Holocaust Denial: Anatomy of an Antisemitic Conspiracy Theory

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Holocaust deniers, their organizations and companies often financially benefit from spreading their hateful lies. These predominantly U.S.-based organizations routinely use mainstream financial and merchandising platforms to capitalize on Holocaust denial and use the profits to support future conspiracy-fueled efforts and underwrite personal expenses. Some of the most common online platforms they use are print-on-demand services, credit card processors and donation collection services.

Selling Holocaust Denial Literature
Holocaust deniers sell literature and propaganda on mainstream merchandising platforms. Although some major platforms have been responsive in removing problematic content, Holocaust denial materials are still consistently sold on these sites. For example, in 2020 both Amazon and Walmart stopped selling books by Holocaust denier Thomas Dalton, including The Jewish Hand in the World Wars, an antisemitic diatribe that falsely blames Jews for both World Wars. In 2021, Amazon removed over 90 other Holocaust denial books, and Target, Barnes & Noble and Walmart ceased sales of several similar titles. Despite these actions, however, books promoting Holocaust denial are still available for purchase from these websites.

For example, on Amazon, users can buy Final Solution by Ralph Grandinetti, a book that falsely claims that the Third Reich’s “Final Solution” – the well-documented genocide of Jews – was actually an effort to relocate Jews to Madagascar. Another virulently antisemitic work sold by Amazon’s subsidiary, AbeBooks, and Walmart is The Devil’s Handiwork: A Victim’s View of “Allied” War Crimes by Herbert L. Brown, which has an entire section dedicated to “the myth of the 6 million.” Other Holocaust-denying works available on Amazon include Debunking the Genocide Myth by Paul Rassinier, And the Truth Shall Set You Free: The 21st Century Edition by David Icke and The Six Million Reconsidered: A Special Report by the Committee for Truth in History by William N. Grimstad.

Profiting off Holocaust Denial

Credit Card Processors
Most Holocaust denial organizations also sell their books and merchandise on their own websites and rely on credit card processors to complete the transactions. While payment processors like PayPal have refused their services to antisemites or Holocaust denial organizations like David Irving’s Focal Point Publications and the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust, there are still some providers who will work with them.

Several Holocaust denial organizations used Authorize.Net, a Visa subsidiary, to facilitate credit card transactions. Antisemitic outlets like The Barnes Review, the Institute for Historical Review and Michael A. Hoffman’s Revisionist History bookstore all use Authorize.Net.

These websites sell a wide array of antisemitic and conspiratorial content like The Six Million: Fact or Fiction, which antisemitic publisher The Barnes Review describes as “the single most important revisionist overview of the legend of ‘Six Million’.” Another listing, The Holocaust Hoax Exposed: Debunking the 20th Century’s Biggest Lie by Victor Thorn is an antisemitic diatribe masquerading as academic research that alleges the Holocaust did not happen. Any time one of these stores sells Holocaust denial content through a credit card, Authorize.Net receives a 2.9% fee plus $0.30 per transaction, thus profiting from the works themselves.

Profiting off Holocaust Denial

Castle Hill Publishers, which publishes works like Treblinka: Extermination Camp or Transit Camp?, Sobibor: Holocaust Propaganda and Reality and Auschwitz Lies: Legends, Lies and Prejudices on the Holocaust, uses another credit card processor, Stripe, to enable their profiting from Holocaust denial. Like Authorize.Net, Stripe also takes a processing fee and has profited from the sale of Holocaust denial merchandise.

Livestreaming Holocaust Denial
Some antisemites who incorporate Holocaust denial into livestreams have begun using monetization services like Entropy Stream, which enables them to raise money through “paid chat” features as they spread their hate. Paid chats allow viewers to pay a small sum, generally $3 or more, to have their message displayed on a livestream. Entropy Stream uses Stripe to facilitate payments and process credit cards.

A noteworthy case of this phenomenon involves the Goyim Defense League (GDL), a virulently antisemitic extremist network, whose members spread antisemitic myths and conspiracy theories including Holocaust denial. They accomplish this by distributing propaganda, harassing Jews and other minorities in public while holding antisemitic demonstrations and streaming this hateful activity on their platform GoyimTV. During these livestreams, GDL solicits donations with the slogan “donate to hate,” and provides a link to their Entropy Stream account. It is estimated that the group has collected thousands of dollars in early 2023 alone.

Holocaust Denial Paraphernalia
Holocaust denial organizations also take advantage of print-on-demand platforms that allow users to create merchandise with text and graphics of their own design, such as t-shirts and tote bags. At least one Holocaust denial organization uses these services to create products that act as both advertising tools and a source of income.

Castle Hill Publishers used the print-on-demand platform Spring to create products with the organization’s logo and graphics. These products served advertising purposes and display subversive messaging to promote Holocaust denial. After being contacted by ADL, Spring acknowledged that selling this type of content violated their terms of service and removed it.

Profiting off Holocaust Denial

Examples of Castle Hill paraphernalia previously sold on Spring

“Charitable” Donations
Donations also play a role in the financial portfolios of Holocaust denial organizations. CODOH, which describes themselves as a “charitable trust,” claims to have received more than $6,600 in contributions via Authorize.Net, cryptocurrency and other financial means. The Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a 501(c)(3), uses the platform Charitable to collect donations and Authorize.Net as the backend credit card processor for those donations. Charitable charges at least $99 to CODOH and IHR annually for their service.

Mainstream platforms like Amazon, Authorize.Net, Stripe, Spring and Charitable all have an important role to play in preventing the spread of virulently antisemitic Holocaust denial. Due to the lack of proper oversight, Holocaust deniers have leveraged these platforms to profit off their antisemitism. Unless these platforms take swift and meaningful action, both antisemites and the platforms themselves will continue to profit from Holocaust denial.