The Journal of Historical Review

Letters to the Editor


To the Editor:

I am writing to express my appreciation for Charles Lutton's excellent article in the Winter 1991-92 issue about the historical debate on the Pearl Harbor attack. The piece clearly establishes the central role of Franklin Roosevelt and his cronies in maneuvering our nation into World War II on behalf of Britain.

The question of their motivation is, I think, best answered by a social psychologist familiar with the mentality of FDR's elite world. Along with his friends and colleagues, Roosevelt grew up in a privileged world of private schools, fashionable colleges, power, prestige and wealth. Like the other members of the Establishment elite, he firmly believed in his right to rule the rest of us.

An important component of that outlook was what might be called Anglo-Saxon racism, a mindset that helps to explain Roosevelt's attitude toward Britain.

C. W. - Falls Church, Va.


To the Editor:

Samuel Taylor's racialist screed ["The Challenge of Multiculturalism," Summer 1992] expresses a saccharine longing for the good old days when White professors taught White history to White students to instill a "national identity in the minds of young citizens."

Taylor believes that scholarship should serve the interests of the State, and he's worried that minority dissidents will weaken the influence of State authority over the lives of the people. What tyrant anywhere in history has not shared his apprehensions?

He sets forth a series of fake multicultural conundrums. Was the "discovery and settlement" of North America by Europeans a "triumphant advance for civilization" or an unending sequence of "defeats and disaster" for Native Americans? Or, "Does a multicultural textbook call this a triumph or a disaster or both or neither?"

Well, what does the record show? Tough question, eh? The answer is apparently beyond the ability of a nominally scholarly article.

Multicultural history asks the primary historical question from a new angle: What really happened? Taylor suggests that Western historians are no longer able to address such a question, but instead need "handling" by politically motivated agents like himself.

Writings such as this evasive, ill-willed (though polite) article by a transparent racial chauvinist can reduce The Journal of Historical Review to what its enemies have charged for years that it is. If Taylor is right, one might easily conclude, Hitler was obviously right: The Jews were an alien presence in the Germanic body. Since Jews didn't see things from a Catholic, Protestant, Atheist, Wagnerian or Volkswagener perspective, they had to go. They went.

How would it have been for us in this century if our despised non-White minorities had gotten a slice of the American history pie? Things just might have worked out a little differently. It wasn't our Blacks who agitated for war in Europe until we destroyed White Germany. It wasn't our Latinos and Asians who goaded us into expending our wealth and spilling the blood of our youth in one war after another in Asia.

As a young citizen, I was taught the White history by White teachers that today middle-brow White racialists pine for so ardently. Among the wide range of historical truths I absorbed was the one about how bestial Germans exterminated millions of Jews in gas chambers.

I've had enough of State-sponsored White history. I have no interest in State-sponsored "multiculturalist" history. I want to know what happened.

Bradley R. Smith
P. O. Box 3267
Visalia, CA 93278


To the Editor:

I was sorry to see two errors in the Spring 1992 issue of the Journal.

In his review, Nelson Rosit wrote (on page 114) of "the French school of the Annales begun by Georges Dumezil and developed further by Fernand Braudel." This is not true. That school was launched by Marc Bloch and Lucien Febvre in the twenties and thirties. After the last war Fernand Braudel was among the main exponents of the "second generation." Dumezil was never even a member of that school.

The estimates by historian Sisley Huddleston cited in your editorial note (on page 118) of the number of people killed in the "summary executions" as part of the Purge that followed the Liberation of France in 1944-1945 are much too high. As you well know, such estimates are often grossly exaggerated.

The often-repeated estimates of 80,000 to 105,000 victims of the Purge have no basis in historical fact. Even the supposedly "conservative" estimates of 20,000 to 30,000 victims are much too high. These latter figures would include not only all "summary executions," but those during the period of the German occupation, as well as post-occupation judiciary executions.

