Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Who Should We Ask?

Dr. Paul Shapiro, Director
Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

29 April 2008

Dear Dr. Shapiro:

On 12 March I wrote to the USHMM Virtual Reference Desk to ask for the name of “one person, with proof, who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz.” You can read the brief inquiry here: http://bradleysmithsblog.blogspot.com/ (dated 08 March). It’s been six weeks now but I have not heard from the lady who runs the USHMM’s Virtual Reference Desk so I am turning to you, Director for the Center of Advanced Holocaust Studies at the Museum.

Dr. Shapiro: can you provide me with the name of one person, with proof, who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz? I have asked hundreds of academics at such institutions as the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at U. Minnesota, the Sigi Ziering Institute at the Jewish University of America, at Columbia, U. Georgia, Emory U., Saint Cloud State, U. Wisconsin-Milwaukee, U. Colorado-Boulder, U. Kentucky and so on, but those folk appear to be lost.

I don’t feel that being “lost” on this question is a possibility for the folk who work with you at the USHMM. In the Museum’s own Holocaust Encyclopedia I read that “up to 6,000 Jews were gassed each day at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland. Over a million Jews [ … ] were killed there by November 1944.” My plea, as it were, is that you provide me the name of one person, with proof -- one out of “a million” -- who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz.

Michael Berenbaum, Director of the Sigi Ziering Institute at the Jewish University of America, writes: “… the Holocaust invites questions not answers.” I find it to be the other way around. I am invited everywhere to read answers about German gas chambers, yet no academic is willing to respond to my simple question about German gas chambers.

You are a major figure at an institution that’s funded with tens of millions of dollars yearly, which has 21,000 “separate historical collections” of documentary materials, and houses some (did I read this right?) 42,000,000 pages of documents! It does not appear to me that I am being unreasonable when I ask the USHMM Virtual Reference Desk, and now the Director of the Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, to provide me with the name of one person, with proof, who was murdered in a gas chamber at Auschwitz. One out of a million? If you believe I am being unreasonable, I am entirely willing to have you tell me why.

If you would just do it, I could put an end to the matter now. You answer the question, or have someone at the Museum answer it, and I quit asking it. One name, with proof. In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I will copy this letter to other parties I believe might find it interesting.

Thank you for your time.

Bradley R. Smith

Desk: 209 682 5327
_____________________________________________________________________

Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust www.codoh.com

Blog: http://bradleysmithsblog.blogspot.com/

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Auschwitz and the Palestinian Catastrophe

OFF THE TABLE
A Monthly Column by Bradley R Smith

Contact: Bradley R. Smith
PO Box 439016
San Ysidro CA 92143

Telephone: 209 682 5327
E-mail: bsmith@prodigy.net.mx

05 April 2008

For Publication

AUSCHWITZ AND THE PALESTINIAN CATASTROPHE

On 04 February I wrote Emory University Professor Deborah Lipstadt, author of History on Trial and other books, asking if she could provide “the name of one person, with proof, who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz.” One out of the “million” or so who were allegedly killed there. I copied the letter to her academic peers at Emory. Professor Lipstadt did not reply. None of her peers replied.

I have since asked this simple question of academic historians at such institutions as Columbia University, University of Georgia, Saint Cloud State, U Wisconsin-Milwaukee, U. Colorado-Boulder, U. Kentucky, The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at U. Minnesota, the Jewish University of America, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. No historian at any of these institutions has attempted to answer the question. You can read these letters at http://bradleysmithsblog.blogspot.com/ .

When I send my question, “… one person, with proof” to historians at a given campus, I copy the letter to professors in the Journalism department. I ask those teaching students how to become journalists if they believe it is “reasonable, or unreasonable” to ask historians for the name of “one person, with proof?” No professor in any journalism department has replied to the question. Why not?

