PQC: I have not read this book in its entirety yet. I’ve just have a quick browsing. So, I can’t make any serious comment at this time. All I can say is these fucking Jews tried hard to eliminate him economically and physically. But he survive and doing rather well.
So Read this book and judge him yourself if you want to. He is not my hero, but a remarkable person indeed. My hat off to him and I wish him well.
It’s 3 p.m., May 10, 2013. I’m at my favorite bar in Culver City. It’s generally a quiet place. Couches, tables, no loud music. It’s my favorite “first date” place. And I’m waiting on a reporter from the JTA, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. She’s late. I go outside, in part to stretch my legs, and in part because I don’t want to start drinking yet, and it’s not really possible these days for me to be in a bar without drinking (that’s not an attempt to make a charming, Dean Martin-style quip. I actually do have a very serious alcohol problem). So I go outside to wait.
No sign of her. I only know her appearance from a small thumbnail picture next to one of her news articles, and it was way too small for me to make out the details. So pretty much any white thirty-something woman walking toward the bar could be her. Oh, damn. This one walking up right now is SO cute! Please let it be her. Up until two weeks ago, I’d been living a life filled with free drinks and pretty girls. A pretty girl would really lift my spirits right now. But the attractive woman goes straight past me. That’s how my luck’s been running these days.
I go back inside. Typically, professional reporters are on time. So I don’t know if I’ve been hoaxed, or set up for a beating (which has happened before, many years ago). I need a drink. The first interview I did after I was “outed” as the notorious “Holocaust denier” David Cole had been with the Guardian (the large-distribution UK paper). And that reporter had picked up my tab. Now I’m going to have to start my own damn tab.
“Gimme two glasses of Pinot Noir,” I say. I want vodka, but it’s best to start with wine so I can stay lucid. I gulp the first one down at the bar, and begin walking back to my table with the other glass. “Wait a minute—is your name David?” The bartender has no idea of the hidden import of that question. Yes, my first name is David. I have no clue what my last name is anymore.
“A woman called for you. She said she was running late. She’ll be here in about fifteen more minutes.”
Well, so much for only having one more glass. I order another, and take both to my table.
Twenty minutes later, she shows up. She’s sporting a permanent grimace, reminiscent of Martin Short’s “Ed Grimley” character from the 1980s. It had been eighteen years since my last “hostile” interview. I considered the interview with the Guardian the previous week to be “hostile,” but only in the sense that it was about the fact that my former colleagues viewed me as a monster worse than pedophile Hitler strangling a puppy. Considering that my only offense was having taken controversial positions on World War II history in my early twenties, I almost found their anger funny. Definitely overblown, and somewhat funny. But the Guardian reporter was not hostile on a personal level; he was actually very kind and gentlemanly, and he wrote a fair piece. In fact, several of his sources from my former Republican Party allies were angry with him after the piece came out, because he didn’t paint me as pedophile Hitler strangling a puppy.
But this reporter, the JTA one, was giving me odd vibes. It was the lateness, and the grimace, and the fact that as she was typing she was wolfing down a plate of hamburger sliders she ordered from the bar, looking part of the time at her ancient laptop, and part of the time at those messy, grease-dripping burgers and fries.
I don’t like watching people eat in a sloppy fashion; it repulses me. I don’t even like to see people eating with their hands, period. And now I’m distracted, more so than usual. As my mouth is on auto-pilot, speaking of things I can talk about in my sleep—politics, Auschwitz, the fashion model who destroyed me, and other related matters—my mind is elsewhere, thinking about how much stank must lurk between the keys of that filthy old laptop, from years of grease and food bits embedded by the dirty fingers of this person to whom napkins are apparently an undiscovered invention.
I’ve held my tongue about the Holocaust for eighteen years. And now, there was a part of me that just, on principle, didn’t want to hold my tongue anymore, about anything, no matter how trivial. I wanted to blurt out, “That keypad must smell like shit, you snarly-lipped Ed Grimley-looking fuck.”
But I held my tongue, and stayed on auto-pilot.
It’s easy for me to go on auto-pilot.
I’ve done over two hundred interviews in my forty-four years. From 1989 through 1995, I did lots of “hostile” ones. They were practically all hostile. I was David Cole the evil “Jewish Holocaust denier.” But that was eons ago. I’d grown soft. Since reinventing myself as David Stein, the GOP “Party Animal” writer, strategist, and event organizer, I’d grown used to softball interviews. Fellow conservatives and libertarians interviewing me for their radio shows, TV shows, blogs, podcasts, whatever. Easy stuff. The Guardian interview brought back a lot of memories, and I’d actually been planning how I’d handle the one with the JTA differently. Two rules: don’t be a fucking idiot and talk for three hours (as I did with the Guardian). You’ll give the reporter too much to work with. Stay focused on the important points, and then say your goodbyes. Second rule: restate your one most important talking point again and again and again. If you hammer the reporter with the one point that means the most to you, the one thing you want to communicate, it’ll make it hard for her to leave it out of the piece (not impossible, but hard).
