A Critique Of “The Barnes Review”

In 1979, an organisation calling itself the Institute for Historical Review hit the headlines worldwide, in spite of being given the silent treatment by our supposedly free press and other media. The Institute’s gimmick was to offer a reward of $50,000 for proof that the Nazis had gassed Jews during the Second World War. A number of claimants came forward, none of them were successful, although one of them sued the Institute, successfully according to anti-Revisionist sources, unsuccessfully according to the IHR.

The brains behind the Institute was a certain Willis Carto, whose name will need no introducing to students of far right politics in the good ol’ US of A. Carto has been described by the Simon Wiesenthal Center as the most influential professional anti-Semite in the United States. (1) Notwithstanding the well-documented fact that the Wiesenthal Center’s commitment to truth, historical and otherwise, leaves much to be desired, most informed people would not take issue with that claim. (2)

Willis Carto is also the brains behind the Spotlight, a large circulation weekly newspaper published in Washington D.C. The Spotlight has variously been descibed as racist, anti-Semitic and, doubtless, a plethora of other adjectives. It is certainly anti-Zionist, but is not obsessed with the Jewish Question and the Middle East to the exclusion of all else, and has over the years published a wide range of articles on everything from the Trilateral Commission to supposedly suppressed health cures. (3)

During the latter’s formative years, the Spotlight gave favourable coverage to the IHR, but later, things turned sour; there were disputes over the thing that both Jews and Gentiles seem to love best, money, and a boardroom coup ousted Carto from the Institute. There was a mass of recrimination and backbiting with the people at the Institute accusing Carto of financial irregularities, and he making the seemingly ludicrous charge that they were working for the ADL. (4) Since 1980, the controversial IHR has published an equally controversial quarterly magazine, The Journal Of Historical Review. Following his expulsion, Carto decided that this (ADL-sponsored?) journal had become a major thorn in the side of the genuine Revisionist movement, and in 1994 he launched his own magazine, The Barnes Review. The American historian Harry Elmer Barnes (1889-1968) is generally acknowledged as the founding father of Historical Revisionism, and he would certainly have approved of a journal named in his honour, especially one which bears the subtitle ...TO BRING HISTORY INTO ACCORD WITH THE FACTS. It is less certain however that Barnes would have approved entirely or at all of the manner in which Mr Carto and his clique have decided that history and the facts are to be harmonised. Although to date The Barnes Review has indeed published some excellent and incisive articles revising Americans’ perceptions of history, it has already betrayed another and far less honourable (hidden) agenda, and by the tenth issue, which was published in July 1995, that agenda had come right out into the open.

This issue contains a long review/article of a new book on immigration and a lengthy piece on the poet Ezra Pound, including a contribution by his last surviving protegé, Eustace Mullins. Mullins claims to be the only one of this group of distinguished individuals not to have received the Nobel Prize. The reason for this might have something to do with the nature of Mr Mullins’ literary efforts which include The Biological Jew, described by a standard work on anti-Semitica as “A nasty little book...”; (5) two well-known anti-Semitic forgeries - the speech of the non-existent Rabbi Rabinovich to an assembly in Budapest, Hungary, on January 12, 1952; and the bogus A Racial Program For The Twentieth Century; which was attributed to an “English Communist” named Israel Cohen (6) - and a June 1955 article on the polio vaccine developed by the Jewish doctor Jonas Salk. The title of this latter is Jews Mass Poison American Children. (7)

The most interesting article in The Barnes Review though has to be the contribution by the recently deceased former leader of the Belgian Rexist movement, General Leon Degrelle. This is called Ein Führer and is chapter eight of the General’s book Hitler, Democrat. Contrary to Zionist (and other) propaganda, the claim that Hitler did not order the extermination of the Jews does not necessarily constitute pure, unbridled anti-Semitism, but the claim that Hitler was any kind of democrat must surely be novel by any standard. Throughout his political career, which started shortly after the First World World War, there were two things of which Hitler made absolutely no secret: his antipathy towards both the Jews and democracy. (8)

Degrelle is not necessarily wrong when he says that Hitlers’ solution was “to remove the Jews from the levers of power in Germany and thus keep them from dominating the destiny of the Germans”; the use of the word solution does though suggest that there was a problem to be solved, and this was not necessarily the case. Whether or not that was the case, Degrelle’s next claim is pure fantasy: “For more than a thousand years Europeans had sought to keep the Jews from dominating their various countries.”

