Straight Dope Message Board

Straight Dope Message Board (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/index.php)
-   Great Debates (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?f=7)
-   -   Holocaust Denial? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=885691)

Jim B. 11-21-2019 02:43 AM

Holocaust Denial?
 
I put it in Great Debates, because I assume it will spark one.

But why do white supremacists almost always deny the Holocaust? I don't need a cite. And I say "almost always". But in reality, I never saw one who didn't.

Why do they do it? It seems to be pretty universal for them, as I said. What is their point? And purpose, for that matter?

:):):):)

Velocity 11-21-2019 02:52 AM

Well, there is considerable overlap between anti-Semitism and white supremacism (why, I don't know - most Jews are white), so, something such as the Holocaust that boosts the cause of the Jews (in the PR sense) is obviously something white supremacists will object to.

Sage Rat 11-21-2019 03:15 AM

It wasn't just Germany who hated and feared Jewish people, prior to WWII. A fairly large number of American Jews originally came from Russia - not Germany - fleeing pogroms there. Even here in the US, you see Hollywood forming largely as a predominately Jewish place as a way to escape persecution on the Eastern seaboard. And, of course, there was Henry Ford.

All of that hatred went back nearly two thousand years, in a fairly non-stop stream.

It is probably fair to say that the Holocaust is what broke Western culture out of all of that. Today, being friendly with Jewish people and pro-Israel is, realistically, an amazing turnaround from where society was before the war. And that's largely in part to the sheer mass of the evil that was perpetuated.

If you can prove that the Holocaust wasn't real, and that the Jewish community faked it, that goes way beyond dirty tricks. It would be downright evil - which is, of course, what a white supremacist would expect from "the Jews".

Broomstick 11-21-2019 03:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21985444)
Well, there is considerable overlap between anti-Semitism and white supremacism (why, I don't know - most Jews are white), so, something such as the Holocaust that boosts the cause of the Jews (in the PR sense) is obviously something white supremacists will object to.

I just want to point out that a non-trivial number of white supremacists/neo-Nazis/Holocaust deniers do not, in fact, consider Jews to be "white people" even if a large number of them have pale skin. I'm not sure how they arrive at that notion.

Tim@T-Bonham.net 11-21-2019 06:30 AM

It's not limited to white supremacists. Here in Minneapolis, my Congressperson is a non-white, non-Christian woman, and she is a holocaust denier. Of the Armenian holocaust, at least, based on her recent vote on that.

MrDibble 11-21-2019 07:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim B. (Post 21985438)
Why do they do it? It seems to be pretty universal for them, as I said. What is their point? And purpose, for that matter?

Because it really hurts the people who were affected. They're bullies, and they want to make their victims feel bad. There's no more intellectual justification than that needed, Bubbe's tears are the point for most of it.

Jackmannii 11-21-2019 08:46 AM

Holocaust denial = anti-Semitism.

White supremacists also characteristically deny that conditions were bad under slavery.

It's the nature of the beast.

bump 11-21-2019 09:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jackmannii (Post 21985645)
Holocaust denial = anti-Semitism.

White supremacists also characteristically deny that conditions were bad under slavery.

It's the nature of the beast.

Exactly. If you're a white supremacist, then it's hard to swallow that one of the most monumental episode of mass-murder and genocide in history was perpetrated by someone who in effect, was THE supreme white supremacist.

So you deny that it actually happened, and say it's all a conspiracy, because you know, you can't have your idol actually being a mass-murderer and genocidal lunatic, and you're personally not quite evil enough to think that the Holocaust was actually a good thing either.

eschrodinger 11-21-2019 09:37 AM

A typical white supremacist belief is that Jews secretly run everything and have enormous power. The Holocaust certainly undermines that narrative, whereas Jews falsely concocting the Holocaust to manipulate people reinforces that narrative. Gross, but not too mysterious why they would believe it.

ASL v2.0 11-21-2019 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eschrodinger (Post 21985714)
A typical white supremacist belief is that Jews secretly run everything and have enormous power. The Holocaust certainly undermines that narrative, whereas Jews falsely concocting the Holocaust to manipulate people reinforces that narrative. Gross, but not too mysterious why they would believe it.

Thatís almost exactly what I was going to say. Itís not that they necessarily see the Holocaust as so heinous and beyond the pale and committed by "one of their *own" that they want to deny it, but that anything that paints white racists as being on top and Jews being the victims of systemic persecution by powerful governments completely undermines their hypothesis that the Jews run everything.

