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The Holocaust – We Must Remember – Michael Shermer – Why People Believe Weird Things

THE HOLOCAUST: WE MUST REMEMBER 

30-Hour Series of Interviews broadcast on the Roger Fredinburg Radio Program

3-4-1998 Nineteenth Program in Series

Guest: Michael Shermer

Book: WHY PEOPLE BELIEVE WEIRD THINGS:

Pseudoscience, Superstition and Other Confusions of Our Times

ISBN-10: 0805070893 and ISBN-13: 978- 0805070897

michael Shermerweird2

Roger: Welcome once again, ladies and gentlemen. I’m glad to continue this series. We’re about through with the series. I think there’s may two more weeks left, as I recall. It’s just been a joy for me to be able to go into this in such detail as we have; to talk to survivors and story tellers of history; fascinating, exciting, fun. As we reach a climax here, we enter into another realm and issues become a little more convoluted.

Tonight we have a really incredible guest; someone I’ve been looking forward to having on the program for some time now. His name is Michael Shermer. He’s the editor of Sceptic Magazine, the director of The Skeptic Society and he’s written an incredible book. We’ll get into more of the details of the book in the 3rd hour of the program this evening. He’s written a wonderful book called, “Why People Believe Weird Things.” He talks about pseudoscience and superstition and other confusions of our time; but, right now, because it is the holocaust series, we’re talking about pseudo-history; what people deny—and many people do deny the holocaust— and what is the truth about the subject. Michael Shermer, welcome to the program!

Michael S: Good evening.

Roger: Nice to have you here, sir! Listen, Michael, I want to focus on the  surrounding the holocaust, mostly I want to talk in-depth about this whole concept of denial which you cover quite nicely in your book.

First of all, who does say, as your chapter is entitled, that The Holocaust Never Happened and why do they say it?

Michael S: Right! Those are the two big questions! What I try to cover in “Why People Believe Weird Things,” is a lot of different subjects dealing with pseudoscience and its twin sister, what you’ve labeled as pseudo-history. I think that is a good title because pseudoscience is the attempt to use science to make it look like your claims are true even though you’re not really doing science. Pseudo-history is similar to that, in which you want to distort some past record for your present political or ideological purposes. But, you can’t just do that blindly because you want to make it look academic and scholarly.

So, the people who do this actually adapt the apparatus of scholarship by publishing in a journal called The Journal of Historical Review which sounds innocuous enough! It sounds like some academic journal. But, when you look at it you realize, “oh, wait a minute! There’s something else going on here.” So, that’s the context in my book of why that’s in there.

The short answer to your question is lots of people deny it or revise it. There’s quite a variation amongst them like there is in any social movement or group. Within the members they have their own disagreements about what they believe, their own doctrinaire arguments. But, we can kind of boil down their arguments which we’ll do in a minute. But, let me just finish answering that question.

Roger:  Michael, we’ve got two hours here. Don’t boil things down too much! I want all the details, Michael! Go ahead!

Michael S: Sure! The central group is out of Newport Beach, California. It’s called the Institute for Historical Review. They’re the ones that publish the journal, as I told you, The Journal of Historical Review. They’re in southern California, I’m in southern California, the Skeptic’s office here is in Altadena –they’re in Newport Beach –it’s an hour drive. So, like we do with anything we investigate here at Skeptic Magazine, I really want to meet the people and talk to them. I want to sit down and look them in the eyes and really get to know them as a way to find out that question of who, why and so on! Most people who have dealt with holocaust deniers would never meet them because they’re so infuriated by their claims, they feel it would be an insult to even be in the same room with them. I understand that because many of these people are survivors and there is an emotional component. For me, I felt like I wanted to get inside their head, sit down and have lunch and dinner and spend the weekend at their conference.

Roger:  Good investigative journalism!

Michael S:   Yes, I think so. Gosh! I even had one of these guys up to my house. We sat and ate pizza and talked about this stuff. Then the barriers start to break down and they start saying things that they’re never going to say on a talk show. You know, saying “those Jews, they do this and they do that!” They’ll never say that on a talk show; but, they may say it after a beer and a couple of slices of pizza.

