Deputy Assistant Director-General for Communications and Information
Division for Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace
13 October 2008
Dear Deputy Assistant Director-General:
On 07 September I wrote you in part: “I am informed that UNESCO is the one United Nations agency with a ‘mandate to defend the basic human right of freedom of expression and press freedom, which are the essential components of democracy.’ I am further informed that this human right ‘includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.’
“How does UNESCO reconcile this important ‘mandate’ to defend the basic human right of freedom of expression and press freedom with the 26 January 2007 call by the UN General Assembly to all its 192 Member States to ‘reject any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part, or any activities to this end’”?
On Tuesday, October 7, 2008 you replied:
"Thank you for your letter. The UN General Assembly is a representative body of all the member states. It has expressed a position on the issue that does not infringe on your right to hold your opinions.
Dear Dr. Schmidt: Thank you for writing.
You note that the UN General Assembly has expressed an opinion on the issue of the Holocaust, one that “does not infringe on [my] right to hold [my] opinions.”
How is it that revisionist writers who do hold opinions about the Holocaust “either in full or in part” are routinely arrested, tried and imprisoned in one European country after another? How is it that the Communications and Information Division for Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace, UNESCO, of which you, Sir, are The Deputy Assistant Director-General, do not even acknowledge that this is happening?
Am I not in the same danger of being arrested, tried, and imprisoned as such men as Germar Rudolf, Siegfried Verbeke, David Irving, Ernst Zundel and Fredrick Toben, who at this moment is being held in a London jail under threat of extradition to Germany where he will be tried, as you have it, for “holding his opinions” about the Holocaust?
I am afraid (forgive me) that it is an inversion of logic and good sense for you to tell me that I have the right to hold my opinions about the Holocaust either in full or in part when, at the same time, European governments have the right to imprison me for holding such opinions in full or in part, and to do so without protest, or even any notice, from UNESCO.
Dr. Schmidt, please tell me clearly where UNESCO’s Division for Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace stand on the arrest, trial, and imprisonment of revisionist writers who hold opinions about the history of the Holocaust?
Bradley R. Smith
Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust
Post Office Box 439016
San Ysidro, California
Desk: 209 682 5327