Institute for Historical Review
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-- - Upon resuming on Thursday, October 5, 2000, at 9:32 a.m.
RESUMED: MARK WEBER
THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
Mr. Christie, please.
MR. CHRISTIE: Good morning, sir. I would like to start with the --
MR. FREIMAN: Just before we start, Mr. Christie and I did have a chance to meet earlier as had suggested. We still have not heard who the next witness will be or any description of what the testimony might be of that next witness.
MR. CHRISTIE: We provided a witness list quite some time ago on which our next witness was indicated as Dr. Tony Martin. That remains the same today. We indicated at that time what we anticipated his evidence would be, and that remains the same today.
We can advise you that we did not think Mr. Weber's evidence would be completed in the three days, since he is the one and only expert that you have allowed us to qualify. Therefore, Dr. Martin, being a teaching professor, is unable to be here this week. He will be available in November.
That was our understanding, and we were not sure whether Mr. Weber would be finished or not finished. If he were to be finished before the end of this week, we intended then and advise you now that, if that occurs, we will have to ask for an adjournment because Dr. Martin cannot be here.
I would like to introduce the book, "The Holocaust Industry" by Norman G. Finkelstein. I have some questions of Mr. Weber preliminary to that.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Freiman, please.
MR. FREIMAN: It is my understanding that one does not usually simply announce that one is introducing a book and have it introduced. If Mr. Christie is to introduce this book into evidence, there are certain formalities that are necessary. He has to establish what it is and what its relevance might be before it is admitted as evidence.
MR. CHRISTIE: For a moment there Mr. Freiman made me think that I had not said what I have now confirmed that I did say, and that was that I intended to introduce this book. I am going to ask Mr. Weber some questions prior to that, if that is my entitlement.
THE CHAIRPERSON: You are going to attempt to form a basis under which the book may be introduced. Proceed.
MR. CHRISTIE: Thank you.
Q.Mr. Weber, in Holocaust revisionism, I have been many times told by prosecutors that the sting of Holocaust revisionism is its allegation of exploitation, manipulation, exaggeration and deceit by something called a Holocaust lobby and that that implies and exposes Jews to hatred or contempt.
Is the theme of alleging that the Holocaust is used for political purposes, is exploited, is exaggerated, is manipulated, a theme consistent with Holocaust revisionism?
A.It is a theme consistent with Holocaust revisionism, that the Holocaust story or this chapter of history has been and still is exploited, has been made a political tool of society, that it is used to justify or excuse policies by the State of Israel, that is helps organized Jewry in United States and in Europe and so forth. That has been a consistent theme of many revisionists, including myself, over the years. It is a theme that finds an increasing support and echo among many other writers just in the last two years since we last met in this Hearing.
Q.Are you familiar with the book, "Did Six Million Really Die?" -- I mean the Harwood edition -- that was the occasion for the first and second Zündel trials?
A.Yes, I am.
Q.Does that theme find a place within that book?
A.Yes, it does.
Q.Perhaps to get to the point, I believe it is in the materials of the Complainants, if I am not mistaken. I will try to refer to that specifically. Actually, it is Exhibit HR-2, tab 1, page 5. I suppose we could refer to the Introduction, the whole first page.
A.Yes, I see that.
Q.If I could summarize that from having a bit of knowledge about it, would you say that it -- and I am not leading you here but, if anyone objects, that's fine. Would you say that it attributes to those who promote the Holocaust story political motives?
A.At least in part, yes.
Q.Is that a theme that is consistent with the larger field of Holocaust revisionism?
A.Yes, it is.
Q.I was going to refer specifically to part of it -- and I know you don't have a copy with you. I will try to read what I am interested in asking you about. Under "Discouragement of Nationalism":
"In terms of political blackmail, however, the allegation that Six Million Jews died during the Second World War has much more far-reaching implications for the people of Britain and Europe than simply the advantages it has gained for the Jewish nation. And here one comes to the crux of the question: Why the Big Lie? What is its purpose? In the first place, it has been used quite unscrupulously to discourage any form of nationalism. Should the people of Britain or any other European country attempt to assert their patriotism and preserve their national integrity in an age when the very existence of nation-states is threatened, they are immediately branded as 'neo-Nazis'. Because, of course, Nazism was nationalism, and we all know what happened then - Six Million Jews were exterminated! So long as the myth is perpetuated, peoples everywhere will remain in bondage to it; the need for international tolerance and understanding will be hammered home by the United Nations until nationhood itself, the very guarantee of freedom, is abolished."
Is that theme expressed in other aspects of and throughout Holocaust revisionism or is it not?
A.That is a more extreme or a more unusual formulation of a theme that is generally made -- that is, the exploitation of the Holocaust story for specific uses. This booklet emphasizes one aspect of it that I don't know is very widely emphasized among Holocaust revisionism. This particular point that he is making is that it is used to intimidate or suppress nationalism among people other than Jews.
A more general theme is that the Holocaust story is exploited and used in other ways. This is one aspect of it, and it represents, I suppose, the particular views of the author of this booklet. It is a theme that is touched on also in other complained-of documents.
There are many ways in which the Holocaust story, revisionists believe, is exploited. This is just one of them. It is not one that is emphasized very strongly by me particularly, but I think it has legitimacy to it.
Q.The previous paragraph to that states:
"So far as the Jewish people themselves are concerned, the deception has been an incalculable benefit. Every conceivable race and nationality had its share of suffering in the Second World War, but none has so successfully elaborated it and turned it to such great advantage. The alleged extent of their persecution quickly aroused sympathy for the Jewish national homeland they had sought for so long; after the War the British Government did little to prevent Jewish emigration to Palestine which they had declared illegal, and it was not long afterwards that the Zionists wrested from the Government the land of Palestine and created their haven from persecution, the State of Israel. Indeed, it is a remarkable fact that the Jewish people emerged from the Second World War as nothing less than a triumphant minority. Dr. Max Nussbaum, the former chief rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin, stated on April 11, 1953: 'The position the Jewish people occupy today in the world - despite the enormous losses - is ten times stronger than what it was twenty years ago.' It should be added, if one is to be honest, that this strength has been much consolidated financially by the supposed massacre of the Six Million, undoubtedly the most profitable atrocity allegation of all time. To date, the staggering figure of six thousand million pounds has been paid out in compensation by the Federal Government of West Germany, mostly to the State of Israel (which did not even exist during the Second World War), as well as to individual Jewish claimants."
Is that a theme or a series of statements that finds resonance in the larger body of Holocaust revisionist writings?
A.Yes, with this qualification. On a few occasions this author expresses himself more stridently perhaps than most revisionists would. Generally, the theme is one that not only revisionists have stressed, but which has been stressed by many others.
I think also he has exaggerated, certainly for that time period, the amount of money in reparations that the German government had paid to Israel and world Jewry at that time. The amount of money in reparations that Germany has paid up to the present is along the order of $62 billion to $63 billion U.S. Of course, it continues and it is supposed to go on well into this new century. I think it is higher than the amount given there
Q.It is higher than the amount there?
A.No, I think the amount given in that quote is --
Q.Six thousand million pounds would be six billion pounds.
A.Maybe it is correct, but it struck me that it may be too high.
The point is that there is no question; it is almost a truism that has been made by so many people, not only in the revisionist community but elsewhere, that Israel --
THE CHAIRPERSON: Just a moment, please.
MR. CHRISTIE: You are not allowed to say "elsewhere."
MR. FREIMAN: I have no difficulty, given the Tribunal's ruling, with Mr. Weber commenting on whether certain statements find resonance in what he considers to be the revisionist community. That is what he has been called for.
I do have difficulty with him interpreting what others say and offering an expert view as to the relationship to people outside the revisionist community as he understands it.
MR. CHRISTIE: The words were "but "elsewhere." That is the objection. I take it that, if he had only said what is within the Holocaust revisionist community, that would not have been objectionable, but he said "but elsewhere." I think the witness now understands that he can't say anything about anything outside the revisionist community.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Now that he understands, we can proceed.
MR. CHRISTIE: It is your ruling, too, I take it.
THE CHAIRPERSON: We don't allow him to go beyond the area of expertise which has been accorded to him, and you understand that and I believe the witness understands it.
MR. CHRISTIE: Oh, yes. One other thing to note is that revisionist community members might be able to observe statements made in other parts of society that are identical to their own. That, in effect, is what I would like to do when I move to the positions taken in the book of Norman G. Finkelstein because, of course, he is not a revisionist. If an objection is going to be made to every single time a revisionist finds any statement outside of his or her community that supports their position, of course the objection should be made to everything in society which would be context. I hope that is not going to be the case, but I suspect it will be.
THE CHAIRPERSON: The question is whether he drifts beyond the area of his expertise. We will just have to see what areas you go into which may offend the ruling by this Tribunal in that regard.
Q.Would you turn to HR-2, page 32.
A.I have it.
MEMBER DEVINS: Mr. Christie, what tab are you on?
MR. CHRISTIE: Tab 1.
MEMBER DEVINS: Thank you.
Q.Under the heading "Enormous Fraud" -- to give you an indication of where that is, we have to go to the end of the publication and the beginning of the "Comments" and turn one page back, and it has the heading "Enormous Fraud."
THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you referring to the second-last page in tab 1?
MR. CHRISTIE: The trouble with that is that there are a number of comments at the end of tab 1 which are not part of the original publication. This is an updated version based on the corrections in the second trial. If you go to the end of tab 1 and count back, it would be 10 pages back. At the bottom of that page we have words in bold print, "Enormous Fraud."
In this regard it states:
"ENORMOUS FRAUD Of great concern to Professor Rassinier is the way in which the extermination legend is deliberately exploited for political and financial advantage, and in this he finds Israel and the Soviet Union to be in concert. He notes how, after 1950, an avalanche of fabricated extermination literature appeared under the stamp of two organisations, so remarkably synchronised in their activities that one might well believe them to have been contrived in partnership. One was the 'Committee for the Investigation of War Crimes and Criminals' established under Communist auspices at Warsaw, and the other, the "World Centre of Contemporary Jewish Documentation' at Paris and Tel-Aviv. Their publications seem to appear at favourable moments in the political climate, and for the Soviet Union their purpose is simply to maintain the threat of Nazism as a manoeuvre to divert attention from their own activities. As for Israel, Rassinier sees the myth of the Six Million as inspired by a purely material problem. In Le Drame des Juifs européen (P. 31, 39), he writes: '...It is simply a question of justifying by a proportionate number of corpses the enormous subsidies which Germany has been paying annually since the end of the war to the State of Israel by way of reparation for injuries which moreover she cannot be held to have caused her either morally or legally, since there was no State of Israel at the time the alleged deeds took place; thus it is a purely and contemptibly material problem. 'Perhaps I may be allowed to recall here that the State of Israel was only founded in May 1948 and that the Jews were nationals of all states with the exception of Israel, in order to underline the dimensions of a fraud which defies description in any language; on the one hand Germany pays to Israel sums which are calculated on six million dead, and on the other, since at least four-fifths of these six million were decidedly alive at the end of the war, she is paying substantial sums by way of reparation to the victims of Hitler's Germany to those who are still alive in countries all over the world other than Israel and to the rightful claimants of those who have since deceased, which means that for the former (i.e. the six million), or in other words, for the vast majority, she is paying twice.'"
Is that a theme consistent with Holocaust revisionist writing?
A.It is a theme that is consistent, with some qualifications. There is a few factual errors or misstatements in this section. He expresses himself, I think, a bit overstatedly. Nevertheless, yes, it is a theme that is consistent and has been consistent among Holocaust revisionists for quite a long time.
Q.Are you familiar with the work "The Holocaust Industry" by Norman Finkelstein?
A.Yes, I am.
Q.Is part of the literature normally studied by Holocaust revisionists in contemporary society to see how Holocaust issues are being dealt with?
A.Yes, and I would add something more to that. Contrary to what you said earlier, when you made the statement that Norman Finkelstein is not a Holocaust revisionist, I think, at least arguably, he is a Holocaust revisionist. He deals with the Holocaust and he deals with it in a critical and skeptical way.
He has been denounced as a Holocaust revisionist, and I think, at least arguably, he is a member of the Holocaust revisionist community.
Q.In regard to that, have you studied the work that he published called "The Holocaust Industry?"
A.Yes, I have.
Q.In it, in a general sense, do you find words as harsh, harsher or less harsh than those used by Holocaust revisionists to describe the exploitation of the Holocaust?
MR. FREIMAN: I have to object to that question.
Even on its face, it is a silly question. Mr. Weber has just said that he regards the author of that book as a Holocaust revisionist, and now he is being asked whether the words there are as harsh, harsher or less harsh than Holocaust revisionists'. It is a silly question. It goes nowhere, and it underlines the difficulty in this entire line of questioning.
The witness is read three paragraphs. He is asked whether a certain theme resonates, with no specification as to what the theme is, what the resonation is. The witness has earlier said that revisionists encompass a broad band of people of heterogeneous views. He is now being asked to relate different views to something called revisionism. It is a mess, Members of the Tribunal, and it is indicative of how ill-conceived the entire line of questioning is.
If Mr. Christie wants to ask Mr. Weber whether certain themes resonate in his view of revisionism, that is fine. He can define the theme and ask a question. He can ask Mr. Weber whether Mr. Weber accepts certain propositions or paragraphs as consistent with Mr. Weber's work. He can answer that question.
When he asks these vague questions about themes in 14 paragraphs being consistent with something else, when the witness and the questioner can't agree on what the terms themselves mean, he is wasting our time.
THE CHAIRPERSON: The two passages that he read, I think, are being advanced as themes that resonate in that community. Is that not the purpose of it, for what it is worth? We have received that, and I suppose what Mr. Christie is doing now is offering another theme or asking what this particular author feels about this particular theme.
MR. FREIMAN: If he did that, that would be fine. What he has asked is: Does Mr. Weber find in the works of this author statements that are as harsh, harsher or less harsh than those found in revisionism? I simply point out that we have already had the evidence that the witness' concept of revisionism includes the author. He is asking whether the author is expressing words that are as harsh, harsher or less harsh than the author himself has expressed. It's a nonsensical question.
THE CHAIRPERSON: The weight of the question and the answer that he might receive may be hard for me to perceive at this point. In the interests of getting on with it, I am going to allow him to continue.
Mr Fromm, please.
MR. FROMM: Mr. Chairman, I think Mr. Weber indicated that a school called Holocaust revisionism is not a soap opera where people are either black or white. There are contexts and there are degrees. I think, in answer to previous questions, he has indicated that some people -- for instance, the author of "Did Six Million Really Die?" -- make more extreme statements than certain other people.
The last question was perfectly legitimate in trying to assist the Tribunal in seeing the degrees of certain views and also degrees in vehemence of expression. I think that is a very legitimate line of inquiry to inform the Tribunal of the social context.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr. Christie, please.
Q.I would now like to ask you to compare the text in the complained-of document in terms of its content with what you have referred to as Holocaust writing and Holocaust revisionism of Norman Finkelstein.
MR. FREIMAN: I regret that I have to rise again -- and I apologize to the Tribunal. This is not the way that I would prefer to have the proceedings conducted.
This is clearly not the proper way to proceed. If Mr. Christie wants to ask whether a particular paragraph that he identifies in this book finds resonance in the revisionist community as the witness understands it, that is a plausible question and it is not objectionable. If he is going to be asked to do an explication of the text or to analyze and compare and give his opinion as to whether this author says the same thing as an author in the documents complained of, it is well beyond his scope of expertise and it is well beyond the scope of the evidence that he has been qualified to testify about.
If Mr. Christie simply wants to point out that certain passages in certain texts are, in his view, similar to the words complained of, that is argument. He can make that submission in argument. It is a question of meaning. You are entitled to draw your own conclusions. If Mr. Weber had some qualifications to assist in how meaning is conveyed, in the areas of expertise that Dr. Prideaux displayed, he could give expert evidence that would assist you in understanding one text or the other. He has no such qualification. He cannot assist you in understanding what Mr. Finkelstein's text means. It is for you to decide. He cannot assist you in deciding whether Mr. Finkelstein would or would not agree with what is in the documents complained of.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Freiman, the texts that have just been read from HR-2 contain a certain theme. It seems to me that he can ask this witness about his familiarity with this work by Mr. Finkelstein and ask him, from his familiarity with that work, whether a similar theme is pursued and describe, perhaps comparatively, whether that theme is varied in some way.
MR. FREIMAN: In my respectful submission, that is beyond his expertise. Of course, the Tribunal will rule as it rules.
He is not competent to do an analysis of Mr. Finkelstein's text and to give expert evidence on the basis of anything for which he has been qualified as to whether the words complained of -- if he said that the theme finds resonance in the revisionist community, that is not objectionable. He cannot go from there to an analysis of what Mr. Finkelstein says and as to whether what Mr. Finkelstein says is the same as the words complained of. It is simply not within his expertise.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Because our ruling on this may affect the manner in which Mr. Christie intends to proceed, I will hear from any other counsel who want to address the matter and then from Mr. Christie. Then my colleague and I will recess for a moment to consider our position.
Any other counsel opposing the matter...?
Mr. Christie, please.
MR. CHRISTIE: I think you understand what I am trying to get at, and I will leave it to you to decide what you are going to permit.
-- - Short Recess at 10:05 a.m.
-- - Upon resuming at 10:17 a.m.
THE CHAIRPERSON: This witness is asked to comment on a certain published work by Norman Finkelstein, entitled "The Holocaust Industry" and is further asked to express an opinion, as we understand it, whether that work, comparatively speaking, is related in some manner to the passages just read from HR-2.
This witness is allowed to give evidence about the community of which he is a part and to speak about his experience and perspectives as a member of the revisionist community and of the context in which the community functions.
He is not an expert in comparative text or historical analysis. In the present instance, therefore, his evidence is limited to describing how the subject work by Mr. Finkelstein is regarded in the revisionist community.
Q.Could we look at the book, "The Holocaust Industry" by Norman G. Finkelstein.
I will ask you one other question. How widely distributed and published is this book, to your knowledge?
A.To my knowledge, it is very widely distributed. According to a recent article in one newspaper, 20,000 copies have so far been sold as of about four weeks ago. Editions are set for publication in, I think, six foreign languages. It is widely available both in Canada and in United States in English and in Britain. The book has been reviewed in every major British newspaper. The author has been interviewed on the BBC. Interviews with him have appeared in a number of German newspapers. The book has been widely discussed in Dutch, Swiss and German press, and it has received a review in the New York Times Book Review section, albeit a very hostile one, which is probably the première and most influential book review periodical in the United States.
THE CHAIRPERSON: What is the date of publication?
THE WITNESS: July 2000.
MR. CHRISTIE: If it please the Tribunal, I would like to ask that it be marked as an exhibit. What I intend to do is follow your direction respecting any of its content. If it would be possible to mark that, it would be appreciated.
