Ambassador Renée Jones-Bos
The Royal Netherlands Embassy
4200 Linnean Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008
Faxed to: 1-202-362-3430
February 3, 2011
Honorable Ambassador Jones-Bos:
Greetings from California-
I read that swifter punishment of “Deniers” is being proposed in the Netherlands. I am writing to oppose such a program and ask that you forward my request to your Government.
I believe that much misinformation about Revisionists and Revisionist arguments has been circulated. Because what is termed “Denial” is a charge that can lead to up to ten years in prison in some countries, and because writers like myself are the subject of these laws, I believe it would be appropriate, and useful, that those passing the law actually hear from a “Denier” prior to passing further laws.
Although it is standard practice to defame Revisionists as “anti-Semites who claim the Holocaust is just Jewish propaganda,” that is not what we at CODOH argue. Briefly, we believe that much of the history that we are taught today has been influenced by Soviet, British and American wartime propaganda which exaggerated and exploited real tragedies for propaganda purposes. This concerns not just Jews but Slavs, Roma, Jehovah’s Witnesses and, in some versions, Gays. I believe that there is considerable research that supports this point of view. The recent work of Dutch historian Anna Tijsseling regarding the persecution of Gays is an example.
It is inconceivable to me that I, or anyone, should be threatened with prison for stating in public that I doubt what I doubt. Whatever the ostensibly laudable purposes of the laws are, these laws against “Denial” go against fundamental values of a free society.
Thank you for your help.
David Merlin, Member
Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH)
PO Box 439016
San Ysidro, California
Telephone: 209 682 5327