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Denying the Jewish Holocaust

When someone denies the essential historical facts about the Jewish Holocaust, here at Samizdata what that means is you get moved into the category of presumed paleo-fascists or racist Jew-haters with whom intelligent discourse is highly unlikely to be possible.

Even so, when such remarks arrive in our comment section, that alone is (usually) not enough to get you immediately banned from commenting here. Opinions offered by members of the commentariat which are very much at odds with the world view propounded here by Sazmizdata’s authors are hardly rare and even more rarely constitute a ‘hanging offence’ (i.e. banning). No, what tends to get people banned is when they make (and keep making) assertions so preposterous that they are almost certainly not made in good faith.

For an example, take when someone makes obviously fantastical assertions to explain why Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ‘has a case’ when he denies lavishly documented historical facts of what occurred more than half a century ago in Central Europe, claiming he is not simply a racist Jew-hater (i.e. hates Jews for being Jews) but is rather just ‘anti-Zionist’ (i.e. opposes a political movement):

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has a case for querying the Holocaust. His argument is that Nazi Germany simply didn’t have the facility and technology to dispose of some six million corpses (or whatever it was) within the assumed time frame. Therefore, the authorized version, while not entirely a fiction, was a huge exaggeration.

So let me get this straight, the claim here is that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ‘has a case’, i.e. he is not a liar and/or a complete jackass if he thinks that Nazi Germany, a nation which produced and operated tens of thousands of combat aircraft, fielded the world’s first operational jet fighters, built and deployed the world’s first effective guided missiles, glide bombs, and military supersonic ballistic missiles, installed tens of thousands of concrete fortifications and shelters, placed hundreds of thousands of concrete and metal anti-tank obstacles across Europe, surrounded its cities with great flak batteries, laid thousands of kilometres of railtracks (re-gauging much of European Russia’s rail system!), had the logistic capacity to support millions of men equipt with vast fleets of motor vehicles in operational areas from North Africa to Norway and the French coast to the Urals, DID NOT HAVE THE FACILITIES OR TECHNOLOGY TO DISPOSE OF SIX MILLION DEAD BODIES OVER SEVERAL YEARS?

The notion is so absurd that I do not for a second think it could be said in good faith. That is what often gets a person banned from Samizdata.

51 comments to Denying the Jewish Holocaust

  • lemmy

    And a good thing too, banning that is. There are far too many of these revolting creatures about these days.

  • It wasn’t 6 million … it was closer to 11 million. we shouldn’t forget that as well as the 6 million Jews (that Ahmadinejad denies) there where also the Roma, Poles, Slavs, Communists, trade unionists, and gays that the Nazis murdered in the concentration camps and gas chambers.

  • Ryan

    It’ll be a good day when the Iranian government is no more. I would not worry about Iran’s capabilities, however. They have to import refined fuel into thier oil rich country. The Iranian government is just a footnote in history.

  • Rich

    Forget about the Nazis. The people who built Stonehenge had the technology to dispose of 6 Million bodies. FIRE!

  • guy herbert

    It’s a really weird argument. It looks a lot weirder in the light of Ruanda, where the murder of hundreds of thousands of people was improvised in a few weeks with no serious attempt to hide it or pretend it wasn’t happening.

    Why is it people who plainly can’t themselves count rely on unsubstantiated claims of numerical implausibility? Perhaps it doesn’t occur to them that the point is susceptible to analysis. (See also under Creationists)

    Holocaust deniers rarely seem to have the same difficulty with believing that a million plus German prisoners of war died in Soviet captivity and two or three million German civilians starved from 1944-48.

  • Paul Marks

    The reasons that people will exclude others from their house (and a blog is as much property as a house is) differ.

    However, if I had a guest in my home who claimed that the National Socialists had not murdered millions of Jews (or said, in this cowardly way, that there was a “case” that they had not) that person would not be welcome back.

    Of course this does not mean that they should be forbidden to say such things in their own house or on their own blog.

    The same holds true for meeting halls, newspapers and broadcasting stations – it is up to the owner.

