Austin Joseph App (1902 – 1984) was a controversial German-American professor of medieval English literature who taught at the University of Scranton and La Salle University. App defended Germans and Nazi Germany during World War II. He is known for his work denying the Holocaust, and he has been called the first major American Holocaust denier.
In the 1950s, App often wrote articles for Conde McGinley's antisemitic journal Common Sense.
In 1973 App laid out eight "axioms", or what he described as "incontrovertible assertions" about the Holocaust in his 1973 pamphlet The Six Million Swindle:
- Emigration, not extermination, was the Nazi Germany's plan for dealing with its "Jewish problem".
- No Jews were gassed in any German concentration camps (including Auschwitz).
- Jews who disappeared during the years of World War II and have not been accounted for did so in territories under Soviet, rather than German, control.
- The majority of Jews who were killed by the Nazis were people whom the Nazis had every right to execute as subversives, spies, and criminals.
- If the Holocaust claims had any truth, Israel would have opened its archives to historians.
- All evidence to support the figure of six million dead rests upon misquotes of Nazis and Nazi documents.
- It is incumbent upon the accusers to prove the six million figure.
- Jewish historians and other scholars have great discrepancies in their calculations of the number of victims. (App 1973, 1977).
In February 1976, App published an article "The Sudeten-German Tragedy" in Reason magazine, where App criticised the post-World War II expulsion of the Sudeten Germans as "one of the worst mass atrocities in history."
App also published A Straight Look at the Third Reich, a defense of Nazi Germany, and The Curse of Anti-Anti-Semitism, supporting the argument that the entire Jewish community is responsible for the death of Christ. App’s work inspired the Institute for Historical Review, a California Holocaust denial center founded in 1978. App "inundated" magazines, newspapers and politicians with antisemitic letters complaining about the decision of Franklin D. Roosevelt to declare war on Germany and enter the Second World War. App argued that, without American help, the Axis Powers would have won the war. App blamed both Jews and Communists for Germany's postwar problems. However, few of these letters were ever published.
He worked to prioritize non-Jewish immigration from Austria and Germany to the United States instead of Holocaust survivors.