And I had my one point. Funny enough, it’s the same point I want to communicate to you, in this introduction. I don’t want to be here. I’d been living a wonderful life as David Stein. I didn’t want it to end. And now I have nothing, and I’m not particularly enjoying it.
The grimacing reporter asked me a bunch of questions, and I peppered my remarks, every ten minutes or so, with a reminder of how much I didn’t want to be doing this, I didn’t want to be David Cole again. Even as she stood up to leave, without paying for my drinks, I reminded her one last time of that main talking point.
And that’s why the piece was killed. The JTA didn’t want a sad reluctant Cole/Stein. The story of a man left with nothing to show for eighteen long years is perhaps the type of story that might engender sympathy for the affected person. And sympathetic is not how the JTA wanted its readers to see me. They wanted a gloating smarmy sociopath reveling in his situation. I couldn’t give them that, and I can’t give you that.
I’m writing this book because my few remaining friends tell me I have an interesting story to tell. So why not tell it? My dad killed Elvis, I was in the national media as the “Jewish Holocaust denier” by the time I was twenty-one, I appeared on the highest-rated TV shows at an age when most people were attending keg parties at frat houses, I had a bounty put on my head by a violent extremist group, I was beaten to a pulp for my views, to avoid getting killed I publicly recanted everything I said in my youth, I faked my own death, and I resurfaced as one of the biggest GOP “party organizers” on the West Coast, hobnobbing with the likes of Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, John Boehner, Clint Eastwood, and many others, before being “outed” as my former self.
Yeah, it’s probably an interesting story. And if you don’t like it, please recall the point I made again and again to the grimacing JTA reporter—I don’t want to be here. I’d prefer having my old life back.
THE ACCEPTABLE LEVEL OF TELL-ALL BOOK DICKISHNESS
I’m not going to say I’m a good man. I’m not going to say it, because I’ve always felt that it’s not up to us to define ourselves as good or bad. Most people tend to think they’re good at heart. Most people rationalize away the things they do that are thoughtless, petty, cruel, or injurious to others. Every person I’ve ever met who’s said about themselves “I’m a good person” has been trying to convince themselves as much as they were trying to convince me. But what I will say is that I’m a good-natured man. That’s a different animal. Whatever thoughts might be going on inside my fevered mind, I always come off as easygoing and cheerful.
It was my good nature that made me successful running a political event-organizing group. It was my good nature that helped me mediate disputes, deal with character clashes among members, and generally keep things moving smoothly in a field populated by egotists, individualists, agitators, provocateurs, and the occasional dumbass.
When I began working with best-selling author and KABC talk show host Larry Elder in 2012, he would repeatedly tell me that the reason for our partnership was not my writing skills, which he admired, nor my filmmaking/editing abilities, which he always put to good use, but rather my good nature. “You always seem to be happy and loving life,” he would tell me.
Larry is a lawyer as well as a brilliant political thinker. He has a mind like a steel trap. So it was a feather in my cap that I fooled the shit out of him with that whole “happy and loving life” thing.
I’ve taken a long route to make a small point: I will most likely come off as an asshole in this book. The question that faces anyone who writes a “tell-all” autobiography is, what do you tell? What’s off limits, and what’s in play? How much of a dick do I want to come off looking like?
If you’re going to write a book like this properly, everything has to be in play, as long as the author has the ability to be as tough and revealing when it comes to himself as when it comes to the assorted characters he’s interacted with. That’s usually the hard part, but not so much for me, as I love to tell stories in which I come off as a bastard or a fool.
I have the benefit of playing the “reluctant author” card, as I would not be doing this book had I not been outed. The “reluctance” card can buy me the ability to be a bit more dickish, especially against the people whose machinations put me in this spot.
It’s a good hand to play. But just how much dickishness-entitlement does it win for me? A lot. As long as everything I write is true.
During my years as “Jewish Holocaust denier” David Cole, I was often accused of spreading “hate,” to the extent that entire college campuses would hold “anti-hate rallies” if I spoke on campus. The truth is, I neither denied the Holocaust, nor did I ever spread hate (except when referring to Nazis, who I do, indeed, hate). So great a “hater” was I assumed to be that a $25,000 bounty was placed on my head by the Jewish Defense League, whose leaders, before dying in prison after plotting terror attacks in retaliation for 9/11, assured the world that they wanted me dead in the name of “fighting hate.”
In the second part of my life, as Republican Party Animal David Stein, I was also accused of “hate,” due to my hundreds of articles slamming radical Islam and warning of the consequences should it go unchecked. Now, rather than being called anti-Semitic, I was called Islamophobic. But my writings about Islam never contained one word of “hate” for anyone other than the modern-day Islamic equivalent of the Nazis. So great a “hater” was I assumed to be that I received death threats from Muslim extremist Jameela Barnette, who, before being killed by police after launching a Christmas Day “jihad” in 2011, sent death threats to “Islamophobes” in the name of “fighting hate.”