It is certainly true that some Jews became fabulously wealthy in the services of various monarchs throughout history. For example, the Mediaeval usurer Aaron of Lincoln (c1125-c1186), accrued a fortune second only to that of the king (9) and was, according to at least one account, despised more for his arrogance than for his ethnic origins. One chronicler recorded that “Aaron the Jew...held us in his debt, coming to the House of St. Alban in great pride and boasting, with threats kept on boasting that it was he who had made the window for our St. Alban...”

However, on his death Aaron’s fortune was confiscated by the king; (10) Jews lived in England and in the rest of Europe only by the grace of the sovereigns, and like the rest of us they had to know their place and keep their heads down. In his 1990 monograph Literature and Money, scholar Cedric Watts reports that in Mediaeval England, “The authorities themselves repeatedly deflected the Jews towards moneylending.” (11) In any case, this was hardly a Jewish problem, for the same scholar tells us that “In Elizabethan England, usury burgeoned; and it was clearly not a matter that could be attributed to Jews, since virtually all of them had been banished from England in 1290.” (12) Jews were readmitted to England by Oliver Cromwell, so not everyone considered them to be a pernicious influence in England, ditto Germany and elsewhere.

Returning to General Degrelle, his next claim is truly extraordinary. After telling us that the meaning of the Final Solution has been distorted - as it has - he says that “Unlike Hitler, who wished only for the Jews to go away, the average German in 1920 felt much less kindly. Hitler’s moderation was in marked contrast to the popular wrath of the time, and it is an irony of history that it was this moderation that was used in attempts to discredit Hitler in the eyes of the German people as being himself a Jew.”

There you have it, Hitler was not an anti-Semite after all; it was ordinary Germans who were anti-Semites, Hitler was a moderate. Has anyone ever called him that before? What are the facts about the anti-Semitic Germans and the “Hitler is so pro-Jewish that he must be one” nonsense?

Germany’s Jewish population in 1933 is generally acknowledged to be about 600,000. In February of that year, a supplement to the Jewish Chronicle published an extensive analysis of German Jewry which reported that German Jews accounted for the following: 2,208 lawyers, 3,670 doctors, 713 dentists, 374 authors, 31 actors, 113 singers and 41 editors. (13)

I have no idea how these figures were compiled, but, unlike many statistics concerning Jews in the Nazi era, I have no good reason for challenging their accuracy. As Weimar Germany was not a statist régime, all the above lawyers, doctors and dentists owed their livelihoods to their clients and patients. The high concentration of Jews in and around medicine does seem to indicate that they were rather proficient at healing the sick, more so than the average German, so however much the average German may have hated Jews, enough Germans didn’t hate them so much that they would boycott their services. In fact, this continued well into the Nazi era, and indeed into the war.

The Jewish Chronicle for January 4, 1935 reported that at least one leading Nazi had engaged a Jewish doctor; the issue for March 8 the same year reported not only that Nazis were consulting Jewish doctors but that academics had protested against anti-Jewish persecution; presumably these academics were the same Germans who had felt far less kindly about the Jews in 1920.

The March 26, 1937 issue reported that Nazi officials were still patronising Jewish doctors. It had previously been announced that all Aryans so doing would be publicly named; later, the German Ministry of Propaganda decided otherwise. Reports in the Jewish Chronicle for May 31, June 28 and July 19, 1940 claimed respectively that the Nazi authorities were recruiting Jewish doctors in Vienna in spite of a ban; that “Jewish doctors incarcerated for years in concentration camps and prisons have been released and hurried to the various military hospitals to alleviate the suffering of the wounded Nazis”, and that 1,250 Jewish doctors and 940 dentists had been conscripted. Now what of the alleged Jewish origins of Hitler? According to Degrelle, “On 14 October 1933 the British Daily Mirror, owned by Jewish press magnate Lord Beaverbrook, published the photograph of a Jewish tombstone...whom the Mirror claimed to be Hitler’s grandfather.”

