(THE SCENE: WTFN’s Los Angeles studios. The set is bedecked with the usual movie posters, still photographs and various objets de cinéma. Host Lance Boyle is in his usual club chair. The opening theme music dies down.)

Lance Boyle
LANCE BOYLE: (to camera) “Welcome to the ninth Oscar edition of The Cutting Room, the first under the new Trumpian regime. To read from the screeching from both sides of the right-wing of the political spectrum, we might as well redefine the calendar as BT and AT—Before Trump and After Trump. Whether one thinks that the last election marked a break with the past or is the inevitable result of 30-plus years of corporatism, one thing will always be a constant in our lives—movies—and where there are movies, there are award shows. Tonight we look at the best Hollywood had to offer in 2016, and to join me, as always, is Miriam Kale, WTFN’s magnificent movie maven. (camera pulls back into a two-shot. Miriam Kale is now seated across from Lance Boyle.) Miriam, welcome back.”
MIRIAM KALE: “Thanks, Lance. A lot of my friends would agree with your BT/AT calendar because they wailed that Trump’s victory marked the beginning of the end of U.S. democracy. However, I found this reaction bizarre because American democracy ended at least as far back as 2001. The USA PATRIOT Act eviscerated civil liberties, and under the supposedly liberal Barack Obama the surveillance state was ratcheted up, the drone program was widely expanded and police forces became ever more militarized. Hillary Clinton represented this anti-democratic ‘Deep State’ establishment and was a war criminal to boot, which meant she was unelectable. Trump was really the only viable choice because the Democratic Party threw the election by sabotaging Bernie Sanders’s nomination. If people want to blame someone for Trump’s election, they need to blame the Democrats! But enough about politics; let’s talk movies!”

BOYLE: “Where do you want to start?”

KALE: “Where else?—with my pick for the Leni Riefenstahl Award for Best Holocaust Propaganda.”

BOYLE: “Ah, yes—The Leni; your favourite category.”

KALE: “This year, the winner is exemplary. Never before has a Leni nominee showed the connection between the Holocaust® and Holocaust® propaganda so clearly. I think you know which film I’m talking about. Go on: open the envelope.” (She hands it to him.)

BOYLE: “Ah yes. I thought so, but there have been many films that have defended the six-million figure and sanctified Auschwitz. What makes this film so remarkable?”

KALE: “It exploits a real event to perpetuate a false history. Let me give you the context. The film is concerned with the infamous 2000 libel trial between historian David Irving and Holocaust® professor Deborah Lipstadt. In 1993, Lipstadt wrote Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, a book in which she accused Irving of being a ‘Holocaust® denier’.

“In the opening scene, Irving interrupts one of Lipstadt’s 1994 lectures and waves $1,000, saying he'll give it to anybody who can produce any written evidence that Hitler ordered the Holocaust®. Lipstadt bombastically claims she’ll debate the Holocaust® with anyone but not with someone who denies it. Now, if she had evidence it occurred, it should be a simple matter to dispatch someone like Irving, but the fact that she refused to debate him gave credibility to Irving’s assertion that Hitler never ordered the Holocaust®.

“By the way, the film got this scene wrong. Irving’s actual words were: “I have here a thousand dollars for you [Lipstadt] if you can produce to this audience, now or at any time in the future, this document about which you have just lied to them.”

BOYLE: “He was referring to what Lipstadt claimed happened at the Jan. 20, 1942, Wannsee Conference, right?”

KALE: “Yes, but Lipstadt never produced any documents. In fact, nobody has. Lipstadt’s refusal to account to Irving for her claims and her ad hominem attack upon him led Irving to sue for libel.”

BOYLE: “As I recall, Irving lost.”

KALE: “Yes, and no. Lipstadt was found to have libeled Irving on four counts, but not on a fifth. Therefore, Mr . Justice Charles Gray concluded that Irving did not suffer damage to his reputation, despite the libels, so he lost his suit.”

BOYLE: “One could say Irving lost his suit before it started. Merely being accused of being a ‘Holocaust® denier’ is enough to destroy anyone’s reputation, so even if Irving had proven that Lipstadt lied about him, the judge would still have rejected his claim.”

KALE: “That’s why this film is so quintessentially Leni-esque! The prejudice against Irving was insurmountable. The fix was in. As The Guardian reported: ‘[The judge] said he found that Irving was “an active Holocaust denier; that he was anti-Semitic and racist and that he associated with right-wing extremists who promoted neo-Nazism.” ’ Here is Gray in his own words:

Having considered the various arguments advanced by Irving to assail the effect of the convergent evidence relied on by the defendants, it is my conclusion that no objective, fair-minded historian would have serious cause to doubt that there were gas chambers at Auschwitz and that they were operated on a substantial scale to kill hundreds of thousands of Jews.

BOYLE: “I understand that the trial moves to Auschwitz to address Irving’s claim there were no gas chambers. What was Irving’s evidence?”

KALE: “Essentially the lack of evidence. The Nazis allegedly dropped Zyklon B pellets through rooftop openings in the buildings, but no such openings existed. Irving’s catchphrase was ‘No holes; no holocaust.’ By casting doubt on the existence of the gas chambers, Irving cast doubt on the 6 million, so the existence of gas chambers had to be defended.

BOYLE: “How do we know they didn’t exist?”

KALE: “Dr. Franciszek Piper, the senior curator and director of archives of the Auschwitz State Museum, admitted it! In a videotaped 1992 interview with journalist David Cole, he said no gassings of human beings took place at Auschwitz. The rooftop holes were added after the war by the Soviet Union for propaganda purposes. If you'll look at the monitor, you’ll see what I mean. On this score, the filmmakers even committed fraud by showing the audience a putative blueprint of a gas chamber that did include rooftop openings. The scene is so phony and manipulative that it did more to support Irving than discredit him.”

