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The Cult of Death

by Michael Collins Piper

. . .Every schoolchild has been instructed time and again that "Six Million Jews were gassed by Adolf Hitler." Every schoolchild "knows" that the Germans turned the bodies of dead Jews into soap. Every schoolchild has heard about the lampshades made out of human skin. Every schoolchild ... The list goes on and on.
. . .Yet, as Hans Schmidt, one of the most respected researchers into the truth about the Holocaust has pointed out, if you ask an American schoolboy how many American soldiers died fighting in World War II, he won't be able to answer the question. "Why?" asks Schmidt. (The number of Americans who died in World War II, by the way, is 407,316. An additional 786,301 were wounded – including this author's own father – but survived.)
. . .The Holocaust – however defined – and the remarkable legends which surround that period in history have become an enduring part of the public consciousness as a result – largely – of the constant media focus on the subject. Yet, a number of very real holocausts – including several substantially larger than the Holocaust which is said to have happened to the Jews during World War II – are virtually unknown and certainly ignored.
. . .How many Americans know that a minimum of some 70 million people – probably many more – died during Communist rule in the U.S.S.R? Or that 63 million Chinese died under communist rule?
. . .What about the massive and ongoing genocide in Africa by a series of tinhorn dictators who have ruled over the beleaguered nations on that continent since the end of the colonial period?
. . .What about the 200,000 German civilians who were killed during the Allied firebombing of Dresden during World War II?
. . .Or, as Black historians are now asking, what about the holocaust of millions of Blacks who died en route to America during the slave trade and under slavery?

. . .All of these "holocausts" really happened, but knowledge of their place in history is scant, at best. And, ironically, the list appearing here is by no means complete.
. . .The alleged mass extermination of the Jewish people has taken on a life of its own and has also, in its own way, become a focal point – the defining factor – in the rich history of the Jewish people, much to the distress of many Jews in particular who are concerned that their own heritage and accomplishments have been lost in the shuffle.
. . ."The centrality of the Holocaust for American Jews," wrote one Jewish dissenter, Leon Wieseltier, "amounts virtually to a cult of death ... How many American Jews," he asks, "know anything about the Jewish medieval poets, the wealth of the culture, the Jewish philosophers?"
. . ."The Holocaust" has also been the linchpin upon which the powerful Israeli lobby in the United States has brow-beaten Congress into soaking the American taxpayers for U.S. foreign aid giveaways to Israel, not to mention requiring unswerving congressional support for any and all actions by the state of Israel.
. . .The direct result of this, of course, has been that virtually the entire Arab world – and, indeed, the entire Islamic world – is now steadfastly allied against the United States, putting Americans at risk wherever they go throughout the world – not to mention their risk to being victims of terrorism at home. This all a consequence of the focus on the Holocaust.
. . .Dr. Alfred Lilienthal, an American Jewish historian who was perhaps the earliest

1 Quoted in the Washington Post Book World, April 22, 1990.

prominent critic of America's biased U.S. Middle East policy, has scored what he has called "Holocaustomania" on the part of those exploiting the Holocaust as a political tool to advance Israel's demands upon the taxpayers. The Holocaust, he says, "is a cult, and the reigning cult" (1) among those obsessed with Israel.
. . .When Congress was debating an arms sale to Saudi Arabia, the Israeli lobby flooded Capitol Hill with copies of a fiction book entitled "Holocaust," based on a much-ballyhooed television presentation by the same name. The point being made was that "another Holocaust" could happen – this time in the Middle East – if Israel's perceived enemies received U.S. arms.

. . .It was perhaps inevitable that the repeated re-telling of the events of the Holocaust would invite inquiry – inquiry into the specific details of the specific stories that had been told time and again. And as time passed, the old adage that "truth will out" proved correct. Much of what had been said about the Holocaust proved simply not true.
. . .Over a period of years, a small but growing group of intrepid researchers and historians from around the world began delving into the legends of the Holocaust and publishing their findings, much to the dismay of those who had so much to gain – and who did indeed gain – from their exploitation of the Holocaust.
. . .The driving force behind the research into the real facts – not the legends – about the Holocaust was the Institute for Historical Review, the IHR. It was the IHR that emerged as the driving force behind this new endeavor by serious historians to bring the historical record into accord with the facts.
. . .The IHR agreed with the thinking of Yehuda Bauer, the scholar of Holocaust studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem: according to Bauer, "It's the historian's task to examine myths," (2) and, if necessary, to explode them. Bauer himself upset many of his fellow Israelis and Jews everywhere when he said that the number of Jewish victims at Auschwitz was, in fact, far less than the officially accepted figures.
. . .Bringing the historical record into accord with the facts could be an unpleasant task, as Bauer found out. Many Holocaust survivors, it seemed, were incapable – or unwilling – to accept the facts as the historians (such as those the IHR) were uncovering them.
. . .It was one Holocaust survivor in particular who made it his virtual life mission to extinguish the work of the IHR and the very existence of the IHR itself. This was Mel Mermelstein.
. . .Mermelstein, in his heyday, achieved much fame and glory – and immense financial gain – from his clever and calculating exploitation of his own experiences (and non experiences, so to speak) during the Holocaust. He proclaimed himself to be his own "best witness" as to what happened during the Holocaust, but, as the IHR discovered, that was not the case at all.

. . .That the American public is now beginning to recognize, according to one controversial poll, that the tales of the Holocaust are indeed a matter of controversy – subject to question – is a tribute to the work of the IHR and its associates in the historical revisionist movement. (3)
. . .This new skepticism, likewise, is also a direct consequence of the false tale spinning and vainglorious prevarication by people such as Mel Mermelstein, whom, the IHR had concluded, was a demonstrable fraud.
. . .It is ironic, indeed, that one such as Mermelstein – a man who placed the Holocaust as the central defining experience in his own existence – would have been the one person who, in his own fashion, helped bring about the ultimate triumph of historical revisionism.
. . .This volume is a history of the strange events that took place over a twelve year period in which Mel Mermelstein sought, unsuccessfully, to bring the Institute for Historical Review to its knees and deal a mortal blow to Holocaust revisionism. It is a story that needs to be told.


1 / The Spotlight, August 9, 1993.
2 / The New York Times, November 12, 1989.
3 / A poll conducted on behalf of the American Jewish Committee by the Roper Organization found that 22 percent of the adult Americans surveyed in November of 1992 said that it was possible that Nazi Germany's extermination of the Jews never took place. An additional 12 percent said that, frankly, they did not know if it was possible or impossible that the extermination of the Jews happened. The results were hailed by advocates of so-called "Holocaust studies" that more such studies were needed in the schools. Some, however, were upset by the findings and contended that the poll was inaccurate and that the results inflated the influence of Holocaust revisionism. (See Forward, January 28, 1994). Whatever the case, as we shall see in the pages of this volume, the growth of Holocaust revisionism did indeed spark a widespread national and international campaign on the part of those who sought to dispute the documented findings of those who have disputed details of the Holocaust legend as it has been laid forth in textbooks, official government reports, in the media and elsewhere.


Best Witness