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Reports by expert witnesses have now been exchanged (July 30, 1999) in the Libel Action between DJC Irving v Penguin Books Ltd and Deborah Lipstadt
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Testimony of Kevin MacDonald in the Matter of David Irving vs. Deborah Lipstadt


NAME AND AFFILIATION: Kevin MacDonald, Professor of Psychology at California State University-Long Beach, Long Beach, CA 90840-0901 USA

ACADEMIC BACKGROUND: I have a Ph. D. in Biobehavioral Sciences from the University of Connecticut. I have published six books (including two edited books) and over 30 academic papers in the area of evolutionary approaches to human behavior, particularly in the field of evolutionary psychology and the application of evolutionary psychology to understanding ethnic conflict in history (e.g., Social and Personality Development: An Evolutionary Synthesis. New York: Plenum, 1988). I am editor of the journal Population and Environment, published by Human Sciences Press, a division of Kluwer Academic Publishers. This journal deals with issues related to the interface between environmental issues and human population, including issues of ethnic conflict. I am also Secretary/Archivist and member of the Executive Board of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, the main academic organisation dealing with the application of evolutionary biology to the study of human affairs.

RELEVANT PUBLICATIONS: Since the early 1980s I undertook to extend the evolutionary paradigm to the study of broad social phenomena such as group strategies in Ancient Greece and socially imposed monogamy in ancient Rome and in Europe beginning in the Middle Ages. This led to the study of the Catholic Church as a major institution of social control, and to the study of Judaism as a religious group strategy. The Judaism project has resulted in three books:

  • KEVIN MACDONALD: A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1994; 302 pp.) delineates key aspects of Judaism within an evolutionary theory of groups. The basic proposal is that Judaism can be interpreted as a set of ideological structures and behaviours that have resulted in the following features: (1) the segregation of the Jewish gene pool from surrounding gentile societies; (2) resource and reproductive competition with gentile host societies; (3) high levels of within-group co-operation and altruism among Jews; and (4) eugenic efforts directed at producing high intelligence, high investment parenting, and commitment to group, rather than individual, goals.
  • KEVIN MACDONALD: Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998; 325 pp.) develops an evolutionary theory of anti-Semitism. The basic thesis is that Judaism must be conceptualised as a group strategy characterised by cultural and genetic segregation from gentile societies combined with resource competition and conflicts of interest with segments of gentile societies. This cultural and genetic separatism combined with resource competition and other conflicts of interest tend to result in division and hatred within the society. A major theme of this volume is that intellectual defences of Judaism and of Jewish theories of anti-Semitism have throughout its history played a critical role in maintaining Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy. The book discusses tactics Jewish groups have used over the centuries to combat anti-Semitism. Particularly important are discussions of Jewish self-interest, deception, and self-deception in the areas of Jewish historiography, Jewish personal identity, and Jewish conceptualisations of their in-group and its relations with outgrips.
  • KEVIN MACDONALD: The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998; 376 pp.) Ethnic conflict is a recurrent theme throughout the first two volumes, and that theme again takes centre stage in this work. However, whereas in the previous works ethnic conflict consisted mainly of recounting the oftentimes bloody dynamics of Jewish-gentile conflict over the broad expanse of historical time, the focus here shifts to a single century and to several very influential intellectual and political movements that have been spearheaded by people who strongly identified as Jews and who viewed their involvement in these movements as serving Jewish interests. Individual chapters discuss the Basin school of anthropology, psychoanalysis, leftist political ideology and behavior, the Frankfurt School of Social Research, and the New York Intellectuals. An important thesis is that all of these movements may be seen as attempts to alter Western societies in a manner that would end anti-Semitism and provide for Jewish group continuity either in an overt or in a seem-cryptic manner.




I am not a historian. Although the history of Judaism is important to my work, I can offer no expert opinion on the work of David Irving except to the extent that I have noted that his work has been favourably reviewed by a considerable number of academic experts on World War II, including Gordon Craig, A.J.P. Taylor, and Hugh Trevor-Roper

I believe that my background as an evolutionary psychologist and my research into Jewish-gentile relations equips me to describe to the court some competitive features of those relations. Anti-Jewish tactics are widely known, and it is widely accepted that active anti-Semites have and still do exist. But competitive behavior on the part of Jewish organisations is not as widely known. In my research I have reviewed the writings and activities of both Jews and their opponents, and I think I can help place the actions of Dr. Lipstadt and some Jewish organisations against Mr. Irving into a wider context.