F. L. - Paris

For what it's worth, even lower figures are given in The Historical Encyclopedia of World War II (New York: Facts on File, 1989), a reference work originally published in 1977 in France under a slightly different title. Contributor M. Baudot writes in an entry (on pages 402-403):

As for those who were purged, or feared that they would be, they raised such a loud cry about the "Red Terror" that many people came to believe that the Resistance had killed at least 100,000 Frenchmen. But carefully conducted official inquiries in 1948 and 1952 fixed the number of executions at about 15,000.

-The Editor


To the Editor:

In the review article of Mark Ellis' Beyond Innocence and Redemption [Summer 1992], Robert Countess writes: "In his [Ellis'] view, the massive injustice of Israel's seemingly endless maltreatment of Palestinians is squandering the moral authority that is essential for the long-term survival of the Jewish state."

If moral authority is really essential to the long-term survival of Israel, what of other countries, including our own? In spite of the dark record of American mistreatment of the indigenous (Indian) peoples, the United States of America has not merely survived, but has grown and prospered to become the most powerful country in the world. I would not dispute that in our treatment of the Indians, we have squandered our moral authority. Nevertheless, here we are, two centuries later.

J. V. - Kingman, Arizona


To the Editor:

Let me take this opportunity to commend you on the superb summer issue of the Journal. I thought the Nuremberg Trials article was particularly good. Well-organized, eloquent, judicious-this is exactly the sort of writing we need much more of. The Treblinka piece, with its meticulous evaluation of several conflicting folkloric depictions, was particularly timely.

G. W. - Victor, Col.


To the Editor:

Your article on the Nuremberg Trials [Summer 1992] is by far the most comprehensive presentation I have ever read on this subject. It's a masterpiece. Everyone should read it. What a revelation.

At the same time, I am afraid that its effectiveness and readership will be severely limited because of your mention of Jewish responsibility and participation in the Nuremberg trials. If only you would leave out (or play down) this single aspect, I am sure that it would reach a larger readership, particularly on the university level.

E. A. - Portland, Oreg.


To the Editor:

I trust that things are going well with you and that the Institute is as busy as ever. I never knew a time when its primary goals were more important than right now.

L. Fletcher Prouty [author of The Secret Team] Alexandria, Va.


To the Editor:

I was impressed with Leon Degrelle's positive and nondefensive description of how Hitler and his National Socialist party dealt with the desperate situation in Germany when they came to power. [Fall 1992]

This is powerful writing! Of particular interest to me was Degrelle's description of how Hitler arranged for the financ-

ing needed to begin national reconstruction. I had never understood precisely how this was achieved.

It is interesting to compare Germany's plight in the years following the end of the First World War, with the situation in the United States today. In each case we find backbreaking debt, siphoning-off of capital for taxes and interest as it circulates, and tax funds squandered for non-productive purposes.

It would be wonderful if Degrelle's writings could somehow be widely distributed and studied in American classrooms.

E. F. - Wellington, Nevada


To the Editor:

I could hardly believe my eyes when I read Leon Degrelle's article about the Hitler's revolution in Germany.

Degrelle claims that Hitler's National Socialist revolution was "completely democratic." Just how democratic was it when Nazi and Communist deputies collaborated in obstructing procedures in the Reichstag, thus forcing the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor? How democratic was Hitler's murder of Ernst Rohm and several hundred other erstwhile SA comrades? And let's not forget that the German people rejected Hitler in the elections of 1932.

One can surely sympathize with Germany in the years after 1918. After defeat in a war not of her own making, she was shabbily treated at Versailles in a manner that is a permanent stain upon the honor of the Allied powers. Germany was also plagued by Bolshevik agitation, ruinous inflation and French meddling.

Hitler's seizure of power must be understood within this historical context. National Socialism was Germany's imperfect response to those problems. Conditions were so dreadful when Hitler came to power that Germany had nowhere to go but up. No wonder things looked good by comparison.

None of this means, though, that we should lionize Hitler. No less than any other political leader, he should be judged by the ultimate consequences of his policies. It should hardly be necessary to remind Journal readers that Hitler's policies resulted in devastating defeat, horrible loss of life, terrible suffering, ruin and destruction.