THE REGISTRAR: The booklet entitled "The Holocaust Industry" by Norman G. Finkelstein will be filed as Respondent's Exhibit R-42.
EXHIBIT NO. R-42: Booklet entitled "The Holocaust Industry" by Norman G. Finkelstein
Q.Do you have a copy in front of you?
A.Yes, I do.
Q.I am going to read a few passages and move quickly through the book, and ask you specifically with regard to each passage: Does the revisionist community make this same point or have Holocaust revisionists made similar or identical arguments? I will endeavour on every point not to speak about any comparison except to say that he may say, "This is similar to or identical with what Holocaust revisionists say." Is there any objection to that?
THE CHAIRPERSON: Proceed within the Holocaust community in a certain manner.
MR. FREIMAN: The revisionist community.
THE CHAIRPERSON: We have to take Mr. Freiman's instruction on exactly what it is he thinks we should ask --
THE CHAIRPERSON: We have already ruled on what you can ask. Endeavour to understand what we have said and follow what our ruling is.
MR. CHRISTIE: I do endeavour.
"This book is both an anatomy and an indictment of the Holocaust industry."
Farther down he goes on to say:
"Indeed, The Holocaust has proven to be an indispensable ideological weapon. Through its deployment, one of the world's most formidable military powers, with a horrendous human rights record, has cast itself as a 'victim' state, and the most successful ethnic group in the United States has likewise acquired victim status. Considerable dividends accrue from this specious victimhood -- in particular, immunity to criticism, however justified."
Is this a statement consistent with the revisionist view of the Holocaust?
A.Yes, it is. It is consistent with points made in the complained of documents, including a leaflet that I wrote.
THE CHAIRPERSON: You have answered the question. He is going on to do a comparative analysis. He is qualified to answer the question in the manner that he is asked by saying "yes" to your proposition.
MR. CHRISTIE: Sir, he is referring to tab 32 which is part of the complained of documents that he wrote. That is all he said.
THE CHAIRPERSON: He has answered the question. Next question.
Q.Turning to page 7 of the Introduction, halfway down in the second paragraph, beginning with the words on the right-hand side:
"As the rendering of The Holocaust assumed ever more absurd forms, my mother liked to quote (with intentional irony) Henry Ford: 'History is bunk.' The tales of 'Holocaust survivors' - all concentration camp inmates, all heroes of the resistance - were a special source of wry amusement in my home. Long ago John Stuart Mill recognized that truths not subject to continual challenge eventually 'cease to have the effect of truth by being exaggerated into falsehood.'
My parents often wondered why I would grow so indignant at the falsification and exploitation of the Nazi genocide. The most obvious answer is that it has been used to justify criminal policies of the Israeli state and US support for these policies. There is a personal motive as well. I do care about the memory of my family's persecution. The current campaign of the Holocaust industry to extort money from Europe in the name of 'needy Holocaust victims' has shrunk the moral stature of their martyrdom to that of a Monte Carlo casino. Even apart from these concerns, however, I remain convinced that it is important to preserve -- to fight for -- the integrity of the historical record."
Have revisionists made similar arguments to those expressed or even identical arguments to these?
A.Yes, they have, although I don't know if any revisionist has expressed himself in this case quite as strongly as Norman Finkelstein does. Yes, these are points that have been made by many revisionists over the decades, including myself.
Q.In the Harwood article are those same points made?
A.There is a similarity of theme, of course, although he is emphasizing a different aspect of this than does Harwood.
Q.Farther down that page:
"Most of the output is worthless, a tribute not to Jewish suffering but to Jewish aggrandizement."
That is referring to too many public and private resources that have been invested in memorializing the Nazi genocide.
Have Holocaust revisionists made this point?
A.Yes. Not only have Holocaust revisionists made this point, but it has been made by --
Q.You are not allowed to say anything about general society.
MR. FREIMAN: I sat thinking that perhaps we were simply getting off to a bad start and that the question would be asked and answered in the way that the Tribunal has directed. In my respectful submission, it simply ignores what the Tribunal has said.
Again, Mr. Christie can put any statement he likes to Mr. Weber and ask how it resonates in the community. That is quite different from -- and this is not a semantic quibble. It is quite different from saying: Is this the same as Holocaust revisionists write? To answer that statement requires an ability to analyze the text and to compare the two texts, which is exactly what Mr. Weber has tried to do in the last two answers.
If he wants to say that, yes, these themes resonate within the revisionist community, are accepted within the revisionist community, that is fine. If he goes on to try to draw the equivalency and say, "This is the same as that," or "I have said the same thing," it is beyond his expertise and we will find ourselves going line by line through what Mr. Christie is leading and asking Mr. Weber to find the words somewhere else. It is not a useful devotion of our time.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Christie, I think that is a fair statement of what our ruling was and an area which is not exactly free of difficulty. I am going to ask you to observe our ruling in that regard, which requires some delicacy on your part. I would appreciate it if you would direct your mind to that.
Ultimately, to the extent that it may be relevant and subject to any further expert evidence that may emerge in this Hearing, my colleague and I will have to examine the texts that are referred to and derive whatever conclusions we are required to make concerning a comparative analysis of those texts.
Would you proceed, please.
MR. CHRISTIE: I am really at a loss now. At one point Mr. Freiman said that it is beyond his expertise to say, "That is exactly what I have written." It is certainly not beyond his expertise if he is stating a fact, particularly when what this witness has written is in the complained of materials for you to look at. Am I to take all of what Mr. Freiman said as part of your ruling? You said, "Mr. Freiman has succinctly expressed our ruling," so now I am very confused.
THE CHAIRPERSON: What I intended to say was that, to the extent that he acknowledged what the ruling of the Tribunal was, I understood that it was fairly repeated. I don't think I have to repeat it for you. My colleague and I gave it some thought. I can read it again to you, if you wish.
I will have to hold you to observing what the ruling is.
MEMBER DEVINS: Mr. Christie, it is always open to you in final argument to say, "Here are the texts. These are virtually identical. There is no difference in meaning or intent or anything else." You can put that to us in argument, and obviously we will consider those arguments.
MR. CHRISTIE: Every time I choose a word that Mr. Freiman doesn't agree with, such as "Do Holocaust revisionists make this same point?" I am faced with the objection, "You can't say that because that is a comparison. You can ask whether this resonates within the Holocaust community," which also requires a comparison.
Obviously, a person who is capable of reading and understanding the English language is going to be able to say, "That is a comment with which other people for whom I speak as an expert agree." It inherently requires comparison. How can we avoid every time the expert for anybody is looking at a text and it contains a substantive statement of fact or even opinion -- surely it is part of the function of the human mind to conceive of what that meaning is and to be capable of comparing it with another meaning, but Mr. Freiman objects to that. I don't know how he objects because the Tribunal itself has said that he can give the degree to which it consists with or agrees with the revisionist position.
I can't see how the ruling is compatible with the argument. If there is to be no comparison, I can't see how I can comply with the ruling.
I took down the ruling as carefully as I could. I can't take it down verbatim. I know it sounds ridiculous, but please help me with it again.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Maybe I should just read it again.
MR. CHRISTIE: Please. I will have it taken down verbatim and we will get every single word, and we will follow it with absolute fidelity. Please go slowly for us idiots, and we will write it down.
THE CHAIRPERSON: This witness is asked to comment on a certain published work by the author Norman Finkelstein, entitled "The Holocaust Industry" and from there express an opinion whether that work, comparatively speaking, is related in some manner to the passages just read from HR-2.
This witness is allowed to give evidence about the revisionist community and his experiences and perspectives as a member of that community and of the context in which the community operates.
He is not an expert in comparing text or historical analyses. In the present circumstances, therefore, his evidence is limited to describing how the Finkelstein work is regarded in the revisionist community.
MR. FREIMAN: Just for Mr. Christie's benefit --
MR. CHRISTIE: I don't need any assistance. If there is an objection, fine, but really I don't need any assistance.
THE CHAIRPERSON: I will allow him to address the Tribunal as anybody can do who is represented here.
MR. FREIMAN: I rise simply to avoid having to get up and make the same repetitive objection over and over again. I intend not to rise unless the witness transgresses over the ruling in my understanding of it. It will always be the same objection.
If the witness is saying that he agrees with a certain statement, that is not objectionable. If the witness says, "Revisionists agree, in my view, with that statement," that is not objectionable. If he says, "I said the same thing in these documents," that is objectionable, or "Mr. Faurisson said the same thing in the complained of documents." That is objectionable because that calls for an analysis of the two documents and a comparison.
The Tribunal can take it that, unless I say otherwise, if I rise to object, it is simply on that basis.
MR. CHRISTIE: I think I understood what the Tribunal said, but I certainly don't understand what Mr. Freiman is saying. It only adds to the confusion, as far as I am concerned. I won't accept that the Tribunal's words are necessarily Mr. Freiman's or vice versa.
THE CHAIRPERSON: You will have to take the Tribunal's ruling and work with it.
MR. CHRISTIE: I am going to do that.
Q.At page 37, at the top of the page:
"Moving aggressively to defend their corporate and class interests, Jewish elites branded all opposition to their new conservative policies anti-Semitic."
How does the Holocaust community regard that statement?
A.It is a difficult question to answer because, although I can speak in a sense about my knowledge of the Holocaust community, I can't speak collectively for the Holocaust community which is an amorphous thing. I can speak for myself; I can speak for those I am more intimately familiar with, and I can draw comparisons from what I have written maybe, but it is very difficult for me to speak for what the entire community has to say. I can't take a poll of the entire community.
I can say that this statement, to use a term we have used before, resonates with themes that other revisionists have made, including, I hope I can say, myself.
THE CHAIRPERSON: You just have, so we will go to the next question.
THE WITNESS: I hope it is proper.
To answer your question more specifically, one of the important points here is that Finkelstein and other revisionists, including myself, have made over and over a distinction between, as Mr. Finkelstein does, Jewish elites and the Jews or Jews as a collective or all Jews.
When Mr. Finkelstein writes this, just as other revisionists have written and as I have written, this does not mean that this is an indictment against all Jews. It is a criticism --
THE CHAIRPERSON: You have answered the question, Mr. Weber. You are not here as a polemicist for the revisionist community. You are here to answer specific questions within the area of expertise.
Q.Does the Holocaust community generally endeavour and express the distinction between Holocaustomania and all Jews?
A.That is an odd question.
Q.Let's withdraw it and move on.
Going down page 37:
"Invoking The Holocaust was therefore a ploy to delegitimize all criticism of Jews: such criticism could only spring from pathological hatred."
Perhaps, to put it in context, we should read the previous two lines -- let's read that whole paragraph:
"In this ideological offensive, The Holocaust came to play a critical role. Most obviously, evoking historic persecution deflected present-day criticism. Jews could even gesture to the 'quota system' from which they suffered in the past as a pretext for opposing affirmative action programs. Beyond this, however, the Holocaust framework apprehended anti-Semitism as a strictly irrational Gentile loathing of Jews. It precluded the possibility that animus toward Jews might be grounded in a real conflict of interests (more on this later). Invoking The Holocaust was therefore a ploy to delegitimize all criticism of Jews: such criticism could only spring from pathological hatred."
Is that a theme that is expressed by the Holocaust revisionist community?
A.That statement is one that has been echoed by many other revisionists.
Q.Having read the Harwood text, is it echoed there?
MR. FREIMAN: I have the same objection.
THE CHAIRPERSON: You are doing comparatives again. You can talk about whether this statement resonates within the community.
MR. CHRISTIE: Thank you.
Q.Chapter 2, page 39, "Hoaxers, Hucksters, and History" -- have you read this chapter?
A.Yes, I have.
Q.I am going to read you a few portions of it. It refers to Elie Wiesel. Is that a person about whom Holocaust revisionists frequently write?
A.There have been numerous articles in the Journal of Historical Review and other revisionist writings about Elie Wiesel over the years, yes.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Where are you, Mr. Christie? At what page?
MR. CHRISTIE: I am going to start at page 50.
Q.The middle paragraph:
"The Holocaust dogma of eternal Gentile hatred has served both to justify the necessity of a Jewish state and to account for the hostility directed at Israel. The Jewish state is the only safeguard against the next (inevitable) outbreak of homicidal anti-Semitism; conversely, homicidal anti-Semitism is behind every attack or even defensive maneuver against the Jewish state. To account for criticism of Israel, fiction writer Cynthia Ozick had a ready answer: 'The world wants to wipe out the Jews...the world has always wanted to wipe out the Jews.' If all the world wants the Jews dead, truly the wonder is that they are still alive - and, unlike much of humanity, not exactly starving."
Is that a theme expressed by the general consensus of the Holocaust community?
A.I don't know if it is a general theme of a general consensus, but it is a theme that has been echoed many times in revisionist writings over the years.
Q.In what way has it been echoed? How has it been applied in the general writing of Holocaust revisionists?
A.Let me try to look at each section here. In writings published by the Institute for Historical Review, including by myself, the point has been made numerous times that one of the lessons of the Holocaust for Jews is that the Gentiles are trustworthy; that the Jews should be eternally on their watch against Gentiles; that, if a nation as civilized and as advanced as Germany was in the 1930s and 1940s could turn into a nation of murderous villains, it could happen in any country. Therefore, distrust of Gentiles is a very important duty of Jews. Therefore, the Jewish state is the great bulwark for Jews as a lesson of the Holocaust, and it should always be defended by Jews around the world. That is a point that revisionists have made that the Holocaust industry keeps emphasizing in much the same way that Finkelstein writes here.
The final point that he makes in quoting Cynthia Ozick is a piquant one that I have not seen made elsewhere, but certainly the point has been made that the Jewish community is one in the world that is not exactly starving, that it is highly successful, influential and very powerful.
Q.Is that a theme that finds resonance in Holocaust revisionist writing?
Q.Turning to page 58, I have selected another passage at the top of the page:
"A hoax cut out of whole cloth, Fragments is nevertheless the archetypal Holocaust memoir. It is set first in the concentration camps, where every guard is a crazed, sadistic monster joyfully cracking the skulls of Jewish newborns."
Is this book, "Fragments," a subject of which Holocaust revisionists have written?
A.Yes. An article appeared about a year and a half --
Q.Don't talk about specifics. Just answer in general terms about the Holocaust revisionist community.
A.Yes, it has been written about in the Holocaust revisionist community.
Q.What is the book "Fragments", to your knowledge?
A."Fragments" is the purported memoir of a Jewish concentration camp survivor as a child. It was later exposed as a hoax out of whole cloth by a Swiss man who was never even in eastern Europe; he is not even Jewish. The book nevertheless received enormous applause and awards from the Jewish community as an especially moving document of Holocaust suffering.
Q.Mr. Finkelstein says it is a hoax cut of whole cloth and that the book "Fragments" is nevertheless the archetypal Holocaust memoir.
Is it a theme or an expression generally used in the Holocaust revisionist community that these memoirs are often hoaxes?
A."These memoirs" is too broad a statement. I don't know --
Q.Holocaust memoirs. Do you know what I mean by that? The survivors' stories. Do you know what I mean by survivors' stories?
A.I was just about to answer your question.
Q.I just need to know that we understand each other.
A.I understand your question. I don't know the import behind it, but I will try to answer it based on what you said.
THE CHAIRPERSON: The question was entirely consistent, I thought, with the Tribunal's ruling, so just try to answer it.
Q.The first part of it is: When I speak of Holocaust memoirs of survivors, that is a category you are familiar with in revisionist writing, is it?
Q.Is there a general theme in revisionist writing about those types of memoirs?
A.Yes and no. When I say "yes and no," I don't want to be coy. Holocaust memoirs -- that is, memoirs of Jews who endured suffering during the Second World War -- are not treated the same as the specific memoirs of those Jewish survivors of Second World War persecution who talk about extermination.
My own experience over the years in talking with individual survivors and in reading Holocaust literature is that Jewish survivors overwhelmingly or for the most part tell the truth and are accurate when they describe their own personal experiences. My experience also, though, is that the most lurid, the most infamous statements that one can find in Holocaust literature is not what Jewish survivors have written about their own experiences but, rather, about what they have heard from others. To that extent, therefore, in the revisionist community and speaking for myself, "Fragments" is not an archetypal Holocaust memoir. It is rather not archetypal in some ways.
That would be my answer to that.
Q.In what ways is it not archetypal?
A.Because very, very few Holocaust survivors write a book as lurid, as full of graphic, horrific detail supposedly endured by the person writing the memoir. That is basically my answer.
What is unusual is that "Fragments" is a complete invention. Usually Holocaust memoirs, insofar as they are defective, are defective only in certain sections or in certain portions. The typical Holocaust memoir consists of a person describing, like Anne Frank's diary for example, how they were hiding -- forget about Anne Frank's diary -- how they were deported to a camp. They often describe the terrible conditions in the camp or in a ghetto of one kind or another. They will often say, "We heard that people were being killed," or "I lost contact with my mother and I never saw her again." That is more a typical Holocaust memoir. "After we were liberated from such and such a camp or we escaped" -- that is more typical than the Wilkomirski "Fragments" book which is really an extreme example of Holocaust literature.
In fact, it is because it is so lurid, because it is so graphic, that it received this tremendous applause when it came out from the organized Jewish community, because it is so unusual. It is not archetypal in a sense.
Q.Would you turn to the bottom of page 64:
"Replete with gross misrepresentations of source material and internal contradictions, Hitler's Willing Executioners is devoid of scholarly value."
What is the general consensus in the revisionist community about "Hitler's Willing Executioners" in relation to those words?
A.Again, general consensus is hard to say, but there has been a review of it in the Journal of Historical Review. Other revisionists have talked about it. It is considered, to put it bluntly, hate literature. It is an indictment against an entire nation. It has been exposed, I think very effectively, not only by Norman Finkelstein but by a Canadian Gentile writer as a very defective piece of scholarship.
What the revisionist community has found very important about the book, "Hitler's Willing Executioners", is the enormous applause that it received from newspapers and magazines and so forth and the laudations that its author, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, received, even though the book is widely regarded in the revisionist community both as a defective work of scholarship and as a highly polemical and even hateful book.
Q.Farther on it says:
"In A Nation on Trial, Ruth Bettina Birn and this writer documented the shoddiness of Goldhagen's enterprise. The ensuing controversy instructively illuminated the inner workings of the Holocaust industry."
Are you familiar with the book, "A Nation on Trial?"
Q.With respect to the general view of Holocaust revisionists, do they consider it a revisionist book?
Q.As such, do they place any value on the research of Goldhagen's book?
A.The research by...?
Q.By Birn and Finkelstein?
A.Yes. Speaking for myself and others I have spoken with who are revisionists, it is considered a very effective, persuasive rebuttal to "Hitler's Willing Executioners" by Goldhagen.
Q.He goes on to say that it constructively illuminates the inner workings of the Holocaust industry. Is that a term used in the revisionist community, "Holocaust industry?"
