The Holocaust Historiography Project

What they do to revisionists

David Cole forced to recant his revisionist views

By Lyle Burkhead

What they do to revisionists — A page which recounts case after case of revisionists being attacked for their views.

If you question any part of the Holocaust story, they will call you a "Holocaust denier," implying that you deny that anything happened, and thus implying that you are either dishonest or insane, or both. They will say that your revisionist arguments are "hate speech," even though it's all too obvious where the hate is really coming from.

And they don't just talk. They beat revisionists up, blow up their cars, burn their homes, put them in jail, and ruin their careers. There have been numerous assassination attempts, one of which was successful: Francois Duprat was killed by a car bomb.

The Töben case — Dr. Fredrick Töben, founder of the Adelaide Institute, was found guilty of "denying the Holocaust." However, the decision set an important precedent: The judge declared that German law has no jurisdiction over Töben's on-line writings or publications. The verdict of "guilty" was based only on material he had physically distributed in Germany. This means, for example, that I could not be prosecuted for this web site. So far, so good. That's a step in the right direction.

Nevertheless, the principle that "the truth of the statement is not a defense" still stands. In Germany, it is illegal to say that there was no gas chamber at Auschwitz, and someone who is charged with this "crime" cannot defend himself, since doing so would require asserting, in court, that there was no gas chamber, and the defendant could be charged again. Not only that, his lawyer could be prosecuted for making illegal statements in his defense.

As George Orwell said, the right to say that 2 + 2 = 4 is fundamental. Given that, everything else follows. We still don't have that right.


Here is the story of David Cole, as told in nine installments of Ingrid Rimland's column on the Zündel site:

Part 1 — Ernst Zündel writes,

I have some sad news to report. There has been another defection out of the Revisionist community. David Cole, a young Jew who in the past has done some remarkable Revisionist video recording and on-the-ground work, has crossed over and written a retraction …

David and I video-toured Auschwitz and Birkenau together, and it was an eery feeling for me at the time to have a young American Jew, half my age, explain on camera to me, the German, what he found was wrong with Auschwitz and the Holocaust mass gassing claims in that horror theme park.

David also appeared in Germany on the same platform with me and spoke with courage and conviction about the many inconsistencies of Auschwitz, while German police were present in the hall. He did not flinch or shirk the issues. Truth was Truth to him, and he defended it, regardless of the costs. (…)

I was, by then, a battle-scarred Revisionist veteran, possibly showing the first signs of battle fatigue after going flat out for years in Holocaust trial after Holocaust trial. I remember feeling possibly a little shamed but in any case re-invigorated by the dynamism of this young man.

Part 2 — Some background material: Bradley Smith promotes David Cole's video, and draws the wrath of ADL. David appears at a revisionist conference.

Part 3 — Excerpts from a letter posted on the JDL site:

What is a David Cole? Is it a sickness? Is it a mental disease? Is Cole merely a human parasite who clings to his ardent Nazi supporters and friends who back his ideas whole-heartedly? After all, this Cole mania that the media have played on, don't you think it's time that we flush this rotten, sick individual down the toilet, where the rest of the waste lies? One less David Cole in the world will certainly not end Jew-hatred, but it will have removed a dangerous parasitic, disease-ridden bacteria from infecting society.

Just as we must get rid of this monster, Cole, we must also get rid of the word "revisionism" from our vocabulary. This awful word and Cole, too, must be eliminated altogether. There is no argument. There needs to be no more debates, only the elimination of the Holocaust deniers …

JDL wants to know the location of Holocaust denier David Cole, pictured above. Anyone giving us his correct address will receive a monetary reward. Contact us through e-mail immediately if you have information leading to the current location of David Cole.

