Holocaust Denial, Holocaust Exaggeration, Holocaust discussion

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Recently I was directed to this video by a friend (I won't blame you if you can't get through 3 minutes of the video). While I did not get his exact views on the video, he said he believed that the Holocaust was exaggerated but that the exaggeration did not excuse the horribleness of the Nazi's actions.

I felt this was a reasonable response, but I couldn't help but feel a little unsettled as I realized part of me wanted to argue against this exaggeration claim.

As a Jewish person, I have never personally identified with the Holocaust (as I wasn't there but my grandfather was), but I still feel strongly about it when it is denied (though I think laws against denial are kind of extreme), as I do for other cases of denial (Turkey's Armenian Genocide, Japan's Unit 731, China's Tiananmen Square and Cultural Revolution, Iran's Chain murders, etc).

So I ask your thoughts on this Escapist: what do you think of the Holocaust? Exaggerated? Understated? Properly acknowledged?

Hmmm...personally I feel that the Holocaust is fairly well acknowledged, but only really in relation to Jewish people. All sorts of people were killed, but the emphasis is almost always on Jewish victims (who are of course, worthy of remembrance).

Personally I wonder if this is because Jews are (nowdays) commonly regarded much better, whereas many of the other groups targeted by the Nazis weren't. When the Pope or a politician is saying that gays are evil or should be locked up or whatever, the people that don't want to call them out on this don't want to be reminded that the Nazis put gay people in concentration camps. Likewise, people who are disabled or mentally ill are still stigmatised (to an extent), they either aren't seen as worthy of being remembered as victims, or people don't disagree with the Nazis as much in relation to them.

thaluikhain:
Hmmm...personally I feel that the Holocaust is fairly well acknowledged, but only really in relation to Jewish people. All sorts of people were killed, but the emphasis is almost always on Jewish victims (who are of course, worthy of remembrance).

Personally I wonder if this is because Jews are (nowdays) commonly regarded much better, whereas many of the other groups targeted by the Nazis weren't. When the Pope or a politician is saying that gays are evil or should be locked up or whatever, the people that don't want to call them out on this don't want to be reminded that the Nazis put gay people in concentration camps. Likewise, people who are disabled or mentally ill are still stigmatised (to an extent), they either aren't seen as worthy of being remembered as victims, or people don't disagree with the Nazis as much in relation to them.

I agree on the first part, it is a common misconception that only Jews were targeted, and the non-Jewish victims don't get as much recognition.

But what makes you say that "people who are disabled or mentally ill are still stigmatized... (and) aren't seen as worthy of being remembered as victims " ? I don't disagree, but I'm hard pressed to find an example where people would be left out of a death count because of their mental issues.

I forgot to mention that my friend's exact words were essentially "the number of dead Jews shouldn't equate to six million, the math doesn't add up." So I guess I'm also asking what you guys think of the numbers.

I've never seen any example of the Holocaust being exagerated. I've seen its occurance being abused (for example extremist settlers in the Gaza strip wearing davidstars when they were being cleared out, they deserve to be slapped for that) sure, but it's never been exagerated conciously to my knowledge.

Regarding the denial, I'm all with the Dutch supreme court in their ruling on the Siegfried Verbeeke case: The court reasoned that holocaust denial is not done out of a factual motive. A holocaust denier isn't interested in the truth or establishing it. It is neither about voicing an opinion, because there's no valid political motive behind it. Thus the court reasoned the sole objective behind holocaust denial, was to grieve and insult others, and it was part of existing anti-hatespeech laws as a result.
Only two convictions have ever been made over it. Siegfried Verbeeke in 1995, and European Arab League in 2008, an arab supremacist group with strong racist tendencies including anti-semitic ones.

Lovely Mixture:
But what makes you say that "people who are disabled or mentally ill are still stigmatized... (and) aren't seen as worthy of being remembered as victims " ? I don't disagree, but I'm hard pressed to find an example where people would be left out of a death count because of their mental issues.

I don't know for sure, I'm just guessing. But it seems likely that the reason people don't seem to remember mentally ill or disabled people dying in the Holocaust is that many people don't care about such people, and aren't upset when they die. Funding for people with disabilities and/or mental illnesses generally isn't seen as a concern, and people die of it today.

