The Holocaust Historiography Project

Defense Department Booklet Targets Holocaust Revisionism

Is Revisionism a Threat to National Security?

American military service personnel are now being told that skepticism toward the official history of Europe’s Jews during World War II is not permissible. A recently published Department of Defense booklet tells armed forces members that revisionist criticism of the Six Million extermination story is nothing less than a threat to national security.

Entitled Holocaust Revisionism, the booklet instructs military personnel: “A successful fighting force is a cohesive one, one where all members have respect for each other’s diversity and dignity. Holocaust revisionism has the potential to destroy that respect.”

It goes on to explain:

One of the most important missions that commanders have is the mission to “Protect the Force.” Part of that protection requires that we be aware of movements that might weaken the effectiveness of our fighting forces … Holocaust revisionism is a real force, such as racism, hatred, or discrimination, that must be dealt with. Not to deal with it is not to give our members in uniform the support that they need to defend this Nation.

Promoting 'Diversity'

The 20-page booklet was published in June 1996 by the “Research Directorate” of the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) in Florida, a Defense Department branch that promotes and oversees racial preference ("affirmative action") programs, and trains (indoctrinates) military personnel in “diversity” and “equal employment opportunity.”

With the seal of the US Department of Defense on the front cover, this “resource and educational” booklet is printed by the US Government Printing Office. (Although it announces that “local reproduction is authorized and encouraged,” general distribution has been inexplicably delayed.) The booklet’s author, Captain Carlos C. Huerta, is an orthodox Jewish rabbi who has served as a US Army chaplain at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Huerta has also lived for years in Israel, where he taught at a Jewish school in Jerusalem.

Smears Instead of Refutation

Typical of anti-revisionist writings, this booklet makes no effort to fairly present revisionist arguments, much less to contend with revisionist scholarship. As Huerta explains in the introduction: “We will not refute revisionism here but merely report its many activities. Refuting revisionism is similar to refuting racism, raisa ipso locutor, the thing speaks for itself “

Rather than refute, Huerta disparages, distorts and twists. In the booklet’s opening sentence, he brusquely slurs the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a leading revisionist publishing and research center, as a “pseudo-historical society” whose “main operational concept … [is] the misrepresentation of historical truths by those with a hidden agenda.” He also calls the IHR “one of the biggest disseminators of revisionist and racist literature in the country.” Without a shred of evidence, he asserts that “some European revisionists seek to hurt what they perceive as non-Aryan Europeans, and hate anything that is not a mirror image of themselves.”

Huerta claims that the person who is “interested in Holocaust revisionism often is also interested in purchasing books on hate and racism.” To support this false and irrelevant contention, he lists nine titles, some of them distributed by the IHR and some by Noontide Press (a distinctly separate publishing imprint), with brief and grotesquely misleading descriptions of each. These include: Arthur Butz' The Hoax of the Twentieth Century ("Argues that Auschwitz was just a rubber factory for the Nazi war effort"); Thies Christophersen’s Auschwitz: Truth or Lie — An Eyewitness Report; America: Free, White & Christian ("An argument showing that America should be a White Christian nation); The Testing of Negro Intelligence ("Argues that African-Americans are less intelligent than White Americans"); Resettlement ("Argues for the resettlement of African-Americans"); and, The Martin Luther King Plagiarism Story ("Argues that Dr. King’s educational credentials are phony").

While attempting to smear revisionists as “haters” or “racists,” rabbi Huerta makes no mention of the numerous hate crimes against revisionists. Professor Robert Faurisson, Europe’s most prominent revisionist scholar, has been the victim of ten physical attacks by Jewish thugs, including a nearly fatal beating on September 16, 1989. In southern California, arsonists torched the IHR offices and warehouse on July 4, 1984, culminating months of vandalism, hate mail, threatening telephone calls and other harassment. (For more on all this, see the IHR booklet, The Zionist Terror Network, and “Jewish Militants: Fifteen Years, and More, of Terrorism in France,” in the March-April 1996 Journal, pp. 2-13.)

Pernicious Nonsense

This booklet’s author must have realized the difficulty of convincing non-Jewish readers that Holocaust revisionism really endangers America’s military effectiveness. But rabbi Huerta takes a stab at it:

The question arises, why should we [?] be aware of or care about Holocaust revisionism? As a service member or Commander, how does this impact my mission. Holocaust revisionism does not operate in an isolated or sterile environment. Often the same groups that believe in revisionism believe in racism or the overthrown of the government; however, this is not to say that all revisionists are racist or anti-government, but it appears [?] more so than not. This movement has grown so much in the last decade that more and more Americans are being exposed to its message through the printed word, radio, TV and now the Internet.