So, to have their fantasy of the Jews running everything, they have to put off (at least outwardly) belief in their other fantasy re: Jews, which is mass murder and persecution.

And yes, yes. I am aware there are white supremacists who insist they donít want to murder anyone, they just want to preserve the races as separate for... important historical and cultural reasons that are "totally not racist." But if murder should happen to be the unfortunate consequence of this sorting process, given our current mixed state, well... they just want to make sure whites aren't murdered. Just looking after their own, you know? "Totally not racist."

* And of course, some may disavow Hitler because he was an obvious loser who failed utterly to achieve his goals, and they canít deify someone like that, even if thatís basically the textbook white supremacist: a loser who will either mercifully (for the rest of us) fail or succeed just long enough to bring ruin to his or her country.

kayaker 11-21-2019 10:53 AM

White supremacists are, by and large, not good people, despite what the president may have said.

Annie-Xmas 11-21-2019 11:28 AM

Yes, the thought that a straight, white, rich, Christian man might bring evil to the world is unthinkable for the white supremacists. And Trump did not call them "good," his very words were "very fine people."

Ponderoid 11-21-2019 11:43 AM

I'm sure one thing that goes into their moral calculus is that by having this big black mark against them in the historical record, they're less able to sway more people to their cause.

Horatius 11-21-2019 12:50 PM

It's marketing. Absent the Holocaust, WWII is just another European War. The Nazis lost, but, hey, the Kaiser lost WWI, and no one today holds him up as the epitome of evil, right?

They're trying to reform the image of the Nazis, so they need to get rid of the one thing that everyone agrees put the Nazis beyond the pale.

So they can do it again.

DPRK 11-21-2019 01:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bump (Post 21985696)
Exactly. If you're a white supremacist, then it's hard to swallow that one of the most monumental episode of mass-murder and genocide in history was perpetrated by someone who in effect, was THE supreme white supremacist.

So you deny that it actually happened, and say it's all a conspiracy, because you know, you can't have your idol actually being a mass-murderer and genocidal lunatic, and you're personally not quite evil enough to think that the Holocaust was actually a good thing either.

One would think that real Nazis are all about genocide and ethnic cleansing. They do not view it as a bad thing. There was once an interview on TV with a nice young man from the American Nazi Party who, when asked, were they in power, what his party's policy would be towards American Jews, politely explained that they would be "encouraged to leave, one way or another." He did not for a second hesitate or seem uncomfortable with the idea.

nelliebly 11-21-2019 02:58 PM

It's a mistake to think of White Supremacy as only against people of color, though people of color have certainly suffered the worst of its violent contempt. White Supremacist groups like the KKK have always been against anybody who isn't white, Protestant, and native-born--though their hatred toward Catholics seems to have largely dissipated.

Jragon 11-21-2019 03:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Broomstick (Post 21985472)
I just want to point out that a non-trivial number of white supremacists/neo-Nazis/Holocaust deniers do not, in fact, consider Jews to be "white people" even if a large number of them have pale skin. I'm not sure how they arrive at that notion.

It's because whiteness is a constructed identity that essentially defines the "in-group" and "absence of race" and is only broadly correlates with skin color. Irish and Italian people were not considered "white" in America for a time, for instance, despite a lot of Irish people being pale as snow. Jews have sort of waxed and waned in "whiteness" over the years depending on the political climate. I'd say in the current climate Jews have become "less white" in that they're being separated out as more of a distinct ethnic group due to said White Supremacists having more of a platform, but maybe... 10 years ago were probably more on the "white" spectrum where most American Jewish people were treated more as a distinct white cultural group like the Dutch or French.

Jragon 11-21-2019 03:23 PM

Also note that White Supremacy and White Fascism is essentially a death cult that progressively more narrowly defines "white" based on the predominant prevailing identities of the people in charge as they get more power. So they may even allow some "useful" POC when they're low on power to be in their sphere, but once they get power those get purged (either from the party/positions of power or literally in the sense of genocide or exile), and then Italians get purged, and then Irish People, and then... say... the Spanish, then the French etc etc until suddenly only Baltic people or German people or English people or someone who can prove they've never had any non-what-is-now-defined-as-white ancestry going back 5 centuries or whatever are "white". There's always an increasing standard of "purity" among white supremacist communities. This usually ends up extending to other marginalized people too, such as the disabled, or gay people or trans people.

