This blog recently conducted an interview with former denier Christian Lindtner, who had once been involved with the 2006 revisionist conference in Tehran. After continuing his research into the Holocaust, Lindtner came to disavow his earlier position, and as a result has suffered public attacks from the likes of Juergen Graf and Frederick Toben. Lindtner has established his own blog, Holocaust Denial is Chutzpah, in order to publicize and support his position.
While HC members may not necessarily endorse all of the statements that Lindtner makes, we feel that his work on denial would be worthwhile for our readers to access. We have bolded some of Dr. Lindtner's responses which we found especially interesting.
HC: To start things off why don't you go ahead and provide some background information about yourself and how you originally came to be involved and supportive of Holocaust Revisionism.
CL: For background information, please see my CV under www.jesusisbuddha.com. You will notice that one of my main projects has to do with the famous Buddhist philosopher Nâgârjuna, whose writings have been transmitted in various languages, Sanskrit, Chinese and Tibetan. First, his writings had to be edited and or translated. For various reasons, they are often very difficult to understand. They are full of paradoxes, much like the celebrated paradoxes of Zeno, the Greek sophists, and even Jesus (as in Matthew 22:41-46: how can it be that David calls the Christ his son as well as his Lord?).
When I first became aware of "Holocaust Revisionism" more than twenty years ago, I was also struck by the paradoxes. At that time I had no reason to question "the official version". I then heard that there were people like Professor Faurisson, claiming that there was no scientific evidence for a Hitler order, no plan, no budget, no weapons of mass destruction etc. In 1998 I invited Danish historians, in public, to refute his claims. Moreover, along with some friends, we invited nearly all the "Holocaust revisionists" to visit Denmark and present their case without having to fear persecution, imprisonment etc. To cut a long story short: In 2006 I was invited to Iran. Here, I could report that Danish historians had failed to refute the claims of the Holocaust Revisionists. Often, they had even made fools of themselves in attempting to do so.
HC: You have written, as is the title of your new blog, that "Denial is Chutzpah." What do you mean by that exactly, and how did your arrive at that new conclusion?
CL: In 2006 I became a member of the Tehran Committee. Its main task was to be "fact-finding" with regard to the so-called Holocaust. A couple of years ago, I decided to look at the whole matter with fresh eyes, following a Middle Path, as it were. I decided to "revise revisionism". I did my best to listen to both sides sine ira et studio. Eventually, I came to the conclusion, that Professor Faurisson, the most learned of them all, had simply ignored or distorted the evidence that did not support his own views about there being no evidence for a Hitler order etc. Several times, I asked Prof. Faurisson for an explanation. I did not receive any answers to my questions.
When I looked closer at his "arguments" they reminded me of Hitler´s famous description of Jewish dialectics - Jüdische Dialektik - in Mein Kampf. As you recall, Hitler wrote: " Man wusste nicht, was man mehr bestaunen sollte, ihre Zungenfertigkeit oder ihre Kunst der Lüge". (München 1943, p. 67). It was as if Hitler had the French professor in mind! The conclusions, I have arrived at, are presented in the video "Hitler´s Prophecy".
When I now speak of Denial as Chutzpah, I use the word Chutzpah in the sense of sophistry, i.e., " unsound or misleading but clever, plausible, and subtle argument or reasoning" (Webster).
HC: What has been the general Revisionist response to the disavowal of your former position, privately and publicly?
CL: As far as I can judge, the general Revisionist response has been very negative. I have been called a traitor, and Mr. Graf has spoken of my moral and intellectual bankruptcy.
But the response has also been positive. Some say, that truth is the only thing that matters, and that it is always a good thing that one is willing to revise one´s old views.
Perhaps I shall have to revise my new views once again in the light of new evidence?
I may add that a few days ago, Dr Ramin, the Chairman of the Tehran Committee did send me his very best wishes from Iran. There were, I suspect, those who would like to see me excluded from the Tehran Committee because of my new position. Their wish did not find the support of our Chairman, I am happy to say.
HC: Recently, prominent denier Juergen Graf charged you with "moral and intellectual bankruptcy." While doing so he readily acknowledged his own failure to read Wolfgang Curilla's two volume history on the Ordnungspolizei, one of the main sources you once mentioned which lead to your rejection of Revisionism, but still felt justified in criticizing the work. What do you think about such invective, and what does such intellectual dishonesty say about Revisionism in general?
CL: My reply to Mr. Graf may be found on my Blog. One friend puts it briefly and diplomatically: Mr. Graf has left the realm of scholarship.
I do, however, think that there are "revisionists" who are in good faith. These are, typically, people, young and old, who do not read scholarly books themselves, but rely on the authority of men like "this intellectual giant of Revisioinism" - which is how Ernst Zündel once described his friend and advisor, Professor Faurisson. We must, to be fair, distinguish between those who mislead and those who are mislead, those who deceive and those who are deceived.
I will not exclude the possibility that among those who deceive others, there may also be those who deceive themselves. For this reason one must also try to be tolerant. Often, German judges send deniers to prison. I wish they could be more tolerent and send them back to school instead.
HC: Where do you see Revisionism heading in the foreseeable future?
CL: The only Revisionst who really counts, is Professor Faurisson. The other deniers are, as a rule, his imitators. Professor Faurisson´s position now is much like that of Hitler´s Germany in April 1945. He can only maintain his position by way of Chutzpah, i.e. by deliberately ignoring or distorting evidence. This is Hitler in his bunker.
Thus, Revisionism - Holocaust Denial - will not survive for long.
On the other hand, this does not mean that the ghost of Revisionism will go away. There are those, on both sides, who, for different reasons, would like to see Revisionism flourish - even without there being any deniers left to support it.
HC: Your blog has many interesting articles and criticisms of the Revisionist position, which is why we have provided a link to it for our readers. What do you see as its primary purpose?
CL: There is much truth in the old saying: mundus vult decipi. And there are those who, for various reasons, want to deceive others, and themselves.
To be in a position where one can speak the truth with a smile is a gift of the gods. All too often, "official" historians have failed in pointing out the tricks of Professor Faurisson and his imitators. One famous French historian has even said that he could kill Faurisson! Others have attacked him physically. What a great pity!
My Danish genes - combined with the study of Cicero and Holberg - have landed me in a different position: We should be grateful that there are still people willing to defend the most absurd positions with great skill. It can be intellectually stimulating! How could we, without them, seek and speak the truth - with a smile?
More seriously: It is not enough to defend your own thesis. You must also refute that of your opponent. In a philosophical debate, opponents should not be ignored or condemned, but refuted. We need opponents to confirm - or reject - our own views. This is the way ancient Greek and Indian philosophers looked at the matter, and this is how I prefer to look at it.