The special presentation of Glenn Beck’s Revolutionary Holocaust was aired in its first part on Friday, January 22, 2010.  The promos leading up to this show promised that it would be a shocking reveal of history that the American people were likely unaware:  “We will show you things you’ve never seen but need to,” was Mr. Beck’s teaser line.  Debate began around the blogosphere about whether or not history has been revised over the years, whether school children are being taught facts or ideologies, paranoia versus blind acceptance, the “dumbing down of American society,” and so forth.

A quick synopsis – only of this show:

A clip of President Reagan was shown, and Beck referred to it as “modern conservatism.”  Beck proceeded to say that many people think that the Nazi party was right-wing, and that this was a false assumption.

Jonah Goldberg explained how the Nazi Party was for government expansion… a “cradle to the grave” socialism.  Beck then stated that the premise of right-wing Hitler was applicable to all leftists…like Stalin.

News reels of Joseph Goebbels were shown with commentary on his writings at the rise of the party, as well as his private diaries, wherein Goebbels compared Hitler to Stalin, only Hitler was higher.  The Soviet red shirt was interchangeable for the Nazi brown shirt.  Clippings from the French communist newspaper of WWII were shown, highlighted, expressing support for the invasion of France… “first brown then red…” as a “stepping stone.”

Karl Marx was described as a “self-hating Jew.”  An excerpt of his writing on the “Jewish problem” was given, together with Marx’s view at the time that Germany should “absorb and assimilate” its neighbors.  Nationalistic posters from both Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany were shown side-by-side for comparison.  The ones shown were very similar in theme and color.  Beck then stated that in Mein Kampf, Hitler made mention of the color red on the Nazi flag, and that Hitler intended it that way to attract the socialists.

The non-aggression pact between Russia and Germany was mentioned, as well as the agreement between the two nations prior to WWII to divide European territory between the “two spheres of influence.”

Next, film reels with audio of George Bernard Shaw were shown.  In these clips, Shaw discussed the “elimination of the unproductive,” by a “properly appointed board” that certain segments of society “must appear before every 5 or 7 years” in order to “justify your existence.”  Shaw also made an “appeal to chemists” to develop a “gentlemanly gas.”  Goldberg’s voice then stated that Shaw viewed overpopulation as a problem, and that “British intelligentsia embraced eugenics.”  Shaw’s voice was heard again, saying, “…we should do it as we play lovely classical music as we march them into the gas chambers.”

The next segment began with Beck and Goldberg stating that people moved from feudalism to capitalism to socialism to communism, and that many were killed along the way.  The segment then moved into “Soviet atrocities.”

The popular uprising in Ukraine over Soviet collectivization led Stalin to take action against the peasant farmers opposed to losing their farms.  Collectivization took place through force – farmers were imprisoned, and grains produced in Ukraine were exported to fund the Soviet central planning and industrialization.  Survivors were shown in interviews.  One stated that the ground was moving due to those still alive being tossed into mass graves.  Another interview was shown in which the person stated that cannibalism occurred and was exploited by the Soviet as a justification.  This event from 1932 – 1933 is known as Holodomor, which means “murder by hunger.”  Beck stated that the Holocaust was a terrible tragedy that should never be lessened for 6 million were murdered, but the people should know that in the Holodomor, government-forced starvation killed between 7 and 10 million people in one year.

Goldberg was shown again, stating that communism is oft discussed as a “noble” experiment, and that the “mass murder was planned on a massive scale.”  News clippings of Walter Duranty’s NYT articles were shown, with the lines about “exaggeration” and that mortality in Ukraine was due to disease from malnourishment.  Beck then spoke of Engels’ as being an “advocate of ethnic cleansing.”  The Ukraine custom of lighting 25,000 candles each November 26 as a remembrance for the 25,000 that died each day of the Holodomor was mentioned.

The current president of Ukraine, according to Beck, stated that this famine was intentional…only 10 million tons of grain was needed to prevent starvation of the people, and the Soviet exported the over 12.5 million tons Ukraine produced.

The next segment opened with supermodel Giselle on a catwalk wearing what was either underwear or a bikini bathing suit with pictures of Ernesto “Che” Guevara screen printed all over the fabric.  The statement was made that Guevara had become a fashion icon…pictures of beers, lighters, baby onesies, and shirts were shown.  Stills from a recent movie about Guevara were flashed, then film footage of anti-war protestors wearing “Che” shirts and caps.

The voiceover of “Che” clips called him the “Butcher of La Cabaña Prison…” where Guevara oversaw the executions.  Over 14,000 men and boys were executed in Cuba.  A Guevara quote was read, “…dream of becoming an executioner.”  Guevara imposed a ban on music, as it was “imperialist.”  The musician Carlos Santana was then shown attending different ceremonies wearing “Che” tee-shirts.  Beck stated that it was an irony that Santana would wear a “Che” tee, as “Che” would have banned Santana’s music.

