Prominent Academic: “Absolutely no problem at all” saying “Auschwitz was not a death camp”
This is the story of how one of the many attempts by my friends-turned-foes to ban my writing from the public square (yay conservatives who favor censorship! You guys are the true heroes) inadvertently led to some very important pro-revisionist quotes from several mainstream figures. In their successful attempt to ban an ephemeral essay of mine, my foes accidentally created a situation that will benefit Holocaust revisionism for years to come. The essay that was banned would have been forgotten within a week, but the quotes that resulted from my foes’ actions will be useful to the cause of historical accuracy forever.
Nice job, especially considering I’d tried to warn my former Hollywood conservative friends about just this kind of thing last year, in this piece in which I used an old W. Somerset Maugham tale to illustrate the fact that “some people, because of their fears, can be manipulated into bringing about the very thing they most dread.”
There are still some people out there who think I’m some kind of evil denier pseudohistorian justifiably shunned by the good folks in the media who see me as a menace with nothing of value to offer. In fact, since my “outing,” I’ve worked with the mainstream media on many occasions, and behind the scenes these people understand that I’m not my caricature.
What I want to challenge here is the phony good guy/bad guy narrative that soothes those who don’t want to confront the fact that there are serious problems with the standard version of Holocaust history, specifically regarding Auschwitz, and that it’s not villainous to try to make the historical record stronger by correcting the errors. The narrative that “Cole is barred from the media because he’s an evil self-hating Jew whose views are false and reprehensible” is simply incorrect. That’s not how it actually is. Many reasonable people in the media have no problem with me. The problem comes from the fact that none of them want to endure the nonstop trolling and harassment that happens any time I’m hired. None of them want to risk the ire of the “unreasonables.”
Eric Golub is one of the “unreasonables,” a former GOP ally who is actually quite proud of the fact that no amount of reason or evidence could change his mind that I’m a devil to be destroyed. Golub was always a marginal player in my former world. Too insignificant to get into the Hollywood conservative group Friends of Abe without my help, he’d haunt my events begging me to arrange book signings for his self-published tomes. He was also a figure of outright ridicule, having made his first impression on my “inner circle” in 2009 at a congressional candidate’s fundraiser by clumsily using the same terrible pick-up line on the two young ladies I’d brought, not realizing they were friends. From that point on, he was a laughable but tolerable nuisance.
I say tolerable because he had one thing going for him – a position as blogger for The Washington Times’ online “Communities” op-ed section. So he was, maybe I shouldn’t say “tolerable” as much as useful. I let him speak at an early Republican Party Animals event, and I allowed him free entry into others. As a result, I received some good write-ups in the Times. A fair trade.
Following my “outing” as Cole, during the two miraculous weeks in which my old allies actually managed to keep a lid on the story (I was outed April 20th; The Guardian reported the story May 3rd), Golub tried, pathetically, to convince the “big dogs” who outed me (specifically National Review and NY Post scribe Michael Walsh aka “David Kahane”) to let him take the story public. Like a momma’s boy, he needed permission. And like a coward, he buckled when Walsh/Kahane told him no. My destruction was supposed to be a controlled burn; it was never intended to go public. Of course, idiots being idiots, Walsh/Kahane didn’t know that someone in his circle had a connection to The Guardian. He was genuinely surprised when the story jumped the firewall.
Once The Guardian let the cat out of the bag, and every major political and entertainment site covered the story, Golub was free to write as he pleased. He took to the Times to call me “pure evil” (subtlety was always his strong suit), a “Nazi,” a “monster,” and “the Jewish guy with the nasally voice” (for the record, my voice is gravelly). He even accused me of “dishonoring 6,000 years of Jewish tradition just to make a few bucks.” Apparently, Golub’s definition of “Jewish tradition” involves censoring opinions with which he disagrees. Personally, I consider that to be a perversion of Jewish tradition. To me, “Jewish tradition” means asking questions and challenging norms. Too many of today’s Jews, from the ones in Europe who pushed for laws criminalizing Holocaust revisionism to the ones here in the U.S. leading the fight to ban “sexist,” “racist,” and (insert victim group name here)-phobic speech, believe “Jewish tradition” means enforcing an ideological orthodoxy. Golub’s view of “Jewish tradition” is no different than that of the left-wingers he claims to oppose.