The main point of my testimony is that the attacks made on David Irving by Deborah Lipstadt and Jewish organisations such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) should be viewed in the long-term context of Jewish-gentile interactions. As indicated by the summaries of my books, my training as an evolutionist as well as the evidence compiled by historians leads me to conceptualise Judaism as self-interested groups whose interests often conflict with segments of the gentile community. Anti-Jewish attitudes and behavior have been a pervasive feature of the Jewish experience since the beginnings of the Diaspora well over 2000 years ago. While anti-Jewish attitudes and behavior have undoubtedly often been coloured by myths and fantasies about Jews, there is a great deal of anti-Jewish writing that reflects the reality of between-group competition as expected by an evolutionist. Particularly important have been the themes of separatism:

(1) Jewish groups have typically existed as recognisably distinct groups and have been unwilling to assimilate either culturally or via marriage;

(2) the theme of economic, political, and cultural domination;

(3) the theme of disloyalty.

Because anti-Jewish attitudes and behavior have been such a common response to Jews as a Diaspora group, Jewish groups have developed a wide variety of strategies to cope with their enemies. Separation and Its Discontents discusses a great many of these strategies, including a very long history of apologia dating to the ancient world. In the last century there have been a great many intellectual activities, most notably many examples of Jewish historiography which present Jews and Judaism in a positive light and their enemies in a negative light, often with little regard for historical accuracy. Most importantly for the situation of David Irving, Jewish groups have engaged in a wide range of political activities to further their interests. In general, Jews have been active agents rather than passive martyrs; they have been highly flexible strategizers in the political arena. The effectiveness of Jewish strategizing has been facilitated by several key features of Judaism as group evolutionary strategy-particularly that the IQ of Ashkenazi Jews is at least one standard deviation above the Caucasian mean. In all historical eras, Jews as a group have been highly organised, highly intelligent, and politically astute, and they have been able to command a high level of financial, political, and intellectual resources in pursuing their group goals.

For example, Jews engaged in a very wide range of activities to combat anti-Semitism in Germany in the period from 1870 to 1914, including the formation of self-defence committees, lobbying the government, utilising and influencing the legal system (e.g., taking advantage of libel and slander laws to force anti-Jewish organisations into bankruptcy), writing apologias and tracts for distribution to the masses of gentile Germans, and funding organisations opposed to anti-Semitism composed mainly of sympathetic gentiles. Jewish organisations commissioned writings in opposition to "scientific anti-Semitism," as exemplified by academically respectable publications that portrayed Judaism in negative terms. Academic works were monitored for such material, and Jewish organisations sometimes succeeded in banning offending books and getting publishers to alter offensive passages. The result was to render such ideas academically and intellectually disreputable (Levy, 1975; Raging, 1980).

Jewish organisations have used their power to make the discussion of Jewish interests off limits. Individuals who have made remarks critical of Jews have been forced to make public apologies and suffered professional difficulties as a result. Quite often the opinions in question are quite reasonable-statements that are empirically verifiable and the sort of thing that might be said about other groups or members of other groups.

The main point of my testimony is to discuss Mr. Irving's difficulties which he argues have been brought about by Jewish organisations and with the defendant, Deborah Lipstadt who has contributed to the effort to ban Mr. Irving from publishing his work with reputable publishers. This is a major part of Irving's complaint. As evidence I call your attention to Lipstadt's comments in The Washington Post of April 3, 1996 in which she is quoted as stating that "In the Passover Hagadah, it says in every generation there are those who rise up to destroy us. David Irving is not physically destroying us, but is trying to destroy the memory of those who have already perished at the hands of tyrants." "They say they don't publish reputations, they publish books. . . . But would they publish a book by Jeffrey Dahmer on man-boy relationships? Of course the reputation of the author counts. And no legitimate historian takes David Irving's work seriously."