Then a weekend of chit-chat at the conference where there’s the lectures then the interesting stuff; the break time conversations with people where you mill around the room and work your way into a little circle of people having conversations. Then you hear things like, “well, you know, there’s this Jewish conspiracy, the cabal, the cabal in England.” This is like David Irving in England, for example, the British historian who has slowly converted into becoming a holocaust revisionist or denier. I overheard him telling a couple of his fans about the Jewish cabal that was operating covertly to squelch his book sales and his book distribution in bookstores in England. You’ll never hear that written down anywhere! He’s certainly not going to say that on a talk show!

You have to actually get inside to find out what’s going on. I didn’t do it covertly. I just went in and said, “I’m Michael Shermer of Skeptic Magazine. What’s this all about?” They actually embraced me initially because they consider themselves skeptics. They’re skeptical of the holocaust.

Okay, fair enough! Anybody can be skeptical of anything they want in America. That’s fine! That’s what America is all about! But, they soon found out that skepticism isn’t a position you take on something just for grins. You have to actually investigate it. If the claims hold up with evidence, then you become skeptical of the skeptics, which is what I ended up becoming. I didn’t really know that much about what they were doing or even that much about the holocaust. I mean, I knew what most people know; but, not much beyond that. To actually understand what they’re doing, it’s not enough to understand the holocaust, you have to understand their particular claim.

Roger:  Is this Institute established around the single theory that the holocaust didn’t happen the way history depicts it?

Michael S:  That’s their main focus. In principle, no! In principle, they’re willing to investigate any interesting historical event. For example, they occasionally have articles about who really killed Lincoln or did Roosevelt and Churchill know about Pearl Harbor before it happened? That kind of stuff!

Roger:  So, it’s conspiracy-oriented?

Michael S: But, that’s really rare. Every issue has two or three articles on the holocaust, on the Jews, on Israel. There’s always that theme.

Roger: Is there that big a market for that stuff?

Michael S:  Ha, ha! Well, it’s not a huge circulation journal. As near as I’ve been able to figure, it’s around 4,000 to 5,000 people who get this journal. There is, in a sense, probably a lot of right-wing money, some neo-Nazi money, some old German money—-there’s a lot of grumpy old white guys that don’t like what they see in the world and it’s convenient to blame Jewish groups. It’s easy to target them because they’re very visual in the media, in films, on the news, in holocaust museums and Israel’s in the news a lot. So, it’s an easy target for them because they see it and read it every day. Once you have the conspiracy mindset — think of the film “Conspiracy Theory” with Mel Gibson where the guy clips newspapers every day. It’s easy to do that once you have the theory in your head to look at the newspaper and just clip things, “Oh, look! This bank hired “Goldstein”! You see? See those Jews? They’re running the banks, just like they always said!” It’s easy to find evidence to fit your theory once you have the theory. That’s what they do!

So, every issue of The Journal of Historical Review has a number of articles, even when they’re not directly related, they’re at least indirectly related. They’ll have articles that pertain to some other historical event; but, somehow the Jews are involved either directly or indirectly, and it still comes back to that. They had one last year on the Inquisition; that the Inquisition wasn’t really as bad as we’ve always heard it to be.

(Reader)          What?   Who says that?

(TJHR)            We do!

(Reader)          Why?

(TJHR)           Because the Jews have portrayed this as a much worse event than it really was!

(Reader)          What does that have to do with anything?

(TJHR)            Because the Jews are always exaggerating the traumas and miseries of history because they use that for their moral leverage against the rest of us just like they do today in order to gain moral authority for support for Israel.

That’s their line of reasoning.

Roger:  Who are some of the people involved and do they have any real impact on others around the country?

Michael S:      The major figures involved are the Director of the Institute for Historical Review is Mark Weber. He has a master’s degree in history. He’s a pretty thoughtful, intelligent and very well read individual. He’s got a huge library. His partner is a guy named Greg Raven who is pretty amateur at the whole thing. Weber’s really the brains behind it. That’s who kind of runs the show down there in Newport Beach.

