/ Holocaust Denial
Nobody of sane mind could ever possibly argue against the atrocities that happened in WW2 at the hands of AH and cronies. Those that seek do deny it should at best be labelled ignorant and at worst, deluded racists. Either way, so what?
Pretty much everyone across the world knows the score but if I went to certain European counties and said that I didn't believe the holocast ever occured, in theory I could be jailed for years.
I just don't get it. These are words spouted by eejits but nothing more. I don't they should be imprisoned for this nonsesense though.
I see your point. It's a bit like thought crime although maybe the holocaust deniers should just keep their mouths shut and keep their thoughts to themselves.
German laws are there for rather obvious reasons I would have thought, and are a credit to modern day German democracy as part of their promise of "never again".
Keep in mind that France has also tried to make it a crime to deny the Armenian genocide. We can all relax now that the law will deal with people who talk nonsense.
I think it's possibly justifiable becuase these people are eeeedjits.
They are denying the holocaust not because they don't actually believe that they didn't happen.
They are denying the holocaust to promote a particular agenda, an agenda which goes against the very basic, underlying premise of 'argument' in civil society- they are presenting a hypothesis along with an 'arguement' which is not based on 'good faith'.
The difference, between, say two historians arguing about the origins of the French Revolution is that their argument are 'in good faith' ie they are disagreeing based on observable phenomenon, or records or sources of varying veracity.
Differences of opinion can can be based on different 'philosophy' which tend one to value other sources differently to the way others might.
But the holocaust deniers aren't truly engaged in that type of arguement.
Can you explain or conjecture what you think 'their' "particular agenda" is?
fixed that for you
Some Holocaust deniers aren't eedjits, they're evil.
I don't think Holocaust denial should be illegal here in the UK but other countries should decide for themselves.
Speaking of the Armenian genocide this obituary caught my eye yesterday...
Made me realise that I know very little of what happened there.
If the question is a legal one and not a moral one then it is not an unreasonable position to hold.
> Can you explain or conjecture what you think 'their' "particular agenda" is?
For some of them it's a denial that Hitler was an evil bastard. For some, it's straightforward anti-semitism.
They could if they were misinformed.
Because once there's enough of them acting together they become 'right'.
Do they? Do you for example know the facts of any of the other atrocities committed around the world during WW2 and subsequently? Here in western Europe we're pretty close to it, it's in living memory and deeply woven into our education system yet still plenty of folk are utterly ignorant of the even the basic facts.
I find the whole idea of declaring that you 'know for certain' anything that happened in the past is very dangerous- even if you were there.
I'm going to move away from the highly emotive topic of the holocaust for a moment and talk about something which is a little easier to stay detached from- Plato. We like to be very clear with our view on the past, but even something as vital to out society as Greek philosophy, we are far from certain about. We don't really know who wrote the works we atribute to Plato; we don't even know if it was one man- but we do have this idea in our heads of what ancient Greece was- a perception that could be totally wrong.
Now with Greek philosophy that doesn't really matter, as it is the ideas that are important, but with something like the holocaust it is very important. Was Hitler an evil man? Almost certainly- but only almost, not without a shadow of a doubt. We like to have things totally clear in our minds, and we often follow what we are told without observing primary evidence ourselves. Even primary can be manipulated- history is written by the victors after all.
So where does that leave Holocaust denial? Pretty tricky really. It's fairly outrageous to deny it and I certainly believe it happened, but I've never actually seen any evidence that would allow me to put it at 100%. Worrying- let's not forget that it was exactly this kind of believing things without questioning that lead to the rise of the nazis.
The only reason for asking that question is to be provocative. To which I will not rise.
> Made me realise that I know very little of what happened there.
Quite revolting, the murdering of kids is still topical eh? the Turks hate the subject being even raised nowadays.
I watched Joanna Lumley's Greek Island travel prog recently,she visited a very frail aged survivor of more Turkish atrocities, it was very emotional stuff.
I'm not sure the rise of the Nazis was a matter of believing things without questioning... that's a little too simplistic, and much more about going along with things becuase it meets a 'political' need. I'm not necessarily talking big politics here, it includes politics in the most personal mundane sense of the word, and in the psycological motiviation behind 'belief'.
Which is why it's crucial to understand WHY someone is putting forward a particular point of view.
In the case of Holocaust denial, I'll quote Pierre Vidal- Niquat.
"One revives the dead in order the better to strike the living."
In this instance, the importance of understanding, or remembering, the Holocaust is to better prevent it happening again- we revive the holocaust to better strike at extreme racism.
Anyone who believes that is not a good enough reason to remember the holocaust is either misled or malevonent. I'm borderline on whether it should be a legislative measure to ensure that the holocaust is properly remembered.
But remembered it should be.
It's a sad thing that there are fewer and fewer first hand witnesses left alive and proving that it happened seems to become almost an intellectual exercise.
I used to work with a member of one of the British units that was involved in the liberation of Bergen Belsen; as straight and honest a man as you could ever wish to meet and I never doubted his account for one nano-second.
> Keep in mind that France has also tried to make it a crime to deny the Armenian genocide. We can all relax now that the law will deal with people who talk nonsense.
There is a logical reason for this in that France recognises both the Hitlerian genocide against Jews and the massacre of Armenians in Turkey but there was an legal anomaly: for the former it is an offence to deny that this happened but there was nothing on the law books equivalent for the Armenian genocide. The law that Sarkozy wanted to push through - a private members bill in fact, supported by the government of the day, would have generalised the law about "holocaust" denial to denial of all recognised genocides, the word "Armenia" wasn't in the text.
This seems quite logical - why would one recognised genocide have a different status to another? But for reasons known to themselves the French ecologistes contested the law once it had been democratically voted to the "Conseil Constitutionnel" who blocked it for sloppy wording, ie. on a technical point, and with the general elections coming there was no time to represent a correctly worded version.
