Anti-semitism is raging across the West. That at least is the impression
from newspaper headlines all over Europe: Jews stabbed in Belgium, Jewish
cemeteries daubed with graffiti, a pipe bomb injuring several Jewish students
in a Dusseldorf station.
Not only that, but European Jews today speak of an increasingly hostile
media and intellectual climate. After all, according to a recent EU survey,
many Europeans thought Israel (and America) the most significant dangers
to world peace.
Of course, most observers would agree that the current Middle Eastern
conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has catalysed matters. It has
placed anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism firmly onto the centre stage once
again long after we thought them buried with Hitlers ashes.
For some people the ardent Holocaust deniers (or historical
revisionists as they like to see themselves) now is the perfect
opportunity to insinuate their views into the wider discourse. I know:
I spent six years living and moving amongst such folk for my book Homeland:
Into a World of Hate, a journey into the world of the extreme
For a long time such fascists and neo-fascists have talked about The
Jewish Problem. And during my own travels, I witnessed this hatred
of the Jews as the ideological glue which binds together many
far-right organisations, as well as links them to a wider network of other
militants. Just look at the internet for shared Zionist conspiracies
between neo-nazis and Muslims about 9/11. Ive heard such stories
many, many times.
Almost every single leader of each extreme right party I met had comments
to make about one world governments, the fabled East
Coast [of America] or the power of financiers running
the world today. I met Pat Buchanan, failed presidential candidate for
the Reform Party, and listened to his talk of Israel draining Americas
coffers. Then I was invited to a meeting of right-wing Holocaust revisionists
and Islamic militants in Beirut discussing revisionist issues. It was
organised under the auspices of the LA-based Institute
for Historical Review (IHR), a major force in the Revisionist
Here in England, I met many times with Nick Griffin, leader of the British
National Party (BNP), a far-right group which now holds 21 local
council seats and has aspirations for national and European parliament.
Though he now denies anti-Semitism has any relevance to the electorate,
Griffin wrote a booklet called Who are the Mindbenders?, in which he described
Jewish influence over the British media. But he also attempted to deny
the Holocaust, using the description the Holohoax.
He wrote: I am well aware that the orthodox opinion is that six
million Jews were gassed and cremated
Orthodox opinion also once
held that the earth is flat
I have reached the conclusion that the
extermination tale is a mixture of Allied wartime propaganda,
extremely profitable lie, and latter witch hysteria.
Griffin saw the Holocaust as a lie propagated by Jews to make money: As
your Hollywood friend is fond of remarking, theres no business
like Shoah business. For these anti-Semitic rants, he received
a two year suspended jail sentence for inciting racial hatred.
Travelling Griffins network of contacts in the USA, I encountered
John Tiffany, a long-haired Celtic fanatic in his mid-50s and self-educated
historian. He edited the Barnes
Review magazine. The Barnes Review is one of the bibles
of the Revisionist movement. For many years it has been controlled behind
the scenes by Willis Carto, a notorious figure on the far right and founder
of the Liberty Lobby pressure group.
The Barnes Review not only publishes magazines, it also organises
various conferences and it was at one of these that I met Tiffany. I listened
to a lecture by the infamous Fred Leuchter, who claimed to have proven
there were no gas chambers, and met the smart-dressed Germar Rudolph,
who was wanted in Germany (having been sentenced in absentia to 14 months
for Holocaust denial).
The Barnes Review mission statement says: TBR aims to tell you
the truththe whole truth about historythings you need to know
to figure out how things got so screwed upand why. Its a good
investment in your familys future. No other history publication
in America can truthfully say that.
A nervous, mumbling speaker, Tiffany explained: Were oriented
towards the white race and the Germanic peoples and the Celtic peoples,
primarily. We think that every race should have pride in its heritage.
When I met him he was wearing an Irish kilt.
He then described how he had got into this field via the anti-tax movement
in the US. I thought income tax was unconstitutional, Marxist and
so forth, and for various reasons did not apply to the working American.
Later he added by way of explanation: I have a compulsion, ah, to
correct things that I see wrong in writing. I always have my pencil out
when Im reading anything. I always mark things up.
Talking with him was a very matter-of-fact, mundane experience. He seemed
nothing other than a slightly eccentric scholar. Its a fascinating
thing history, he said, as we spoke inside the sweltering Liberty
Lobby offices. Youre always finding out new things. The great
thing about history is that it tells you how you got where you are. And
also we can learn from the mistakes of the past and try not to repeat
them in the future. For example, why did we have World War II when wed
already had World War I? Didnt we learn our lesson then?
Hu-huh, he laughed contemptuously, and rhetorically. Obviously
I asked him what historical revisionism meant. Well,
it sort of goes back to Harry Elmer Barnes, who was our patron saint,
he answered. He was the founder and our namesake, the inspiration
for our magazine. He wrote about the causes of World War I and basically
said contrary to the Establishment, it wasnt all the Germans
History is being written by the victors, so all we hear about is
the evil Germans, he felt, his voice passionate.
"A large part of our thrust is towards correcting the evil
Germans image, the German Hun, where the Establishment
not only blames them for World War I but World War II, claiming they wanted
to exterminate the Jewish people and other various peoples.
