EXCLUSIVE: Noam Chomsky’s Secret, Friendly Letters to a Holocaust Denier
A Republican Party Animals exclusive: Newly uncovered documents reveal that leftist icon Noam Chomsky has had a much more active dialogue with Holocaust deniers than he’s ever let on.
By David Stein
In the late 1970s and early ‘80s, leftist author, professor, and anti-Israel activist Noam Chomsky became embroiled in what would become known as “The Faurisson Affair.” In 1979, a professor of literature at the University of Lyon, Robert Faurisson, was fined by a French court for claiming in Le Monde that the Holocaust was a hoax.
Chomsky, a rabid critic of Israel, was asked by a friend of Faurisson’s to sign a petition supporting Faurisson’s right to free speech. The petition did not mention Faurisson’s views; it merely defended his right to express them.
Chomsky signed the petition. In the ensuing uproar, he explained his reasons in an October 1980 essay. He claimed to be completely uninterested in Holocaust denial. Faurisson’s views, he wrote, were irrelevant. All that mattered is that people have the right to express political or historical views – however unpopular – free from government prosecution. Regarding Faurisson, Chomsky wrote, “As far as I can determine, he (Faurisson) is a relatively apolitical liberal of some sort.” This was patently false, as Faurisson’s anti-Semitism was well-documented. However, Chomsky continued to claim ignorance of Faurisson’s views (and of Holocaust denial in general).
Chomsky’s essay was used by a denial publishing house as a preface for a book about Faurisson. Chomsky admitted that he had issued the essay with no restrictions regarding how it could be used, but he claimed to have asked the deniers to refrain from using it in their book. According to Chomsky, his request arrived too late, and the book (with the Chomsky preface) was published.
And that was that. Chomsky has continued, for the past thirty years, to defend his role in L’Affaire Faurisson. His defense always consists of the same points: His lack of knowledge of Faurisson’s work, and (more importantly) his absolute, total lack of interest in Holocaust denial. Chomsky has stressed, time and again, that the subject doesn’t interest him, and that he doesn’t care about, nor does he have knowledge of, anything the deniers say or write.
In short, Chomsky’s defense can be paraphrased as, “Look, I helped a guy out because I don’t believe in government censorship. I don’t care who he was; I’d have helped anyone in the same way. And now it’s done and I have no interest in knowing anything about who this guy is or what he believes in.”
But, according to recently uncovered documents, that’s simply not true.
The Chomsky Letters
From at least 1984 through 1992, Chomsky corresponded with a man who, during those time periods, was one of the leading authors and editors in the Holocaust denial movement. And it was a very friendly correspondence, complete with praise for the denier’s work, and an offer of assistance on Chomsky’s part.
The denier in question is L.A. “Lou” Rollins. At the time of the first Chomsky correspondence, Rollins was a writer and contributing editor at the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), the North American headquarters of Holocaust denial and Nazi literature. And although the IHR has, in the past two decades, attempted to reinvent itself as a “respectable” Holocaust denial institute by eschewing clumsy, vulgar anti-Semitism in favor of pseudo-academic “historiography,” back in 1984 there was no subtlety in the IHR’s presentation. The publishing arm of the IHR sold such titles as “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” the “pro-Hitler” reprint of “Mein Kampf,” “The Testament of Adolf Hitler,” “The International Jew,” “The Turner Diaries,” KKK leader David Duke’s autobiography “My Awakening,” and various anti-Semitic and white supremacy booklets and leaflets. Contributors to the IHR included former SS Standartenführer Leon Degrelle, and former Nazi General Otto Ernst Remer.
Below is a page from the IHR’s English-language re-release of Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher’s 1934 German children’s book “The Poisonous Mushroom” (click to enlarge):
It is against this backdrop that Chomsky and Rollins corresponded. In the first of the recently uncovered letters, Chomsky expresses happiness that Rollins was able to find Chomsky’s anti-Israel book “The Fateful Triangle” useful in his work. Chomsky tells Rollins that he’s pleased to hear that he (Rollins) is writing about Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, who Chomsky proceeds to call “one of the major frauds of our time.” He compares Wiesel to Nazi collaborators, and accuses him of “exploiting the Holocaust to justify oppression and murder.”
Chomsky promises to send Rollins “news clippings from the Jewish press” to assist him with his anti-Wiesel screed (Rollins’ Chomsky-assisted essay would appear in the fall 1985 edition of the IHR’s “journal”).
Chomsky closes by writing, “I’m looking forward to hearing more about your study.”
The most recent of the newly-uncovered correspondences is from June 14, 1992. It’s a fairly dull discussion of a letter from a third party that Rollins had sent to Chomsky for his perusal.
We have in our possession additional materials covering the Chomsky/Rollins correspondences, and we will be releasing them in due time. But, for now, these two letters aptly demonstrate a long-term, extremely friendly exchange of ideas between Chomsky and a leading figure at the largest Holocaust denial publishing house in America…an exchange in which Chomsky clearly expressed an interest in the denier’s work, and even offered his assistance.
Click here: IMG to view the letter.