Saturday, September 27, 2008

Exchange with Noam Chomsky on Exterminationism and Revisionism

Robert Faurisson writes to Noam Chomsky, August 18
[Faurisson’s messages are translated from the French]

Dear Sir,

I am thinking of sending you, by separate message, three articles that you will perhaps find of interest. It seems to me that, since the late 1970s, both the exterminationist position and the Zionist position have become more and more untenable except, of course, with recourse to trickery and violence. May I ask what you, at your end, think of this?

Regards, RF

Noam Chomsky replies, August 19

Thanks for sending.
It's true that the Zionist position has become less defensible, but I never thought that the “exterminationist” position was in doubt.

Robert Faurisson, August 19

Thanks for answering.

I did say, for my part, that “it seems to me that, since the late 1970s, both the exterminationist position and the Zionist position have become more and more untenable”.

I take the liberty of sending you, attached hereto, my text on “The Victories of Revisionism”. In it you will note how the main exponents of the exterminationist thesis, whilst bold enough to maintain the veracity of that thesis, have exhibited growing difficulty in upholding it with logical arguments.

Hilberg’s turnaround was striking: whereas, in 1961, he held that Hitler had issued two orders to destroy the Jews, he later (in the 80s), formally acknowledged the worth of certain “questions” put by Faurisson and others, and then seriously revised his own position: he no longer spoke of orders but… of “consensus-mind reading by a far-flung bureaucracy”. Hilberg, of course, brought forth no proof in support of such a hazy argument. Here we are, decidedly, no longer in the scientific realm.

Whereas Michel de Boüard had held that the revisionists were despicable beings, he ended up, in 1986, making amends, terming the exterminationist dossier “rotten” and paying tribute to the revisionists’ “quite carefully done critical studies”.

Whereas it had been held that the sources for the study of the gas chambers were many and solid, Arno Mayer, in 1988, ended up writing that they were “at once rare and unreliable”.

Whereas Klarsfeld and Pressac had held that there existed so very much proof, Pressac ended up deeming the whole dossier of the exterminationist thesis to be “rotten” and good only for the “rubbish bins of history”.

I could go on at length with such examples. In scientific (or allegedly scientific) circles the embarrassment is obvious. It’s for this reason that the repression of revisionism is worsening. “When there’s no proof to show, the cudgel is used. If the cudgel is used, it’s because there are no arguments”. It’s also for this reason that, in its ludicrous forms and unprecedented commercial and religious proportions, a deafening propaganda is now deployed in favour of a thesis which, over the years, has become more and more untenable.

You will, I think, have noted my discretion in your regard. If I have decided to break a near thirty years’ silence and if I finally wrote to you yesterday, it’s because I’ve thought that, in the face of such a rout of the rational approach in historical research, I needed the opinion of a man of your calibre.

I thank you for your attention. Regards.

NC, August 20

To repeat, I do not think there is serious doubt about the basic character of the Nazi Judeocide, though unlike French mimics of Zhdanov and Goebbels, I strongly oppose granting the state the right to determine Historical Truth and to punish deviation from its pronouncements.

RF, August 20

I shall repeat myself as well and say: I think that the high priests of exterminationism or of the “Judeocide” resemble the Catholic priests who persist, of course, in spouting the articles of their FAITH but who, de facto, no longer appeal to REASON.

Fifty years ago, priests were still teaching the faithful that the existence of God was a matter of both REASON and FAITH and, for example, in the catechism, children learned the four PROOFS of God’s existence, the first of these being the order of the world (“There can be no watch without a great watchmaker”). Today, the Catholic priests lay it down as a principle that God exists and no longer appeal to REASON and PROOF. Why is this, if not because their proof no longer convinces them themselves?

Today, the high priests of exterminationism or of the “Judeocide” no longer take the trouble to resort to PROOF. They recite their basic catechism but no longer try to bring forth a single PROOF of the existence of an order to exterminate the Jews nor a single PROOF of the existence of an extermination plan, nor a single PROOF of the existence of any relevant instructions or monitoring or budget thereof, and they are incapable of showing us what the crime weapon par excellence may have looked like or how it may have worked. When asked to “show us or draw us an Auschwitz homicidal gas chamber”, they no longer try to answer. When told to “give us the name of a single person who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz, with proof of that killing” they no longer reply. However, do remember that, in the past, we used to get names (that of Simone Jacob, for example, who would turn out to be Simone Veil). Why such a profound change if not because “there is serious doubt about the basic character of the Nazi Judeocide”, that is, a doubt about the will to physically exterminate the Jews, about the magical gas chambers and about the six or however many million victims? At the base (your word “basic”) of the mystery of the “Judeocide”, there is that holy trinity.

Can you explain this to me? Can you offer anything that you yourself would call a PROOF? Can you tell me why there have been so many patent LIES on the part of my opponents, so many manipulations of texts, facts and figures whilst, in the work by your humble servant on the essential question of the gas chambers, no one has been able to find a trace either of 1) rashness, 2) negligence, 3) deliberately overlooking anything or 4) lying?

You say you strongly oppose the State’s being granted the right to determine historical Truth and punishing deviations. So be it; how has the State come to be granted these rights? It hasn’t been by some quirk of history. It has been by a sort of vital necessity that, even in countries without any specific anti-revisionist law, the State, in reality, represses revisionism. Consider the ignoble examples of the United States and Canada in the Ernst Zündel and Germar Rudolf cases. In France, who was it who, starting in 1986, waged a dogged campaign, crowned with success, to get the State to exercise those exorbitant rights if not chief rabbi René-Samuel Sirat, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Georges Wellers and Laurent Fabius? Those people set off on a bad path: they laid the postulate – backing it up with threats – that two and two were six (or six million?) and, consequently, as the lie could be upheld only by still more lies, they and their successors have sunk themselves into an abyss of lies. For my part, I’ve had no need to lie.

What do you think of this? Regards.

NC, August 20

I understand your position, but do not agree.

[end of correspondence Faurisson-Chomsky]


Gurfinkle said...

I am a longtime fan of Chomsky's. He has built his reputation on describing how democratic governments
'manufacture consent' by manipulating public opinion. And, now he reveals that he accepts as fact the greatest hoax in history. Beyond that, he runs from any discussion of the subject. It's great to have this on record.

Just one comment on Faurisson's letters, and your 'one victim' campaign - don't ask for 'proof', it sounds rhetorical because it is, and hence it provides a convenient excuse for terminating the dialogue, instead, ask for 'best evidence'.

Chip said...

I second Gurfinkle's point about rhetoric and "proof." "Best evidence," in addition to avoiding the crankish ring that's too easily dismissed, is preferable because it doesn't bog down into inevitable questions of what should constitute "proof," what standards are acceptable, and so on.

Tod Robbins said...

I'm curious both where the original source for the correspondence is found and what year this took place. Only the days are listed without a year context. Thanks.