Kalman Brattman: Holocaust Denier
The most grievous attacks on Kalman Brattman’s website are against Holocaust survivor Solly Ganor.  His attacks on Ganor have been posted since March 2004 under the title "The Solly Ganor Case of Credibility and Deceit..."  His claims that Solly Ganor's history is fabricated and bogus is a direct attack on the authenticity of Mr. Ganor and other victims of the Holocaust of the Kovno ghetto, Stutthof and the Dachau concentration camps.

This web attack on Mr. Ganor is 48 pages.  Brattman claims "There is next to a certainty that little Solly Ganor never ever set foot into this camp from Poland much less to have been transferred from there to the Kaufering camps, part of the notorious Dachau Concentration Camp Complex in Germany."  Solly Ganor's Light One Candle book "represents a new unprecedented level of deceit" and "in his blind and unscrupulous push for recognition..."  Brattman further states, “In fact, there is a distinct possibility that in the early 90s Eric Saul made Mr. Ganor a Holocaust Concentration Camp survivor! as all our findings point indeed towards that scenario.”

Brattman, in his website, denies Mr. Ganor's Holocaust experience.

I would argue that Brattman is a Holocaust denier.

As Deborah Lipstadt, one of the foremost experts on Holocaust denial, writes about attacks on Holocaust survivors: “On some level it is as unbelievable as the Holocaust itself and, though no one is being killed as a result of the deniers’ lies, it constitutes abuse of the survivors” (Lipstadt, 1993, p. 3).

In her 1993 book, “Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory,” Lipstadt describes Holocaust deniers and their methods.  There are clear parallels with Brattman’s methods.

“What is wrong, I am repeatedly asked, with people hearing a “different perspective”?  Unable to make the distinction between genuine historiography and the deniers’ purely ideological exercise, those who see the issue in this light are important assets in the deniers’ attempts to spread their claims.  This is precisely the deniers’ goal: They aim to confuse the matter by making it appear as if they are engaged in a genuine scholarly effort when, of course, they are not” (Lipstadt, 1993, p. 2).

Brattman couches his attacks in pseudo-scholarly language, to give himself the air of objectivity, as illustrated in this quote from his website:

“With this being said, let us begin by noting that we have no direct evidence of any sort on Solly Ganor and that contrary to his expressed views, we are not the ‘judge and jury’ of anything.  Al the evidence that we have are the ‘facts’ as presented by Mr. Ganor in his various postings and representations.

“Our opinion expressed herein refuting Mr. Ganor’s purported ‘facts’ is based on the massive indirect evidence that exists which is being filtered through our argument supplied.

“Our formed opinion, for what is worth, it is just that—our opinion and nothing else.  Because we stay away from speculations, the only thing left in rendering our opinion is our rational deductive reasoning based on Mr. Ganor’s supplied evidence…”

Lipstadt continues, “The attempt to deny the Holocaust enlists a basic strategy of distortion.  Truth is mixed with absolute lies, confusing readers who are unfamiliar with the tactics of the deniers.  Half-truths and story segments, which conveniently avoid critical information, leave the listener with a distorted impression of what really happened” (Lipstadt, 1993, p. 2).

Brattman uses this technique extensively.  His website looks reasonable enough to fool many people who visit it.  He uses the same kinds of distortions and inaccuracies that are found in other denial sites.  In my opinion, he has probably studied the rhetoric and arguments of other denial sites and incorporates them into his website.  The reader would further be confused by the title of his website, which is Isurvived.org.  In fact, despite this inference, Brattman is not a Holocaust survivor nor does he represent any survivors or other individuals.  Throughout his website and email communications, he uses numerous aliases, including Avi, Ilan, Miriam, Eva, Judith, Jennifer, Bruce Attman, Steve Attman, Steve Grunfeld, and the First Assist Team (FAST), etc.  In his attack on Solly Ganor, he gives the impression that he represents a larger group. In his 48 page attack on Mr. Ganor, Brattman uses the word “we” 88 times, “our[s]” 49 times and “us” 32 times. Yet, all evidence points to the fact that he is a loner sitting in an attic.

“When I turned to the topic of Holocaust denial, I knew that I was dealing with extremist antisemites who have increasingly managed, under the guise of scholarship, to camouflage their hateful ideology.  However, I did not then fully grasp the degree to which I would be dealing with a phenomenon far more unbelievable than was my previous topic.  On some level it is as unbelievable as the Holocaust itself and, though no one is being killed as a result of the deniers’ lies, it constitutes abuse of the survivors.  It is intimately connected to a neofascist political agenda.  Denial of the Holocaust is not the only thing I find beyond belief.  What has also shocked me is the success deniers have in convincing good-hearted people that Holocaust denial is an “other side” of history—ugly, reprehensible, and extremist—but an other side nonetheless.  As time passes and fewer people can personally challenge these assertions, their campaign will only grow in intensity” (Lipstadt, 1993, p. 3).

Lipstadt’s statements would also point to the conclusion that Kalman Brattman meets all of the criteria of a Holocaust denier.

Regrettably, Brattman’s website is being quoted extensively on other Holocaust denial websites.

“False Prophets, Fake Skeptics: Holocaust denial in our time” (Excerpts) by Dr. Hajime Tokuno

In an article on the New England Skeptical Society website, “False Prophets, Fake Skeptics: Holocaust denial in our time” (4/1/1996), Dr. Hajime Tokuno points out some of the tactics used by Brattman, particularly in his attack on survivor Solly Ganor.  I think Tokuno’s argument supports the case that Brattman is not just a “meshuganah,” but also a genuine Holocaust denier, with all that implies.

Deniers of the Holocaust have used every method in the vast repertoire of modern media to generate and disseminate their obscene propaganda, from "scholarly" journals to comic-books, video tapes and Internet homepages. They call themselves "Revisionists" - a title with an air of professionalism which they suppose will someday bring them a measure of respect. They pretend that they have a very pure desire to introduce alternative interpretations to help clarify certain "vague" aspects of history, but scholarship is certainly not one of their objectives. In fact, they do not contemplate legitimate historical ambiguities; they endeavor to obfuscate them. At worst they are sociopathic con-artists and creators of devious lies; at best, they are fanatics blinded by extremist beliefs….

They think that the "uninformed" public, gullible or ignorant, will believe anything which is told to them - any lie, any misinformation - as long as it is presented with enough vim and vigor. They would have us believe that all Jewish accounts and diaries such as Anne Frank's and Primo Levi's are "lies" or delusions because Jews simply are incapable of telling the truth….

Some deniers have become quite brutal and have taken to taunting survivors - asking them to prove the veracity of certain details in the Holocaust story. This has indeed been a slap to the face - adding insult to injury against those who have already suffered immeasurably….

Creating publicity: All demagogues love nothing more than publicity. With publicity - and notoriety - comes a certain degree of legitimacy.

[Downloaded 7/5/08 from http://www.theness.com/articles.]