A.It has been used. I don't know how frequently, but it has been used.
THE CHAIRPERSON: We have certainly heard it here.
Q.He goes on to write:
"Birn, the world's leading authority on the archives Goldhagen consulted, first published her critical findings in the Cambridge Historical Journal. Refusing the journal's invitation for a full rebuttal, Goldhagen instead enlisted a high-powered London law firm to sue Birn and Cambridge University Press for 'many serious libels.' Demanding an apology, a retraction, and a promise from Birn that she not repeat her criticisms, Goldhagen's lawyers then threatened that 'the generation of any publicity on your part as a result of this letter would amount to a further aggravation of damages.'
Soon after this writer's equally critical findings were published in New Left Review, Metropolitan, an imprint of Henry Holt, agreed to publish both essays as a book. In a front-page story, the Forward warned that Metropolitan was 'preparing to bring out a book by Norman Finkelstein, a notorious ideological opponent of the State of Israel.' The Forward acts as the main enforcer of 'Holocaust correctness' in the United States."
There is a lot of statements there. I want to ask you, first of all, with respect to the overall impression which I might dare to summarize by suggesting that there is persecution for anyone critical of the Holocaust story, if I may summarize it that far. How would those words generally and perhaps that summary be regarded in the Holocaust community?
A.The Holocaust community and myself and other revisionists I know would find solace in these words because it comports so much with the experience that revisionists have had over and over. Very often the response to what a revisionist will write is not a measured rebuttal but, rather, an appeal to laws, courts and judicial machinery to silence revisionists.
This is a point that Finkelstein makes here that parallels the experience of many other revisionists.
I don't know if I would agree with him that the "Forward" is the main enforcer of Holocaust correctness in the United States; it is certainly an important one. That is the only quibble I would have with that statement or that other revisionists might have.
Q.On the next page he asserts another tactic or another method of dealing with any revisionist writing. He says:
"Abraham Foxman called on Holt to drop publication of the book: 'The issue ... is not whether Goldhagen's thesis is right or wrong but what is "legitimate criticism" and what goes beyond the pale."' 'Whether Goldhagen's thesis is right or wrong,' Metropolitan associate publisher Sara Bershtel replied, 'is precisely the issue.'"
How does the Holocaust community regard that analysis with regard to the issue of right and wrong?
A.Finkelstein is expressing a point here that I and other revisionists have made many times ourselves, that a person like Abraham Foxman who is one of the most powerful Jewish leaders in the world, certainly in North America, purports to define what legitimate criticism is and then tries to silence anyone who does not fall within that boundary, and is unconcerned really about what the right or wrong of a statement is, but is only concerned about whether ultimately it is useful or harmful to Jewish interests, using such disingenuous language as "legitimate criticism."
Finkelstein is making a point that many other revisionists have made and have expressed over the years.
Q.That whole page is of some interest -- and I am not going to go through every page, I assure you. There is only a few quotes I am interested in pursuing. Since the book has been given to all parties, they can all see whether it is in context or not.
Going down the page, it says:
"Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of the pro-Israel New Republic, intervened personally with Holt president Michael Naumann. 'You don't know who Finkelstein is. He's poison, he's a disgusting self-hating Jew, he's something you find under a rock.' Pronouncing Holt's decision a 'disgrace', Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress, opined, 'If they want to be garbagemen they should wear sanitation uniforms.'"
In relation to this particular type of, dare I say, attack, how does the Holocaust community regard this writing in respect of it -- that is, describing it or attempting to describe it?
A.I think you meant the Holocaust revisionist community.
Q.What did I say?
A.You said "Holocaust community."
This is a point that revisionists have made over and over as well. Particularly when a Jewish writer or a Jewish scholar stands up and makes these kinds of points, it is almost a knee-jerk reaction to hear from Jewish leaders and Jewish organizations a denunciation of such a person as a "self-hating Jew." It is astonishing that any German, for example, or any other nationality who would do a comparable thing would not be called self-hating; they would be called sensitive or humanitarian or tolerant or something like that.
This is very typical. The Institute for Historical Review has received support over the years from a number of Jews. Inevitably or almost invariably, if they are known, they are denounced as traitors to the Jewish people, as self-hating Jews, and so forth, because among Jewish leaders or organized Jewry it is especially embarrassing when these kinds of points are made by someone who is Jewish, especially in the case of Norman Finkelstein who has also been himself denounced for this book and for other writings as a self-hating Jew. It is especially embarrassing when his own parents were concentration camp survivors or were in the Warsaw ghetto.
Q.To get back to the restrictions placed upon your answer, as I have noticed various motions indicative of disapproval, could you be more concise and describe how the Finkelstein words in this text are regarded by the Holocaust community.
A.I thought I was. It is just that the Holocaust community would also agree with his stress on the role played by prominent Jewish leaders or by Jews who play an influential role in cultural life to suppress and to silence books and articles and writings that they regard as harmful to Jewish interests.
Q.At the risk of offending Mr. Freiman who has been seated casually for some time, are you familiar with the term "ad hominem argument"?
A.Yes, I am.
Q.How does the Holocaust community generally experience the term "ad hominem argument?"
A.Many times over the decades revisionists have made the point or have stressed that the most common response to revisionist arguments is not a real refutation of them but, rather, an attack on the alleged motives of the person making the points. That is an ad hominem argument -- or supposedly links that they have with others. That is part of what an ad hominem argument consists of. Revisionists regard that as one of the most frequently used methods of attack against revisionists by Jewish organizations and Jewish leaders.
Q.Finkelstein goes on to quote Naumann to say:
"'I have never experienced,' Naumann later recalled, 'a similar attempt of interested parties to publicly cast a shadow over an upcoming publication.' The prominent Israeli historian and journalist, Tom Segev, observed in Haaretz that the campaign verged on 'cultural terrorism.'"
How does the Holocaust community regard the term "cultural terrorism?"
A.I guess I don't know how to answer that.
Q.Down at the bottom of this page, it says:
"Even after the book's publication, the ad hominem assaults did not let up. Goldhagen alleged that Birn, who has made the prosecution of Nazi war criminals her life's work, was a purveyor of anti-Semitism and that I was of the opinion that Nazism's victims, including my own family, deserved to die. Goldhagen's colleagues at the Harvard Center for European Studies, Stanley Hoffmann and Charles Maier, publicly lined up behind him."
In describing those events, what would be the view or experience of the Holocaust revisionist community in respect of those experiences recounted by Dr. Finkelstein?
A.It is just an expansion of what I said earlier. It comports with and parallels the experiences that other revisionists have had when books are published. They are attacked in an ad hominem way; they are denounced, and prohibited and banned.
Q.At the top of page 68 he says:
"All the hype notwithstanding, there is no evidence that Holocaust deniers exert any more influence in the United States than the flat-earth society does. Given the nonsense churned out daily by the Holocaust industry, the wonder is that there are so few skeptics."
What would be the attitude, response or perception of the revisionist community to those words? What would be the perception of them?
A.There would be agreement. I hardly know what Mr. Finkelstein means by "Holocaust deniers."
Q.Are you a Holocaust denier?
A.No, I am not.
Q.Are you a Holocaust revisionist?
THE CHAIRPERSON: You wouldn't agree with this passage?
THE WITNESS: Yes, I would agree with the passage. I don't think there is any evidence that Holocaust deniers, whoever they may be, exert any more influence in the United States than the flat-earth society. I also agree that, given the nonsense churned out daily by the Holocaust industry, it is a wonder that there are so few skeptics. I do agree with that statement. I said that I just don't quite know what he means by "Holocaust deniers."
Q.Then he asserts:
"The motive behind the claim of widespread Holocaust denial is not hard to find. In a society saturated with The Holocaust, how else to justify yet more museums, books, curricula, films and programs than to conjure up the bogy of Holocaust denial? Thus Deborah Lipstadt's acclaimed book, Denying the Holocaust, as well as the results of an ineptly worded American Jewish Committee poll alleging pervasive Holocaust denial, were released just as the Washington Holocaust Memorial Museum opened."
What would be the perception or view taken by most Holocaust revisionists with whom you are familiar of the language "pervasive Holocaust denial"?
A.Speaking for myself and revisionists I know, we would agree, with the caveat that, although the alleged danger of Holocaust denial has certainly been cited as a justification for building museums and holding seminars and books and so forth, I do not think it is accurate to say, as implied by this question, that it is the only or even the main reason. I think the building of all these museums and the production of these films, the emphasis by groups like the Anti-Defamation League, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and so forth, is based on something far more than just simply to counter the alleged danger of Holocaust denial. There are real reasons why this campaign has grown to the monumental status it has over the last 20 years in North America and in Europe, and the alleged danger of Holocaust denial is only one of the justifications used to support this campaign.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Let me interrupt if I may. The purport of my previous question was: Do you agree that the Holocaust deniers should not exert influence in the United States any more than the flat-earth society? The subtext of that question is: Is the Holocaust denier community, if there is such a thing, separate and apart from the community that you belong to?
THE WITNESS: Yes. I don't know who Holocaust deniers are. I know it is a label applied very often to revisionists. It is applied even to Norman Finkelstein. Norman Finkelstein has been denounced as a Holocaust denier.
THE CHAIRPERSON: I wasn't asking you that. I am asking you if there is such a thing as a Holocaust denier community.
THE WITNESS: Not in the real world, no. It is simply an epithet.
THE CHAIRPERSON: It is an epithet and a figment.
THE WITNESS: Yes.
"Denying the Holocaust is an updated version of the 'new anti-Semitism tracts. To document widespread Holocaust denial, Lipstadt cites a handful of crank publications. Her pièce de résistance is Arthur Butz, a nonentity who teaches electrical engineering at Northwestern University and who published his book The Hoax of the Twentieth Century with an obscure press. Lipstadt entitles the chapter on him 'Entering the Mainstream.' Were it not for the likes of Lipstadt, no one would ever have heard of Arthur Butz."
Does the Holocaust denial/revisionist community regard Arthur Butz as a denier?
A.The term "denier" is stupid and elastic. For example, if the Holocaust is defined as the systematic murder of six million Jews, yes, I suppose I am a denier of that. So is Raul Hilberg. If the Holocaust is defined in a certain way and one disagrees with that, I suppose that makes one a denier.
It is stupid, though, because no one denies, no one that I know of contests the tremendous persecution, repression, deaths, even killings of Jews during the Second World War.
Part of the problem that we have in our society with regard to these terms "Holocaust" and "denier" is just how poorly defined and how elastic they are.
Q.Moving to page 71 Finkelstein writes:
"Not all revisionist literature - however scurrilous the politics or motivations of its practitioners - is totally useless. Lipstadt brands David Irving 'one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial' (he recently lost a libel suit in England against her for these and other assertions). But Irving, notorious as an admirer of Hitler and sympathizer with German national socialism, has nevertheless, as Gordon Craig points out, made an 'indispensable' contribution to our knowledge of World War II. Both Arno Mayer, in his important study of the Nazi holocaust, and Raul Hilberg cite Holocaust denial publications."
It seems as if Finkelstein is referring to all revisionists as deniers. Is that a fair statement? I am trying to understand his meaning when he uses the words "Holocaust denial publications." He is referring to the citations of revisionists who would not necessarily consider themselves deniers.
A.I guess we would have to ask Mr. Finkelstein. Here he talks about revisionist literature. Earlier he mentioned the deniers. Maybe he thinks that deniers and revisionists are --
Q.He is using the terms interchangeably.
A.We don't know that.
Q.He is. At the top he says "revisionist literature" and then he uses "Holocaust denial publications."
A.It is a quotation. He is quoting Lipstadt in using that term. It doesn't mean that he necessarily accepts it.
Q.No, actually farther down he says:
"Both Arno Mayer, in his important study of the Nazi holocaust, and Raul Hilberg cite Holocaust denial publications."
He uses the terms "revisionist literature" and Holocaust denial publications" interchangeably.
THE CHAIRPERSON: This illustrates how difficult comparisons sometimes are.
THE WITNESS: Yes.
Q.He then says:
"'If these people want to speak, let them,' Hilberg observes. 'It only leads those of us who do research to re-examine what we might have considered as obvious. And that's useful for us.'"
You mentioned the other day that both Mayer and Hilberg cite revisionist sources. You mentioned Rassinier and one other.
A.Dr. Butz' The Hoax of the Twentieth Century was cited.
Q.What is the position generally taken by the revisionist community on the subject of the treatment of David Irving and the treatment by Hilberg and Mayer of revisionist sources? Does it differ in any way?
A.I think Irving's importance as a historian is rather stronger than what Finkelstein believes, quoting Gordon Craig. David Irving, although he is denounced as a denier, takes views on what happened to Jews in Europe during World War II that differ markedly in many ways from, let's say, what Robert Faurisson would say. Arguments between the two of them have taken place at conferences of the Institute for Historical Review, which is as it should be.
David Irving will take positions and has even modified his positions. Sometimes I myself am a little confused about what exactly he thinks on a certain subject.
I think there is a strong consensus among revisionists that David Irving is regarded as a very important and useful historian, no matter how quirky he is at times. What Finkelstein writes, quoting Gordon Craig, is quite accurate, at least as revisionists see it.
Q.How does the revisionist community see the use by Mayer and Hilberg of Holocaust revisionist sources?
A.I should have mentioned that in answering your question. The revisionist community has been very pleased that Raul Hilberg, who is indisputably a major and important Holocaust historian, has said that revisionists play a very useful role socially in promoting greater study and stimulating greater research on these issues. As he himself says, he has even cited so-called Holocaust denial publications as well. Hilberg has made the point on a number of occasions that the entire historical process --
MR. FREIMAN: I rise because this witness is really not qualified to comment on historians.
THE WITNESS: I will try to keep that in mind.
Revisionist historians --
THE CHAIRPERSON: We will take our morning break now.
-- - Short Recess at 11:19 a.m.
-- - Upon resuming at 11:38 a.m.
Q.I am going to move on to page 78, the second paragraph:
"In the wake of Israel's appalling attacks against Lebanon in 1996, climaxing in the massacre of more than a hundred civilians at Qana, Haaretz columnist, Ari Shavit observed that Israel could act with impunity because 'we have the Anti-Defamation League ... and Yad Vashem and the Holocaust Museum.'"
How does the Holocaust revisionist community view these words, in your opinion?
A.The Holocaust revisionist community would agree with these words. This particular article by Ari Shavit in Haaretz was cited in the Journal of Historical Review. This article, in fact, is a very interesting one, not merely in the portion that has been quoted here, but elsewhere in that same article Shavit talks about how "we Jews" or Israelis "have the White House in our pocket, have the Congress in our pocket. We can carry out with impunity killings of people in Lebanon because of this power."
Q.In order to restrict ourselves to the ruling, we have to say whether that is of any interest or general knowledge in the revisionist community.
A.The revisionist community would approve that.
Q.Was that an issue that you mentioned, the extension of the article? Was it also of wide discussion in the revisionist community?
A.It was of discussion, yes. Also the revisionist community would concur with the emphasis here and the underscoring here of the powerful role that the Anti-Defamation League and Yad Vashem have in how the public at large and society at large is expected to view current events and history.
Q.In Chapter 3, under the heading "The Double Shakedown," the words begin:
"Many Jews fabricated their pasts to meet this eligibility requirement."
That is, of course, eligibility for post-war German government compensation.
"'If everyone who claims to be a survivor actually is one,' my mother used to exclaim, 'who did Hitler kill?'"
Is that a theme that finds resonance in or do Holocaust revisionists have views about those words?
A.Yes, it is a point that has been made in the revisionist community over the years.
Q.In the booklet, "Did Six Million Really Die?" it is a point that is made.
Excuse me, at some points I find -- I know exactly what the objection is going to be, but I had better wait.
MR. FREIMAN: The objection is the same as before.
MR. CHRISTIE: If it is the same as before, I am trying to relate the substance of this evidence to that which is supposedly germane, namely, the complained of documents. This witness has knowledge of "Did Six Million Really Die", as a book about which he testified as an expert in the courts before and which is a booklet well known in the revisionist community. Why wouldn't he be entitled to say, "That is the same statement that is made in 'Did Six Million Really Die?' because, first of all, it is relevant to the proceeding and, second, it is within the scope of what revisionists are familiar with?
What bizarre state of Alice in Wonderland would ever object to something so closely connected with the substance of the supposed complaint?
MR. FREIMAN: Mr. Christie apparently over the course of the break has forgotten what the ruling is. That is precisely what the ruling is about. This witness cannot opine as to the similarity between one text and another text. That is specifically what your ruling has stated.
If Mr. Christie later in the day has another expert, perhaps we can revisit the issue. Certainly if in argument he wishes to say, "You read this. Now read these words. They are the same," that is a matter of argument in an attempt to persuade you that that is the case.
This witness is not qualified to perform a comparative analysis of texts. If this witness wants to point out the exact same words and help us by finding those exact same words in one of the documents complained of, it is not a matter of expert evidence; it is a matter of fact if he can help us by doing that. If he is being asked to analyze the one text and compare it with the other, that is outside his expertise.
THE CHAIRPERSON: If the question is "How is this statement regarded in the revisionist community?", the Tribunal would be receptive to that kind of question.
MR. CHRISTIE: If that is the restriction upon the examination of the witness, what I propose to do is read the text into the record, and he knows what the question is. Each time the question is: How would the revisionist community view these words? I won't repeat the question because you know how many times I get my words mixed up. It will save me and save everybody. My examination is thus restricted, so I don't ever offend what I consider bizarre and ridiculous objections.
Q.Moving on to page 82:
"Apart from the frailties of memory, some Holocaust survivor testimony may be suspect for additional reasons. Because survivors are now revered as secular saints, one doesn't dare question them. Preposterous statements pass without comment. Elie Wiesel reminisces in his acclaimed memoir that, recently liberated from Buchenwald and only eighteen years old, 'I read The Critique of Pure Reason - don't laugh! - in Yiddish.' Leaving aside Wiesel's acknowledgment that at the time 'I was wholly ignorant of Yiddish grammar,' The Critique of Pure Reason was never translated into Yiddish."
You know what I am going to ask you. Can you address that?
A.Yes. The revisionist community would find in this statement by Finkelstein an echo of points that have been made many, many other times by revisionists -- that is, that not only is Holocaust survivor testimony sometimes or often suspect, but that it is especially difficult because many of them are regarded in our society as secular saints. They are treated in the media as sort of icons. What is dangerous for historians is that their words or their testimony is often accepted without the usual skepticism that is applied to other people who have undergone experiences 50 or 60 years ago.
With particular reference to Elie Wiesel, a number of articles have appeared in our journal and in other revisionist journals by various revisionists stressing that Elie Wiesel in particular is given and has been given to exaggeration, misstatement not only of this nature, but others as well that underscore the validity from the revisionist community's viewpoint of this passage by Finkelstein.
