The cartoons and the camel in the room

Dear Ms. Mercer,


In your article, “The cartoons and the camel in the room,” you write:

“The Bill of Rights protects speech that’s untrue, too. Holocaust deniers have every right to speak their misguided minds with impunity.”

This is incorrect on several counts.

First, it mislabels Holocaust revisionists as “deniers.” Second, it creates the false association between Holocaust “deniers” and lies. Third, it creates the false impression that there are no penalties for calling for discussion and debate about demonstrably false claims made about the Holocaust.

Ernst Zundel and Germar Rudolf were each born in Germany. Each had moved to the United States. Each had married a U.S. citizen. However, each is also a Holocaust revisionist, and so it was that each was seized on one pretext or another by agents of the U.S. government, and deported to Germany. Germany also claims to have freedom of speech for all, yet Zundel and Rudolf languish in jail for their thought crimes.

If you think I’m being hysterical, I have a proposal for you. On your next trip to Europe or Israel, hold a press conference and say that you want a thorough re-evaluation of Holocaust extermination claims, because you think that 1 million died at Auschwitz, not the four million claimed for decades, and you think that 78,000 died at Majdanek and not the 1.5 million claimed for decades. Say also that you want forensic scientists and researchers to establish once and for all where the Nazi gas chambers were, how they were designed and constructed, and how operated.

Then you can sit back and wonder if you, like British author David Irving, won’t be jailed for your utterances. You see, the Auschwitz museum has acknowledged the lower death toll at Auschwitz/Birkenau, and the fact that the room shown to tourists as a gas chamber at Auschwitz is a post-war “reconstruction.” However, if you are labeled a Holocaust revisionist, and you echo these facts, you can and will be fined and/or imprisoned.

Think this is a bad example because Irving is British? Then I offer the example of American execution technology expert Fred Leuchter, who was arrested and jailed in Germany for publishing his scientific findings about the Nazi gas chambers. Here in the United States, powerful anti-revisionist forces were unable to jail him, but they made certain his life and livelihood were demolished.

That’s not impunity, as far as I’m concerned.

Holocaust Historiography Project