I don't think their deaths would be excluded from the counts, just that why they were being killed might be glossed over.

Lovely Mixture:
I forgot to mention that my friend's exact words were essentially "the number of dead Jews shouldn't equate to six million, the math doesn't add up." So I guess I'm also asking what you guys think of the numbers.

The exact number is difficult to tell, probably won't ever be known. And it depends on how you count it, it you count random civilians murdered in the Eastern Front as being part of the Holocaust or some other war crime.

But if the argument is that the number of Jews killed was significantly less than the agreed figure of 6 million, that sounds like nothing more than a watered down version of Holocause Denial.

Well if you want a view of the holocaust that was not Jewish, try reading "If it's a man" by Primo Levi. He was an Italian chemist turned resistance. The Nazi's targeted, homosexuals, those who married Jews, resistance, the mentally disabled, populations they considered "lesser" and so forth.

My take on this? I find holocaust deniers to be particularly revolting, mainly because I always suspect they have an agenda behind their claims. It's good that your friend specified that he found the Nazi's atrocious either way. The Nazi's were particularly terrible due to the fact that they systematically killed the Jewish in countries outside of Germany as well. I think the fact that Mao Zedong and Stalin kept the killing inside their borders is why they're not as infamous.

What in the world does he mean by "the numbers don't add up"?

EDIT:

thaluikhain:

But if the argument is that the number of Jews killed was significantly less than the agreed figure of 6 million, that sounds like nothing more than a watered down version of Holocause Denial.

What he said.

EDIT OF THAT: Actually I've finally bothered to see the video. I'll take that back about your "friend". What the fuck is wrong with him?

About 3 years ago, a holocaust survivor came to my school to deliver a lecture about his experience. Frankly, I don't give a damn whether it was 6 million or 600 000, the fact that it done at all is unforgivable.

I'll go with understated since people like to focus on the Jewish death toll, but often ignore all the other people that also died. The Holocaust claimed ~11 million, not 6 million.

In my views the Holocaust happened, and it is yet another disgraceful stain in humanity's long history of appalling acts. Holocaust denial seems stupid to me, as a student of history (though my formal qualifications are in classical civilisations), due to the sheer amount of evidence we have available to us; be it from first-hand accounts from both victims, those committing the acts and the liberators, the records, the physical camps themselves and so on.

Whilst I agree in principle with everyone saying "but what about groups X,Y,Z?" in terms of remembrance, the actual definition of the Holocaust (as opposed to common public usage) is the mass-murder of the Jews by the Nazi regime. All other groups killed, though I thought it was 13 million people in total not 11 million, are just those who died at the hands of the Nazis - hence why most people (technically incorrectly) use the Holocaust to refer to everyone killed.

Superbeast:
In my views the Holocaust happened, and it is yet another disgraceful stain in humanity's long history of appalling acts. Holocaust denial seems stupid to me, as a student of history (though my formal qualifications are in classical civilisations), due to the sheer amount of evidence we have available to us; be it from first-hand accounts from both victims, those committing the acts and the liberators, the records, the physical camps themselves and so on.

Whilst I agree in principle with everyone saying "but what about groups X,Y,Z?" in terms of remembrance, the actual definition of the Holocaust (as opposed to common public usage) is the mass-murder of the Jews by the Nazi regime. All other groups killed, though I thought it was 13 million people in total not 11 million, are just those who died at the hands of the Nazis - hence why most people (technically incorrectly) use the Holocaust to refer to everyone killed.

The word holocaust existed long before the rise of nazism in europe.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/holocaust

But whenever the word 'holocaust' is used it is almost universally The Holocaust, the event which took place under Nazism. For everything else, we use "Genocide".

Let us remember what a genocide is, and what was being done; "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", so every group that the nazis targeted for extermination. What happened to the Jews was a genocide, as it was every other group that fell under that definition.

The genocides of the Nazi regime happened, and anyone who says elsewhys is a liar. However, I am sick and tired of getting it rammed down my throats that the Jews have it bad in the world, especially in light of the history of modern Israel and its policies. In the same way someone who constantly whines and cries about how hard the world is can go from being sympathetic to being annoying and disliked for it. All the constant holocaust crap I got rammed down my throat in public schools growing up just made me slightly annoyed every time it was bought up.