Around the country and elsewhere, Ernst Zundel in Toronto is a sort of “free speech” guy. Anytime he can get media attention for his cause— You see, what happens is in Canada they don’t have the freedom of speech quite as liberally as we do so they have these “hate” laws. Most countries have “hate speech” laws and Canada has one too. It’s more liberal than Europe; but, nothing like Americans. So, they’ll nail Zundel on hate speech things because he’s got a webpage, or he publishes a newsletter, or his literature or whatever. What they don’t realize is that Zundel really likes that! That’s what he gets attention from!

The worst thing that could happen to these holocaust revisionists is if they were completely ignored. They like lawsuits and controversy! That’s how they get attention for their cause. It’s sort of an interesting thing. If somebody boycotts them or firebombs them or whatever, they use that to their advantage. For example, two years ago somebody firebombed Zundel’s house. He has a home office in Toronto. I’ve been there. It’s a two-story place. I was there right after the firebombing. When I went there a couple of big goons came to the door. Honestly, they were a couple of 6’2” blond haired, blue-eyed Aryan-type studs, his bodyguards. Ha, ha!

Roger: Ha, ha!

Michael S: They’re looking at me and I’m looking at them thinking, “Whoa! What am I getting myself into here?” They were his protectors, his bodyguards. It’s really kind of interesting. But, he was utilizing the fact that his house burnt down, getting a lot of publicity.

They were getting mass mailings out to their supporters. The mailings had a #9 postage paid return envelopes with a form to fill out with a check box to indicate how much money you wanted to donate to the cause. The cause is not just the generic issues of what really happened in the holocaust; but, now the Jews are trying to stop us! The Jews are firebombing our houses! We’ve got to do something about it! They were waving the red meat, as politicians like to say, in order to get the troops in support.

Roger: What is their basic theory. I mean, it must center around something. Is there some evidence in history I’ve overlooked that would cause people to believe that the holocaust didn’t happen the way it is depicted?

Michael S: Their theory is around a three-pronged axis. You have to really get into their literature to understand what’s going on. It’s not enough to know a lot about the holocaust to debate or argue with these guys. For example, I’ve seen historians–an historian was on Montel Williams’ show with Mark Weber and a couple of the other ones— they just ate this guy alive. He looked like an idiot and they were coming up with these obscure little minutiae points about the holocaust in camps and gas chambers. He just didn’t know! I mean, why should he?

Little points like, for example, the door on the gas chamber at u doesn’t lock. So what? Well, their argument is that if it doesn’t lock, how would they have kept the victims in there once they started pouring the gas in? Wouldn’t they try to escape? Yes. But, until you go there and investigate that particular question, which I did, and it took me six months to find out that it isn’t the original door. After the war parts and bits and pieces of the camp were dismantled. Decades later it was all put back together as a museum. You go there now and the camps are museums; sort of like monuments and museums to go pay your respect. They’re not reconstructed to be exact replicas! That door is not the original door! The original door was lost back in 1947! So, they just stuck another door there that kind of fit. That’s why it doesn’t lock.

But, if you don’t know that, and this guy on Montel’s show didn’t, you’d be sitting there on national television going, “Aw, gee! I don’t know!” and the extrapolation from that point of view is that if they couldn’t lock the door, then obviously, that wasn’t a homicidal gas chamber. That was a gas chamber probably used for delousing.   This is one of the three points.

So, point one is that the gas chambers and crematoria found at the camps were not used for mass homicide. They were used for delousing purposes only. Now, obviously, you can’t deny gas chambers and crematoria! There they are! They’re still there! You can go there right now and see them, so how can you deny that? They don’t! They just say that they had a different purpose. Let’s be honest, there’s no video tape or film of Nazis herding victims into gas chambers and gassing them! They didn’t make those kinds of films. There’s no photographs of this per se, that are really clear and it’s obvious what’s going on. There’s no order from Hitler to do this. So, proving it is more indirectly, which is what most history is, proved indirectly. You know, it’s a past event. So, that’s their first point.

The second point of the three axis is that there was no intention on the part of the Nazis to exterminate European Jewry. Yes, lot’s of them died and the revisionists all argue amongst themselves about what that number is; but, it wasn’t 6 million, they say. It was a low as half a million and as high as maybe 2 million. That’s the range they give. But, significantly lower enough that the 6 million figure looks suspiciously like a made-up conspiratorial figure constructed to make the holocaust look much worse than it really was in order to have this moral leverage over people, and so on. So, they say there was no intention on the part of the Nazis.