The American professorial class passively followed the U.S. Government line with regard to the “unique monstrosity” of the Germans at Nuremberg and other war crimes trials. Our Government declared to the world that the Germans had used WMD (gas chambers) to kill millions of innocent, unarmed civilians and the professors, as a class, rather then do their work in accordance with the ideals of their university, gulped down the Government story whole hog.

The professorial class traditionally reacts to State power by surrendering to it. Consider how this class of folk, as a class, sucked up to the Hitlers, the Stalins, the Mao Tse-Tungs, even to pipsqueaks like Fidel Castro. At bottom, forgetting how much information they have memorized, professors are only human. We all know how difficult it is to consider standing up in public to question the core values – the taboos -- of the culture in which we live. With regard to the professors, they soon became committed to what they had surrendered to. Now it would shame them professionally and personally to begin to question what they have professed for so long to be absolutely true.

It is widely acknowledged that the American Government misled (to use the most restrained of terms) the American public with regard to Iraqi WMD. Even the American professorial class, a paradigm of timidity, feels free to question the State line on the Iraqi WMD. Yet the possibility that the Government that invented the Iraqi WMD fraud may possibly have invented the story that Germans used “gas chambers” to kill a million or so civilians at Auschwitz alone – which would be our Government’s first great WMD fraud – that question is absolutely off the table.

Why would the American Government allege that the Germans used WMD to kill millions of innocent civilians during WWII if it were not true?

It is incontrovertible that the Americans did use WMD – great fleets of heavy bombers -- to intentionally burn alive hundreds of thousand of innocent, unarmed civilians in all the major cities in Germany and Japan, ending with the nuclear holocaust of the civilian populations of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. As it is with Americans, those who carried out these horrific deeds have come to be known as our “Finest Generation.” The alleged unique monstrosity of the Germans and their alleged WMD were exploited, then, to morally justify the use of WMD by the Americans – the use of which no one even tries to deny.

Next, the U.S. Government exploited the German WMD allegation to morally legitimate the invasion and conquest of Arab land in Palestine by European Jews. The allegation was, and is still, used to morally legitimate the U.S. alliance with Israel against the Arabs of Palestine, and to fund the Israeli military, one which has hundreds of nuclear warheads at its disposal, all morally justified by “Auschwitz” and paid for by the U.S. Congress.

The allegation about the Auschwitz WMD is routinely exploited by the U.S./Israeli alliance as a root cause to morally justify the destruction of Arab culture in Palestine, the unending brutality and humiliation of those Arabs, the creation by force of Arab ghettos for Palestinians, the creeping but ceaseless “settlement” and occupation of Arab land in Palestine by Israelis, and the wonton killing of innocent, unarmed Arab civilians.

There is a red, bloody, historical thread that leads directly from the Auschwitz WMD fraud to the Palestinian catastrophe today. When Americans listened to the charge that Saddam Hussein was the new “Hitler,” that he had WMD that threatened Israel, we – as a people – were willing to accept this second U.S. Government WMD fraud to morally justify a second catastrophic attack on the Arabs in the Middle East. This time in Iraq where there are now millions of Arab refugees and hundreds of thousands of dead, damaged, and mangled Arab civilians.

I believe it reasonable, not unreasonable, that you ask your professor to give you the name of one person, with proof, who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz. What do you think?

end

Friday, April 11, 2008

Does Professor Chomsky Believe it Really Would Not "Do?"

18 March 2008

Professor Noam Chomsky
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dear Professor Chomsky:

On 04 February I wrote Professor Deborah Lipstadt of Emory U to ask if she could provide “the name of one person, with proof, who had been killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz.”

I understand that it is against her principles to address such a question or any person who would ask it, so I copied the letter to academics in history and journalism at Emory, U of Georgia, and the campus and off campus press in that neck of the woods. No one attempted to answer the question. I have since sent it to academics at a number of other universities, and no one has attempted to respond to the question itself.

