Matt Giwer replies to “Never Again Foundation”

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<May 2, 2000

<The final solution: Auschwitz, Treblinka, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau, Buchenwald, Terezin, Sobibor, Majdanek, Chelmno, Belzec, Polish Ghettos.

If one were interested in never again, one should certainly be interested in technical accuracy regarding just what is never again to happen. Of your list, there is no evidence anything out of the ordinary happened at Treblinka. Dachau, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Terezin (if you mean Theresienstadt) are not considered extermination camps. The US perjury of 400,000 gassed at Dachau, while never having been retracted is well known to have been perjury and is contradicted by the Dachau Museum.
 <Adolf Hitler’s Nazis murdered six million Jews—6,000,000 girls, men, grandmothers, toddlers, uncles, women, grandsons, fathers, sisters, cousins, wives, babies, lovers, boys, mothers, aunts—six million human beings.
And as you should know there have never been any world wide census figures to support that assertion. And without such census figures there is no way to have a number. If you do not know either of those facts, you have no idea of what it is you never want to happen again. Making an emotional plea has no bearing upon the lack of evidence for the plea.
 <Most perished (were murdered) quickly in the gas chambers, gallows, or execution lines.
Gallows and execution lines were dropped from the mythology in the 1950s.
    Only Einsatzgruppen, gas chambers and gas vans remain. And as only a couple of the thousands of Einsatzgruppen mass graves have been found they lost credibility when the number of dead from there got much over 100,000. As you know it is over 3 million today.
 <The rest were forced to perform labor so excruciating the likes of which adjectives do no justice in describing.
All of the labor described was in accordance with the needs of the war effort. At least today it is. The ridiculous claims of the past are no longer in the mythology.
 <Then there were the rapes, beatings, heinous medical “experiments” and brutal, arbitrary tortures.
Rapes, beatings and tortures were dropped from the mythology in the 60s.
    Many of the medical experiments accomplished things beyond the capability of medicine today so they lack credibility. The red hot tongs and iron maidens at Dachau could never have been taken seriously by anyone.
 <Souls and stomachs were starved in unison. None of this happened by accident or coincidence.
Can you explain why they would deliberately starve people producing war materiel?
 <Quite the contrary, it was planned, it was designed. It happened in the “modern era” and it happened for only one reason: because they were Jews.
As Jews were less than half of the 13 million how is it possible to explain it all with less than half? Even if you want to use the current revision downward to 11 million, it remains a woefully insufficient explanation.
 <It took the active participation of an entire country to accomplish.
Then you hold it was not done in secret? Or do you see that as another thoughtless exaggeration? Even Goldhagen does not hold it was the entire country.
 <Though statistically insignificant, a few Jews somehow survived.
So you are saying the postwar population figures are hoaxes? For example, 1/3 of Poland became Russia and in the 2/3 remaining there were a half million reported population immediately postwar. 25% is hardly insignificant by any measure and without reporting the total Russian population. One would expect they had the common sense of a Kosovar and run away.
    BTW: "statistically" is inapplicable in this context.
 <Note, the above description is hollow; it is weak; it is inadequate. It is all I can offer.
Inaccurate and misleading is the best I can describe it.
 <The mere fact that I feel compelled to write this column is sad. The sober reality that it is necessary is tragic. I would like to think that my time, this newspaper’s space, and your attention could be better spent. Unfortunately, they cannot, especially here at Northwestern.
    <Today there is a growing group of individuals who deny the Holocaust ever occurred.
Declining to believe for lack of credible evidence. Denial and belief are opposites. Facts can not be denied or believed. They can only be disputed.
 <They are called<“Holocaust revisionists.” For starters, why are we so semantically diplomatic?
Common courtesy? Normal decency? Mutual respect?
 <If they are “Holocaust revisionists,” then the town idiot who claims that two plus two is five is a “mathematical revisionist.”
Do we not point out when the emperor has no clothes? You folks are the ones who invented the number six million because of an ancient prophecy and then proclaimed it as the sacred number before there were any postwar censuses conducted. And without censuses there is no way to know the number. Therefore the number was clearly invented. Prophecies are not fulfilled. Prophecies are what we call nonsense.