For example, David Irving, back in 1977 after the publication of his book, “Hitler’s War,” which is a fine piece of scholarship—this was in Irving’s early days before he’d really gone over into holocaust revisionist side—he kind of made Hitler out not to be a “good guy” or not even a “not bad guy” just a sort of incompetent fellow who really didn’t have the kind of control and power he’s always been given in the history books; that people were doing things behind the scenes that he didn’t know about. At that time Irving said, “The holocaust happened without Hitler’s approval” Goebbels did it, Goering was part of it, and Himmler, and so on; but, Hitler really didn’t know what was going on. He was out of it! He was busy with other things. So, he was kind of exonerating Hitler in a way. And, that was in the early stages!

In 1977 he put out $1,000 challenge to anybody who could find a document with Hitler’s name on it in which he orders the extermination of the Jews. Well, nobody has found such a thing.   We think we know why! Because Hitler was smart enough to know not to put things like that in writing. We know, for example, that in 1936 he did put out a written order to euthanize mentally retarded Germans! Not Jews, but actual mentally retarded Germans as part of a eugenics program of the whole Aryan program they had going! That came back to haunt him later in the courts. He got big legal hassles about that because you’re not supposed to euthanize people without the permission of the families. Sterilization also!   From that point on, he just didn’t put those things in writing. So, that’s one answer to that. That’s the second prong.

The third one is the 6 million figure. That it wasn’t 6 million. It’s the 6 million figure they doubt, the intentionality question and the mechanism, gas chambers and crematoria.

Roger: Do you know how the 6 million figure is arrived at? And, why it is that they refute it?

Michael S: I do! It’s actually a pretty interesting question. It’s far more complex than I ever would have imagined. I thought it would be something where a short chapter in a book explains it. It’s not! There’s volumes and volumes written about this.

The 6 million figure is arrived at by a triangulation process of looking at demographic figures of towns and cities and counties throughout all of Europe before the war— 1930, 1935,1940. Then looking at demographic figures after the war taken in consensus by the Allies as part of the repatriation program. They also look at, as part of the third prong of the triangulation, is shipments/exportations of people out of towns. There are some good records of this. The Nazis kept decent records of the shipments of Jews from one town to another and out of this country and into another country. Then you can also double and triple check these figures by looking at the camp records to see how many people entered any given camp, how many people escaped, how many people were deported to another camp, how many people were left upon liberation of the camp in 1944-1945. You piece all this together and it’s a complex story! Nobody actually knows how many died! So, what you end up with is a range of anywhere from 5.1 million on the low side by Raul Hilberg who is very conservative in these figures to as high 6-7 million on the more liberal estimates of that.

Roger: Alright. We’ve got to take a break. Hang on! Michael Shermer is our guest, ladies and gentlemen. He’s the editor of Skeptic Magazine. He’s the president of “The Skeptics Society”. His book which is really awesome and goes well beyond this issue is, “Why People Believe Weird Things.” We’ll come back and continue this discussion and take phone calls as this shows progresses.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

Roger:   Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen. The holocaust special continues! Our guest is Michael Shermer. I want you all to pay attention when we tell you how to get this book because you’ll find, as we move into the third hour, it goes well beyond this subject; but, it’s really cool!

Really cool! “Why People Believe Weird Things” by Michael Shermer.

Michael, as I look at these issues around the holocaust— you know, being on radio over the years we get a lot of calls from really interesting people, as you might well imagine–and one of the common threads or themes seems to be this component of Christianity that the people first identify themselves as Christians and then deny the holocaust. What’s the parallel there?

Michael S:  Ah! Right! Now, the psychology gets even more interesting. There’s a long history of Christian persecutions of Jews all the way up to and including the holocaust! The Pope has only recently acknowledged that the Catholic church really should have had a bigger role in doing something to help the Jews or at least acknowledged that this was happening. It goes all the way back to who killed Christ and all this kind of stuff. You’ll sometimes see in extreme…. we’ve got to be careful here, I don’t want to say a majority of Christians think this at all; but, extreme right-wing Christian groups, particularly those that are affiliated with the Christian Identity Movement, a lot of militias, right-wing millenial cult-type groups, that’s where you see this!

