Holocaust myth

I have always heard about the argument whether the Holocaust actually happened or not and I don’t understand the question. What fact is actually questioned? (Whether it was millions of Jews were exterminated or just thousands? Was it mostly Jews targeted for extermination? Was it the fact that it was an attempt at genocide? Does it trivialize the other 3/4 of the people exterminated? )

Can somebody brief me on the argument?

Sure. Holocaust “revisionism” is historical bunk.

The arguments are usually that there was no plan to exterminate the Jews, that very few Jews died, etc.

An excellent book on the subject is Denying the Holocaust : The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. by Deborah Lipstadt.
Zev Steinhardt

Try Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It, by Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman. Excellent read, and its length does justice to your broad questions in a way that brief posts on the SDMB cannot.

What is the purpose of the denials? I mean its not like the survivors are reaping great benefits. I have heard 2 questions. 1: its just the jews trying to get everyone to feel sorry by exaggerating the numbers 2: its an injustice to the millions of nonjews who were exterminated by claiming the extermination as a “Holocaust”.

You should also check out David B’s excellent Staff Report Is there any factual basis for Holocaust denial?

Thanks, thats a good summary.
I have heard that the worse treatment was to the laborers of the underground V-2 rockets. I dont remember if these were jews or not. and given the treatment of the Russian civilians lead me to believe that the NAZI mentality was fully capable of dehumanizing any situation. If they treat laborers and civilians that way then why would anyone discount the actions of someone they felt they had a reason to exterminate?

We’re getting into GD territory here.

I pointed out in a recent thread that one of the results of WWII was an overall decline in anti-semitism in Western society. Prior to the war, it was possible to be an open anti-semite yet still be a respected member of society. But in WWII, anti-semitism became linked with Nazism and since then anyone who holds anti-semitic opinions is assumed to be supportive of the Nazis and their plans for mass extermination. As a result of this all forms of anti-semitism became unfashionable in polite society.

Most people feel that the decline of anti-semitism is a positive thing (albeit one that came at too high a price) but there are people who long for the “good old days” when they could openly discriminate against Jews. Generally these are the people that you’ll find trying to “revise” history and denying the Holocaust happened.

The highest casualties during World War 2 were suffered by the Russians, the total being over 25,000,000. Of these, 16,000,000+ were civilians, many of them Jews. How anyone could trivialize death on such a massive scale or suggest that certain events never happened is beyond me.

Here’s a casualty table:


If one checks the background of those who suggest that the Holocaust never occurred I’m sure you might find that many of them have some white hooded outfits in their closet, shrines to Hitler in their basement, and memberships to all the best Neo Nazi organizations. Many, if not all of them would have cast a vote for David “may he burn in hell” Duke. Ask them about Adolph and they might even tell you he was a great humanitarian.

Hey! Lets smoke some crack and remember kids… it doesn’t smoke itself. That’s the only way I can see people believing this racist propaganda. The internet has become an important tool for these people to spread their lies and mistruths. I have a ton of references and have bookmarked many sites relating to this issue. it boggles the mind.

It is really astounding that they (revisionists) would expect us to believe that the Holocaust is a Jewish construct and part of a bigger conspiracy for the Jews to take over the world. The Nazis were great record keepers and kept mountains of records and documented nearly everything.
If the Nazis had won the war history might have been written differently; Hitler would have been depicted as a hero or saviour, there would be no mention of the Holocaust, and the Jews would have been blamed for the whole war. The thing is, the Nazis lost, Hitler is dead, and most of us know better.

And for the record, it’s the Canadians who are trying to take over the world.

damn canadians.

I looked at the casualty list. The numbers are incredible.
how could 16 million soviet civilians die?
how could 10 million chinese civilians die?

usually i think of civilian casualties as collateral damage. but to kill that many must be a concentrated effort.
that much of an effort must have taxed the fighting capability of the army. gruesome as it sounds. reminds me of simulation game i have on the pc. when i am trying to build an army and see an advancing army, i just rush civilians at it to slow it down and inflict a little damage.

The number that jumps out is the german civilian number. did all those die by allied bombing?

I always thought holocaust revisionism was patently ridiculous. I’ve been to western and central Europe, and there are very few Jews there. If the rest weren’t expelled or exterminated, then where did they go?

A group of us from the University of California spent a year studying in Goettingen, Germany. For the benefit of our Jewish members, we were informed that the nearest synagogue was in the town of Hanover, about 200 miles away. If this doesn’t indicate that the country was basically depopulated of Jews, then I don’t know what does.

Most of them. Have you ever wondered why the War Crimes Tribunal never charged anyone for the V-2 missle attacks on London? It’s because the British were doing pretty much the same thing to German cities, only with firebombs instead of missles. The Americans didn’t do this kind of thing in Europe, but unfortunately we had no problem with doing it to the Japanese. One massive firebomb attack on Tokyo killed as many people as the nuking of Hiroshima.

There’s a definite unease in post-war generations here in Britain over the actions of Arthur “Bomber” Harris, who masterminded the bombing raids on Germany. People don’t know whether he’s a hero or a criminal.

A lot of them did.

Britain initiated a policy of “area bombing” fairly early in the war because they could not defend their air fleets from German fighters. Pathfinders would go out early and attempt to drop incendiaries near the primary target(s) and all later flights (flying at night to avoid fighters) would attempt to hit the general area of the existing fires.

The U.S. attempted to use “precision” bombing in daylight, but you can’t put several hundred planes over a target and expect to put every bomb on the target no matter how good the Norden bombsight is. Europe had fewer “suburbs” than even the pre-WWII U.S., so most workers lived fairly close to their factories. Factory misses hit housing.

There was also a fair amount of starvation near the war’s end.

Of course, you’ll note that there was no category in the link for Jews. A significant number of the civilian casualties in Poland, and many in Germany and other countries were the Jews, Gypsies, and others who were murdered by the Nazis.

(There is an unfortunate side effect to the lack of clarity in the numbers. There is not a definitive list of Jewish Poles who were killed by the Nazis vs dying in general massacres under the Soviets. This has led to some wrangling as to how many of the 6,000,000 Jewish deaths attributed to Hitler should have been categorized as Polish deaths under Stalin. Some people pursue this number in the interest of historical accuracy; some pursue it as a way to minimize the “claims of the Jews.” As I said, it is an unfortunate result of the war that some survivors are caught up in a divisive debate.)

You know what’s sad?
I used to think Holocaust denials were wishful thinking-people who didn’t want to believe it. Who does?
After all, I’d LOVE to believe that there was never a Holocaust. Unfortunately, I don’t have that luxury.

One of my aunt’s dearest friends is a Holocaust survivor. He’s the sweetest man, and when he tells his story, it’s very real.

I guess I kind of thought Holocaust revisionism was people in denial. But it’s not.

My father was a WWII Major. He saw the camps. He saw the corpses.
My EE ex-brother in law thinks it’s all a Tri-lateralist, Zionist etc plot to impugn the Germans, whom he absolutely worships (culture, country etc). The ironic thing is that he is of pure Polish descent and as I recall the Germans weren’t too kind to the Poles. This is a man with a masters degree in EE and a responsible job, so this delusion is not limited to the weak minded, only the weak souled.