With three decades of “hate” accusations under my belt, it would be natural to assume that my destruction came about at the hands of a political foe. And there’s the irony—David Stein’s “assassination” was completely apolitical. I was “outed” because I stopped financially supporting a young woman. A most ignominious end. After having been denounced by governments and attacked by terror groups, after decades of resisting, regrouping, and reinventing, after all that, my demise came at the hands of a hundred-pound fashion model.
Even I think that’s funny.
The book you’re about to read is the end result of that demise. And I did everything I could to avoid writing it. When I learned that the model, Rose Elizabeth “Rosie” Tisch, was going to out me, I begged her to rethink her actions. I told her that if I was “outed,” an autobiography would be my only option for bringing some semblance of order to the detritus of what would be a ruined life. I let her know that I’d write an honest book—warts and all. Including the times when I’ve been an ass, and including the times when I’ve been a halfway decent guy, as when I helped her sister, country-rock singer Julia Garlington (whose band, Married By Elvis, had been an opening act for Blake Shelton) leave the high-priced prostitution ring in Atlanta where her declining fortunes had taken her.
I pleaded with Rosie, “Can’t we just be done with each other and go our separate ways?”
No dice. She was determined. Her desire to destroy me was greater than her concern about her own reputation, or her sister’s. Now there’s “hate” for you. As someone who’s been repeatedly, and falsely, accused of “hate” over the past thirty years, I’ve learned to appreciate it when I see it.
Considering the extent to which the “hate” label has followed me throughout my life, the fact that this book was, essentially, born of hate, is oddly appropriate. I hope you’ll enjoy it, all the same.
David Christopher Cole is about as non-Jewey as a name can be (can you guess if my mom is a religious Jew?). My biological father, Dr. Leon Cole, was an apparently brilliant surgeon and researcher who also apparently killed Elvis. He has been pegged in many books as the doctor who got Elvis hooked on, and illegally supplied him with, drugs. Whether this is true or whether Elvis’ surviving MDs use my dad as a scapegoat because he’s dead and can’t defend himself, I have no idea. I do know that my biological dad and Elvis were close. Elvis gave him a pink Cadillac…later to be confiscated for child support after he and his wealthy Beverly Hills family abandoned me and my working-class mom.
In photos, my biological dad looks cruel and unforgiving. At a time (1968) when your hair was the calling-card by which you were judged, my dad had a crew-cut that you could plane wood on. It was a haircut that screamed “fuck you, hippies.” To be fair, that was probably the type of hair people wanted to see in their doctor. Still, there’s an unkindness in his face that makes me think he probably forced Elvis to sing for him before handing over the Quaaludes. It wouldn’t surprise me if my dad also insisted on stepping on Elvis’ blue suede shoes before giving up the codeine.
I grew up in L.A., a native Angeleno (the building where I was born is now the Church of Scientology headquarters, but back in the day it was Cedars of Lebanon Jewish hospital). I attended majority-black public schools. It was in junior high school that I first learned the value of intelligently strategizing one’s way out of a problem.
At Palms Junior High, I was probably the smallest white boy. I was so small, in fact, that the gangbangers never bothered me. I was not even on their radar. They were far more concerned with the Latino gangs across town. But the white kids were another matter entirely. If you were a white bully, and you went to Palms, there’s no way you’d bother a black kid, because the retaliation from the gangs would be swift and merciless. So guess who got the brunt of the abuse from every blond übermensch bully at Palms? For my first few months there, the daily arm-twistings, punchings, and lunch-money extortions were making my life unbearable. But I could also see that the other small white kids—the ones suffering as I was—were handling it poorly. They were letting it break them, they were regressing, they were retreating. They were becoming “Goths” (we didn’t call it that back then) and weirdos. They were essentially saying “this world is cruel and unfair, so I’ll make my lot even harder by purposely making myself less popular so I can sit alone all day and wallow in self pity.”
That would not be me. Palms was filled with gorgeous women. I wasn’t about to cede the field because a few Ricky Schroder wannabes enjoyed pounding me every day.
So I strategized. And I realized that the girlfriends of several of the hardcore black gangbangers really seemed to like me. They thought I was cute. In theory, I suppose I was—I was a tiny little blond kewpie doll with big curly hair, blue eyes, and a talent for telling jokes and dancing about like an idiot to get laughs. I also realized that these girls held quite a bit of sway over their horny boyfriends. So I told a few of these young black ladies that I may have to leave the school because of the constant torment from the white kids. And they told their boyfriends. And the next day my main tormenter was found beaten senseless and tossed into a dumpster behind the cafeteria. Problem solved. No one ever laid a finger on me again.
In later years, I would use this story time and again while lecturing conservatives over the sheer, utter futility of whining about how the media is “biased” and “unfair.” Tough shit. Some stuff in life is unfair. I wanted to be six-foot-five. I’m five-foot-six (on a good day, including shoes). Boo-fucking-hoo. Poor me. Get over it.
David Cole’s efforts have made him into something of a media star. He is an oft-sought guest on radio and TV talk shows.
