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February 23, 2016

Holocaust Denier Bradley Smith’s Legacy of Lies

Holocaust denier Bradley Smith, the founder of the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH), died on February 18, 2016, his 86th birthday. Smith’s lasting impact is apparent in his peers’ reaction to his death – and in the continued efforts of the organizations he created to promote dangerous Holocaust denial theories. Smith’s acolytes and fellow Holocaust deniers rushed to eulogize him in the days following his death.bradley-smith-report-logo

Smith was one of the original Holocaust deniers – an aging group that included Willis Carto, who died in October and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in February amid considerable controversy. Smith denied every fact about the Holocaust: He discounted the number of murders, he dismissed the gas chambers as “false,” and he questioned the existence of a planned “Final Solution.”

Smith had an eclectic, literary – even progressive – young adulthood, and did not engage in so-called “revisionism” until he was nearly 50, when he read a copy of Robert Faurrison’s “The Problem of the Gas Chambers.”  The pamphlet, as Smith recalled in his memoir, “Confessions of a Holocaust Revisionist,” changed his life. From that moment on, Smith’s Holocaust denial was absolute – he refuted every piece of evidence that was presented to him, from eyewitness testimony to photographs of the concentration camps to historical documents – and he was determined to share his new beliefs widely, especially on college campuses.

David Cole, who also promoted Holocaust denial on campus in the 1990s, wrote this about Smith: “…He made his mark. Whether they know if it or not, those today who campaign for free speech on college campuses… all use techniques Bradley helped pioneer. Campus newspaper ads disguised as op-eds, calculatedly provocative speaking tours, pitting student idealists against ideologues… Bradley did it first.”

From 1987 to 2001, CODOH ran the Campus Project, Smith’s attempt to fuel Holocaust denial on university campuses by placing essay-length ads in more than 350 student newspapers. Smith’s efforts set off heated First Amendment debates nationwide.committee-for-open-debate-on-the-holocaust-codoh-logo

In his homage to Smith, Holocaust denier Arthur Butz, a professor of electrical engineering at Northwestern University and author of “The Hoax of the Twentieth Century,” wrote of CODOH: “I call it a great success, because [Smith’s] kitchen-table operation has grown into the principal center of revisionism, publishing, posting or linking to articles in several languages and providing outlets for people who make worthy contributions… Congratulations and R.I.P., Bradley, for a life that made a difference!”

Holocaust denier Germar Rudolf, a longtime Smith collaborator, added these words of praise: “Bradley’s legacy is monumental. Among revisionists, there are few who have achieved as much as he has… He almost single-handedly made his own nation listen to the revisionist message, in spite of all establishment attempts to silence him.”

Smith’s impact reached beyond his peers to everyday “revisionists.” On the day after his death, an anonymous commenter posted condolences on the CODOH website:  “Though I never knew him personally, I have read a bit of his work… May he rest well knowing that he lived a accomplished life fighting the wicked goliath that sends waves of propagation far…”

In recent years, Smith seemed determined to continue his work – and shore up his hateful legacy. In March 2015, he announced the creation of a new Holocaust denial website, A Light on Campus, which features the tagline: “As a student, with regards to the Holocaust narrative, you are being directed by academic taboo rather than intellectual freedom and a free press. Do you want to continue to support this taboo, or confront it?”

Even in the week leading up to his death, Smith was making noise: On February 10, 2016, Jewish students at the University of Vermont received an email questioning the record keeping at Auschwitz and claiming that one of the camp’s crematoriums was constructed after World War II. The message was signed by Bradley Smith.

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October 30, 2015

American Anti-Semite and Holocaust Denier Willis Carto Dies

Willis Carto, one of the most virulent anti-Semitic propagandists in the United States, died this week at age 89, according to Counter-Currents, an online white supremacist journal. Carto had been active on the extreme right for over 60 years and was associated with various movements from neo-Nazism to Holocaust denial. He spread hatred against Jews through anti-Semitic conspiracy-oriented publications and by holding conferences that featured other well-known anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers.