And this Jewish Holocaust thing, its become a cult in this
country in particular. We call it sometimes Holocaustiantiy,
a religion of Holocaust. An industry, Shoah business. But
it is a kind of cult, in that its become this religious dogma where
you cant really question any aspect of it or else youre considered
a heretic and should be burned at the stake. Thats what we are,
he laughed, were the heretics. We question everything: things
that appear to be illogical, untrue or contradictory.
I replied so what?. Well, were supporting the
state of Israel in the Middle East and we send them billions of dollars.
And on what basis? Apparently because were supposed to feel guilty
because of this Holocaust. Even though the United States was certainly
not involved in causing this Holocaust, if anything we rescued them from
it if there was a Holocaust. Are we supposed to feel guilty
because were white people and Germans were white people and Christians,
and were Christians in this country and therefore we should feel
guilty because were kin to the Germans, and the Germans are all
This obsession with the Second World War is something that unites many
Revisionists, from David Irving downwards. If you look at the Barnes
Review website, there are books on Nazi Germanys Jewish
soldiers, for example, or discussions of Hitler at Nuremberg (alongside
the usual conspiracy theory and ancient heritage texts). All protected
no doubt by the US constitutional right to freedom of speech.
We Gemans dont have any identity at all. We lost it after
the war, explained the soft-spoken, American-accented Horst Mahler.
I met Mahler at his house in Berlin, the day after a Mayday march by over
a thousand skinheads. Theyd been shouting Frei, Sozial, und
Nationaal! as they walked, occasionally fighting with anti-fascist
Mahler was something of an oddity. Hed been a founding member of
the left-wing terrorist group, the Red Army Faction (or Baader-Meinhof
gang). After a 10-year spell in prison for armed robbery, hed come
out, reverted to his lawyers practice, then decided to join the
Partei Deutschlands (NPD), defending it against a possible government
Whilst Mahler initially railed against the Islamicisation of the West
(and I listened to him whilst birds sang incongruously from his garden),
he swiftly turned to an attack on capitalism, claiming that the Jihad
vs McWorld struggle will be the topic of this century.
Neither capitalism nor communism, thats what we say.
It sounded very much like the old Nazi slogans of a Third Way. "It
translates as volksgemeinschaft, the community of the people,
he sought to explain.
He said that everyone now believes that the Nazis were the Devil
and who wants to give their hand to the Devil? But this will change soon.
He paused, perhaps for effect. Thats why the government wanted
to ban NPD. This social order can only be reached in the frame of a nation,
so if this is national socialism its a good thing.
A return to the Nazi era? People say national socialism was all
bad, only concentration camps, killing people, and this is national socialism,
And if you are a national socialist you are the Devil and we can beat
you. And this is untrue.
Of course, there were concentration camps, he added quickly,
there were mass killings, and this should never occur again. But
this is not the essence of national socialism. And now we are ready to
make it clear that there is a difference between the ideology or the idea,
like communism this has slaughtered much more people than the Nazis
where everywhere in the world you can discuss about communism,
whether its a good thing or bad thing, but you can never discuss
about national socialism. Why? Why the difference?
Like myself, Mahler had been on the guestlist for the IHR revisionist
conference in Beirut. He had intricate theories on how President Roosevelt
had joined the Second World War thanks to a Jewish conspiracy. He then
talked about the resistance to his ideas from the New World Order,
which is dominated by the One World power now and I guess this will change
very soon, he said, ominously. This model will be victorious
all over the world and it will start here in Germany.
One woman knows what it is like to be close to such men. She is Irene
Zundel, ex-wife of the Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, a German national
whod spent many years living in Canada. Zundel had created and run
website, a haven for far-right discussion and thinking. He is now in jail
in Canada fighting a high-profile extradition case to Germany (on charges
of inciting hatred).
Life with Ernst was always intense, and lived within the framework
of being and doing everything for The Cause said Irene.
Ernst frequently said I AM The Cause. He could not separate
himself from his mission, in any fashion, not even for a moment. It literally
was fused into his brain and being.
The atmosphere was always paranoid and conspiratorial. Ernst was
considered a threat to national security and was convinced he was constantly
watched, wiretapped, and plotted against from within and without. He recorded
or listened to all my calls with friends and family, read every letter
I wrote or received. He even had hidden cameras installed all over the
common areas employees worked and socialised in. Naturally, all his woes
were caused by the Jews, their plots against him, and their decades long
persecution of him.
But that wasn't all that drove him! You see, Ernst was born in 1939,
and was six years old when the war ended. He suffered years of privation
because of World War II and its aftermath. He was so constantly furious
that Germany had lost her former glory, vast territory, and reputation,
and had become known as a nation known for genocide of the Jews, led by
a fanatical dictator.
In a nutshell, Ernst wants to punish all the nations that, as he
puts it, bombed Germany into the Stone Age and forced his
Motherland to pay billions in reparations to the despised Jews. He wants
to restore the reputation of Adolf Hitler, and usher in a revival of National
Socialism. Everything he says, writes, broadcasts, and does in his personal
life is geared towards accomplishing those goals.
Such are the views and world beliefs of the men and they are nearly
always men trying to capitalise on the pain of the Middle East
today. Never again, the world once said. That hope now looks increasingly
This story was commissioned for New
Internationalist magazine© 2004
You can buy this article, and seek new
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