Denial and Deniers

Question:

For a school assignment, I was asked to bring in a story of a Holocaust denier. After searching the web for a long time I was unable to find anything. If you know of any sights that would help me, please let me know as soon as possible.

Harry W. Mazal OBE answers:

I am one of the volunteers in the Holocaust History Project that responds to questions from our readers. It is possible that you will receive other answers from my colleagues.

It is surprising that your school should assign you to write about something as grotesque as a story about a Holocaust denier. Holocaust denial falls in the same category as 'the earth is flat' theory. No serious geographer will waste his time discussing geography with a member of the Flat Earth Society. In the same vein, no serious historian should contemplate discussing the Holocaust with a denier.

Denial is, in fact, little more than a ploy to attack a minority where they are the most vulnerable: the loss by cold-blooded murder of their family and friends. Deniers are simply anti-Semites who attempt to bend history for their own malicious purposes.

You might want to read the following essays and articles that we have placed on our web-site dealing with denial.

The first essay discusses the problems of Holocaust denial and offers an excellent bibliography on the subject: http://Holocaust-history.org/revisionism-isnt/

The second essay discusses the errors and faulty methodology of one well-known Holocaust denier in his malevolent and failed attempt to sue a world-famous historian for libel. http://Holocaust-history.org/irvings-war/

The third link is not so much an essay as a brief compendium of the lies used by the same denier and his unwillingness to substantiate his (false) insinuations. The correspondence between my colleague and Mr. Irving should help you put together a suitable article for your homework. http://Holocaust-history.org/pamphlets/irving/

Yours sincerely,

Harry W. Mazal OBE

Question:

I would like to know if you know anything about whether Holocaust Denial would be considered another crime against Jewish people and if there are any sources of information i could go to, whether it be on the Net or books.

Jamie McCarthy responds:

It would depend on who would be doing the considering, and what you mean by "crime." In many nations, publicly advocating Holocaust denial is literally a crime, punishable by prison time and fines.

I, and many other members of The Holocaust History Project, believe that protecting free speech means protecting speech with which we disagree, or which we find offensive. We thus oppose laws against Holocaust-denial.

It is grossly offensive to tell anyone that the suffering which they and their family have been subjected to never happened, or was not of any importance. It is true that I have heard this described as a physical blow against the Jewish people. But in my opinion, even the most grotesque Holocaust-denial cannot compare to the actual murder of even one Jew by the Nazi regime. In my opinion, to describe pamphlets and books as a "crime" in the same context as the crimes of the Holocaust is to have a serious misunderstanding of proportion.

and if there are any sources of information i could go to, whether it be on the Net or books.

There are quite a few, depending on what topic you're interested in. Our collection of short essays might lead you to a work or a website that would be of further interest.

http://www.holocaust-history.org/short-essays/

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Jamie McCarthy

Hello.My name is **** and I respond to posts on the CODOH discussion board, trying to refute some of the stuff that is put up there. I've only just started, but this is one reply I got when discussing the author Ron Rosenbaum (he wrote Explaining Hitler) and an article he wrote:"Anyway, perhaps I am reading way too far beyond the text below but isn't this really just repeating the age-old notion that all Gentiles want to do is exterminate God's people? Isn't that the nature of the Gentiles?" I'm not aware of any "age-old notion" this guy could be talking about, not one thats seriously entertained. Perhaps you could help me out here? I'm sorry to trouble you with an e-mail thats rather unrelated to the Holocaust itself, but this is sort of my best bet. Thank you for your time,

Gord McFee Responds:

I am one of the volunteers who answers these questions. Some of my colleagues may also answer.

I have read Rosenbaum's book and I am unaware of any passages that would be construed as supporting the notion that the Gentiles want to exterminate "God's people". I may have missed it, but I would think such a statement would be entirely opposed to what I have read by him.

On the notion itself, my view is that it is untrue. The Jews were persecuted for centuries, especially by the Catholic Church, but the purpose (strange as it seems today) was to convert them, not to exterminate them. The Church felt that the Jews were condemned to Hell because they refused to accept Christ, and used every means they could to convert them. It felt - wrongly - that in so doing, it was doing the work of the Lord. It took the Church 20 centuries to see the error of its ways and the inherent *unchristianity* in its approach.

Exterminationist approaches to the Jews arose in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and were usually combined with extreme nationalism, xenophobia and racism, along with idiotic "philosophies" of Social Darwinism (an incorrect of Darwin's theories to people).

For an excellent analysis of this issue, you should check out chapter 1 of Raul Hilberg's Destruction of the European Jews. I might also recommend an essay on our website at:

http://www.holocaust-history.org/jews-central/

Hope this helps.

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Best regards Gord McFee

Question:

I am impressed by your website! It has a great volumne of information about this very sad time in human history. My question is, how can these people who say the Holocaust was a "fabrication" deny such verifiable facts?!! I have met a few, at least, online who think this. It's really upsetting, because I am a Christian & KNOW better! I'd appreciate your input & advice! Thanks!

Gord McFee Responds:

Thank you for your question.

We wonder sometimes how many of those people really think it is a fabrication and how many just say that as a means to attack Jews. I suspect, speaking only for myself, that the majority of deniers believe the events occurred, but deny them because it suits their antisemitic designs to do so. We have some pages on our site that address parts of this question and I encourage you to check them out.

http://www.holocaust-history.org/jews-central/
http://www.holocaust-history.org/short-essays/why-the-jews.shtml
http://www.holocaust-history.org/questions/debate.shtml
http://www.holocaust-history.org/questions/denial.shtml

We also have pamphlets on two well-known deniers. You will quickly see tat their "denial" is very much based on antisemitism. See:

http://www.holocaust-history.org/pamphlets/

Finally, there probably are some people in the world who are uninformed, or frankly stupid enough, to really believe the denier rhetoric. I suspect there are not really that many though.

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Best regards
Gord McFee

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