    Although I doubt that I would buy a newspaper or watch a television station that made a habit of supporting such claims.

  • Just Another Former Tory

    Holocaust deniers rarely seem to have the same difficulty with believing that a million plus German prisoners of war died in Soviet captivity and two or three million German civilians starved from 1944-48

    That’s because, like the article says, the views aren’t held in good faith. These people need to hate the Jews but they don’t want to be dismissed out of hand and so they couch their views in ways that suggest there’s more to them than simple bigotry. However I’ve got to say that’s a particularly dumb basis for making “a case” for denying the Holocaust.

  • DaiVersion

    Let’s not be unclear here. What he means is that *he* has done the calculations and with the technology he has available, he would find it hard to dispose of 6 million bodies.

  • Annette Hansen

    “His argument is that Nazi Germany simply didn’t have the facility and technology to dispose of some six million corpses”

    DaiVersion, i don’t see how any of that is really open to alternative interpretations. It’s a claim that Ahmadinejad said Nazi German couldn’t have disposed of so many bodies. And he then goes on to say that gives Ahmadinejad with “a case”. There isn’t much room for misunderstandings.

  • Sigivald

    I suppose someone could in “good” faith hold such views… if they were completely ignorant of Germany in WW2 and hadn’t given any thought to the issue of how difficult it might actually be to kill around 10 million people.

    And I’ve been amazed by how completely ignorant people can be about things they’re perfectly willing to assert.

    (I mean, hell, it’s not like they were all killed in death camps and burnt in ovens. Plenty just got shot and dumped in mass graves on the Eastern Front, or were starved out in the Polish Ghettoes. Starving people to death or shooting them with a machinegun and bulldozing earth over them… these aren’t difficult to manage.

    Even Iran could probably rise to that level of sterling sophistication.)

  • guy herbert

    These people need to hate the Jews

    I suspect there’s even more to it than that. They need to fear Jews in order to hate them. That milions of people more or less meekly submitted to extremities of abuse culminating in extermination, rather undermines the conception of Jews, as forming an uniquely wicked, cunning, powerful, organised etc, collective enemy. The fact of the holocaust, if admitted, undermines all the presumptions that lead to it.

    One sees precisely the same sort of counterfactual constructions in conspiracy theories of all kinds. The US government is infinitely powerful and wicked therefore it must have stage-managed 9/11; Muslims are a threat to us, therefore all those who profess to be peaceful are lying; usw…

  • Alex

    What made the holocaust really stand out against say the Rowanda genocide was the fact that the Nazis industrialized the process- literally factories of death.

  • D. M. Depew

    Personally, I don’t think you should have banned the guy, and not just because of the libertarian principle of tolerating the disgusting side of free speech, but because it doesn’t help *that guy.* (Sorry I forgot his name). Think about it. That’s a guy who needs help, clearly has a problem, reached out to someone to letting them know he had a problem, and even stated that he thought he would be rejected for his cry for help (specifically that Samizdata would ban him) – which is one of the only rational things he actually wrote.

    In his mind you’ve entirely proven his point. *That guy’s* (again sorry) like a person with severe depression that makes self-destructive attempts at finding hope – which, of course, only reinforces his sense of hopelessness, or in *that guy’s* case, of telepathic Jews secretly running the world.

    I think you could have easily out-reasoned him with facts about why it was possible with just a little research, which would’ve forced him to either face his paranoia / bigotry or flee the site for fear of facing his true problems.

    Note, I don’t think it’s the Samizdata’s job to act as *that guy’s* shrink. But I do think it important for Libertarians (note capital L) not to have immediate emotional reactions to a problem – or, in this case, an offensive point of view. If we are ever going to make headway against the slow, megalithic, insidious progress of big government (etc., TM), then we have to be a cut above.