Q.On page 83, halfway down the page:
"The main motive behind this inflationary revision is again not hard to find. It is difficult to press massive new claims for reparations if only a handful of Holocaust survivors are still alive. In fact, Wilkomirksi's main accomplices were, in one way or another, tapped into the Holocaust reparations network."
You know what I am going to ask you.
A.This particular passage was in the revisionist community particularly pertinent because this very same point was made by Arthur Butz in the address that he gave at the IHR Conference in May. He talked about this so-called "little Laura". He talked in great detail about Wilkomirski and how it wasn't merely Wilkomirski's fraud but that this little Laura, this woman who claimed to be a childhood friend was yet another fraud that popped up to supposedly validate Wilkomirski's fraud, and vice versa.
This particular passage would find special resonance in just the last few months at the IHR Conference which was a particularly important gathering of Holocaust revisionists.
Q.At page 88, the bottom paragraph:
"The award for most enterprising Holocaust huckster -- "
The term "Holocaust huckster," could you address that.
A.I don't quite see where you are.
Q.At page 88, the bottom paragraph:
"The award for most enterprising Holocaust huckster, however, must surely go to Kenneth Bialkin. For decades a prominent US Jewish leader, he headed the ADL and chaired the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Currently, Bialkin represents the Generali insurance company against the Eagleburger Commission for a reported 'high sum of money.'"
A.The term "huckster" is obviously a pejorative one, but it is one that revisionists have on occasion used over the years. Finkelstein's use of the term "huckster" -- and he uses other terms in this book like that. His use of the term "huckster" here is one that echoes a pejorative term that sometimes has been used by revisionists over the decades.
Q.On page 89, at the top of the page:
"In recent years, the Holocaust industry has become an outright extortion racket. Purporting to represent all of world Jewry, living and dead, it is laying claim to Holocaust-era Jewish assets throughout Europe. Fittingly dubbed the 'last chapter of The Holocaust,' this double shakedown of European countries as well as legitimate Jewish claimants first targeted Switzerland. I will first review the allegations against the Swiss. I will then turn to the evidence, demonstrating that many of the charges were not only based on deceit but apply even more accurately to those issuing them than to their targets."
You know the question.
A.The revisionist community would agree with this statement because it echoes statements that have been made by revisionists over the years. Oftentimes, though -- Finkelstein is expressing it in an especially strong way.
Q.Is it stronger or less strong than the revisionist community generally expresses it?
A.It is stronger than generally the revisionist community expresses it. I myself don't use terms like "extortion racket" except perhaps in quoting some others. Finkelstein calls it an outright extortion racket. "Racket" and "extortion" are both pejorative terms. Revisionists have over the years used terms like that and language like that.
What Finkelstein writes here finds an echo in what revisionists have written so far as he talks about how the Holocaust industry purports to represent all of world Jewry. That is an arrogance, a brazen arrogance, that in the view of the revisionist community is a particularly acute one, a strong one.
Q.On page 90 that theme, it seems, is repeated when he says in the second paragraph:
"Bronfman, heir to the Seagram liquor fortune (his personal wealth is estimated at $3 billion), would later modestly inform the Senate Banking Committee that he spoke 'on behalf of the Jewish people' as well as 'the 6 million, those who cannot speak for themselves.'"
Would you address the usual question to that.
A.The revisionist community has repeatedly in the past dealt specifically with the tremendous role of the world Jewish community and specifically of Edgar Bronfman.
Q.The world Jewish community?
A.Excuse me, the World Jewish Congress and Edgar Bronfman and the role it plays in not only promoting but exploiting the Holocaust story in society.
The revisionist community has pointed out that it was the World Jewish Congress above all responsible for the world-wide campaign against the Austrian President, Kurt Waldheim. It was the World Jewish Congress above all, revisionists would say, that has been the main motor behind the, to use Finkelstein's words, shakedown or extortion of billions of dollars from Switzerland, a new shakedown of money from Germany, and now there is a targeting even of the United States and of eastern Europe.
Also the revisionist community is aware of an article that appeared in the Journal of Historical Review in which Raul Hilberg specifically denounced the hypocrisy, what Hilberg calls the obscenity, of Bronfman's role in all of this, because his purported concern for the poor Jewish survivors is a fraudulent one insofar as, if that was really his motive, with out-of- pocket change Edgar Bronfman could more than adequately care for the needs of all the Holocaust survivors remaining in the world. He is a man whose personal fortune is estimated at $3 billion; yet, he plays this enormously important role, more powerful, the revisionist community would say, than the heads of states of all the handful of countries in the world.
Q.With regard to page 91, I want to refer to the portion of text which says:
"Before the Swiss were finally brought to their knees, the WJC, working with the gamut of Holocaust institutions (including the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Simon Wiesenthal Center), had mobilized the entire US political establishment."
Could you address that in the usual way.
A.That has also been addressed by the revisionist community, by the Journal of Historical Review and other revisionists, pointing out from the revisionist point of view the tremendous mobilization of U.S. political establishment in this shakedown, this intimidation, this blackmail of Switzerland, so much so that at least two states announced that they would prevent Swiss corporations from doing business in two or three states -- New York, New Jersey and California -- unless Switzerland capitulated to the demands of the World Jewish Congress and of Edgar Bronfman.
Again, the revisionist community has stressed many times over the years the enormously lucrative use that has been made of the Holocaust story by powerful Jewish organizations and by the State of Israel, including the Anti-Defamation League, the B'nai Brith, the World Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Q.Farther on he writes:
"Using the House and Senate banking committees as a springboard, the Holocaust industry orchestrated a shameless campaign of vilification. With an infinitely compliant and credulous press ready to give banner headlines to any Holocaust-related story, however preposterous, the smear campaign proved unstoppable."
Can you comment in the usual way on that?
A.The revisionist community would find not only no disagreement with this statement by Finkelstein; it would applaud the succinct and direct way in which he expresses himself here. To be more specific, the Holocaust community has over the years emphasized indeed the shameless nature of this campaign --
Q.I think you are now falling into my trap of using the term "Holocaust community."
A.The revisionist community has emphasized the incredibly shameless nature of this campaign and how compliant and credulous the media is in giving banner headlines and credence to claims that later turn out to be completely wrong, completely untrue, not only with regard to the Holocaust campaign but, of course, with regard to all sorts of specific stories about the Second World War and Jewish suffering which also turn out to be untrue, however preposterous, as Finkelstein says. There are numerous examples of that that I and other revisionists have made over the years, some of which I think appear in the complained of documents.
This smear campaign, as Finkelstein says and the revisionist community would agree, has proved unstoppable. The revisionist community has made the point over the years that the willingness of the United States of America and other countries to put up with one amazing humiliation after another carried out by the World Jewish Congress and other Jewish organizations seems boundless.
Q.The next reference I want to refer to is on page 92:
The Center, which is the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, and Rabbi Marvin Hier -- are you familiar with those as a member of the revisionist community?
A.I am quite familiar with them, not only because I and other revisionists have visited and toured the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum in Los Angeles, but I have written a fairly lengthy article about the Simon Wiesenthal Center and about Rabbi Marvin Hier's role in all of this for the Journal of Historical Review which is disseminated widely within the revisionist community.
"Anxious to share the limelight, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, spectacularly alleged that the Swiss incarcerated refugee Jews in 'slave-labor camps.' (With wife and son on the payroll, Hier runs the Simon Wiesenthal Center as a family business; together the Hiers drew a salary of $520,000 in 1995. The Center is renowned for its 'Dachau-meets-Disneyland' museum exhibits and 'the successful use of sensationalistic scare tactics for fund-raising.') 'In light of the media barrage of mixing truth and assumption, fact and fiction,' Itamar Levin concludes, 'it is easy to understand why many Swiss believe their country was the victim of an international conspiracy of some kind.'"
In relation to those statements, could you give the answer to the usual question, as to how the Holocaust revisionist community views these words.
A.The revisionist community -- I think even in an article I wrote the point was made that this particular statement, a supposedly authoritative report issued by the Simon Wiesenthal Center about alleged slave-labour camps in Switzerland during the Second World War, was a preposterous lie really; it was terrible. The revisionist community is quite aware of that.
Q.How was the revisionist community's attempt to correct it received?
A.That is one of the important points in all of that. The revisionist community is constantly astonished that, when we make a point like this, it is denounced as anti-Semitism; the motives are called into question, and on and on. It is given a bit more credence, the revisionist community finds, when the same statement is made by a Norman Finkelstein or appears in some authoritative or, to use the term that was used here the other day, consensus periodical.
Very often, from the point of view of the revisionist community, we find ourselves making points and statements over the years that, however valid, receive no credence whatsoever until later someone else might pick them up, who has a kind of consensus stature and status, and then everybody accepts it. That is sort of obvious. It parallels the revisionist community, as pointed out over the years. The changing view about even the history of Israel -- the revisionist community has drawn parallels between the adulatory, uncritical way in which Israel's policies were treated in the 1950s and 1960s, certainly up until the 1967 War and the 1973 War.
The media treatment in the U.S. or North American press, the revisionist community points out, was completely unconcerned with the injustice, the repression, of the Palestinians. Now there is a great deal more about this, and there is far more awareness of all of these issues than there was at one time, but it has taken a long time for all that to finally come out.
The revisionist community has pointed out that a man like Alfred Lilienthal, who made these points as a kind of voice in the wilderness during the 1960s and 1970s, was viciously attacked for doing so, for making statements which are today accepted almost as truisms.
Q.At the top of page 93 the author writes:
"The campaign rapidly degenerated into a libel of the Swiss people."
Can you comment on that term in relation to the views of the Holocaust revisionist community?
A.This is a point also that the revisionist community has brought out. It was brought out, for example, in the 1994 IHR Conference by a Swiss revisionist named Jurgen Graf who spoke explicitly about this shakedown, this campaign targeting his country, Switzerland. In this regard this exact same point has been made in the revisionist community.
Q.At page 94 I just want to quote a couple of terms used. "Holocaust restitution racket" appears in the second paragraph -- and I am not going to read the whole paragraph. Then it refers to "Holocaust industry."
Could you comment on those terms in relation to the acceptable question that we have been allowed.
A.Again, this theme has been emphasized quite a few times, but most revisionists, including myself, refrain from or shy away from terms like "racket" or "restitution" because they are so loaded and pejorative. It is not necessarily that I disagree with them or revisionists disagree with them and think they are wrong, but they are rather strong terms. Revisionists see it as affirming, as gratifying, to see language this strong made by a Norman Finkelstein in a book that is widely available in Canada, in the United States and in other countries.
Q.At page 99, the top paragraph:
"Before these bodies could even commence work, however, the Holocaust industry pressed for a financial settlement with Switzerland. The Swiss protested that any settlement should naturally await the commissions' findings; otherwise, it constituted 'extortion and blackmail.'"
Can you comment on those words.
A.This has been reported on in publications of the revisionist community. Even the Swiss President at the time or the head of the Switzerland Federal Council who is a kind of president of his country -- it is not a very centralized government -- use the term "blackmail" and denouncing this campaign by the World Jewish Congress against this country. The revisionist community has been pleased to see that there is more and more acceptance, or it seems like there is more and more acceptance, of the validity behind these terms as expressed not only by Norman Finkelstein but even Raul Hilberg and other writers.
Q.On page 100, the first paragraph:
"Beyond whipping up public hysteria, the Holocaust industry coordinated a two-pronged strategy to 'terrorize' (Bower) the Swiss into submission: class-action lawsuits and an economic boycott."
Can you comment on this in relation to the experiences of the Holocaust community?
A.The Holocaust community has also published articles or expressed views very much paralleling what Finkelstein writes here. It uses the word "terror" on occasion to describe the campaign carried out against revisionists, carried out by some of the very same organizations in somewhat the same way -- that is, intimidation, destruction of careers, firings from positions and jobs --
A.Violence, of course. All of that sort of goes with the territory. It is one of the reasons why Holocaust revisionism does not have much more support in society, because it is very intimidating and it takes unusual people to be willing to defy all that and to speak out on these issues.
Q.At page 101, the first paragraph:
"The main weapon used to break Swiss resistance, however, was the economic boycott. 'Now the battle will be much dirtier,' Avraham Burg, chair of the Jewish Agency and Israel's point man in the Swiss banking case, warned in January 1997. 'Until now we have held back international Jewish pressure.' Already in January 1996 the WJC had begun plotting the boycott. Bronfman and Singer contacted New York City Comptroller Alan Hevesi (whose father had been a prominent AJC official) --
That is the American Jewish Congress?
A.Probably the Committee, but it might be the Congress.
Q." -- and New York State Comptroller Carl McCall. Between them, the two comptrollers invest billions of dollars in pension funds."
Could you comment on this in relation to the experience or views of Holocaust revisionists in general?
A.Yes. The revisionist community is aware and revisionist periodicals have made the point about the international Jewish boycott campaign against Switzerland to squeeze more money out of that country. This is not the first time that Jewish organizations have used boycott tactics like this to try to enforce its will.
The revisionist community has also made a point that many officials who play an important role in American political life are either related to or themselves have been important officials in powerful Jewish organizations.
Q.In relation to this subject of boycott, has the revisionist community published to the effect that a boycott, specifically a Jewish boycott, was part of or involved in the cause of the Second World War?
A.Yes, that is a point that has also been made in revisionist periodicals which have stressed and underlined the role of international Jewry in the 1930s in its boycott campaign against Third Reich Germany.
Q.Moving over 20 pages of rather interesting text, I will stop at page 120 and just quote from the penultimate paragraph in the last half of the page:
"Material compensation for the Holocaust 'is the greatest moral test facing Europe at the end of the twentieth century,' Itamar Levin maintains. 'This will be the real test of the Continent's treatment of the Jewish people.' Indeed, emboldened by its success in shaking down the Swiss, the Holocaust industry moved quickly to 'test' the rest of Europe. The next stop was Germany."
Is this in any way resonant with the views of the Holocaust revisionist community respecting the use of the Holocaust?
A.Yes. This is a point that has been made explicitly also in the Journal of Historical Review and made by other revisionists, that even the most self-serving, mercenary efforts by the World Jewish Congress and other groups to get money, and billions of it, are nevertheless cloaked in this amazingly self-sanctimonious moral wrap, to insist that, unless we get these billions of dollars, it is a failure of some sort of moral test.
It is astonishing. The revisionist community has made a point over and over of the immense hypocrisy of the thing, carried out by officials who defend and support a country, Israel, which the revisionist community stresses is built on entire land dispossessed from other people, the original inhabitants of which are not even allowed to return to.
The revisionist community has also pointed out the immense hypocrisy of this campaign in that Germany is expected to compensate Jews for property it lost, but there is no compensation whatsoever and no demand even for compensation by the German government for the huge amounts of land and territory and property seized from Germans at the end of the Second World War. An area larger than the entire country of Denmark was seized and dispossessed from Germany at the end of the Second World War.
Although the millions of expellees from these territories have wanted some sort of reparation or compensation, the German government itself is completely afraid to press anything like this, not to speak of the tremendous injustices done to many other people for whom compensation is every bit as justified as it is in the case of Jews during the Second World War. Huge chunks of Poland were seized by the Soviet Union at the end of the Second World War. Nobody would even think of raising the question of compensation for the many, many Poles whose land was taken away, seized, and they were dispossessed as a result.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Weber, let me ask you a question.
How does the revisionist community regard the thesis of the Jewish claims against Switzerland? In other words, what is their understanding of the basis on which the claim is being made?
THE WITNESS: I think I can say that there is a consensus that it is at least hypocritical if not fraudulent. There are several aspects of this campaign.
The first that was claimed was that Swiss banks had illegitimately held on to money from Jews who died in the Holocaust and the accounts were never given to their relatives.
THE CHAIRPERSON: That is the thesis.
THE WITNESS: That was the original part of it. It grew after that, but that was the original claim. Avraham Burg, who is a member of the Israeli cabinet, admitted later that he just bluffed, that he just gave out a figure that was a complete bluff about how much money was supposed to be in these dormant accounts.
Anyway, this was the initial basis of the campaign, that there would be dormant accounts of Jewish Holocaust survivors. Switzerland was in a vulnerable position because by Swiss law all of that information is supposed to be secret under Swiss banking law.
THE CHAIRPERSON: I realize that I have asked you a question, but I don't want you to deliver a tract on the subject. You understood that the thesis was on the basis that there were deposits of money by Jewish people in Germany --
THE WITNESS: Or in Poland or other --
THE CHAIRPERSON: -- allegedly victims of the Holocaust, whose money was never returned. That is the thesis of it.
THE WITNESS: Right.
THE CHAIRPERSON: The revisionist community rejects that.
THE WITNESS: It is rejected on the main basis that dormant accounts around the world normally are -- insofar as one can find one real claimants to such accounts, I think revisionists would say, "That's fine. They should get the money." But it is an entirely hypocritical and double standard because Holocaust dormant accounts exist in Israeli banks, in Palestinian banks, they exist in American banks, they exist in many countries. Switzerland was especially targeted. There may be an effort now to go after American banks, but the Swiss record on trying to give money for these dormant accounts has actually been better than that of other countries.
THE CHAIRPERSON: What the revisionist community says is that Switzerland is being singled out unfairly.
THE WITNESS: It is being singled out. It was singled out unfairly, and now that Switzerland has capitulated, so to speak, other countries are going to be targeted next.
As Finkelstein points out in his book -- and it is really a matter of public record, these so-called dormant accounts didn't just exist in Switzerland. They are actually much more limited than the original claims that were made.
THE CHAIRPERSON: I think you have made your point. Thank you.
Q.Referring further to the subject of the Swiss banks, the author writes at page 121, towards the bottom of the page:
"To whip up public hysteria against Germany, the Holocaust industry took out multiple full-page newspaper advertisements in October. The awful truth did not suffice; all the Holocaust hot buttons were pressed. An ad denouncing the German pharmaceutical corporation Bayer dragged in Josef Mengele, although the evidence that Bayer 'directed' his murderous experiments was nil. Recognizing that the Holocaust juggernaut was irresistible, the Germans caved in to a substantial monetary settlement by year's end. The Times of London credited this capitulation to the 'Holocash' campaign in the United States. 'We could not have reached agreement,' Eizenstat later told the House Banking Committee, 'without the personal involvement and leadership of President Clinton...as well as other senior officials in the US government."
This refers, I take it, actually to this strategy against German corporations.
Q.So it wasn't against the Swiss banks; it was after that. It was in August 1998.
Could you tell us what, in the view of a usual Holocaust revisionist, these words would signify in the view of a member of the revisionist community.
A.The revisionist community would agree with and second these remarks. The revisionists have over the years pointed out in a number of articles in periodicals and so forth earlier examples of this same kind of high-intensity campaigns that are pushed, whatever the campaign of the moment tends to be for major Jewish organizations.
The term "Holocash", the epithet or pejorative term used by The Times of London, is occasionally also used by Holocaust revisionists, or terms like that.