Yes it was but for the sake of debate and not for the sake of a slanging match (the quotes around 'their' was because I dislike anti-locution). I'm being a bit devil's advocate here. I certainly don't deny that the holocaust happened and didn't mean to imply that anyone else does.
> This seems quite logical - why would one recognised genocide have a different status to another?
Well the Holocaust partly occurred on French soil in that Jews in France were rounded up and shipped off to death camps. I don't think there is there same connection with Armenia. There is arguably a greater French connection with Cambodia and those horrors.
> German democracy as part of their promise of "never again".
I see them more as a debit, not a credit, to modern German democracy; understandable perhaps but still a minus point. I hope that they will be repealed at some point.
The connection is half a million people of Armenian descent living in France! My wife included... Plus the attempts by Turkey to enter the EU, for most Armenians an apology is the very minimum that Turkey would have to do to be allowed into the EU where a great many of the survivors of the massacre escaped to.
One curiosity is that the technical pretext that allowed the generalised law to be blocked would also have been able to block the one for holocaust denial but as no one brought the matter before the Conseil Contitutionel the law went through.
I don't deny that there are quite good arguments against all these "thought crime" laws, but they should apply to all such laws, not just those who carry the most lobbying power.
I'm sure Voltaire would agree with you.
The holocaust was so appalling that even to day it beggars belief that it occured in an apparantly "civilized" society, not in some African backwater with centuries of tribal conflict, but in a modern industrialised country populated by generally well educated thinking people. I find that the most difficult thing to get my head around.
Yes, of course it happened. The evidence is overwhelming. The frightening thing is could it happen again in a modern "civilised" society?
> They could if they were misinformed.
> Because once there's enough of them acting together they become 'right'.
> Do they? Do you for example know the facts of any of the other atrocities committed around the world during WW2 and subsequently? Here in western Europe we're pretty close to it, it's in living memory and deeply woven into our education system yet still plenty of folk are utterly ignorant of the even the basic facts.
> Fair enough.
I know what you are saying and I would hazard a guess that I know some thing about many of the atocities since WW2. Less so about the stuff before other than Stalin. There are however 2 major facts which sets WW2 apart. Its scale in terms of the dead persecuted and of the dead who looked to stop the German efforts, both here and elsewhere and secondly the fact that is was deemed a World War, fought globally by many nations.
He was widely accused of holocaust denial.
As regards evidence, there is a huge amount of evidence of what went on at the death camps - both still there and in museums (I've been to two). Whilst artefacts can be created it is true, the mass of physical evidence (buildings and artefacts) both at the death camps and some now in museums, the spoken and written testimony, the film footage from liberated camps....
I'm not really talking about the occurrence of the holocaust here, but more the often-regurgitated statements about Hitler, or people inthe3rd reich being evil or whatever. It's important to realise that the majority of the perpetrators were people just like us and if you put people in our society today under the same circumstances, with the same up-bringing, the vast majority would act exactly as the Germans did in the 1930s. Pigeon-holing them as all being evil and separate from us is dangerous.
1. Gas chambers/Camps exist and can be visited. Can also be watched on film (called The Nazi Concentration Camps) produced in 1945.
2. There are families with lost ones attributed to the holocaust.
3. There is skeletal remains.
4. There has been a census to identify people that were alive prior and no longer alive after the war.
5. Nuremberg trial and the subsequent documentation (saved from being destroyed by the Nazi's) presented to the trial (weighed in at 3 tonnes I believe) and the public records.
6. Official Nazi photographic and film evidence (Stroop Report).
7. Nazi communications with explicit information and German state body support.
8. the Einsatzgruppen Reports
9. Eye witness testimony from both sides of the coin.
10. Original statistical evidence.
11. Allied film/photographic evidence during flybys.
12. None of the perpetrators of the holocaust denied it (eg Goering, Hoess).
Really? Where's your empirical evidence for that?
> I find the whole idea of declaring that you 'know for certain' anything that happened in the past is very dangerous- even if you were there.
> I'm going to move away from the highly emotive topic of the holocaust for a moment and talk about something which is a little easier to stay detached from- Plato. We like to be very clear with our view on the past, but even something as vital to out society as Greek philosophy, we are far from certain about. We don't really know who wrote the works we atribute to Plato; we don't even know if it was one man- but we do have this idea in our heads of what ancient Greece was- a perception that could be totally wrong.
> Now with Greek philosophy that doesn't really matter, as it is the ideas that are important, but with something like the holocaust it is very important. Was Hitler an evil man? Almost certainly- but only almost, not without a shadow of a doubt. We like to have things totally clear in our minds, and we often follow what we are told without observing primary evidence ourselves. Even primary can be manipulated- history is written by the victors after all.
> So where does that leave Holocaust denial? Pretty tricky really. It's fairly outrageous to deny it and I certainly believe it happened, but I've never actually seen any evidence that would allow me to put it at 100%. Worrying- let's not forget that it was exactly this kind of believing things without questioning that lead to the rise of the nazis.
Sorry dude but this is just philosophical mumbo jumbo. Can't even be arsed to explain why.
I was in that boat. It took a jewish friend (both grandparents in gas chambers) to tell me to go and find the evidence of the holocaust before she was prepared to discuss the subject so I feel I have the ability to question holocaust deniers. The only thing I didn't find sufficient evidence was the number.
It seems slightly odd to me that the holocaust is singled out for this legislation when most people are very aware of it compared with other major attrocities of the 20th century like, say, Stalins reign of terror.
> It seems slightly odd to me that the holocaust is singled out for this legislation when most people are very aware of it compared with other major attrocities of the 20th century like, say, Stalins reign of terror.
I suppose it's because the murderous Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao regimes are long gone, but anti-semitism is still virulent.
If 50% of people disagreed that grass was green, that would only make me more interested in discussing it.
> Really? Where's your empirical evidence for that?
