The Holocaust Historiography Project

Agendas of revisionists and anti-revisionists

By Lyle Burkhead

Michael Shermer poses the question, "Who says the Holocaust never happened, and why do they say it?" First of all, he's lying: revisionists don't say the Holocaust never happened. Beyond that, several points need to be made here. This is, obviously, an ad hominem argument: instead of focusing on the factual question of whether there were gas chambers, he focuses on who his opponents are, and on their supposed motives.

But as long as that question has been raised, it needs to be discussed, and the converse question also needs to be addressed: Who says there were gas chambers at Auschwitz and the other Nazi camps, and why do they say it?

Why People Believe Weird Things is divided into five parts. Part Four, "History and Pseudohistory," contains four chapters. The first three are about revisionism. Chapter 12 describes Michael Shermer's appearance on the Donahue show with David Cole and Bradley Smith. Chapter 13 is about the revisionists themselves — "Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened, and Why Do They Say It?" Then there is Chapter 14, where Dr. Shermer uses his "jumping together" flim-flam to "prove the Holocaust."

Then he segues into Chapter 15, which is about "the end of race." At first glance it's not obvious why Chapter 15 belongs in Part Four, but that's where he put it. The other three chapters lead up to it.

What does the end of race have to do with the gas chamber story?

Apparently the answer is self-evident to Michael Shermer. If it's not obvious to us, maybe we had better step back and ask ourselves what's really going on here.

In Chapter 13, he accuses the revisionists, or "deniers," of being less than candid about their real agenda. In the last paragraph of this chapter he writes:

Not all deniers are the same, but the fact remains that in all Holocaust denial there is a core of racist, paranoid, conspiratorial thinking that is clearly directed at Jews.

This is just not true. He's lying again.

Carlo Mattogno replied to a similar statement by Luigi Cajani, as follows (My Banned Holocaust Interview, page 26):

In fact, the recognized head of the revisionist school was not an ex- or neo-Nazi, but rather a Socialist; a member of the Resistance; arrested by the Gestapo in October 1943; tortured for 11 days; deported to the concentration camps of Buchenwald and Dora; 95% disabled as a result of his deportation; holder of the medals "Vermeil de la Reconnaissance Francaise," and the "Rosette de la Resistance": the Frenchman Paul Rassinier.

In France, revisionism initially developed primarily in an environment of the Left (La Vielle Taupe, Le Frondeur, La Guerre sociale). In Italy as well, there are revisionists from the Italian communist left such as Cesare Saletta, cited previously. Professor Robert Faurisson has a radical-libertarian forma mentis which is the antithesis of that of the Nazis; the Swedish revisionist Ditlieb Felderer is a Jehovah's Witness.

One of the most promising American revisionists is the young Jew, David Cole, while another noted Jew, J. G. Burg (Ginsburg) is the author of various revisionist books. Ginsburg died in 1990.

As has been demonstrated, Holocaust revisionism was created by an extreme anti-Nazi in an attempt to ascertain the facts through a critical analysis of testimonies and documents, and present-day revisionists have the widest possible variety of ideological and political backgrounds.

Some neo-Nazis, such as Tom Metzger, don't have much use for revisionists. I think Tom was disappointed when he found out that there were no gas chambers. He would rather believe that there were. His son, John Metzger, said "Next time, there won't be any doubt about what did or did not happen."

Some revisionists (Rassinier) are anti-Nazi, and some Nazis (Metzger) consider revisionism to be irritating and irrelevant. It is just not true that revisionists are "deniers." An honest scholar would not use such predjudicial language, but of course Why People Believe Weird Things isn't scholarship. It belongs to a very different genre.

Dr. Shermer tries to pretend that people start out with an anti-Jewish agenda, and then become revisionists. That's not how it works, at least not most of the time. It does happen in some cases, particularly when teenagers join a skinhead group. They are told that the Auschwitz story is a lie, and that becomes part of their belief system. But this is pretty unusual. Most of us don't start out as skinheads. It's more likely to happen the other way around.

To take my own case as an example, I read Herman Wouk's book about Judaism, This is My God, when I was 15. Two years later I read Atlas Shrugged, which is a quintessentially Jewish book (although I didn't understand that at the time). When I was in college, I not only subscribed to Commentary magazine, I went to the library and read back issues all the way back to the 1940s. So I wasn't exactly a teenage skinhead. I was, and still am, as close as you can get to being a Jew without being one. I only saw the positive side of Judaism for a long time. I didn't realize until much later that Judaism can also be a sinister thing. I was pro-Jewish for most of my life.

Anti-Judaism (or "antisemitism") has a long history in Europe, but in America it would never occur to most people to be anti-Jewish. "The Jews" (i.e. the Jews as an evil force, the Jews as antisemites see them) are just barely on most people's radar screen, until they study the Holocaust.

The more one studies this subject, the more one becomes aware of the pervasiveness of Jewish influence in society. When you catch on that you are being lied to about the gas chambers, you start to wonder what else they are lying about, and why. When you discover that it's illegal to question their lies, that puts everything in a completely different light.

Even if someone starts out with a positive view of Judaism, or a totally naive view, after a while he comes to realize that there is such a thing as a Jewish agenda, and he may conclude that not all Holocaust liars are the same, but the fact remains that all Holocaust lies are intended to serve the same agenda. Yes, of course he ends up thinking about the Jews in conspiratorial terms — but this is the end of a long journey, not the starting point.