Nightfall1 11-21-2019 03:38 PM

I think white supremacists admire Hitler and want other people to admire him too but when Hitler is the cause of killing six million Jews just because they were Jews that's a tough sell. That's insane. If they can convince people that the Holocaust never happened then Hitler is just another leader that ended up on the wrong side of a war.

Jragon 11-21-2019 03:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nightfall1 (Post 21986582)
I think white supremacists admire Hitler and want other people to admire him too but when Hitler is the cause of killing six million Jews just because they were Jews that's a tough sell. That's insane. If they can convince people that the Holocaust never happened then Hitler is just another leader that ended up on the wrong side of a war.

I mean somewhat this, but it's more of a recruitment tool for white supremacy in general. The idea is to sell some knowledge or thing that makes people "more educated", but also makes white supremacy "less bad" or other things as "just a joke", as part of making them go to a deeper layer in the radicalization onion. After all, if the holocaust never happened then "gas the jews" is (or can be passed off as) just a joke about something people think happened but didn't. It helps people go deeper. When people are "nazi enough" whether the holocaust happened or not is really immaterial, and they honestly generally think it did. Even among most holocaust deniers you see in comments there's usually a very obvious thread of "the Holocaust didn't happen (but I wish it did)".

Not all Holocaust deniers outright deny it, though, either. A more common form of holocaust denial is what you may call "Holocaust minimization". That is "okay, sure, it happened, and that's awful and everything but the claims are grossly exaggerated it was maybe like a few hundred tops."

MortSahlFan 11-21-2019 03:59 PM

I wonder why the US Congress finally acknowledged the Armenian genocide. It took over 100 years!!!

thorny locust 11-21-2019 04:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DPRK (Post 21986229)
One would think that real Nazis are all about genocide and ethnic cleansing. They do not view it as a bad thing. There was once an interview on TV with a nice young man from the American Nazi Party who, when asked, were they in power, what his party's policy would be towards American Jews, politely explained that they would be "encouraged to leave, one way or another." He did not for a second hesitate or seem uncomfortable with the idea.

I expect he would have hesitated for considerably more than a second to say, at any rate on public TV, "We're going to murder right off all the children and old people except for a few to do medical experiments on, keep some of the prettier young women alive so we can rape them, and work/starve the ablebodied adults to death."

Whether that particular individual wanted to do so I don't know -- though I bet he could have been gotten there if his party got enough of a chance -- but saying so in public tends to put off the people he needs to at least keep pacified in order to give his party a chance.

And pointing out that there's plenty of historical evidence that that's where letting Nazis get power winds up also tends to put people off Nazis. So yes, they're going to deny that historical evidence.


-- Sage Rat's also right about the change the Holocaust caused in general Western culture in attitudes toward Jews.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Jragon (Post 21986550)
Also note that White Supremacy and White Fascism is essentially a death cult that progressively more narrowly defines "white" based on the predominant prevailing identities of the people in charge as they get more power. So they may even allow some "useful" POC when they're low on power to be in their sphere, but once they get power those get purged (either from the party/positions of power or literally in the sense of genocide or exile), and then Italians get purged, and then Irish People, and then... say... the Spanish, then the French etc etc until suddenly only Baltic people or German people or English people or someone who can prove they've never had any non-what-is-now-defined-as-white ancestry going back 5 centuries or whatever are "white". There's always an increasing standard of "purity" among white supremacist communities. This usually ends up extending to other marginalized people too, such as the disabled, or gay people or trans people.

Yup. The problem -- well, one of the problems, and one often not brought out enough -- with groups who take and/or keep power by working up hatred against an out-group is that, in order to continue keeping power, they always have to have an out-group to demonize. Whenever whichever outgroup they started with isn't getting them enough traction, they have to move on to defining and attacking another one.

"Everybody's wrong but me and thee and thee's a little queer --"

(yes, I know that's not quite the quote.)

ASL v2.0 11-21-2019 04:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jragon (Post 21986598)
Not all Holocaust deniers outright deny it, though, either. A more common form of holocaust denial is what you may call "Holocaust minimization". That is "okay, sure, it happened, and that's awful and everything but the claims are grossly exaggerated it was maybe like a few hundred tops."

