Jewish Power in a Changing World, Part 1
entire basis for the ascendancy of the Jewish power structure over the
West is about to be shaken -- but will Western man and his hard-won
freedoms survive the cataclysm?
ILLUSTRATION: When he was still free -- David Irving addresses a large crowd in Budapest, Hungary.
American Dissident Voices broadcast for March 19, 2006
by Kevin Alfred Strom
TODAY WE HAVE as our guest once again the writer, speaker,
historian, and -- increasingly -- international spokesman for those who
dare to speak freely on the vital issues of our time, Mr. Mark Weber,
Director of the Institute for Historical Review. Welcome to American Dissident Voices, Mark.
WEBER: Thank you very much, Kevin; that's a very generous introduction.
KAS: And a well-deserved one, in my opinion. It was good to
see you recently in northern Virginia, Mark. I hope you'll be coming
back in a more official capacity in the near future.
WEBER: There will be an IHR meeting there in July; that's in the works right now.
KAS: I very much look forward to hearing you speak. It's been too long since
we last spoke on the air -- about eight months, I think -- and I wonder
if you could briefly let our listeners know what the Institute has been
up to during that time.
WEBER: A lot of things. We're very gratified by the
increasing popularity of our Web site. The traffic continues to grow,
as does the number of subscribers to our News and Comment e-mail
subscription service. We're producing a whole line of CD and DVD
recordings, which has been very successful. This is important because DVDs and CDs are now replacing the older media of videotapes and audiotapes. Additionally, I've continued to do a lot
of radio interviews and have made quite a few public appearances in
just the last few weeks. Many of these have focused on the recent
crackdown on dissidents in Europe for violations of so-called "Holocaust denial"
laws, and I've focused especially on the case of David Irving. We
maintain a steady program of media outreach, which is an important part
of what we do because it's very important to reach people who are
outside of our own circle, so to speak.
KAS: Who has interviewed you recently, Mark?
WEBER: In the immediate aftermath of the David Irving sentencing on February 20th I did a number of interviews, including one
with the BBC in London, another with Radio Netherlands, another with
the English-language service of Iran's short-wave external broadcasting
system, and one with the Times of London. I also appeared as a
guest on some radio shows that are broadcast here in the United States.
As I mentioned, we try to maintain a steady media outreach because it's
very important to reach people other than those who already are
familiar with our work. We don't want to just "preach to the choir,"
but reach those people who normally see and hear only what the people
who control the media want us to see and hear.
KAS: It sounds like you're doing excellent work reaching out
to the mainstream. You mentioned David Irving, who is a British
historian and is probably one of the most widely known writers of
history. If there is such a thing as celebrity in the field of history,
Irving has certainly attained it. He's a best-selling author and a
well-known scholar and investigator. And yet, this man is behind bars
today -- and the story of his captivity is not as widely known as it
should be. Can you tell us, briefly, what's going on in the Irving case
WEBER: David Irving is the author of more than twenty books,
a number of which have been bestsellers, many of them highly acclaimed
by critics. In fact, some of his books have been obligatory reading at
Sandhurst, West Point, and at universities around the world.
Irving made a visit to Austria last November to speak to a small meeting in Vienna. While he was there
he was stopped by police and arrested on a warrant that was issued
sixteen years ago on the basis of two lectures he had given. That fact
by itself is amazing, because normally any crime committed that long
ago would no longer be actionable under ordinary statutes of
However, because he had referred in these lectures to "mythical gas
chambers," he was arrested and held until his trial on February 20th,
at which time he was sentenced to three years' imprisonment just for
having uttered a couple of sentences two decades ago.
No other violation of so-called Holocaust denial laws has gotten
such international attention. In nine or ten European countries -- and
in Israel -- it's now a crime to publicly dispute the official,
orthodox, Holocaust extermination story. There are numerous aspects of
this situation that are really bizarre; in fact, it's hard to believe that such laws even exist.
In the United States and in most other countries, people are free
to make all sorts of provocative statements about history and even
about current affairs. You can say that it was really George Bush who
organized the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center and you won't be
prosecuted for it. You can advocate the return of Communism and the
authorities will do nothing. But if you say anything that disputes the official Holocaust story in a number of European
countries, you will be imprisoned, fined, or punished in other ways.