 <We call the town idiot ignorant, stupid, crazy, or some other less than redeeming word.
Today we have much more sensitivity to the learning impaired. You are not demonstrating such sensitivity. In fact you are trying to stir up intolerance with this example.
 <Simply stated, he is wrong—two plus two is not five. Likewise, those who deny the Holocaust are either hate mongers, anti-Semites, Jew haters, racists, or some other less than redeeming word.
It is also part of the mythology of holocaust believers that there has to be a motivation for pointing out the nonsense of their mythology. I can see the precedent in heresy trials of course. However I would not expect Dark Ages attitudes to re-emerge in a simple discussion of the events of history.
 <In no event are they “revisionists.” To call them such implies that there is room for debate; it lends credence to their asinine assertions.
Every major event of history is open to discussion. And noting that I have made major corrections to your assertions which are well known the facts are clearly open to correction.
 <Again I remind you, I am talking about historical fact, not policy debates or competing historical theories. Remember, two plus two is four.
It was once an historical fact that Jesus rose from the dead. It was once an historical fact that there was a bad winter at Valley Forge. It was once an historical fact that the defenders of the Alamo died bravely. All things change when reconsidered.
 <Ideally, the “revisionists” would warrant no attention. Quoting my grandmother, Baba Bella, “If you argue with a fool that makes two.”
Rather closed minded isn't she.
 <Following such wisdom, the “revisionists” would be dismissed outright much like the town idiot. After all, it hardly seems necessary to counter the town idiot’s claims with full page columns.
It would be expected everyone would dispassionately examine the facts without preconception or precondition upon the conclusion of the examination.
    One would expect that if the facts were so certain holocaust believers would welcome the opportunity, welcome every opportunity, to lay out the facts again. There is no objection to doing that in any other field.
    Even those most dedicated to a religion welcome the opportunity to lay out the facts regarding the existence of G-d. Not since the Dark Ages has questioning been damned as on this subject.
 <The difference, unfortunately, is that nobody believes that two plus two is five. Ergo, no energy, time or resources need be spent on combating the mathematical fallacy.
Mistakes are easily and quickly corrected by facts which is something you folks won't consider because you believe.
    At the Irving trial that matter was simply stated. No holes, no holocaust.
    How much effort would it be to clear away the rubble? Then the question would be answered once and for all, right?
 <However, in a 1994 national survey (USA Today), 34% of Americans said they were “uncertain” whether the Holocaust took place.
    Uncertain whether 6,000,000 Jews were slaughtered.
All you would have to do is produce the world population figures and do the substraction.
 <Uncertain, essentially, whether two plus two is four.
Certainty can only be arrived at by a personal assessment of the facts. Anything else can only be a statement that other people are certain.
 <Just last month in a London courtroom the “issue” of whether the Holocaust transpired was actually debated.
And Judge Gray found the evidence for gas chambers was not compelling.
    That is a technical term meaning that it could not support a criminal conviction as I am certain you learned along the way to your JD. Yet these gas chambers are supposed to be the crime of the ages. And without compelling evidence to support a conviction. Quite odd that.
 <Additionally, unlike the town idiot, some of the “revisionists” possess an air of credibility. Some, like your own Professor Arthur Butz, are reputable professors from esteemed universities. They pen books denying the Holocaust entitled “The Hoax of the 20th Century” while working in the bastions of intellectual debate. I assume they laugh heartily every time they receive a paycheck from their university, every time a Jew like me feels compelled to respond to them, every time a survey reveals that people are “uncertain” whether the Holocaust happened.
You again assume some motivation for which you have not provided evidence.
    As such that is simply your belief, perhaps you would call it your certainty. But it is not binding on others and certainly not compelling.
 <Unfortunately, in a world that is often ill-informed, ignorance passes as fact
And as I have pointed out your ignorance of the facts many of which are supported by Pressac and Hilberg we must deal with degree of ill-information.
 <and people like Professor Butz soon become Hitlers.
He is going to found a political party and take over the country? As for foolish beliefs you appear to have more than your share.
