Monday, May 7, 2007

Denial Ain't Just A River In Auschwitz

Meet Michael Hardesty, dedicated Ayn Rand fan. Hardesty likes to barge in on newsgroups and other semi-civilized forums spouting his trademark brand of barely literate lunacy. In fact, Rand isn't even crazy enough for this head case. He announces, "I'm am [sic] a libertarian, hardcore. I think Ayn Rand was a bumbling compromiser." Elsewhere, he writes, "I speak as a victim of crime and an ex-lefty, now back to my libertarian-Objectivist roots. Ayn Rand always predicted that it would be the conservaturds who would bring the ultimate total police state super government to America and she is being daily proven a prophet."

All hail the prophet Rand!

After the Oakland News threatened to ban him for "personal, hateful attacks against others," Hardesty responded in high dudgeon:
What PC crap ! If you want to enforce decency, you should ban yourself. I've never met anyone more vulgar or uninformed than you, Jeannette Sherwin.... As regards buggery, I defer to your expertise in this area.
Jeannette Sherwin's snappy reply: "You're banned."

On another site, when someone expresses pleasure at G.W. Bush's reelection, Hardesty comes out swinging:
Your [sic] an asshole who voted for a moron.... Hope Osama’s next attack wipes out you and your family. I also know that you are a coward and troll whose [sic] been kicked off many other sites. Go fuck yourself !
Later the conversation takes a more philosophical turn, as the enchanting Mr. Hardesty shares his Deep Thoughts on the abortion controversy:
What human being has the right to reside inside the body of another human being against that person’s will ? No one has such a right, there is no right to be born. Eggs, spermatozoa, zygotes, embroyos, fetuses are parts of SOMEONE ELSE’S BODY, they have no rights at all, much less rights that supercede [sic] the whole person’s body in which they reside... It is a highly responsible and moral act for a woman to abort instead of bringing another unwanted child into the world. Abortion has played a major role in reducing both crime and welfare rates. May there be many more !
Hear, hear! Especially in the Hardesty family. That's one clan we don't need skinny-dipping in our gene pool - even if they do tend to stay in the shallow end.

So far, admittedly, there's nothing special about Hardesty. He's just another crazed Randian suffering from borderline personality disorder. What lifts him into a category worthy of RandZapper's notice is his twisted take on the Holocaust.

Yes, folks, Mr. Hardesty is a Holocaust revisionist. In simpler language, he thinks the Nazis didn't mass-murder Jews or anyone else. It's all a Big Lie.

Here's a telltale line from an essay titled "A Brief History of Holocaust Revisionism," by one Willis A. Carto:
In 1975, Earl W. Thomas of Silver Spring, Maryland, had Barnes translate Rassinier's Drama of the European Jews, added a foreword by Michael Hardesty and published it under Steppingstones Publications.The Rassinier in question is Paul Rassinier, whose book is described as having "minimise[d] the numbers [of Jews] that had been killed. He also claimed that there was no Nazi policy of genocide against the Jews, and argued that no gassings took place. Rassinier is the acknowledged pioneer of the revisionist movement..."
Another author observes that Rassinier

was one of the first European writers to come to the defense of the Nazi regime with regard to their "extermination" policy.... Shortly after the war he began reading reports of extermination in Nazi death camps by means of gas chambers and crematoria. His response was, essentially, "I was there and there were no gas chambers." It should be remembered that he was confined to Buchenwald ... Buchenwald was not primarily a "death camp" and there were no gas chambers there....

Rassinier used his own experience as a basis for denying the existence of gas chambers and mass extermination at other camps. Given his experience and hisantisemitism, he embarked upon a writing career which, over the next 30 years, would place him at the center of Holocaust denial....