That populations repeatedly follow their leaders in to ill-advised misconduct/war. It seems to happen everywhere, usually accompanied by a narrative that normalizes the behavior, not just in Germany (Turkey, Cambodia, Serbia spring to mind to name a few). The dividing line between fascist and liberal is not particularly connected to national boundaries I feel. Seems there are no shortage in the UK willing to jump on board the fascist bandwagon...and we're not even in the midst of a starvation depression.
Err, yes we do. In the case of most of the dialogues, it was Plato. There are a few whose authorship is disputed, and some which are definitely not by Plato. But for the great majority of "Plato's works", there's no question at all that they're Plato's works.
On holocaust denial: I don't agree with the German law about this. Holocaust denial is a malicious lie. The best way to destroy a malicious lie is to argue against it in open discussion.
The reason for the German ban on holocaust denial seems to be to keep the neo-Nazis in check. I think it would be better to take measures directly against the neo-Nazis.
Perhaps living in Britain you have not actually met people who had lost their family or been in the camps themselves, but in any of the countries occupied by the nazis you quickly become more aware of the facts of WW2. I came to France to be with a French girl of Jewish descent, several of her friends were Jewish too, all had lost many of their family in the camps. I also knew someone who survived the camps, I don't know how, but she still had the number tattooed on her arm... They could all have been lying and she could have tattooed the number for fun, but it doesn't seem likely.
The fact that Britain was never occupied by the Germans means that we are less in contact with such direct witnesses, although frankly the documentary and photographic evidence is very convincing... far more so than for more recent conflicts it's true.
The third reich is also long gone, and discrimination in Russia and China is still virulent.
The treatment of anti sematism as an almost a special case above other equally abhorent (to me at least) persecutions has always intrigued me.
I suspect that one of the reasons for this being enshrined in law so clearly is that Germany, as do most of our EU cousins, has a civil law system where everything is pretty much set out in black and white. Our rather charming system of having some vague principles and letting the courts decide what's in the public interest and what isn't allows us more flexibility but is alien to most of the EU. Hence why we can ban hate crimes and then let the courts sort out what a hate crime is - but in Germany they have to define precisely what hateful things are crimes - like denying the holocaust.
> The only thing I didn't find sufficient evidence was the number.
And therein lies one of the problems. Holocaust deniers generally start with the numbers. They deny the 6 million and suggest that only some 100,000s died in camps. They don't deny the existence of the camps, just that they were not for the mass extermination of the Jews and others. Yes, people died in the camps, but from disease etc.
A denier does not accept that the gas chambers existed, or that buildings purporting to be gas chambers actually are gas chambers. Therefore, how can people have been killed in gas chambers?
Franco, why do you keep changing your name? It looks pretty dodgy to say the the least when you create a new name just before suggesting the empirical historical evidence for the holocaust isn't convincing!
Anyway, the above statement is ridiculous, we aren't the same people for exactly the reasons you then go on to list. We don't live under the same circumstance and we haven't been brought up the same way.
And comparing Plato to the Holocaust in terms of the historiography is completely ridiculous. You are comparing the life story of one man nearly 2,500 years ago with the stories of millions of people, some of whom are still alive today, along with massive amounts primary source documentary evidence.
> And therein lies one of the problems. Holocaust deniers generally start with the numbers. They deny the 6 million and suggest that only some 100,000s died in camps.
They tend to be shot down as Goering admitted to exterminating more than 1 million.
For me, the number seems to be represented to be between 3 and 6 million. I gave up and came to realise the number is not the point. The sheer volume of death is.
Not as ridiculous as you may think. Not suggesting that we are about to go out and murder millions of Jews but many if not all of us have the potential to do terrible things in given circumstances. Remember Milligram?
And with ideological scenarios people as a species like dichotomy. They choose one side or the other and the views that each side encompasses become more entrenched which I think makes it easier for people to find justification, rightly or wrongly, for their actions.
When the Holocaust Denial law was brought in younger Germans could easily ask their parents or grandparents what happened and older Germans had lived through it. There was no uncertainty. The law was about making sure German children were told the truth so that it would never happen again.
Everyone seems to be talking about the evidence for the holocaust happening, but the question posed at the start was should people be imprisoned for denying the holocaust?
Absolutely not, people should not be sent to jail for holding an opinion (however wrong it might be). This is totally insane. Not to mention it sets an extremely dangerous precedent.
What if in the future the state decides to outlaw and suppress other opinions that aren't quite as crazy as holocaust denial?
It's interesting that people are stating that 6 million died in the camps, this is the number that is most often quoted. The true number is supposed to be 11 million of which 6 million were jews, the rest being mainly Russian POWs, pikies and puffs. The reason that most people think the number is 6 million is because the powerful jew press coined the phrase 'holocaust' which only refers to the 6 million jews, not the full 11 million who perished.
You forgot communists and other political opponents to the Nationalist regime.
In reply to Topper Harley:
I don't know about elsewhere but in France the law penalises the expression of such views in a flagrant and repeated manner, not just holding an opinion - no one can know, let alone prove, what opinions you hold if they are not expressed. The same is true about laws which penalise racism or anti-homosexual acts, they penalise the taking of actions which express or are based on these views, especially when this causes real distress or actual material prejudice to those concerned, not just holding such views.
I agree that the whole question probably deserves a bit more thought as once started it's hard to see where it will stop - will we soon be obliged to "respect" religions as many muslims demand? - but up to know it is not yet a crime to think bad thoughts if it stays in your head.
Yup that is my line of thinking. I believe at the moment it would be hard (in this country at least) to get another Nazi type situation but that is always there bubbling under the surface, I know people who would be very willing to instigate an anti-Muslim pogram for instance. Fortunately not everyone thinks that way but the BNP still get votes and I wouldn't like to ever get complacent about it.
> And with ideological scenarios people as a species like dichotomy. They choose one side or the other ...
I'm actually ambivalent about this.
I believe in freedom of speech but I also believe that words can be weapons.