These comments were made in reaction to the St. Martin's Press rescinding publication of Irving's book, Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich, and were clearly intended to support that decision. The decision to sue Lipstadt came only after St. Martin's Press had rescinded publication of the book, and only after Lipstadt's public support for that decision (see Guttenplan (2000, 53).

Moreover, as the plaintiff has noted in his statement, the intense pressure brought to bear by certain Jewish groups on Mr. Irving goes far beyond preventing publishers from publishing his work. Mr. Irving has been prevented from travelling to certain countries, his speaking engagements have been disrupted and cancelled, his contracts with other publishers have been voided, and he has been subjected to physical intimidation.

While David Irving has to my knowledge been a target of these organisations far more than any other author, Jewish organisations in the U. S., and particularly the ADL have also attempted to censor books critical of Israel and the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. These books include Paul Findley's They Dare to Speak Out (Wilcox, 1996, 82) dealing with the activities of the pro-Israel lobby in the U. S., Victor Ostrovsky's By Way of Deception which deals with Israeli intelligence operations, including recruitment of Jews in foreign lands to act as spies for Israel, and Assault on the Liberty by James Ennes on the role of Israel in the attack on the USS Liberty during the 1967 war (recounted in They Dare to Speak Out by Paul Findley). For example, an ADL official claimed that Findley's book "is a work of Holocaust revisionism seeking to spread the claim that the Nazi slaughter of Jews was a hoax" although it made no such claim (Wilcox, 1996, 82). The ADL is also actively engaged in attempting to censor the Internet (Boston Globe, 3/25/99). Moreover, the ADL has flouted the law by engaging in "espionage, disinformation and destabilisation operations, not only against neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klansmen, but against leftist and progressive groups as well" (Laird Wilcox; Crying Wolf: Hate Crime Hoaxes in America, 1996, 7). These activities include illegal penetration of confidential police files in San Francisco and elsewhere. This story broke in early 1993.

Another example of behavior by Jewish organisations that tends to chill free expression involved the Canadian teacher Luba Fedorkiw. Running for the Canadian Parliament in 1984, she "discovered to her utter amazement that B'nai B'rith Canada . . . had circulated an internal memo which accused her of 'Jew-baiting!' " (Wilcox, 1996, 81-82). The allegation was repeated in the Winnipeg Sun along with the assertion that she was being investigated by B'nai B'rith on suspicion of anti-Semitism. The resulting defamation cost her the election to David Orlikow and subjected her to malicious harassment. According to Ms. Fedorkiw, when the investigation was publicised, she received obscene and harassing telephone calls, a swastika was spray-painted on her campaign office and a number of her political supporters withdrew their support. She sued for libel and won a $400,000 judgement on the basis that it was false that she had said that her opponent was "controlled by the Jews."

In my book, Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Analysis of Anti-Semitism I discuss several other examples of Jewish activism aimed at suppressing criticism of Jews, Judaism, or Israel. Media critic William Cash (1994), writing for the British magazine The Spectator, described the Jewish media elite as "culturally nihilist," suggesting that he believed Jewish media influence reflects Jewish lack of concern for traditional cultural values. Kevin Myers, a columnist for the British Sunday Telegraph (January 5, 1997) wrote that "we should really be able to discuss Jews and their Jewishness, their virtues or their vices, as one can any other identifiable group, without being called anti-Semitic. Frankness does not feed anti-Semitism; secrecy, however, does. The silence of sympathetic discretion can easily be misunderstood as a conspiracy. It is time to be frank about Jews." MYERS goes on to note that The Spectator was accused of anti-Semitism when it published the article by William Cash (1994) referred to above. MYERS emphasised the point that Cash's offence was that he had written that the cultural leaders of the United States were Jews whose Jewishness remained beyond public discussion.

Cash stated that there is a double standard in which a Jewish writer like Neal Gabler is able to refer to a "Jewish cabal" while his own use of the phrase is described as anti-Semitic. He also noted that while movies regularly portray negative stereotypes of other ethnic groups, Cash's description of Jews as "fiercely competitive" was regarded as anti-Semitic. As another example, actor Marlon Brando repeated statements originally made in 1979 on a nationally televised interview program to the effect that "Hollywood is run by Jews. It's owned by Jews." The focus of the complaint was that Hollywood regularly portrays negative stereotypes of other ethnic groups but not of Jews. Brando's remarks were viewed as anti-Semitic by the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL) and the Jewish Defence League (Los Angeles Times, April 9, 1996, F4).