KAS: In those countries the Holocaust orthodoxy is protected
more stringently that even any kind of church doctrine. In fact, I
don't believe church doctrine is protected in those countries.
WEBER: That's right. One of the important aspects of the Irving sentencing is that it came in the aftermath of the tremendous furor over cartoons that appeared first in a newspaper in Denmark, and later
in some other countries, that Muslims around the world found very
insulting. But almost everywhere in Europe the publishing of those
cartoons was defended on the principle of free speech. It was said that
even cartoons, images, or writings that offend the sensibilities of
Christians or of Muslims are permissible, because the governments of
European countries try to uphold the principle of free speech.
But at the same time, any questioning of Holocaust orthodoxy
results in these amazing punishments. The Irving case is certainly the
most famous of them, but it's by no means the only one.
KAS: It was reported that Irving actually decided to plead guilty in this case. Is that true?
WEBER: Yes, it is, and he explained his reason for doing
that. Irving said that if Austria had a law making it a crime to wear a
yellow necktie, and he had then worn a yellow necktie while there and
been arrested for it, he would have had to have plead guilty to
breaking that law. Well, he did speak of "mythical gas chambers" in
these two lectures he gave sixteen years ago. He reasoned that this
did, in fact, violate the law, so he pled guilty. Now this is
speculation, but many people expected or thought that because he pled
guilty, he would be sentenced to time served or given a suspended
sentence and allowed to leave the country. However, he and many other
people were surprised when he was given a three-year prison sentence.
KAS: I heard that he recanted some of his questioning of Holocaust orthodoxy in an interview he gave prior to the sentencing.
WEBER: He said that his views on the Holocaust have changed. It's a little unclear exactly what his views are now because they have changed over time. After the sentencing, he gave two interviews in
which he again said that he did not believe Hitler gave any order to
exterminate the Jews of Europe, so people have been a little confused
about exactly what his position is on some of these subjects.
In any case, the reaction to his sentencing has been amazing.
Because his books are so widely known and because he's so well known
around the world, this particular "Holocaust denial" case received far
more media attention than any other that has ever occurred in Europe.
It's been very gratifying to see almost universal condemnation of the sentence against Irving and of the Holocaust denial laws in
Austria and other countries in Europe under which he and others have
The only voices expressing support for the sentencing of Irving have come from groups like the Anti-Defamation League, the Simon Wiesenthal Center,
and a few other predicable Jewish Zionist sources. Newspapers across
the United States and Europe and around the world have spoken out
against Austria's law, not in the least because it's so selective and
one-sided. The Holocaust story is the only chapter of history that's
legally protected and it's the only one for which people are punished
KAS: What were some of the more noteworthy organs taking that position?
WEBER: In Britain there were editorials in the London Times, and in the Guardian,
but the condemnation has actually come from around the world. Many of
the opinion pieces have pointed out the double standard in Europe that
permits people to make statements that offend the religious
sensibilities of Christians or Muslims, but punishes in this draconian
way offenses against Jewish sensibilities. That's been a very typical
reaction of newspapers and of intellectuals around the world.
KAS: Are there any elements in the Jewish power structure that think perhaps these denial laws are a step too far?
WEBER: Yes. Deborah Lipstadt,
who is probably David Irving's most famous -- or infamous -- adversary,
has taken that position. Even she, who was involved in a widely
publicized libel case with Irving a few years ago, said that the effect
of punishing him in this way is to make a martyr out of him. And there
have been a number of other Jews who have expressed dismay that the
effect of sending David Irving to prison has been to turn him into a
martyr for freedom of speech.
Irving has now become the most prominent prisoner of conscience --
or political prisoner, if you will -- in the Western world today. But
he's not alone. Ernst Zï¿½ndel has been behind bars for more than three
years now without ever having been found guilty of any crime.
He's currently being tried in Mannheim, Germany for violating Germany's
so-called Holocaust denial law, and his case has gotten quite a lot of
attention there. Europeans feel increasing embarrassment about these
strange Holocaust denial laws, because they can see just how one-sided and hypocritical they really are.
KAS: What is the current status of Zï¿½ndel's trial?