And it was terrible, and it was horrible, and I've been to the museum in Washington D.C., and that was terrible and horrible in its message. It's a powerful place with palpable sadness to it. And frankly, It's distracted from other genocides of the same time period, including the Stalinist purges and the Maoist purges. That's bad.

The enormity of it is pretty much impossible for a human mind to grasp. Even with the museum (it's very well set up) it's just incredibly hard to understand the suffering, the loss of life, the systematic destruction of human beings. You just can't do it unless you were a part of it.

But as I've stated before, the suffering of one victim does not lessen the suffering of another victim, which is what I felt has happened with The Holocaust.

Lovely Mixture:
Recently I was directed to this video by a friend (I won't blame you if you can't get through 3 minutes of the video). While I did not get his exact views on the video, he said he believed that the Holocaust was exaggerated but that the exaggeration did not excuse the horribleness of the Nazi's actions.

I felt this was a reasonable response, but I couldn't help but feel a little unsettled as I realized part of me wanted to argue against this exaggeration claim.

As a Jewish person, I have never personally identified with the Holocaust (as I wasn't there but my grandfather was), but I still feel strongly about it when it is denied (though I think laws against denial are kind of extreme), as I do for other cases of denial (Turkey's Armenian Genocide, Japan's Unit 731, China's Tiananmen Square and Cultural Revolution, Iran's Chain murders, etc).

So I ask your thoughts on this Escapist: what do you think of the Holocaust? Exaggerated? Understated? Properly acknowledged?

I didn't watch the video, mostly because I literally can't. My Internet connection is atrocious, and while I can manage posts when I'm lucky YouTube videos are just too much.

So if your friend did research on the subject then I guess that would explain it more, but what I don't get is why you would hold such an opinion when its generally accepted magnitude is agreed upon by thousands of scholars who have spent the better part of their lives researching the subject. I don't find the exaggeration theory nearly as disgusting or conspiracy-theory ridden as the ideas of the Holocaust deniers, but I still think there is something...strange about people who will believe such an "outrageous" belief on so little. I can't help but feel like there's a bit of attention seeking going on.

Because it's not like a religious belief or dogma where you wear it on you most of the time and it can greatly affect your personal lifestyle. It's a bit of history you question the general wisdom of, something that would only come up in a serious context in either classes or if you bring the subject up yourself to start a debate. I feel like unless you're very interested in history and have done a lot of personal research on the subject with non-biased resources, if you're a young person with a "radical" opinion chances are you're more interested in the "radicalness" than the "truthfulness" of it.

6 million Jews dead, add to that many political enemies, resistance and opponents of the Nazis, Roma, mentally and physically handicapped, homosexuals and so on. Circa 10 million dead is, to my understanding, a number floating around regarding the deaths caused by Hitler, including the fighting, the war, all of it to my understanding. Unless that number is wrongly applied to the Holocaust instead of the entire conflict, I'm not aware of any exaggerating going on. As for denial, I have previously heard the claims that "thousands of Jews" were murdered, by way of execution etc., denying the whole industrialized murder going on in the death camps: The core of the Holocaust, pretty much. I don't think you need to deny that Jews were murdered at all in order to be a Holocaust denier. Such people qualify.

There will ALWAYS be those who would deny facts.

From The Holocaust deniers to the evolution deniers to the the-Vatican-don't-rape-kids deniers.

When someone doesn't like a narrative based in facts, they make shit up to push an agenda or make themselves feel better.

I'm sure there where people out there who claimed the fall of Rome never happened.

