Denying The Holocaust

When the Allied Forces, under the direction of Supreme Commander, Gen. D. Eisenhower, found the Nazi death camps, the General ordered photos be taken from every possible angle. He also ordered that local villagers be led through the camps so they might see the horror first-hand.  While his reason is variously quoted, it was essentially, “Get it all on record now – get the films – get the witnesses -because somewhere down the road of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened”.

Our short-term memory is suffering on a global scale. Perhaps this is the natural result of post-modern thinking:  “Everyone has a right to create their own truth.”

This “personal truth” eliminates the historical fact that 5 million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and thousands of priests were “victims of ethnic cleansing” under the most brutal and barbaric circumstances imaginable.

They were murdered, beaten, gassed, shot, killed.  In modern political speech, they were victimized.

Recently, Britain removed teaching the historical details of the Holocaust because it offended Muslims. This despite the fact that denying the Holocaust is actually illegal in most European countries.

Brian Cuban, a new blogging friend, has an article that prompted my writing. He accurately points out the impact of social media, like Facebook, on defining truth. In his article, The Face(book) of Holocaust Denial, he writes

A British judge has dismissed a case against a South Australian man who is wanted in Germany for Holocaust denial. Fredrick Toben was arrested at Heathrow airport earlier this month while he was in transit from America to Dubai. He is wanted in Germany on charges that he is a Holocaust denier, after his Adelaide Institute website published claims that there was no mass murder of Jews by the Nazis.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has recently described the Holocaust as a “myth”  He has stated:

“They (Israel) have invented a myth that Jews were massacred and place this above God, religions and the prophets,”

The ugly face of Holocaust Denial is still smiling across the globe over 63 years after the last concentration camp was liberated at the end of World War II.  It has become especially virulent in the area of social media where anonymity protects deniers like a white sheet.  Facebook is a prime example. The following groups promoting Holocaust Denial are currently active on Facebook (as of the writing of this article).

Conspiracy theorists claim the destruction of the Twin Towers on 9/11 was an inside job. I wonder how long will it be until Muslims begin to deny that the Towers fell. Until they say of that day, like the Holocaust, “It Never Happened.

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25 replies
  1. Barry Wallace
    Barry Wallace says:

    It’s easy to see why a madman like Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust. It’s impossible to understand, however, why an organization like Facebook would allow anyone to perpetuate that kind of foolishness.

  2. Rob Barry
    Rob Barry says:

    Of course those who deny the Holocaust are wrong. What I object to is free speech impediments codified into law. When a government tells you what you can and cannot say, you are 1 step away from a repeat. There is ample evidence of the Holocaust. Those who deny it may be simply dismissed as quacks.

  3. pumabydesign001
    pumabydesign001 says:

    Denying that the Holocaust occurred is the biggest mistake man can make. We are supposed to learn from our mistakes in order that we not repeat them. A trend does appear to be afoot here. History is being re-written everyday. It is scary. Especially because our young are so cavalier about these atrocities.

  4. Dr.Bruce
    Dr.Bruce says:

    Shoshana, I think you have missed the point of all three of these articles. Ethnic genocide, then or now, is not subject to revisionist history or denial simply because one despises the group that is the object of the atrocities.

    Perhaps Brian should have given a ‘hat-tip’ to the Jewish news source you site. I confess that I have done the same thing at times. I do not think the article he wrote was plagiarized, however. He does not have extensive quotes, etc.

    Much of what happens in news reporting involves taking an unoriginal idea and adding or supplementing material to make important to your readers.

    Peace.

  5. Thomas-Jefferson
    Thomas-Jefferson says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with debate from all sides. In fact I think making “holocaust denial” a crime encourages racists and conspiracy theorists by making them feel persecuted and justifying their fears.

    I am unaware of anyone who thinks Nazi’s didn’t kill Jews, so the term “holocaust denial” is loaded and unfair. Instead they usually question the exact numbers, and the intent of the camps. In my understanding the Nazi’s were more interested in slave labor than killing Jews as fast as possible, at least in Germany itself. They gassed the sick, and tried to get labor out of the healthier ones. Are you familiar with Martin Luther’s “On the Jews and their lies”, and his eight point plan?

