The Holocaust Historiography Project

Arthur R. Butz archive

Butz and ‘Pop the Top’

by Arthur R. Butz

On 1 May 1997 I read, in the Chicago Tribune, of a strange project in a junior high school in the small town of Mahomet, Illinois. A social studies teacher had given his students the task of collecting 6 million tabs from the tops of soda pop cans, in order to get children to fully conceive of how many Jews died in Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

On account of national publicity given the project many donations of soda pop can tabs were received. As of 1 May the project goal had been exceeded by 1.5 million, so the project was redefined to aim for the collection of 12 million, the change being to represent the estimated additional 6 million Poles, homosexuals, political prisoners and others who died at the hands of the Nazis.

Some contributors of tabs admonished students to beware of those who would deny the Holocaust. Indeed according to the newsletter ADL on the Frontline (Summer 1997), the ADL (Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, a major national Jewish organization) became one of the contributors to the Pop the Top project, because (they) felt it was particularly timely after Arthur Butz, a Northwestern University professor, used the college’s computer server to promote his Holocaust-denial propaganda on the World Wide Web.

The reader is therefore advised that a consequence of studying the materials at this site may be an urging from some quarters to atone by contributing soda pop can tabs. Those of legal age may Pop the Top on a beer instead.

18 August 1997

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