This officially-sanctioned attempt to smear revisionism by associating it with “racism” and sedition is a vile slander. Holocaust revisionism is the polar opposite of bigotry, and has nothing to do with “hatred.” Predictably, not a shred of evidence is offered to show, specifically, how revisionism threatens “respect” for the “diversity and dignity” of any member of the US armed forces.

In essence, this booklet is an arrogant effort to persuade non-Jewish Americans to regard parochial Jewish-Zionist concerns as their own. That such pernicious nonsense is published with official sanction makes it all the more reprehensible.

If this booklet’s author is as sincerely concerned as he pretends to be about “racism, hatred, or discrimination,” his time and effort might better be spent instructing fellow Jews in Israel, where Christians and Muslims are routinely treated as second class citizens, and whose official ideology, Zionism, has been condemned by the United Nations General Assembly as a form of racism.

Attitudes that threaten “diversity and dignity” are far more widespread in Israel than in the United States. According to an authoritative 1994 survey of 3,700 Jewish and Arab high school students, for example, more than 35 percent of young Israelis say they hate Arabs. Two-thirds of the youths surveyed said they do not believe that Arabs should given equal rights in Israel. (JTA dispatch, Forward [New York], Nov. 29, 1996, p. 3; Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March 1997, p. 47.)

At a time when the US military must grapple with such pressing problems as racial friction, drug use, sexual harassment and even illiteracy, this government-sanctioned attack against Holocaust revisionism is a waste of time and taxpayer’s money, and is further evidence of skewed societal and government priorities.

For savvy readers, the one message of this booklet that does come through loud and clear is this: “Holocaust revisionism is a career buster. Don’t get involved with it.” Beyond that, though, it is doubtful that many in the military will take this booklet very seriously, much less find its arguments convincing. Such government-mandated activities to promote “diversity” are widely, if quietly, dismissed as a waste of time.

Earlier Warnings

This Defense Department booklet is not rabbi Huerta’s first effort at sounding the alarm about revisionism. In an article published in the New York Jewish monthly Midstream (April 1992), for example, he warned that “the traditional method of dealing with Holocaust revisionism by ignoring it will no longer suffice.”

He expressed a similar concern in the Sept.-Oct. 1991 issue of Martyrdom and Resistance (published in New York by the International Society for Yad Vashem). In his article, “Holocaust Revisionism in the Classroom,” Huerta conceded that revisionist arguments are not easily dismissed:

Perhaps ten years ago, surely twenty years ago, one could justifiably argue that there was no need to teach Holocaust revisionism in Holocaust courses, as revisionism was nothing more than a smattering of articles by unknown and scattered people. The story today is quite different. Revisionism is now a world-wide phenomenon spreading across Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and some parts of Asia. It is becoming increasingly organized, sophisticated, and well financed.

To deal with this challenge, Huerta continued, Jewish students

should be taught who the Holocaust revisionists are, their methods, and their literature. I would go so far as to say that all Jewish high schools and colleges should have copies of such literature at their disposal.

Admittedly there’s a danger here. As Huerta goes on note, non-Jews might evaluate revisionist writings on their own, “without official Jewish approval":

One can argue, and justifiably so, that teaching Holocaust revisionism in Jewish high schools and colleges is an open invitation for similar institutions in the non-Jewish sector to teach the topic. The fear here is that they will not teach it with an eye to supporting the Holocaust, but rather to denying it. The fact of the matter is that schools are already teaching Holocaust revisionism — without official Jewish approval.

Grudging Homage

Although Holocaust Revisionism is a polemical work of propaganda, and contains numerous factual errors, it’s not as strident, vicious or error-ridden as the anti-revisionist materials put out by such major Jewish-Zionist groups as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. For one thing, it avoids the term “Holocaust denial,” and indicates that this widely used but pejorative label (preferred by the ADL and Jewish academic Deborah Lipstadt) is not accurate.