Family responsibilities took me away for the entirety of 2014. As the year came to a close, I began trying to catch up. I’d always wanted to respond to Golub’s “pure evil” Times op-ed, but when I tried to locate it again, I found that the Times had cut loose the “Communities” section of bloggers, and the editor of that section, Jacquie Kubin, was trying to keep the platform afloat as an independent entity, no longer tied to the Times. The Washington Times Communities was now CDN (“Communities Digital News”). CDN is run by three very mainstream folks:
Editor in Chief Lisa Ruth is a former intelligence analyst for the CIA, having spent eleven years in the CIA’s Directorates of Operations and Intelligence. She’s a contributor to Newsmax, The Washington Times, and other publications. She’s also a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, and MENSA.
Editor in Chief/Political Editor James Picht Ph.D. is associate professor of economics at the Louisiana Scholars’ College, Northwestern State University. Previously, he was a policy analyst for the Institute of Public Administration, Cabinet of Ministers, Ukraine; fiscal advisor to the Ministry of Finance and State Duma, Russian Republic; technical advisor with the U.S. Department of Treasury at the Ministry of Finance, Bosnia-Herzegovina; senior advisor and chief trainer for the Asian Development Bank project, Ministry of Finance, Kyrgystan; senior fiscal advisor to the Ministry of Finance, Republic of Kyrgystan.
CDN President Jacquie Kubin is a former marketing and public relations whiz for clients such as Dove Bar (ice cream), Brunswick Bowling, and Peppers Waterbeds. She started Communities Digital News in 2009 under The Washington Times banner, growing to nearly 3 million page views a month before re-launching as CDN in 2014.
I reached out to Kubin: “Any chance I could ever get a rebuttal (to Golub’s piece) published?” I asked. “Absolutely,” she replied. “Email me at email@example.com. Eric has his opinion! And while we encourage those opinions, he has to take the rebuttals in all fairness.”
Well, this is gonna work out GREAT, right?
Due to the same family responsibilities from 2014, I was not able to write a rebuttal until June of this year, at which time I asked Kubin if she was still interested:
I couldn’t quite find a way to make the piece topical beyond just rebutting Golub’s points (I think readers get bored by writers settling scores without offering anything more). But the Rachel Dolezal/NAACP story has given me an opening, as my story somewhat mirrors hers, but from a conservative perspective. If I may, I’d like to submit something. However, I wanted to make contact again first, as it’s been about five months since we were in touch.
Her response: “Absolutely. Thank you, David.” So I submitted my piece. You can view it here in its entirety. It’s important to point out that my essay included specific revisionist content (in fact, I limited any mention of Golub to only 68 words out of 1,205). My essay included these passages:
In the early 1990s, I became a minor celebrity due to research I conducted in Poland at the Auschwitz State Museum. I had a simple thesis: I disputed the notion that Auschwitz functioned as an extermination camp in 1944, when upwards of 400,000 people were said to have been murdered in gas chambers. … The one time I had an opportunity to test my thesis publicly, on The Montel Williams Show in 1992, an Auschwitz survivor was brought on to call me a fraud for suggesting that people like his brother might still be alive. When the show aired, the brother was found alive and well, having newly immigrated from Eastern Europe. My thesis was not “anti-Semitic.” Quite the contrary; I thought I was doing valuable work.
Indeed, my views were far less extreme than those of Arno Mayer, Professor Emeritus of European History at Princeton. In his 1988 book Why Did the Heavens Not Darken, Mayer, a Jewish refugee from Hitler’s Europe, wrote: “From 1942 to 1945, certainly at Auschwitz, but probably overall, more Jews were killed by so-called ‘natural causes’ than by ‘unnatural’ ones.” I devoted my life to what Mayer had referred to as the “many open questions” regarding Auschwitz. My work led to appearances on 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, The Phil Donahue Show, the Montel show, and many others. Phil Donahue called me “the Antichrist,” and my work was damned as “powerful and dangerous” in the pages of The Jerusalem Post.
After reading my submission, Kubin responded “Really interesting article! Like it.” She added, “Also, if you think you might want to be a regular contributor to CDN (and we always welcome a new voice) a column title. Finally, a photo, if the one I sent you is not you, and a brief bio.” I sent her a photo. She replied, “You don’t look pure evil. However, I need to ask (not that it makes a difference to your writing for us or not) do you really believe they did not kill people at Auschwitz? I need to look into your thesis on this because I am curious. We support any theory – as long as it is supported! I guess Eric’s head might explode…He will get over it.”
