New U.S. Government Report Misrepresents Holocaust-Deniers As “Scholars”

News Release
October 6, 2005

A new U.S. government report refers to Holocaust-deniers as “scholars and researchers,” prompting the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies to call for the report to be recalled from circulation and corrected.

“Holocaust-deniers are not scholars or researchers–they are bigots who try to hide their antisemitism behind the mask of fake scholarship,” said Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff.  “For a U.S. government report to call them ‘scholars’ gives them the legitimacy they desperately crave but do not deserve.”

The report, “Eavesdropping on Hell,” was published recently by the National Security Agency.  It was authored by Robert Hanyok of the NSA’s Center for Cryptologic History.  In the report, Hanyok mentions the Journal of Historical Review, which he describes as a “forum for that faction of scholars and researchers associated with a movement known as ‘Holocaust denial’.”  Hanyok proceeds to summarize the article and explains why he believes the author was mistaken.  In a footnote, Hanyok characterizes the journal’s sponsors, the Institute for Historical Review, as “a loosely-organized scholarly association” that promotes “a revisionist or denial viewpoint about the Holocaust.”

Dr. Medoff commented:  “A U.S. government publication should not treat Holocaust-deniers as if they are a legitimate part of scholarly discussions about the Holocaust.  One glance at the web site of the Institute for Historical Review reveals its blatant hate-mongering, including articles defending Hitler and alleging international Jewish conspiracies.  Such bigots should not be described as ‘scholars and researchers,’ their organization should not be described as ‘scholarly’, and their publications should not be included in a discussion of the writings of legitimate scholars of the  Holocaust.  We urge the National Security Agency to immediately withdraw the report from circulation until its reference to deniers as ‘scholars’ is corrected or removed.”

The Wyman Institute points out that the U.S. State Department officially considers Holocaust-denial to be a form of antisemitism.  In the State Department’s January 2005 “Report on Global Anti-Semitism,” there are nine separate references to incidents of Holocaust-denial included among the report’s listing of antisemitic incidents in various countries.