In this regard, the booklet quotes Journal of Historical Review editor Mark Weber, who explains just what Holocaust revisionists say, and do not say:

They [revisionists] do not dispute the fact that large numbers of Jews were deported to concentration camps and ghettos, or that many Jews died or were killed during the Second World War. Revisionist scholars have, however, presented considerable evidence to show that there was no German program to exterminate Europe’s Jews, that numerous claims of mass killings in “gas chambers” are false, and that the estimate of six million Jewish wartime dead is an irresponsible exaggeration.

“In short,” Huerta comments, “revisionists do not deny the Holocaust, they just want to redefine it.”

Unlike other, more polemical attacks, Huerta acknowledges that revisionist arguments cannot simply be dismissed: “One thing should be made clear. If everything Holocaust revisionists wrote or said were clearly wrong, then their following would be limited to a few quacks or crazies … To say that everything revisionists propound is false is an invitation for mistake.” So perhaps the thing doesn’t speak for itself, after all.

This booklet also succinctly traces the origins and development of scholarly Holocaust revisionism, noting that the phenomenon is rooted in the honorable tradition of historical revisionism, a discipline that encompasses much more than the Holocaust issue. It takes a look at the work and impact of important Holocaust revisionist scholars, researchers and activists. “To understand the motivation and psyche of the revisionists, and therefore understand their effect, and on whom,” it explains, “we present some of the key players in this macabre revision of history and look at some of their 'important' contributions.” This section begins with a page and a half treatment of the “Father of Holocaust Revisionism,” Paul Rassinier — the French educator and Resistance activist who was interned during the war in the German concentration camps of Buchenwald and Dora. Also dealt with are the roles of Arthur Butz, Robert Faurisson, Fred Leuchter, Ernst Zündel, Bradley Smith, Carlo Mattogno and Wilhelm Stäglich.

Surprisingly respectful is Huerta’s treatment of Fred Leuchter, the American execution hardware specialist who conducted an on-site forensic examination in early 1988 of the alleged mass killing facilities at Auschwitz and Birkenau. At the Toronto “Holocaust trial” of German-Canadian publisher Ernst Zündel, Leuchter testified that these sites were not and could not have been used as homicidal gas chambers. (For more about Leuchter and his findings, see the Winter 1992-93 Journal.)

Unlike most critics of revisionism, Huerta acknowledges Leuchter’s competence and expertise. He writes that Leuchter was “a consultant to many states on gassing, lethal injection, hanging and electrocution execution hardware,” and notes that when the Zündel defense team contacted US prison officials to ask who they would recommend as an expert in execution equipment, “one name kept coming up: Fred A. Leuchter.”

The members of the Editorial Advisory Committee of the IHR’s Journal of Historical Review, along with each one’s academic credentials, are listed in “Appendix D.” Introducing it is a warning: “Just picking up the [IHR] journal and looking at this listing, the uninitiated reader could come away thinking that the journal must be a mainstream academic publication, and as a consequence, the articles and the opinions must be legitimate and factual.” Several of the most important revisionist Internet Web site (home page) addresses, including those of Greg Raven (IHR) and Arthur Butz, are provided in “Appendix A.”

Growing Impact

With each passing year, Americans are called upon with ever greater urgency to “never forget” the European Jews who perished during World War II, and to “learn the lessons” of their fate. Numerous federal government agencies — led by the United States Holocaust Memorial Council — along with many US Senators and Congressmen, and state and city governments across the country, now routinely participate in annual Holocaust remembrance commemorations. “Holocaust education” is required in ever more American high schools.

Even the military has joined in. The Secretary of Defense has repeatedly urged all military personnel to participate in annual Holocaust “commemorative observances,” and a Days of Remembrance Defense Department booklet even suggests Holocaust commemorative liturgies for the armed forces. (See the Sept.-Oct. 1995 Journal, p. 13).

In this environment there’s reason to welcome rabbi Huerta’s new Defense Department booklet. It is not only further evidence of the growing impact of Holocaust revisionism, as bad as it is, it may actually help to promote the very open-mindedness and healthy skepticism toward “official” history that it seeks to curtail.

Not all US military servicemen are simpleminded conformists. Especially in the officer corps, there are still many intelligent men and women who can think for themselves.

This booklet may introduce Holocaust revisionism to many who otherwise might never hear of it, encouraging some to consider, even if only briefly, an alternative view of this important chapter of history.

From The Journal of Historical Review, May — June 1997 (Vol. 16, No. 3), pages 26-31.