Another point to echo this, as revisionists have pointed out over the years, is that without the close co-operation of the U.S. government in these campaigns, none of this would really be possible.
Q.Has the Holocaust revisionist community commented on the self-interest potentially involved in American collection of money from abroad, the governments' collection of it?
A.Revisionists have made the point in various books and periodicals that the nature of this relationship between the U.S. government and, if you will, world Jewry or organized Jewry and Israel on the other hand is a very corrupt one because it really doesn't benefit the American people. It benefits American political leaders who benefit by receiving large campaign contributions.
The Washington Post -- and this is a point that I have made myself -- reported some years ago that half of all the money that the Democratic Party receives comes from Jews and that one-quarter of the Republican Party's funds comes from Jews. If true -- and, according to the Post, it is based on a survey by the American Jewish Committee -- that would mean that Jews constitute the single most powerful group in the United States in terms of money for political campaigns.
It is no wonder, therefore, as a number of articles and so forth that have appeared in revisionist writings point out, that American Jews have this tremendous political power in the United States and in the world.
Q.Because you used the term "Jews" without any distinction, my learned friends will be anxious to cross-examine you on that. Does this give any significance in the revisionist community to the influence of organized Jewish groups with politicians, who claim to represent all those Jewish voters?
MR. FREIMAN: I object. The witness has now been told exactly how to answer the question.
MR. CHRISTIE: He has been told what the question is.
MR. FREIMAN: If the Tribunal wants to hear the answer, I am sure it will take the answer in the context of the question.
MR. CHRISTIE: If you are so sure, why would you object?
Q. Moving on to page 127 I would like to refer to the first paragraph:
"As the Holocaust industry plays with numbers to boost its compensation claims, anti-Semites gleefully mock the 'Jew liars' who even 'huckster' their dead. In juggling these numbers the Holocaust industry, however unintentionally, whitewashes Nazism. Raul Hilberg, the leading authority on the Nazi holocaust, puts the figure for Jews murdered at 5.1 million. Yet, if 135,000 former Jewish slave laborers are still alive today, some 600,000 must have survived the war. That's at least a half-million more than standard estimates. One would then have to deduct this half-million from the 5.1 million figure of those killed. Not only does the '6 Million' figure become more untenable but the numbers of the Holocaust industry are rapidly approaching those of Holocaust deniers."
Could you comment on that paragraph, and try to be careful with each sentence. Look at each sentence separately because it does contain a number of different thoughts and ideas.
Looking at the first sentence, what would be the position of the normal or usual, if we can say that -- maybe we can use the term "normal" without objection -- Holocaust revisionist on this particular sentence?
A.With regard to the first sentence, revisionists do and have used terms like "the Holocaust industry is playing with numbers." I will go into this in a bit more detail when we get farther down because it deals more specifically with numbers.
Finkelstein uses the term "anti-Semites gleefully mock the 'Jew liars.'" I am not familiar with anyone who has used that term. I don't know who he refers to here.
THE CHAIRPERSON: That is a new expression, so you could not give evidence that it resonates in the community.
THE WITNESS: I could not give evidence that "Jew liar" resonates in the revisionist community.
"In juggling these numbers," he says, "the Holocaust industry, however unintentionally, whitewashes Nazism." From here on this specific point about numbers and how many are claimed to be alive today is a theme that Robert Faurisson touched on explicitly in a recent issue of the Journal of Historical Review.
Q.Is he a noted, respected member of the revisionist community?
A.Yes, he is an important, prominent, respected member of the revisionist community.
He cited figures given recently, in 1998 or maybe 1999, by the Israeli Prime Minister's Office that there are a million Holocaust survivors alive today. Faurisson pointed out that, if there are a million Holocaust survivors or nearly a million Holocaust survivors alive today, the number that were alive in 1945 at the end of the war was three or perhaps four times that number. It is impossible to reconcile these figures with the Holocaust claims of six million murdered Jews in Europe during the Second World War.
Finkelstein makes a similar point. In this regard he is making it just about surviving Jewish slave labourers, although in an interview with an American periodical shortly after this book he developed this theme in more detail.
Finkelstein's view, in contrast I think with that of most revisionists, is that the lie consists in the figures that are now given out of survivors. That is, Finkelstein is arguing that the number of survivors today is being purposefully inflated so that Israel and the World Jewish Congress can claim more money in their name.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Is that a new notion that is injected by Finkelstein which heretofore has not been part of the revisionist community?
THE WITNESS: The revisionist community has dealt with this question of contrast between the number of survivors today who are claimed and the number in 1945. Finkelstein's interpretation or presentation of what this means is different from what the revisionist community has said.
THE CHAIRPERSON: On that note, Mr. Christie, we will adjourn for lunch.
-- - Luncheon Recess at 12:30 p.m.
-- - Upon resuming at 2:03 p.m.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Christie, please.
Q.Mr. Weber, I was asking you questions pertaining to page 127. I read the paragraph at the top of the page, and I had asked you to comment in the usual manner, restricting yourself to the usual question.
Could you carry on and do that, please. I think you had gone through the term "Jew liars" which is quoted there and "huckster". You then had gone into the subject of numbers. Maybe you had exhausted your answer in that respect; I don't know.
A.I think I made the point that in the revisionist community, as in this text here, there has been a great deal of discussion over the years of manipulation of numbers. Finkelstein's remarks on that subject are consistent with or an expansion of or parallel with those made by many revisionists, although he puts a kind of interpretation on it. He sees it differently from other revisionists I have seen in the past.
Q.In what way does this differ from the views expressed in the revisionist community as to numbers?
A.In particular regard to these numbers that Finkelstein cites here and, as I mentioned, Faurisson's citing of numbers, in each case we are talking about numbers that have come up fairly recently. They are not old, so there has not been a great deal of opportunity for revisionists to comment on them.
Finkelstein, not here but at another point, talks about numbers of Holocaust survivors, the same numbers that Robert Faurisson talked about in a recent article in the Journal of Historical Review.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Let's stick to the question here. Is there anything more you want to say?
THE WITNESS: I guess not, no.
Q.At page 128, in the first paragraph:
"The standard claim is that the Final Solution was a uniquely efficient, assembly-line, industrial extermination. But if, as the Holocaust industry suggests, many hundreds of thousands of Jews survived, the Final Solution couldn't have been so efficient after all. It must have been a haphazard affair - exactly what Holocaust deniers argue. Les extrêmes se touchent."
What is the relationship that you can perceive between those words, if any, and the views of revisionists with whom you are familiar?
A.The first part is quite true.
Q.We can't mention truth.
A.I can qualify that. The first part is a statement that Holocaust revisionists would regard as quite true and consistent with what revisionists have said over the years. That is, the standard claim is that the Final Solution would be uniquely efficient, assembly-line, industrial extermination. Revisionists have made the point that that is the standard presentation of this, or the one that the public is treated to.
As I mentioned earlier in testimony here, any number of even well-known Holocaust historians have modified that in recent years to emphasize or to point out that it is not so efficient or assembly-line or industrial. Revisionists have made the point, Hilberg and others, in saying that the treatment of the Jews in Europe during the Second World War by the Nazis was very often haphazard, inconsistent, arbitrary.
In the first part of the presentation by Finkelstein he is setting up a point he is making here to contrast with this sentence. Then he says:
"But if, as the Holocaust industry suggests, many hundreds of thousands of Jews survived, the Final Solution couldn't have been so efficient after all."
In the revisionist community that precise point has been made many, many times, and revisionists have gone on at some length with more detail about precisely this point, that not merely the numbers of survivors but where they survived and how really raises very serious questions about the supposedly systematic or industrial nature of the alleged extermination program.
Then he says:
"It must have been a haphazard affair -- exactly what Holocaust deniers -- "
Again, I assume he means revisionists here. As you pointed out, he has used the terms interchangeably.
That is a point that revisionists have made over and over, that not only the numbers but where and how so many Jews survived the Second World War is virtually impossible to reconcile with the standard or publicly-perceived view of the Holocaust.
THE CHAIRPERSON: This is a fairly straightforward passage; it is not hard to understand. I question whether it is necessary to, in an elaborate way, say the same thing by extension.
Q.At page 129 he says:
"Apart from Holocaust deniers, no one has yet disputed that Nazism consigned slave laborers to this horrific fate. How can one reconcile these established facts, however, with the claim that many hundreds of thousands of Jewish slave laborers survived the camps? Hasn't the Claims Conference breached the wall separating the ghastly truth about the Nazi holocaust from Holocaust denial?"
Can you comment on that in relation to a revisionist view?
A.Yes, specifically because he is here giving his interpretation of what he says the deniers say.
If we leave out "Apart from Holocaust deniers" and say "revisionists", it is true that no one or virtually no one disputes that Nazism consigned slave labourers to this horrific fate -- that is, the one that he has mentioned in the previous sentence. Revisionists have made a point that many Jews who were not even slave labourers also were not killed or didn't die during the Second World War.
In any case, to go on, revisionists have made almost exactly the same point that he makes, that the claim that many hundreds of thousands of Jewish slave labourers survived the camps is difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile with the standard extermination story.
That is my answer.
Q."In a full-page New York Times advertisement, Holocaust industry luminaries such as Elie Wiesel, Rabbi Marvin Hier, and Steven T. Katz condemned 'Syria's Denial of the Holocaust.' The text decried an editorial in an official Syrian government newspaper that claimed Israel 'invents stories about the Holocaust' in order to 'receive more money from Germany and other Western establishments.' Regrettably, the Syrian charge is true. Yet the irony, lost on both the Syrian government and the signatories to the ad, is that these stories themselves of many hundreds of thousands of survivors constitute a form of Holocaust denial."
Can you comment on that in relation to your understanding of the revisionist field of study?
A.The advertisement that he is talking about is a pretty recent one, in February 2000, so I can comment in a more limited way from my own point of view and from those I have talked with.
It is a startling thing for revisionists that Finkelstein explicitly says what revisionists have emphasized over the years, that Israel and, by extension, others in the organized Jewish community invent stories about the Holocaust in order to receive more money from Germany and other western establishments. This is a point that has been made repeatedly by revisionists over the years. It is startling for revisionists to see a Norman Finkelstein, a professor at Hunter College, affirming that same view as, in fact, he does in this passage.
THE CHAIRPERSON: What is so startling about that? In view of what he has said up to page 129, what is so startling about it?
THE WITNESS: Not in terms of page 129, but startling in terms of an American scholar at a university publicly stating that in a book that is publicly widely available. That is what is startling for revisionists, to see something that striking. Even that is striking in contrast to what has appeared elsewhere in the book. The rest of the book could still stand without Finkelstein having, as it were, gone out on a limb that dramatically to make this particular statement.
Q.On page 130 he states:
"The shakedown of Switzerland and Germany has been only a prelude to the grand finale: the shakedown of Eastern Europe. With the collapse of the Soviet bloc, alluring prospects opened up in the former heartland of European Jewry. Cloaking itself in the sactimonious mantle of 'needy Holocaust victims,' the Holocaust industry has sought to extort billions of dollars from these already impoverished countries. Pursuing this end with reckless and ruthless abandon, it has become the main fomenter of anti-Semitism in Europe."
Is that in any way related to or echoed in the field of Holocaust revisionist opinion?
A.Holocaust revisionists have very often stressed a similar sentiment, and that is that this extortion, this campaign against Switzerland and Germany, is but one chapter in a campaign that targets many other countries, and there seems to be no end to it. In fact, I think since this book was published revisionists have been struck that now the first faint signs of a campaign directed against United States institutions also now seems to be in the works.
One of the most striking passages here for revisionists is the final one that you quoted:
"Pursuing this end with reckless and ruthless abandon, it has become the main fomenter of anti-Semitism in Europe."
This is particularly striking because revisionists have over and over made a statement consistent with this which is completely at variance with what the Holocaust industry or what Holocaust organizations insist, and that is that anti-Semitism has no relationship whatsoever to what Jews do.
We are told over and over in our universities and magazines and newspapers and by organizations like the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center that anti-Jewish sentiment is a pathological, inexplicable manifestation of tortured, diseased personalities and has no relationship to what Jews do. Finkelstein says here that hostility or sentiment against Jews is fomented by actions that Jewish organizations carry out. This gets, I think, really at the core of a lot of what this whole Hearing is about from the point of view of the revisionist community, and that is: What is the origin of anti-Jewish sentiment in not only this society in North America but also in any society throughout history?
Revisionists have over a long period of time and in numerous articles that have been published in the Journal of Historical Review and elsewhere stressed that there is a relationship between anti-Jewish sentiment and what Jews, particularly organized Jewry, do. Revisionists have also strongly stressed that any number of Jewish leaders have on occasion made this same point. I, for example, have quoted Theodor Herzl who is widely considered to be the father of modern Zionism --
THE CHAIRPERSON: I think you are getting into a historical perspective which is beyond your qualification.
MR. CHRISTIE: He is in the field of Holocaust revisionism as he and others have defined it, and I would like to ask that he be allowed at least to say what Holocaust revisionists have said about the origin of anti-Semitism.
THE CHAIRPERSON: I am not going to permit him to answer that in that broad term. The passage that has been referred to and, in particular, the context in which he was to speak was in relation to the last sentence in that paragraph at the top of page 130 which relates anti-Semitism to the current demand for compensation. He said that that is consistent with what the revisionist community feels, and I am not sure he is qualified to go beyond that.
Q.Isn't it the object of the revisionist community to promote anti-Semitism?
A.No, it is not.
Q.Has the revisionist community addressed that issue, because it is an accusation made against the revisionist community?
Q.What has the revisionist community said in answer to that accusation that its object is to promote anti-Semitism?
A.The revisionist community and revisionists over and over have stressed, first of all, that historical truth and historical understanding is essential for any kind of tolerant relationship between Jews and every other nationality in our world and that, far from promoting anti-Semitism, Holocaust revisionism should ultimately have the effect of diminishing it; that the alternative is to permit a one-sided exploitive version of history to take hold in society and ultimately will have the effect, as Finkelstein suggests in this passage, of increasing hostility toward Jews.
Q.I am interested in referring briefly to the footnote on this page after the words "5 April 2000":
"In fact, I found it nearly impossible to raise this matter in Germany. Although the taboo was finally broken by the liberal German daily Die Berliner Zeitung, the courage displayed by its editor, Martin Sueskind, and US correspondent, Stefan Elfenbein, found only a faint echo in the German media, in large part owing to the legal threats and moral blackmail of the Claims Conference as well as the general German reluctance to openly criticize Jews."
How does that fit with the field of Holocaust revisionism? Does it relate to it?
A.It relates very directly because revisionist historians have in numerous articles and writings and so forth stressed that there is a tremendous taboo in Germany about Second World War history and particularly the role of the Jewish organizations today in the world, and that this taboo manifests itself in Germany even in laws which are very restrictive to suppress books and other writings and so forth.
There is a great German reluctance to openly criticize Jews or even Jewish organizations or Jewish leaders. Revisionists have pointed out that there is much more open, robust debate on these issues and criticism in the Israeli press than there is in the German press.
I think he is wrong in a sense. I and other revisionists have been struck, just in the last several months, in large part because of the impact of this book, that there has been a tremendous opening of discussion in Germany itself.
Q.How would the revisionist movement view the openness of discussion that occurred as a result of Finkelstein's book?
A.Revisionists were very pleased to see that there seems to be far more open and less constrained and tabooized discussion of both the Holocaust industry and of Second World War history, in part as a result of not only this book but in part because of some startling other developments that have taken place recently in Germany, apart from the Finkelstein book.
Q.In relation to the chapter that we are looking at, which is called "The Double Shakedown," what is the perception in the Holocaust revisionist community of those words? What does the revisionist community understand them to mean?
A.Maybe it is not necessary to say, but --
Q.It is necessary to say, and that is why I asked you.
A.I wasn't finished with my sentence.
Q.Please go on.
A.It may not be necessary to explain what Finkelstein means by "The Double Shakedown."
THE CHAIRPERSON: Does he say that? I have not read the article. Does he say that?
A.Does he say what?
THE CHAIRPERSON: Does he explain what "The Double Shakedown" meant?
THE WITNESS: Yes. He means a shakedown of Germany, Poland, Switzerland on the one hand and their businesses and governments, and the other aspect of it is that Jewish survivors themselves get cheated. He stresses throughout the book that his own mother got $3,500 total for all the suffering that she underwent during the Second World War and that many, many Jewish survivors have been shortchanged in getting money that is entitled to them because it has been withheld by Jewish organizations. He makes the point over and over that this Holocaust industry is even a fraud against the majority of Jews.
This is a point that revisionists have also made many times, that this entire Holocaust campaign has the danger certainly, if not the actual import, of harming the interests of little Jews or most Jews or the majority of Jews and that it benefits only those in power and position.
Q.He says at the bottom of this page in the last sentence:
"Unlike in the case of Switzerland and Germany, however, it makes these demands away from the glare of publicity. Public opinion has so far not been averse to the blackmailing of Swiss bankers and German industrialists, but it might look less kindly on the blackmailing of starving Polish peasants."
The use of the term "blackmailing," is that a term consistent with or related to Holocaust revisionist opinion?
A.Yes, that term has been used by a number of revisionists. It has been used in the Journal of Historical Review. I remember it specifically, I think, in an essay by Jurgen Graf as applied to the World Jewish Congress and Jewish campaign against his own country, Switzerland.
Q.The last sentence in that paragraph is:
"With the support of key US officials, it can easily break the feeble resistance of already prostrate nations."
A.That is certainly consistent with what has appeared in a number of revisionist periodicals over the years. There seems to be almost no country that can really stand up. despite people's resistance for a time, to the power of the World Jewish Congress and other Jewish organizations.
Q.Does the Holocaust revisionist movement relate to the power of the United States administration?
A.Certainly. A number of revisionists have stressed that Jewish power perhaps could not have anywhere near the kind of impact it does in the world except that it is tied to and in concert with the power of the United States government.
Q.On the next page we have the words:
"Tightening the screws on Poland, Holocaust industry attorneys filed a class-action lawsuit in Judge Korman's court to compensate 'aging and dying Holocaust survivors.'"
Is there a comment you wish to make with regard to that -- subject to the usual question. Limit it to the usual question. I forgot to repeat the exact words that Mr. Freiman wants me to say. I notice he is standing, so I will repeat the exact words.
THE CHAIRPERSON: That is not necessary. You have been following the salutary practice of having the witness answer to a standard question.
MR. CHRISTIE: He knows the standard question.
Q.I will just say: Please answer the standard question.
A.It is consistent with what other revisionists have written over the years.
Q.Moving on to page 134, in the middle of the page:
"The World Jewish Congress has 'created an entire Holocaust industry,' a lawyer for survivors warns, and is 'guilty of promoting...a very ugly resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe.'"
Are you familiar with those sentiments in relation to Holocaust revisionist opinion?
