Why would anyone want to deny the Holocaust ever happened? How can they bring into question historical facts and eyewitness testimony? It all comes down to racism. Under various guises, antisemitism is prevalent in today’s society more than most of us would like to admit.
Those who deny Hitler had a plan called “The Final Solution” wish to bring forth an “alternative” version of history. Reasonable people believe any alternate version of a fact constitutes falsehoods.
History is a series of facts which tell the story of mankind. Facts. Holocaust deniers want us to question those facts, challenge them, and put forth a different, albeit false, set of ideas and make them fact. Thus the deniers would mold history to their purpose; Racism.
Over the past seventy years, various self-proclaimed scholars have tried various ways to convince the world the Jews concocted an elaborate “historical hoax” through images and film of the death camps and gas chambers. The alleged goal was for the Jewish people to gain financially and achieve statehood status. These are the claims of the Holocaust deniers.
In her book, “Denying The Holocaust – The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory” Deborah Lipstadt outlines the different stratagem the deniers have taken over the years. Most disturbing is their gaining attention in noted University literature under the cloak of “Free Speech.”
Also, they hide their racism, and even fascist ideals, under the attractive but misplaced concept: war is evil. No side can be completely blameless leads to absolving Germany of the guilt of The Holocaust; which then declares said criminal offenses could never have happened.
A Gallup poll found over ½ of high school students could not accurately explain what is meant by the title, “The Holocaust.” One-quarter of all those polled did not know it occurred AFTER the Nazis gained political power in Germany. Recently a friend of mine said her high school senior brother thought “The Holocaust” was only portrayed in movies, not that it actually happened.
Think of that. A whole generation which does not know what a government is capable of doing if it should abuse its power.
One might be tempted to state such views are extremism and so radically right wing they should not affect us in 2015. However, as World War II and Hitler’s Final Solution, which killed over six million Jews recedes into our past, the memories fade, the outrage dies out, and history has become vulnerable to those who wish to undermine it.
They produce seemingly legitimate literature that is packed with thickly veiled racist propaganda. Even some college history professors have accepted the denier view under the guise of scholastic argument to arrive at the truth. The trouble is, the fire they are playing with is rife with lies and antisemitism.
The French author Robert Faurisson (a person of “no particular prominence on the French intellectual or academic scene” according to the New York Times) states he does not believe the death camp gas chambers ever existed because “no victim has given eyewitness testimony of actual gassings.” Such statements seem ludicrous, yet there are people who will listen to them.
Harry Elmer Barnes eschewed the opinion Germany was the victim of the war, not the aggressor. A Harvard dissertation by David Leslie Hoggan stated, “Hitler had not desired war” and morphed into a pro-Nazi publication in 1961. There a German historian noted, “rarely have so many inane and unwarranted theses, allegations and ‘conclusions’ … been crammed into a volume written under the guise of history.” In other words, lies. Sadly, the dead cannot sue for liable or defamation of character.
Much like the assassination of President John F. Kennedy begs for a much larger and broader explanation than simply a nobody like Lee Harvey Oswald making a lucky shot; The Holocaust and the enormous numbers of victims seem unexplainable in human terms.
Conspiracy theories abound in both historical instances, yet the facts point to only one conclusion.
Are those six million souls going to have to return and haunt Faurisson and other Holocaust deniers to induce them to leave history alone? Were the horrific photographs so easily altered in the ‘40’s?
Who were the volunteers to show their bones protruding from malnourished bodies? How can a person’s hatred cause him to do harm to another? The extremists may hold their rallies, conducts meetings, and spout their sugar-coated word of hate, but we cannot let them get a hold of our youth.
The images are disturbing, they are confusing, but the facts are clear: Jews were persecuted and murdered in death camps by Nazis. Suggesting otherwise is purporting a falsehood.
One can question whether man walked on the moon, but we all know it to be a fact. We can wonder at the ruins of Greek society, but the stone buildings do not lie.
Did Rome actually rule most of Europe? Evidence of roads and aqueducts as far away as Spain say they certainly did. Facts are facts and it is ridiculous to try to disprove the truth.
By Elainse Fields Smith for War History Online