Beck then said that “progressives are uniting, right?”  A excerpted Guevara quote was read…the part given was one in which Guevara called “negroes” “indolent,” “fanciful,” and “drunk.”  The rapper Jay Z’s lyrics were then given in excerpted form, “I’m like Che Guevara with bling on.”  Beck made a comment to the effect that Mr. Z must not be aware of Guevara’s statement regarding blacks.

Beck then named Guevara a terrorist.  Beck stated that in 1966, Guevara said that he would “attack the enemy wherever he lives.”  Beck then asked viewers to compare two quotes, and guess which one was made by Guevara, and which was made by Bin Laden. 

*  The beginning of the first quote was paraphrased:  {if I had nuclear weapons} “we would have used them all and directed them against the very heart of the United States, including New York, in our defense against aggression.”

* “There is no option but extermination.”

After a brief pause, Beck said that this really was not a fair test, as both quotes were from Guevara.   Beck spoke of North Korea and Cuba being the only remaining isolated communist regimes.  North Koreans cannot escape, and Cubans risk everything to flee through shark-infested waters.  Clips of interviews were then shown of two women (a daughter and mother).  The daughter spoke English, and described her grandfather’s Cuban military career, his opposition to Bautista, and his subsequent capture and videoed execution by Guevara’s order.  A clip of the execution that took place on January 7, 1959, was shown.  The daughter, Barbara Rangels, said that her grandfather had no trial, and died bravely.  The mother, speaking Spanish, said that her life was altered that day her father was executed.  She went into premature labor from the shock, and was torn over the joy of her new son, and the grief of her murdered father.

The final segment of the program focused on Mao Tse Dung.  The voiceover for clips discussed Mao’s “Great Leap Forward,” which was collectivization of agriculture.  In the first year, advisors told Mao that 5 million peasants had died, to which Mao told them to continue with the program.  In the second year, advisors told Mao that 10 million peasants had died, to which Mao told them to continue with the program.  In the third year, advisors told Mao that 20 million peasants had died, to which Mao said “oh.”

British author and Chinese exile Jung Chang had her story featured.  Chang stated that Mao said the peasants needed to be educated to “eat less.”  Professors were made to wear “dunce caps.”  Her parents were political dissidents, and were sent to “camps.”  Chang’s mother was urged to renounce her father, and had to kneel in broken glass when she refused.  Per Chang, 65 million people died under Mao, and Mao said that “one half of China has to die.”

Beck then showed a clip of WH advisor Anita Dunn stating that her two favorite philosophers were Mao and Mother Teresa.  Beck stated that 100 million people were dead due to communism.  He closed the program by saying that understanding history is the key to prevention. 

The Research:

Jonah Goldberg is the editor of National Review, and a conservative author.  His assessment of the Nazi Socialist Party is the basis for the beginning of the program.  Goldberg’s analysis of communism and Nazi socialism, in regards to similarities at the beginning of the Third Reich, are accurate, as there were communists in the Reichstag (parliament) that supported Hitler’s rise and seizure of power, though a Dutch communist was blamed for causing the fire.  Not mentioned in the program was how this led to the National Party declaration that stripped communists of civil rights, removed them from legislative positions, and the invoking a clause left over from the Weimar Republic that allowed them to suppress opposition, censor / ban newspapers, coerce voters, and dissolve the communist party within Germany.  The German Nationalist Party merged with the Socialist Party, resulting in one party (Nazi) totalitarian rule (1, pp.884-885).  The Nazi government implemented shortened work days and shared jobs to increase employment, abolished all income that was not the result of labor, and promised to distribute profits of industry (p. 887).  According to Donald Kagan and Frank Turner of Yale University, and Steven Ozment of Harvard University, Hitler’s form of socialism was designed to appeal to the lower working classes, which “found itself squeezed between well-organized big business and political parties” (2; page 928).  The party platform included as tenet #7 that the state should make it its duty to promote the livelihood of its citizens, as tenet #15 that there would be extensive provisions for old age, and tenet #22 that there would be no paid standing army, but instead the formation of a national army (page 930).  These facts delineate that Nazi Germany was not to the right of the political spectrum, but to the left.  Government was to provide and redistribute, much as the “objective” of communism was to abolish privately-owned industry, put the people to work, and suppress dissent.

Joseph Goebbels was prolific in his speeches and propaganda produced for the Nazi Party.  Many have been translated into English:  A 2004 book, The Dictators, written by Richard Overy details similarities between Hitler and Stalin as they relate to popular support, use of propaganda, suppression of dissent, and hostilities towards capitalism and free markets (3).

Karl Marx was born a Prussian (German) Jew in 1818, though his father had to convert to Protestantism in order to practice law.  Marx’s objections to Christianity were rather calmly expressed; however, his writings exhibit open hostility to Judaism (4).  Hostilities and aggression toward Judaism was the norm in that region: anti-Semitism was widespread throughout Europe at this time, and in fact made the mid-twentieth-century Holocaust possible.  His antagonistic view of Jews was articulated in 1843, in his essay “On the Jewish Question” (5).   Socialists were encouraged by Marx’s writings on the rise of the proletariat and the establishment of a cooperative commonwealth, and in 1864 socialist groups from around the globe organized an international movement under a constitution written by Marx (1, pp.748-749).  This rise of a European Socialist Party was formed on Marxism.

