The Institute for Historical Review strongly condemns the arrogant campaign of pressure and intimidation against Japan's Bungei Shunju publishing company, which has capitulated by shutting down its Marco Polo magazine.
Jewish groups including the Simon Wiesenthal Center of Los Angeles, as well as the Israeli government, have denounced a ten-page article about the Holocaust story and Auschwitz in the February 1995 issue of the 200,000-circulation monthly. In this article, Dr. Masanori Nishioka presents credible evidence to show that there were no execution gas chambers in wartime German concentration camps.
Misrepresenting the content of Dr. Nishioka's article, the Wiesenthal Center lashed out at the magazine and its publisher, Bungei Shunju company, by pressuring advertisers to withhold advertising.
We regret that Bungei Shunju company has given in to this outrageous campaign by taking the astonishing step of shutting down Marco Polo magazine altogether. This is a great defeat for the cause of free speech and free inquiry.
The Wiesenthal Center campaign is an arrogant expression of bigotry and intolerance. A comparable campaign in other countries would rightly be regarded as intolerable interference.
What has happened with Marco Polo magazine shows that groups such as the Wiesenthal Center regard the Holocaust story as a sacred religious dogma. It also shows that open discussion of the Holocaust issue is more needed than ever.
It is a serious mistake to regard the Wiesenthal Center as an impartial source of unbiased information. This wealthy and highly partisan special interest group has a long record of greatly exaggerating anti-Jewish sentiment for its own fund-raising purposes. Even the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, a major American Jewish organization, attacked the Wiesenthal Center in December 1984 for its “inaccurate” and “exaggerated claims” about the supposed danger of anti-Semitism in the USA and Europe. (Los Angeles Times, Dec. 12, 1984)
While seeking to deny its adversaries any voice, the Wiesenthal Center embraces murderers who support its agenda. At a major meeting in Los Angeles in 1989, the Center honored Yitzhak Shamir, the former Israeli prime minister who has a well documented record as a terrorist leader during the 1940s of the underground Zionist “Stern Gang.” At that meeting, Shamir delivered the keynote speech. (Los Angeles Times, Nov. 21, 1989)
This unprecedented effort to silence a foreign publisher shows the lengths to which groups such as the Wiesenthal Center will go to protect their flawed viewpoint from honest inquiry. In fact, a considerable and mounting body of evidence discredits wartime propaganda claims of mass killings by poison gas in German wartime camps.
Opposing such groups is the Institute for Historical Review, the world's foremost revisionist history research, education and publishing center. Since its founding in 1978, the IHR has steadfastly opposed bigotry of all kinds in its efforts to promote greater public understanding of key chapters of history. Contributors to the IHR's Journal of Historical Review have included respected scholars from around the world.
In stark contrast, this Wiesenthal Center campaign promotes intolerance and bigotry, and underscores the need for even greater openness and freedom, particularly on this taboo issue. The cause of international understanding and world peace is best served by free discussion and open debate of significant historical issues, including the emotion-laden Holocaust story. What is needed is greater objectivity, not more suppression and intimidation.
The campaign against Bungei Shunju company suggests the intrinsic weakness of the gas chamber story. Historical truth does not need intimidation, boycott campaigns or special laws to defend itself.
The IHR is proud of the backing we have earned from people of the most diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, including Jewish. In spite of smear attacks from the Wiesenthal Center and similar groups, the IHR and the cause it represents continue to gain greater support and acceptance in the United States and many other countries.
issued: Thursday, February 2, 1995