- May 10, 2010
Shoah - Holocaust
Modern Hebrew shō'āh, literally, catastrophe, from Hebrew
First Known Use: 1967
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 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.
* 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 ;