I sent Kubin a condensation of the appendix to my book. Her response after reading my Holocaust views?
That is really interesting. History is how those who write it choose to present it. But it is a hard narrative to challenge. A lot of emotion attached to it. It is not that you are denying the holocaust, but that the tourist attraction is not what they sell it as. As I said, interesting.
Former CIA analyst Lisa Ruth also emailed me: “Thank you for the article. I will have it posted this morning. And welcome to the Communities!”
And with that, I was added to the site as an author, and I was given a password and a user page for all future submissions.
The important point to recap here is that Kubin and Ruth had no problem with the revisionist information in my piece. In fact, Kubin was downright supportive.
The piece was posted on June 18th. Kubin had removed the 68 words about Golub, and I was fine with that, as it was much more important to me that the revisionist content stayed in, which it did. By early afternoon, however, the piece was pulled. I was given no warning or explanation. I emailed Kubin asking what was up, and she replied:
We are aware that is off line and yes it was removed. This is not something I was to comment on in text. However, Lisa and I will talk to you tomorrow and give you the courtesy of what is behind the decision.
It got funnier. She added:
In your future writing, I would like to see you steer away from the holocaust. You are a smart writer and can surely turn your talents toward other things.
Being too much of a gentleman to tell Kubin where she could cram her condescending career advice, I asked her what was wrong with the piece. After all, it had been approved and everyone said they liked it. What changed? Kubin replied:
It is not with the piece. The piece, in general, was/is fine. I will not have this conversation via print. We will talk tomorrow and all your questions will be answered. I need to know what time you would be around for a conference call. It is not beyond the caul that we would repost the article. But we need to have a discussion first.
At that point, amusement and curiosity were my only motivating factors in agreeing to the conference call, which included Dr. Picht as well as Kubin and Ruth.
The conference call was surreal. Kubin was incapable of providing a simple answer as to why the piece was dropped. Having already strongly suggested in her email that it was dropped due to the subject matter (the Holocaust), over the phone she initially claimed it was because she didn’t like the 68 words about Golub. I reminded her that those words had already been removed when the piece was posted.
Kubin then decided to tell me the “real” reason the piece was pulled:
Kubin: I interpreted…that some of the public comments that you said, the comments you made on Facebook including the comments you made where you used my name in reference, you know, I was all for you attacking Eric for his “evil” comment, I can find it on Facebook…
Me: Wait, I used your name publicly? I never used your name publicly. Never.
Kubin: Well, uh, maybe I’m wrong. I mean, that was yesterday. Maybe I just thought I saw my name in there.
(Laughter from me)
Kubin: I’m looking, I’m looking David. Give me just a second.
(Long pause, sounds of keyboard clicking. This goes on for a while)
Kubin: I can’t find…it doesn’t really matter. I’m having a hard time…figuring this out here.
And with that, the “real” reason (that I had dropped Kubin’s name on Facebook, a complete invention) “didn’t matter” anymore and it was never mentioned again. Kubin now turned again to the Holocaust:
Kubin: Hopefully, you have within you the ability to write about more than the Holocaust. Because, how much, you know, how many articles can we have (about the Holocaust)? You know, there’s a lot going on in the world, and, and, I would hope that as a columnist you would apply your abilities and your intelligence and your skill to a wide range of subjects. And that could include travel and book reviews!
Me: When you say “we can’t have everything about the Holocaust,” well, as of right now, as of this moment, the number of pieces on your site by me about the Holocaust is zero. So I would like ONE on there, and I would like to be able to rebut Eric’s comments.
Kubin: I would be much more interested as a reader to read a story as to why your views on the Holocaust are legitimate. I don’t necessarily care about whether Eric called you evil or not.
See that? In that brief exchange, Kubin went from “write about something other than the Holocaust” to “I’m much more interested in your views about the Holocaust.”
