Why should anyone be concerned by the existence of Holocaust denialism? We ask this question in our book DEBUNKING HOLOCAUST DENIAL THEORIES: Two Non-Jews Affirm the Historicity of the Nazi Genocide. The answer to the question is really very simple…
Any denial or distortion of a historically proven event is an attack on the truth. In the case of the Holocaust, persecution of Jews by the Nazis ended in genocide. However, the Jewish community weren’t the only ones who suffered. Millions of other ‘undesirables’ died at the hands of the Nazis – a graphic reminder that when one race or group of people is targeted, everyone is vulnerable. To deny or undermine the historicity of the Holocaust at a time when anti-Semitism is once again on the rise worldwide, is to fan the flames of racism and hate; to tolerate it is to invite a repeat of history…
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.
Deniers will pretend they are impartial and say they simply wish to report anomalies they’ve discovered in historical records, but deep down there abides a hatred of Jews. In some, or even many, cases their hatred may only be subconscious, as in partially hidden even from themselves, or it may be purely unconscious, as in automatic or reflexive, without them understanding why they are anti-Semitic. Either way, it amounts to hatred.
All too often, anti-Semitism is like a subtle form of brainwashing that is either conspiracy-based or religious-based. With the former, classic examples include the conspiracy theory which would have us believe the banking elite are all Jewish, or the age-old myth that the Jews control the entire world; with the latter, certain fundamentalists – most notably in extremist forms of Christianity or Islam – believe the Jews are an inferior people or practice an inferior religion.
“Thus, a story concocted by Mark strictly for evangelistic purposes to shift the blame for Jesus’s death away from Rome is stretched with the passage of time to the point of absurdity, becoming in the process the basis for two thousand years of Christian anti-Semitism.” –Reza Aslan, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
An article on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) website does an excellent job of summarizing the various ways people end up becoming deniers. Titled Origins of Holocaust Denial, the article states that many “deny the Holocaust for more overtly racist, political, or strategic reasons.”
The USHMM article continues, “These deniers begin with the premise that the Holocaust did not happen. This premise suits their broader purposes. They deny the Holocaust as an article of faith and no amount of rational argumentation can dissuade them. This denial is irrational, largely unrelated either to the facts of the history or to the enormity of the event. Some people deny the Holocaust because of innate antisemitism, irrational hated of Jews.
“In fact, Holocaust denial has been called by some scholars the “new antisemitism” for it recycles many of the elements of pre-1945 antisemitism in a post-World War II context. Holocaust deniers argue that reports of the Holocaust are really part of a vast shadowy plot to make the white, western world feel guilty and to advance the interest of Jews.
“Holocaust denial, then, unites a broad range of radical right-wing hate groups in the United States and elsewhere, ranging from Ku Klux Klan segregationists to skinheads seeking to revive Nazism to radical Muslim activists seeking to destroy Israel”.
The USHMM article concludes, “Holocaust deniers want to debate the very existence of the Holocaust as a historical event. They want above all to be seen as legitimate scholars arguing a historical point. They crave attention, a public platform to air what they refer to as ‘the other side of the issue’. Because legitimate scholars do not doubt that the Holocaust happened, such assertions play no role in historical debates. Although deniers insist that the idea of the Holocaust as myth is a reasonable topic of debate, it is clear, in light of the overwhelming weight of evidence that the Holocaust happened, that the debate the deniers proffer is more about antisemitism and hate politics than it is about history.”
Incidentally, the USHMM makes a perceptive point about Holocaust deniers. It reminds us the very views they perpetuate, accusing Jews of conspiracy and world domination, are the same “hateful charges that were instrumental in laying the groundwork for the Holocaust” in the first place.
You have been reading an excerpt from Debunking Holocaust Denial Theories – by James & Lance Morcan. The book is exclusive to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/DEBUNKING-HOLOCAUST-DENIAL-THEORIES-Historicity-ebook/dp/B01EYY7T7Y/