Having arrived at that endpoint, however, I think we should go ahead and acknowledge that we have arrived there. In other words, we shouldn't shrink from the accusation of antisemitism.

I think Jews should be identified as Jews in historical narrative. I think historians should recognize the reality of Jewish power as a factor in historical events. And I think that when Jews attack us and put us in jail for questioning their lies, force should be met with force.

If that makes me antisemitic, so be it.

The problem, of course, is that we can't meet force with force. There is no way for us to generate such force. The Torah says:

If you walk in my statutes,
and keep my commandments,
and do them...

You will pursue your enemies,
and they will fall by the sword before you.
Five of you will chase a hundred,
and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand,
and your enemies will fall before you
by the sword.

But if not,

They [we] are a nation without sense,
there is no discernment in them.
If only they were wise and would understand this
and discern what their end will be!
How could one man chase a thousand,
or two put ten thousand to flight,
unless their Rock had sold them,
unless the LORD had given them up?

The Jews may have fallen away from the Torah, to some extent, even to a great extent, but they are still a lot closer to the Rock than we are. One of them can chase a thousand of us, because they still have an organizing principle which holds their minds together, and we don't.

Coming back to the question I raised at the top of this page: What does the end of race have to do with the gas chamber story? The gas chamber story is intended to create white guilt, and to make it impossible for white people to assert themselves. It serves that purpose very well. It has become almost impossible for an educated person to assert publicly that he is proud to be white, and that he aspires to be different from Africans. Look, this is what racism leads to! Gas chambers! Human soap! Lampshades made from human skin! Racists are psychopaths! They're serial killers!

The result is that people always say "I'm not a racist, but..." This position is not viable. Racism which denies itself has no force.

The gas chamber story is also intended to make it impossible for anyone to examine the Jewish role in society. It serves that purpose very well, too. Anyone who looks at the Jews is automatically "antisemitic," and therefore a mass murderer. We are supposed to look away, and pretend that the Jews don't exist. Hey you! What are you looking at?

That's why Chapter 15 belongs in Part Four of Why People Believe Weird Things. That's the whole point of Part Four. Without Chapter 15, Chapters 12, 13, and 14 would have no raison d'etre. And without Part Four, the rest of the book would have no raison d'etre.

Dr. Shermer is perfectly candid about his own agenda. In the "Introduction to the Paperback Edition" of Why People Believe Weird Things, he writes:

What race is Tiger Woods? Today we may view him as an unusual blending of ethnic backgrounds, but a thousand years from now all humans may look like this, and historians will look back on this brief period of racial segregation as a tiny blip on the screen of the human career spanning hundreds of thousands of years.

In other words, the white race will be extinct. However one wishes to define it (of course defining it is not easy), it will cease to exist. The Ausrottung of our race will be complete, a prospect which Dr. Shermer obviously relishes, as do many other people. At the rate we are going, this isn't going to take a thousand years.

Why would someone want to austrotten the Aryan race? That question takes us into deep water. It invites the further question: what does the end of race have to do with Judaism?

When "all humans" look like Tiger Woods, there will still be a Remnant who, following their ancient Law, keep themselves separate from the nations. The end of race doesn't apply to their race.

Why is "the end of race" so urgently important to them? What do they hope to gain by it? When the rest of us look like Tiger Woods, then what? What is the Remnant going to do? What is their ultimate purpose? I don't know. I would like to find out.

I have more questions than answers. At this stage, I'm not trying to provide definitive answers, I'm just trying to point out that there are agendas on both sides.

The gas chamber story had a political purpose from day one. Its purpose is to discredit Nazi Germany once and for all, and to make sure Nazism can never be revived. Everybody who makes an issue of the Holocaust does so to further an anti-Nazi agenda: they want to "make sure it doesn't happen again," i.e. to make sure nobody ever challenges Jewish power, ever again.

Of course, there are also a lot of people who passively believe the gas chamber story, without having an agenda. Most people just repeat what they have heard, without suspecting that it isn't true.

None of this implies anything about gas chambers.

Facts are facts. It doesn't matter (or at least it shouldn't matter) how anybody feels about the end of race. Whether or not there were gas chambers is a factual question that is independent of anybody's agenda. When we are examining an argument, we should consider whether the argument is valid. We should not consider the motives of the person presenting the argument - at least not in the beginning.

We shouldn't even be talking about agendas and motives. I included this page on the site because I wanted to level the playing field. The accusations of bias are usually directed against the revisionists - as if the other side has no agenda! I just wanted to point out that many people on both sides have political motives.

The fact that people have anti-Nazi agendas doesn't mean they are wrong. If they have pro-Nazi agendas, that doesn't mean they are wrong, either. The fact that someone has an agenda of any kind implies exactly nothing about the correctness of his arguments. As far as that goes, this also applies to lack of agendas: if we could find someone who had no political agenda at all, this wouldn't imply anything about the validity of his arguments.

First we should settle the question of whether there were gas chambers. That question can be decided using the same methods of logic and evidence that are used in investigating any other factual question.

When that question is settled, we will know who is lying about the gas chambers. Only then will it be appropriate to consider why they are lying.

I should add one more thing. I wrote this page several years ago. Since then I have discovered that there are a certain number of idiots who do say "the Holocaust didn't happen." I suppose they mean there was no Nazi program to physically exterminate the Jews, which may be true, but their statement sounds like they are denying that anything happened — no concentration camps, nothing. They are hurting their own cause a lot more than Michael Shermer ever could.