A.Revisionists have also stressed on a number of occasions that these campaigns by the World Jewish Congress, by Israel, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and so forth have had the impact, the effect, of increasing anti-Jewish sentiment in Austria, in Switzerland and in other countries. For example, the Journal of Historical Review has talked about the increase in anti-Jewish sentiment in Austria after the World Jewish Congress, in a very public way, went after Austria's President, and insisted or demanded that Austrians not elect Kurt Waldheim, so much so that the World Jewish Congress President, Edgar Bronfman, in a speech in Canada referred to Austrians as "dirty anti-Semitic dogs." Statements like that, revisionists have pointed out, have the effect of increasing hostility toward Jews in Austria and other countries.
Q.At page 135, there is one sentence about which I would like to ask your views in relation to standard revisionist or some standard Holocaust revisionist opinion:
"The hoped-for revival of Jewish life is thus coming to pass as Eastern European Jews parlay their newly discovered roots into a cut of the Holocaust booty."
Does that have any resonance with or significance to the existence of and the development of and the current state of Holocaust revisionist opinion?
A.It is consistent with it. I don't remember anything that explicitly parallels that remark by Finkelstein.
Q.At page 137 he writes with regard to the Jewish Claims Conference:
"Insurance companies, banks, art museums, private industry, tenants and farmers in nearly every European country are under the Holocaust industry gun."
I want you to underscore the words "under the Holocaust industry gun"; I am going to ask you to comment on that.
"But the 'needy Holocaust victims' in whose name the Holocaust industry acts complain that it is 'just perpetuating the expropriation.' Many have filed suit against the Claims Conference. The Holocaust may yet turn out to be the 'greatest robbery in the history of mankind.'"
That is a quote with a footnote attached. Can you read that footnote? You probably have a clearer copy than I do.
"Claims Conference, Guide to Compensation and Restitution of Holocaust Survivors (New York: n.d.). Vincent, Hitler's Silent Partners, 302 ('expropriation') --
Q.No, what number is after the word "mankind?"
THE CHAIRPERSON: 91, as I read it.
MR. CHRISTIE: Thank you.
Q.In relation to that text, can you tell the Tribunal if it bears any similarity to the existing state of Holocaust revisionist opinion on the subject? For example, "Holocaust industry gun" and "the greatest robbery in the history of mankind" -- do those words in any way relate to --
A.The theme, the sentiment of what Finkelstein has written here has been echoed in many revisionist writings over the last 20 or 30 years. Although it is rare to find a revisionist expressing himself on this subject quite as vehemently or quite as sweepingly as Finkelstein does in this passage, some have expressed themselves with similarly strong language.
Actually, I don't know any revisionist who has ever referred to it as the greatest robbery in the history of mankind, in words that strong. Certainly many revisionists on various revisionist sites and in revisionist journals and periodicals have talked about the expropriation, the intimidation and so forth of this campaign over time.
Another aspect of this, too, is that Finkelstein here emphasizes that the Claims Conference, which has been the main Jewish body through which reparations money is filtered, has betrayed Jewish survivors even --
THE CHAIRPERSON: I think we have talked about that.
THE WITNESS: Right. I won't repeat myself on that.
Q.The final conclusion of the chapter is a quote from a Mr. Singer. Are you familiar with him?
A.Yes, he is an official of the World Jewish Congress.
"Singer also charged that 'fifty percent of America's total art is looted Jewish art.' The Holocaust industry has clearly gone berserk."
Does the Holocaust revisionist movement make statements like that, that the Holocaust industry has gone berserk?
A.I don't know of any statement as sweeping or as forcefully put as this particular one by Finkelstein, although revisionists have over the decades made comparable statements.
Q.Going to a couple of points in the "Conclusion," at page 146 Finkelstein states:
"Crimes of official enemies such as the Khmer Rouge bloodbath in Cambodia, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and Serbian ethnic cleansing in Kosovo recall The Holocaust; crimes in which the US is complicit do not."
Can you comment on those words in relation to revisionist opinion?
A.That is a point that I have made myself and that other revisionists have made. I remember making specifically a comparison almost identical or at least very comparable to that in an article I wrote on the Nuremberg Tribunal and how the Holocaust is constantly invoked and Nazi crimes in general are constantly invoked; yet, there has been no effort by the United States government to prosecute people in the same way that so-called Nazi war criminals were prosecuted, certainly not when crimes are committed by the United States or any of its allies at any given time.
Q.Is it a theme of Holocaust revisionism to comment on a double standard?
A.Yes, that is a point that revisionists have made repeatedly, that this double standard manifests itself in many ways -- a double standard in the treatment of individuals, in the treatment of books, in the treatment of organizations, in the treatment of history, in the treatment of crimes and so forth.
Q.Turning now to the pages 149 and 150, I just want to ask for your comment in respect of two sentences.
"Organized American Jewry has exploited the Nazi holocaust to deflect criticism of Israel's and its own morally indefensible policies."
How does that relate to Holocaust revisionist opinion?
A.That statement has been made many times by revisionists. This particular sentence is almost an exact paraphrase of a sentence or sentences that I wrote in a leaflet that the IHR publishes and which appears in the contested documents.
Q.By "contested documents," do you mean HR-2, the Human Rights Complaint?
A.Yes. I am referring to one that I myself wrote.
Q.I will perhaps come to that and identify it in a moment.
The final section I want to quote is at page 150, the last few lines:
"The challenge today is to restore the Nazi holocaust as a rational subject of inquiry. Only then can we really learn from it. The abnormality of the Nazi holocaust springs not from the event itself but from the exploitive industry that has grown up around it. The Holocaust industry has always been bankrupt. What remains is to openly declare it so. The time is long past to put it out of business. The noblest gesture for those who perished is to preserve their memory, learn from their suffering and let them, finally, rest in peace."
How do those words compare, in your understanding, with revisionist opinion on the whole subject?
A.I will try to take it a sentence at a time, because there is a number of different thoughts that are presented.
The first one is: "A crime need not be aberrant to warrant atonement." There is a difference among revisionists about this whole issue of atonement. Some revisionists, like myself, feel that the whole process of atonement is a very difficult and impossible one and that it is wrong probably to start with any group because, if it is going to be done, it should be done on a consistent basis. That would mean compensating so many people in a complicated way that there would be no end to it. Certainly, if it is going to be done, it should not be done selectively. My own feeling and that of some revisionists is that the past is past, and whatever injustices took place in the past, we have to go on because they have been committed against so many different people, and it is virtually impossible to atone for all of them.
Others have taken the view, especially those who are champions of one particular group, Germans or Poles, in the revisionist community demand that, if there is going to be atonement for Jewish suffering, there should also be atonement for German suffering or Polish suffering or that of any particular group. There is some disagreement among those in the revisionist community on that subject.
Finkelstein's apparent view is that a crime need not be aberrant to warrant atonement, implying I suppose that there should be applied a broad-based atonement.
The next sentence is perhaps the most important, and it parallels a point made very emphatically time and time again by revisionists such as Arthur Butz and Robert Faurisson and myself. That is, the Nazi holocaust, or whatever term one cares to use -- the Final Solution, the mistreatment or repression of Jews in Europe during the Second World War -- must become a rational subject of inquiry rather than a mystical, pseudo-religious chapter of history that has to be treated in some sort of special, unique way. Over and over revisionists have said that this is a problem of this Holocaustomania or Holocaust industry. Revisionists take deliberate special exception to remarks by Elie Wiesel and others who insist that the Holocaust is so unique and so unknowable and so fathomless that we can never really totally understand it.
To go on, he says, "Only then can we really learn from it." That is a point that revisionists have made many, many times. It is made, I think, in Arthur Butz' book and has been made in writings by Robert Faurisson and myself.
Then he says, "The Holocaust industry has always been bankrupt." That is a point, too, that revisionists have made, although not in quite those words. What revisionists usually talk about, at least what I and others have talked about, is that the Holocaust campaign or Holocaustomania, whatever term one cares to use, is itself a kind of illegitimate thing. It is a bankrupt process. That remark parallels statements that have been made on numerous occasions by revisionists.
Q.What about the sentence you missed, which I thought rather startling:
"The abnormality of the Nazi holocaust springs not from the event itself but from the exploitive industry that has grown up around it."
A.Yes, I overlooked that. That sentence is also one that revisionists have stressed over and over. That is parallelled very strongly in a passage in Arthur Butz' book that appeared some 25 years ago. It makes a very similar point, and it has been made by others ever since.
"The time is long past to put it out of business." That is an obvious kind of conclusion based on Finkelstein's argument and one that revisionists would also second and approve of.
I have made statements that parallel the final sentence of that paragraph as well.
Q.The final sentence says:
"The noblest gesture for those who perished is to preserve their memory, learn from their suffering and let them, finally, rest in peace."
Is that consistent with what revisionist theory would desire for those who suffered?
A.Yes. For example, Robert Faurisson has stated, and it has been published in the Journal, that the greatest thing we can do is to remember the true sufferings of all the victims of the Second World War, no matter who they are. Suffering is suffering no matter who it is carried out against, and one should not put on a scale higher the suffering of one group over that of another.
It is a point that I have made myself in public on other occasions, and other revisionists have made it as well.
MR. CHRISTIE: In order to understand the significance of the Finkelstein book, we have prepared a volume called "Norman G. Finkelstein's The Holocaust Industry, A Compilation of Articles and Editorials Concerning Professor Norman G. Finkelstein's book 'The Holocaust Industry'."
The object of this -- Mr. Freiman is already on his feet, and I might be permitted the opportunity before the objection to explain the relevance of this information. Not only is Mr. Finkelstein's book a current social context, but the controversy that surrounds it is equally valid. We will endeavour to show that, if Dr. Finkelstein's book had existed in isolation, in a vacuum, had never been published, distributed or talked about, it might be said not to be of very much significance in terms of social context.
If, as we will allege and try to demonstrate, the book was not only widely distributed, as alleged, but furthermore the subject of great controversy, I will be asking this witness to comment on the controversy itself in relation to Holocaust revisionism and I will later endeavour to suggest to you that this demonstrates the salutary, beneficial, socially positive effect of controversy about this whole subject.
It certainly invites and, if I am given the opportunity, one will be readily able to see that it causes the most severe criticism of Dr. Finkelstein's work, and it will also demonstrate that the exchange of views on the subject is not regarded by those who comment on it as illicit. There is certainly criticism, but there is no suggestion that the discussion itself has damaged the status of Jews. Maybe there is some; I should be careful when I say that. Maybe there is some commentary that says that. That might be useful to my learned friends because that may be some people's view.
My request, respectfully, is to allow the introduction of this -- and I am well aware of the suggestion that this certainly could be introduced for the sake only of argument. I have a witness here who is purporting to speak for and represents the Holocaust revisionist community, and I would like to ask him a few questions pertaining to it.
With that said, I will sit down and listen to the objection and perhaps reply. The object is to demonstrate the extent to which this book has generated public discussion and the nature of that discussion, hopefully to demonstrate that it actually stimulates responses from Jews and Jewish organizations that are beneficial to Jews and Jewish organizations.
MEMBER DEVINS: Mr. Christie, just so that I am sure I understand, could those questions not simply be put to the witness without the introduction of all of the material?
MR. CHRISTIE: In the abstract they could be, but it is very unlikely that this witness in his memory can contain the knowledge that is in this book.
MEMBER DEVINS: I guess that is the point. I am not sure that the questions that you have suggested you want to ask depend for their answers on a detailed knowledge of the contents of all those articles. Can you not simply say: Did this generate a lot of discussion? From the perspective of the revisionist community, did this produce a salutary effect? Then we will move on.
MR. CHRISTIE: I want to introduce this through him. There are some things upon which he, having examined these in some detail, would like to comment specifically. It is necessary to look at them to see what they mean and what they say. We would like to do that on the record for this simple reason, that a great deal of effort has gone into analyzing this in order to demonstrate the salutary effect of public discussion of this issue and even harsh language on this issue. We will argue eventually that Dr. Finkelstein has used some harsher language than exists in anything in HR-2.
Yes, your are quite right in the sense that I could give it to him and say, "Are you aware of this?", throw it in and forget about it, or maybe argue about it later. If he has some specific knowledge in relation to it, it would seem appropriate in that this is the only opportunity to hear his views on that point from the perspective of the Holocaust revisionists. It would be my desire, at least, to do that. It may be a waste of time; that is not for me to say. It seems to me valuable, but I am only one side of the issue.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Let me ask you this as a follow-up to my colleague's question.
I take it that it is a series of comments and criticisms concerning Finkelstein's book, a compilation of articles of various descriptions. Is that what it is composed of?
MR. CHRISTIE: That is correct, sir.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Why is it necessary -- and I am presupposing that there may be no objection to filing these documents. Why is it necessary to retain this witness to put his own gloss on whatever is in these documents? How is that going to assist us in understanding? We have already ruled that he is not here as a historian and he is not here to do comparisons of texts. What useful purpose is served by eliciting from him whatever opinions he has with respect to any of these articles?
MR. CHRISTIE: I suppose the only relevance would be to the same extent as his observations respecting the expressions in the book itself, being this: He can demonstrate that many of these criticisms are positions taken by revisionists, resonating in the body of writing which is in the complaint, which I hope to show in social context means this. At the end of the day, the same expressions that are alleged to exist in the complaint are widely disseminated in the New York Times and the Guardian newspaper, widely disseminated publications.
If you were not allowed to see this, you would be asked to rule in a vacuum on the existence of certain texts which Dr. Prideaux, for instance, told you all about. If what he says stood and you were to look at that in a vacuum, you could think, "Dr. Prideaux's opinions we accept. We have nothing else to suggest that this exists anywhere in the general marketplace of ideas." If I could demonstrate to you that, if you even accept what Dr. Prideaux says and if I can show you that identical words are published on a regular basis in mainstream media, not revisionist but consensus opinion --
THE CHAIRPERSON: We can certainly see all that coming in the evolution of this Hearing and in argument. We are just centring now on whether this witness can be of any use to the Tribunal in discussing these documents.
Perhaps we can hear what other counsel have to say, unless you have something more to say.
MR. CHRISTIE: No. Thank you.
MR. FREIMAN: In my submission, there are two issues. The first is whether these documents should be admitted at all, and the second is, if they are admitted, whether this witness has anything to add to the discussion. Let me take the easier one first, which is the second one.
This witness has nothing to add. Even accepting 100 per cent of what Mr. Christie has set forward as the purpose of putting the documents before you and the argument he wishes to make, there is nothing in the issue of the social context in which revisionists operate that is of any assistance to you in any of the arguments Mr. Christie wishes to make.
There is nothing in the expertise for which the witness has been qualified that will allow him to add any value over and above the words on the page. He is not a useful interpreter. He has not been called as a social historian, historiographer or commentator on meaning of any sort.
In my respectful submission, if you were to admit the documents at all, they should simply be admitted. If there is another witness who has better qualifications and can be of more assistance to you, we will deal with that when the occasion arises. This witness has nothing to help you with.
Turning to the other question as to whether these documents ought to be admitted, in my submission, at the very best there is the most tangential sort of relevance. It is not, I remind the Tribunal, Mr. Finkelstein or his works that have been complained against. Perhaps, if he were within the jurisdiction of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, someone might launch a complaint and someone else might have to decide whether a complaint was justified, and perhaps proceedings would or would not be instituted.
They have not been. These are writings of an individual with whom we have heard the witness agrees at least with all the passages that were put to him and that these passages resonate in the revisionist community. Whatever modest assistance that may be to you you now have.
Mr. Christie now proposes to go one step farther and to introduce reviews both positive and negative of Mr. Finkelstein's works.
MEMBER DEVINS: Mr. Freiman, just in terms of where you are going with this, would it not be open to Mr. Christie to argue that, in fact, he is putting this forward simply to establish the nature of the discourse and the unfolding of the discourse in an area which is generated by a particular work? That is really what I understood, in part, his wanting to do this for. Isn't it open to him to argue that?
MR. FREIMAN: He can argue that. As I say, there may be a modest, tangential relevance to it to the extent that he can demonstrate that the opinions put forward by Mr. Finkelstein and his argument is in some way parallel to -- he has said that he can persuade you that Mr. Finkelstein's book and his arguments taken in their entirety have some parallel with the works complained of. You might, by analogy, be asked to consider whether the response to his book has anything to teach you about the presumptive response to the Zündelsite documents.
I will have a lot to say about that in final argument. If the Tribunal thinks there may be a tangential relevance and wishes to preserve the possibility of that consideration as the argument unfolds, then, in my submission, it would be proper to admit the documents assuming that somebody can tell us what they are and where they come from and to consider them in the context of the argument. They don't speak for themselves as to the truth of their contents, and this witness cannot help us with that.
MEMBER DEVINS: I just want to make sure of one thing. You have seen the documents? The books have been disclosed to you?
MR. FREIMAN: The books were disclosed to us after the end of the day yesterday. I can say that I have had an opportunity to read through one of the five volumes, and that pretty quickly. Time was not exactly plentiful.
MEMBER DEVINS: Thank you.
THE CHAIRPERSON: I will call on you, Mr. Fromm, after Mr. Christie.
MR. CHRISTIE: On the two points that are raised, my rhetorical question is this: How would you know if this is revisionist opinion -- that is, the commentaries -- if the revisionist who is here cannot tell you so? How will you know if revisionism is now in the mainstream if the person who speaks for it cannot identify the commentaries that exist as being within that body of opinion?
That is why I think his opinions in respect of some of the commentary is not only germane but essential.
Moving to the second point, if I can demonstrate some parallel with the words complained of and what is now commonly discussed in the commentaries, would it not then be legitimately open to me to show that this is now part of usual social discourse, that hypersensitivity is no longer permissible because community standards on this issue have developed? I know this is not a notion that is importing the laws of sanity into the question of discussion, but I suppose it is true to say that community standards are the method by which we test obscenity. What was obscene in the 1900s or in the 1800s would certainly be acceptable to community standards today, or it would seem like it.
In a sense, what I am suggesting is that it would be highly useful to a body responsible to interpret what is the line between legitimate social discourse and that which is prohibited by section 13.(1) to know what is generally discussed and currently available in what I have often called the free marketplace of ideas.
If at some point the community standards demanded that not the slightest question of the Holocaust was permissible, then the documents in HR-2 would certainly infringe that rule, that sensitivity, that community standard.
If the community standard has shifted to the point where some of the harshest words that could be alleged, to which Dr. Prideaux attributed the capacity to promote hatred, are now in common usage -- it is like in a roomful of people when people start using obscenity. At the first instance, the offence is great. After everybody has sworn at everybody else, it seems that it has become a generally accepted linguistic method.