Part 4 — This page is about how Jewish organizations failed to come to David Cole's defense. To me, the most interesting thing here is the quotation at the end: Edmund Burke wrote

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Part 5 — Excerpts from David Cole's retraction:

I would like to state for the record that there is no question in my mind that during the Holocaust of Europe's Jews during World War II, the Nazis employed gas chambers in an attempt to commit genocide against the Jews. At camps in both Eastern and Western Europe, Jews were murdered in gas chambers which employed such poison gases as Zyklon B and carbon monoxide (in the Auschwitz camp, for example, the gas chambers used Zyklon B). The evidence for this is overwhelming and unmistakable …

I now understand that I owe it to the people I wronged to make a forceful repudication [sic] of my earlier views. I also owe a very large apology, not only to the many people I enraged, and to the family and friends I hurt, but especially to the survivors of the Holocaust, who deserve only our respect and compassion, not re-victimization.

Therefore, to all of the above people, let me offer my most humble and very, very sincere apology. I am sorry for what (I) did, and I am sorry for the hurt I caused …

Part 6 — Ernst Zündel comments,

David has not been well lately, and his mother is apparently gravely ill, which might have been contributing factors in his abject rejection [sic] and apology to the leader of the JDL, Irv Rubin. David acts and talks like one of the accused at one of Stalin's famous "Purge Trials" in the late 1930s — self-accusatory, groveling, profusely apologizing etc. A hallmark of Stalin's victims!

Part 7 — From the comments on the CODOH site:

The funny thing about Cole's retraction is that in a cosmic way it simply confirms what revisionists have been saying all along. For over twenty years, revisionists have said that the German confessions, wildly inaccurate and contradictory, were given not so much in response to direct physical torture as from the desire to protect themselves and above all their families from retaliation and hardship. For Cole's retraction, the JDL boasts that it was the result of their previous page, and that Cole "was afraid for his life and the relatives he supposedly is taking care of." So for those who didn't believe it possible that the Germans involved in the concentration camps could have been intimidated into making abject confessions, the idea is strikingly confirmed by Cole's retraction, and furthermore the JDL is waving the proof right under your nose.

Part 8 — Excerpts from another message by Ernst Zündel:

I am not a shrink. I have only seen it happen. I am not going to guess what went on in David's mind and soul as he groped his way towards that fateful day when he must have picked up the phone or faxed to Irv Rubin, who had tormented and stalked him, until David broke down and notarized that statement to Rubin. I do not know what transpired in the months, weeks or days before. Therefore, I cannot judge. The two documents (the JDL death threat followed by David's recanting) speak for themselves. Any normal, streetwise, or historically knowledgeable person can, and I am sure will, draw his own conclusions.

One observation and warning I must give to people, and it is simply this: The terror unleashed against a target will not stop by the act of recantation or retraction by the victim. That is only the beginning of the process, it is definitely not the end. After the confession or retraction has been extracted or leveraged out of the victim by the tormentors, there will come at first gentle and then ever more brazen and forcefully delivered requests and demands for other information — names of friends, collaborators, mailing lists, financial information, health status of former collaborators, sexual habits, drug or alcohol habits.

By then, the "recantee" is totally isolated, totally vulnerable, totally in the hands of the people he has recanted to — he has not a real friend left in the world, for his whole former network of colleagues, friends, co-workers and emotional support and infrastructure have disappeared, severed by his own action. Recanting might be considered by the individual a "brave act" at first, but it is nothing compared to what follows like a comet's tail after that first fateful step. (…)

I still feel empathy for David Cole and wish him well … Many letters from Revisionists around the world in response to this development have shown me that they, too, treasure the memory of a brave young Jew who stood up to his own establishment - for as long as he had the strength to do it.

Part 9 — Some final comments by Ingrid Rimland:

A major strike was needed to stop Revisionism from gaining an intellectual foothold on college campuses, even if it meant a brazen threat of "eliminating" a gifted Revisionist speaker and writer who just happened to be a Jew …

One thing is clear: The enemy has bared its teeth. The doleful Elie Wiesel smile has all but disappeared.


David Cole's "Forty six important unanswered questions regarding the Nazi gas chambers" can be found on the CODOH site.


"The right to search for the truth implies also a duty. One must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true."

Albert Einstein, (quoted in Calvin & Bickerton, Lingua ex Machina, page 194)

"The claim that no Jews were gassed at Auschwitz is seldom made in good faith."

Ian Buruma, (writing in The New Yorker magazine, April 16, 2001, page 82)

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