The Jerusalem Report
At 23, David Cole is becoming one of the leading spokesmen for the Holocaust “revisionist” movement. He is outspoken, he is determined, and he is Jewish.
The Detroit Jewish News
[David Cole’s work is] powerful and dangerous.
Yehuda Bauer, Professor of Holocaust Studies, Hebrew University
Among the more fascinating and pathetic deniers is David Cole, himself a Jew.
The Los Angeles Times
Don’t we need to know about Hitler, Hussein, Arafat, and Cole? David Cole stays on the front page, along with others who pose a threat.
Phil Jacobs, Editor, the Detroit Jewish News
There’s a lot of ‘joy and rejoicing’ right now in ‘revisionist’ camps because of David Cole.
Professor Deborah Lipstadt
I can’t think of any other Jew who has gone so far in aiding and abetting the enemies of the Jewish people.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center
You are the Antichrist.
Phil Donahue, to David Cole, on-air.
Mr. Cole has obviously invested a great deal in researching his subject and I admire his tenacious curiosity. Again, I thank you for sharing this documentary with myself and other members of Congress.
United States Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D–Ohio)
I was impressed by the objective and logical way David Cole spoke about the Auschwitz gas chambers. Congratulations!
Zsolt Rabia, Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of Hungary (currently Public Diplomacy Coordinator, NATO)
I have a claim to fame about which I’m genuinely proud. In a world in which everything has already been done by someone else, having something completely unique attached to you is kind of cool. According to Google, I’m the only person ever to be dubbed a “meta-ideologue.” I was given the name by Dr. Michael Shermer (more on him later) and Alex Grobman of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, in a Los Angeles Times article in November 2000. (The Times added that I’m “fascinating and pathetic,” and I’m not really sure I can dispute either of those terms.)
So what the hell is a “meta-ideologue?” Shermer explains it thusly: “An existentialist on a quest to understand how ideologues invent their realities.” And that is, indeed, me. Shermer was one of the dimmest bulbs I ever met in my professional life—Homer Simpson with less paunch and a modicum of additional hair—but he called this one right. After high school, I decided that I was going to write a “great American novel” (because no one had ever had that idea before) about political ideology. Left, right, and that interesting spot on the political spectrum where far left and far right intersect, typically bonded by a shared hatred of Israel.
In 1988, I started conducting interviews with people on all sides of the ideological spectrum. And I started hanging out with them, to witness them in their “native habitats,” so to speak. I manned a table at the National Lawyers Guild convention, and at a John Birch Society conference. I helped organize a concert (hosted by Susan Sarandon and featuring Public Enemy and Sinead O’Connor) for a leftist group called Refuse and Resist, and I arranged a screening of a film with Charlton Heston produced by hard-line anti-abortionists (after manning an abortion clinic “defense action” with the Fund for the Feminist Majority the previous day).
What I was looking for, what I wanted to learn, was the common thread that draws people to embrace political ideology, left or right. But the more I studied left and right, the more I started to dislike ideologues in general. I felt better than them, superior, intellectually. That was youthful arrogance talking. It never occurred to me that later in life I’d come to be seen as an ideologue myself. Frankly, in 1988 I’d have laughed at the idea.
I was surrounded by left and right ideologues when the Cold War ended, and I was able to witness firsthand how both extremes handled the greatest seismographic political shift in my lifetime. The “mainstream” press, as always, was focused on how the end of the Cold War would affect the right: “What will right-wingers do now that they don’t have the Russkie boogeyman to kick around anymore,” they wondered. As usual, the press missed the better story. The right actually dealt with the fall of the Soviet Union quite well, not just because it was perceived by them as a victory, but because it didn’t affect other core conservative causes (low taxes, abortion, “traditional values,” etc.).
The left, however, was shaken to its core. There had been two bedrock issues advocated by the left in the 1980s. The largest issue was what I refer to as the “Butter Battle Belief,” which I named after the insanely stupid Dr. Seuss book, which claimed that the differences between the Soviet Union and the West were as insignificant as buttering bread. (In The Butter Battle Book, intolerant fools nearly go to war over the fact that one side butters its bread on the top, and the other side butters on the bottom.) In its essence, the “Butter Battle Belief” held that the Soviet bloc was no better or worse than the free world, that the people behind the Iron Curtain really, really loved being there, and that “Ronnie Ray-gun” was going to blow up the world with his anti-communist fanaticism.
1989 pulled the rug from under that fantasy.
1989 also short-circuited the left’s other major issue of the 1980s, the very legitimate fight against racial apartheid in South Africa.
I became focused on examining the left’s reaction to 1989. They tried a few quick fixes. Abortion rights was always a crowd pleaser, especially when Operation Rescue was using children to blockade abortion clinics (because nothing says “I care about kids” more than ordering your own to climb under cars as human speed bumps). But the 1990 Webster decision by the Supreme Court, which affirmed the basic tenets of Roe, took the wind out of the left’s sails. Eventually, the ideologues on the left would discover “global warming,” and once again they could believe they were saving the world. But by that time I’d become distracted from my initial project.