We will return to this claim shortly, but first let us turn to the alleged Jewish origins of Hitler. This piece of nonsense did not originate in Fleet Street: the London Times of July 13, 1933 published a story filed from Vienna entitled ALLEGED ANCESTRY OF HERR HITLER: “JEWISH STOCK ON MOTHER’S SIDE”; the next day a refutation was published, from Berlin. Clearly this story had no basis in fact, and was just as clearly the result of mischief-makers - perhaps even Jewish mischief-makers - trying to portray Hitler in a bad light rather than to insinuate that he was pro-Jewish.

Degrelle’s claim that Lord Beaverbrook was a Jew is likewise nonsense of the first order, but others have also made this claim. (14) Lord Beaverbrook (1879-1964) was born in Maple, Ontario, the son of a Church of Scotland minister. (15) There is also a great irony here, because although he was neither a Jew nor an anti-Semite, in December 1938 Beaverbrook himself wrote a letter to one Frank Gannett which would have warmed the cockles of Degrelle’s (and Willis Carto’s) heart.

Part of it read thus: “The Jews have got a big position in the press here. I estimate that one-third of the circulation of the Daily Telegraph is Jewish. The Daily Mirror may be owned by Jews. The Daily Herald is owned by Jews. And the News-Chronicle should really be the Jews Chronicle. Not because of ownership but because of sympathy.
“The Times, The Daily Mail and the Express are the only papers left. And I am not sure about the Mail.
“I have been, for years, a prophet of no war. But at last I am shaken. The Jews may drive us into war. I do not mean with any conscious purpose of doing so. They do not mean to do it. But unconsciously they are drawing us into war. Their political influence is moving us in that direction.” (16)

Beaverbrook’s biographer the distinguished historian A.J.P. Taylor rushed to his defence saying that this was a deplorable letter and that it was Hitler’s treatment of the Jews rather than propaganda by Jews or anyone else which turned the British people against Hitler. (17) Which proves that even distinguished historians like A.J.P. Taylor can write nonsense along with the Leon Degrelles of this world.

Unfortunately, Degrelle did not simply write nonsense here, he wrote lies. For not only did Lord Beaverbrook not own the Daily Mirror, but the paper never published any such photograph, at least not on that date. The Daily Mirror newspaper was founded in 1903 as a women’s newspaper. (18) It was owned by the Harmsworth family (the Rothermeres). In 1931, Rothermere disposed of his interest in the paper to individual shareholders. (19) The front page of the Daily Mirror for Saturday, October 14, 1933 is actually taken up with the story of an actress who had been involved in a car crash. The current writer consulted the Daily Mirror for October 1933 at the Newspaper Library at Colindale, and, as far as I could ascertain, the story appeared nowhere in this issue of the paper, nor of any of the other issues that I trolled through. (20) Nor did the Beaverbrook paper the Daily Express contain any such report. The Daily Mirror is not indexed, but the Times is, and it is very likely that such a sensational claim would have been picked up by that paper as well. However, the Times Index for October 1933 does not, as far as I could tell, mention any Jewish gravestones in connection with the Führer, although the Times October 13 issue contains a not entirely hostile review of an English abridgement of Mein Kampf. The Daily Mirror for October 16 that year speculates that civil war in Germany is a real possibility. Degrelle’s unwritten assertion, that the Jews controlled the British press during the 1930s, does not hold water. In the first place, the British press of this era was nothing like universally hostile to Hitler; unlike the United States - where even then, Organised Jewry was a formidable force in the media. Rather than Jews, the British press was dominated by upper class Gentiles. Nowadays of course the entire media is controlled more or less entirely by faceless (and raceless) corporations, notwithstanding the fact that there is the odd press baron here and there.

To prove this point, I ploughed through not only several issues of the Daily Mirror but also through several issues of the Daily Express, just in case Degrelle or his translator had made a mistake. Needless to say, the Beaverbrook-owned Daily Express did not contain any reference to Jewish gravestones either. (21) I did though find several articles which were anything but hostile to Hitler. To wit...