As mentioned in the accompanying editorial note, the familiar historical accounts of Shirer, Fest and Bullock are certainly one-sided and "littered with historical duds." But those writers could take lessons from Degrelle in one-sided history writing.

The IHR is ill-served by publishing writing that departs so sharply from the judicious and meticulous scholarship of historians such as Harry Elmer Barnes, Hamilton Fish and George Morgenstern.

H. P. - Norwalk, Calif.


To the Editor:

It is always a pleasure to receive a new issue of either the Newsletter or the Journal. Here in Germany, we are subject to such a severe ban against expressing Revisionist views, especially on the taboo issue of the Holocaust, that I am now convinced that the breakthrough must come from abroad.

In addition to the power and influence of the "Chosen," the German Establishment-including politicians, newspaper editors, university professors, and so forth-are completely committed to the Auschwitz Lie. Revisionism threatens their positions and livelihoods, and they are therefore determined to prevent the ascent of truth.

Although our constitution supposedly guarantees that our courts our independent, on this issue that is far from the case.

I now believe that it would be politically disastrous if our nation were to be the first to discredit the Great Lie. The consequence, I am afraid, would be an international torrent of defamation and hate, including a boycott of German goods. The wind of change must come from the West, and we have to be ready when the avalanche is set off.

I am certain that the work of the IHR is of great importance in this regard. I am enclosing a check for $500 to help you keep up the heat. If a magical fairy were to grant me just one wish for my remaining years, I would ask that the truth about the Holocaust be known generally throughout the world.

D. O. - Bonn, Germany


To the Editor:

You've provided me with much of the best reading I've had in years. To read just the irrelevant material put out by the squabbling "liberals" and "conservatives," or the basically like-minded books and magazines that are generally available, one would not realize that there are other valuable perspectives and insights. You must stay in business! The enclosed is not much of a donation, but I'll give a little more with each of my future book orders.

P. N. - Cambridge, Mass.


To the Editor:

I read your enlightening article about Treblinka in the Summer 1992 issue with deep interest. However, I was a bit puzzled by the sentence (on page 143): "In spite of its often inconsistent, contradictory and implausible character, testimony indicating that many Jews lost their lives at Treblinka cannot easily be dismissed." As I recall, David Irving said something similar during an IHR Conference one year, and Professor Robert Faurisson responded by insisting upon confirmation. Just how valid is such "testimony" anyway?

Enclosed is an appeal for money I received today from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The cover letter

by Curtis R. Whiteway, a US Army veteran who describes the liberation of the Dachau camp, is interesting for what it does not say.

When American troops captured Dachau in 1945, they rounded up the German camp personnel who had surrendered (unarmed and holding a white flag), lined them up against a wall and machine-gunned them to death. This is documented in the book Dachau: The Hour of the Avenger by Howard A. Buechner, which also includes photos of the slaughter. I first learned about this book in the IHR Newsletter.

I intend to write to Mr. Whiteway to ask if he was one of the Americans who helped kill the German guards.

G. P. - Pembroke, N.C.

The editor welcomes letters from readers. Ideally, letters should be no more than about 500 words in length. We reserve the right to edit for style and space.

Errata: In the Summer 1992 issue of the Journal, the captions on pages 148 and 149 are transposed.

In the Fall 1992 issue of the Journal, two lines of text are deleted from the paragraph at the bottom of page 371 and the top of page 372. This paragraph should read:

Ignorance and even suppression of the facts of these marine disasters is part of the general ignorance in the United States about the great loss of life and terrible suffering endured by the German people during the Second World War, above all in the conflict's grim final months. For the story of the unparalleled loss of life in the sinking of these three German ships can be understood only within the context of the general situation during the final months of the war, when the advancing Soviet forces, eager to take terrible vengeance against the Germans, set in motion one of the greatest mass migrations in history.

Source: Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 501-509.

Published with permission of and courtesy to the Institute for Historical Review (IHR).
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