Paul Eisen

Paul Eisen

Saturday, 29 December 2012

'New' Revelations About Wiesenthal and Lincoln Confirm IHR Scholarship

By Mark Weber
Director, Institute for Historical Review
March 10, 2011

Over the years, the IHR has often presented new information that the "establishment" media simply ignored or dismissed, but then later grudgingly acknowledged as accurate and valid.

Consider the case of Simon Wiesenthal.

Twenty one years ago, we published a carefully researched article, "Simon Wiesenthal: Bogus 'Nazi Hunter'" that presented compelling evidence proving that this much-praised man had lied about his past and his alleged achievements. "Wiesenthal's reputation is undeserved," we wrote. "The man whom the Washington Post calls the 'Holocaust's Avenging Angel' has a well-documented record of reckless disregard for truth. He has lied about his own wartime experiences. He has misrepresented his postwar 'Nazi-hunting' achievements, and has spread vile falsehoods about alleged German atrocities. He is certainly no moral authority."

But this article's leading edge scholarship was ignored by the mainstream media.

In 1995 we published a follow up article that provided additional evidence of Wiesenthal's long record of lies and deceit.

This well referenced article, which has been posted for years on our website, was likewise ignored by establishment historians and the mainstream media.

In recent months, though, the establishment media has confirmed the very same points we made 21 years ago.

In Britain, an eye-opening article headed "Why I believe the king of the Nazi hunters, Simon Wiesenthal, was a fraud" appeared in September in the London Daily Mail.

"In my view," the author told readers, "Simon Wiesenthal was a liar and a fraud. In fact, I'd go so far as to say he was one of the biggest conmen of the 20th century. I spent four years working on a history of Nazi-hunting that was published last year, and the material I gathered on Wiesenthal was enough to make me scream out loud. When I started my book, I too believed that the great man was just that - great. But when I looked at all his memoirs, biographies and original archive material, I realised that, like so many others, the image I had built up of Simon Wiesenthal was hopelessly incorrect. There were too many distortions and inconsistencies, too many outright lies …”

And in Germany Der Spiegel magazine made much the same point. Wiesenthal, the prestigious weekly acknowledged, "used questionable methods. He took credit for the achievements of others." He "concocted legends surrounding the story of the Holocaust and his own suffering. It was years before he corrected a claim he made after the war that the Nazis had used the bodies of dead Jews to make soap … Much of the other information Wiesenthal provided was wrong, such as his conclusions on the whereabouts of the Nazi concentration camp doctor Josef Mengele."

Here in the US, even Deborah Lipstadt, a prominent Jewish historian of the Holocaust, was recently moved to acknowledge that "Wiesenthal's account of his experiences during the years of the Holocaust is clearly fabricated .. .. Wiesenthal's claims about tracking war criminals in the post-war years are likewise riddled with exaggerations, if not outright falsehoods … Over the years, Wiesenthal repeatedly announced that he knew precisely where Mengele was. Most of these pronouncements, it seems, were mere guesses designed to win media attention."

None of these belated concessions to truth seems to have dented the reputation or influence of the formidable canter, based in LosAngeles, that bears Wiesenthal's name. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a fierce supporter of Jewish-Zionist interests with a long record of reckless propaganda for war against Israel's enemies, continues to be treated with deference by politicians and the major media.

Or consider a recent "revelation" about Abraham Lincoln.

A few weeks ago newspapers in the US and Britain told readers that, contrary to what many have assumed for years, President Lincoln vigorously promoted deporting or "colonizing" free blacks to other countries because he was convinced that blacks and whites could not live together harmoniously in the same society.

This "news" was announced by the daily Washington Times in an article headlined "Lincoln sought to deport freed slaves."

And in London an article in the Telegraph told readers: "Abraham Lincoln wanted to ship freed black slaves away from the US to British colonies in the Caribbean even in the final months of his life, it has emerged. A new book on the celebrated US president and hero of the anti-slavery movement, who was born 202 years ago on Saturday, argues that he went on supporting the highly controversial policy of colonization."

More recently, a widely-distributed Associated Press item reported that throughout his presidency Lincoln kept "promoting his idea of colonization: resettling blacks in foreign countries on the belief that whites and blacks could not coexist in the same nation. Lincoln went on to say that free blacks who envisioned a permanent life in the United States were being 'selfish' and he promoted Central America as an ideal location .. .. " The article goes on to cite a new book that "makes the case that Lincoln was even more committed to colonizing blacks than previously known."

But none of this should surprise attentive IHR readers. Eighteen years ago we laid this out in a scholarly, well-documented IHR article, "The 'Great Emancipator' and the Issue of Race: Abraham Lincoln's Program of Black Resettlement." First published in 1993, it's been posted for years on our website.

"While it is true that Lincoln regarded slavery as an evil and harmful institution," this IHR article explained, "it is also true, as this paper will show, that he shared the conviction of most Americans of his time, and of many prominent statesmen before and after him, that blacks could not be assimilated into white society. He rejected the notion of social equality of the races, and held to the view that blacks should be resettled abroad. As President, he supported projects to remove blacks from the United States … This effort, Lincoln recognized, 'may involve the acquiring of territory, and also the appropriation of money beyond that to be expended in the territorial acquisition.' Some form of resettlement, he said, amounts to an 'absolute necessity'."

It’s gratifying to note, reconfirm the solidity, relevance and importance of IHR scholarship. As the saying goes, “Better late than never.”