[This letter was sent to those individuals we understand are going to speak at the Sachsenhausen Conference, and copied to their colleagues.]
13 May 2008
I understand that you are going to speak at the Sachsenhausen Conference this week. The Conference announcement states:
“[One] central topic of the conference is the analysis of revisionist propaganda, which is increasingly turning its attention to the gas chambers in the concentration camps of the 'Deutsches Reich' and annexed Austria. For instance, the existence of the gas chamber in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp has been cast into doubt in various forms. [ … ] The conference aims to cast light on the intentions and structures of revisionist campaigns in an international comparison and to develop counter-strategies.”
These “counter strategies” are directed against revisionist scholars such as Carlo Mattogno, Juergen Graf, Arthur Butz or Robert Faurisson. However, these revisionists will not be allowed to participate in the conference to defend their views. In fact, these men risk arrest, trial, and imprisonment if they so much as enter Germany. Revisionist scholar Germar Rudolf is in a German prison today in Rottenburg for questioning received academic opinion on gas chambers and other elements of the Holocaust story.
Doesn’t this sound like a “strategy” that means to reinforce the suppression of legitimate questions, legitimate debate, about what happened during World War II?
Meanwhile, we have written to hundreds of academics at American universities asking them for the name of one person, with proof, who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz. None has been able to provide such a name. Most recently we have written Dr. Paul Shapiro, Director of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, asking that he provide us with the name of one person, with proof, who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz. Dr. Shapiro appears unable to respond.
The purpose of this conference appears to be twofold. First, to question the motivation (“intentions”) of those scholars who question the prevailing academic history of the Holocaust. And secondly, to develop “strategies” to further the suppression of revisionist arguments by strengthening an academic climate in which open debate and a free exchange of ideas regarding the Holocaust story will continue to be a crime against the State.
As a historian, do you agree with Professor Hans-Ulrich Wehler, that imprisoning non-conformist historians is consistent with intellectual freedom?
As a specialist in the field of Holocaust studies, are you able to provide the name of one person, with proof, who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz – or at Sachsenhausen?
My best wishes,
Bradley R. Smith
Desk: 001 (209) 682-5327
Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust