Now Reading
Former gov. hopeful Barry Hess reposts Neo-Nazi screed, says 'Anne Frank' a forgery

From the archive: This story is more than 5 years old.

Former gov. hopeful Barry Hess reposts Neo-Nazi screed, says 'Anne Frank' a forgery

'Turner Diaries' author claimed girl's diary was Jewish propaganda hoax

  • Anne Frank at school in 1940, before the war.
    Anne Frank at school in 1940, before the war.
  • Barry Hess
    Barry Hess
  • A post Hess made on Facebook on Thursday night.
    A post Hess made on Facebook on Thursday night.

A former Libertarian Party candidate for Arizona governor, Barry Hess, shared on Facebook an anti-Semitic screed by a notorious Neo-Nazi on Thursday, calling the "Diary of Anne Frank" a forged work of "Jewish propaganda."

Hess shared a link to a 1980 diatribe by William L. Pierce, a leading Holocaust denier and the author of "The Turner Diaries," the infamous novel that inspired Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, among others.

Pierce's screed, "Anne Frank Hoax Exposed," was originally published in his white power magazine "Attack!" It was reposted this month on a blog, Renegade Tribune, that is littered with scathing remarks about Jews, Asians and LGBT people, and praise for the glories of the Nazi regime. Among the posts displayed on the same page as the Anne Frank attack were those titled "Ave National Socialism," "Jewish Subversives Behind Anti-European Racial Hatred & Foreign Policy Corruption" and "Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Goldman Sachs, and the Zionist Oligarchs."

When asked why he would share a post from a Neo-Nazi blog, Hess said he "shared the post because of the content--not its origin (I didn't pay any attention to that)."

Pierce attempted to show that the renowned classic "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl" was a forgery by the father of the girl who died in a German concentration camp in the waning days of World War II. The American white nationalist's work was subtitled "Clever Jew Made Millions from Dead Daughter."

"I knew it was faked before there were computers. I don't care either way, but I understood (the diary) was simply a propaganda piece," Hess replied when questioned about his post.

Pierce claimed that the book could not have been written by the young girl hiding in an attic in Amsterdam, but was instead written by her father, Otto Frank, in ballpoint pen after the war, with the book's popularity pushed by "the worldwide Jewish propaganda apparatus."

The Nazi revivalist said he based his assertion that the diary was a "myth" on the supposed findings of report in the German news magazine Der Speigel. But forensic examinations of the original manuscript conducted after Otto Frank's death in 1980 concluded that the documents were authentic, with the handwriting matching other samples of Anne Frank's work. Prior research on the diaries by Dutch forensics experts, in the late 1950s and early '60s, "conclusively refuted" the claims that the young girl had not written them.

The report in Der Speigel in fact exposed as false the claims that the book was a forgery.

'Apart from a few deluded eccentrics, all the people who seriously claim that the diary of Anne Frank, or parts of it, are a forgery fall into the category of Holocaust deniers.' — Anne Frank House

Anne Frank, a teenage Jewish girl, hid in an attic with her family for two years before being arrested by the Nazis in 1944. She died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, while her father survived and later published her writings. Her poignant account of her experiences while in hiding has been printed in more than 60 languages. A play based on the diary won the 1955 Pulitzer Prize, and a 1959 film based on the work won three Academy Awards.

Hess, the Arizona Libertarian standard-bearer who sorely trailed in gubernatorial ballots in 2010 and 2014, did not respond to questions about whether he concurred with Pierce's statements in the shared piece that that our media is "blighted" by "Jewish monopoly control" and that Frank's diary is a "myth" and the product of a "worldwide Jewish propaganda apparatus."

Hess's Facebook page is a steady stream of conspiracy-oriented posts, including his claim that "You'd have to be an idiot to not realize that ISIS is a make-believe enemy" funded by "the US/Israel/UK/Saudi group," along with posts about "chemtrails" and marijuana "curing" cancer.

In 2013, Hess authored an alternative history novel, "The PeaceMonger," featuring a thinly veiled stand-in for President Barack Obama, whom Hess named "Abwon Mobuba," and portrayed as a Muslim hiding his religion. The book has a single review on Amazon.

'I understood (the diary) was simply a propaganda piece.' — Barry Hess

Thursday night, Hess said he had "never heard" of the Neo-Nazi organizer Pierce, who died in 2002. He included the attribution "via Dr. William L. Pierce, 1980" in his post.

"I still don't see what any of that has to do with 'who' authored the Anne Frank book," he said. "What is a 'neo-nazi' anyway?"

Challenged about his statement that "some pretty reputable and knowledgeable people" had proven the diary was "simply a propaganda piece," Hess edited his post hours later to include, "what I thought was 'settled science' almost 40 years ago, has to compete with a different conclusion today." He retained the multi-paragraph excerpt from Pierce's debunked claim that the diary was penned in ballpoint and could not be real.

Pierce, under the psuedonym Andrew Macdonald, published "The Turner Diaries," described as the "bible of the racist right" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and encouraged the spread of anti-Semitic propaganda through bands on his Resistance Records label. Pierce founded the "National Alliance" hate group, and created the Cosmotheism Community Church to avoid paying taxes after the IRS denied nonprofit status to his racist political group. He was the subject of documentaries by PBS and the Discovery Channel, and appeared on 60 Minutes and other national news programs as a spokesman for white power groups.

The Anne Frank House museum in the Netherlands has repeatedly refuted the specious claims that the diary is a fake.

"The attacks on the authenticity of the diary need to be seen in a wider perspective," a statement from the organization said. "People who have claimed, or still claim, that the diary is not genuine have a political agenda. They often also say or write that the Holocaust never happened. Or they try to prove that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz, and that the figure of six million Jews murdered during the Second World War is an exaggeration."

When pointed to the heavily footnoted statement debunking the forgery claims, Hess said, "I've seen this, but it only speaks to the limited proofs (ballpoint pen) being promoted on the Internet. I knew it was faked before there were computers."

The 13-page summary from the museum says, "there are no serious scientists who doubt the fact that the Holocaust took place or that the diary of Anne Frank really was written by her."

Because of the large number of Holocaust denial claims posted online, "the Internet is not only a wonderful, unbelievably huge library, but also a dunghill," the group said.

“Apart from a few deluded eccentrics, all the people (and groups of people) who seriously claim that the diary of Anne Frank, or parts of it, are a forgery fall into the category of Holocaust deniers. They are people who, by means of an attack on the diary, attempt to sow doubt about the fact that the Holocaust truly took place, that six million Jews were murdered during the Second World War, and that the Nazis ever built any gas chambers. They are people with a political aim: by denying or trivialising the Holocaust, they try to prove or make it appear reasonable that Nazism was (and is) a much less malevolent system than everyone thinks. Because it forms an accessible introduction to the Holocaust to people all over the world, and is often used in schools, the diary of Anne Frank is a popular target for these old and new Nazis.”

— Anne Frank House

— 30 —

Top headlines

Best in Internet Exploder