  • The statement Perry quite rightly rails against could be uttered in “good faith”, if the person speaking hasn’t thought terribly deeply about what it is they’re discussing. Being a shallow thinker should not be a hanging offence. However a failure to repent, especially in the face of the undeniable logic presented above, indicates a propensity towards an ideology that jars with the typical content of Samizdata. People who repeatedly espouse this propensity should be excluded.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    The person who wrote the original comment is called Andrew Milner. A person of that name denounced an article of mine several weeks earlier for the sin of praising the cheeky TV personality and motoring writer Jeremy Clarkson for his nationalistic views. Weird. One minute Milner is coming across like some sort of guilt-ridden liberal, the next minute he is casting doubts on the Holocaust.

    The person sounds like a nasty piece of work to me, or maybe, like one or two of the commenters kicked off this site, needs professional help. It does make me wonder where these Holocaust revisionists get their motivation from, though.

  • Dunno about this particular person, but quite a lot of holocaust deniers oscillate on a half hour cycle between “The Nazis did not kill the Jews” and “The Nazis did kill the Jews and that’s a good thing.” Or they hold both beliefs simultaneously. To such of these the concept of “believing in good faith” becomes meaningless.

  • Personally, I don’t think you should have banned the guy, and not just because of the libertarian principle of tolerating the disgusting side of free speech

    I do tolerate the ‘disgusting side of free speech’ which is why I tried (but obviously failed) to make the point in my article that I (usually) ban people for making remarks that I cannot believe they are being made in good faith rather than because said views are ‘disgusting’ per se.

    And ‘tolerance’ means I make no calls for expounding such views to be prohibited by force (i.e.law). I regard the David Irving case as a monstrous bridgement of free speech and think he should be free to make an ass of himself without being imprisoned by any state (however I am not offering to give him space on this blog to express himself… this blog is private property after all and remarks here are at the owner’s sufference).

  • RAB

    My Father in law was in 2 para during the second world war, and was among the first British troops into Belsen.
    Not an extermination camp like Aushwitz at the end of a railway line in Poland, but a “Work” camp, in a german Suburb.
    They were marching along these suburban streets with the population comeing out for a peek and then dodging back into their houses again, towards this awful smell.
    “What’s that smell sarge?” asked one.
    “How long you been fighting now lad? since D Day. Well you must recognise that by now…. It’s the smell of death”.
    My father in law had indeed seen a lot of action and death, but NOTHING had prepared him for what he saw when he walked in through the gates of Belsen.
    He told me that four fat guards came round a corner with their hands up and were dead in an instant of “accidental discharge of weapon situation”
    Perhaps mr Milners “discharge” was also “Accidental” but like my father in laws , I doubt it.
    Mr Milner , meet my father in law… Try saying that nonsense to his face.

  • veryretired

    Thanks, Perry.

    Some things need to be stated, and restated, often, and in an unequivocal form, to remind all of us that evil does exist, and that the people who practice it have no limits on their depravity except those imposed by ordinary men and women who will not submit to them.

  • permanent expat

    Stalin is reputed to have said the ‘the death of one man is a tragedy; the death of millions a statistic.’…..& I think that this truism has much to do with the mindset of Holocaust deniers. In much the same way, the concept of Light-years defies the unscientific mind by its inconceivable enormity. Creationism exists because of the ‘unacceptable’ implications of the Big Bang & the evolution which followed. For deniers, the numbers are so horrific that a mental block ensues; thus it just simply couldn’t have happened.
    Someone mentioned recently that not all pious Muslims are Jihadists. At the risk of causing some totally unwarranted anger I would suggest that not all Holocaust deniers are racists/Jew haters. It’s just too big for their minds to accept.
    Lest you may think that I have any sympathy for denial, I do not. Man’s inhumanity to man has known & will know know boundaries. That is who we are & it’s high time we learned how to count.

  • Shtetl G

    Popular wisdom states the main lesson we are supposed to learn from the Holocaust is Never Again. This sounds great but Never Again seems to happen all the time. The main lesson I have picked up the about Holocaust is I’m not going out like a biznitch. I have Ruger GP100 .357 magnum ready for any Neo-Nazi or Islamic fascist retard who steps into my humble abode with ill intetions.

