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Remembering George Orwell (1903 – 1950)

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By Richard Widmann-

Orwell's 1984 was a major influence on historical revisionists including Harry Elmer Barnes

Orwell’s 1984 was a major influence on historical revisionists including Harry Elmer Barnes

George Orwell was born on this day in 1903 in Motihari, India. George Orwell, the pen name of the English author Eric Arthur Blair was a great influence on Twentieth Century revisionism including revisionist pioneer Harry Elmer Barnes. In his important essay, “How ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ Trends Threaten American Peace, Freedom, and Prosperity,” Barnes documented the prophetic nature of Orwell’s classic. Barnes wrote:

Orwell’s book is the keenest and most penetrating work produced in this generation on the current trends in national policy and world affairs. To discuss world trends today without reference to the Orwell frame of reference is not unlike writing on biology without reference to Darwin, Mendel, and De Vries…

Orwell was educated in England at Eton College. After service with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma from 1922 to 1927, he returned to Europe to become a writer. He lived for several years in poverty. His earliest experiences resulted in the book Down and Out in Paris and London.
By 1936, Orwell had joined the Republican forces during the Spanish Civil War. Orwell was critical of communism but basically considered himself a socialist. He was wounded in the fighting. Late in the war, Orwell fought the communists and eventually had to flee Spain for his life. He documented many of his experiences during the Spanish Civil War in his Homage to Catalonia.

Orwell’s experiences with totalitarian political regimes had a direct impact on his writing. His best-known books reflect his opposition to totalitarianism: Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. In an article entitled, “Why I Write” Orwell explained:

Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism… Animal Farm was the first book in which I tried, with full consciousness of what I was doing, to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole.

During the Second World War, Orwell wrote a weekly radio political commentary designed to counter German and Japanese propaganda in India. His wartime work for the BBC gave him a solid taste of bureaucratic hypocrisy. Many believe that this experience provided the inspiration for his invention of “newspeak,” the truth-denying language of Big Brother’s rule in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Throughout his lifetime, the great English author continually questioned all “official” or “accepted” versions of history. At the conclusion of the war in Europe, Orwell expressed doubt about the Allied account of events and posed the following question in his book Notes on Nationalism, “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear… Is it true about the gas ovens in Poland?”

Orwell died on 21 January 1950 in London at the early age of forty-seven of a neglected lung ailment. He left behind a substantial body of work and a reputation for greatness.

Partial Bibliography

  • Down and Out in Paris and London (1933)
  • Burmese Days (1934)
  • A Clergyman’s Daughter (1935)
  • Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936)
  • The Road to Wigan Pier (1937)
  • Homage to Catalonia (1938)
  • Coming up for Air (1939)
  • Inside the Whale, and Other Essays (1940)
  • Animal Farm (1945)
  • Nineteen Eighty-four (1949)
  • Shooting an Elephant and Other Essays (1950)
  • Such, Such Were the Joys (1953)

Remembering Harry Elmer Barnes (15 June 1889 – 25 August 1968)

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By Richard A. Widmann-

Following WWII, Barnes attempted to  “bring history into accord with the facts.”

Following WWII, Barnes attempted to “bring history into accord with the facts.”

Harry Elmer Barnes was born on this day in 1889. Earlier in the year Benjamin Harrison was sworn in as the 23rd President of the United States. John Philip Sousa’s Marine Corps Band played at the Inaugural Ball with a large crowd in attendance. North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington were added to the union increasing the number of stars on the American flag to 38. The first issue of The Wall Street Journal was published in New York City.

Later that year Thomas Edison screened his very first motion picture, launching a new entertainment medium and an industry centered on moving pictures. Jefferson Davis, the former president of the Confederate States of America died that December at the age of 81.

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Written by Widmann in: Historical Revisionism,Revisionists | Tags:

The Importance of Anne Frank

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By Richard A. Widmann and David Merlin –


Revisionists should embrace the teaching of The Diary of Anne Frank

The story of Anne Frank and her family is well-known through the diary bearing her name. This tragic tale is frequently used to counter Holocaust revisionists. The details of the story are often forgotten or replaced with assumptions regarding the fates of Anne Frank and her family. The facts of the story actually support the revisionist view of the Holocaust. The teaching of The Diary of Anne Frank should be embraced by Holocaust revisionists and all who care about learning the truth of what really happened to Europe’s Jews during the Second World War. The popular media version of the Holocaust would have us think that almost all would be gassed upon arrival at the “death camps” and especially Auschwitz.  While perhaps a few very strong Jews might be utilized for manual labor, all children, the elderly, the sick would surely be murdered as part of a program of extermination.

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Written by Widmann in: Auschwitz,Eye-witnesses,Gas Chambers | Tags:

Rialto: Anatomy of a Slapdown

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by Jett Rucker-

By No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit, Hewitt (Sgt) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Should diversity of thought be tolerated when teaching the Holocaust?

Eighth-graders in the public schools of Rialto, California were (almost) treated to a view of the Holocaust probably never before presented in any school, public or private, in America. As a highly structured activity designed to be conducted over a period of seven days, the assignment presented material from three different Web sites with which students were to develop answers to questions such as “Was the Holocaust an actual tragic historical event or a propaganda tool?” and support the answers with citations of statements from both the presented material and other material, from two extensive websites and “the library,” to be used only if the student’s teacher “allows you to.”

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Written by Widmann in: Censorship,Free Speech | Tags: