Holocaust Denial and Revisionism

“Ben Abraham refutes CNT’s show”

This brief note mentions a TV show broadcast in December 1995, in which Mr. Anésio Lara Campos denied the Holocaust, arguing that Hitler had been forced to intern the Jews because they had declared war on Germany. He also said the Jews had bombed the railroads and for this reason the humanitarian aid from the Red Cross never arrived at the camps.
Ben Abraham requested the TV station to grant him an opportunity to refute Campos’ speech, which happened in the following week, in another edition of the same program. Ben Abraham gave his testimony as a Holocaust survivor and made a historical retrospective of Hitler’s expansionist and racial superiority theories.

“Neo-Nazi publications”

Ben Abraham warns against the propagation of Neo-Nazi ideas and the sale of books, which were not being seen with seriousness. He mentions the publication of a Holocaust denial book in 1986 in Brazil.
In relation to the proofs of the Holocaust, Ben Abraham mentions the documents collected by the Allies at the end of the war, as well as the Nazi files used during the Nuremberg trials, which had been turned over to the German justice. He also says hundreds of Nazi criminals had been extradited back to Europe, mentioning the case of Franz Stangel, extradited from Brazil in 1967.
Ben Abraham also mentions that the government of Germany had made several publications of educative material demonstrating the Holocaust. He closes by saying that almost all of the Nazi defendants admitted to having perpetrated the atrocities, claiming in their defense that they acted in obedience to superior orders.

May 1994
“Nazism cannot be left unpunished”
Boletim Informativo do Congresso Judaico Latino-Americano

This is a long article addressing the case of revisionist writer Siegfried Ellwanger who, under the pseudonym S.E. Castan, had published a series of books denying the Holocaust, discrediting the Nuremberg trials and glorifying Hitler.
Quoting Goebels’ maxim of repeating a lie until it would become “true” in the mind of the public, Ben Abraham describes the progression of Ellwanger’s activities, with the founding of his own publishing house in the South of Brazil, warning that “Mein Kampf”’s potential to deceive the masses had been initially despised.
Ben Abraham then narrates the campaign by the Sherit Hapleitá Brazil against the author, which counted on the support of several different groups, including the German community in Rio Grande do Sul state. He was invited to visit Porto Alegre, where his visit found large repercussion in the radio, TV and the printed press.
Ben Abraham invited Ellwanger for a public debate at the headquarters of the Jornalists Union in Porto Alegre, but Ellwanger did not show up. So Ben Abraham spent the next three hours in the packed room, sharing his testimony as a survivor and answering the audience’s questions.
In June 1990, Ellwanger published another book, “S.O.S. for Germany”, in which he called Ben Abraham a liar for his speech about the Nazi atrocities. This was an opportunity for Abraham to file a slander complaint against Ellwanger, who was finally pronounced guilty in 1993 (one month before the prescription of the crime). Ben Abraham observes that all lawyers involved in the process did not want to receive any payment, with the understanding that crime had been committed against mankind, and not against Ben Abraham only.

June 5th 1994
“Against Nazi revisionism”

Continuing his fight agains Ellwanger’s publication, Ben Abraham mentions an open letter from the German Consul published by the “Zero Hora” newspaper in Porto Alegre, where he expresses his disapproval of Ellwanger’s slanders, whom he qualified as a revisionist that abused press freedom.
Ellwanger responded by publishing an article addressed to the consul, in which he claimed that the arrest of Fred Leuchter in Germany had been an injustice orchestrated by the “Zionist world”. He goes on to call the consul a Zionist and slams him for having participated in Jewish local celebrations.

Dec 1995
“German president condemns Neo-Nazism”
Resenha Judaica

This article mentions the official visit to Brazil by Germany’s president Roman Herzog. In a speech made in Rio Grande do Sul state in November, Herzog said that Germany must remain alert against Neo-Nazi threats, emphasizing the rigor with which German legislation deals with revisionism. He said that allegations of aggression against freedom of research and opinion could not be accepted in that case.
He said that, despite the low margin of votes in the last elections in Germany, the extreme right factions were also present all over Europe and therefore could not be sub estimated.
Ben Abraham then questions if recently elected President Fernando Henrique Cardoso would fulfill his campaign promises to treat Ellwanger’s revisionist publications with seriousness.
The article then reproduces a letter sent by Sherit Hapleiá Brazil to Roman Herzog, expressing thankfulness for his speech in Rio Grande do Sul.
At the end, he observes the speech by the German president was a response to the publication, by OESP newspaper, of an article written by Ellwanger.

Aug 1995
“Law creates ‘Day of Remembrance’”
Resenha Judaica

This article was not written by Ben Abraham, but mentions the approval of a law establishing the 8th of May as the annual day of “Remembrance of WWII Heroes and Martyrs” by municipal authorities of Sao Paulo. This law was suggested by Ben Abraham to city representative Nelson Guimarães, and was approved in July 6th, 1995.
The article mentions that the Sherit Hapleitá association had also helped in the institution of similar laws in Rio de Janeiro and Natal.