In 1964 he published The Drama of European Jewry, a work committed to debunking what he called "the genocide myth." The major focus of this book was the denial of the gas chambers in the concentration camps, the denial of the widely accepted figure of 6 million Jews exterminated and the discounting of the testimony of the perpetrators following the war.... Having argued that the genocidal extermination of 6 million Jews is a myth, he asks: Who perpetrated the myth, and for what purpose. His answer: the Zionists as part of a massive Jewish/Soviet/Allied conspiracy to "swindle" Germany out of billions of dollars in reparations....

In case anyone is wondering if the Hardesty who wrote a preface to Rassinier's book is the same Hardesty who shows up spewing Randisms online, a simple confirmation is available. Someone at the blog Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature asked Hardesty this very question. Hardesty's reply:
Paul Rassinier was a French Resistant and concentration survivor at Buchenwald and Dora, he published several books in the 50s and 60s on this subject. I wrote the foreword to his main one, The Drama of The European Jews, available from Amazon, Alibris, etc. He died in the late 60s.... Anyway, is the best site for dissident views on this subject. I support it with some reservations. is the Web site of The Institute for Historical Review. As of today, the homepage contains essays with such enticing titles as "The Challenge of Jewish-Zionist Power," "Low Intelligence Level is Africa's Curse, Says Lecturer," "Author Examines Zionist Power in Interview," "Winning Cartoons in Iran's Holocaust Cartoon Contest" (with all 16 laugh-out-loud prizewinners!), and "Holocaust Remembrance: What's Behind the Campaign?" The latter essay is conveniently answered by another one, by the same author, titled "Holocaust Remembrance Strengthens Jewish-Zionist Power."

It's nice to know that Hardesty supports this cracked, nutball site only "with some reservations."

If you're really in the mood to puke, try using the IHR's handy site-search feature for the term "holocaust." RandZapper found 736 pages. Among other things, the linked articles identify IHR as "the world's leading Holocaust denial organization," while declaiming against the "lurid and slanderous" idea that "Germans manufactured soap from the bodies of their victims." Elsewhere IHR denies that it denies the Holocaust, conceding that a "great catastrophe ... befell European Jewry during World War II." They seem pretty coy about the nature of this "catastrophe," however - which seems, in their minds, to have had something to do with an outbreak of typhus.

They add that "the IHR has over the years published detailed books and numerous probing essays that call into question aspects of the orthodox Holocaust extermination story, and highlight specific Holocaust exaggerations and falsehoods.... [T]he “Holocaust” campaign is a major weapon in the Jewish-Zionist arsenal. It is used to justify otherwise unjustifiable Israeli policies, and to extort enormous sums of money, especially from European countries and companies."

Maybe a better idea of where the IHR actually stands can be gleaned by persuing their helpful leaflet "Auschwitz: Myths and Facts." Here we learn that "much of what has been said about the camp is untrue or exaggerated."
The evidence shows that Auschwitz-Birkenau was established primarily as a camp for Jews who were not able to work, including the sick and elderly, as well as for those who were temporarily awaiting assignment to other camps. That is the considered view of Dr. Arthur Butz [another Holocaust denier] of Northwestern University, who also says that this was an important reason for the unusually high death rate there.
Isn't that nice? Auschwitz was just a camp for the sick and elderly. Like a health spa!

The Auschwitz gassing story is based in large part on the hearsay statements of former Jewish inmates who did not personally see any actual signs of extermination. No gassing! RandZapper guesses that all the Zyklon B was just used to "delouse" the inmates, as some "revisionists" claim. In fact, the leaflet cites a "gas chamber expert" as concluding that "the Auschwitz gassing story is absurd and technically impossible."

What's really absurd, though all too possible, is the continued dissemination of this harebrained nonsense across the Internet. And for his ongoing efforts in this looney-tunes reeducation enterprise, the redoubtable Hardesty deserves kudos of a sort. It's not everybody who can be sufficiently unhinged to fall for both Ayn Rand and Paul Rassinier. And so we at RandZapper salute you, Michael Hardesty.

Long may you rave!