From the Editor

A New Journal and a New Era

Between the beginning of 1980 and the of 1992 (with a one year suspension in 1987), the IHR published twelve annual volumes of the familiar quarterly Journal. In the 5,800 pages of these 46 issues, we have been proud to present hundreds of articles and essays, including first-ever publication of articles of major importance by the world's foremost Revisionist historians and researchers and no fewer than 221 reviews. Consequently (and in spite of its modest circulation), the Journal has won the respect of intelligent and grateful readers around the world, as well as the bitter hatred of the traditional enemies of truth in history.

With this January-February 1993 issue of the Journal, we take on a new format and publishing schedule. From now on, it will appear six times yearly in this larger (8½ × 11 inch) size, and will make more generous use of photographs. And because it incorporates the now-discontinued IHR Newsletter, the Journal will include more topical material, including news about Revisionist activism around the world, as well as informed commentary about events here and abroad.

Since its founding in 1978, the Institute for Historical Review has been dedicated to helping thoughtful and open-minded men and women of good will more realistically to anticipate the future by better understanding the past. Our new Journal represents a renewed commitment to our traditional goal of shedding light on relevant but suppressed chapters of history.

Building upon the foundation of solid scholarship and careful writing laid in the “old” Journal, we will continue to feature scholarly historical articles and reviews. At the same time, though, we will seek to more fully embrace historical issues in the widest sense.

We are confident that the new Journal will not only be welcomed by you, our most faithful subscribers, but will also prove effective in reaching many new readers as well.

We launch the “new” Journal at a time of sweeping change around the world.

In recent years we have witnessed the collapse of Communist rule in Russia and eastern and central Europe (symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall), the emergence of a united Germany and newly indepent states in eastern and central Europe, and the breakup of the artificial multi-ethnic states of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czecho-Slovakia.

Another world-historical development with the most profound implications for the coming century has been the rise in recent decades of Japan and other countries in East Asia, which present an ever more formidable economic challenge to Europe and the United States.

During this final decade of the twentieth century, it is ironic that so much of the world's attention should once again turn to Bosnia-Herzogovina — precisely the troubled region where the spark that ignited the First World War which proved so devastating for Europe and Western civilization was set off in 1914.

In short, a new and uncertain international order (or disorder) is emerging from the wreckage of the global hegemony established by the United States and the Soviet Union at the of the Second World War.

No less significant have been the recent — and still ongoing — changes here at home.

According to a nationwide Gallup survey made public in mid-September, two of three Americans believe that the United States is in serious long-term decline. Nearly 80 percent believe that the United States is in economic decline, and 65 percent see America in a state of moral decline. This deep-seated concern is also reflected in the historically unprecedented support for non-politician H. Ross Perot in last year's presidential campaign.

Keen observers of the American scene — regardless of their ideological perspective — are increasingly gloomy about America's future. Historian David Halberstam, for example, believes that it may already be too late. “I have the feeling that something is slipping away from us,” he recently commented. “Maybe it will take an apocalyptic event [to turn things around] … If it does, a lot of people are going to get hurt. We are in a crisis now, maybe it's an amorphous crisis, but it is a crisis. For the first time in my grown-up life, I'm worried about the future of this country.”

Wilmot Robertson, author of The Dispossessed Majority, a shrewd analysis of America's social, ethnic, racial and political state, is even less optimistic. Events during the last several decades, he writes in the foreword to a newly published book, The Ethnostate, are proving “that America, as we have known it, is beyond saving. The Majority, that is, the Northern and Western European elements of the population, has lost whatever chance it had to recapture the country it ruled for more than two centuries.”

This sense of foreboding — which is all the more remarkable because the United States is still relatively prosperous and stable — has been fueled by a general breakdown of order and civility in recent decades, the seemingly unstoppable deterioration and “Third Worldization” of our major cities, and apparently uncontrollable violence, particularly among the country's racial minorities.

A striking feature of this mood of apprehension is the absence of consensus about just how this crisis came about, much less what should be done about it.

Throughout the centuries, wise individuals have understood that the most reliable guide to the future is an informed awareness of the past. For those willing to learn, history teaches important but often stern lessons.

While an understanding of history has probably never been more urgently needed than today, the sorry lack of historical awareness — especially on the part of our political, educational and cultural leaders — is all the more culpable and dangerous. For it is only with a clear and honest appreciation of the past that we can hope to face the future responsibly and realistically.

Fortunately, it is precisely during times of dramatic and confusing change such as ours that the craving for truthful history ts to be greatest.

Given all this, we believe that this era of challenge and apprehension about the future presents new and important opportunities for the educational work of our Institute and its Journal of Historical Review.

In recent years, no historian has provoked greater controversy, or has stimulated more people into reassessing stereotypical notions about contemporary history, than David Irving. The best-selling British historian is also a good fri of the Institute who has delighted attees at four IHR Conferences.

We are accordingly pleased to begin this premiere issue of the “new” Journal with an essay summarizing Irving's remarkable career and impact. The British historian himself then provides a fascinating and humorous report on the increasingly desperate and sometimes criminal international campaign to silence him and to suppress openness in history.

Next, Associate Editor Greg Raven provides a day-by-day account of Irving's recent travails in Canada from where, at the behest of the international Holocaust lobby, he was deported on November 13.

But as Raven shows, this victory may well prove to be Pyrrhic. The Holocaust lobby may win battles, but it is plainly losing the war. In spite of their increasingly frantic efforts, the enemies of historical truth and free speech are finding it harder and harder to stuff the Revisionist genie back into the bottle of enforced ignorance.

Later in this issue, veteran Canadian journalist Doug Collins deftly sums up the larger importance of the Irving and Zündel affairs, two controversies that raise the most fundamental questions about freedom of speech and the role of illicit power in a democratic society. (Unfortunately, neither of these affairs has received anything like the media attention it deserves in the United States.)

Few men of our century have lived lives as dramatic as that of Rudolf Hess. In his front-line combat service during the First World War, his close association with Hitler and position as the Third Reich's Deputy Führer, his unjust treatment at Nuremberg, and his 46 years of cruel imprisonment, Hess personifies — as IHR founder Willis Carto pointed out at the Eleventh IHR Conference — the triumph and tragedy of not only his own nation, but of the West.

We devote much of this issue to a detailed review of the remarkable life and legacy of Rudolf Hess. Following an article that briefly sketches his life and place in history, Wolf Rüdiger Hess provides a fascinating look at the dramatic course of his father's life from a uniquely well-informed perspective. Wolf Hess concludes his presentation with persuasive evidence to show that his father's death in August 1987 was not suicide, as officially reported at the time, but murder.

IHR editorial advisor Martin Larson takes a critical look at the growing campaign to disparage the reputation of Thomas Jefferson. Larson, an expert on Jefferson's life and work, shows that this pseudo-revisionist effort is based not on new historical research or insight, but is instead merely a manifestation of the intellectual biases of our “politically correct” age.

Nothing better symbolizes the misguided priorities of our society today, as well as the venal corruption of our political leaders, than the costly Holocaust Memorial Museum now being completed in Washington, DC. As we report here, plans are now being laid to protest this pseudo-religious monument of foolishness when it formally opens in April.

Finally, on a lighter note, we are happy to provide an account of the role played by Revisionist activists on the nationally broadcast Montel Williams Show in bringing together brothers who, for half a century, were thought to have perished as “victims of the Holocaust.”

Mark Weber

From The Journal of Historical Review, January/February 1993 (Vol. 13, No. 1), page 2.