Denying the Holocaust is not just and attempt at historical revisionism it is (usually) an act of racism and for this reason it should be punished in the same way as other race crimes. The part I'm not sure about is whether it needs its own law to do this. The whole Nazi period is such a gigantic stain on humanity that perhaps it needs such 'special measures' both to acknowledge its importance and prevent its recurrence.
Where to even start? But I guess with the pikies and puffs reference along with the above stupidity, you're just trolling. If not very well educated and vaguely anti-Semitic is the pose you're going for, well done. It's a direct hit.
That's true of recent years but there have been far worse periods in European history but which are not recognised as such - the 100 Years War for example. Authors and historians have dwelt on the romantic aspects of the period but for ordinary people it was catastrophic - many countries lost 1/3 of their population. The Black Prince was built up as a hero but when you read exactly what he did in his "raids" across France, or what similar "great men" did on the other side(s), you can't help but be revolted... not what we learnt at school.
What I find shocking about the nazis is the industrial/clinical "thoroughness" of it all - the heaps of shoes, gold teeth and all the rest - all done by the most civilised country in Europe.
As for saying it could happen here or again, I'm not convinced that is true, the conditions of Germany at the time, the origins of anti-semitism in christianity, the imperial conflicts and above all the results of the loss of WW1 and the Versailles treaty are unlikely to come about again, they certainly don't exist in Europe today.
The majority of the Holocaust denial is *not* taking the position that it didn't happen. Rather it is to argue that the killing of 6,000,000 civilian Jews was done as a necessary and legitimate act of war in the defence of the German nation during WWII.
Countries that have laws against denial view being prepared to air that opinion in public as an almost 100% reliable test of the person concerned being a Nazi sympathiser.
I think I'm right in saying that those groups are treated as proscribed organisations in Germany and their members and their views treated accordingly.
> Where to even start? But I guess with the pikies and puffs reference along with the above stupidity, you're just trolling. If not very well educated and vaguely anti-Semitic is the pose you're going for, well done. It's a direct hit.
I think you're whitewashing what seemed to me the clearly most obvious point in his/her post, that he/she thinks that the concentration camp murder resulted in 11 million deaths rather than only 6 million.
And that that is a point not discussed in the media.
Exactly, well said. Of course with some new, unforeseen, circumstances something else terrible could happen - nuclear weapon usage for example - but we're not the same, so we do things different. Kenneth Boulding is credited with the immensely wise statement, "we are who we are because we go this way", and that seems rather pertinent here.
Well they didn't, and both you and him are showing your ignorance of the history of the period. I can't quite remember, you should read Snyder's amazing "Bloodlands", but IIRC the majority of Jews murdered weren't gassed in the deaths camps, they were shot and thrown into pits where they lived by Einsatzgruppe and often their local collaborators. Google Babi Yar for example.
The millions of Soviet POW who died were starved to death in POW camps for example. The holocaust, as in the systematic slaughters by the Einsatzgruppe and culminating in the industrial scale killing at Auschwitz, Sobibor and the like was quite specific levels of killing of predominantly Jews in part of the wider killing of non-combatants killed by the Nazis.
> Perhaps living in Britain you have not actually met people who had lost their family or been in the camps themselves
I don't live in the UK- I live in Austria.
In reply to Toby A: I wasn't saying there wasn't sufficient evidence to believe it- I was just pointing out the interesting human trait of believing things without actually having studied any evidence. I study Germanic studies; I've looked at the history and evidence for the holocaust closely. I wonder how many of the 60-odd million people in the UK have ever looked any closer into this than the TV, O-level/GCSE history and the odd book- all tools often used to manipulate people in the past.
Well, first why would the media discuss things that aren't true? But more importantly his point was the media is controlled by the Jews, which is also clearly bollocks.
I was just pointing out that you were addressing something that was not the major point of his post. It was your method and not his content that I was noting. I admit I have a large amount of ignorance about the situation. I have now watched the Nuremberg video linked up thread and I am enjoying the discourse otherwise.
No one can study everything, you just need to make an assessment based on well founded expert knowledge. I can't explain to you exactly how climate change takes places or how evolution does, but as the vast number of academic scientist who spend their lives studying these things, can - I'm going with them.
If you don't think you understand how the holocaust took place, read a good recent book on it. Again, I'd recommend Snyder's Bloodlands.
So how many people (I have no idea what the correct answer is, so please enlighten me :-) were killed in the Nazi concentration camp murder?
Also, I strongly disagree that the ownership of the reporting media supposedly being Jews was the major point of his post.
What, pray tell, is well founded expert knowledge?
And it is relying very much on the argument from authority to justify 'going with' anybody under that criteria.
Sorry to be overtly questioning you for your personal opinion but your presentation is poor this time. You did so well on DU. I learned a lot from you but I don't feel that so much now.
I'm sure if you had asked a 'respected scientist' under nazi Germany, then they would not have been so damning of the regime.
Good grief. Come on mate. Everyone is entitled to an opinion whether they vote or not. Fool!
Q: Should the UK invest in geothermal energy?
or 'should we close down all coal-fired power stations be 2050'
How can anyone form an opinion on either of those questions without copious amounts of knowledge? And you call me a fool...
I don't remember, Wikipedia suggest around 3,000,000 but again reading historians who have looked at this like the Snyder book would be a place to start.
Well fine, if that was the case the statement then was casual antisemitism, along with being rubbish. Not sure which is better.
Your moving the goalposts: solutions are science based policy recommendations, and it is much harder there (although not impossible) to learn enough to know, but on the actual scientific consensus on climate change happening there really is very little debate.
The same under Stalin, but as we now know they completely fixed their data to please him.
I watched the first twenty five minutes and they at least are an object lesson in mendacity, speciousness, and innuendo. You need to think again if you think that is a convincing way to present an argument and prove a case.
> Q: Should the UK invest in geothermal energy?
> or 'should we close down all coal-fired power stations be 2050'
> How can anyone form an opinion on either of those questions without copious amounts of knowledge? And you call me a fool...
