Thursday, April 16, 2009

U Louisville Cardinal: the Editor Sets Things Straight

[When I posted this reply to the Cardinal I was in too much of a hurry. The post is full of typos. Here I have corrected the worst of them. I'm trying to get out of town this noonday to meet with my publisher in San Diego. Goes to prove that we are right when we repeat the old saw: "Haste makes waste."]


Ms. Lynch:

Regarding your note “Setting Things Straight”:

You write: "For as long as I can remember, hearing stories about the war and my uncles experiences during it; I have always thought it was Auschwitz he was speaking of. After a phone call and catching up on the family, it came to light that I was incorrect. It was the “Dachau” concentration camp. For that, I apologize. Everything else was as I wrote. The horrors witnessed and the memories stashed away could be similar for any soldier, no matter which concentration camp (of the many) that was entered."

You have done the professional thing, and moreover the honorable thing, to write very simply that you were wrong about your uncle and how he had "entered" Auschwitz. We are all wrong about stuff all the time, including yours truly. At the same time, this raises a couple related questions.

You will note that despite your certainty, you were wrong.

From what you write, no professor at UL came forward to help you. You called "home" and simply asked what was what. If one or more professors at UL attempted to help you here, I have to assume until I learn better, that they did not want their names brought into the matter. I would like to learn that I am wrong about this.

Moreover, while American soldiers were told by the U.S. Government that there were homicidal gas chambers at Dachau where civilians had been murdered, it is now recognized that the U.S. Government was lying about that. To find out the truth about "gassings" at Dachau you only have to call the USHMM and ask. The point I want to emphasize here is that the U.S. Government lied about Dachau to its own soldiers, a lying that continued for years after the war.

Reminds one of the "lying" that went on before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and how the [false] WMD story morally legitimated the invasion and the war.

To wind this up: it is my understanding that students at U Louisville in the overwhelming majority believe that the Germans used gas chambers to murder 4-million (1946), or 3-million (through 1993) or 1.5 million (through 2006) or almost 1-million (today). Why should they not believe it? Why should you not believe it? There is not one professor at U Louisville who will chance going out on a limb to give us the name, with proof, of one (one out a million?) who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz?

Why do you believe that no U Louisville academic will come forward? What is your best guess? After you make your best guess, I encourage you to reconsider the commonplace belief among American students that the Germans acted the role of "unique monsters" during WWII, while our own folk, who blasted and burned alive the innocent civilian populations of all the major cities of Germany and Japan, ending with the nuclear Holocausts of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, have been come to be called our "greatest generation"?

No one questions what the Americans did with their WMD (great fleets of heavy bombers) during WWII. At the same time the German WMD are being questioned in many Western nations (where it is "illegal" to question it) and throughout the Muslim world.

Anyhow, if the press in America, and at American universities, is not meant to include among its ideals that of promoting a free exchange of ideas on Historical and other questions, how does it differ from the press in a fascist or communist country?

A free exchange of ideas. We are wrong about things, each one of us. We should have the courage to risk being found out that we are wrong. That means putting ourselves on the line. Not hide behind an academic curtain of silence, lack of commitment, an unwillingness to have it discovered that we are wrong about this or that, and have been wrong for a very long time, and the unwillingness to admit that we have know that we have been wrong.

You have avoided all this yourself [with] a simple, decent act of correction. Would that a couple of your professors could, would, do the same.


Note: I am going to include a URL here that I tried to post on the Louisville Cardinal page but could not. Maybe later. Anyhow it is a chapter from my book

Confessions of a Holocaust Revisionist, Chapter 7

FYI: the entire book in on-line.


Gurfinkle said...

It occurred to me that you might be being a bit naive here. Consider the editor's character - she by virtue of her position can reasonably be expected to be someone who is actively pursuing a position in the journalistic world and who has an active concern for her career. A climber, in short.

Then, suppose that she responded to you, "Yes Mr. Smith, I see your position and agree, the question of the Holocaust should be debated on campus and I welcome your ads and a full and open discussion."

Would she suffer repercussions? I think it quite likely that it would be the end of her employability in the world of journalism and the end of her career.

Does she realize this? Probably. She doesn't have to recognize it consciously, but subconsciously she may be very aware of the consequences of questioning the Holocaust.

Look at the fine example Finklestein provides. He doesn't question the Holocaust, otherwise he would be invisible to academia and the media, but he does question the marketing of the holocaust, and we get to watch the full power of the Holocaust lobby crush this decendant of Holocaust survivors who accepts the official version of the Holocaust who dares to question any aspect of the aftermath.

That is, Finklestein is serving a useful purpose for the Holocaust purveyors, who get to demonstrate their power, without the inconvenience of confronting any questions about the Holocaust myth itself.

Anonymous said...

For some time now I've been struck by Smith's comment on Ms. Lynch's lack of modesty, considering her obvious ignorance (about both Auschwitz and Dachau, and WWII in general) of the subject.

Not that Ms. Lynch would bother reading anything that didn't conform to her conditioned attitude and beliefs, especially at this late date, but for any other Kathy Lynch out there who might accidentally stumble across it:

"Propaganda tries to surround man by all possible routes, in the realm of feelings as well as ideas, by playing on his will or on his needs,through his conscious and unconscious, assailing him in both his private and his public life. It furnishes him with a complete system for explaining the world, and provides immediate incentives to action. We are here in the presence of an organized myth that tries to take hold of the entire person. Through the myth it creates, propaganda imposes a complete range of intuitive knowledge, susceptible of only one interpretation, unique and one-sided, and precluding any divergence. This myth becomes so powerful that it invades every area of consciousness, leaving no faculty or motivation intact. It stimulates in the individual a feeling of exclusiveness, and produces a biased attitude. The myth has such motive force that, once accepted, it controls the whole of the individual, who becomes immune to any other influence. This explains the totalitarian attitude that the individual adopts - wherever a myth has been successfully created - and that simply reflects the totalitarian action of propaganda on him [or, her - ed.]."

~ Jacques Ellul, Propaganda, 1962, p. 11