My interest in Holocaust revisionism started innocently enough—with a single letter. I’d read about a man named David McCalden, who had been fighting the city of Manhattan Beach in Southern California to get atheist displays included in the various Christmas and Hanukkah trappings that appear each year in city buildings. I read that McCalden was a militant atheist, an Irish nationalist, and a Holocaust revisionist (the term “denier” had not yet been coined, so revisionists were called revisionists even by their foes). McCalden had co-founded the largest revisionist publishing house in North America, the Institute for Historical Review, in Orange County, California.
I found McCalden’s ideological mix fascinating. Atheist, Irish nationalist, Holocaust revisionist. Racist? Maybe, but he had a non-white wife. And there were rumors that he was a closeted gay. It was a mix I’d yet to encounter as I profiled ideologues. So I wrote to him. I asked for some info, some literature. Instead, I got a personal visit. But he didn’t come to proselytize; he came to fight. He thought I was a “Jewish infiltrator” trying to cozy up to him for nefarious purposes. He already had that suspicion when he drove to my house, and when he saw the mezuzah on my door, he went totally apeshit. I tried to convince him that I was not working with or for anybody. I just wanted to know what motivated a guy like him.
I must have been convincing, because he believed me. He gave me some literature, and took off. And I read it. Incredibly amateur crap. I took everything and put it aside. I had no interest in revisiting it.
But one name stuck with me—Fred Leuchter, who had supposedly conducted a “forensic examination” of the Auschwitz gas chambers and found no evidence of cyanide residue. Leuchter was described as an engineer, a foremost expert in execution equipment (in fact, he held no engineering credentials). About two months after meeting McCalden, I was watching Dateline on NBC and they profiled Leuchter. They raved about the guy (no mention of his Holocaust work, just the execution stuff). They presented him as an authority. And I thought, “wait—is this the same Leuchter who claims there’s no cyanide residue in the gas chamber walls?”
I read through the revisionist literature. It provided no answers, but it left me with several questions. The problem was, mainstream historians would never address revisionist concerns, and the revisionists, for the most part, were sloppy and (mostly) ideologically motivated.
I went back to see McCalden, but just my luck, the poor bastard had upped and died of AIDS after giving it to his wife as well. I guess those gay rumors must have had merit, not that there’s anything wrong with that (well, to be fair, I think the whole “giving AIDS to your wife” thing was pretty wrong).
McCalden’s social circle consisted of his Holocaust revisionist buddies and his atheist buddies (there was a fair amount of crossover). The atheist guys were a pretty decent bunch—not racist at all. Plus, as I used to self-identify as an atheist in my youth (I don’t any more), I fit in very well with them. One of the atheist guys, the man entrusted with dealing with McCalden’s massive collection of books and files (maybe three thousand books, and at least a hundred huge file boxes of papers), decided that they should go to someone a bit more rational than some of the well-known names in the revisionist field. (McCalden’s wife, who would hang on for another year before passing, wanted the stuff out of her house.)
So overnight, I “inherited” one of the largest libraries of Holocaust books in L.A. And lots and lots of correspondences—almost twenty years’ worth. I spent months reading everything. I rented an apartment with two stories so that I could devote one entire floor just to the books. And I read every single one of them, making notes, bookmarking pages, and indulging in what would become, in less than a decade, the lost art of reading hard-copy books without a computer in sight.
The correspondences were instructive, too. Thousands and thousands of letters and faxes. The documents let me know who in the field was a nutcase, and who seemed to simply share my intellectual curiosity. The ones who seemed to be decent and rational, I reached out to. Through McCalden’s associates, they had all heard the wild story of a Jew who was interested in revisionism. They were eager to finally meet me.
THE JEWISH REVISIONIST
There are two principles I live by when I decide I want to accomplish something successfully. The first principle is, “just do the fucking work.” I adopted this rule after several years of observing the clown-car-crash that is the movie business. One of the things that becomes immediately apparent to anyone growing up in L.A. is that there are two types of people in “the biz”—those who just go out and do films, and those who make a veritable career out of pitching projects. The “pitchers” are the cancerous lesions of this town. All they do is bend everyone’s ear over and over again asking for money for some amazing dream project that will never happen. If you’re one of those habitual pitchers, please know—everyone hates you. No one likes it if they run into you. You’re just an annoyance, and the city would be better off without you.
Then there are the folks who actually just go out and do things. It’s better to complete an imperfect ninety-minute film than to search for twenty years for the money to make that asinine “dream project,” which would very likely be no better than the mediocre ninety-minute film the “doer” just completed.
The other principle by which I live is the old saw “in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” I find it best to work in fields where I’m surrounded by ninety percent idiots, because I can accomplish more that way. The field of Holocaust history, as I found it in 1990, and politics, as I found it in 2008, were perfect for me. My one eye beat most of the tin-cup-holding blindies who populated those fields.