Willis Carto

Willis Carto

Carto established an intricate network of bigotry and was most well-known for two outlets that had a lasting impact on the extreme right. He founded the Liberty Lobby, based in Washington, DC, in the 1950s, which became an important source of anti-Semitic propaganda. Liberty Lobby united various right-wing constituencies, from hard-right libertarians to conspiratorial anticommunists to racists, by using populist rhetoric to inflame their anti-government and nativist fears, while incorporating implicit anti-Semitic notions in many of its publications.

Liberty Lobby published The Spotlight, a weekly newspaper which promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. The Spotlight became the premiere publication of the extreme right from its inception in 1975 until it ceased publication in 2001.

In 1979, Carto took the lead in a growing area of anti-Semitism when he founded the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), to create and market Holocaust-denial propaganda. Based in California, IHR operated under a guise of scholarship and published “revisionist” studies laced with anti-Semitic themes in the Journal of Historical Review. It soon became the leading Holocaust denial organization in the U.S.

In the 1990s, Carto lost control of IHR in a legal dispute but went on to found another Holocaust denial publication, The Barnes Review, which is still in circulation. Carto filed for bankruptcy following his legal problems with IHR, which led to the end of Liberty Lobby and The Spotlight in 2001. However, Carto and the former staff of The Spotlight went on to found a new weekly publication, American Free Press, which continued Carto’s run of anti-Semitic propaganda.

American Free Press and  The Barnes Review, attract the most vitriolic anti-Semites. While it is unclear what will happen to Carto’s anti-Semitic propaganda empire, his death may disrupt or shut down the publications.

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November 11, 2014

FAIR Advisory Board Member Promotes Racist Views in Anti-Semitic Paper

On November 9, the anti-Semitic publication American Free Press (AFP) published an interview with extreme anti-immigrant activist Frosty Wooldridge. Wooldridge is an advisory board member with the extreme anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). He has often denigrated immigrants and Muslims in articles but his comments in the AFP interview reveal that he harbors beliefs that are prevalent in white nationalist circles.frosty-wooldridge

Wooldridge began his racist rant by asserting that 100 million non-white immigrants will enter the U.S. between now and 2050. Wooldridge claimed these numbers mean, “Whites in this country are doomed.” Wooldridge then focused his attention on African and Muslim immigrants, stating, “America has imported seven million Muslims and Africans over the past decade.” He argues that “[t]hose who practice Islam hold no ethnic identity with English and European culture.” Moreover, he maintains that “… the African worldview is totally different than that of Europeans. Their culture is diametrically opposed to ours. That’s why so many blacks are in prison.” Wooldridge continued, “Due to a fatherless society that plagues the black community, many teenagers join gangs. But I guarantee you, amid this racial strife, there will be more riots in the streets that’ll make Ferguson look like a kindergarten party. As this occurs, our country, our ethos, language and civilization are all going down.”

Wooldridge bemoans, “It’s a multicultural morass. Blacks, Muslims, Indians, Hispanics and Asians don’t want to become part of mainstream white society.” He insists, “They prefer to remain separate,” concluding “we’re importing our demise as a civilization. The U.S. will become the victim of its own self-inflicted destiny.”

This is not Wooldridge’s first interview with AFP, a paper published by Willis Carto, one of the most influential anti-Semitic propagandists of the past 50 years. Nor is it Wooldridge’s only association with anti-Semites. Earlier in 2014, Wooldridge appeared on “The Jeff Rense Pro­gram,” a conspiracy-oriented Inter­net radio show. Rense broad­casts his show on his noto­ri­ously anti-Semitic web­site, which pro­motes a wide vari­ety of con­spir­acy the­o­ries, from UFO reports to imagined envi­ron­men­tal threats to alleged Jew­ish con­trol of the world.

In addition to Wooldridge, a number of other prominent anti-immigrant figures have granted interviews to both AFP and anti-Semitic radio shows over the past few years.

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