Not sure i agree with you there FC.
In answer to question 1, my opinion is that tha the UK should inest in geothermal energy. I think you are confusing opinion with assessment and judgement though. I know diddly squat about the economics so I cant comment about the economic feasibility. What I do know is that the UK is very different geothermaly than, say, Iceland and so the liklihood of it being economically viable in comparison is small.
Same argument about the coal fired power stations.
Back on thread though, and a lot of fascinating insight and comment here, it still is a puzzlement.
Have you read any books on holocaust?
It's interesting to look at the uploader's own page as well to see what else he interested in; Zionism, Freemasons, Illuminati, 911truth, 7/7truth, other Holocaust denial sites. So no big surprises there.
Honest question because I'm interested in the answer not in judging your opinion:
What do you think of the video "The Soviet Story"? Is it accurate or off the mark, do you think?
> I don't live in the UK- I live in Austria.
.....ideally placed to go and visit some key places to assess for yourself the evidence of the Holocaust. Perhaps, a trip to the Mauthausen Museum near Linz would be a good place to start.
what video sorry?
> The same under Stalin, but as we now know they completely fixed their data to please him.
That was my point...
I sometimes think it's a pity that David Irving is so blinded by his anti-semitism that he cannot sensibly contribute to the literature, there are many unanswered questions which are relevant today. But the fact that the death camps existed - we have artefacts and buildings, building plans, photos, lists, purchase orders for Zyklon B, and the perpetrator's own testimony - no Nazi fighting for his life at Nuermberg ever denied the holocaust - is incontravertible.
That's a whole other question!
Sorry, I thought you were a frequent ukc poster called Franco, as someone suggested!
If you live in Austria then you are have little contact with Jewish survivors of concentration camps for another reason then... I don't suppose there are many. And that you feel the need for more proof perhaps shows why anti-negationist laws have been voted in Germany and Austria, the renewal of fascist tendencies in your part of the world is nothing new. Nor is it in the country I live in, France, where the extreme right were up tp 18% of the vote in the recent presidential election, although they no longer actually express anti-semitic ideas.
I agree that people can be persuaded of many things without evidence - the present campaign to bomb Syria or Iran is a perfect example, as is the decades old misinformation about Israel - people insist that "Israel has the right to exist." but never even bother to wonder what such an extravagant idea could be based on - but as far as the massacres of Jews during WW2 is concerned there is ample evidence, and in Britain and France (the two countries I know well) this is very frequently presented to the public. The films of what was found when the Allied troops opened the gates of these factories of death are something we have all seen since our childhood - so your remark in no way applies to this case.
There is ample evidence and it has been presented to the public, they are not forming their opinion without evidence.
> The films of what was found when the Allied troops opened the gates of these factories of death are something we have all seen since our childhood
> There is ample evidence and it has been presented to the public, they are not forming their opinion without evidence.
One of the starting arguments of an Holocaust Denier is to point out that those videos and photographs are from typhoid victims and soviet POW's, and not from Jewish concentration camps, although they were broadcasted in the press as such. A bit like the latest case of the 'Syria' images in the BBC.
Not hinting to anything here though, just sharing something i read after looking into the topic prompted by this thread.
There have been so many different ones though, including film footage of GIs and British troops entering camps and being met by survivors in their camp uniforms while emaciated bodies are all around.. It's not just one film or photo, there are enormous quantities. In the same vein, the piles of clothing, gold teeth, glasses and so on are all recorded on film for anyone who wants to delve in such a domain.
If one doesn't accept witness based evidence what happened to all those Jews deported from countries like France? If they weren't killed why did they never come back to claim their belongings, houses and so on? I suppose a nagationist would claim they had all gone to Israel but apart from the fact that the figures don't fit, the numbers arriving in Israel just after the war were too few, there is the question of why so much property was never claimed? In France the state was still holding property belonging to deported people a year or so ago, it was a bit of a scandal in fact, but those in charge said that they had not been able to find any claimants, whole families had disappeared from the face of the earth.
Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor's True Story of Auschwitz
The scourge of the swastika Lord Russell of Liverpool.
Don't get me wrong, i'm not doubting the evidence which is ample and unquestionable.
Was just pointing something i learnt which struck me as a "big f*ck up" to give it the proper technical term. It's mistakes like this that unfortunately give ammunition and argument cases to the people who wish to deny the undeniable.
Don't worry, I don't think you are a negationist :-)
As above. I have no doubts whatsoever of the general idea of what happened. I am however a curious person, and like to read about and understand the arguments of all parties involved however wrong they are.
I visited Auschwitz and felt physically sick for months; and knowing next to nothing about the Holocaust, began to try and deducate myself a bit more about it, and needless to say its unavoidable that you soon come across the "revisionist" stuff...I really wish there was an absolute, irrefutable convergence of forensic, photographic and eye whitness evidence but this simply isnt the case.
For example, there is much debate about Crematoirum No. 2. US surveillance images showning the openings through which the Zyklon B was poured do not look 100% legit. And they do not appear to match perfectly the holes that exist in the ruins today.
Thats just one example of what could be called "a shadow of a doubt". Dont forget that in 1990, the memorial plaque Auschwitz was changed; from 4 million killed to 1.5 million.
Thankfully, my obsessing and sleepless nights over the matter are finished, as i concluded that during WW2 the most sickening campaign of ethnic cleansing did indeed take place. Some of the evidence isnt 100% conclusive, but there is far more that is.
What still bothers me is that in a modern society where freedom of speech is vital, that we have this one event which cannot be questioned or doubted; and imho the reason for this is that the autrocities commited again the Jews during WW2 somehow legitimises Israels brutal and illegal occupation of Palestine.
Nice topic for a sunny Sunday morning huh??
Furthermore, the producer uses primary source information and eye witness testimony (including their diagrams, scale models and descriptions) to illustrate, numerous, inconsistencies and oddities. He even conducts a few experiments to show how absurd some of the cremation accounts are.
