Sunday, November 25, 2012

#363: Bradley R. Smith

Bradley R. Smith is a former media director of the Institute for Historical Review. In 1987 he founded the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH), which has repeatedly tried to place newspaper advertisements “questioning” whether the Holocaust happened. They are in particular targeting college campus newspapers, though Smith has also attempted to utilize other avenues to promote Holocaustdenial with little success. The reason for choosing college newspapers is aptly summed up by Smith: himself “I don’t want to spend time with adults anymore, I want to go to students. They are superficial. They are empty vessels to be filled […] I wanted to set forth three or four ideas that students might be interested in, that might cause them to think about things or to have questions about things. And I wanted to make it as simple as possible, and to set it up in a way that could not really be debated”. Standard approach, in other words. Next thing would presumably be Smith writing history textbooks aimed at homeschoolers as revisionists, denialists and cranks are wont to do.

The campaign deploys the usual denialist tactics: attacking the entire field of Holocaust Studies as “characterized by anti-German prejudice and based on forged documents, false testimony, doctored photos, induced confessions”, etc. (Anne Frank’s Diary is a “literary production”), and claim that airing Holocaust denial propaganda is an issue of “intellectual freedom”. See also this.

More here (this is a good resource site for Holocaust denial).

Diagnosis: Standard denialist using standard denialist tactics; take away the racism and you get the antivaxxers, creationist and global warming deniers. Of course, Smith’s racism does make him even worse. On the other hand he is probably less influential.

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