I am not advocating that or necessarily comparing it but, if that is possible to demonstrate, then it would certainly seem to be relevant to the question of whether this exposes Jews to hatred or contempt. If everybody is speaking in this way, Jews and Gentiles alike, then I would submit it is unreasonable to assert that, therefore, because it is Ernst Zündel or because we can take it in isolation from all this discussion and say, "Aha, listen to this," and be terribly shocked by it, that would be like a conversation with everybody swearing at each other and you took one person's conversation out of that social context and recorded it and then played it back to somebody and said, "Listen to what this person said." It would then seem quite shocking. If I put it in the context of a wide-ranging debate in which all this language is quite common, it suddenly becomes not anything likely to expose someone to hatred or contempt.
It is part of the common parlance and becomes part of the rough-and-tumble of debate. If there is no debate, you can't say it is anything other than hatred.
That is the reason I would like to proceed. If I am allowed to do this, I certainly don't intend to go through the, hopefully not boring but certainly tedious, process we went through with the last volume.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Fromm, please.
MR. FROMM: I have two points, Mr. Chairman.
The first is a matter of fairness. I think the Commission's witnesses, particularly Professor Schweitzer, were given very wide latitude to address anti-Semitism from the time of the church fathers and classical times and the Middle Ages, eventually coming up to Ernst Zündel, without a lot of interruption and criticism. That is the first point.
As far as the witness goes, the witness has been qualified as an expert on the revisionist community. Like any community that has a particular narrow interest, he has been in a position to watch the publicity or the debate, such as it is -- sometimes waning and sometimes waxing -- and, as such, I think would be able to shed some light on the importance of these reviews and commentaries and critiques. Much as Professor Schweitzer was able to point out the various authorities in the literature of the Holocaust, this witness would perhaps be able to shed some light on this debate. Is this the type of thing that has been occurring all the time or is this a development?
This might be of some assistance to the Tribunal in putting the entire Zündelsite issue and the documents complained of in some sort of context.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
We will take our break now.
-- - Short Recess at 3:02 p.m.
-- - Upon resuming at 3:21 p.m.
THE CHAIRPERSON: At this point Mr. Christie seeks to file certain documents consisting of a series of articles commenting on the publication, "The Holocaust Industry" by Finkelstein, which has been the subject of comment in evidence by Mr. Weber. Mr. Christie wishes to put these articles to Mr. Weber.
There are two elements required in our ruling. First, should the documents be admitted as an exhibit to preserve Mr. Christie's right which might emerge to refer to them in the course of this Hearing and in argument?
Second, can he put these documents to Mr. Weber for comment?
On the first element, we admit the documents. We do not, however, believe that Mr. Weber has any useful role in relation to them and, therefore, decline to allow Mr. Christie's request.
MR. CHRISTIE: Could we ask, then, that these be admitted as an exhibit, the book containing a compilation of articles and editorials concerning Professor Norman Finkelstein. Could that be an exhibit, please?
THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
THE REGISTRAR: The documents as described by Mr. Christie will be filed as Respondent's Exhibit R-43.
EXHIBIT NO. R-43: Book of documents being a compilation of articles and editorials concerning Professor Norman G. Finkelstein's book entitled "The Holocaust Industry"
Q.In Exhibit HR-2 at tab 31, this article is attributed to you. Is that correct?
A.That is correct.
Q.Is it correctly attributed to you?
A.Yes, it is, with the caveat that the title is different from the original article. Originally it was entitled: "The Holocaust: Let's Hear Both Sides." It has here been given the title "Different Views on the Holocaust."
Q.To your knowledge and understanding of usual Holocaust opinions, what is the status of this in relation to the generally-held views of Holocaust revisionists?
A.This article, this leaflet, this essay is, I think, a pretty accurate summation of views that revisionists hold.
Q.I think in here at one point you use the term "Holocaustomania", and you attribute that to Alfred Lilienthal?
A.That is correct.
Q.When did you write that?
A.This essay was first written about 15 years ago, and it has been revised over the years, continually updated and modified. It was written by me as a kind of summation of what Holocaust revisionists had to say, and that is why I considered it important enough to update and revise. I don't know when this particular version of it was written, probably after 1990 because I recognize a few changes in the text that indicate that. It was probably written eight or ten years ago, but I can't say for sure.
The most recent version of this essay was published by the IHR just a few months ago.
THE CHAIRPERSON: That is your last revision?
THE WITNESS: The latest version, yes.
Q.Could you tell us, please, if you have met and do you know Ingrid Rimland?
A.Yes, I do.
Q.Have you discussed this article with her?
A.I don't believe so; I don't recall.
Q.Is this article widely distributed in the revisionist community?
A.Yes, with the understanding that when I say "this article," I mean various versions of this essay have been widely distributed in the revisionist community over the years.
Q.Have you ever discussed with Ms Rimland her web site?
A.I believe so, but I can't recall precisely.
Q.Are you familiar with the book, "Why Should Jews Survive?" by Michael Goldberg?
A.Yes, I am.
Q.Would you consider it as relative or in support of the Holocaust revisionist opinion in any way?
A.Yes, with great reservation. Michael Goldberg's book is the point of view of a Jewish rabbi, and he is very concerned about the fate of Jews in modern society -- I had better be careful here.
Q.Don't go into what you say it means. From your knowledge of the revisionist community and its opinions and beliefs, would you say that that book contains within it views that are consistent with that of the revisionist community?
A.Yes, in part.
Q.Can you mention any other books of contemporary Jewish authors -- and I am not going to go into detail -- that you have read that are consistent with or gradually moving toward or adoptive of parts or the whole of contemporary Holocaust revisionist opinion? Can you give us a synopsis of those?
A.There has been quite a few. I think I mentioned some of them the other day.
There is this book by Marc Ellis which has been reviewed in the Journal of Historical Review. There is the book by Peter Novick, "The Holocaust in American Life." Various writings by Alfred Lilienthal are certainly consistent with themes of revisionist writers over the years.
For that matter, the Journal of Historical Review itself has published a number of articles by Jewish writers --
A.Yes, of course, all of them with permission.
Q.Dr. Hilberg, whom you referred to as one of the eminent historians of the subject of the Holocaust -- has he taken a position with regard to Dr. Finkelstein's work that is of interest to the Holocaust revisionist community?
MR. FREIMAN: I have to rise. We are now getting into another attempt to do indirectly --
THE CHAIRPERSON: The ice is getting a little bit thin with that question.
MR. CHRISTIE: I appreciate that, and I wasn't going to go into any detail, but I can tell you that it is actually contained in the book -- there is actually a quote from Dr. Hilberg.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Then you can refer to it, can't you?
MR. CHRISTIE: I could. Maybe I could do that briefly.
THE CHAIRPERSON: No, you can't. That is an exhibit, but we are not going to refer to it in the context of the examination of this witness.
Q.Are you, yourself, familiar with expressions of support or controversy from Dr. Hilberg, subsequent to Professor Finkelstein's book, that support the revisionist aspects of it?
MR. FREIMAN: Again, we are right back to where we were this morning, with great respect. Is there something in Dr. Hilberg's work that resonates with revisionism and that revisionists agree with? If there is some purpose to asking the question, it is within the Tribunal's decision. To ask him whether Professor Hilberg agrees with certain views of revisionism is precisely the sort of question that he cannot answer under the Tribunal's ruling.
MR. CHRISTIE: I understand that I can't ask him whether it agrees with, but I can ask whether it resonates with Holocaust revisionist opinion.
MEMBER DEVINS: The question is: Who is agreeing with whom?
MR. CHRISTIE: "Resonate with" would be okay, then?
MEMBER DEVINS: I think, Mr. Christie, it really has to do with this witness' expertise with respect to how the revisionist community regards literature, not how others regard their own or the revisionist community's literature.
Q.Speaking on behalf of the revisionist community, are you aware of any recent statements by Dr. Hilberg with which the revisionist community finds agreement in his reaction to Dr. Finkelstein's work? Let's see if that will work.
A.Yes, there have been remarks made by Professor Hilberg in recent months that the revisionist community has taken note of with regard to Norman Finkelstein's book.
Q.As I hear the ice cracking under my feet, I venture slowly forth to ask: Do you know what those remarks are?
THE CHAIRPERSON: I think you should venture forth to the next question.
Q.Do you know what those remarks are, by memory?
A.Yes, I do.
Q.Could you recite them from memory?
A.Yes. Those remarks would be that Raul Hilberg has stated explicitly that he agrees with the sum and substance of Norman Finkelstein's book, that he regards the campaign by the World Jewish Congress against Switzerland and Austria as blackmail and obscene. He has expressed once again recently that the review that revisionists --
THE CHAIRPERSON: You are telling us what his views are now. You have said he agrees with the sum and substance of the book. I don't think you need to go farther.
THE WITNESS: That's right.
Q.The positions you expressed on behalf of Holocaust revisionism are an alleged concern for the truth. Is that correct?
A.That is correct.
Q.Has this concern been reiterated or repeated in the general context of this discussion of Dr. Hilberg's comments on Finkelstein?
THE CHAIRPERSON: I don't think that is an appropriate question.
Q.Are you aware of Dr. Christopher Browning?
Q.What is his place known to Holocaust revisionism on the whole subject?
A.Revisionists are familiar with him. I have a kind of special familiarity because in the 1988 Zündel trial here in Toronto I was offered as a witness, in large part, in response to Browning who had testified on behalf of the prosecution in the case.
Q.In the Holocaust revisionist community is there concern with the soap story?
Q.Are you aware of any recent developments with regard to that that Dr. Browning is involved in and that involve the Holocaust revisionist community's concern?
The Human Rights Tribunal can accept any form of evidence it considers relevant. It is not bound by the strict rules of evidence, as I have discovered.
THE CHAIRPERSON: That is true, but I am asking you to go on to the next question.
MR. CHRISTIE: So there is no need for an objection. I have a ruling.
Q.From the perspective of the Holocaust revisionist community, is there any evidence of an ongoing controversy about the various aspects of the Holocaust --
MR. FREIMAN: I rise again. Perhaps I can explain this more generically.
You don't change the essence of an objectionable question by cloaking it with the magic words "in the view of the Holocaust revisionist community." The substance of the Tribunal's ruling has to do with the basic issue of the degree of expertise that is attached to the witness and the area of evidence in which it determined that this witness might be of assistance to the Tribunal.
Mr. Weber was qualified as an expert on the revisionist historical community, and the area of evidence was the social context in which that community operates. It was not as an expert on historical debates. It was not as an expert on what the outside historical community, the consensus community or whatever you want to call it, believes and how far those beliefs accord with revisionist beliefs or even whether the revisionist community applauds certain ideas or condemns ideas.
I have not pressed the objection because the irrelevance of most of the evidence is self-explanatory. At this point we are just going right back to square one. This whole line of questioning is objectionable. It has nothing to do with the context of the revisionist history or the social context in which they operate. It has everything to do with an attempt to lead through this witness evidence as to what certain historical debates are like, what the consensus is, what new movements and new ideas are and what the importance of those new ideas might be. None of those topics fall within the expertise of this witness.
MR. CHRISTIE: First of all, if we go back to your ruling, it was: We are prepared to accept him as an expert in Holocaust revisionism as he and others have defined that field. You will note the words "as he and others have defined that field."
My learned friend says that he knows that field. He will define the field as narrowly as possible. Holocaust revisionists, in his view, cannot even relate to or know or comment on the existence of the debate in society.
I submit to you that Holocaust revisionists are uniquely interested and extremely well qualified to comment on the existence or otherwise of the debate in society generally because their lives generally depend upon it from the point of view of being able to bring themselves within the mainstream of social discussion. They have been isolated. They have been criminalized and attacked, so it is quite natural.
Mr. Weber can and has indicated that Holocaust revisionists watch very carefully the debate that has emerged and is emerging. They are highly sensitive to the ongoing controversy. They should be entitled to say, "Yes, there is a new body of support for us developing among the consensus historians."
My learned friend claims to have the power to define the revisionist community so narrowly that he cannot comment on anything except what they themselves believe. That, of course, is like entitling an expert in a field that involves history, although he may not be a historian -- he is not being asked to give opinions on the validity of other historians' opinions, but on the relationship those bear to his own and those of the community of which he is a member.
To deny him that is to basically say that Holocaust revisionist historians are unable to be connected or to express views upon any broader context, which is totally contrary to what Mr. Weber has defined as their primary interest, which is to watch the debate as it emerges, to be familiar with it, to watch the establishment historians as they gradually adopt the positions that were so isolated in the past.
I say, with reason, that to deny the right of a Holocaust revisionist to define his field that way is to force upon him a definition of the Commission, which is, of course, the absurd definition which would categorize him in the same way as those would categorize people in a mental ward, as unable to communicate with sane, rational human beings.
That is a practice and a process that is quite familiar to Soviet conduct of trials and affairs. It is a practice that is used to isolate, to alienate, to criminalize people all over the world, but it should not be done here. This is supposedly Human Rights, and this is a human who has a unique point of view perhaps.
I take it as a deeply offensive position taken by the Commission time after time that he cannot comment beyond the scope of what isolated position the Commission insists is his own, that there is this discrete category of Holocaust revisionists who are unable to relate to, comment on or have views about the opinions of consensus historians.
What if consensus historians accept revisionist positions? Can't he even know that? Can't he even say, "Yes, I have discovered Christopher Browning to say thus and so. I have discovered Dr. Hilberg to say thus and so?" Is he not even entitled to know that? Would it not be part of the knowledge of a historical Holocaust revisionist to be concerned about what other historians are saying? Why should he be denied the right to know that or to say that? Of course, by such means he might become rationally defensible, and we wouldn't want that.
The Commission would rather be able to isolate the revisionist community into the category of people much like the Jews of Nazi times.
MR. FREIMAN: If I may respond to that suitably inflammatory and objectionable description, at the end of the day -- and I will say it. This witness was qualified in the narrowest possible category in part, in my respectful submission, because of effective evidence adduced through cross-examination that would raise within this Tribunal a fear that this particular witness has been guilty in the past and has been so found of distorting historical writing, distorting historical reality and of posturing as a historian with no basis.
The materials that Mr. Christie wants to put before you -- you have already ruled on one collection of documents, and I expect with other documents you will rule the same, that the documents themselves can be admitted for whatever use they may be put either through a subsequent witness or in argument.
The objection here is in asking this witness to provide opinion evidence as to the meaning, as to the import, as to the implications of the work of historians. This witness is not qualified. I have attempted to be more measured in my tones and in my description of the witness' qualifications previously, but Mr. Christie's eruption forces me to be blunt. This witness, based on the questioning as to his credentials and as to his expertise, has been demonstrated not to be capable of rendering his opinions, and the Tribunal has so ruled.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Measured against our ruling on the basis of the admission of this witness' evidence after the qualification process, my colleague and I believe that we have given Mr. Christie considerable latitude in examining this witness.
He is not here as a historian. As has been said in the course of the evidence, he speaks for the revisionist community. He does speak as a person who has some knowledge of the revisionist community, and his evidence is limited to his knowledge of the revisionist community from the point of view of a social context.
I am going to ask Mr. Christie once again to be very careful about questions he asks this witness in conformance with the Tribunal's ruling.
I believe the ruling we made earlier today is of assistance to counsel in that regard, and I would make the observation that both the witness and Mr. Christie observed the ruling until some point this afternoon, in particular with respect to the last line of questions which seems to direct questions to this witness calling for an opinion based on qualifications accorded to a historian.
Q.Could you tell us how Holocaust revisionism defines the field of Holocaust revisionism.
MEMBER DEVINS: Mr. Christie, I am sorry, my notes indicate that that was the very first question you asked: How would you define "Holocaust revisionism?"
MR. CHRISTIE: As long as you got the answer, then it would have been through reference to historians.
MEMBER DEVINS: The answer I have is that the term was applied to a body of work which casts a critical eye on Holocaust history.
MR. CHRISTIE: If that is the only definition you took, I think it is an inadequate one, and I wonder if I might be allowed to --
MEMBER DEVINS: Mr. Christie, you may well be right in that my notes may not have been accurate.
MR. CHRISTIE: What if it wasn't --
MEMBER DEVINS: Mr. Christie, if I might finish, please.
MR. CHRISTIE: Of course.
MEMBER DEVINS: There is a record. My point was only to suggest that perhaps we have covered this area.
MR. CHRISTIE: Perhaps we have not given an exhaustive definition and perhaps I was asking because I want to know specifically whether analysis and observation, particularly observation of the opinions of other historians, is falling within the scope and field of Holocaust revisionism.
MEMBER DEVINS: Perhaps you can ask that question.
MR. CHRISTIE: Thank you.
Q.Does observation and analysis of the opinions of historians as they are expressed about the Holocaust fall within the scope of the field that Holocaust revisionists define for themselves?
THE CHAIRPERSON: Certain revisionists, I suppose, are historians, are they?
THE WITNESS: Right.
THE CHAIRPERSON: In answer to that question you replied affirmatively. My question was: Do some persons who espouse revisionism in the same community of which you are a member possess qualifications as a historian?
THE WITNESS: Yes.
Q.I would like to get back to my question, which was: Why do Holocaust revisionists concern themselves with the expressed public views of historians on the subject of the Holocaust?
A.Because it is impossible to discuss history without discussing the work of historians.
Q.Why is it of particular interest to Holocaust revisionists to know what historians say about the subject of the Holocaust?
A.Because historians write history, and any discussion of history by revisionists or anyone else, of necessity, requires an understanding of what historians write and say.
Q.Is it within the scope of the Holocaust revisionist field to be aware of and knowledgeable in the statements of historians about this subject?
MR. FREIMAN: Perhaps I can just --
THE CHAIRPERSON: I think he can go that far.
MR. FREIMAN: He can go that far, but my objection is as follows and perhaps the Tribunal will permit me a moment.
If a barber were to be put forward as an expert in surgery and the Tribunal were to find that he is not an expert in surgery but he is an expert in what barbers do and can talk about what barbers do and the social context of being a barber, it would not change one iota the prohibition of having that barber discuss surgery to ask him whether from the perspective of a barber a barber needs to know about how surgery is conducted.
This whole line of questioning simply intends to fill the category of revisionism with a content that includes historians and history so as to justify asking very prohibited questions that this Tribunal has set forward on the pretext that we are now dealing with the social context of revisionism.
MEMBER DEVINS: Mr. Freiman, it may well be that your concerns are premature. We are not quite sure where Mr. Christie is going with this line of questioning.
Q.If I understand your evidence to date, I think you indicated that Holocaust revisionism is concerned with history. Is that correct?
A.That is correct, and it --
Q.Don't go beyond the scope of the question because I don't want to have an objection. Confine yourself very narrowly to the question for the moment. I would like to proceed with that so that we can get to where I am going without objection. I can't follow my train of thought if there is constant objection.
Can we do that?
Q.Is it part of the scope of the field of inquiry known as Holocaust revisionism to be aware of the opinions of historians as they pertain to Holocaust revisionism?
Q.Without commenting on the validity or otherwise of those opinions, are you aware of the opinions of contemporary historians regarding the subject of the Holocaust as part of the study of Holocaust revisionism?