  • Errol

    surrounded its cities with great flak batteries with proximity fusing technology

    I agree whole-heartedly with the arguments in this post. But a nit-pick: German proximity fuses? – I don’t think so, the deployment of these was a allied advantage.

  • Nick M

    Funny this comes up now. I spoke earlier this evening about Margaret Attwood’s Handmaid’s Tale with my girlfriend. She explained the plot to me – I was only vaguely aware of it. If you haven’t read it, it’s basically about a theocratric US and sounds like the kinda thing on the Taleban’s initial reading list. She mentioned the fact that the oppressed women in the book were made to participate in executions and did so willingly. She thought that unrealistic.

    It isn’t. I have read enough of the history of the C20 that I know the capacity of totalitarianism to make almost everyone complicit in appalling crimes. At the end of Stalinist show trials, before the trip to the gulag or the bullet in the back of the head, the “defendants” would frequently thank the panel for the sentence. Even victims can be complicit.

    Holocaust denial is complicity after the fact. It is many other things ably expressed by other commentators here but it is also that.

    Well, I hadda get my pair of dinari in somewhere and a discussion of choice in coffee didn’t seem to warrant much comment from a confirmed tea drinker…

  • Nick M


    True, good spot. But… the flak batteries (with time delay fusing, at least for the heavy ones – 88mm and 105mm) were thick enough that certain allied aircrew possibly got to believe they were higher tech than they actually were…

    By the start of ’45 flak guns made up 1/3 of German armament production.

    Myth and superstition have major roles in warfare. A lot of RAF night bomber crews got into thinking that the bluish searchlights were radar guided. They weren’t, but due to an optical effect a white light shone directly at you becomes slightly bluer.

  • But a nit-pick: German proximity fuses? – I don’t think so

    True. My bad… duly changed.

    A lot of RAF night bomber crews got into thinking that the bluish searchlights were radar guided. They weren’t, but due to an optical effect a white light shone directly at you becomes slightly

    There were German flak (and light) radars, if memory serves, varients of the Wurzburg system

  • What the f**k has the Holocaust got to do with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

  • Anthony H

    The idea that the Nazi state did not have capacity to incinerate the corpses of 6 million victims is contrary to basic statistical analysis. That holocaust deniers are ignorant is a truism, but by giving a few figures any excuse for ignorance is removed.

    I apologise in advance for my reduction of human lives into mere counts of death.

    Of the seven major extermination camps in the Nazi controlled lands, the first opened in 1941. This number was increased to four in 1942. Mid-1942 to VE day is three years, 6 million killed (the rather low figure quoted) so let us consider that as two million per year. The Cremation Society of Great Britain states that there were 437,600 cremations in Great Britain in the year 2000.

    Cremetoria ovens in the UK are legally mandated to be capable of burning only one body at a time. Each set of ashes is individually checked after the burn for reasons I will not detail. Comparison to the treatment of the dead in the camps is unneccesary.

    A continual supply of the bodies of the murdered allowed 24 hour operation of the cremetoria in the death camps.

    The idea that the Nazi state could not manage to cremate the remains of 4.5 times the number of humans that Britain’s funeral industry does is clearly nonsensical.

  • Natalie wrote:

    .. but quite a lot of holocaust deniers oscillate on a half hour cycle between “The Nazis did not kill the Jews” and “The Nazis did kill the Jews and that’s a good thing.” Or they hold both beliefs simultaneously.

    Never ceases to amaze me how the holocaust deniers will resort to such wavering views and opinions in their desperation to either hate Jews, rehabilitate Adolf Hitler or indeed both.

    RAB refers to KZ Bergen-Belsen above, which is one of the examples used by the unlamented David Irving in his distortions – that since Belsen was not used as an extermination camp therefore no camp must have been used, while conveniently forgetting that the camp’s last commandant Josef Kramer did indeed turn the camp into a death camp towards the end. Likewise my father was in a Guards unit detailed to provide armoured cover at that unfortunate place. He said they knew they would find the camp, not just from the smell but because there were hundreds upon hundreds of emaciated dead bodies left lying in the roads – Josef Kramer believed that the best way to cure the dysentery and typhoid in Belsen was to send the thousands of inmates out on fastpace route marches and to kill those who fell over.