I first realized that I was perfectly cut out for the Holocaust revisionism field when I discovered the obvious manhole in the floor of the supposed gas chamber at the Auschwitz main camp. The manhole was typical of an underground or semi-underground air-raid shelter. If a cave-in occurred, if the doors were blocked, the manhole was an escape hatch to allow the soldiers in the shelter to make it to safety. I was also the first person to note that the “gas chamber” locks from the inside, not the outside. Ever since Poland had freed itself from the Soviet yoke, revisionists and non-revisionists alike had gone there to study the camp site. And no one had ever seen the manhole, or the door lock, as obvious as they were. No one.
I was where I belonged. A one-eyed king.
I also happened to enter the Holocaust history field at just the right time. Several things were in play. The freedom of travel and research in Poland, not possible during the Cold War years. And the amazingly inept, self-defeating criminal trials of Holocaust denier (yes, denier not revisionist) Ernst Zündel in Canada throughout the ’80s, which made a lot of people who would have otherwise ignored revisionism think twice about the reliability of the Auschwitz story.
In the 2012 season of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, the catchphrase was “you can’t be half a gangster.” And what the Canadians learned in the ’80s is that you can’t be half a fascist. On the one hand, they continually prosecuted Zündel for what he wrote about the Holocaust; they charged him criminally for writing a pamphlet expressing an opinion (now that’s some good fascism there, boys). But on the other hand, they allowed him to mount a defense every bit as free as any criminal defendant in the U.S. Leave it to those affable neighbors to the north to try to be gentle fascists.
In the 1980s, Germany and France, like Canada, had “outlawed” Holocaust revisionism. But the Canadians, in their desire to be a kinder, gentler type of repressive nation, decided that even though it was totally cool to imprison authors, it was totally uncool to deny them a fair and by-the-book trial, including the right to defend themselves with the vigor of O.J. Simpson.
See, that shit won’t work. If you’re going to imprison an author because you don’t want his ideas to spread, don’t let him mount a vigorous and unrestricted defense of his ideas. Either let the “dangerous” author continue to churn out his books with his basement mimeograph machine in anonymity and peace, or throw him in jail and never allow him to speak again. Go the freedom route, or the fascist route. Never try what the Canadians did, because the can of worms they opened would, eventually, lead to more serious people like me getting involved in the field.
Ernst Zündel was a German who emigrated to Canada in 1958. Zündel loves Hitler. I mean, he really loves Hitler. But, and this is the point that I have a hell of a tough time communicating to people, he loves Hitler because he’s certain, he knows, that sweetie-pie Adolf was framed. That mustached little munch-kin couldn’t hurt a fly. Zündel really, sincerely believes that. He’s nuts, but he’s not dangerous. Zündel’s name would not be known if he hadn’t been subjected to two criminal prosecutions by the Canadian government.
In Europe, if you’re arrested for being a Holocaust revisionist, you can’t mount the defense of “but I’m right.” You can’t use “truth” as your defense. You can’t argue your beliefs in court. Essentially, you can only beg for mercy, plead guilty, or plead insanity.
But every time the Canadians put Zündel on trial, they put no restrictions on his defense. He was allowed to plead “not guilty because I’m right.” And so, throughout the course of his trials his legal team was allowed to grill Holocaust historians, survivors, and “experts” of all kinds.
This is one of those moments in which I fear that I lack the language skills to properly express the completely self-defeating lunacy of what the Canadians did. Their desire was to silence Holocaust revisionism. To do that, they gave Zündel the opportunity to do something that no one else had ever had—the ability to grill historians under penalty of perjury.
There is not a field of history in which disputes don’t exist. And those disputes are handled in the normal way—one historian publishes a book or paper, another critiques it, maybe one guy calls the other guy a liar, maybe the other guy claims that the first guy is a liar for calling him a liar. So on and so on. These things are not decided in court.
But thanks to the Canadians, their prosecution of Zündel, an outright denier, gave Zündel an opportunity that no other partisan in a historical dispute had ever had—the ability to grill hostile witnesses on the stand. In its attempt to silence revisionism, the Canadian government ended up putting it on the fucking map. Zündel and his exceptionably able and well-funded legal team took the Canadian blunder and ran with it. Thanks to the Canadians, it wasn’t Zündel on trial, but the Holocaust.
The Zündel team was able to grill Holocaust historian Raul Hilberg (arguably the most important Holocaust scholar in the history of the field), who was forced to admit, under cross-examination, that there had never been a plan for what he called the policy of the extermination of the Jews. He was forced to admit that he had never physically studied the remains of the “gas chambers” at Auschwitz or Majdanek. He admitted that Holocaust revisionism aids historians by challenging their beliefs and bringing about the discovery of new information, and, most startlingly, he admitted the existence of a reliable Nazi document stating that Hitler had decided to put off any decision about the “final solution” until after the war.
Auschwitz survivor Arnold Friedman was forced to confess that he had never seen any gas chambers at Auschwitz, and that the stories he wrote about were based on rumors that others had told him. And famed Auschwitz survivor and escapee Rudolf Vrba admitted on the stand that his account of what he saw at Auschwitz was actually “an artistic picture,” not factual evidence. His “eyewitness testimony” regarding the gas chamber? “It’s what I heard it might look like.”