I think the Holocaust is horrifically misrepresented when it suits people's political ends. For example, Zionists use the holocaust as evidence that the country of Israel is necessary, when in reality Zionists supported the nazis because they had a commmon interest- sending the Jews to Palestine. The World Zionist Organisation in Switzerland had the opportunity to save millions of jews but chose to let them die. Zionist leaders repeatedly obstructed efforts to save Jews who were not Zionists because they knew their deaths could be used as bargaining chips to secure the state of Israel. I find it horrifying that this is largely forgotten and ignored.

manic_depressive13:
I think the Holocaust is horrifically misrepresented when it suits people's political ends. For example, Zionists use the holocaust as evidence that the country of Israel is necessary, when in reality Zionists supported the nazis because they had a commmon interest- sending the Jews to Palestine. The World Zionist Organisation in Switzerland had the opportunity to save millions of jews but chose to let them die. Zionist leaders repeatedly obstructed efforts to save Jews who were not Zionists because they knew their deaths could be used as bargaining chips to secure the state of Israel. I find it horrifying that this is largely forgotten and ignored.

Any sort of proof to back up this claim? Sounds dangerously like conspiracy theory thinking to me.

Jux:
Any sort of proof to back up this claim? Sounds dangerously like conspiracy theory thinking to me.

My source is Lenni Brenner, a Jewish historian who is the author of "Zionism in the Age of Dictators". He has over 50 documents from the Nazi era to back up his claims.

It's interesting that the 30 million Soviets who were thrown to the fire on account of the fascist schemes don't get even a token mention when the fate of the European jews is bemoaned. I don't the numbers themselves are overstated, but as far as the jews are concerned they have certainly been milked for all their worth.

manic_depressive13:

Jux:
Any sort of proof to back up this claim? Sounds dangerously like conspiracy theory thinking to me.

My source is Lenni Brenner, a Jewish historian who is the author of "Zionism in the Age of Dictators". He has over 50 documents from the Nazi era to back up his claims.

Lenni Brenner is not a "Jewish Historian", he is an American extreme Marxist nut case...
The guy wrote like 4 books, 3 of them blame Jews not Zionism per-say for virtually every thing which was wrong both with the Great Soviet Union, and the US.
He's not cited outside of very slim circles(extreme far left, and extreme far right), and calling him an historian is like calling David Duke an anthropologist...

Istvan:
It's interesting that the 30 million Soviets who were thrown to the fire on account of the fascist schemes don't get even a token mention when the fate of the European jews is bemoaned. I don't the numbers themselves are overstated, but as far as the jews are concerned they have certainly been milked for all their worth.

Well, slightly afterwards Allied nations got together and tried figuring out how to kill many more than that, so it's not surprising. Also, most of that get lumps in with war casualties, which is somehoe less worse.

Bentusi16:
And it was terrible, and it was horrible, and I've been to the museum in Washington D.C., and that was terrible and horrible in its message. It's a powerful place with palpable sadness to it. And frankly, It's distracted from other genocides of the same time period, including the Stalinist purges and the Maoist purges. That's bad.

While I understand your position, I think you still have to look at it from the perspective of European Jews.

No other mass-killing has really done what the holocaust did, which was to take this huge, rich, vibrant minority across so many countries and pretty much exterminate them wholesale. Stalin's purges and the cultural revolution were both distributed across a massive population, so communities remained largely intact. That didn't happen in the holocaust, whole communities died together. If you survived the holocaust, you were often the only survivor of your family, quite often you were the only survivor of your village or community. The scale was smaller than some of the other purges, but it was much more concentrated. An entire way of life was pretty much wiped out.

Let's say the entire population of the country or state you live in was suddenly wiped out in a horrible way and you were one of only a tiny number of survivors. Now, if you took that number of deaths and distributed it across the global population, life would go on. It would still be horrible, but people recover from it much more quickly because there would still be a relatively normal society, there would be people to comfort the survivors and support them through the horror of losing their loved ones. But if all those deaths are concentrated in one place, then it's not just people dying, but all the basic structures which hold a community together are completely destroyed. For the survivors, there's really nothing left to rebuild, and it leaves a deeper scar which takes much longer to heal.

Deaths and bereavement is always painful, but recovery from that is very dependent on how much of the social structure around people is left intact. In the holocaust, the answer is "very little".