  • The commone error is misunderstanding the the Concentration Camps and the Death Camps,both equally appaling but the in latter the majority of the victims were murdered on arrival These hapless people were segregated as to age and sex and went straight to the gas chambers.The amount of organisation and transportation the Germans put into this vile enterprise was so great that it damaged the war effort.

  • veryretired

    It is a mistake to characterize the monstrosities we are discussing as something aimed only at Jews, although they were certainly the principle focus, or that they were a diversion from the war effort, as the poster above states. These enormous efforts to murder huge numbers of ordinary civilians were not only part of the total war philosophy, they were a primary foundation upon which the need for and justification of the war was based.

    It is common to confront such atrocious behaviour and, for one’s own psychological relief, respond that these acts were an aberration, that they were unusual, and not indicative of some common theme of human culture. Unfortunately, down through history, and especially in the 20th century, specific beliefs have supported such acts, and ideas based on these beliefs have repeatedly led to death for hundreds of thousands, and millions.

    The error that leads to such grotesque slaughter is age old, and as common as mud—it is the idea that true belief is a trump card over everything else, and that any behaviour can be excused and justified if committed in the name of “the true faith”.

    The genius of the proposition that individual rights are the basis and fountain for all else is not that it allows pornography, (a grotesque assertion I ran across on another site recently), or property, or free speech, or any of the other active expressions of human reason and industry.

    It is, very simply, that individual rights form a refuge from the recurrent inclination of fanatics and fervent disciples to demand unity of belief on pain of death. A philosophy of inalienable rights prohibits the enforcement of that urge, reserving as innate and inviolable the independence of the human mind to form its own opinions, ideas, values, and beliefs.

    We may, as a society, ban certain behaviours. We may, as owners of private property, ban certain demented opinions when we are providing the soapbox. We may even enact certain punishments when these rules are transgressed. All this is done based on the rights and powers of the individual citizen, delegated to the political entity which he participates in, chooses, and which is prohibited from arbitrary action against him by a strict framework demarcating what is allowed, and what is prohibited.

    Notice that all these rules in the individualistic society are aimed at action, not belief. The demand of the free society is that you refrain from harmful action. What you believe is your own business.

    Notice, then, how threatening such a formulation is to the “true believer”, the perfect Aryan, the devoted marxist, maoist, fascist, inquisitionist, islamist, insert your own -ist here. If people can believe whatever they want, how can he ever be safe? For the true believer, a doubt is a cancer, a death sentence. No one must ever be allowed to doubt the truth, even if it means their death.

    And so, in another guise, another form, we see an age old, never ending conflict. The war that, truly, never ends—the war between those who demand unity of belief, and those who demand moral action.

    For the former, the true faith excuses any act, no matter how murderous, how depraved, how cruel.

    For the latter, believe what you will, but keep your hands to yourself. Each person is an island of soveriegnty, discrete and untouchable.

    Down through the ages we have feared the evil spirits, and lived in dread of the terrors visited by war, famine, plague, and any number of natural disasters and catastrophes. And all the while, walking next to us, sitting next to us in church, working down the hall, eating quietly at the next table, was the fifth horseman—the true believer, for whom nothing was too much to ask, no act could not be justified, no amount of corpses on the altar of his god was ever enough.

    The Holocaust has very little to do with Jews, or Nazis, or which kind of camp did what. It is a reminder that such things happen on a regular basis, indeed, that they are almost routine in human history. And why.

    The rights of man are not some trivial, theoretical construct devised so that somebody can own a factory, or have a place at the lake, or run his own drugstore.

    The rights of the individual are a dam against the nightmare tides of human evil, the ideas that justify mass murder, the denial of life, and the glorification of blood and death.

    We must all be ready to act as Speakers for the Dead.