These claims regarding Hollywood are empirically verifiable claims, but the response of major Jewish organisations has been to label the claims "anti-Semitic" and attempt to ruin the careers of the people involved. Both Cash and Brando have apologized for their remarks and, as part of their apologies, visited the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Los Angeles (Forward, April 26, 1996). (Cash's apology occurred some two years after publication of his remarks.) The Forward article suggests that Cash has had trouble publishing his work in the wake of the incident. Moreover, the same issue of Forward reported that the publisher of Cash's comments, Dominic Lawson, editor of the London Spectator, was prevented from publishing an article on the birth of his Down Syndrome daughter in The New Republic when Martin Peretz, the owner, and Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor, complained about Lawson's publishing Cash's article. There is abundant evidence that Peretz strongly identifies as a Jew that he has an unabashed policy of slanting his journal toward positions favorable to Israel.

Similarly, Noam Chomsky, the famous MIT linguist, describes his experience with the ADL:

In the United States a rather effective system of intimidation has been developed to silence critique. . . . Take the Anti-Defamation League. . . . It's actually an organisation devoted to trying to defame and intimidate and silence people who criticise current Israeli policies, whatever they may be. For example, I myself, through a leak in the new England office of the Anti-Defamation League, was able to obtain a copy of my file there. It's 150 pages, just like an FBI file, [consisting of] interoffice memos warning that I'm going to show up here and there, surveillance of talks that I give, comments and alleged transcripts of talks . . . [T]his material has been circulated [and] . . . would be sent to some local group which would use it to extract defamatory material which would then be circulated, usually in unsigned pamphlets outside the place where I'd be speaking. . . . If there's any comment in the press which they regard as insufficiently subservient to the party line, there'll be a flood of letters, delegations, protests, threats to withdraw advertising, etc. The politicians of course are directly subjected to this, and they are also subjected to substantial financial penalties if they don't go along. . . . This totally one-sided pressure and this, by now, very effective system of vilification, lying, defamation, and judicious use of funds in the political system . . . has created a highly biased approach to the whole matter. (Chomsky 1988, 642-3)

Consider also the comments of columnist Joseph Sobran, who was forced out of his position as columnist at National Review for remarks critical of Israel:

The full story of [Pat Buchanan's 1996 presidential] campaign is impossible to tell as long as it's taboo to discuss Jewish interests as freely as we discuss those of the Christian Right. Talking about American politics without mentioning the Jews is a little like talking about the NBA without mentioning the Chicago Bulls. Not that the Jews are all-powerful, let alone all bad. But they are successful, and therefore powerful enough: and their power is unique in being off-limits to normal criticism even when it's highly visible. They themselves behave as if their success were a guilty secret, and they panic, and resort to accusations, as soon as the subject is raised. Jewish control of the major media in the media age makes the enforced silence both paradoxical and paralysing. Survival in public life requires that you know all about it, but never refer to it. A hypocritical etiquette forces us to pretend that the Jews are powerless victims; and if you don't respect their victimhood, they'll destroy you. It's a phenomenal display not of wickedness, really, but of fierce ethnocentrism, a sort of furtive racial superpatriotism. (Sobran 1996, 3).


I regard Deborah Lipstadt more as an ethnic activist than a scholar. It is highly significant that Lipstadt's book Denying the Holocaust was written with extensive aid from various Jewish activist organisations, including the ADL. Lipstadt's book was commissioned and published by The Vidal Sassoon International Centre for the Study of Antisemitism of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In her acknowledgements, she credits the research department of the ADL, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Institute for Jewish Affairs (London), the Canadian Jewish Congress, and the American Jewish Committee-all activist organisations.