WEBER: The trial began in November and has been moving
slowly over the months, but just the other day a courtroom session
ended in furor -- as it has before -- with shouting by Zï¿½ndel's
attorneys and the judge, and the trial has now been postponed
indefinitely; it's unclear when it will resume.
The defense lawyers for Zï¿½ndel have been very combative and feisty and have put up a very spirited defense.
This is dangerous for them, because the judge has threatened to punish
them for making statements that express many of the same views that
Zï¿½ndel himself has expressed.
I want to give your listeners some idea of just how bizarre these
laws are. Under these European laws, people are punished for making
even factually true statements that contradict Holocaust
orthodoxy. David Irving was arrested and found guilty in a court in
Munich some years ago for making a speech in 1988. In that lecture he
said that the gas chamber shown to tourists at the Auschwitz I main
camp is a phony postwar reconstruction. At his trial, he asked the
court permission to call as a witness to this fact the curator of the
Auschwitz State Museum in Poland. The court denied his request. Both
the Auschwitz State Museum and many other historians have acknowledged
that the so-called gas chamber at the Auschwitz I main camp -- that's
been shown to hundreds of thousands of tourists over the years -- is a
phony postwar reconstruction. Even though Irving's statement was true,
the court fined him ten thousand marks. That fine was later increased
to thirty thousand marks, and, just for having made this statement, he
was forbidden ever to enter Germany again.
Now under normal law, truth is an absolute defense. If you make a
statement that's true, the truth of it should protect you from being
punished, but that's not how things work in these bizarre
Alice-in-Wonderland-style prosecutions for "Holocaust denial."
Another case that I find even more remarkable occurred in the
1990s. In 1998 a German court convicted a sociology professor, Dr.
Robert Hepp, of violating one of these laws because of a single
sentence that he had written in a book -- one in which he referred to
the mass-gassing story as a "fairy tale." The amazing thing about this
is that the sentence he wrote was in Latin -- of all things -- and he was punished for violating a law against "popular incitement." How a single sentence, written as a footnote in a book in Latin could be considered "popular incitement" is hard to understand, but the
court ruled that this sentence constituted dangerous popular
incitement, so he was found guilty.
Another case, in France, involved Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of
that country's National Front party. In 1997 Le Pen was found guilty of
violating the French "Holocaust denial" law for having referred to gas
chambers as "a detail of Second World War history." Le Pen pointed out
at the time that neither the multi-volume memoirs of Winston Churchill,
the World War II memoirs of Dwight Eisenhower, nor the wartime memoir
of Charles de Gaulle makes any mention at all of gas chambers. But for
referring to gas chambers as "a detail of Second World War history," he was found guilty and ordered to pay a fine of fifty thousand dollars to
publish the court's decision in French newspapers. This is just
bizarre. People can make any number of provocative statements in these
same European countries, but offending Jewish sensibilities is punished
this draconian and hypocritical way.
KAS: Le Pen didn't even question the orthodox version of the gas-chamber story. He merely said it was a detail of history.
WEBER: That's right. One of the remarkable features of this
phenomenon is that people like Le Pen and Irving are routinely referred
to as "Holocaust deniers," but the public is never told what it is that
they have actually said that "denies" the Holocaust. As you pointed
out, it's not a denial of the Holocaust story to say that gas chambers
are a detail of Second World War history. Le Pen didnï¿½t dispute the
existence of homicidal gas chambers in German camps during World War
II, but merely referring to it as "a detail," was considered "denying
the Holocaust." That fact alone points out the absurdity of these laws
and the way they're applied in Europe.
KAS: Another member of the National Front in France, Bruno Gollnisch,
who is also a member of the European Parliament and a professor at the
University of Lyon, lost his parliamentary immunity merely for saying
that historians should decide the question of the Jewish Holocaust.
WEBER: That's right. It's important to keep in mind the
origin of these laws. David Irving was called a "Holocaust denier."
Strictly speaking, the law under which he was convicted was an earlier
version of the current Holocaust denial law in Austria. For his
reference to "mythical gas chambers" at Auschwitz, he was actually
convicted of violating a law that makes it a crime to "revive National
Socialism" in Austria. His statement was construed by the Austrian
court as an attempt to revive Nazism. This law and the similar laws in
Germany were imposed on those countries by the victorious Allied powers
at the end of World War II. They are imposed victors' laws, not normal
legislation enacted by the people's representatives. Austria later
strengthened its law to make it specifically a crime to "deny the
Holocaust," which is now legally defined as downplaying or whitewashing
genocidal actions of the National Socialist regime during World War II.