The film and audio clips of Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw speak for themselves, and are easily found on the internet.  “A part of eugenic politics would finally land us in an extensive use of the lethal chamber. A great many people would have to be put out of existence, simply because it wastes other people’s time to look after them.” – George Bernard Shaw, Lecture to the London Eugenics Education Society, 1910 (from War Against The Weak, p248).  It was not mentioned in the program that Shaw was a member of the Fabian Society while living in London, wrote editorials protesting WWI, and faced charges of treason (6); nor was it mentioned that author H.G. Wells, Margaret Sanger, and John Maynard Keynes were also members of the Fabians, a group of British intellectuals who promoted socialism among the more liberal members of the middle class.  This group was able to get the Labour Party 29 seats in Parliament by 1906 (1; p 758).  Working together with the 514 seated members of the Liberal Party, they passed measures such as unemployment benefits, the National Insurance Reform Act of 1911 (from which the employer contributions went towards unemployment pay), Lloyd George’s “war on poverty” by taxing the propertied an additional 20 percent on land values and increasing income taxes (1; p. 759).  The Fabian Society, founded in 1884, took its name from the Roman general who “waited a very long time before attacking Hannibal” (2; p824).  They wished to install collectivism in ownership on the municipal level, and through control of the House of Commons with the Labour and Liberal parties passed legislation giving Commons veto power over the House of Lords (2; p. 826).

Beck did not discuss that the eugenics movement was first proposed by Charles Darwin’s cousin Sir Francis Galton in 1883, and promoted by Shaw, Margaret Sanger, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, John Maynard Keynes, and other Fabian Society members and Cambridge intellectuals (7, 8).  It was also a movement taken beyond horror by Germany’s Third Reich. 

The Holodomor in Ukraine is well-documented in both online archives of the United Nations, and the Ukrainian museum (9, 10, 11).  This event is not included by the name “Holodomor” in the 1959 or 1983 history texts used in this research, nor is the extent of starvation and death mentioned.  Beck’s presentation of the Holodomor was in line with the UN archives, and Ukrainian accounts.

Ernesto “Che” Guevara is indeed on tee-shirts, posters, bumper stickers, and catwalks.  The most prolific chronicler of Guevara is Humberto Fontova, who was the source for much of this program segment.  There is also a video “debunking” the Che myth.  It is in Spanish, and it consists of commentary by survivors, those who knew him, and photographs / film clips.  A warning: some of the clips are graphic (12).  The quotes attributed to Guevara – including rocket attacks on New York City – in the program are verifiable on many websites, ranging from Wikipedia (13), to sites developed by Hispanic Americans and Cuban exiles (14, 15).  The Jay Z song lyrics referred to on the program are from “Public Service Announcement” (16).  A warning:  the lyrics include derogatory slurs.   Beck quoted the excerpt he gave accurately.

The last part of the program was about Mao Tse Dung and the effects of communism on China.  The author and Chinese exile / British citizen Jung Chang was listed as one of Beck’s primary sources.  Ms. Chang’s book Mao: the Untold Story has been critiqued rather well, according to the editorial reviews published at Amazon (17).  The Washington Post review states that while she listed another researcher in her bibliography, Chang did not cite her within the text.  The WaPo does commend the research done by Chang, and particularly her husband’s research in newly available Soviet archives.  Mao’s collectivization programs, the “great leap forward,” and imprisonment of dissidents has been well-documented over the last several decades.   The 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre is viewable on the internet.  The video linked here is a compilation of film clips, photographs taken by journalists, and written explanations of what was transpiring (20).  

The Black Book of Communism, published by Harvard University Press, and translated from the original French, is a compilation of essays written by scholars from around the world.  It includes information obtained from newly opened Soviet archives.  The Harvard website has brief biographies on the contributors (18), and the website Free Library has excerpts and descriptions.   A review by the Harvard Salient states (19):

  •  “The most harmful reverberation of this denial, relativism, and wishful-thinking has been the miseducation of whole generations.”
  • “A few salient details found among the pages of The Black Book underscore the ignorance of Communist terror that characterizes mainstream Western perceptions of the Cold War.”

The video clip of Anita Dunn, speaking to a group of high schoolers, was just that…a clip of her stating that Mao Tse Dung was one of her two favorite philosophers.  This clip has circulated the internet. 

Works Cited:

  1.  A Survey of European History, Third Edition, 1958; editor Wm Langer, Harvard University
  2.  The Western Heritage, Second Edition, 1983; Kagan, Donald; et al: Macmillan Publishing
An Analysis of Glenn Beck’s Revolutionary Holocaust

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