Democratic Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur sent and signed a letter expressing admiration for infamous Holocaust denier David Cole’s documentary doubting the use of gas chambers at Auschwitz.
The letter, flagged by citizen Kenneth Ceron and provided to The Daily Caller, showed that Kaptur wrote to Oregon-based Holocaust denier Gregg Klemmer on official congressional stationery on Jan. 16, 1995 thanking Klemmer for sending her and other congressmen a copy of David Cole’s 1992 documentary “David Cole Interviews Dr. Franciszek Piper: A Jewish Researcher’s Honest Look at WWII and Auschwitz.”
“Dear Mr. Clemmer: Thank you for sending me a copy of David Cole’s video,” Kaptur wrote. “Mr. Cole has obviously invested a great deal in researching his subject and I admire his tenacious curiosity. Again, I thank you for sharing this documentary with myself and other Members of Congress.”
David Cole appeared on Phil Donahue’s television show in 1994 to defend fellow Holocaust denier Bradley Smith’s assertion that there is “no proof whatever of homicidal gassing chambers, and no proof that even one individual was ‘gassed’ in a German program of ‘genocide.'” Cole also appeared on the Montel Williams Show as a member of the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust, where he was introduced as a Holocaust “revisionist.” Cole said on 60 Minutes that “the evidence saying that there were no gas chambers is a lot stronger than any of the evidence that can be presented saying there were.”
Cole later decided to retreat from his life as a public Holocaust denier. Cole changed his name in 1998 to “David Stein” and moved to Hollywood, where made a living by making non-“revisionist” Holocaust documentaries, saying, “I gave mainstream audiences what they wanted.” Cole also became a conservative Hollywood social gadfly, though his Hollywood conservative friends did not know his secret former identity.
Stein was exposed as David Cole in 2013, and told The Guardian that he still doubted official historical details about gas chambers. The imdb page for “David Stein” claims that he received “commendations” from Kaptur and others.
An advertisement from the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust cited Kaptur’s praise for Cole’s documentary. The advertisement offered $250,000 to anyone who could arrange a primetime national television debate between Holocaust denier Bradley Smith and the Anti-Defamation League.
Rep. Kaptur has reportedly become less visibly anti-Israel during her congressional career. The liberal publication Talking Points Memo recently wrote that “those members of Congress who represent areas with large Arab communities (Bill Pascrell, Marcy Kaptur, and John Dingell, to name a few) have increasingly over the years had to temper the decibel of their advocacy on any issue that runs afoul of AIPAC.” Kaptur even slammed her 2012 Republican opponent “Joe The Plumber” for associating gun control with the Holocaust in a campaign ad.
A spokesperson for Kaptur’s re-election campaign told TheDC that “the letter misrepresents an acknowledgment as somehow supportive of the contents of the video tape.” Pressed for further comment, the spokesperson then developed the beginnings of an unsubstantiated explanation.
“Patrick, check the Congressional Record over the last 30 years. Congresswoman Kaptur has always forcefully denounced the tragedy of the holocaust notwithstanding any standard language that an intern used in a perfunctory form letter almost 20 years ago,” the spokesperson wrote.
TheDC asked for the name of the alleged intern that wrote the letter, which made specific reference to Cole’s work and was not a form letter. TheDC also asked why Kaptur signed the letter herself. TheDC also gave the campaign an opportunity to retract its statement about the “intern” if the spokesperson was merely making a rhetorical point without any evidence of intern involvement. The Kaptur campaign chose not to provide further comment.
When Kenneth Ceron showed Kaptur’s liberal write-in opponent Cory Hoffman the letter, Hoffman replied that he feared Democrats would “blackball” him from party politics if he leaked the letter to the press.
“This is all very shocking to me,” Hoffman told Ceron in an email provided to TheDC. “However, I am not sure what to do with this information as of yet. In one sense, it almost seems like it could be a potentially major liability to Ms. Kaptur. Indeed, I’m tempted to provide this information to my local newspaper. However, I don’t know if that would be too incendiary. I’m a young candidate and I’m worried that old school Democrats would blackball me forever.”