Sure, like, "Yes, a great many political dissidents, including Jews, were rounded up by Germany during WWII, in the same sense that Americans rounded up and interred the Japanese. As it happens, things didnít go we for Germany, and so conditions in the Germany internment campus were that much worse than in America, and through starvation and disease many people died. Yes, a few people were deliberately executed, but only in as much as they endorsed treason against the state. So itís not that Iím saying millions of people didnít die during WWIIóindeed, many diedóonly that the situation in Germany wasnít all that different than in the US, it was just a matter of much worse conditions. Itís a real shame the Soviet Union was so awful, though. I mean, what with their gulags and their purges, they killed even more than Germany, right? Those damn communists..."

Of course itís a crock, but a committed white supremacist doesnít really care about whatís true.

MortSahlFan 11-21-2019 04:31 PM

My older relative had a teacher who got fired for saying, "Communists, homosexuals, gypsies were rounded up and killed. Most happened to be Jewish.".. I asked for more about the guy, but he couldn't remember.

The next time I do another newspaper.com free trial, I'd like to look at these questions raised, but comparing the years. What were they saying in 1948, 1958, etc.

RioRico 11-21-2019 04:39 PM

As mentioned, Anglo-American elites did not consider Irish and Italians as white. The press depicted Irish literally as apes - see ubiquitous 19th-century cartoons. White supremacists of Irish or Italian background are nuts.

I have no use for deniers of the Nazi holocaust. I only learned of my uncle's US Army unit's role in liberating death camps after he died, when we looked through his notes. He witnessed. Deniers are scum.

I'm puzzled by 2000 years of antisemitism based of biblical tales. Jewish Jesus was executed as a "bandit", a rebel leader, by Romans, not Jews. If Christians need to blame anyone, start with Italians.

Racial purity. That means inbreeding, right? Alsatian dogs suffer from hip displasia because of that. For the greatest purity, incest is indicated. Darwin, Poe, Einstein, Giuliani all married their cousins and are white, so there you have it.

Don't accommodate deniers or the next holocaust will be here.

Tamerlane 11-21-2019 04:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MortSahlFan (Post 21986634)
I wonder why the US Congress finally acknowledged the Armenian genocide. It took over 100 years!!!

Politics. Turkey was in NATO. The Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic was very much NOT. Real rapprochement did not begin until after 1991 when Armenia became independent and even then it was a far less important geopolitical entity to the U.S. than Turkey. Basically it took a good long while for relations with Turkey to sour to the point where political expediency was no longer the dominant issue.

Even at that it might not have happened if relations with Turkey had nose-dived so severely in the wake of the Syrian mess. Cynically, one might suggest the recognition was ultimately more political theater/punishment than a heartfelt belief finally acted on.

Tim@T-Bonham.net 11-21-2019 05:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MortSahlFan (Post 21986634)
I wonder why the US Congress finally acknowledged the Armenian genocide. It took over 100 years!!!

Congress did not. Only the House of Representatives did; the Senate has yet to act on the bill (And Moscow Mitch has indicated that he does not plan to bring it up for a vote.

Even the House took a long time; it was introduced 12 years ago, in 2007.

str8cashhomie 11-21-2019 07:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DPRK (Post 21986229)
One would think that real Nazis are all about genocide and ethnic cleansing. They do not view it as a bad thing. There was once an interview on TV with a nice young man from the American Nazi Party who, when asked, were they in power, what his party's policy would be towards American Jews, politely explained that they would be "encouraged to leave, one way or another." He did not for a second hesitate or seem uncomfortable with the idea.

That is what neonazis privately think, but holocaust denial/minimization is a tool they use when speaking publicly. When the general public hears someone ostensibly just talking about the evidence and not being overtly hateful, it plants the seed in people's minds that the actual hateful ideas behind it are reasonable to consider and debate. A small proportion of those people will actually buy into some of the arguments and become useful idiots to further spread the message.

Guinastasia 11-21-2019 07:41 PM

And there are still people who deny it out there, or at least, claim it wasn't an actual "genocide". :(

(I think it's illegal to refer to it in Turkey, isn't it?)

DrDeth 11-21-2019 11:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tim@T-Bonham.net (Post 21985527)
It's not limited to white supremacists. Here in Minneapolis, my Congressperson is a non-white, non-Christian woman, and she is a holocaust denier. Of the Armenian holocaust, at least, based on her recent vote on that.