Roger: Yes! These folks say, “I am a patriot!” Then you probe a little further and you find out they’re part of the Christian Identity Movement. What the hell is that?

Michael S: The holocaust denial stuff is only a small part of a much larger anti-semitic general persecution of Jews. That’s what it’s really part of. They actually don’t know that much, nor care that much about the holocaust.

Roger: But, they say the Jews are not the Jews. They say the Jews aren’t the Jews! That they’re some other race that sneaked in and claimed they’re the Jews! What is that stuff?

Michael S: Yes, that’s right.   Different groups have different versions. Degeneration, a degenerated human race, not one of the original tribes of God’s people and this sort of thing.

Roger: Is there evidence to support those arguments?

Michael S: No! Absolutely none! Actually, when you talk to a lot of these people they’ve never even met a Jew. They’ve never even sat and talked to a Jew. They have no clue what the Jewish community or culture or life is like. They get all of this from newsletters, from webpages, from gossip and rumors. They don’t know the first thing about this. It’s like this neo-Nazi fellow that came out of the closet two years ago with his book, I forget the title, something about “Fuhrer.” He was head of a neo-Nazi group in Germany and then he realized how idiotic it was and he kinda quit! They all hate him now! But, one of the things that struck me while reading his book is that he said, “I never even met a Jew, I’d never even seen a Jew and I hated Jews! When I met one I realized that this guy is just like me. He’s just a person. None of this stuff that they say is true. It’s just nonsense!” Ha, ha! It was really revealing and intellectually honest of him to say that.

Roger: Listen, I’ve got to do a couple of ads here. Then I want you to tell me, what is the best weapon to use that you’re aware of? I know you’ve been on Oprah and Donohue and all these programs. Maybe you can give us some tools to use to defend against some of this. Then we’ll take some calls. Hang on just a bit and we’ll be right back.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

Roger: Alright, Michael, just give us a few tools that we can use to combat this insanity!

Michael S: First of all, it’s a terrible idea to get into a debate with one of these very knowledgeable revisionists without learning their literature. They really know their history quite well. It’s not enough to know a lot about the holocaust, you’ve got to know their stuff as well. Again, those three specific claims can be refuted with specific answers.

For example, on the 6 million figure, we went through just how that’s calculated. They claim the people are simply not missing. They’re still alive out there somewhere. They were shipped off to Peoria or Siberia or wherever. You just simply ask, “Well, where are they?” Why aren’t they making themselves known? It’s like saying the angels exist. The burden of proof is on you to show me where they are! You can’t just say they’ve disappeared. We do have good records for that.

In the case of the intentionality question, I showed why there is not written letter from Hitler. But, we have lots and lots of indirect evidence! Cumulative evidence from SS guards, for example, who after the war, we have their letters and diaries and their own confessions in which they said, “Yes, it was really disgusting! It was gross! It was awful, the things that were going on in the camps.” They describe Auschwitz as the anus of the world! It was a horrible, horrible place–these purges and mass exterminations! They talk about that kind of stuff!
In my book I actually reproduce this letter because David Irving and I got into this big discussion, this big debate about the meaning on “ausrottung” which is the German word for extermination. According to Irving, it doesn’t really mean extermination, it means “to get rid of,” as in “shipping off to Siberia” or something like this, not “to kill”. Well, I found a letter from an SS doctor talking about lice, in which he said, “we must ausrottung the lice.” What was he talking about—shipping the lice off on little mini-trains somewhere?

Roger: Ha, ha, ha!

Michael S: No! He was talking about killing them! I also got a memo from one of the generals involved in Bastogne, you know the Battle of the Bulge, the surrounding of the American troops in Bastogne. He sent this telegram to the Nazi general there saying, “We must ausrottung the troops! One by one, ausrottung them!” Well, they’re not talking about transporting Americans back to America. KILL THEM is what they meant! So, “ausrottung” means what it means. It means to exterminate, to kill.

They get into these kind of word games so you really have to study in advance, what they’re doing. I’ve done that. In my book I’ve outlined, point by point, if this is their claim, this is the answer.   The answers are there but you have to look for them in specific cases. A holocaust historian won’t know a lot of the answers to these questions because they are irrelevant questions. Irrelevant to everybody but them.