Zündel was able to hire Fred Leuchter, the aforementioned “execution equipment expert,” to conduct a forensic test of the rooms at Auschwitz that were claimed to be gas chambers. As I stated earlier, Leuchter was not an actual engineer, and his tests were faulty. But, because of his work, which wouldn’t have occurred without the Zündel trial, other, more expert revisionists began doing forensic examinations on those rooms.
Zündel was convicted, but the conviction was soon overturned. So what did the Canadians do? They did it all over again.
And to think, these people gave us John Candy.
The star witness at the second trial was Hilberg’s protégé Christopher Browning, who was forced to admit under cross examination that, in his translation of the Wannsee Conference protocols (which I’ll discuss in the appendix), he had “inaccurately” translated the document to obscure the fact that in the original German, it stated that the Jews would eventually be freed.
This is not to say that the people like Robert Faurisson, the French denier who appeared for the defense, came off any better. Faurisson admitted he’d never bothered to look into the mass killing of Jews during the months following the invasion of Russia. But no one expected Faurisson to be bright. The story was that the respected experts and the survivors had to make humiliating admissions under oath.
The result of all this tumult was that Holocaust revisionism became “a thing.” In its desire to destroy revisionism, the damn Canucks had put it on the map, with daily, breathless headlines in every Canadian paper, carried by wire services all around the world. And I thought that as long as revisionism was going to be “a thing” with or without my participation, the “thing” could probably benefit from having a guy with no ideological fanaticism enter the field to sort the wheat from the chaff and take the wheat out of the hands of people like Zündel.
If you associated with revisionists, you would never be accepted into the “mainstream” camp. But frankly, there was no choice for an honest researcher but to associate with revisionists. They’d been the ones collecting evidence during the Zündel trials, only a portion of which was actually used. I could read the “mainstream” point-of-view in a hundred books. But I needed to mix with the revisionists and deniers in order to win their trust. Because they were the ones with vital pieces of evidence.
I earned Zündel’s trust because I was willing to be seen with him publicly. To this day, there are those who say, “but did you have to appear with Zündel in public?” Yeah, I did. I never said anything in support of his views, but I supported his right to be free from prosecution for simply writing a book, and I still do. On that subject, I’d stand with him again today.
Once the revisionists came to trust me, I could start to go to work. It wouldn’t be long before I’d clash with them. But as I said at the beginning of this chapter, I was now able to “just do the fucking work.”
SO JUST WHAT THE HELL DO I BELIEVE, ANYWAY?
Since my “outing,” the question I’ve been asked most frequently is, “what do you believe these days about the Holocaust?” It’s a question I detest hearing, and, more so, one I detest answering, because it’s a question I’m being forced into facing by virtue of my exposure as Cole, and it’s a question that might bring me harm by virtue of my answer.
When I recanted my own work in 1998, it was because I was happily embarking on a new life. With that new life now ended, I can’t find a reason to be anything but honest.
If my personal history has taught me anything, it’s that I have a knack for finding myself in (or getting myself into) “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situations. This is one of them. If I put the history chapter up front, I’ll be criticized for ramming my views down the readers’ throats. If I put the chapter in the back, I’ll be attacked for hiding my views. My instinct was to stick the history stuff right here. Fortunately, the decision was not mine, and the folks paying for this book wanted it to be an appendix. I say “fortunately” because that means you can send them the angry letters instead of me.
Therefore, my detailed discussion regarding my views on the Holocaust are in Appendix A. This book will not now magically turn to that for you. You’ll have to do it yourself. My apologies for not crafting this book so that the Diving Bell and Butterfly dude could navigate it without assistance.
You want the really quick condensed version of my views? Auschwitz was not an extermination camp. Auschwitz and Majdanek in Poland, and Dachau, Mauthausen, and the other camps in Germany and Austria, were not extermination camps. They were bad, bad places. People were killed there. Jews were killed at Majdanek by shooting, and Jews were killed at Auschwitz in 1942, most likely due to decisions made by the commandant in defiance of orders from Berlin.
However, Auschwitz was not the totality of the Holocaust. Not by far. Serious revisionists (David Irving, Mark Weber, and hell, I’ll throw my own name in there) don’t dispute the very provable mass murder of Jews (by shooting) during the months following the invasion of Russia. And at a camp like Treblinka, there is a massively strong circumstantial case to be made that the Jews who were sent there were sent there to be killed. It’s circumstantial because very little remains in the way of documentation, and zero remains in the way of physical evidence. But revisionists have never produced an alternate explanation of the fate met by the Jews sent to camps like Treblinka and Sobibor, with empty trains returning. However, accepting that Treblinka was a murder camp but Auschwitz wasn’t means that the Holocaust was not as large in scale or as long in operation as the official history teaches. So taking Auschwitz out of the category of extermination camps is seen as lessening the horror of what, even shorn of Auschwitz, was still a horrific situation.
