The Holocaust Historiography Project

Critical Study of Holocaust Story Published in Japan

In early 1995 a major Japanese magazine, Marco Polo, was forced to shut down because it had published a ten-page article disputing the orthodox Holocaust extermination story. Jewish organizations responded with an international boycott campaign, promptly pressuring major corporations into cancelling advertising. Even Japan’s Foreign Ministry intervened. Under this pressure, the large Bungei Shunju publishing company quickly caved in. News of the unprecedented surrender received worldwide media coverage. (A detailed report appeared in the March-April 1995 Journal.)

Further underscoring the growing impact of Holocaust revisionism, a few months later, and with memories of the Marco Polo incident still fresh, the first book-length Japanese-language presentation of Holocaust revisionism appeared in Nippon’s bookstores.

“The Auschwitz Debate” (Aushuvittsu no souten) is a handsome 350-page hardcover work, illustrated with numerous photographs. It is published by Libertà, a Tokyo firm known for its leftist books on environmental issues and works critical of nuclear power policy.

Author Aiji Kimura, born in 1937, is an investigative journalist who worked for years at the research section of NTV television in Tokyo while he was also a labor union activist. Among his several previously published books is a critical treatment of the Japanese and American roles in the Gulf War. An assiduous researcher, Kimura has conducted his own on-site investigation of the alleged gas chambers at Birkenau and Auschwitz, where he also interviewed Auschwitz State Museum archives director Franciszek Piper.

Among the sources cited in the book’s 15-page bibliography are not only standard Holocaust works, but also 13 books and eleven pamphlets published by the Institute for Historical Review, and 15 articles from the IHR’s Journal of Historical Review. In this book, Kimura describes his research trip to California in late 1994:

In November 1994 I visited the Institute, which is located south of Los Angeles … There I questioned [Mark] Weber and exchanged views with him, videotaped an interview, and purchased a one-meter pile of some 30 books, which I carried back in my rucksack … Naturally, their [IHR's] themes are not confined to the “Holocaust” …

A Hard-Hitting Examination

Kimura not only carefully investigates the Holocaust extermination story, he critically examines the uses to which it has been put, and the reasons for its durability. His book traces the origins of “the Holocaust” to wartime propaganda, and tracks down false extermination claims from the Nuremberg Trials, which he calls “the most shameful farce ever conducted in the name of law.” Much evidence favorable to the Nuremberg defendants was suppressed or has “disappeared,” he shows. He also establishes that key Holocaust “evidence” is based on false testimony extracted by torture from Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss and others, or on demonstrably unreliable “eyewitness” testimony.

Kimura shows how the Holocaust story has been drastically changed over the years, showing, for example, how numerous “gas chamber” claims have been quietly abandoned. He identifies technical absurdities of Holocaust claims, and cites on-site forensic investigations at Auschwitz and other former camps. Kimura relates how Auschwitz “gas chambers” have been “rebuilt” since the end of the war.

He examines and ridicules the frantic efforts to shore up the crumbling Holocaust edifice, citing the Jewish-Zionist grip on the American media. Kimura tells readers about the routine name-calling, guilt by association, smears and even terrorism against “Holocaust deniers,” including the devastating 1984 arson attack against the Institute for Historical Review. He describes the laws in France, Germany and some other countries that forbid any dissenting views on this issue. Whatever basis the “Holocaust” may have in fact, Kimura questions its use in justifying Zionist policies in the Middle East. He shows how the Holocaust campaign is used to support Israel’s policies, particularly its dispossession and suppression of the Palestinian Arabs.

A News Conference Challenge

In February 1995 the feisty Kimura added drama to an otherwise colorless news conference in Tokyo, at which the Bungei Shunju president abjectly apologized for the offending Marco Polo article. The Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Abraham Cooper was on hand to accept the Japanese surrender.

Kimura loudly harangued Cooper, demanding that the publishing company executive explain specifically what was inaccurate about the Marco Polo article. He pointedly asked Cooper about evidence that Simon Wiesenthal collaborated with the Gestapo during the war years, but the rabbi avoided the issue. Kimura also defended historical revisionism, speaking of its peaceful, honorable, and truth-seeking purpose. Hundreds of fellow journalists responded to Kimura’s remarks with spontaneous applause and expressions of agreement.

A Lively Seminar

As part of its capitulation, the Bungei Shunju company had to submit to stiff and humiliating conditions imposed by the Wiesenthal Center. In addition to a Center-organized “education” seminar in Japan for company employees, Bungei Shunju staff members had to fly to Los Angeles for Holocaust indoctrination courses at the Wiesenthal Center. Still other staff members were to travel to Auschwitz, and then write a new article for publication about the Holocaust issue from the “proper perspective.” The Bungei Shunju company also agreed to publish a “proper” article deploring the Marco Polo episode, and to give $50,000 to the Wiesenthal Center.

Details of this extraordinary arrangement were revealed in the August 1995 issue of the Japanese magazine Uwasa no Shinsoh ("The Truth of Rumors"). The tough, convincingly written article was quietly contemptuous of the Bungei Shunju company’s groveling to the Wiesenthal Center. While also critical of the Wiesenthal Center, the article was remarkably sympathetic to revisionism and revisionists.

Most of the article focused on the unusual three-day “education seminar” for Bungei Shunju journalists, editors and other employees. Rabbi Cooper and two other Wiesenthal Center officials addressed the attendees, who were obliged to sit through showings of three Holocaust propaganda films: “Genocide,” “Echoes that Remain,” and “Liberation.” Cooper expressed the hope that the seminar would help in “building permanent friendships between the Jewish and Japanese people.”

Although Japanese participants reportedly had been selected for their docility, and there were even some soft-ball questions planted in the audience ahead of time, the seminar proved less successful than the organizers had anticipated. (This was also conceded in a Los Angeles Times report, May 27, 1995.)

One editor asked Rabbi Cooper what Jews have done to incur the wrath of so many nations over the centuries, saying that such intense hostility did not arise from nothing. Other participants questioned arrogant Jewish claims of “chosen people” status, or pointedly asked about Israel’s repression of Palestinians.

Off the record, participants described the seminar as pure Zionist propaganda. Many noticed that none of the points raised in the original Marco Polo article was refuted, and no attempt was made to refute them. Several participants said that after this obvious brain-washing effort, they are now more sympathetic than ever to the revisionist position.