My name is Bradley Smith. I am not an academic, and I am not an independent “scholar.” I do have a web page that addresses the gas-chamber and related questions from an angle that emphasizes intellectual freedom vs. the taboo that protects these questions from a routine examination – www.codoh.com . If you go to the Founder’s Page there you will find my unlikely personal background.

I would like to ask you a question that is not what I asked Professor Lipstadt, but one that is related to it. Do believe it “reasonable” or “unreasonable” for me to ask historians and other academics the question I have asked Professor Lipstadt, and do you think it “reasonable” or “unreasonable” for me to think that if a million or so innocent civilians were murdered in gas chambers at Auschwitz, that our historians should be able to provide “the name of one person, with proof,” who was actually killed in one of those contraptions? One out of a million?

The other night when I was first thinking of writing you it occurred to me to take another look at your article “We Own the World” that appeared originally in Z. When I first came across the title I felt I understood where you would go with it without having read it, and that I would agree with your thesis. I had a similar “epiphany” when I first saw the title to [Buchanan’s] “A Republic, Not an Empire.” In any event, I am very glad I returned to your article We Own the World. It ends by addressing exactly the issue that I have been struggling with for two decades now, unsuccessfully.

There you quote Orwell regarding the question of intellectual freedom where he suggests that there might be about as much of it in a “free” society as there is in a totalitarian one. You write:
“In the introduction to Animal Farm he said, ‘England is a free society … but unpopular ideas can be suppressed without the use of force … one reason is the press is owned by wealthy men who have every reason not to want certain ideas to be expressed. And the second reason -- and I think a more important one -- is a good education. If you have gone to the best schools and graduated from Oxford and Cambridge, and so on, you have instilled in you the understanding that there are certain things it would not do to say; actually, it would not do to think. That is the primary way to prevent unpopular ideas from being expressed.’”

That is exactly my experience with the “taboo” that in my view protects the gas-chamber allegations from the routine examination that all other historical questions are open to. In America our wealthy media owners and those with good educations understand it would “not do” to question the Auschwitz gas-chamber allegations, or the “unique monstrosity” of the Germans and Adolf Hitler. Yet, as you note in WOTW, the Hitler/gas-chamber story is exploited endlessly to morally legitimate the belief that we do, in fact “own” the world and have the “right” to do what we want with it. With our intellectual elites, it would appear to “not do,” indeed to “not think” of the possibility that the German gas-chamber story might be the first great WMD fraud, encouraged by largely the same folk who invented the second WMD fraud – Iraq.

I have neither wealth nor a good education. That may be the reason I am willing to ask historians for the name of one person, with proof, who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz. Why I am willing to encourage journalists, who write about it endlessly, to ask our historians for that one name, with proof. I think it would very well “do” to ask such a question, and to answer it.

My question again -- do you think it reasonable or unreasonable for me to ask academics for the name of “one person, with proof, who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz?” Do you find it reasonable or unreasonable that I should expect journalists, and those who teach journalism, to see this as a legitimate question to ask, and to ask it?

This communication will remain private for ten days, until 02 [April], while I await your response. If you respond to my query, I will post this letter and your response to it on my Blog "One Person With Proof" (you will find the link to it at www.codoh.com). If you choose to not respond, I will post this letter alone.

Thank you (in advance as they say) for your time.

Bradley R. Smith
Desk: 209 682 5327


EDITOR’S NOTE: Rather than emailing this letter to one of my volunteer editors before I sent it to Professor Chomsky, I did the reverse. The next day my editor pointed out that I had named “Gingrich” as the author of A Republic, Not an Empire in my letter to Professor Chomsky. Ever willing, eager even, to confess to my errors, I emailed Chomsky on 19 March 2008:

“OK. I have to admit it. It wasn't Gingrich. I can be careless. Anyhow, it was only an epiphany. I hope the question interests you.”

Bradley Smith
www.codoh.com

In the event, Professor Chomsky has not replied. Perhaps it really would not “do” for him to say what he thinks. I don't know.