I think if anyone had to watch the video objectively they would, in the very least, have a slightly altered opinion of the 3 camps in question.
I made it very clear I was passing judgement only on the section I'd watched (I very rarely have four hours to devote to watching documentaries). However the quality of evidence and argument presented in that section was truly terrible - I am a professional historian (though not of Germany or the Holocaust) and believe me I know about issues around sources, evidence and demonstrating historical claims. If the opening section is indicative then that film has no purpose other than deny the holocaust, chipping away at the details is a way of planting seeds of doubt about the big picture. I repeat, the quality of the arguments presented were just laughable.
I find it interesting that you think people are incapable of spotting holes in an argument in 25 minutes or that they might have time or inclination to watch 4 hours of some online video.
Even things that happened last week are subject to gaps, inconsistencies and argument but the evidence relating to the Holocaust of European Jews (and others) is as overwhelming as is humanly possible.
> What still bothers me is that in a modern society where freedom of speech is vital, that we have this one event which cannot be questioned or doubted; and imho the reason for this is that the autrocities commited again the Jews during WW2 somehow legitimises Israels brutal and illegal occupation of Palestine.
Your observation is one commonly used to delegitimise Israel. And by your linking of the Holocaust with an attack on Israel, you are putting yourself on the side of anti-semites.
First, you suggest that Israel was created in reaction to the Holocaust. Not true. In fact, the Balfour declaration and the San Remo conference and various British Royal Commissions had lead the situation that by the late 1930s a Jewish state was already close to being established: the war just delayed this.
Second, you argue that there is a brutal and illegal occupation. Not true. In fact, there has been for over 60 years a brutal war initiated and maintained by Arab countries and Muslim terrorist organisations against Israel: the sufferings of the Palestinians result directly from this.
Third, you say that Israel believes that it can act with impunity because of the Holocaust. This is just a fabrication on your part.
I watched the entire film and came to the same conclusion as my friend...that it was indeed interesting.
With that in mind I will now address your comments.
1) I'm not keen on the video, I just think that it raises peculiarities... peculiarities that I'm willing to say challenge my original understanding and would challenge yours as well. I understand some people don't like their viewpoints challenged however that's not me.
2)I'm not surprised that the video has been categorised as "holocaust denial", and as such, would find it's way onto a holocaust denial website because it is, in essence, denying that one third of the holocaust did not happen. No surprise there, however, what I do find surprising is that no one has bothered to try and refute his claims. Perhaps this is because he quotes from eye witness accounts and from their own books which have been published.
3)I have not read any books on the holocaust as it's not a subject that I would want to invest a lot of time into...for many reasons. I was merely perusing the world of UKC and saw this topic on the forums and thought I would place a link for others to see as I had only watched the video the previous week. I haven't even read this entire thread.
Please Note that I haven't given my own view on the subject...I just added the link and then prepared to watch South Africa narrowly defeat England in the rugby.
4)I don't think that it's interesting or relevant what the uploader is interested in Zionism, Freemasons etc and don't think it has any relevance to what is presented in the video.
I think that you have inadvertently highlighted a common phenomenon that all of us suffer from (including myself) and that is...associating a person's appearance, activities, hobbies and interests with who that person is,how they think and that these aspects define who they are. We then attach labels, stigma's and stereotypes to further diminish or ingratiate their character or their world view for being different...how dare they take an interest in something that goes against the accepted paradigm...
...Then again, it's obvious the person wears a tin foil hat.
but anyway, that, as im sure you'd agree, is an entirely different kettle of fish which as you say isnt really related to the Holocaust...
I would rather remain silent...that's just me.
Among others, point 4. Good point well made.
I did however allude to the fact that you can't judge an entire 4hr documentary based on the opening 25mins...would you not agree?
If you read my opening response to TobyA then you will understand why we're even engaged in dialogue...
Well most people can decide that if a documentary maker can't progress beyond bullsh*t for the first 25 mins then it's likely to remain bullsh*t throughout. So no, I don't agree.
Are you referring to the quotes/excerpts, from which the narrator is quoting and illustrating as non-sensical, and therefore agreeing that the authors (holocaust survivors) accounts are bullsh*t??? Remember that the narrator is quoting/reading from the eye witness (author's/holocaust- survivors) accounts and in so doing is only a medium.
I don't see how clarifying, that using anything but the primary source of information (when investigating a topic), then proceeding to obtain the primary source of information, is bullsh*t. I didn't know that this kind of investigation is considered bullsh*t these days...
Would you like to clarify? I can't really see any other way around this???
Oh dear, where to begin. First, for the third time, I'm have only commented on the part I have watched, however that part is so skewed and stupid I don't have high hopes for the rest.
If you think it raises serious questions then you seriously need to readjust your intellectual parameters. You seem to be very impressed that the film-makers have assembled primary evidence - well there's having evidence and then there's how you use it. You can't use it to say black is white. Their entire approach to rebuttal seems to rely on a sneering mocking tone and illogical assertion (I lost track of the number of times 'probably' preceded some totally baseless leap of imagination). They wouldn't know proper historical scholarship if it hit them in the face. They wouldn't even get a GCSE with this. And this isn't me having a closed mind its me having some training and discrimination. I not surprised the historians the film-makers attack haven't bothered rebutting them - they have better things to do than engage every half wit denier. So in answer to your question to elsewhere I'm calling total bullshit on the film-makers. And if you can't see the relevance of the uploader's interest in conspiracy theories, zionism etc then I give up - they are of a piece with the denial and demonstrate a particular and in my view misguided and dangerous pattern of beliefs. Its not like I'm saying he must be wrong because he's stamp collector.
If I seem a little angry its because your persistence with insisting this is 'interesting' and worth taking seriously is getting dangerously close to holocaust denial - despite all your protestations that you don't particularly like the video
Hahaha careful there friend if you stop clapping first it'll be 10 years for you! You cannot debate a paradigm and then refute your opponent by accusing them of being part of the paradigm. That is begging the question.
