First Advisor

David Horowitz

Term of Graduation

Spring 1999

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History






Keith Stimely (1957- ), Institute for Historical Review, Holocaust denial -- United States, Hate



Physical Description

1 online resource (94 pages)


A partial accounting of the discord beneath the seeming conformity of opinion within the insular community of the proponents of Holocaust denial was documented and preserved by Keith Stimely, a Holocaust denier who donated his personal papers to the University of Oregon Special Collections Library in 1991. The thesis uses the Stimely Collection to emphasize the universal nature of the hatred and animosity inherent in the denial movement.

Chapter One surveys revisionist historiography concerning both world wars and the manner in which the deniers appropriated the trappings of revisionism in their attempt to rewrite the history of the Nazi genocide and create a denial culture. This segment concentrates on denial and its American precursors and contains a brief history of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), the primary institution associated with Holocaust denial in the United States.

Chapter Two examines Stimely's life before and during his brief tenure as the editor of the Journal of Historical Review, the periodical associated with the IHR. Using the personal correspondence from the Stimely Collection, the quest for academic legitimacy within denial culture is considered, as are the rifts that occurred within this insular circle when threats to the possibility of scholarly recognition were identified.

Chapter Three discusses the aftermath of Stimely's departure from the Institute, including his life in Portland, Oregon, and the subsequent gift of his papers to the University. The conclusion hypothesizes that Stimely assembled the Collection in order to posthumously vindicate and promote his views over those of his former colleagues within the culture of Holocaust denial. The more probable legacy of the Collection, though, is that the competing contentions that split the denial movement will be viewed by those who read the documents as equally absurd.

These schisms within the denial community also give credence to the universal nature of the hatred intrinsic to the culture of Holocaust denial. Though many of the deniers begin by targeting their animosity at outsiders, such as Jews, homosexuals and people of color, some of them eventually direct their ire toward colleagues within the movement or, eventually, turn their feelings of hatred inward toward themselves.


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