At that point, Dr. Picht spoke up. The schizophrenic nature of Kubin’s “it’s this, no it’s that, no it’s actually this, no it’s actually that” babbling was probably as annoying to him as it was to me. Picht explained that Golub was waging a crusade to keep me off the site. Golub’s hatred of me, based on his unreasonable belief that it’s evil to accurately revise any historical detail about the Holocaust, had turned the supposedly anti-jihad neocon into a one-man jihad machine.
Having saddled the editors with his ultimatum that I must not be allowed on the site, he left them to explain to me why. Kubin, being a stuttering fool, could only shift back and forth from one “reason” to another. Picht was more direct. He explained that Golub had given him an “earache” the previous day, yammering over the phone about the evils of revisionism. And Picht stated to me with complete clarity that he did not agree with Golub’s point of view:
When he (Golub) called me yesterday, I was getting an earful about revisionism. If you want to write why Auschwitz was not a death camp, I have absolutely no problem with that, I have absolutely no problem at all. If you have the evidence, if you can support this…if you have evidence that the Soviets baked this up, that’s the sort of thing that we would not be afraid of.
This is an exceptionally important statement, because, to the unreasonables, the idea that Auschwitz was not a death camp and that the Soviets “baked up” the evidence is not a possibility to even be entertained. To them, saying “I have absolutely no problem with that” is every bit as bad as being an advocate for the position. To the unreasonables, one must have a problem with it, one must dismiss the notion out-of-hand, one must attack and shun those who hold that position, and one must not give that position the legitimacy of a fair hearing.
Picht’s statement not only violates the “code of the unreasonables,” but German law as well. In Germany (and possibly France and a few other European nations), he could be prosecuted for that statement alone.
Picht told me that if I would agree to keep the content about Golub out of the piece, he’d fight for it. He confirmed this in an email following the conference call: “I talked to Jacquie and Lisa and told them that I think we should republish it mostly as is,” adding that the Holocaust material “will stand.”
That was June 22nd.
The piece never got reposted, and no one from the site ever returned a single one of my emails. And I’m not the least bit upset. As I said at the start, the Dolezal piece would have been quickly forgotten. The bigger picture, the more important aspect of this story, is that Golub’s antics created a situation that provides a window into a world few get to see – a Holocaust revisionist’s interactions with the mainstream press.
And there are two important takeaways:
1) Behind-the-scenes, there is surprisingly little resistance to my Holocaust historiography. Reactions range from “you make a strong case” to “even if you’re wrong, this is still something worthy of public discussion.” And that’s all I ask. I am the same sane, rational person whose political pieces have run everywhere from The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post to FrontPageMag, the History News Network, Independent Journal Review, Breitbart.com, the L.A. Jewish Journal, American Thinker, Gateway Pundit, The Larry Elder Show, and the Orange County Register (among many others). My work, whether political or historical, is sound.
2) There is a small group of very committed fanatics, the people I refer to as the unreasonables, who have made a cottage industry out of trolling and harassing any publication or website that considers running my work. The unreasonables are too blinded by zealotry and hatred to understand the inherent illogic of their mission: If my work really is nothing but vile hate-filled gibberish, if my work actually is what they say it is, they’d have no reason to labor so hard to keep me out of print. No respectable site would even consider running my work if I were the ugly cartoon character they’ve created in their minds.
One can only wonder what the unreasonables think when sites like CDN, the Times of Israel, and Gateway Pundit (last month Jim Hoft asked me to come on-board as a content provider for his sister site “Progressives Today”) bring me in. When their trolling and harassment campaigns get me dumped, do the unreasonables congratulate themselves for defeating a monster that only they can see?
Who knows. What matters is, because of Eric Golub’s lack of reason, I have this:
“If you want to write why Auschwitz was not a death camp, I have absolutely no problem with that, I have absolutely no problem at all. If you have the evidence, if you can support this…if you have evidence that the Soviets baked this up, that’s the sort of thing that we would not be afraid of.” — Dr. James Picht, associate professor of economics at the Louisiana Scholars’ College, Northwestern State University; editor-in-chief, Communities Digital News
“That is really interesting. History is how those who write it choose to present it. But it is a hard narrative to challenge. A lot of emotion attached to it. It is not that you are denying the holocaust, but that the tourist attraction is not what they sell it as. As I said, interesting.” — Jacquie Kubin, president of Communities Digital News; editor, The Washington Times Communities (2009 – 2014)
Thank you, Eric. Thank you very much.