Lipstadt is the Chair of the Institute for Jewish Studies at Emory University. Historian Jacob Katz finds that academic departments of Jewish studies are often linked to Jewish nationalism: "The inhibitions of traditionalism, on the one hand, and a tendency toward apologetics, on the other, can function as deterrents to scholarly objectivity" (p. 84). The work of Jewish historians exhibits "a defensiveness that continues to haunt so much of contemporary Jewish activity" (1986, 85). Similarly the pre-eminent scholar of the Jewish religion, Jacob Neusner, notes that "scholars drawn to the subject by ethnic affiliation-Jews studying and teaching Jewish things to Jews- turn themselves into ethnic cheer-leaders. The Jewish Studies classroom is a place where Jews tell Jews why they should be Jewish (stressing "the Holocaust" as a powerful reason) or rehearse the self-evident virtue of being Jewish." (Times Literary Supplement, March 5, 1999).

Perhaps the best indication of Lipstadt's Jewish activism is that she has served as Senior Editorial Contributor at the Jewish Spectator, a Jewish publication for conservative, religiously observant Jews. Her column, Tomer Devorah (Hebrew: Under Deborah's Palm Tree), appears in every issue and touches on a wide range of Jewish issues, including anti-Semitism, relations among Jews, and interpreting religious holidays. In her column she has advocated greater understanding and usage of Hebrew to promote Jewish identification, and, like many Jewish ethnic activists, she is strongly opposed to intermarriage. "We must say to young people 'intermarriage is something that poses a dire threat to the future of the Jewish community.'" Lipstadt writes that Conservative Rabbi Jack Moline was "very brave" for saying that number one on a list of ten things Jewish parents should say to their children is "I expect you to marry a Jew." She suggests a number of strategies to prevent intermarriage, including trips to Israel for teenagers and subsidising tuition at Jewish day schools (Jewish Spectator, [Fall, 1991], 63).

In his recent book, The Holocaust in American Life, Peter Novick clearly thinks of Lipstadt as an activist, although not as extreme as some. He repeatedly cites her as an example of a Holocaust propagandiser. He notes that in her book Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust 1933-1945, Lipstadt says Allied Policy "bordered on complicity" motivated by "deep antipathy" toward "contemptible Jews." Novick says that while there is no scholarly consensus on the subject, "most professional historians agree that "the comfortable morality tale . . . is simply bad history: estimates of the number of those who might have been saved have been greatly inflated, and the moralistic version ignores real constraints at the time" (Novick, 1999, 48). Novick characterises Lipstadt as attributing the failure of the press to emphasise Jewish suffering as motivated by "wilful blindness, the result of inexcusable ignorance-or malice" (p. 65) despite the fact that the concentration camp survivors encountered by Western journalists (Dachau, Buchenwald) were 80% non-Jewish. Lipstadt is described as an implacable pursuer of Nazi war criminals, stating that she would "prosecute them if they had to be wheeled into the courtroom on a stretcher" (p. 229). In a discussion of the well-recognized unreliability of eye-witness testimony, Novick writes: "When evidence emerged that one Holocaust memoir, highly praised for its authenticity, might have been completely invented, Deborah Lipstadt, who used the memoir in her teaching of the Holocaust, acknowledged that if this turned out to be the case, it 'might complicate matters somewhat,' but insisted that it would still be 'powerful as a novel.' " Truth is less important than the effectiveness of the message.

The intrusion of ethnocentrism into historical scholarship is a well-recognized problem in Jewish historiography, discussed at length in Separation and Its Discontents. Historians such as Jacob Katz (1986) and Albert Lindemann (1997) have noted that this type of behavior is commonplace in Jewish historiography. A central theme of Katz's analysis - massively corroborated by Albert Lindemann's recent work, Esau's Tears-is that historians of Judaism have often falsely portrayed the beliefs of gentiles as irrational fantasies while portraying the behavior of Jews as irrelevant to anti-Semitism. To quote the well-known political scientist, Michael Walzer: "Living so long in exile and so often in danger, we have cultivated a defensive and apologetic account, a censored story, of Jewish religion and culture" (Walzer 1994, 6).