I'm sure there's a bit of Eurocentrism about it, and also the governments involved in the purges and the cultural revolution had plenty of time to "clean up" afterwards, but from the perspective of the affected community the holocaust is a very different thing, and I think it's kind of easy to understand why Jews, particularly those of European ancestry, have a very strong reaction to it, because there is pretty much noone in that community who has not been personally affected.

manic_depressive13:
I think the Holocaust is horrifically misrepresented when it suits people's political ends. For example, Zionists use the holocaust as evidence that the country of Israel is necessary, when in reality Zionists supported the nazis because they had a commmon interest- sending the Jews to Palestine. The World Zionist Organisation in Switzerland had the opportunity to save millions of jews but chose to let them die. Zionist leaders repeatedly obstructed efforts to save Jews who were not Zionists because they knew their deaths could be used as bargaining chips to secure the state of Israel. I find it horrifying that this is largely forgotten and ignored.

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What. The. Fuck. Did I just read?
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manic_depressive13:

Jux:
Any sort of proof to back up this claim? Sounds dangerously like conspiracy theory thinking to me.

My source is Lenni Brenner, a Jewish historian who is the author of "Zionism in the Age of Dictators". He has over 50 documents from the Nazi era to back up his claims.

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That guy doesn't call himself a Jew, he's an american marxist. He equates Zionism as Racism. He has '51 documents', not 'over 50', that he says support his claim.

He says that Zionist and Fascism had close ties together. That the Fascist Germans benefited from Zionists moving Jews from their country to Palestine. He cites this as proof, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haavara_Agreement , saying that both Zionists and Nazis benefited from this arrangement. Later on he argued that it was the Zionists that denied more Jews entry to Palestine so they could be murdered in Europe, so their deaths could be used as an excuse to make a state of Jews in Palestine.

I am not going to answer that properly, because I fear I will snap and start cursing his very existence. Let me just say that he is wrong in his conclusion and the nature of the Holocaust as seen by Zionists.

TheIronRuler:
He has '51 documents', not 'over 50', that he says support his claim.

I don't get it. Are you denying that 51 is more than 50?

manic_depressive13:

TheIronRuler:
He has '51 documents', not 'over 50', that he says support his claim.

I don't get it. Are you denying that 51 is more than 50?

It seems very similar to that common numbers trick you see in advertisements, the way they say "Only $29.99, plus shipping and handling!" to try and make you feel like you're paying only ~$20 plus a small fee, when in reality it is above $30 with taxes and the shipping will probably be at least $15, if not $20 or $25. "Over 50" can be construed as above 60 or 70, and suggests that there are so many documents you've lost track of the exact number. Perhaps you did forget it was 51 and said over 50 just to be safe, but either way it's a bit pedantic smells like a diversionary tactic.

manic_depressive13:

TheIronRuler:
He has '51 documents', not 'over 50', that he says support his claim.

I don't get it. Are you denying that 51 is more than 50?

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Saying 'more than 50' implies that the number can be anything from 51 to infinity. It is just 51.

Anyway, I don't want to continue this. If you excuse me, I won't be talking about this opinion any more.

Saying the holocaust was exaggerated is tantamount to being a holocaust denier. I mean by definition it was genocide and it obviously was a genocide, those that weren't killed suffered horrific conditions always living in fear. Sure for some jewish people they may have been able to escape the nazi's or where met by German people willing to hide them but a small minority of kindness doesn't somehow make the great atrocities non-existent.

I did stuff at Uni about holocaust denial/ the David Irving debate. Got good marks for that, too.

It's not exaggerated, and I wouldn't say it's understated either, though people aren't very capable of putting something so huge into perspective.

I do think people haven't sufficiently learned from history, though. WW2 & the Holocaust are incredibly strong images in people's minds, as they should be-- but people fail to recognise the same brand of bigotry and stereotyping when it appears, for example, with Muslims or Gypsies as the target.

People need to recognise how easily the media can prejudice somebody. It's done daily, and it's done casually. People look back at old cartoon depictions of Jews in Der Sturmer (for instance, in school), and think, "how could they have been so hateful and misguided?"

...but the same kind of disgusting, bigoted depictions appear in the Daily Express today (English tabloid), and because the targets are different, people don't bat an eyelid. That's why I tend to believe people haven't learned from history.

Silvanus:
I did stuff at Uni about holocaust denial/ the David Irving debate. Got good marks for that, too.

It's not exaggerated, and I wouldn't say it's understated either, though people aren't very capable of putting something so huge into perspective.