    1. “First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. …”

    2. “Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. …”

    3. “Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them. …”

    4. “Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. …”

    5. “Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. …”

    6. “Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them. … Such money should now be used in … the following [way]… Whenever a Jew is sincerely converted, he should be handed [a certain amount]…”

    7. “Seventh, I commend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow… For it is not fitting that they should let us accursed Goyim toil in the sweat of our faces while they, the holy people, idle away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting, and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christians by means of our sweat. No, one should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants.”

    8. “If we wish to wash our hands of the Jews’ blasphemy and not share in their guilt, we have to part company with them. They must be driven from our country” and “we must drive them out like mad dogs.”

    http://www.humanitas-international.org/showcase/chronography/documents/luther-jews.htm

    Strong stuff. I am Catholic myself, but this gives a window into how people felt back then, and how they seem to feel today in much of the middle east. From what I understand Stalin actually killed more Jews than Hitler, and that was done after WWII.

    Bottom line, war is hell and things are rough all over. I for one am sick of hearing about “The Holocaust” of Jews in WWII when indisputable genocide is occurring in Iraq, Sudan, Congo, North Korea and etc. I don’t really care if it was 6 million or six billion who died 70 years ago, I care about helping people to have a better life today, even if they aren’t Jewish.

  6. Nick
    Nick says:

    I really can’t understand how people can deny the holocaust ever happened. And the fact that people think that the Jews “made it all up” is ridiculous. I really hope a special interest group takes up this cause and starts running commercials.

  7. Blazing Minds
    Blazing Minds says:

    Whilst the world is indeed full of those that would even probably deny that such horrific things ever happen and putting political and religious views to one side, it is tiny minded to even think that such an horrific event never happend, maybe it is a defence mechanism to block out the horror..

  8. Tycoon Blogger
    Tycoon Blogger says:

    It is disturbing to me that there are people who can be so narrow minded and uninformed that actually believe that the Holocaust never happened. What is even more disturbing is when young people keep hearing this lie they will be more inclined to believe this as truth.

  9. Roger
    Roger says:

    It is very sad their are people out there that deny the happening of the Holocaust. And on the same token their are people that don’t only deny but just don’t care. Like the American Indians that were massacred hundreds of thousands or the Aztecs that were totally wiped out. Where are their memorials? All of these people should be remembered and not forgotten!

  10. Michael Aulia
    Michael Aulia says:

    Yeah I read the news when the Iranian president denied about the Holocaust, which is totally absurd. Come on, it’s like saying World War II never existed. There are so many factual and concrete evidence on this. Good point about Gen. Eisenhower, I’ve never heard about it before

    Perhaps he should be watching his families being burned, gased, tortured, and shot instead?

  11. Suburban Survivalist
    Suburban Survivalist says:

    Crazy and evil people typically try to rise to power, as they often have a fetish with control and power. This is why we must control our governments, and have the ultimate power with the people: So we have honest and well meaning government, not genocidial governments… I’m glad you mentioned some of the others that were mass murdered. We often focus on the 6 million jewish people, however they were just the tip of the ice berg…

  12. Reg Fife
    Reg Fife says:

    Roger, the difference between the Jews and the Aztecs is the Jews didn’t practice human sacrifice. While Cortez was arguably more interested in gold than stopping thousands of sacrifices a day, the fact that they took place was the reason the other natives joined with him to take them down. The natives of North America were more innocent, but many tribes were still warring among themselves before the white men came.

    One of the reasons the Holocaust was so horrible is that the Jews as a whole had done nothing wrong, but they were blamed by a “Zionist” conspiracy theory for everything that went bad at the time. Present Holocaust denial is a continuation of the “Jewish Plot” conspiracy.

  13. melissa
    melissa says:

    I’ve met several holocaust survivors. I’ve seen the tattooed numbers on the old polish priest that ran our neighborhood parish. I’ve seen pictures of my friend’s parents getting married while in a camp – strange smiles on their faces with guards standing in the background. Denying the holocaust is beyond disrespectful to the souls lost in the ethnic cleansing. So much proof exists, people that deny the holocaust are likely just trying to stir up more trouble in an already disturbing situation.

  14. william hessian
    william hessian says:

    this is a great post. forgetting these horrific events is like letting it happen all over again. We owe it to humankind to remember and understand why this happened.

