The Holocaust Historiography Project

Trieste Meeting: 'Revisionism and Dignity'

In Europe, revisionists met in Trieste under the auspices of the Nuovo Ordine Nazionale last October 6-7. Civilized Italy has lagged behind northern Europe in making it a crime to doubt the prescribed (and imposed) history, and speakers from four different continents were on hand to question and discuss questions ranging from Mussolini’s unsuccessful diplomacy for peace in 1939 to the background of the 9/11 attacks and their implications for policy, and above all the attempts to involve the West in a world struggle against the Muslim nations. Theme of the conference: “Revisionism and Dignity of the Defeated Countries.”

Two French educators, each of whom has lost his job for questioning shibboleths of the Second World War and the Holocaust, told how their confrontation with the Holocult cost them their careers. Former high-school teacher Jean-Louis Berger related how telling his students that dead inmates from Nordhausen shown in a well-known photograph had not been exterminated by Germans but rather killed in an Allied bombing raid. This, and other demonstrable facts revealed to his class, sufficed to get Berger convicted as well as drummed out of the national teaching corps. The fact that Berger had run for office as a candidate of the National Front, whose leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, several years ago received a huge fine for stating that the gas chambers were a “detail” of the history of the Second World War, only heightened the media hysteria.

Vincent Reynouard was hunted from his position at a technical school, and banned from the state educational system, for his extracurricular act ivies in historical research and writing. He reminded attendees of some realities of Weimar and interwar Austria, including the propensity of governments before Hitler’s to suspend constitutional guarantees in emergencies, and the demand for union with Germany in Austria’s post-Saint Germain constitution. Reynouard also discussed the Duce’s efforts to mediate peace between France, England, and Germany in October 1939, which the Allies rebuffed.

Ahmed Rami, who spoke at IHR’s eleventh conference in 1992, noted that, thanks to “the gigantic bluff of the Holocaust,” Jews have more rights in Western nations than do their ancestral peoples. The former Moroccan officer, in exile for many years after trying to overthrow his country’s corrupt and despotic monarch, called for Muslims to return from their diaspora throughout the Christian world to “liberate, develop, and democratize” their homelands. Rami further urged rejection of efforts by Israel and its outriders abroad to promote a clash of civilizations between Muslims and Christians.

Two more hard cases of Holocaust denial, Jürgen Graf and Fred Töben, each of whom has addressed an IHR conference, discussed the search for historical truth about the Holocaust and its consequences. Graf put the case for a figure of 300,000, not Six Million, Jewish victims, and reviewed Holocaust atrocity accusations, forgotten and remembered, in the light of similar propaganda charges of the twentieth century. Graf is currently seeking refuge from his native Switzerland, where he has been sentenced for historical heresy. Dr. Töben, convicted in German court for his Internet postings from Australia, tied the falsehoods of the Holocaust to current manipulations of the truth. He reminded of one fact seemingly destined for the memory hole: that Osama bin Laden “is a creation of Washington, of the CIA” (no wonder he'll never stand trial in open court!).

Two Americans well known to IHR supporters rounded out the conference. Dr. Robert Countess, advisor to this journal, gave the talk he had planned for the Beirut conference. The retired professor asked pointedly why Israel’s crimes against Palestine weren’t being judged by Nuremberg standards, and exhorted the Muslim world to embrace revisionism. Proud Sicilian-American Russ Granata, lecturing at the Boot’s other end, speculated on what the Israeli and American secret services knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance.

As if the presence of dangerous “deniers,” Muslim extremists, and a potential anthrax-spreading doctor of divinity weren’t enough, the gathering was under the auspices of a (quite legal) “fascist” group. Evidently some revisionists avoided the conference out of philosophical distaste for its organizers, or from a general aversion to political associations, or other prudent considerations. Italian Fascism remains the most innocuous of the major authoritarian movements of its era, and in any case the participation of successor parties to Mussolini’s in postwar Italian governments without noticeable calamity seems to be diminishing the power of the “fascist” stigma.

Bibliographic information
Author: Theodore J. O’Keefe
Title: Trieste Meeting: 'Revisionism and Dignity'
Source: The Journal for Historical Review
Date: September/December 2001
Issue: Volume 20 number 5/6
Location: page 8
ISSN: 0195-6752
Attribution: “Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, PO Box 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659, USA.”
Please send a copy of all reprints to the Editor.