Well, that one is much more debatable. I mean, there was a war and the Armenians did side with the enemy, and what happened is less well known, not to mention it is hard to tell if the Government actually organized a planned systemic genocide. The Ottoman Empire was falling apart and massively corrupt and incompetent, so perhaps the "planned" part is questionable, as it's reasonable to doubt they could plan a birthday party, let alone a genocide.

Most experts consider it so, but it's somewhat debatable whereas the Nazi genocide is not.

DrDeth 11-22-2019 12:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MortSahlFan (Post 21986730)
My older relative had a teacher who got fired for saying, "Communists, homosexuals, gypsies were rounded up and killed. Most happened to be Jewish.".. I asked for more about the guy, but he couldn't remember.
...

Well, that raises a point. If you say it wasnt six million Jews, it was more like three or four or five million- you could be called a denier.

I got called a denier by pointing out that yes, Communists, homosexuals, and gypsies were also killed off. So were "politicals", my Euro relatives were sent to Dachau where perhaps, they had it a tiny bit better than the Jews. But not much as when the Allies captured the camps, many Politicals were sent to Soviet Gulags.

So "denier" is waved around a bit too much.

Velocity 11-22-2019 12:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MortSahlFan (Post 21986730)
My older relative had a teacher who got fired for saying, "Communists, homosexuals, gypsies were rounded up and killed. Most happened to be Jewish.".. I asked for more about the guy, but he couldn't remember.

WTF. That's simply the truth. 6 million Holocaust victims were Jews, 6 million were other groups.

Horatio Hellpop 11-22-2019 12:19 AM

Prior to the public learning details about the Holocaust, anti-semitism was a lot more...I don't want to say it was "respectable," but it was a lot more mainstream, and could be again of the notion of a massive human atrocity could somehow be minimalized or denied.

str8cashhomie 11-22-2019 12:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21987313)
WTF. That's simply the truth. 6 million Holocaust victims were Jews, 6 million were other groups.

I think the implication of "happened to be Jews" was that the Nazis weren't intentionally trying to mass murder Jews.

DrDeth 11-22-2019 12:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21987313)
WTF. That's simply the truth. 6 million Holocaust victims were Jews, 6 million were other groups.

Yeah, sure. But what I was told, and called a "denier' is that "to mention anyone else but the Jews, who were the REAL targets of Nazi hatred, is to dilute the Holocaust" and thereby I was a "denier".

str8cashhomie 11-22-2019 12:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 21987292)
Well, that one is much more debatable. I mean, there was a war and the Armenians did side with the enemy, and what happened is less well known, not to mention it is hard to tell if the Government actually organized a planned systemic genocide. The Ottoman Empire was falling apart and massively corrupt and incompetent, so perhaps the "planned" part is questionable, as it's reasonable to doubt they could plan a birthday party, let alone a genocide.

Most experts consider it so, but it's somewhat debatable whereas the Nazi genocide is not.

It is very clearly supported by the historical record that the Ottomans orchestrated the Armenian genocide from the highest levels of government.

The Pashas (the 3 joint leaders of the Ottoman Empire at the time) admitted (or arguably bragged) as much.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talat Pasha
Turkey is taking advantage of the war in order to thoroughly liquidate its internal foes, i.e., the indigenous Christians, without being thereby disturbed by foreign intervention. What on earth do you want? The question is settled. There are no more Armenians.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Enver Pasha
The Ottoman Empire should be cleaned up of the Armenians and the Lebanese. We have destroyed the former by the sword, we shall destroy the latter through starvation.

Source: https://www.genocide1915.info/quotes/

madsircool 11-22-2019 12:52 AM

And Hitler mentions the genocide of Armenians

https://www.armenian-genocide.org/hitler.html


Quote:

Our strength consists in our speed and in our brutality. Genghis Khan led millions of women and children to slaughter -- with premeditation and a happy heart. History sees in him solely the founder of a state. It's a matter of indifference to me what a weak western European civilization will say about me.

I have issued the command -- and I'll have anybody who utters but one word of criticism executed by a firing squad -- that our war aim does not consist in reaching certain lines, but in the physical destruction of the enemy. Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formations in readiness -- for the present only in the East -- with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space (Lebensraum) which we need. Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?

nelliebly 11-22-2019 02:22 AM

There are Holocaust deniers, and there are Holocaust minimizers

David Irving, the British writer of history books... is not so much an outright Holocaust denier as a Holocaust minimizer. He is convinced that no one was gassed at Auschwitz. He does not deny that many Jews died there, but claims this was mostly from disease. He also concedes that others were shot, in Poland and elsewhere, by overenthusiastic S.S. men, but he has argued that Hitler had nothing to do with this. So no gas, no plan by Hitler, thus no Holocaust. People who remember differently are, inI rving's peculiar phrase, "the Auschwitz Survivors, Survivors of the Holocaust, and Other LiarsóA.S.S.H.O.L.E.S."