    My childhood I barely knew anything about it. Since college I’ve read books, watch documentaries and read blogs like this to learn all that I can.

    Never forget what we are capable of, and make sure it doesnt happen again. It’s sick! But let’s not ignore it.

  15. Tech Vixen
    Tech Vixen says:

    I believe that there is more than enough evidence that the Holocaust did, indeed, happen and that schools should teach it as it is recorded in history. But at the same time, I think it is ridiculous to make it illegal for people to have their own personal beliefs. If someone doesn’t think the holocaust happened, that makes them a criminal? This is lunacy. How long is it until someone who thinks that Hitler was a great military commander is labeled a criminal as well?

    Sure – there is more than enough evidence to prove that the Holocaust actually happened. But people’s beliefs and views and interpretations are different. If some person wants to believe that the holocaust didn’t happen, who are we to throw him in prison? Certainly I’d have less personal respect for the person, but everyone as a right to their own opinion no matter how crazy it may seem.

  16. Aditya -EtDose
    Aditya -EtDose says:

    Its a real shame for the society to deny the holocaust the only reason for this can be not to remember anything that cause hamper to the societ today.. But one cant hide the truth. Talibanism is the emerging example and a new name

  17. Developerholic
    Developerholic says:

    Oh my, That is so unfair. But still whether the people who are responsible have escaped the living law, they can be held responsible after life.

    Didn’t know that the holocaust had exist until now, I agree on Tech Vixen that it should be taught in school so our youth would become aware.

    Cheers,
    Meg

  18. Nessa
    Nessa says:

    I cannot believe there are those who actually deny the Holocaust. It happened, it was beyond terrible, and we need to learn from our mistakes! My grandfather helped liberate concentration camps in WWII and the things he witnessed were so horrible he rarely spoke of them. It was real, it was bad, and I pray it never happens again!

  19. MyKitty
    MyKitty says:

    I cannot imagine that people can deny facts about the Holocaust despite all those records about what had happened. I think we have to be very careful about the education of our children so that they can learn the real facts.

  20. Liane
    Liane says:

    I think today, holocaust is something that germans are very ashamed of. Human rights are of great importance and the respect to religions, cultures, gender and many others have been heightened. As of denying the holocaust, that;’s all there is to it -denying. simply because one can always ignore that it happened but there it is right in front of us to reminisce.

  21. Joe
    Joe says:

    With today’s world, I would expect some idiot(s) to deny the Holocaust. I just don’t understand what goes through their heads. Maybe it is just something too horrid for them to comprehend, therefore, they dismiss it?

  22. Matt
    Matt says:

    Your post was a pleasure to read. Probably the greatest experience while at college has been during my freshman year when holocaust survivor Sonia Weitz came in to talk. I got to meet her face to face and she is an amazing woman. Holocaust survivors seem most offended by the deniers because for them the holocaust was such a harsh reality that it is just a slap in the face. With time, people say the most ridiculous things and it is like saying the world is flat.

    I think denying atrocity is an incredible crime. I also believe people need to be aware of history. Unfortunately genocide tends to repeat itself. It seems like the world still hasn’t learned its lessons from the past allowing horrible genocides to occur in Rwanda and Darfur in the past couple of decades.

    What you said at the end of your first paragraph about Eisenhower making sure people know what is going on reminds me of the importance of testimony and representations. I think you would really enjoy Primo Levi’s account of the holocaust and the power of testimony in refuting the Nazi’s gestures. Jenny Edkins is another author who cites Primo Levi and talks about how it is important to bring such problems into public discourse.

  23. midfielder1234
    midfielder1234 says:

    I feel it is completely wrong to deny a fact of history. Now I do not feel someone should go to prison for it… but I do feel their should be some repercussions. It would be like denying WW2 or that cellphones were invented. I do not feel that they should stop teaching the holocaust, just because it offends people. It was not their doing and its a major part of WW2. All in all, a great article, I never knew people denied the Holocaust before this.

  24. Nishadha
    Nishadha says:

    I’m from Sri Lanka and misintepration of history played a major role in internal conflict that spread over 30 years killing thousands of people. I agree that is is wrong to deny historical facts and we should try our best to preserve historical facts but sending a man to prison for denying historical facts is bit too far for me.

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