The salient point for me is that Jewish historians who have been reasonably accused of bringing an ethnocentric bias to their writing nevertheless are able to publish their work with prestigious mainstream academic and commercial publishers, and they often obtain jobs at prestigious academic institutions. A good example is Daniel Goldhagen. In his written submission to the court on behalf of Deborah Lipstadt, historian Richard Evans, describes Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners, as a book which argues "in a crude and dogmatic fashion that virtually all Germans had been murderous anti-Semites since the Middle Ages, had been longing to exterminate the Jews for decades before Hitler came to power, and actively enjoyed participating in the extermination when it began. The book has since been exposed as a tissue of misrepresentation and misinterpretation, written in shocking ignorance of the huge historical literature on the topic and making numerous elementary mistakes in its interpretation of the documents."

These are exactly the types of accusations levelled by Lipstadt at Irving. Yet Goldhagen maintains a position at Harvard university; he is lionised in many quarters and his work has been massively promoted in the media while his critics have come under pressure from Jewish activist organisations (Guttenplan, 2000). Regarding the latter, in an interview in the German magazine Der Spiegel, historian Ruth Bettina Birn comments on the "unexampled campaign since 1995 to promote the Goldhagen book. A literary first effort becomes a world sensation, and immediately the newspapers start hinting that there's a Harvard professorship waiting for the views his book propagates." She also comments on "the attempts to stifle the criticism voiced by me and [her co-author, Norman] Finkelstein," including efforts to pressure her publisher to rescind publication of a book critical of Goldhagen. The contrast between the treatment of Goldhagen and the persecution of David Irving speaks volumes.

Because I am not a historian, I am reluctant to pass judgement on the competence and integrity of Mr. Irving as a historian. However, as indicated by my written statement to the court, I have taken notice of the fact that some well-known historians have praised his work and have been dismayed at the efforts to censor him-that it is simply false that, as Lipstadt claims, "no legitimate historian takes David Irving's work seriously." Indeed, based on my own reading of Irving, I would venture the opinion that whatever the faults of books like Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich or Hitler's War in dealing with certain issues, such as the role of Hitler in the Holocaust, there is no question in my mind that any student of World War II would benefit from reading it-that, quite simply, it is an indispensable resource for scholars.

What I find deeply distressing as a scholar is that the pressure on St. Martin's Press exerted by Lipstadt and Jewish organisations like the ADL occurred independently of the content of the volume. The same Washington Post article referred to earlier in quoting Lipstadt's support for the actions of St. Martin's Press noted that several other companies had rejected the manuscript without having read it. The effort to pressure St. Martin's press was spearheaded by Jewish ethnic activist organisations and by newspaper columnists, such as Frank Rich of the New York Times, who are not professional historians, and by people like Deborah Lipstadt who do not have the expertise to evaluate a manuscript on Goebbels. In other words, the effort occurred independently of the analytic content of the manuscript and was therefore an illegitimate intrusion on free speech. Therefore, even if the court comes to believe that the scholarly objections raised, for example, in Richard Evans's report are valid, the fact remains that this book was rescinded because of who Irving is-because his ideology conflicts with that of some Jewish activist organisations, not because of its scholarship. I find that utterly appalling.

Besides promoting Goldhagen and attempting to censor his opponents, the ADL has also condemned responsible scholarship that deviates from its version of the Holocaust. The ADL condemned Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem as an "evil book", presumably because, as Peter Novick (1999, 137) notes, her depiction of Eichmann "could be read as trivialising the Israeli accomplishment and undermining the claim that he was an appropriate symbol of eternal anti-Semitism." Similarly, the ADL included Arno Mayor, author of Why Did the Heavens Not Darken as a "Hitler apologist" because of his view that Hitler was motivated more by anti-Bolshevism than anti-Semitism. The ADL claimed that Mayor's was an example of "legitimate scholarship which relativises the genocide of the Jews." Clearly Holocaust scholarship has been politicised to the point that there are received dogmas whose truth is jealously defended by Jewish activist organisations.



One such politicised dogma is that the Holocaust is unique:

Civil Judaism's belief in the Holocaust's uniqueness as being ultimately significant per se . . . thus epitomises the type of belief for which religious faith is both famous and infamous-a dogma. And like all such dogmatic beliefs, the more it is challenged, the fiercer the faithful become in its defence. For them, the first of the Ten Commandments has been revised: "The Holocaust is a jealous God; thou shalt draw no parallels to it" (Goldberg 1995, 48; inner quote from Lopate [1989, 56 ]).

