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My life as a Holocaust Revisionist

I will not attempt a Blog here in the full sense of that concept, but rather a personal journal where I will record some of the stories that thought turns to in those rare moments of clarity when I am not interfering with it.

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Location: Baja Norte, Mexico

Smith was raised in South Central Los Angeles in the 1930s and 40s. Smith is a combat veteran (Korea, 7th Cavalry, where he was twice wounded), has been a deputy sheriff (Los Angeles County), a bull fighter (Mexico), a merchant seaman, and was in Saigon during the Tet offensive of 1968 as a freelance writer. He has been described by the Los Angeles Times as an "anarchist libertarian," and by the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith as one of the most dangerous "extremists" in America. He has been married to a Mexican woman for 30 years, there are two children, and now two grandchildren. Smith argues that the German WMD (gas-chamber) question should be examined in the routine manner that all other historical questions are examined. He argues that the Holocaust is not a "Jewish" story, but a story of Jews and Germans together--forever. Those who want to challenge the concept of the "unique monstrosity" of the Germans should be free to do so. He believes it is morally wrong, and a betrayal of the Western ideal of intellectual freedom, to imprison writers and publishers who question publicly what privately they have come to doubt.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


When I first heard that David Irving had been arrested in Austria on his way to talk to some college students and was being held in jail, I was flabbergasted. I didn’t know what to make of it. The arrest and deportation of Germar Rudolf did not surprise me. But Irving in jail? It was out of character for him. I had a hard time getting my brain around it.

Irving is, in fact, guilty of breaking Austrian law. He did “deny” the Holocaust, to use the usual jargon. His lawyer, Elmar Kresbach, tells the Guardian on 26 November: “There are the transcripts of his speeches, there is a newspaper interview that he gave [in 1989]. It’s pretty black and white.”

“But Irving told me that he has changed his views after researching in the Russian archives in the 1990s. He said, ‘I’ve repented. I’ve no intention of repeating these views. That would be historically stupid and I’m not a stupid man.’

“He said, ‘I fully accept this, it’s a fact. The discussion on Auschwitz, the gas chambers and the Holocaust is finished ... it’s useless to dispute it’.”

So the news—and this is only news—is that David Irving is going to recant his “revisionist” views on the Holocaust story. Who would have thought?

Irving is an absolutely unique individual. His capacity for work, his genius for organization, the quality of his intellect, his learning, his endless energy, his physical strength, his unwillingness to suffer fools and his easy willingness to offend friends, his daring—I have never met anyone to match him. No one.

At the same time, among we lesser folk, we have watched David Irving make one mistake after another. It began with his unwillingness to take on the Holocaust Industry straight on by setting aside his life-long interest in Hitler’s inside circle and do a real book on Auschwitz, the book he better than anyone else anywhere was capable of producing and promoting, I wish I could get inside his brain on that one, but it isn’t going to happen.

Then there was the stupidly conceived libel suit against Deborah Lipstadt, where during the trial he was brilliant and wrong-headed and utterly full of himself. Irving’s defeat at that trial was the most serious single blow that revisionism has ever received. Only last week a correspondent reminded me that it was the Lipstadt trial that convinced serious people that, okay, revisionists had taken an interesting run at the Holocaust story, they had failed in full view of the Western world, and there was no reason to worry about Holocaust revisionism any longer.

And of course his uniquely self-punishing interviews with the press that were comic and self-demeaning at the same time. What an interesting ride this man has had.

And now? If we are to believe his lawyer, who sounds like a practical man, David Irving is going to recant his views with regard to Auschwitz, the gas chambers, and who knows what else? He may. He may not. It would not be beyond him. This is a man for whom there is nothing “beyond.” But I feel a betrayal in the works. I hesitate to say it, but betrayal is in the air. My hope? That he recants to the Austrian court, is freed, and when he is out in the world again that he stands up in public to declare:

“I lied before a corrupt court. There is no honor in telling a corrupt court the truth if you do not enjoy being punished at the hands of corrupt law. The Auschwitz story is crap. I know it, and millions of people all over the Western and Muslim worlds know it. When I said ‘Auschwitz is a sinking ship,’ I was right. I meant it then, and I mean it now.”

Will David Irving betray himself then? And us? Or has David discovered evidence that supports the gas chamber stories and kept it secret from us and everyone else all these years? We are not going to know until he is a free man.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Stories I meant to write but didn't. There are others

Nazi, Democratic, and Republican soldiers

On 12 November the AP reported that some 2,000 neo-Nazis clashed with police outside Germany’s largest World War II soldier’s cemetery, where the extremists had hoped to stage a demonstration in honor of the Nazi soldiers. Thousands of police were on hand in Halbe to keep the peace between the roughly 2,000 skinheads who had gathered in the town, 30 miles south of Berlin, and the estimated 1,600 counter-demonstrators.

