Campus police at Washington University in St. Louis alerted local and federal authorities last month after an unnerving, anti-Semitic voicemail was left for a university librarian.
The librarian, who asked not to be identified, notified The Huffington Post of the voicemail through the Documenting Hate project.
In a March 15 voicemail, the unidentified male caller accuses the librarian of advocating “white genocide” and calls the Holocaust a “fucking lie.”
(“White genocide” is a popular term among white supremacists, who view ideas of diversity and tolerance as threats to the white race.)
The caller seemed aware that the librarian had recently helped organize an exhibit on the Holocaust at a local museum.
“No evidence of gas chambers, no evidence of mass graves,” the man says in the voicemail message. “The Nazis just wouldn’t have had the resources to dig up these mass graves, pound them into dust, and then scatter it everywhere. They were fighting a war on three fronts.”
“It’s ridiculous...[inaudible]... you use [the Holocaust] as a club to bash white people over the head,” the caller continues. “You openly advocate for white genocide and you’re not silenced on that but any contradictions to the ‘Holohoax’ and you go apeshit.”
“So it’s all coming to bear,” the caller says at the end of the two-minute rant. “So I would get really nervous if I was you.”
The librarian told HuffPost that he brushed off the voicemail at first. “But the more I listened to it,” he said, “the more concerned I became.”
“It was more disturbing,” he added.
Susan McGinn, a spokeswoman for Washington University in St. Louis, said that there was “no way to track” who left the voicemail.
Although campus police determined the call didn’t constitute a threat, McGinn said officers put caller ID on the librarian’s landline phone in case he receives another message.
“We alerted local and federal authorities as well as Jewish organizations just to make them aware,” McGinn said.
Aryeh Tuchman, associate director at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, told HuffPost the voicemail “basically conforms with the ideas of Holocaust denial,” a prominent anti-Semitic movement which either denies or downplays the well-documented murder and genocide of six million Jews during World War II.
”Holocaust Denial, Explained,” from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
“At its core Holocaust denial is an anti-Jewish conspiracy theory, which claims that somehow Jews... are basically in control of various facets of society,” Tuchman said.
Part of that conspiracy theory, Tuchman said, is that Jews are in control of academia, where they can push Holocaust studies on students, a field Holocaust deniers view as a sham.
What’s also implicit in Holocaust denial, Tuchman added, is that Jews control governments.
“Because Germany has admitted role in Holocaust, and why would they do that if Jews weren’t pulling the strings?” he said.
Holocaust denial, Tuchman added, assumes a series of anti-Semitic tropes, including that “Jews are greedy, Jews want power, Jews want to undermine the integrity and the power of the other races and the other people among whom they live.”
The voicemail comes amid a perceived surge of anti-Semitic acts across the country. In recent months, Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized, Jewish community centers and organizations have been threatened, and swastikas and other types of anti-Semitic graffiti have been discovered on schools.
Last month in Seattle, someone spray-painted “Holocaust Is Fake History” on a Jewish temple.
A report from The Southern Poverty Law Center earlier this year on the rising number of hate groups in America noted that “[President Donald] Trump’s run for office electrified the radical right, which saw in him a champion of the idea that America is fundamentally a white man’s country.”
Here’s a complete transcript of the voicemail left at the Washington University in St. Louis library:
...on the note of Holocaust studies - why is it the only topic that isn’t open for debate? And why in many nations in Europe it’s outlawed to even discuss it? If it were the truth then it wouldn’t need laws to support it. But all the information about it is supplied by the Soviet Union, communists. Everything, all the camps, were behind Soviet lines so how can we believe the Soviets were giving the true information when they lied about everything else? Supposedly this is true information ― “they didn’t lie about that but they lied about everything else.” So how can that be possible? No evidence of gas chambers, no evidence of mass graves. Um, the Nazis just wouldn’t have had the resources to dig up these mass graves, pound them into dust, and then scatter it everywhere. They were fighting a war on three fronts. It’s ridiculous...[inaudible]... you use this as a club to bash white people over the head. You openly advocate for white genocide and you’re not silenced on that but any contradictions to the “Holohoax” and you go apeshit. You’re flipping your shit all over the cage and everything, screaming “anti-Semite” and “Nazi” and all this other fucking stupid shit. It’s all a fucking lie and it’s being exposed and I think maybe you guys maybe better run for the exits because people are finding out you’ve been extorting money and extorting Palestine for a century. So it’s all over. We need to get these Holocaust studies stopped because they’re fucking lies, just like Jews ran the slave trade. You said whites ran it but you’re not white, and Jews aren’t white, and you ran the slave trade. So it’s all coming to bare. So I would get really nervous if I was you.
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