Then there's Fred Leuchter, who claimed cyanide wasn't used in the camps to gas people but to delouse them. To "prove" this, he went to Auschwitz and other camps and surreptitiously chipped samples off walls, ceilings, and floors. Then he took them to a lab in Boston He didn't tell the lab the source of the chunk or his intentions. The lab found only traces of cyanide in the sample, which Leuchter then trumpeted as proof nobody was gassed at the camps. But cyanide only penetrates the depth of a human hair, and when the lab pulverized the samples, they diluted them. Too late: Leutner had already spread word of his "proof."

It's easy to convince people of the lies they want to believe but difficult to argue them out of those beliefs, no matter how strong the evidence.

MrDibble 11-22-2019 02:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 21987292)
Well, that one is much more debatable.

No, it isn't.
Quote:

I mean, there was a war
You may have heard of a little thing called WWII?
Quote:

and the Armenians did side with the enemy
Like all those Polish and French and other enemy Jews, you mean?
Quote:

it is hard to tell if the Government actually organized a planned systemic genocide.
Other than by literally bragging about just that, you mean...

When your whole argument hinges around "weren't quite as efficient at planning their murder as the Nazis would later be", you may want to rethink your stance.

Anyway, a shittily-planned genocide is still a genocide, so still not debatable at all.

Paul in Qatar 11-22-2019 05:33 AM

Holocaust deniers come in three flavors.

1) Nazis (Odd because you would think anyone who is a real Nazi would be cool with mass murder.)

2) Troublemakers (I recall a story of a denier who brought a Black lady as his date to a Holocaust denier dinner. Holocaust denier dinners seem to be a thing.)

3) Kids who simply are saying strange stuff because they are not too educated.

MrDibble 11-22-2019 06:49 AM

There is also the anti-Israeli political flavour, like from various Middle East governments and movements like Hammas.

I imagine that flavour tastes like pistachio and crippling insecurity.

Derleth 11-22-2019 09:06 AM

It's a recruitment tool in another way:

If They are lying to you about this important piece of history, what else are They lying to you about? Why are They lying to you at all? Who is this They I'm talking about?

Secret knowledge is a big bait. It makes people feel important, knowing something most people don't. That's why Life Hacks spread so well, even the ones which are patently absurd if you ever actually tried them: They're little things I know that you don't, which puts me one up on you, innit? Well, imagine that, except for a big chunk of human history.

All of a sudden the whole damn world has been debunked. Up is down, black is white, and you have part of the biggest secret in the whole world. Some people will kill for stuff like that. Some people will die for it. People have died for it, if you consider cults to be one aspect of this: "I know the path to eternal happiness, and it happens to go through drinking poisoned soft drinks, possibly after mutilating my sexual organs."

Once you have someone hooked like that, you can feed them increasingly absurd shit which happens to line up with them continuing to follow you.

Czarcasm 11-22-2019 10:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 21987319)
Yeah, sure. But what I was told, and called a "denier' is that "to mention anyone else but the Jews, who were the REAL targets of Nazi hatred, is to dilute the Holocaust" and thereby I was a "denier".

You were told that here?
By whom?

thorny locust 11-22-2019 02:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MortSahlFan (Post 21986730)
My older relative had a teacher who got fired for saying, "Communists, homosexuals, gypsies were rounded up and killed. Most happened to be Jewish.".. I asked for more about the guy, but he couldn't remember.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21987313)
WTF. That's simply the truth. 6 million Holocaust victims were Jews, 6 million were other groups.

It isn't "simply the truth" that most communists, homosexuals, and Romani were Jewish.

MortSahlFan reads to me as describing an incident from quite a few years ago; and the teacher may well have thought of "communists, homosexuals, gypsies" as all being groups who most people at the time would deplore. The quote reads to me as the teacher meaning to denigrate Jews by saying that most of the members of denigrated groups were Jewish.

Even if that wasn't part of it, the statement as given clearly means to say that Jews weren't targeted solely for being Jews; which is nonsense.