BOYLE: “Why the need to falsify the existence of gas chambers, anyway? Surely, the evidence of systemic maltreatment of Jews—as well as gypsies, homosexuals and communists—was enough to justify the need for a Jewish state.”

KALE: “On the contrary—the gas chambers are essential. Auschwitz is the holiest shrine of the Holocaust®, and Israel is built on the ashes of the ‘6 million,’ figuratively speaking of course.”

BOYLE: “Why figuratively?”

KALE: “The idea that 6 million Jews were killed under the Nazi regime is preposterous, but since it is the founding lie of Israel and the cult of the Holocaust®, the number must be insulated from criticism lest the myth of Israel as the necessary sanctuary for Jews collapse.”

BOYLE: “But how do you know the 6 million figure is a lie?”

KALE: “Because there is no evidence for it. For example, the International Red Cross could only account for 271,301 deaths in all camps. There have been dozens upon dozens of occurrences of ‘6 million’ pertaining to dead or persecuted Jews going back at least to the beginning of the 20th century. If you'll look at the monitor again, I'll show you some examples. The first is in a New York Times article comes from Nov. 1, 1905. It tells of 6,000,000 Jewish families being expelled from Russia between 1890 and 1902.

BOYLE: “Families?!” If the average family size was 3 people, that’s 18 million!”

KALE: “It gets better. This one from the Jewish Criterion of Pittsburgh on Aug. 4, 1916, speaks of 6,000,000 Russian Jews struggling for their civil rights. It also said the figure was half the Jewish race.”

BOYLE: “I didn't know Jews constituted a race.”

KALE: “They don’t, but what matters is that we are told that the total number of Jews is 12 million, but this is impossible if 18 million or so were expelled 12 years earlier! On Sept. 8, 1919, the Times again runs a ‘6 million’ story, this time about Ukrainian and Polish Jews. What are we up to already—24 million? In all, there were more than 250 mentions of ‘6 million’ Jews in various publications before the Nuremberg Trials.

BOYLE: “The media creates suffering Jews as easily as modern banks create electronic money today—out of thin air!”

KALE: (They both laugh briefly) “My last example, also from the Times, dates to June 10, 1900! It’s my favourite because it is one of the earliest if not the earliest mentions and proves that “6 million” never had anything to do with Hitler or gas chambers. On this day, Rabbi Stephen Wise addressed a meeting of the Federation of American Zionists and uttered this candid admission: ‘There are 6,000,000 living, bleeding, suffering arguments in favour of Zionism.’

“Let that sink in for a moment: ‘in favour of Zionism.’ From the outset, Wise directly linked the suffering of an imaginary 6 million Jews to the creation of a future Israel. The corollary to this statement is, of course, devastating. Because the 6 million had been invented 45 years before the end of World War II, the official number of Jews who died at Auschwitz and other concentration camps had to be fabricated to conform to the preexisting propaganda. That means there could not have been any gas chambers. Irving was right—there was no Holocaust® and all Denial did was confirm that fact.”

BOYLE: “If the 6,000,000 is a lie, where does it come from? It had to come from somewhere because the number is repeated over and over like a mantra.”

KALE: “The word mantra is apt. Though no definitive source has been found for the number, there is a prophecy in the Torah that states that before Jews are allowed to reclaim Palestine, 6 million of them had to be burned to death as a human sacrifice to their god Yahweh.”

BOYLE: (visibly shaken) “Good God!”

KALE: “ ‘Good’ would not be my word of choice, but I appreciate the emotion. I have one final image, Lance. Even if we ignore the absurdity of the 6 million, Denial is guilty of lying by omission. In June 1992, the Polish government officially lowered the number of estimated dead at Auschwitz–Birkenau from 4 million to 1.5 million. Nowhere does this emendation appear in the film or in any Holocaust® propaganda.”

BOYLE: “Why not?

KALE: “I’m glad you asked. Even the slight accommodation with criticism would open up the floodgates of rational enquiry. Any proper investigation of Jews in the 1930s and ’40s would show that their numbers increased over the period of Hitler’s régime. According to the Jewish World Almanac, the worldwide number of Jews in 1933 stood at 15.315 million and in 1948 was 15.753 million. The American Jewish Committee is the source for the 1933 number. Clearly the Holocaust® belongs to the realm of fiction and religion not fact and history.”

BOYLE: “We're coming up to the break, but before we cut away please tell the audience what the reaction to Denial has been within the movie community.”

KALE: “Conspicuous disregard. The film moralizes with a sledgehammer and as I said on a previous show, the tolerance for this sort of Jew-as-victim tubthumping is wearing thin, especially since Israel has become unapologetically fascist. Rabbis and generals openly declare their desire to commit genocide, something Hitler never did. Because of Netanyahu and others like him, the image of ‘Jew as victm’ has given way to one of ‘Jew as monster’. Contrary to Justice Gray’s denunciation, David Irving is a fair-minded historian, but fair-mindedness is ‘anti-Semitic’ where the Holocaust®, gas chambers and even movies are concerned.”

BOYLE: “Well, that was a stirring analysis Miriam. I don’t know how you'll top it next year.”

KALE: “I don’t either. Denial is the sort of film the Leni was created for.

BOYLE: (to the camera) “Stay tuned for more after this.”

(Camera pulls back, theme music starts up and fade out)