    I assure you, if we forget the horrors of the Roman Empires, Caesar's Legions will not rise again and march into Gaul. Reality doesn't work that way. At least mine doesn't.
 <If seemingly credible individuals such as these are not unilaterally condemned, then the perpetual lie soon passes as fact. Our silence is the source of their strength. Our silence is a de facto acquiescence.
Your silence is a clear indication you know you do not have physical evidence in support of your beliefs. You know the answers but you won't tell. You will not expose the basis for your beliefs, the beliefs you would have others hold to examination so that others can judge whether they might choose to hold them also.
 <Though historical tragedies rarely make for good analogies, I resort to the tactic nonetheless to lend some perspective. I provide the following for shock value and to demonstrate that this is neither a “Jewish issue” nor, as people mistakenly frame it, a First Amendment issue.
It has no shock value, it is not even a comparison, as I demonstrate.
 <What would be the reaction if a group of “antebellum revisionists” claimed that blacks were never slaves? That blacks were never sold, lynched, beaten, raped, divided, and bartered? Even worse, suppose these “scholars” said that not only were blacks never slaves, the whole idea of a black slave trade was simply a hoax devised by blacks to garner sympathy. How would we (and the Northwestern administration) respond?
Polite amusement at best. Nothing like your reaction for certain. BTW: "we and Northwestern" in 1865 is the only reasonable comparison. It is certainly unreasonable to pile a black issue onto it to claim it is not a jewish issue.
    I would ask you how you can compare immediate post civil war knowledge to the "certainty" of Americans regarding events in Europe that happened to Europeans over fifty years ago that took the court at Nuremberg to establish? In Europe to Europeans does not make an American issue in the least.
    It has no "universal" meaning. Things do not have meanings. People give meanings to things. Agreed to another person's assigned meaning is not an obligation upon anyone.
    That is what we call a red herring. The two are incomparable.
 <I would like to think that I would be joined by everyone, no matter their ethnicity, in obliterating such a lie.
It is totally unimportant in that it would have no bearing whatsoever upon anything happening today. It would have no effect upon civil rights or equality. Even if it were true nothing today would change.
    But if you are really interested in Civil War legends you might consider trying to educate people to the nonsense that started in the 1930s that it was fought to end slavery? That might do some good.
 <I would like to think that the “revisionists” would be called racists.
What possibly is racist about that? Whether or not something happened has no racial implication. Are you saying the only reason Blacks have equal rights is because of slavery? I direct your attention to learning modern history.
    BTW: Blacks can be considered a race. Most Jews are caucasians.
 <I would like to think that columns such as this would be plentiful.
    <I would like to think that our initial shock and disgust that such venom could be spewed with a straight face would serve as a catalyst for collective action. Fortunately, none of this is necessary.
That is quite your unsupported belief. No rational person would consider it venom or anything of the sort. You appear to live in your own world with a rather unique set of cultural fantasies and reactions. That members of your group agree with you does not save you from being seen by those outside that community as other than your "village idiot" example.
 <In contrast, the Northwestern administration hides under academic freedom policies and the First Amendment to incubate Professor Butz.
The 1st Amendment exists and is absolute in this matter. Anyone attempting to remove the protection of the human right to freedom of speech is the enemy of the nation and should rightly be treated as you would have Dr. Butz treated.
 <To be clear, the First Amendment applies only to government bodies limiting speech—not a private university like Northwestern—which can do as it pleases much like it rightly did last fall in thwarting Matthew Hale’s attempt to speak on campus property.
It applies, as do civil rights laws, to any educational institution accepting funds from the government. But you know that. And if you do not you embarrassed yourself by publically exposing your ignorance. Is that JD real? Care if I call and check?
 <Put most simply, ask yourself whether the administration would tolerate an “antebellum revisionist” on its payroll:
If he isn't teaching history, why not? I'd bet good money they have more than a few creationists on the staff.
 <As important, why do you—the students and community—permit Professor Butz such a comfortable existence?