I do think people haven't sufficiently learned from history, though. WW2 & the Holocaust are incredibly strong images in people's minds, as they should be-- but people fail to recognise the same brand of bigotry and stereotyping when it appears, for example, with Muslims or Gypsies as the target.

People need to recognise how easily the media can prejudice somebody. It's done daily, and it's done casually. People look back at old cartoon depictions of Jews in Der Sturmer (for instance, in school), and think, "how could they have been so hateful and misguided?"

...but the same kind of disgusting, bigoted depictions appear in the Daily Express today (English tabloid), and because the targets are different, people don't bat an eyelid. That's why I tend to believe people haven't learned from history.

I'd second that. People as a rule refuse to recognise their own prejudices, no matter how good they become at seeing them in others.

Lovely Mixture:

-snip-

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I was under the impression that outright denial and also downplaying and minimalism the crimes of the Nazis in WW2 were crimes in Germany and Austria.
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thaluikhain:

Silvanus:
I did stuff at Uni about holocaust denial/ the David Irving debate. Got good marks for that, too.

It's not exaggerated, and I wouldn't say it's understated either, though people aren't very capable of putting something so huge into perspective.

I do think people haven't sufficiently learned from history, though. WW2 & the Holocaust are incredibly strong images in people's minds, as they should be-- but people fail to recognise the same brand of bigotry and stereotyping when it appears, for example, with Muslims or Gypsies as the target.

People need to recognise how easily the media can prejudice somebody. It's done daily, and it's done casually. People look back at old cartoon depictions of Jews in Der Sturmer (for instance, in school), and think, "how could they have been so hateful and misguided?"

...but the same kind of disgusting, bigoted depictions appear in the Daily Express today (English tabloid), and because the targets are different, people don't bat an eyelid. That's why I tend to believe people haven't learned from history.

I'd second that. People as a rule refuse to recognise their own prejudices, no matter how good they become at seeing them in others.

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This reminds me of the few discussions we had concerning Muslim immigration to Europe. Some people were shocked when I said that I don't condemn groups or governments that want to deny immigration based on racial differences. Integration and more exposure to these cultures will obliterate the culture shock and hatred in many people's hearts, but you can't make it disappear or force it down people's throats. It's the same reason there are still people in the USA that think all Catholics are the pawns of the devil pope who will bring forth a new era and the ottoman empire or something like that. These guys will still remain, and it's good to hear them from time to time to remind us we can be the same too. It was commonplace only a few decades ago to have animosity against Catholics in much of the American protestant public.
I also criticized those who immigrate to Europe to try and install sharia law there. I don't oppose religious law. I live in a country that respects religious law, and allows sharia courts to run. What I do find awful is that countries which in its core separate church and state completely could not accept religious courts, no matter if they are jewish or muslim or sikh, and people then criticize them because of that. That, and some guys that want shariah law across all of the nation like in Saudi Arabia scare the shit out of me.
So yeah, people have called me a racist, a bigot, islamophob, you name it. I see the hatred against these people and I acknowledge that had they been Jews it would have been an entirely different story.

manic_depressive13:
I don't get it. Are you denying that 51 is more than 50?

Your point went down in flames after it turned out you wrongly believe a highly controversial political radical who pretends to be a historian, so you start hairsplitting with one of the people who pointed that earlier thing out?

For instance if you'd looked the guy up, you'd have seen he was born Jewish, but has never done anything with it, and he became a marxist, who worked together on his little questionable committee with a prominent racist (black supremacist) who was a member of the Black Panthers. Sounds mostly like a case of self-hate if someone abandons their surroundings, tosses all rationality and attacks those former surrounding.

When something comes from that corner it's highly suspect. "Books translated in eleven languages" in that case means something more like "We have a bunch of scumbag squatters who happened to speak a few language, they translated it and then sold four copies of it globally". Safest position is to just disregard anything from the extreme-left propaganda sphere as being untrue, not in the last place because among marxists and socialists (actual socialists) there's a whole lot of anti-semitism going on. For instance the International Socialists were involved in the pro-Hamas demonstrations of 2009, where you could hear slogans like "Hamas! Hamas! Jews must be gassed!". It was quite a scandal that conservative left PM Harry van Bommel of the Socialist Party gave an interview, nodding aprovingly to the reporter as that racist slogan was shouted behind him. Van Bommel hasn't ever distanced himself from those views, or Hamas.