  • My granddad was never a man of lies; he survived 2 years in Sachenhausen and Auswich specifically for having strong “arian” traits. Many of his friends were not so lucky, and most of the arrivalers he never met. He could never finish a sentence without weeping when talking about these things … which was a truly rarity indeed. Deny the holocost? My granddad’s souls is pissing on you right now, you despickable slimeball.

  • Well said.
    There are far too many people rationalising anti-semitism, even the most sickening and vicious forms of it.

  • bob

    I don’t think he should be banned; he’d be better be put in the zoo – together with his ideological friend wo wrote this in the guardian:

    Corporal Gilad Shalit was perhaps fortunate that as he was dragged into the Gaza Strip by Palestinian gunmen on Sunday his colleagues were not around to carry out the “Hannibal Directive”, rumoured among Israeli forces to be an order to rain gunfire at an enemy abducting one of their own even if it costs the snatched soldier his life

  • The problem I see with the holocaust (and other history) is that historical events are not just left to historians but mixed up heavily with politics (and sometimes even elevated into a quasi-religion). That makes it quite difficult for non-specialists to write or say anything about it without dropping a clanger. Also I think it is a non sequitur to say somebody hates Jews just because this person read something on a revisionist website and repeated it (without being a specialist in those issues). Libertarians need not be so politically correct, even in this issue.

  • Michael Taylor

    Many thanks for your lucid, bracing and re-inspiring contribution.

  • Also I think it is a non sequitur to say somebody hates Jews just because this person read something on a revisionist website and repeated it (without being a specialist in those issues).

    The importance of specialists is vastly over rated. You do not need to be a specialist to see absurd fallacies when only a little thought is needed. Many of the revisionist contentions about the Jewish Holocaust are based on easily falsifiable theories and collapse when confronted with simple logical deductions and a few easy to acquire facts (this one is a case in point).

    Libertarians need not be so politically correct, even in this issue.

    It is not being ‘politically correct’ to call someone on a statement which is manifestly preposterous. Moreover ‘libertarianism’ has nothing to do with this. It is not a matter of ‘isms’ it is a matter of seeking truth in good faith. When a group of people start propounding theories in bad faith (based on concocted evidence or (as in this case) wilfully negligent acceptance of reasoning (i.e. the commenter’s acceptance that Iran’s president ‘has a case’ for minimising the scale of the Jewish holocaust when the theory being offered by Ahmadinejad can be seen as preposterous with even a cursory understanding of the nature of Nazi Germany as an advanced and logistically highly capable nation), the correct response is not indulgence but hostility to an attempted deception.

  • Perry de Havilland wrote:
    Many of the revisionist contentions about the Jewish Holocaust are based on easily falsifiable theories and collapse when confronted with simple logical deductions and a few easy to acquire facts (this one is a case in point).

    I don’t know, I am not so sure about this (and not that interested in the topic). My point is that it is much more difficult to discuss the Holocaust than other historical events or emotional issues like e.g. abortion or immigration. There is much more irrationality involved when it comes to the Holocaust.

  • I disagree. Abortion revolves on the issue “when does a person become a person” and people can in good faith strongly disagree with how you interpret the same facts because their meaning is far from clear.

    Likewise with immigration, the implications of agreed facts is something people can disagree on with good faith and it tends to be predicated on other quite subjective sets of values.

    The Jewish Holocaust is really much easier to discuss because unlike those two issues, the basic facts are NOT in question by any reasonable person. The issue is starkly simple.

  • “It is a mistake to characterize the monstrosities we are discussing as something aimed only at Jews, although they were certainly the principle focus, or that they were a diversion from the war effort, as the poster above states”

    Not a mistske,we are discussing the Holocaust per se,itself part of the general genocide in the east,some 20million,to create Lebensraum for the Aryan race.But the annihilation of Jews in Europe was detrimental to the German war effort.
    Whilst the former was based on cold blooded darwinistic ethnic cleansing,the murder of European Jews was nihilism on an appalling level.It deprived Germany and Europe of scientists,doctors,intellectuals and business people and was utterly detrimental to the societies of which the victims were members,whilst it was a hideous crime of enormous proportions it was also an act of self mutilation.