We will write in honor of “Nazi” soldiers,” but not in honor of “German” soldiers. At the same time we will never write about the honor of “Republican or Democratic” soldiers,” but always about “American” soldiers. Underlying this hypocrisy is the obsession with the alleged (and real) “crimes” of the Nazi soldiers, and the obsessive evasion of the (real) crimes of “Democrat and Republican” soldiers in that war.

Jewish pain here, intellectual freedom there

D.D. Guttenplan is the London Correspondent for the Nation, and author of “The Holocaust on Trial” (W.W. Norton, 2001). He is currently writing a biography of I.F. Stone (one of my heroes—BRS). On 19 November the L.A. Times published an article where he argues that David Irving “deserves free speech…”

Further along he writes: “Countries that outlaw Holocaust denial do so not because they love liberty less than we do but because their history is different from ours. Holocaust denial causes real pain to survivors and their families. To fail to acknowledge that pain, or to treat it as a particularly Jewish problem that need not trouble anyone else, is to deny our common humanity - precisely the denier’s aim.”

Like so many of us, Guttenplan commiserates with the “pain” of Jews, but does not consider the “pain” felt by Germans for demonstrably false, yet unending charges of “unique German monstrosity.” Jewish pain is linked with “our common humanity,” while “German pain” is a German problem that need not trouble anyone else.

“As important, in Germany and Austria Holocaust denial is not just hate speech but also a channel for Nazi resurgence, like the Hitler salute and the swastika, which are also banned.”

If Holocaust denial is a “channel for Nazi resurgence,” what do the Guttenplans (for there are an army of them) believe intellectual freedom and the right to free inquiry are channels for? Trips to the moon?

Guttenplan writes: Whatever their motives, the Austrians have every right to deny Irving a platform, even to deport him.

Why do they have every right to deny an independent historian the right to express his views about history? And then there is the primary issue, which Guttenplan does not want to comment on: do the Austrians have “every right” to imprison dissident scholars? Like in Saudi Arabia, or Zimbabwe perhaps? Guttenplan is evasive here, unwilling to choose between “Jewish pain,” and the great ideal of Western culture—intellectual freedom.

There is nothing unusual in this. In America the intellectuals, and particularly a sissy professorial class, are in wide agreement that the problem of Jewish pain is more important that the right to free inquiry and a free press.


There are other stories I should comment on here, but its Thanksgiving and our daughter and son-in-law are here and, well, pleasure before business.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Taboos inside taboos

Last night a friend called from Washington wanting to know if it were true that Germar Rudolf is going to be deported to stand trial in Germany for revisionist thought crimes. I said that is my understanding. In about a week. We talked for half an hour. We wondered when the time will come when even the factotums working for the German State will understand that they are destroying their credibility by not allowing their credibility to be challenged with regard to the Holocaust story.

The prosecution and imprisonment of revisionists for thought crimes has very little, if anything, to do with the accuracy of what revisionists write or how they interpret the historical facts. It is all the expression of taboo. We cannot talk openly about what happened between Germans and Jews during WWII. The discussion is circumscribed, censored, suppressed, taboo.

During World War II the overwhelming majority of those in German occupied Europe collaborated with the Germans. Anne Frank’s father, Otto, was among them. He made his living collaborating with the Germans. That was then. What’s changed?

Today almost every government in Europe collaborates with the Germans in maintaining the taboo against an open debate on the Holocaust story. Americans are particularly corrupt in our collaboration with the Germans on this issue. America was formed on one ideal—that of intellectual freedom. We betray that ideal, and reveal our own moral corruption, in our collaboration with the Germans today. Nothing’s changed.

Revisionists have our own taboos. It is taboo to criticize the published writings or statements of revisionists who admire Hitler and the Hitlerian regime. It is taboo to publicly question the racialist arguments of specific revisionists. Taboo to argue publicly against the anti-semitism that exists among revisionists. It is not that we cannot do it, or occasionally do not do it, but we understand that when we do we will break the taboo against doing it, and we’ll suffer the consequences.

Creating taboo to protect something you hold dear from being questioned is what people do. It plays a significant role in human culture. All of it. And taboos do not stand alone. There are taboos inside of taboos, and other taboos inside those. Alan Watts argued that the greatest taboo of all is the taboo against knowing yourself. If you want to know yourself, you have to wake up. You can’t get to know yourself when you’re half asleep. Who among us, especially among the Germans, wants to take a chance on truly waking up?

