|Please! I swear I didn't say it!|
Epstein at the time brought it to the attention of Hitchens' boss at The Nation, obviously trying to have Hitchens censored or barred from publication. For some reason the editor, Victor Saul Navasky, was unconcerned, probably because Hitchens had solid credentials as an anti-racist, Jew-friendly leftist. Hitchens' Holohoax skepticism only became public in 1999 because of a dispute with another Jewish journalist, at which point Epstein pitched in to harm Hitchens. The ADL responded by attacking Hitchens' reputation, but stopped short of an all-out effort to ruin him, again, probably because Hitchens shares a large part of the ADL's agenda, in the area of anti-racism.
How widespread is hushed Holocaust skepticism on the left? The fact that Hitchens' leftist-Jew boss found such a view privately held by one of his writers to be no cause for concern implies that already in 1995 skepticism about the Holocaust was acceptable on the left, as long as it came from a bona fide leftist and was not expressed publicly.
How many other journalists know that we are being told colossal lies and never tell us?
The ridiculous credulity of the news-media during the propaganda campaign for invading Iraq was a demonstration of near-monolithic connivance. Hitchens himself gave emphatic support to this most transparently unjustified of all U.S. military actions, a support which seemed uncharacteristic of him and premised on non-use of critical faculties wherein he does not normally seem deficient. I had to wonder if by lending his support to such an absurd cause Hitchens was making amends to Zionist Jewry for his exposed thought-crime.
From MSNBC, "Beltway dispute takes ugly turn with charge of Holocaust denial" by Jonathan Broder, 16 February 1999.
[Edward J.] Epstein told MSNBC that [Christopher] Hitchens had expressed his views on Holocaust denial on Feb. 12, 1995, as they ate dinner together with several others at the Royalton Hotel in New York after attending the 70th anniversary celebrations for The New Yorker magazine at the Hudson Theater. Epstein said Hitchens' remarks were so disturbing that he noted them in his diary when he got home that night.
"Once seated in a booth, and freely sipping his free red wine, Hitchens advanced a theory more revealing than anything going on at the Hudson theater," Epstein wrote in his notes at the time. "His thesis, to the shock of everyone at the table, was that the Holocaust was a fiction developed by a conspiracy of interests bent on 'criminalizing the German Nation.' He explained that no evidence of German mass murder had ever been found -- and what gruesome artifacts had been found had been fabricated after the event," Epstein wrote.
"What of the testimony of Nazi generals at Nuremberg about the death camps, I asked. He explained, without missing a beat, that such admissions were obtained under Anglo-American torture. I then asked, 'But what happened to the Jews in Europe?' Hitch shrugged and said, 'Many were killed by local villagers when they ran away,' others died natural deaths, and the remainder made it to Israel."
'A TRAP QUESTION' In a telephone interview from California, Hitchens would not comment on the conversation with Epstein that night. "It's a trap question, like 'When did you stop beating your wife,' " he said. "There is no point of getting into denials."
Hitchens noted, however, that the dinner conversation took place a few months after he had written a piece in The Nation, a left-wing magazine, about French Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson, and about a year before he wrote another piece for Vanity Fair about British Holocaust revisionist David Irving. "I'm very interested in the subject," said Hitchens, 49, who discovered only 12 years ago that his mother was Jewish*.
Hitchens, an iconoclast whose targets have included Mother Teresa, the pope and Princess Diana, raised a forest of eyebrows with his 1996 Irving piece. In it, Hitchens flayed St. Martin's Press for canceling plans to publish Irving's book on the papers of Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, after protests from other Holocaust historians and commentators who labeled Irving an anti-Semite. "It's unimportant to me that Irving is my political polar opposite," Hitchens wrote. "If I didn't read my polar opponents, I'd be even stupider than I am,"
Hitchens also noted that "Irving is not just a Fascist historian. He is also a great historian of Fascism."
.... Vanity Fair later published a reply from Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. "Intellectual dishonesty pervades Christopher Hitchens' comments on the well-known Holocaust denier and Nazi apologist David Irving," Foxman wrote. "He glosses over Irving's extensive record as an anti-Semite." But when asked if the ADL considered Hitchens as a Holocaust denier himself, spokesperson Myrna Shinbaum said Tuesday, "No. He's a writer. We don't always agree with what he writes about, but he's not a controversial Holocaust denier." Joshua Muravchik, a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, describes Hitchens as an "intellectual entertainer," one who often takes controversial positions "simply for the fun of exercising his brain." A number of Hitchens' friends said he also often drinks too much, an observation Hitchens does not dispute. Among those who were present at the controversial 1995 dinner were Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who said through a spokesman that she did not recall the conversation that Epstein described. Epstein, however, is adamant about his recollection of what Hitchens said that night. Moreover, he insists that he didn't keep it to himself until now, as Hitchens claims, but that he shared it with a number of people at the time, including Hitchens' editor at The Nation, Victor Navasky. Navasky confirmed in an interview that Epstein had told him about Hitchens' alleged remarks at the time, but he said they did not trouble him and he never brought up the subject with Hitchens. "I never took it seriously as a charge," Navasky said.
* In National-Socialist Germany Hitchens would not have been considered Jewish, and probably not even a Mischling, although he exhibits some stereotypical Jewish tendencies in his politics. "He insists that he is Jewish - because Jewish descent goes through the mother -- though [brother] Peter Hitchens, who has traced the family tree, says they are only one 32nd Jewish." (Lynn Barber, The Observer, 14 April 2002) That would have been enough to disqualify Christopher Hitchens from serving in the Schutzstaffel, but not from German citizenship.