  • permanent expat

    The sheer horror of the wanton slaughter of millions by a rogue regime cannot be minimized. That regime is gone, for good, I hope…..but we are such that the terrors continue under other banners.
    In my view, a worse (if that is possible) anomaly continues in that the crimes of the Nazis are indelibally engraved on our collective conscience while those of Communism are not.
    In sheer numbers of murdered, in sheer amounts of protracted & gratuitous cruelty, Communism leaves National Socialism way behind.
    That record remains tacitly ignored & the perpetrators never brought to justice. It is incredible and disgusting to realize that, among people who raise hands in horror at the mention of Auschwitz there are those who can barely raise an eyebrow at Katyn (Where?), the planned famines or the Gulags of no return which outnumbered similar Nazi ‘establishments’ manyfold.
    A substantial number of these silent people are among your aquaintances, teach your children, hold positions in Academe, receive Birthday Hono(u)rs and sit in your Parliament.
    Think on that.

  • I tend not to ban anti-semites from my blog as they tend to doom themselves with their own words. And it does make me laugh when I get accused of being a Zionist agent.

  • I just went and read the waterhead’s comment.

    Years ago, in Usenet combat with lying shitbag commie weezils, me ol’ mate Martin McPhillips complained that he had never known of a satisfying way to deliver explosive laughter through the medium.

    The problem persists.

    In physical life, I would have been laughing like a maniac while dragging this punk out my door by his hair.

    Jeezis, already.

  • As someone who was subjected by my 7th grade social studies teacher to Army documentary films covering the death camps, I think one can easily say that Amenidijads major problem is in assuming that the Nazis actually disposed of the bodies. They mostly didn’t. The films I saw were rather grotesque in the bulldozer disposal of piles of bodies after the camps were liberated, and the already full trenches.

    While I find it sadly amusing that the feelings-based educators today consider it a crime for a student to form his fingers in the shape of a pistol, yet spare nothing at scaring the bejeezus out of kids with death camp documentaries, it is further unfortunate that the school systems don’t give equal coverage to soviet or maoist genocides, or for that matter, mention them much at all. Apparently some people’s genocides are more important than others.

    Ask if Amenidijad’s Iran educates the kids about the Armenian genocide by the Ottomans….

  • One of the problems connected with not accepting the obvious genocide of the Nazis is that such idiocy makes people think that the Armenian situation was just as clear cut and obvious a case of purposeful genocide. The evidence on that matter is not at all clear, nowhere near as clear as in the case of the Nazis. But even looking into the matter and trying to assess the cases on both sides leads to outright rejection and painting with the fatal brush of “denialism”.

    There is even a quote attributed to Hitler, alleging that he said something to the effect that “Who ever hears about the Armenian massacres?” when he was pushing to start the Final Solution. Well, there’s a lot of doubt that was ever said by Hitler. And in fact it wouldn’t have made much sense. Because in the Thirties almost everyone had heard of the Armenian deaths. They were the subject of an intense discussion almost from the beginning. Unfortunately, today the Turks’ rebuttals – some very convincing – of the Armenian allegations are shouted down without a hearing. One must follow the evidence, wherever it leads.

    This appears to be a good summary of the Turkish case.

  • We can’t seem to stop talking about the fact that during WWII the Nazi administration intentionally killed innocent, unarmed civilians for what it claimed was a greater good (I don’t buy the gas chamber stories, but nevertheless). At the same time, we have no interest whatever in discussing the fact that Democrats and Republicans intentionallly slaughtered the core civilian populations of all major cities in Germany and Japan, populations which were innocent and unarmed, for what Democrats and Republicans claimed was a greater good. I think there’s something here that we should try to get past. Things like being willing to hold Democrats and Republicans to the same high moral standards to which we hold Nazis. Not any time soon, eh?