The most commonly expressed grievance was the use of the words "Holocaust" and "genocide" to describe other catastrophes. This sense of grievance was rooted in the conviction, axiomatic in at least "official" Jewish discourse, that the Holocaust was unique. Since Jews recognized the Holocaust's uniqueness-that it was "incomparable," beyond any analogy-they had no occasion to compete with others; there could be no contest over the incontestable. (Novick 1999, 195)

As Novick notes (1999, 196), one can always find ways in which any historical event is unique. However, in Lipstadt's eyes, any comparison of the Holocaust with other genocidal actions is not only factually wrong but also morally impermissible and therefore the appropriate target of censorship. Lipstadt clearly places herself among those who would not merely criticise but censor scholarship that places the Holocaust in a comparative framework-i.e., scholarship that questions the uniqueness of the Holocaust (Novick, 1999, 259). Novick (1999, 330n.107) quotes Lipstadt as follows: Denial of the uniqueness of the Holocaust is "far more insidious than outright denial. It nurtures and is nurtured by Holocaust-denial." In Denying the Holocaust, Lipstadt castigates Ernst Nolte and other historians who have "compared the Holocaust to a variety of other twentieth-century outrages, including the Armenian massacres that began in 1915, Stalin's gulags, U.S. policies in Vietnam, the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, and the Pol Pot atrocities in the former Kampuchea" (Lipstadt, 1993, p. 211). Lipstadt calls these "attempts to create such immoral equivalencies." In the section on the uniqueness of the Holocaust, she cites approvingly the claim that "the Nazis' annihilation of the Jews . . . was 'a gratuitous [i.e., without cause or justification] act carried out by a prosperous, advanced industrial nation at the height of its power'" (p. 212). The inner quote is from Richard Evans' In Hitler's Shadow (p. 87). (Evans is an expert witness for the defence in this case.) While there are different meanings one might attribute to this, I take it as an attempt to make the actions of the Nazis completely independent of the behavior of Jews. In my view, such a position is untenable and is part of a common tendency among Jewish historians of Judaism to ignore, minimise, or rationalise the role of Jewish behavior in producing anti-Semitism. This is a major theme of Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism.

From my perspective as an evolutionist, bloody and violent ethnic conflict has been a recurrent theme throughout history. The attempt to say it is unique is an attempt to remove the Holocaust from the sphere of scholarly research, interpretation and debate and move into the realm of religious dogma, much as the resurrection of Jesus is an article of faith for much or Christianity. By accepting the type of censorship promoted by Lipstadt's writings we are literally entering a new period of the Inquisition wherein religious dogma rather than open scientific debate is the criterion of truth.

Peter Novick has a great deal of interesting material on the political campaign for the uniqueness of the Holocaust. In the same discussion where he comments on Lipstadt's statements on the uniqueness of the Holocaust, he notes Elie Wiesel's idea of Holocaust "as a sacred mystery, whose secrets were confined to a priesthood of survivors. In a diffuse way, however, the assertion that the Holocaust was a holy event that resisted profane representation, that it was uniquely inaccessible to explanation or understanding, that survivors had privileged interpretive authority-all these themes continued to resonate." (i.e., in recent years) (Novick, 1999, 211-212).

Novick also describes a massive campaign to make the Holocaust a specifically Jewish event and to downplay the victim status of other groups. Speaking of 11 million victims was clearly unacceptable to [Elie] Wiesel and others for whom the "big truth" about the Holocaust was its Jewish specificity. They responded to the expansion of the victims of the Holocaust to eleven million the way devout Christians would respond to the expansion of the victims of the Crucifixion to three-the Son of God and two thieves. Wiesel's forces mobilised, both inside and outside the Holocaust Council, to ensure that, despite the executive order, their definition would prevail. Though Jewish survivors of the Holocaust had no role in the initiative that created the museum, they came, under the leadership of Wiesel, to dominate the council-morally, if not numerically. When one survivor, Sigmund Strochlitz, was sworn in as a council member, he announced that it was "unreasonable and inappropriate to ask survivors to share the term Holocaust . . . to equate our suffering . . . with others." At one council meeting, another survivor, Kalman Sultanik, was asked whether Daniel Trocme, murdered at Maidanek for rescuing Jews and honoured at Yad Vashem as a Righteous Gentile, could be remembered in the museum's Hall of Remembrance. "No," said Sultanik, because "he didn't die as a Jew. . . . The six million Jews . . . died differently." (Novick 1999, 219)