I think Watts was right. Waking up to who you really are is taboo. Ask the Germans. Ask their primary collaborators, the Americans. The fear of waking up, of breaking the Holocaust taboo, is everywhere among them.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The new baby, the new grandfather, and the orange kitten

Our youngest daughter, Paloma, gave birth to a boy at 6am on 30 October. Both Paloma and the baby did fine. This means that I’m a grandfather. The event took place in a hospital on the other side, in Chula Vista. That means the kid is an American by birth.

I wasn’t there when it happened. Paloma’s mother was there, along with a cousin who lives in Chula Vista with her own two children. I was at the house here in Baja, taking care of business. Taking care of business includes taking care of four dogs, six cats, and several dozen parakeets and canaries. When my wife is gone, there’s animal crap everywhere. And then there’s the work, trying to earn a living. The animals and the work. I don’t know which is more onerous.

They got down here three days later, Tuesday evening. My level of interest in the baby was remarkably low. I have been unable to get into the project. My wife was into the project about a half hour after Paloma told us she was pregnant. That was six months ago. I saw one sonogram of the fetus. I could see an arm sticking up with a hand and fingers. I told Paloma it looked like a frog.

“What the hell have you been doing,” I said?

She laughed.

I was told that the baby was beautiful. I have never heard anyone describe a newborn baby as being ugly, or looking like a toad. I was a little apprehensive. When I saw it (him) Tuesday night he looked normal. I have not seen very many newborns. The only one I can remember is Paloma. I write about that night in Bones. It was a profound experience for me. I could see that she was beautiful. No mistaking it. She looked like my mother’s side of the family.

So now I’m looking at her newborn. He looks okay. I can’t say that he’s beautiful, the way his mother was at that age (three days). He has her forehead. He looks more or less like Paloma, except that he has dark hair, like his Mexican father. Everybody expects that I will be happy, enthusiastic. There is a house full of cousins and aunts. I don’t feel very much at all. Everybody wants me to hold the baby. I don’t want to, but I take a run at it. People clap.

Later on in the hubbub the cousins are asking what the baby’s name is and I am surprised to hear that Paloma has named him Bradley Eden Smith. Bradley? She had told me she was naming him “Eden.” Okay. The Bradley is a surprise. I feel peculiar. It’s a first for me.

The next morning Paloma and the baby are downstairs. My wife insists that I hold him. There’s nothing there. I am aware that he has the general appearance of his mother, not his father. I’m okay with that. His father is problematic. And then the father is there. He picks up his son and holds him. I feel—I’m not certain what. But what the hell is he doing holding “our” baby. The baby belongs to “our” family. Paloma, her mother, and me.

The next day it is becoming clearer how much the kid looks like his mother. There are moments, looking at him, when for an instant I forget that he is who he is, and he becomes Paloma. I’m feeling some sort of connection with him, from some kind of odd angle. People who visit ask me how it feels to be a grandfather. It’s nothing to brag about. I feel uncomfortable hearing about it. I’m supposed to be happy about it. I’m not. I don’t know how to feel like a grandfather. What the hell’s that?

A couple more days pass. The baby, “little” Brad I suppose, has a powerful voice. When he cries it’s a big cry. There’s no whimpering. When he farts you can hear it in the next room. Paloma is happy. My wife is happy. Everyone who visits, and the visitors do not stop, is happy, congratulating me on being an “abuelo.” Even the men. It’s just not for me. Not yet.

One morning I’m holding Little Brad and decide to chuck him under his chin. It must tickle his fancy. A big grin lights up his face. It’s the same full-face smile that Paloma had when she was his age. I still recall the first time I saw her beautiful smile. It was morning, and she was three days old. She was in her crib in the dinning room and she smiled just for the hell of it. It was stunning. I called out to my mother, who was sitting in her wheelchair in the front room:

“Ma! I just saw her smile. You should have seen it. You’ve never seen anything like it.” That was when we were in Hollywood. I was okay about being a father. I was fifty-six years old. Now we’re in Baja, I’m older, and it’s different.

Another day passes. Then it’s morning and I’m in the kitchen making coffee. I hear a tiny little “meow” and see that the orange kitten, he’s four weeks old, sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor where I could step on him. I imagine that he looks kind of bewildered. I pause and call his name: “Ricardo?” He doesn’t respond. He doesn’t understand Spanish yet. He just sits there, rather lost. I reach down to him.

Without thinking about it, I say softly, “Do you want granddad to scratch your ear? Huh? Come on kid. How’s that?”