  • Uain

    Umm Bradley-
    In WW2, there was not the seemingly endless resources, both technological and financial of today’s West. The Germans, when invading a country, shelled/ bombed towns and cities because thats how european wars were fought, with lots of civilian casualties.
    Thus, the same was done to Germany and Japan when the Allies achieved air superiority.

    Destroy the enemy’s ability to make war.

    Today’s precision weapons allow us to send Zarqawi to hell while his neighbors a few miles away go about their daily lives, unaware until news comes after the fact. We have again reclaimed the warfare in the Hindu Veddas, where warriors fight in one field whilst the farmer tills the next field, unimpeded.

  • The usual. They did it, so we are morally justified in doing it. What’s “it?” The intentional slaughter of innocent, unarmed civilians fior a “greater good.” Nazis did not have good reasons to kill the innocent, while Democrats and Republicans did. And do. It’s not the Nazis who have killed and wounded and maimed tens of thousands innocent, unarmed cilvilians in Iraq. It’s Republicans, Democrats, and those other folk who are “terrorists.”

    Let’s keep in mind where we started here. German National Socialists were uniquely monstrous for killing the innocent for a greater good, while Democrats and Republicans are congratulated for doing it. “The greatest generation.” Time to grow up.

  • veryretired, excellent but I think you missed something important in your analysis: the state vs. the person. (I refuse to call a person an individual–that is very inanimate, dehumanizing, and commie. Might as well call them a unit.)

    It’s important to highlight that the Nazis murdered civilians; there is an attitude afoot (among nondeniers) that *I* would have resisted, why did the Germans allow it to happen? Some with prejudices against the Germans use that to reinforce their prejudices. (Exhibit A: my parents.)

    COERCION! It’s not the unity of belief, just obedience to it. The state places itself over the person.

    However, the person pre-exists the state (both historically and phenomenologically in each person’s life); the state exists in the service of the person, persons in their natural social organizatin (family) and all persons taken as a whole. The state must be kept on a short leash.

    That’s why the ability to resist tyranny has to be built into the state’s operational documents (consitution). To pin down where a person stands on this ability to resist tyranny, start discussing the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. (The right to bear arms – private gun ownership.)

    IIRC the Nazis registered then confiscated the guns of citizens. I don’t even own a gun, but if I thought resistance to tyranny were becoming necessary, I’d get one fast. It would enhance my ability to resist obedience and coercion to an evil regime.

    Also, by the way, the radical dignity of the human person is a *Christian* idea. Even the concept of inalienable rights as quoted in the American Declaration of Independence is a Christian idea; yes, from Locke, but Locke got it from a Spanish Fransiscan Inquisition priest-scholar! (Of course, the English speaking Protestant West can hardly believe such a thing to be true, but who ‘won’ and who wrote the history? The Black Legend!) Locke makes the citation in his dissertation.

    In our post-Christian, secular age, we refuse to allow transcendent moral ideas in the public square, or to even hold up virtues. A good democracy really needs its citizens to pursue virtue and have a moral sense. Otherwise, we become ruled by force with only the rights our government gives us.

    Just like the Nazis.

  • tony mills

    I think it is ok for someone to deny the holocaust, due to the fact that there is so much fiction about relating to it; we live in a democracy that allows people to express their views, even though those views might offend they stimulate debate.
    My grandmother was tortured by the Nazis for standing up for her Jewish Hungarian friends in Bavaria. I get tired of people getting over emotional about the Nazis and what they did or did not do. My mother lived through the Nazi era and told me that if you did not agree with the way the Nazis were dealing with matters, you were either shot or taken to a concentration camp to be tortured. The Germans had no idea what was being done in the camps, as the final solution was kept secret; camp regulations meant that if you told others about what you were doing in the camps you would be shot.

  • I think it is ok for someone to deny the holocaust, due to the fact that there is so much fiction about relating to it;

    No it is not “ok”, it just should not be “illegal”. Just because something is legal that does not mean it is reasonable.

    we live in a democracy that allows people to express their views

    Austria is also a democracy and it is quite illegal there. Being in a democracy does not make you free, it must gives other people the ability to vote on how they want you to be repressed.