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Judaism Holocaust Denial

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by aristotle, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. aristotle

    aristotle
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    Holocaust deniers are people who contend that the Holocaust - the attempt by Nazi Germany to annihilate European Jewry during World War Two - never happened.
    Deniers dismiss all assertions that the Holocaust took place as conscious fabrications, or as psychotic delusions. Some even claim that Hitler was the best friend the Jews had in Germany, and that he actively worked to protect them. According to deniers, Jews have perpetrated this hoax about the Holocaust on the world in order to gain political and financial advantage, and it was in fact Germany that was the true victim in World War Two.

    HOW THE 'REVISIONISTS' OPERATE?
    The very first Holocaust deniers were the Nazis themselves. As it became increasingly obvious that the war was not going well, Himmler instructed his camp commandants to destroy records, crematoria and other sign of mass destruction of human beings. Following the end of World War II, many of the former leaders of the SS left Germany and began using their propaganda skills to defend their actions.
    Public challenges to the historical accounts of the holocaust first began to appear in the 1960s, with French historian Paul Rassinier publishing The Drama of the European Jews in 1964.
    In 1979 the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) was founded by the neo-Nazi Willis Carto as an organization dedicated to publicly challenging the "myth" of the Holocaust. The IHR sought from the beginning to attempt to establish itself within the broad tradition of historical revisionism.
    Bradley Smith is the founder of a group called the "Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust". CODOH was founded in 1987. In the United States, CODOH has repeatedly tried to place newspaper ads questioning whether the Holocaust happened, especially in college campus newspapers.
    Numerous right-wing organisations and websites are dedicated towards the denial of the Holocaust in the USA and elsewhere

    THE ARGUMENTS
    The arguments generally put forward by these so-called 'revisionists' can be summarised as,
    * There Was No Net Loss of Jewish Lives Between 1941 and 1945.
    * Voluminous German records confiscated by the Allies at the end of the war clearly show that the German final solution program was one of emigration and deportation, not extermination.
    * Much of the evidence presented over the years has already been thoroughly discredited.
    * Most of all, deniers focus on the extermination camp run by the Nazis at Auschwitz. They claim - despite overwhelming documentary and physical evidence as well as eye-witness accounts by both perpetrators and victims - that it was not an extermination camp.
    * Deniers have repeatedly attacked the authenticity of the famous Diary of Anne Frank, which tells of the young Jewish author's experiences as she and her family hid from Nazi persecution in Holland.

    COUNTER-ARGUMENTS
    * There was a net loss of Jewish population in Europe during the war era.
    * Many perpetrators confessed to what they had done during the war, after it was over. For example, Otto Ohlendorf, commander of one of the Einsatzgruppen units, testified quite openly that between June 1941 and 1942 his Einsatzgruppe murdered 90,000 people.
    * The Auschwitz camp and other such concenteration camps has been proven to have served the purpose of extermination of Jewish people and those of other ethnicities.
    * Testimonies of survivors, written evidence, personal diaries, government orders etc, prove beyond doubt the extent of atrocities during the Holocaust.

    (Sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/genocide/deniers_01.shtml ; http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/holohoax.htm ; http://archive.adl.org/holocaust/response.asp ;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_revisionism)
     

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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    aristotle ji

    Thanks for introducing this topic. I happened by accident months ago on an entire web archive of primary source documents and intensely scholarly articles that refute the revisionists.

    Now I am writing this very quickly and much more needs to be said. However, the refusal to admit to the scope of the horror of the Holocaust comes from 2 sources, sometimes interconnected sources. One is the all too real residual anti-semitism that lingers in Europe, with many revisionists writing in Austria and in Italy. The second source is academic ambition. There is a need in some intellectual circles to build a reputation for new and improved scholarship by picking at technical flaws in earlier scholarship -- thereby missing that the seriousness of a forest fire is not judged by disputing the number of matchsticks found near an untended cooking pit at a camp site.

    I am leaving out a lot. However, the academic revisionism comes primarily from persistent critiques of studies by forensic scientists from Russia immediately after World War 2. Following the partition of Europe, a number of mass graves were partially excavated and body counts were conducted. From those numbers total burials were estimated. Those numbers, multiplied by the number of camps and possible grave site totals, provided a larger estimate of the number who actually died in concentration camps. Revisionist scholars critiqued these methods, and concluded that estimates were overblown. That the number who died was much lower. Of course, one can turn that argument around and say that the number could also be much higher. Historical census data for how many Jews actually disappeared provides another data point.

    Those in the revisionist camp propose a very low number of dead, arguing that the scope of the holocaust was exaggerated for political reasons.

    There is almost nothing to be said for research that advocates for a lower number of victims, without having independently collected its own raw data, and that bases its statistical conclusions on methods revisionists themselves declared flawed to begin with. They then follow up with a political explanation. If anything the revisionists follow the model of conspiracy theorists, with the exception that they have letters after their names.
     
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    #2 spnadmin, Aug 13, 2013
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  4. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Here is how some recent studies are being conducted at Treblinka - 800, 000 dead. The story outlines how the excavation methods are used.

    Teblinka: Revealing the Hidden Graves of the Holocaust

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16657363
    Any doubts about the existence of mass graves at the Treblinka death camp in Poland are being laid to rest by the first survey of the site using tools that see below the ground, writes forensic archaeologist Caroline Sturdy Colls.

    When the Nazis left Treblinka in 1943 they thought they had destroyed it. They had knocked down the buildings and levelled the earth. They had built a farmhouse and installed a Ukrainian "farmer". They had planted trees, and - contemporary reports suggest - lupins.

    But if they thought they had removed all evidence of their crime, they hadn't. For a forensic archaeologist, there is a vast amount to study.