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Dennis Rodman, the intellectuals, and personality cults

Watching the Jay Leno show. Dr. Phil McGraw and Dennis Rodman are guests. Rodman is a style junkie. His style is unique and rather off the wall, but it’s his style, and with it he expresses his personality as best he can. For myself, I don’t wear costumes, but that’s me. I turn off the TV and lie in the dark thinking about Rodman. Beside me, my wife is snoring lightly.

And then thought, without even the hint of a preamble, turns to Adolf Hitler and the cult of personality. Remarkable. Back in the 50s and 60s the “cult of personality” was a big issue among my commie friends and intellectuals generally. It typically had to do with fighting this cult on the left. I don’t recall it ever being used with regard to the right. I don’t recall it ever being used with regard to Hitler.

Any significant idolization of a single public figure is an expression of a personality cult. There are those in the revisionist community, a minority, who idolize Hitler. A majority of revisionists understand that Hitler was not a demon, but they do not idolize him. Of course, the intellectuals have spent a great deal of their credibility capital to convince us that Hitler was in fact a demon—that is, “larger than life.”

There are no demons in real life. It is the intellectuals themselves who have created the cult of a demonized personality in which Adolf Hitler is "idolized" for his demonic achievements. It's all rubbish, but the Big Brains have argued it for so long that it would shame them to give up on it now. That is why, as a class, they approve of the crimminalization of revisionist arguments, and the imprisonment of those of us who express them.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Bill Clinton and Rosa Parks

Got up this morning, dressed, uncovered the bird cages in the patio—one cage is five-feet wide and seven feet tall—went inside and put on a pot of coffee, opened the venetion blinds, and turned on the television to CNN. President Clinton was in a Black church someplace, a big one, to about to talk about Rosa Parks.

Clinton had a wonderfully intimate rapport with his audience. Standing alone at the podium, it was as if he were down in the benches shoulder to shoulder with his people. He spoke very simply, anecdotally. There was nothing of the politician, nothing of the important man about him. It was as if he sincerely loved the people he was among. I felt moved by his identification with those he was talking to.

He spoke very simply about Rosa Parks. She is in fact a symbolic figure of immense symbolic significance for America. The proverbial right person, at the right time, in the right context. She didn’t change America, but she sparked the movement to change America with her smallest of gestures. It is certain that many, many Blacks had made similar gestures over the years, for a century and longer, encouraging Americans to live up to our own ideals, but the moment was not right, history was not ready, there was no Martin Luther King in the neighborhood.

The comparison of the American civil rights movement with Holocaust revisionism is unavoidable. Intellectual freedom is at the heart of American idealism. If Africans had been allowed to access a free press the moment they were off-loaded from the ships that brought them here in bondage, slavery would have ended where it began. If Americans had been encouraged to challenge the formalities of the Nuremburg Court, the myth of the “unique monstrosity” of the Germans could not have been manufactured, and the Jews of Europe would not have been given Arab land in the Middle East. We all know what came of that one, including Iraq.

At the close of World War II, the American Government stood four-square against intellectual freedom for Germans, just as it had stood against it for Africans. At Nuremburg the Court was allowed to charge Germans with the intentional killing of innocent, unarmed civilians. It was forbidden for Germans to make the same charge against Americans and the British, even after Dresden, Hamburg, and the intentional killing of the innocent, unarmed civilian populations of most every city in the German nation. One standard of justice for “us,” another for “them.” The more things change. . . .

Four decades have passed since Frenchmen and Germans began to challenge the gas-chamber stories and the alleged extermination of the European Jews. The European governments—forget the “Enlightenment”—have treated revisionists the way the American government treated Blacks. Those who “escape” the conformities of their society to challenge the historical lies about WWII are hunted down and imprisoned. The U.S. Government cooperates with the German State in extraditing revisionists to stand trial in Germany for thought crimes.

Like those Blacks who protested against human bondage, against legal forced segregation, against the suppression of their right to free speech for generations before Rosa Parks made her pivotal gesture, revisionists are going to have to go on with their work with no hope of winning their struggle to make of the Holocaust story a historical event that needs revision like the histories of all other historical events, rather than a religious one that must be believed.

We can do what we believe is the right thing again and again, but there is no way to know if it will help now, or any time in the future. Truth doesn’t always win. Individuals all over the world do the right thing, stand up for truth against the most brutal forms of oppression, and fail, and are never heard of again. Revisionists can argue that intellectual freedom is preferable to taboo and censorship, even (particularly) with regard to the Holocaust story.

Intellectual freedom. Only that. There is no simpler gesture I can make. Let’s just bloody talk about it! Let’s talk about it now, not sometime in the future. The future is a time of commonplace little tragedies.