> Your observation is one commonly used to delegitimise Israel. And by your linking of the Holocaust with an attack on Israel, you are putting yourself on the side of anti-semites.
> First, you suggest that Israel was created in reaction to the Holocaust. Not true. In fact, the Balfour declaration and the San Remo conference and various British Royal Commissions had lead the situation that by the late 1930s a Jewish state was already close to being established: the war just delayed this.
> Second, you argue that there is a brutal and illegal occupation. Not true. In fact, there has been for over 60 years a brutal war initiated and maintained by Arab countries and Muslim terrorist organisations against Israel: the sufferings of the Palestinians result directly from this.
> Third, you say that Israel believes that it can act with impunity because of the Holocaust. This is just a fabrication on your part.
I don't know what you think you are achieving by this sort of post, your whole post is nothing but a series of blatant lies... All you do is add fuel to the negationists as anyone reading your post might well say if this Israeli can say such things then maybe what we are told about Jews suffering in WW2 is false too.
I have no doubt that what we are told about the atrocities committed by the Germans, and other Europeans during WW2 is not only true but that it underestimates the horror of day to day life, and death, for Jews during WW2, by linking it to what your country is doing today and denying the brutal genocide of the Palestinian people you are helping those you should be fighting.
Wow I didn't spot
Are you crazy. The Palestinian people are being oppressed physically, emotionally and economically very brutally with the intention it seems to at best deny them the right to live on land that they have occupied for a long long time. It is akin to somebody knocking down your garage and extension then making the hallway a non householder's area across which if the oppressor is kind enough to let you pass it will be at the end of a barrel of a gun with much administration to get through before you can. Then your metaphorical aquifer will be turned off by the oppressor taking ownership of your water main. Then the oppressor tells tesco that they may not deliver to you leaving only a small amount of serviceable garden upon which to grow not enough food for your family. At this you get angry and use pea shooters with soggy peas to fight back against the men with guns who justified by your actions may now take pot shots at you as they see you through the window moving around your living room trying to mind your own business and just get by.
After reading your exchange I thought I would at least look at the film on utube (I hadn't before 4 hours on this subject didn't exactly turn me on) but I can't look at the utube film as it is not available in France - I suppose the content has been judged to be illegal here, but Toby's link worked so I have just looked at the bits available there... all except the second half of the last one as by then the ghastly dirge of the man's voice had gone beyond my patience!
All I can say is that it is, as said by another poster, nothing more or less than a pure (impure rather) product of negationist propaganda. All he does is find a few snippets where the witness reports seem to be contradicting themselves and then goes through them with any number of spurious examples - the air-conditioning reference was a real gem - which could only be taken seriously by a drunken skinhead nazi worshipping still on a high after a bit of "queer bashing" on Clapham Common.
If the rest is like this then it is about on the same level as the "moon landings were faked in a studio" sort of story. As already said it's not even up to O level history standards, way below in fact.
If the rest is like this then it is about on the same level as the "moon landings were faked in a studio" sort of story.
C'mon Bruce. Don't get all straw man at the end of a reasonable post.
I've watched precisely none of the video and have never said otherwise. There must be millions of hours of video on the internet that I've never looked at but I commented because I've seen enough to know there are examples of bullsh*t that can be spotted in far less than 25 minutes of video.
Please do clarify*, what did you conclude from the full 4 hours of video?
*just a few lines if you like, no need to write an essay
Sorry but it really is at that abysmal level... no straw men involved... as extreme right "intellectualism" generally is.
Again, totally agree. It's the chipping away at a few minor facts, that of course could be wrong - his "standard reference book" he is criticising is now rather old - many new sources have come to light since then, and saying that negates the big picture. It only does, if that's what you already want to be convinced of.
I just wonder why you would spend 4 hours on some random internet video rather than spending the same amount of time reading some classic work of history on the same issue? It seems like you want to be dissuaded of something that you admit you know very little about in first place.
It's a bit like going straight to AIDS denialist sites without trying to understand the basic biology of how HIV acts on/in the body first. How can you know if the denial sites are bollocks or not?
This is a rather hysterical post I think!
I said that the plight of the Palestinians is a direct result of the Arab war against Israel. it was ,after all, Egypt and Jordan that took over the land allocated to the Palestinians by the UN. And in Lebanon, where most refugees are, Palestinians have been systematically denied civil rights for 60 years.
> I don't know what you think you are achieving by this sort of post, your whole post is nothing but a series of blatant lies..
Perhaps you could do us all a favour and identify these so-called lies in my post? e.g. demonstrate that the Balfour declaration and the UN creation of Israel are in fact mass historical hallucinations? Or identify some brutal act against Palestinians that has been justified by the Israeli government by the Holocaust?
Just sounded to me that you were saying the Palestinians are responsible for their situation. Are they giving their own land away? Are they shooting themselves? Are they depriving their own families of food? Are they using economic and military might to prevent their own economy from functioning the way a free people's economy would? I don't think so. Claiming that 'they started it' is just bollocks really.
99% of people, on these forums, is ever willing to admit when they've said something foolish, or that someone has raised a good point that leads to a cognitive shift in their thinking.
99% of people, on these forums, know everything. And the people who question their percieved, majestic, omniscience (or have different views) are fools of the highest order.
These same people also know more about these unfortunate "fools" than the "fools" themselves...I guess omniscience would do this, their god-like qualities know no bounds.
But I and others have noticed a trend...These people don't bring anything of substance to the table...with the exception of powerful, persuasive, dismissive but ultimately unintentional (sometimes intentional) specious arguments.
Undoubtedly you and the others, who have replied to me, are right...I'm clearly in the position of ignorance.
In future I will accept the testimony of people that have undergone extraordinary experiences, without questioning or wanting to investigate their claims (even though some of their eye witness accounts and descriptions don't make sense) and thereby learn more about the topic.