In short: What comes from that corner is just trash, best ignored.

in one way i can understand the deniers. its horrific to think that human being are capable of systematically sitting down, planing and exterminating millions of people but as horrific as it is, as hard as it is to wrap your mind around they did it and the scariest part of all. they werent demon possessed, they werent psychopaths, they were your average person on the street, your engineers, buisness men, police officers, etc.

people like that have serious issues. the holocaust is extremely well researched and documented, there can really be no sane doubt about it.

wombat_of_war:
in one way i can understand the deniers. its horrific to think that human being are capable of systematically sitting down, planing and exterminating millions of people but as horrific as it is, as hard as it is to wrap your mind around they did it and the scariest part of all. they werent demon possessed, they werent psychopaths, they were your average person on the street, your engineers, buisness men, police officers, etc.

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I think you should read (if you haven't already) this book, called 'The wave'.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wave_(novel)
This is a novelization of a social experiment done in the USA, called 'The third wave'. A teacher tried to show his students how the Nazis were able to do what they did -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Third_Wave

I watched the documentary as well. Scary stuff.

Here's a nugget from (brace yourselves) Hitchens more-or-less on the subject:

(3:55 to 5:35 or thereabouts)

I'm not sure exactly if I agree regarding the Holocaust, but what I do agree with is the idea that we should be free to ask awkward questions like "did it really happen?" and "how can we be sure?" and "are the numbers accurate?" That isn't, in itself, Holocaust Denial or Antisemitism. In fact, why should people be upset by those questions if they're sure that the answer is correct? Why try to guilt people into accepting their story at face value by silencing all criticism and questioning?

In academic History one of the thing that stuck with me from school is the idea of being skeptical, gathering historical evidence, and using this to weigh up the differing accounts of what actually happened (and there are always differing accounts). In most fields this is OK and in fact quite proper and admirable. But in certain topics, which "we" as a society seems to have decided to preserve in an unchanging state as a testament to our own sins (like slavery, and the Holocaust) suddenly any kind of divergence of opinion is discouraged - in fact illegal in many countries.

Batou667:
Here's a nugget from (brace yourselves) Hitchens more-or-less on the subject:

(3:55 to 5:35 or thereabouts)

I'm not sure exactly if I agree regarding the Holocaust, but what I do agree with is the idea that we should be free to ask awkward questions like "did it really happen?" and "how can we be sure?" and "are the numbers accurate?" That isn't, in itself, Holocaust Denial or Antisemitism. In fact, why should people be upset by those questions if they're sure that the answer is correct? Why try to guilt people into accepting their story at face value by silencing all criticism and questioning?

In academic History one of the thing that stuck with me from school is the idea of being skeptical, gathering historical evidence, and using this to weigh up the differing accounts of what actually happened (and there are always differing accounts). In most fields this is OK and in fact quite proper and admirable. But in certain topics, which "we" as a society seems to have decided to preserve in an unchanging state as a testament to our own sins (like slavery, and the Holocaust) suddenly any kind of divergence of opinion is discouraged - in fact illegal in many countries.

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David Irving was also bankrupt because of a libel lawsuit against him. So there are other ways you could get 'punished' for your opinions, not just laws against hate-speech.
I think I can agree with the speech. You should teach the subject, and not preach it.

Batou667:
I'm not sure exactly if I agree regarding the Holocaust, but what I do agree with is the idea that we should be free to ask awkward questions like "did it really happen?" and "how can we be sure?" and "are the numbers accurate?" That isn't, in itself, Holocaust Denial or Antisemitism.

Because if it's an event that colossal, and someone questions if it happens, that question doesn't come from a motivation to want to know facts, it comes from wanting to deny facts from a political motive.

It's like asking "Did the United States form itself, or have we been played as fools by years with news and representatives from a fake country that doesn't exist?".

Could anyone claim the above question is a valid question discussing American history?


I'm not aware of any valid historian writing ever, being criticised for holocaust denial. The line between holocaust denial's ridiculous sweeping statements, and historical research is ussually very clear, because said research shows itself quite clearly.

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