Roger: Right, okay! So, I can take those pages out of your book I suppose and copy them off to have them handy to fight some of this stuff when it comes up. Ha, ha! Because it’ll drive you crazy, believe me! And, there’s a lot more of them out there than I thought there were. I mean, they’re out there! These little newspapers and newsletters are everywhere!

Michael S: Yes! And, webpages proliferate the information even more. See, they only have to plant a seed of doubt in people’s’ minds. They don’t have to construct a history, they just have to plant a seed of doubt about some of the historical record to get people thinking along those lines.

Roger: Let me ask you the ultimate question, then we’ll go to phones. Do these people present any danger to the rest of us or are they just nuts?

Michael S:  Oh, no! They’re not nuts! No, when you get to know them you see they’re pretty smart, regular folks–regular in a generic sense. They’re not crazy. Are they dangerous? Well, it depends what you mean by dangerous. I think in a country like America where people are free to do what they want, we’re free to refute them! That’s a good way to operate, in the light of facts, they will collapse! I’m against the idea of censoring them or locking them up or preventing them from publishing their stuff simply because that’s how they get more miles out of their cause. Just go ahead and let them publish it and we’ll refute it. That’ll be that and eventually they’ll just go away.

Roger: So, don’t make a big issue out of it is what you’re saying?

Michael S: I don’t think you need to make a big issue about it. Okay, here’s an analogy: The Flat Earth Society, right? We don’t have to bother with them. There’s like 12 people on the entire planet who think the earth is flat. No big deal!

Roger: I’ve been accused of belonging! Ha, ha!

Michael S: Ha, ha! But, when a claim gets big enough that it’s in the public eye; where there are news stories, trials, lawsuits or whatever, trying to get it into the public schools –that’s when it should get the attention of us skeptics and we want to do something about it! They are big enough to pose a threat in the sense that somebody needs to step up and refute their claims.

Roger: That makes sense to me! Real quick–how do people get your book? I know you have a new one coming out. How do they find those?

Michael S: “Why People Believe Weird Things,” is carried in virtually every bookstore in America. All the chains carry it. It’s published by W.H. Freeman. The same stores carry Skeptic Magazine and we deal with lots of different controversies, not just the holocaust stuff. That’s how they can get it, or they can order from the Skeptic Magazine office. We have a book catalogue. Our phone number is 626-794-3119 . Anyone can call and order the book or magazine or just order general information and we’re happy to send it out.

Roger:  I’ll talk to you off the air about an order, I want to get a magazine or two. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ll be right back with Michael Shermer. Hang on!

COMMERCIAL BREAK

Roger:  Micheal Shermer is here with us, ladies and gentlemen. Michael, are you ready to take some phone calls. Let’s go to Adrian in Coquille, Oregon.

Caller-Adrian: Okay, guys! Here’s from Simon Wiesenthal. I was in the 11th Armored Division when we liberated Mauthausen. “On May 5, 1945 at 10:00 am the first tanks of the 11th Armored Division of the U.S. Army arrived at the Mauthausen concentration camp. I was an inmate of the death block of the warden of the camp.”

Michael S: You were?

Caller-Adrian: No! Simon Wiesenthal was imprisoned in various ghettos and camps, the last one being u. He was put on the death block where they received no more than a cup of soup and a tiny crust of bread every day. “Some of the prisoners on the block died of starvation on the day of the liberation. Some of the soldiers of the 11th Armored Division tried to help us in every way they could, giving prisoners food from their own rations. Having found several hundred dead bodies in Mathausen, the Nazis had no longer been able to burn them in the crematorium. The Americans organized a burial in a mass grave. They rounded up all the Nazi Party members from Mauthausen and the surrounding area and made them dig trenches and bury the dead.”

Roger: Alright, Adrian, what’s the point? What are you saying?

Caller-Adrian: This is Simon Wiesenthal.

Roger: Yes, the Simon Wiesenthal Foundation. We’re all familiar with it.

Caller-Adrian:  This is the man and he says that every year they have a sort of a shrine thing over there at Mauthausen to bestow a gold medal on him. He thought it was a great thing and he spoke mainly about the liberation day at Mauthausen and their gratitude to the U.S. Army and the 11th Armored Division for liberating them. His speech was very well received by all who were present.   I was there and I saw it.