A.I try to stay informed, yes, about the opinions of historians and others on what revisionists do, yes, and revisionists' work.
Q.If I were to specifically ask you if you are aware of the opinions of historians respecting Holocaust revisionism, could you demonstrate by reference to those specific opinions, without commenting on them, what those opinions have been and as are publicly expressed today? Can you answer that question?
A.Yes, to the best of my memory.
Q.Do you have any knowledge of historical opinions that have supported the Holocaust revisionism since the Finkelstein publication?
THE CHAIRPERSON: That requires an answer beyond the scope of his --
MR. CHRISTIE: With the greatest of respect, before you rule, let me submit.
THE CHAIRPERSON: I am putting it to you that you can address what I have just attempted to say, that it is beyond the scope of his expertise and qualifications.
MR. CHRISTIE: That is a ruling contrary to your earlier ruling and before any submission. Let me now make a submission, having heard your ruling.
First of all, you ruled earlier that you accepted him as an expert on Holocaust revisionism as he and others have defined that field. He has defined the field as being concerned with history. He has defined the field as including the concern of Holocaust revisionists to be aware of the opinions of historians as they pertain to Holocaust revisionism.
If it is true to say that he has the right to define the field and he has so defined it, then I suggest that you would be logically inconsistent to say that he is not entitled to say what those opinions of historians are -- not to comment on them, but to describe them. It is then not a statement of opinion, but a statement of the fact of someone else's opinion. It is not necessarily the expression of an opinion by himself.
It is then, in my submission, logical that it would be within the scope of his expertise as a Holocaust revisionist because he has defined that field as including awareness of and concern for the opinions of historians concerning the Holocaust. Then I would be entitled to ask him the questions, and it would be my submission that he should be entitled to answer the questions.
THE CHAIRPERSON: It seems to me that that is a process of self-definition which allows him to become a historian by the side door. I disagree with it.
MR. CHRISTIE: Historians express opinions about history. I was only asking him to recount the opinions of other historians, and there is a difference.
THE CHAIRPERSON: You can refer in the proper way to historical works in the course of this presentation and in the course of your argument. Putting that kind of proposition to this witness who is not a qualified historian adds nothing to the process.
The last thing I want to do is interfere with counsel's train of thought. If you need time to re-examine your train of thought, you can always ask this Tribunal to do that, and we will be most receptive to any such necessity.
MR. CHRISTIE: Could I have a moment, please.
Q.If you have HR-2 in front of you, the complained of documents, tab 3 is entitled "Jewish Soap" by Mark Weber. Is that accurately reflecting an article that you wrote?
A.Without having compared every line or having read it, it seems to be, yes, with the reservation that this version does not include the source references or footnotes that I had in the original.
Q.It is my understanding that Dr. Prideaux referred to page 53. It starts with "About the Author. Dr. Prideaux in Volume 4, page 499, states about this paragraph:
"The human soap story demonstrates anew the tremendous impact a wartime rumour, no matter how fantastic, can have once it has taken hold, particularly when it is disseminated as a propaganda lie by influential individuals and powerful organizations. That so many intelligent, otherwise thoughtful people could ever have seriously believed that the Germans distributed bars of soap brazenly labelled with letters indicating they were made from Jewish corpses shows how readily even the most absurd Holocaust fables can be, and are, accepted as fact."
By what process did you as a Holocaust revisionist come to that conclusion?
A.I did very extensive research into the origins and development of this claim that the Germans made bars of soap from the bodies of murdered Jews during the Second World War. I was particularly interested in how this story started. It seems that the first origins of this were stories that were disseminated by the World Jewish Congress and through its American representative, Stephen Wise, in 1942 and 1943 in the United States.
MR. FREIMAN: I am really reluctant to rise because I don't want to impede relevant testimony. It is difficult to understand where this could possibly go. The issue, as has been established and as Mr. Christie reminded us, is not what the author of the work intended by what was written but, rather as to the effect of a given work, whether it is likely to expose individuals to hatred and contempt based on prohibited grounds.
It is not germane to that question what the origin of the work was and what the research process to it was. While I hesitate to interrupt Mr. Weber in the discussion of the basis for his work, which he does know about and could tell us about, in my respectful submission, it is not relevant to any matter we are dealing with.
MR. CHRISTIE: I have nothing more to say. If you wish to rule on it, then I would love to hear your ruling.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps you can assist us as to how the line of questioning that you are leading is of assistance to the Tribunal in coming to any conclusion.
MR. CHRISTIE: This question to which objection is taken was, "By what means did you come to that conclusion?", just to simply describe the processes by which the article was written.
This is the author. It is part of the complained of documents, and it would seem to be relevant to the issue of whether these are likely to expose Jews to hatred, contempt or ridicule, to determine if there was a process that is called logic and reason behind his development. If there is a process that is manifestly unreasonable, is inherently motivated by hate, it may be useful then to demonstrate that the product is likely to expose the person to hatred or contempt. If the process is rational, is clearly demonstrating a process of deductive reasoning, then it would be my submission that it is more readily obvious that the document is not productive of or exposing anyone to hatred or contempt by reason of race, religion or ethnic origin.
That is why, in my submission, it is relevant to discuss and demonstrate from the author of the article to which the objection is taken the process by which the article was derived, how he created it. This is the person who created it.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Isn't that another way of getting at the truth of what is being said?
MR. CHRISTIE: No. There is a difference between rationality and truth, although they could be consistent. Rationality can lead to erroneous conclusions if the premises are false. It is a process of logical deduction that distinguishes what I will call hateful speech from rational speech.
The reason I suggest that people in general society can distinguish the two, which is a matter of argument, of course -- and I am not here to ask this witness that -- is that many people are able to see a rational line of argument and, when they see flaws or errors or logical non-sequiturs, they are able then to dispute or to reject the line of reasoning through their own mental processes. They don't need a Dr. Prideaux to do it.
If it was the case that this witness who wrote the article could tell us the processes and demonstrate by reference to the article, I was going to suggest, how he derives his conclusion and how he set them out rationally -- of course, Dr. Prideaux took them entirely out of context -- then it would be, in my respectful submission, relevant to hear from him as to what that process of reasoning was.
It would then be obvious, or maybe not obvious -- it would be, conversely, readily available to argue from the other side that it did not have a rational process of development and, hence, was productive of or likely to produce hatred or contempt. That is assuming that people are rational, which I like to suggest is a presumption we should rely on in a so-called free and democratic society.
That is my reasoning for the question.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Is malice an issue?
MR. CHRISTIE: I didn't suggest that malice was an issue. I suggested that there is a means whereby the average person can rationally distinguish between that which is unfounded in reason and that which is simply an appeal to hatred. The way to distinguish is by considering whether the document is a rational argument or not a rational argument. Therefore, the author and the method by which he creates the document are relevant to the decision of whether the document is hateful or not.
MEMBER DEVINS: Mr. Christie, as the process by which the author arrived at his conclusions would not be obvious to the reader of this document, how is it helpful for us in terms of your argument? The reader would not know what went forward. As I understand your argument, it really would have to be that the reader goes through it on its face and arrives at the conclusion that this is a product of a rational argument. They wouldn't know what Mr. Weber did beforehand.
MR. CHRISTIE: I guess, if you put it that way, it is just a matter of argument and Mr. Weber can't say anything about how he worked on the article or how he developed it. That's fine.
MEMBER DEVINS: I am simply trying to understand the relationship given that that information would not have been available to the reader. Perhaps you can assist me.
MR. CHRISTIE: That information is available to the reader in the sense that he can read the text. It would seem to me and I submit that it is necessary to hear from the author as to whether he actually did the inquiries and made the research which he purports to have made and, therefore, whether a rational inquiry would find that the statements were substantiated, whether they are capable of substantiation -- for example, whether there are, in fact, documents that support the assertions that are contained within the article. If they were simply fabricated, it would be my submission that a rational person would be unable to determine if there was a rational foundation for the article. They would be prohibited by virtue of fabrication or falsehood from assessing the rationality or otherwise of the article.
If, on the other hand, the author was able to say, "I do know that, if someone wanted to inquire, they could find the source that I have referred to," then it would seem to me rational to submit that the article on its face would be capable of supporting the inference that the average person can determine for themselves whether or not it exposes Jews to hatred or contempt and whether or not they wish to believe it.
In other words, the difference between a fabrication and a researched article is something that makes a difference in the ultimate effect of it. The latter can be assessed as to its credibility, and presumably its errors can be identified. The former could not. That is why it is relevant to ask the witness who prepared the article what was the method by which they prepared it.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Christie, you are using words such as "logic", and it seems to me that the ultimate logic is the truth of the statement. A higher authority than this Tribunal, as you well know, says that the truth of these statements is not the test that we are obliged to consider. It is a question of whether it is a hate message.
MR. CHRISTIE: Yes, I understand that truth is irrelevant to the assessment of whether it is a hate message, but verifiability, I suggest --
THE CHAIRPERSON: There is no use castigating me or my colleague about that principle which you obviously disagree with.
MR. CHRISTIE: I certainly do disagree with it. It creates a logical non-sequitur. It creates a sense of unreality. Be that as it may, I submit that the truth is different from verifiability.
Verifiability means the capacity to test the accuracy of the premises upon which the argument is founded. It is not necessarily to verify it, but it is the capacity to do so if you wish. That means that it puts the position of the article in the category of that which is capable of being assessed by an honest, sincere inquiry by a impartial reader.
For example, an assertion that is founded on entire fabrication, like some Holocaust stories that we have referred to, is impossible to assess as to its effect because the premises cannot be tested. I am not suggesting that it is Mr. Weber's right to prove the truth of his premises, but to identify how those premises could be verified or not verified; they could be refuted.
It is the method by which the article was created that I endeavour to ask him about for the simple reason that, if it was a method that was capable of verification or refutation, it would be an article that would be capable of assessment by a rational human being with an impartial inquiry in mind and would therefore be capable of self-limitation of assessment so that hatred could not be produced or exposed, but it would be, in my submission, the rational person who would be capable of making an assessment in a manner that would eliminate that human emotion, if they so wished.
A person disposed to hatred can hate without the article. A person not disposed not to hatred can disbelieve the article. What we are concerned with, I think, is an impartial person who approaches it with perhaps ignorance but an inquiring and rational mind. It is that category of person with which we are concerned. Whether that would expose Jews to hatred or contempt depends on whether that person is given the means within the article itself to verify or refute it by their own research.
The person who can answer the question as to whether that capacity exists is the person who wrote the article and can identify the method by which they supported their reasoning. This is the individual. If he can say the method by which he wrote the article was capable of being analyzed -- in other words, a rational and impartial person could research the sources -- and that they really existed, that he did not fabricate them, that they are there for everyone to see and to assess whether what he says about them is true or not, that would certainly be an important aspect of whether or not this document is capable of producing hatred or contempt in a rational society -- not one that took it as Dr. Prideaux did, entirely out of context, and said, "That is capable of promoting hatred."
What he argues and says is an argument. What I argue and say is also an argument. Unless I can ask this witness about the method of the creation of this document, it would not be possible for me to argue, particularly if no one can verify that there is an actual source for the information, that it wasn't fabricated as a source. That is not to say it is true, but to say that it is verifiable.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you saying that it mitigates the document, for example, if it had footnotes?
MR. CHRISTIE: No. I am saying that, if those footnotes are fabricated, the person who was endeavouring to research the article to determine if they believed it or not or to determine if it produced any significant effect on their mind would be unable to research it. They would have to accept it on faith, which an irrational person disposed to hate might, and it could then be said to be more likely to expose a person to hatred or contempt --
THE CHAIRPERSON: All of which requires the reader to go behind the document in some manner.
MR. CHRISTIE: To do some inquiry. Are we to presume that a person who reads this document, as this is one of the alleged offending documents, is simply not going to do any inquiry, that they will simply take it at face value? I suppose that will be an argument from the Commission's point of view.
My argument would be, if I am allowed to develop the foundation for it, that we should not assume that people are that gullible that they acquire the strong emotion of hatred, contempt or ridicule for a group of people based on race, religion or ethnic origin without an inquiry. Some will. Some irrational people will acquire hatred for no good reason. Some people will reject arguments without reason, but are they the people that we should assume are to be assessed when we determine if section 13.(1) is violated, or are we to concern ourselves with what I suggest is the general category of people in a free and democratic society who are presumed to be rational, presumed to be capable of reasoning, neither insane nor totally cynical, but who would make some endeavour to inquire about the factual foundation for an article before they determined such a strong emotion as hatred, contempt or ridicule?
THE CHAIRPERSON: Don't all those considerations derive from an examination of the document.
MR. CHRISTIE: No. I say that because --
THE CHAIRPERSON: We are proceeding with some very ultimate issues here in this discussion.
MR. CHRISTIE: I have to relate it to the ultimate issues or you are going to say I am wasting your time, and I wouldn't blame you. If I can't make sense out of it in a very short time, you have every reason to be impatient.
What I am trying to do is get at the essence of this argument, and you said, "Wouldn't that be obvious from the face of the document, so that you don't need to look to the origin?"
THE CHAIRPERSON: No, I did not say that.
MR. CHRISTIE: I am sorry.
THE CHAIRPERSON: The propositions that you are putting to us derive from an examination of the document. What is the impact of the document? Would it lead people to say to themselves, "I read this, but I don't accept it at face value. I am going to do some research on it?" If that is the reaction of the average person, if that is the impact of the document, arguably, then that might lead to certain conclusions.
MR. CHRISTIE: Yes.
THE CHAIRPERSON: As opposed to that, there would be a conclusion that someone would read this document and they would only come to one conclusion, namely that what the document says leads to a certain course of action in their own mind -- that is, the promotion of hatred.
All that derives from an examination of the document, the context in which it is presented, and so on.
MR. CHRISTIE: Sir, a rational person making an inquiry is going to look behind the document to the sources, to do a little research before acquiring this strong emotion.
THE CHAIRPERSON: That may well be your argument at the end of the process, and it may find favour with this Tribunal. I have no idea.
MR. CHRISTIE: I have no idea either, but let me put it this way.
If I can demonstrate to you from the person who wrote the article that a sincere attempt was made to identify the source of each of the statements that are made in the argument as premises and that they are not fabricated as to source, then I think I could go some distance to show that a rational person wanting to make an inquiry can make an assessment through that inquiry. They are not stopped from doing so by the absence of any rational process of research, first as if there were no footnotes --
THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you saying that that evidence feeds the argument that a person looking at the document would make those inquiries as you are seeking to make those inquiries from this witness? Is that what you are saying?
MR. CHRISTIE: They would be capable of an inquiry. If this witness is able to tell us that the foundation for his reasoning is verifiable, that the things he refers to do exist and that he did not misquote them, to the best of his knowledge, that would, in my submission, give the means whereby any rational person could make the inquiry.
If, for instance, it could be demonstrated that, indeed, those are not footnotes, that indeed there is no referable point of inquiry, that it is fabrication, then it would either have to be accepted without reason which could promote hatred, or it would not.
Therefore, it is relevant to determine what the author has done to research and provide support for his argument. That is what I was going to ask.
Could I make one further point. Yes, truth is irrelevant for the determination of the effect of the article, but are we to assume that rational people would acquire the strong emotion of hatred without being convinced of the truth of the contents? I would submit that rational people would not acquire the strong emotion of hatred unless they were persuaded of the truth of the contents -- not to say that it was true, but that you would have to put together an argument that would persuade them of the truth, perhaps falsely.
It is my submission that to presume otherwise would be to impute to all people a capacity to acquire the strong emotion of hatred when they are not persuaded of truth. That rationally requires the belief that a person, any person, presumably rational would acquire the strong emotion of hatred or contempt or ridicule without believing that the statement that forms the basis for that emotion was true. It just does not logically follow.
If you tell me something about somebody and I am not sure that it is true and I don't believe it, if I don't believe it is true, it is very unlikely -- I am no psychologist, but we are all capable of having some knowledge of the human psychology and our own emotions. Unless you believe what they say about somebody, it is not likely that you are going to acquire that degree of animosity that rises to the level of hatred, contempt or ridicule.
The rational basis, the verifiability of the article, is essential to determine whether any reasonable person would acquire such strong emotions as hatred, contempt or ridicule from reading the article. Therefore, I asked the author of the article: By what method did you come to that conclusion? That is where we embarked on this discussion.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Fromm wanted to speak, I believe.
MR. FROMM: Mr. Chairman, one of the questions the Tribunal will have to address at the end of the day is the impact of the complained of statements in the social context. We have the opportunity to talk to the author of one of those, and that might assist you at the end of the day.
I can think of a slogan spray-painted anonymously in the middle of the night, and people see it the next day. You can't debate the slogan; the author is anonymous.
At least this particular document is a signed document. The author is here. It might assist in judging the impact and context if he can be questioned as to his methodology. What he has written -- whether misguided or not is perhaps another question -- is something serious. It is not like the inflammatory slogan spray-painted on a wall in the middle of the night with which we cannot argue. The process of the author and your ability to get to know that might indeed be helpful to you in assessing at the end of the day what the impact is. Is what is on the Zündelsite that is being complained of a series of inflammatory, anonymous "death to someone" or whatever, or is it in some sense a scholarly series? If it is the latter, it may not be productive of hatred or contempt.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
MR. FREIMAN: Mr. Christie has repeatedly upbraided me with a lack of understanding of logic and lack of respect for logic. After listening to him for 10 minutes, perhaps he is right because I didn't understand a word of what was going on.
The nearest I can understand is that it is relevant to investigate the steps by which this article was put together because, if you don't look at that, then perhaps someone could say that there was no reason and no logic behind it and then you couldn't even look at the content.
The reason that none of it makes sense is that all of the arguments, both Mr. Fromm's and Mr. Christie's, are simply restatements through circumlocution of two propositions which higher authorities have held not to be accurate. One is that the truthfulness of an utterance is relevant to how it would be received and, therefore, as to whether it is productive of hatred and contempt. The second is that the motivation behind the utterance is somehow relevant to the production of hatred and contempt. As the Tribunal has observed, higher authorities have decided that neither of those two is relevant.
Having said that, there is nothing left to look at. If Mr. Christie's argument is correct -- I am not even going to go through the remarkable propositions. At the end of the day we have heard nothing other than the proposition that something about the way this was put together is relevant either for the accuracy of what is said or for the intention of what is said. Neither of those is relevant.
THE CHAIRPERSON: The issue before us is one of relevance. This line of questioning is not relevant. It is not relevant to discuss how the documents in question came into being by the authors and seeks to ask this author how he came to write the article and what was the basis on which it was written.
The Tribunal rules that that inquiry is not relevant.
We will adjourn until 9:30 tomorrow.
-- - Whereupon the Hearing was adjourned at 4:30 p.m. to resume on Friday, October 6, 2000, at 9:30 a.m.