December 16, 2004
A former senior aide to talk show host and one-time presidential candidate Pat Buchanan spoke at a meeting of Holocaust-deniers earlier this year, according to this year’s annual report on Holocaust-denial activity around the world.
The year-end report, Holocaust Denial: A Global Survey – 2004, has been issued by The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, which is located on the campus of Gratz College, near Philadelphia. The report’s co-authors are Holocaust scholars Dr. Alex Grobman (author of a recent book on Holocaust denial) and Dr. Rafael Medoff (director of the Wyman Institute).
The complete text of the Wyman Institute’s report may be viewed on the Wyman Institute’s web site, www.WymanInstitute.org
The report notes that Peter Gemma, a senior staff member of Pat Buchanan’s 2000 presidential campaign, spoke at a February 19, 2004 meeting in Virginia of the Institute for Historical Review, the leading Holocaust-denial organization in the United States. Gemma introduced the evening’s keynote speaker, IHR director Mark Weber.
The association of a former Buchanan aide with Holocaust-deniers is particularly noteworthy in view of Buchanan’s own troubling positions concerning Hitler and the Holocaust. He has written that 850,000 Jews could not have been gassed in Treblinka because “diesel engines do not emit enough carbon dioxide to kill anybody”; he spoke out on behalf of accused Nazi war criminals Karl Linnas and Arthur Rudolph; he wrote columns defending Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk; he described Hitler as “an individual of great courage”; and he mocked Holocaust survivors’ memories as “group fantasies of martyrdom and heroics.” (The New Republic, Oct. 15 and Oct. 22, 1990) In his 1999 book, A Republic, Not an Empire, Buchanan argued that the U.S. should not have gone to war against Nazi Germany.
Other highlights of this year’s report:
* Holocaust-deniers in the United States continued their efforts to gain a measure of respectability in 2004, and benefitted from the willingness of several individuals of prominence to associate with them. In addition to the aforementioned Peter Gemma, a newsletter edited by pundit Alexander Cockburn defended imprisoned Holocaust-denier Ernst Zundel. Also, Hutton Gibson again publicly denied the Holocaust, while his son, actor Mel Gibson, declined to clearly dissociate himself from his father’s views.
* Some Arab governments continued to actively promote Holocaust-denial in 2004, and a Holocaust-denier emerged as the leading candidate for chairmanship of the Palestinian Authority.
* A number of Western governments and other institutions took important steps against Holocaust-deniers. The Canadian government sought to deport Ernst Zundel; the government of New Zealand denied entry to David Irving; the French government brought charges against Bruno Gollnisch; Harvard University returned a gift from an Arab leader who promoted Holocaust-denial; and The Nation magazine said it would no longer accept advertisements from Holocaust-deniers. Most notably, U.S. intervention brought about the first-ever public disavowal of Holocaust-denial by an Egyptian government official.