    The destruction of buildings rarely results in the complete removal of all traces of them. And even on the surface there are still artefacts and other subtle clues that point to the real purpose of the site.

    A 1946 report by investigators into German crimes in Poland found "a cellar passage with the protruding remains of burnt posts, the foundations of the administration building and the old well" and here and there "the remains of burnt fence posts, pieces of barbed wire, and short sections of paved road".

    Bone fragments can still be seen on the surface of the ground, especially after rain”

    They also discovered human remains as they dug into the ground, and on the surface "large quantities of ashes mixed with sand, among which are numerous human bones".

    Despite this, in a later statement they said they had discovered no mass graves.

    The existence of mass graves was known about from witness testimony, but the failure to provide persuasive physical evidence led some to question whether it could really be true that hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed here.

    Although they lasted only a few days, those post-war investigations remained the most complete studies of the camp until I began my work at Treblinka in 2010.

    This revealed the existence of a number of pits across the site.

    Some may be the result of post-war looting, prompted by myths of buried Jewish gold, but several larger pits were recorded in areas suggested by witnesses as the locations of mass graves and cremation sites.

    One is 26m long, 17m wide and at least four metres deep, with a ramp at the west end and a vertical edge to the east.

    • Geophysical tools
    • Ground-penetrating radar
    • Ground-penetrating radar (above) - sends pulses of radar into the earth and records the reflections
    • Resistance survey - electric current passed through the ground via probes, with solid features exhibiting higher resistance than water-rich ones
    • Electrical imaging - like resistance survey, but with multiple (eg 20) probes

    Another five pits of varying sizes and also at least this deep are located nearby. Given their size and location, there is a strong case for arguing that they represent burial areas.

    My research has been designed to respect both the historical and scientific potential of the site as well as its religious and commemorative significance.

    No excavation was carried out and the ground was not disturbed, which would be a violation of Jewish law and tradition, banning the exhumation of the dead.

    Until relatively recently the technology has not been available to investigate the sites of the Holocaust in such a way.

    Aerial photography from the 1940s can now be supplemented with satellite imagery, GPS and mapping software.

    A range of geophysical surveying tools also exists, including ground penetrating radar, resistance survey and electrical imaging.

    However, no geophysical methods will reveal conclusively what is below the soil - they do

    What each method does is to highlight contrasts between the physical properties of the soil and features within it, such as buried remains or ground disturbance.

    Conclusions can then be drawn about the nature of these features by comparing historical and archaeological data, and drawing on knowledge about construction, demolition and burial processes.

    As well as the pits, the survey has located features that appear to be structural, and two of these are likely to be the remains of the gas chambers.

    According to witnesses, these were the only structures in the death camp made of brick.

    Unlike at Auschwitz, there were no purpose-built crematoria at Treblinka.

    The decision to burn the bodies of victims was made only after the camp had been operating for several months. The order to exhume and cremate those already buried came in 1943, after the German army had discovered the bodies of Polish officers massacred by the Soviets at Katyn three years earlier - demonstrating to the German leadership the importance of covering up its own crimes.

    Witness reports indicate that the bodies were burned on improvised pyres made of railway lines and wood, and the ashes were often reburied in the same graves the bodies had been taken from.

    The ground near the railway platform Underground features detected here, coincide with variations in surface level

    But recent work in forensic cremation demonstrates that total eradication of bone requires extremely high temperatures. In most crematoria today, bones remain intact and have to be ground down to produce ash.

    At Treblinka it is clear that the ash contains many bones. Bone fragments can still be seen on the surface of the ground, especially after rain.

    Considerable evidence also exists to suggest that not all of the bodies were exhumed and cremated. Photographs show bodies littering the landscape as late as the early 1960s.

    But this work is just the beginning and further work is required to understand the complexity of the site.

    This initial survey should be viewed as a start of what will hopefully be a long-term collaboration between myself and the Treblinka museum, aimed at providing new insights into the physical evidence, and allowing the victims of the Holocaust to be appropriately commemorated.
     
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  5. LittlePrem

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    Holocaust deniers are funny. I suppose that my family was just abducted by aliens, right? Oh, and my Grand Aunt and Uncle were dillusional the whole time they were in Auschwitz. When I was little, I thought that all old people lost thier teeth because my Grand Aunt and Uncle had dentures in thier 60's, but it was from the camp.

    I can account for at least 5 dead in my immediate family. My Mother's brothers, sister and parents were killed at the end of WW2. She was snuck out of the ghetto (Lithuania) as an infant, by her Uncle who was a Doctor and allowed to leave. She was given to a Polish Christian family, who hid her and raised her as thier own. I was told that her family was killed in thier house, which was burned down. It's important to note that the camps were not the only place in which the murders happened.

    In the 1960's, many efforts were made to uncover and connect survivors. The only survivors from my Mom's family were her Uncle and his wife, which survived the camp as I mentioned above. No account for any other family members, so we assume that they were probably killed as well - and without proper burial or record. As for my Grand Uncle's wife, I know that her parents were killed. Additionally, my Mom is part of a big group of "Survivors" that has regular meetings, all of which bear witness to thier own family death tolls.
     
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  6. Satyaban

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    I think the amount spent dealing with these deniers and refuting is a huge waste of resources. The more attention they get may appear as a validation to some ignorant people. I think it is better to ignore these people, furthermore I don't accept that they believe their own nonsense but they have an agenda and find it a useful tool. A huge number of Germans know damn well the truth.

    What I didn't notice being mentioned is the Muslim agenda. They believe that if there was no holocaust there would be no Israel or the foundation for its creation would be removed hence the state of Israel as well.
     
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