Your outburst is such that I would hope the students would burn you in effigy (not Effigy, Ohio) as the enemy of human liberty.
 <Make no mistake: Professor Butz has every right to step on his soapbox and spew his hate and lies. Just the same however, nothing requires Northwestern to provide his soapbox. At a minimum, his existence should be made as intolerable and embarrassing as possible, within legal means.
As should yours but more so as you would dictate the beliefs and actions of others. And that solely based upon your rather detached fantasy world.
    But if I were into imputing motives as are you, I would say it is clearly your intent to fabricate an argument (polemic more correctly) that collapses upon simple inspection because that is how you earn your living.
    If slavery is not believed nothing happens.
    If gas chambers are not believed, you will be flipping burgers.
 <Note, my real concern is not that “Holocaust revisionists” like Butz exist and flourish. They are a dime a dozen. Neither their existence nor their presence surprises me. As a Jew who grieves for those of my heritage who have suffered centuries of systematic persecution, I come to expect it. In some ways, I welcome it. Bring it on. It serves as my strength.
You would think if people want to suffer they could at least do it in silence. Trying to gain sympathy with it is not something a Mensch would do.
    But you make a good point, the more suffering you believe in the stronger you feel. Take away persecution and your personal strength goes away.
    Perhaps a couple self-esteem classes are in order?
 <What I cannot tolerate, however, is the rest of society’s collective silence.
If they are being silent they are adopting your tactic -- the Lipstadt maneuver -- no? You want others to do the talking for you?
 <I cry for the 6,000,000 when I read that some Americans are “uncertain” about the Holocaust.
If you really do cry you are emotionally unstable. It is a clear sign of mental illness to be emotionally involved with events you never experience.
    You might as well cry for the Gauls.
 <I respond with mixed joy when I read that the Holocaust Museum in Washington is packed to capacity and watch movies like “Schindler’s List” and “Life is Beautiful” garner awards.
I found Schindler's List quite the best "revisionist" movie ever produced.
    To my mind he correctly portrayed gas chambers as a camp rumor. Remember, only water came out of the showerheads. That is one of the revisionist suggestions. I was unaware he was a revisionist until that movie.
 <Yes, I am pleased that people are learning, understanding, and viewing the carnage and hate. Just the same, I am insulted and disappointed that this is an eye-opener for so many.
Again, why would any American be all that interested what happened to Europeans in Europe? Morbid curiosity perhaps. Interest that people did not have the sense of a Kosovar to run away.
    But then Mrs. Schindler declares the entire movie a fabrication and that the only list was kept by a man named Goldman and it cost diamonds to get on it. Who are you going to believe? Mrs. Schindler or Indiana Jones?
 <Dismayed that a museum is necessary to document the destruction.
Would you close down the US Museum of Natural History because everyone should know natural history? You clearly have a religion not a set of facts. As for documentation, they don't have the census figures either but the do show a common bomb shelter door as a gas chamber door.
 <I relish the day when the “Holocaust revisionists” can be dismissed as town idiots.
That is likely never going to come as the gas chamber evidence is far from compelling as the Judge said.
 <Until then, I remind you, two plus two is four.
Why do you folks believe that six million minus three million equals six million? I have verified that the official numbers for each place have reduced over the years by millions but the total never changes from six million. How is that possible if in fact you are not equivalent to your exemplary village idiot?
 <Do not forget it and do not tolerate it, for if you do, we are all but one Professor Butz away from extinction.

WILLIAM CHOSLOVSKY Director, Never Again Foundation, University of Illinois B.S., 1990 Harvard Law School J.D., 1994

Perhaps you should learn tolerance. And perhaps come into the real world.

And perhaps your odd form of mental illness can be treated.

I wish you the best of luck.

* If I were told that WWII was conducted in secret,                 *
* that all but a handful of documents had been destroyed,           *
* that the remaining documents were all in code words,              *
* that the bodies had all been cremated and the ashes vanished,     *
* and that it took a court to establish that it had even occurred,  *
* damned right I would be skeptical.                                *

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HTML Rae West 7 May 2000. With permission of Matt Giwer .