On the front page of the October 14 issue was a report filed from Berlin about the Reichstag fire trial. [In stark contrast to the Mirror’s lead article!] (22) The October 16 issue reported a speech made by Hitler to the world in four languages the previous day. He was said to have demanded equal rights for Germany and to have claimed that only a madman would think of war. Finally, the October 18 issue ran a feature by the paper’s Berlin correspondent which reported that, among other things, Hitler’s favourite pet Alsatian was poisoned by Communists. The article ends with the following words: “Politically, Hitler’s life is black with crime. But the private life of Hitler is without reproach. Alone among his fellow leaders his shield is pure.” To the current writer that quote indicates two things: one, the British press was most definitely not at that time either controlled by Jews or subservient to Jewish interests, as a reading of the quite contemptible Jewish Chronicle for the same era will prove. Two: that the press in Germany was relatively free, for surely no foreign correspondent would have dared write such ambivalent words about Stalin. Incidentally, this article is subtitled WHY HE HATED DEMOCRACY. Need anymore be said? Let us now return to The Barnes Review.

The rest of the Degrelle excerpt has no more merit than the part already critiqued, and the book is obviously every bit as worthless as most of the trash about the Nazis churned out by anti-Nazis and Jews since the end of the Second World War.

Let us though turn briefly to the letters page of The Barnes Review. A letter from one Gene Burns of Portis, Kansas, takes to task a contributor to the May issue. Specifically he argues that the word “anti-Semite” is a concocted smear word and that “the Jews are anti-Semitic because they are anti-Arab. There is no such an animal as an anti-Semite.” The writer suggests instead that the word anti-Jewish be used. Very well, Mr Burns, you are anti-Jewish. This truth about this piece of nonsense is that the word “anti-Semite” was coined specifically to refer to persons who were hostile to Jews and/or their influence (real or imagined), and has nothing to do with Semites in a racial sense anymore than the card game bridge has to do with crossing rivers. (23)

Another letter, from W.D. Ferguson, commenting on the same article - about Henry Ford - waxes as follows: “Every point Ford made about the International Jew can be found in other books - all written by Jews. Ford took four volumes to say what Ben Franklin said in a few words two hundred years ago: ‘Let the Jews in America and in two hundred years they will own the place.’ Would Gay [the author] like to debate that point?”

In the first place, Henry Ford did not make any points in The International Jew because he didn’t write the book; (24) this is, or should be, common knowledge, especially to anyone who has the temerity to call himself a Revisionist. In the second place, there have been a number of anti-Semitic propagandists of Jewish origin throughout history, and others who, like Ford, were not anti-Semitic, but simply extremely gullible, extremely misguided or terribly wrong. (25) In the third place, Benjamin Franklin neither said nor wrote any such thing.

It has often been claimed by anti-Semites that Franklin implored his countrymen to exclude the Jews at a Constitutional Convention in the Summer of 1787. This libel on the great American statesman has long been traced to the pro-Nazi publication Liberation, of February 3, 1934. It was dreamed up by the well-known pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic propagandist William Dudley Pelley (1890-1965). (26) Pelley founded the Silver Shirts (Silver Shirt Legion), (27) and in 1936 stood as presidential candidate for the Christian Party of American, polling 1,600 votes. (28) He was also a purveyor of the Protocols Of Zion. (29) That notwithstanding, the Benjamin Franklin exclude the Jews quote is still being peddled to this day, including by Dr Ed Fields, Editor of The Truth At Last (formerly The Thunderbolt). A while ago this long published, virulently anti-Semitic newspaper, which also endorses the Protocols, offered for sale a tract called What World Famous Men Said About The Jews. This includes the bogus Franklin quote.

There are those who dismiss Willis Carto as an anti-Semite and nothing more; this is simply not true. Both the Spotlight and Liberty Lobby have done much to expose the hidden agendas of many powerful vested interests besides those of Organised Jewry. (30) However, by continuing to endorse and nurture his petty bigotries, and by giving aid and comfort to those who share them, he has greatly diminished the value of much of the iconoclastic work that he and his associated organisations have done over the past four decades.

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