Prominent Holocaust denier Bradley Smith has made much of the fact that he recently succeeded in having an advertisement placed in the Crimson newspaper of Harvard University. See his preening in his blog entry of September 25, 2009. The ad is reproduced below:
And indeed, one might ask, why did Eisenhower not mention the gas chambers? Why did Eisenhower not do an extensive exposé on the Holocaust? To the extent that he causes people to ask themselves these questions, and thereby he hopes, begin to wonder about how true the Holocaust story really is, Smith accomplishes his goal. His goal, like that of all Holocaust deniers, is deception, dishonest and duplicity.
What this boils down to is Smith hoping people will ask themselves the wrong question and derive therefrom the wrong conclusion. This is not new to the Holocaust History Project. Indeed, we have already described the intellectual dishonesty of revisionism, as deniers prefer to describe their denial. And this is not our first run-in with Mr Smith. He and his dishonesty, and in fact his hypocrisy have been observed many times.
But in fact, the better question would be this. Why would one expect Eisenhower to have discussed the gas chambers or the Holocaust? Eisenhower's book is a military history of the military strategy employed to defeat the Axis in World War II, with some autobiographical information sprinkled throughout, from the perspective of the Supreme Allied Commander in western Europe. It did not purport to be an all-encompassing history of every aspect of the war, nor should it have been. Indeed, its major focus was on the Allied side, not the Axis. There would be no more reason for Eisenhower to discuss the gas chambers than there would be Raul Hilberg to discuss the military strategy regarding the Battle of the Bulge in his Destruction of the European Jews. Smith would have us believe that because a military historian does not discuss a non-military event in his book, the event did not occur. This is merely a variation on the "no written Hitler order for the Final solution means there was no order at all". It is, in a word, rubbish.
Let us examine just a few factoids that might enlighten things a bit.
Those of us who have read a great deal of denier material are not surprised by this. Smith employs an argument based on a false premise. That shouldn't be surprising. He is after all head of an organization called Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH) that routinely censors its web discussion page.