Activists insisted on the "incomprehensibility and inexplicability of the Holocaust" (Novick 1999, 178). "Even many observant Jews are often willing to discuss the founding myths of Judaism naturalistically-subject them to rational, scholarly analysis. But they're unwilling to adopt this mode of thought when it comes to the 'inexplicable mystery' of the Holocaust, where rational analysis is seen as inappropriate or sacrilegious" (p. 200). Elie Wiesel "sees the Holocaust as 'equal to the revelation at Sinai' in its religious significance; attempts to 'desanctify' or 'demystify' the Holocaust are, he says, a subtle form of anti-Semitism" (Novick 1999, 201). A 1998 survey found that "remembrance of the Holocaust" was listed as "extremely important" or "very important" to Jewish identity-far more often than anything else, such as synagogue attendance, travel to Israel, etc.

Reflecting this insistence on the uniqueness of the Holocaust, Jewish organisations and Israeli diplomats co-operated to block the U.S. Congress from commemorating Armenian genocide. "Since Jews recognized the Holocaust's uniqueness-that it was 'incomparable,' beyond any analogy-they had no occasion to compete with others; there could be no contest over the incontestable" (p. 195). Abraham Foxman, head of the ADL, stated the Holocaust is "not simply one example of genocide but a near successful attempt on the life of God's chosen children and, thus, on God himself" (p. 199).

Novick has also shown how the Holocaust successfully serves Jewish political interests. The Holocaust was originally promoted to rally support for Israel following the 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli wars; "Jewish organisations . . . [portrayed] Israel's difficulties as stemming from the world's having forgotten the Holocaust. The Holocaust framework allowed one to put aside as irrelevant any legitimate ground for criticizing Israel, to avoid even considering the possibility that the rights and wrongs were complex" (p. 155). As the threat to Israel subsided, the Holocaust was promoted as the main source of Jewish identity and in the effort to combat assimilation and intermarriage among Jews. During this period, the Holocaust was also promoted among gentiles as an antidote to anti-Semitism. In recent years this has involved a large scale educational effort (including mandated courses in the public schools of several states) spearheaded by Jewish organisations and manned by thousands of Holocaust professionals aimed at conveying the lesson that "tolerance and diversity [are] good; hate [is] bad, the overall rubric [is] 'man's inhumanity to man'" (pp. 258-259). The Holocaust has thus become an instrument of Jewish ethnic interests as a symbol intended to create moral revulsion at violence directed at minority ethnic groups-prototypically the Jews.



Irving, like many historians, may indeed see events through a filter of personal political and intellectual convictions, and this may even lead him, perhaps unconsciously, to interpret his data in a particular way. This is a commonly acknowledged difficulty that afflicts all of the social sciences, and Jewish social scientists have certainly not been immune from these tendencies. I have already commented on the many examples of the historiography of Jewish history written by Jews in which there are clear apologetic tendencies-tendencies to view the Jewish in-group in a favourable manner and to pathologize anti-Semitism as irrational and completely unrelated to the actual behavior of Jews. These works have been published by the most prestigious academic and commercial presses. It is noteworthy that Albert Lindemann's examples of biased historical research include the work of Jewish Holocaust historians Lucy Dawidowicz and Daniel J. Goldhagen-a clear indication that the area of Holocaust studies remains politically charged. Moreover, in The Culture of Critique I describe several highly influential intellectual movements (Basin anthropology, Freudian psychoanalysis, the Frankfurt School of Social Research) that presented themselves as science but were strongly influenced the Jewish ethnic agendas of their founders, particularly combating anti-Semitism.

Intellectual blinders and political agendas are a fact of academic life. However, even were it to be proved that David Irving does indeed bring a certain set of biases to his work, even the most biased researchers may well contribute invaluable scholarship. Science emerges when the work of all investigators becomes part of the marketplace of ideas and when scholars are not vilified and their scholarship censored simply because their conclusions fly in the face of contemporary orthodoxy.




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