That was the legal foundation of the case against David Irving.
The existence of these laws in other countries, however, such as in Poland and Spain, is the result of a concerted effort by international Jewish organizations.
In 1982 the World Jewish Congress announced the start of a campaign
to persuade and pressure governments to outlaw "Holocaust denial." They
systematically worked to get these laws enacted in one country after
another in Europe. Prior to that time, such laws had existed only in
Germany and Austria. Laws specifically forbidding Holocaust denial were
not enacted by other in European countries until this campaign by the
World Jewish Congress began to put pressure on them.
The organized nature of the campaign to introduce such legislation
can also be seen in the demands made by the International Association
of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, which met in June 1998 and announced a
campaign to introduce laws of this kind in as many countries as
possible. Now, having said that, it seems that Holocaust denial laws
have reached their high tide, as it were. The international reaction to
Irving's sentence and to the existence of these laws in general has
been so negative that's it's hard to see how these organizations are
going to be successful in promulgating similar laws in any other countries now.
KAS: I understand there was recently a debate in Britain in regard to an effort to impose such laws there, but the effort failed.
WEBER: Yes. Before Tony Blair became Prime Minister, he
announced that if he did become Prime Minister his government would
introduce a Holocaust denial law in Britain. After his government
assumed power the matter was further explored, but a decision was made
not to try to introduce such a law in Britain, probably for tactical
reasons. It's very hard to word such a law in a way that it will not
seem obviously hypocritical and one-sided.
As I've said many times, justice that is applied selectively is not
justice, it's a form of injustice. Making it a crime to question one
official version of history or one chapter of history, but not any other is not justice; it's a form of injustice. Anyway, the Labour government
decided against trying to introduce such legislation in Britain, and as
you know, it has been having trouble even applying the laws that it
already has on the books against fomenting and inciting racial hatred.
KAS: How many people are now imprisoned in Europe for questioning the Jewish version of the Holocaust?
WEBER: Most of the sentences that are handed down for
Holocaust denial in these countries are not prison sentences. Most of
them impose fines and this has happened in quite a few cases.
In prison right now is David Irving, of course, in Vienna.
Ernst Zundel is imprisoned in Mannheim.
Also imprisoned in Germany is Germar Rudolf, who was punished for
having made and published a scholarly investigation of the technical
aspects of gas chambers at Auschwitz. He had to flee the country to
avoid prosecution, traveling first to Britain and then later to the
United States, where he eventually married and had a child. Our
government, however, in its eager determination to uphold our
immigration laws, arrested him last November and deported him to
Germany, where he was promptly thrown into prison and where he is now
serving the sentence that was imposed years before. He will be standing
trial again in Germany for new violations of the law.
Another person in prison is Siegfried Verbeke, a Belgian citizen
who was extradited to Germany for violating its Holocaust denial laws
and is currently incarcerated there.
Other people in Europe have served prison sentences for violating
these laws, but have been released. One of them lives in Switzerland, a
man named Gaston Armand Armaudruz. Several years ago he wrote piece in
a newsletter that he publishes in which he said that he didn't believe
the gas chamber story, and he was arrested for it. His newsletter has a
circulation of only a few hundred, but this man, who was in his
eighties, had to serve a prison sentence for writing this.
The Frenchman Robert Faurisson has also served some time in prison
in his country. He has been released, but he has also had to pay very
heavy fines for statements he has made about World War II and German
policy toward the Jews during the war.
Another Swiss citizen who was indicted under one of these laws is
Jï¿½rgen Graf, a teacher and researcher who has written several books and
who spoke at one of our conferences. He was found guilty of violating
Switzerland's Holocaust denial law and was sentenced, but he fled the
country and is now living abroad.
* * *
Free speech is under attack -- both direct attack from the Jewish
establishment and indirect attack as we lose our freedoms as a wider
war looms in the world. We'll be back next week to continue our
interview with Mark Weber, Director of the Institute for Historical
Review, as we talk about these and other vital questions on American Dissident Voices
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