a word he uses often and without definition. He also falsely claims that I criticize a film for portraying Jews as, "in general, " admirable (I said, "without exception") and says that the view falsely attributed to me is racist. Words such as "blasphemous" and "racist" are designed to inhibit debate, and those using such words against independent thinkers such as Historical Revisionists ( Terry Lane's "soft targets") rely on those attacked being given no right of reply.

Mr. Rosenkranz, having attributed to me views I do not hold, then argues that such views are "racist, " and should be dealt with by draconian anti-free speech legislation. He also justifies further free speech restrictions because the U.K., etc. have such restrictions. This is a "copy-cat" argument, which ignores the increase in racial tensions in the U.K. caused by such restrictions, documented in Russell Lewis's book AntiRacism - A Mania Exposed. His argument that we should adopt restrictions because of a U.N. Covenant ignores the dominance of anti-free speech countries in the U.N. and the need to tailor laws relevant for Australia. He ignores the adequacy of existing laws to deal with criminal offences by racists. Mr. Rosenkranz's tunnel vision leads him to regard Revisionist comments in a brief section of a pamphlet with a yearly circulation of 10,000 as being "racist" on the basis of misquotations (Has he read Your Rights?), while he appears to lack the empathy to realize the almost daily stereotyping of Germans and Arabs in films from Hollywood with a nightly viewing audience of often more than 200,000 people are offensive to those groups. Instead of singling out a minor pamphlet for special treatment, he should consider the daily harm done by Hollywood films (often designed to help Israel) to Germans and Arabs. Why should these groups not have equal space to answer those vilifying them?

The almost daily references to the Jewish Holocaust in the media are because, as Professor W. Rubinstein has said, the Jewish Holocaust is the number one propaganda weapon for Israel. His claim that Jews have become the new socioeconomic and political elite of the West helps to explain the passage of selective discriminatory war crimes legislation, described by Jim McClelland in an address with which he launched Sanctuary, a book by Mark Aarons, as "a sop to the Jewish lobby." There have been many other sops. The strength of the Zionist lobby in Australia, and its role in pushing for War Crimes legislation and for racial vilification legislation as a means of imposing political censorship of Revisionists challenging the official version of the Jewish Holocaust, is discussed in a leaflet headed War Crimes Vendetta, available from the Australian Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Those attacking revisionists with vituperative language will have, at some stage, to answer Revisionists, who point out that the Wannsee Conference, setting out Nazi policy for Jews, refers to evacuation to the East, not extermination; that Fred Leuchter, described in The Atlantic as the main authority on execution procedures in the U.S.A., including gas chambers, has found that Jews could not have been gassed by Zyklon B at Auschwitz; that the crematoria known to have existed could not have disposed of the numbers claimed to have been killed; and that an extermination campaign of which the Vatican, the Red Cross, the German resistance to Hitler, Allied Intelligence and German Intelligence were not aware could not have existed. The fate of Anne Frank, shunted from camp to camp and dying of typhus (which Zyklon B was used to combat); the survival of members of the immediate family (siblings and parents) of some of the best-known names of the Holocaust (Simon Wiesenthal, Anne Frank, Elie Wiesel, etc.); the number of survivors claiming compensation from the West German government; and the survival of the small ghetto boy photographed with his hands raised, help to validate the Revisionist case.

Those seeking to censor, intimidate, and even imprison Revisionists will be in an interesting position if the Revisionist position becomes at some stage the prevailing orthodoxy. Academic historians who refuse to answer Revisionists, and people in the media who belittle or ignore them, may be queried as to whether they have justified the power and influence given to them. The critical question, not asked and not answered, is whether the "unfashionable opinion" is correct. There are many examples in history of fashionable opinions becoming modified or abandoned. One justification for freedom of speech, given by John Stuart Mill, is that those holding unpopular opinions may be correct, or closer to the truth, than the prevailing orthodoxy.

My unpublished reply concluded by stating that as well as reading Your Rights, the Leuchter Report, and the minutes of the Wannsee Conference, Mr. Rosenkranz should read John Stuart Mill (On Liberty), tolerate the expression ofarguments he dislikes, and endeavor to answer them.

The Holocaust is so important to Zionist Jews that Professor Friedläander has said that "the Revisionist School of historians, those who say the Holocaust never existed, that it is a Jewish invention, are more worrying than countries' political positions, " while Professor F. Littell has said "You can't discuss the truth of the holocaust. That is a distortion of the concept of free speech. The United States should emulate West Germany, which outlaws such exercises."

I cited some of the methods used to silence historical revisionism in Australia in Censorship of Dissident Opinions, available from the ACLU. More drastic measures are used in some other countries. A Revisionist received a two-year jail sentence in Canada, a Revisionist in France was assassinated, Professor Faurisson was suspended from his teaching position in France, Henri Roques had his Ph.D. (granted for research on aspects on the Holocaust) revoked, a retired judge in West Germany had his law degree revoked and the plates of his book The Auschwitz Myth seized, other writers in West Germany have been jailed, and the headquarters and warehouse of the Institute for Historical Review was burnt to the ground in the U.S.A. For further information, write to the ACLU for a leaflet headed "The Worldwide Persecution of Dissent. "

All of the attacks on Revisionists (including Jewish Revisionists) I have mentioned have one thing in common. They are subjected to character assassination but no, or very little, attempt is made to refute their arguments.


[This article is adapted from Your Rights 1991, published by John Bennett for the Australian Civil Liberties Union, Box 1137, Carlton 3053, Australia. Ed.]


Source: Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 365-370.