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 21987292)
Most experts consider it so, but it's somewhat debatable

No, it really isn't debatable. -- well, I suppose everything's debatable in some sense; but the Armenian genocide really shouldn't be. It doesn't have to be the same in every exact detail as what the Nazis did in WWII to count.

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 21987301)
I got called a denier by pointing out that yes, Communists, homosexuals, and gypsies were also killed off. So were "politicals", my Euro relatives were sent to Dachau where perhaps, they had it a tiny bit better than the Jews. But not much as when the Allies captured the camps, many Politicals were sent to Soviet Gulags.

So "denier" is waved around a bit too much.

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 21987319)
Yeah, sure. But what I was told, and called a "denier' is that "to mention anyone else but the Jews, who were the REAL targets of Nazi hatred, is to dilute the Holocaust" and thereby I was a "denier".

I'd like some more context for that; because I've never run into anybody saying that. Of course Communists, homosexuals, Romani, political opponents, the differently abled, a lot of Polish Catholics, and members of some other groups were also targeted and murdered in the camps; that is indeed simple fact. Who called you a denier simply for saying so? (I don't mean name, necessarily, but general context: someone on these boards? a workmate? a family member? somebody at a party?) Was it an isolated incident, or have you had this happen often; and if you've had it happen repeatedly, was it always the same person, or the same context?

And I'd also like the context of your pointing it out; because, while I'm not saying you were doing so, there are some people who try to use that information to minimize or denigrate the impact on Jews. If the phrasing of your statement, or the context in which you brought it up, gave the impression that that was what you were trying to do, that could justifiably get you some pushback.

Urbanredneck 11-22-2019 03:55 PM

How about all the people in Poland, Germany, and all over Europe that are living in homes and have property stolen from Jews. I read stories about Jews who did survive the camps, coming home and being killed when they tried to go back into their old homes.

DrDeth 11-22-2019 06:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thorny locust (Post 21988417)
..
I'd like some more context for that; because I've never run into anybody saying that. Of course Communists, homosexuals, Romani, political opponents, the differently abled, a lot of Polish Catholics, and members of some other groups were also targeted and murdered in the camps; that is indeed simple fact.....

A friend who altho was a atheist was very proud of his Jewish Heritage. When I mentioned this on another MB some time ago, one poster said he agree I was a "denier" while several others said no.

But that term does get tossed around a lot.

Lance Turbo 11-22-2019 06:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tim@T-Bonham.net (Post 21985527)
It's not limited to white supremacists. Here in Minneapolis, my Congressperson is a non-white, non-Christian woman, and she is a holocaust denier. Of the Armenian holocaust, at least, based on her recent vote on that.

This is a bullshit smear of Congresswoman Omar. She put out a statement explaining her 'present' vote on the Armenian genocide resolution. It's extraordinarily misleading to suggest that the reason for her vote was denial that those events occurred.

thorny locust 11-22-2019 07:23 PM

DrDeth, I wouldn't say that twice in a lifetime, the second time when you brought up the first incident, counts as "tossed around a lot"; at least, unless you're not just counting the cases you describe but also those in which it's being "tossed" accurately.

And I also asked for the context [ETA: and phrasing] in which you brought it up the first time. You don't have to answer, of course; but I can't really form an opinion without it.

Jragon 11-22-2019 07:28 PM

Yeah there's a lot of contexts you can bring that information up, and a lot of contexts where it's a bad look. For instance going into a conversation about Jewish holocaust survivers and saying "you know, the Jews weren't the only group..." and pointing out in a different context that say, Romani people have a long history of discrimination in Europe including being killed by the Nazis. There's also, as mentioned, the Holocaust minimization tactic of insinuating that the Jews that were executed were executed because they were gay/communists/whatever.

I absolutely believe there's some high strung Jewish people somewhere who really believe you should never mention other affected groups, or someone who just had a bad day dealing with a denier flying off the handle when it wasn't warranted, but it's not, IME, common.

Czarcasm 11-22-2019 08:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 21988843)
A friend who altho was a atheist was very proud of his Jewish Heritage. When I mentioned this on another MB some time ago, one poster said he agree I was a "denier" while several others said no.

But that term does get tossed around a lot.

so...one anonymous poster on some unnamed message board some time ago.
With that much solid evidence I apologize for ever doubting you.
:dubious:


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:12 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.