Roger: You saw it! So, you’re pretty sure it happened, Adrian? Ha, ha!

Caller-Adrian: Oh, you’d better believe it!   I was there!

Michael S: I’ll tell you what the holocaust revisionists would say to that. They’d say, “Look, we’ve never denied that hundreds of thousands of Jews died in these camps due to starvation, disease, overcrowding, overwork, and so on. Any time you see pictures or films or testimony like you just heard, that can easily be explained as part of the several hundred thousand that we’re willing to go along with that they say were killed or died.”

In fact, the revisionists even have this weird, twisted argument in which they say that the Jews were actually fairly well taken care of in the early stages of the war; but, as the war turned bad for Germany and the Allies started bombing the railroad lines, they were no longer able to get supplies to the camps and that’s when all the deaths occurred. So, it’s really the fault of the Allies for preventing the Germans from properly feeding and taking care of their prisoners.

Roger: Oh, boy! They’ve got this down, don’t they? Ha, ha, ha! Let’s go to Sam in Sarasota, Florida. Hello, Sam!

Caller-Sam: Hi! This is something you guys might find interesting. I’ve lived most of my life on Long Island. I lived in an area that was 40% Jewish. A lot of people didn’t like Jews there so later on I moved to Florida. There’s almost no Jews here; but, most people like Jews. Do you think that a little bit of familiarity breeds contempt?

Michael S: Oh, yeah. Absolutely! Of course!

Roger: I thought the Jewish population of Florida was fairly significant.

Caller-Sam: Oh, they’re down in the southeast about 7 hours from here.

Roger: Go down there to hang out in the sun, all those rich Jews who made their money in the media lying to the rest of us, right Michael? Ha, ha!

Michael S: There you go!

Caller-Sam: But, also isn’t it true that according to the Bible, the Jews persecuted the Christians before the Christians persecuted the Jews?

Michael S: Well, that’s debatable.

Caller-Sam: Skeptic Magazine is very atheistic. You guys don’t believe in the Bible. I’m talking about Roger. Does Roger believe what the Bible says?

Roger: Sam, you know where I come from on this. I think that a lot of this is Satanic or occultic and that…

Caller-Sam: No, I’m talking about the Bible, where it says that when Paul was called Saul he persecuted the Christians. Then he became a Christian…

Roger: Yes. That’s biblically accurate, Sam. Yes.

Caller-Sam: Okay, but, the guy from Skeptic Magazine is atheistic, don’t forget that.

Roger: He’s a skeptic. We’re going to talk about that when we break away from the holocaust and go to a number of other subjects that touch on Creation vs. Evolution, too. We’ll get into that, okay Sam?

Caller-Sam: Sounds good to me.

Roger: Sounds like good entertainment? That’s what I thought. Ha, ha!   Now, Michael, would you give your numbers again, please, so people can get the magazine and the books that are available in all the stores. Is your new book out yet? What is the title of it?

Michael S:   “Why People Believe Weird Things,” has only been out since June, 1997. The next book, the sequel is, “Why People Believe in God.” That won’t be out until about a year from May because I’m still finishing it.

I’m definitely not an atheist! We are not an atheist organization— by no means! In fact, just yesterday I got a 15 page single spaced typed letter from the president of Atheists United excommunicating me and my organization from the Atheists ….

Roger: Really?

Michael S: Yes, because we don’t take a hard enough line!

Roger: The Christians excommunicated me in the last few days because I cussed on the radio!

Michael S: There you go! Ha, ha!

Roger: We’ll have to start our own crowd, Michael! Losers and Loners Unite! Ha, ha!

Michael S: That’s pretty amazing!

Roger:  Michael Shermer has been our guest, ladies and gentlemen. Run down to your bookstores and get “Why People Believe Weird Things.” It’s an incredible book! Not only will you have a great laugh about some of the idiotic things people believe in; but, you’ll also learn some things that are very important will help you conduct your life in a better way, I think.

Transcription is from MP3 file converted from original cassette with minimal editing by Chey Simonton.

Errors, if any, may be due to unintelligible sections of original 1997 audio technology. Unknown/unintelligible words are spelled phonetically.)