There’s no “conspiracy theory” at work here. I’m as far from a conspiracy nut as a person can be. The progression here, the creation and promulgation of bad information regarding the Holocaust, is as easy to understand as the plot in a Chuck Norris film. It really is quite simple.
The evidence of the mass murder of Jews was largely buried or erased by the Nazis long before the end of the war. At the war’s end, what was there to show? What was there to display? And something had to be displayed. World War II is a war with an ex post facto reason for being. The war started to keep Poland free and independent. At the end of the war, when Poland was essentially given to the USSR as a slave state (not that there was much the U.S. could have done to stop it from happening), none of the victorious powers wanted folks to start asking, “wait—sixty million people dead, the great cities of Europe burned to the ground, all to keep Poland free, and now we’re giving Poland to Stalin?”
So Hitler’s very real brutality against the Jews had to become “the reason we fought.” Except, those brutalities began in earnest two years after the war started. But why quibble? Russia had captured Auschwitz and Majdanek intact (more or less), and the U.S. had captured Dachau totally intact. So, those camps became representations of a horror for which almost no authentic physical evidence remained. At Auschwitz, an air raid shelter was “remodeled” to look like a gas chamber (as the museum’s curator admitted to me in a 1992 interview). At Majdanek, mattress delousing rooms were misrepresented as being gas chambers for humans (as the museum’s director admitted to me in 1994). And at Dachau, the U.S. Army whipped up a phony gas chamber room to give visiting senators and congressmen in 1945 a dramatic image of “why we had to fight.”
A good amount of revision has occurred on its own. At Auschwitz, in the early nineties, the death toll was revised from 4,000,000 to about 900,000. I hope you understand that no amount of revising that I could do could possibly revise more than that. Even if I were to say that not a single soul was killed at Auschwitz (and I’d never say that, as it would be incorrect), going from 4,000,000 to 900,000 is way more of a revision than going from 900,000 to zero.
And at Dachau? Eventually, by the 1970s, the Dachau museum admitted that the “gas chamber” was never used. The fact that the “phony shower heads” were created by the army prior to the visit of U.S. dignitaries in ’45 is the biggest open secret in the field. The current claim at Dachau is that the room was “decorated” with dummy shower heads, which replaced the real shower heads and thus made them useless, in order to fool the victims, and once they were inside, gas pellets were thrown in from chutes in the side wall. And the half-measure “revision,” that the chamber was “never used,” really needs to be meditated on for a moment to grasp its stupidity. We’re supposed to believe that the Nazis took a working—and very necessary—group shower room at the camp, and replaced the working shower heads with fake ones, because they wanted to fool the victims into thinking they were walking into a shower room, which they would have thought anyway if the original shower heads had simply been left intact, and then the Nazis decided not to ever use the gas chamber, but now the room was unusable as an actual shower because the real shower heads had been replaced by fake ones, fake ones that were supposedly necessary to fool victims into thinking that they were walking into a shower room which is exactly what the victims would have thought they were walking into without the fake shower heads because the room actually was a shower room which could have still been used as one in between gassings if not for the dummy heads that replaced the genuine ones.
I’m reading your mind right now, because I’m all psychic and shit, and I can see that about seventy-five percent of you are thinking, “okay, maybe you’re right. But why bring it up? What good can it do? Even if some of the history is faulty, why make a big deal about it? Maybe some Holocaust claims were overstated, but isn’t a little overstatement worth it to fight fascism?”
And here’s where it gets interesting because of my unique situation, having been banned from GOP and conservative circles. Most conservatives are called “global warming deniers.” And indeed, many conservatives, including all of my former friends and colleagues, are skeptical of man-made global warming. As am I.
Now let’s examine that for a moment. What’s worse? Denying that Auschwitz was an extermination camp, or denying that the entire world will end due to “global warming?” Not to lessen the genuine horrors of the Holocaust, but, c’mon, be honest here—denying something that will lead to the end of the world is a bit worse than denying any one racial or ethnic group’s past suffering.
In other words, if my former colleagues are indeed denying a truth that, if ignored, will kill everyone on the planet, they’re a bit worse than I am, no?
But, of course, my former colleagues would say “we’re not denying a truth. We’re presenting evidence to counter the notion of man-made global warming. We’re simply presenting facts to show that warming has flatlined since 1998, and that the models that predicted the melting of the Himalayas and the submerging of New York have been proven wrong. We’re not ‘deniers,’ were just trying to present evidence to show that the officially accepted models might be incorrect.”
To which the left would reply, “But why bring it up? What good can it do? Even if some of the science is faulty, why make a big deal about it? Maybe the risks of global warming were overstated, but isn’t a little overstatement worth it to fight for clean skies and oceans?”
Conservatives deal with the “you’re a denier” charge, and the “why bring it up? What good can it do?” question every time they try to talk about the flaws in global warming theory. Welcome to the club. That’s exactly what you get when trying to correct flaws in Holocaust history. I’d suggest you read this section a few more times until you see the parallels, but that would be wasted typing.
And speaking of finger-exertion, please feel free to go to Appendix A for a more detailed exploration of my views.