I am not intelligent or discerning enough to understand critical thinking and should rather leave this to people who are qualified to do so or have an opinion.
I also look forward to the time when having freedom of thought is abolished and I can go to prison for having legitimate reasons for questioning the status quo...All topics of a controversial nature should naturally be taboo and people who engage in them should be considered highly dangerous and dealt with appropriately...I will stop here as you already knew I would say this before I did...being omniscient and all that.
By their very nature taboos aren't to be questioned, but they really should be. The status quo, as I said above, is exactly what the nazis were. When we accept the status quo without thinking, we are no better than those who lived under and therefor passively supported the Nazis.
I do think it's extremely pedantic to talk of the possibility of the holocaust having been purely 'made up' though, and for my prior devil's advocacy I apologise. It's very worrying how people can't see the difference between agreeing that something is very likely to have happened on balance and saying outright that it certainly did happen though.
1) The Balfour declaration said that a Jewish homeland might be created but on the express condition that "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine" - a clearly impossible condition. It was a worthless bit of double talk aimed at obtaining the support of US financiers in WW1. The Brits, who only had the mandate on Palestine, they didn't own it, had turned completely against the idea of a Jewish state by the late 30s.
2) The UN did not "create Israel", they made a proposition of partition but this was turned down by all parties except the Jewish people living in Palestine (a minority) so the plan was refused and the UN had no power to, impose it... This was done by an armed uprising and a unilateral declaration by the Jews in Palestine.
3) You deny the violence of the takeover, forgetting the Stern gang and other paramilitary terrorist groups - who went as far a assassinating British troops (for which some were hanged) even though the latter were generally seen by Palestinians as being pro Jewish and anti-Arab.
4) The effect of the holocaust was to prevent the British from limiting Jewish immigration into Palestine. They tried to do this to reply to Arab demands who had at last realised where the continued arrival of outsiders was leading but the sympathy that the Jewish people of Europe had, and the guilt felt by many Europeans responsible for the genocide made this politically very difficult. In the end the British government threw in the towel leaving the road free for the imposition of Israel on the Arab a majority and their dispersal by fear and violence.
These are the simple undeniable facts that anyone can look up, what you say, and have been taught doubtless, are simply lies.
I don't think anyone is suggesting that you can't have your own opinion, or even make your own arguments about all sorts of subjects, however you have to accept that those opinions are likely to be subject to criticism - which you have done little (if anything to counter).
If you are going to present an argument then I would suggest a bit more research - being prepared to watch a 4 hour video of someone's (slightly biased!) interpretation of someone else's review of primary facts rather than carry out research of your own is always going to open you the to attack.
I could only watch a short portion of that video and I tend to agree with the other posters.
It starts by suggesting that newspaper and TV evidence can be ignored, on the basis, apparently that it doesn't always give sufficient weight to a story. Surely you can see the absurdity of that argument?
It then attempts to first discredit a primary witness. It criticises the language he uses (omitting to mention they were reading a translation in Polish) it then criticises the the level of detail in it - omitting to mention it was a 46 page document written clandestinely during the war in occupied Poland. In fact it completely ignores the intellect and the ability of the writer. Having attempted to discredit some portions it then appears to consider it a legitimate argument to dismiss it completely and thus by implication the credibility of the book that is using it as a reference. That would be the 3 volumes of work that they proclaim maked FIVE WHOLE references to it.
Obviously in an ideal world the author would have the opportunity to present his account and be cross examined about it, like for example in a court of law. Perhaps something like a war crimes trial in 1947. And another in 1961.
Sadly when a video starts as poorly as that, it becomes a bit laborious to endure any more. I would rather read the 46 page (easily available) booklet myself. I imagine that the initial references to the "difficulty of getting hold of it" were some snide dig at it's credibility. Don't worry - since 2009 you could read it here
So I imagine that when the video was uploaded in 2011 no-one had figured out google.
Sircumfrins (and Franco) you're just being hysterical now; none of this is about freedom of thought, refusal to question taboos, refusing to question sources and testament. In fact these are all the lifeblood of my profession. I practice them everytime I go in archive or write up my findings.
Instead its about submitting claims to rigourous scrutiny - and this film simply does not stand up (or, to qualify, at least the first 25 mins don't). Of course you can have an opinion but if you bring it to the public domain - I think you posted this link twice - then you can expect to have it critiqued. You haven't made a good point likely to lead to a cognitive shift, you've posted a link to an intellectually bankrupt denial film. I think I've brought something important to the table, an insistence that this film be seen for what it is.
Finally, its very important to assert that whilst everyone can have an opinion they are not all equally valid on all subjects. My mechanic's opinion on my car is more valid than mine, as would be my doctor's if I were ill. Raul Hilberg's (author of The Destruction of the European Jews) , after decades amongst the sources, is more valid than the film-makers. There are no doubt many areas of life were your opinions, being based in expertise and experience, are more valid than mine, but when it comes to assessing historical scholarship then yes, you clearly are in a position of relative ignorance.
In your world of 'all opinions are equally valid, to criticize my opinions is to restrict my freedom of speech', do flat earthers have the same status as those who believe the world is round? Do creationists have the same validity as those who believe that life arose through evolution? Do those who believe that all matter consists of earth, fire, air and water have the same right to be listened to as those who think the metaphor of atoms and molecules explain the observable facts better?
No - because each of the generally accepted examples above fit the entire, complicated matrix of our experience better than the alternatives. So it is with the holocaust. Yes you can ignore the documentary evidence, the original sources, the eyewitness accounts - if you can be bothered to look them up - and invent some silly ad hoc explanations that cover the known facts with increasingly far fetched and disconnected theories. But Occam's razor suggests that the generally received view - that the Nazis evolved, alebeit in a haphazard and chaotic way, a murderous solution to the their perceived problem of Jewish 'germs' - is most likely to be the most correct one. Read the Villa, the Lake, the Conference if you want a short introduction to the subject - it will take a lot less time than a 4 hour video and you can check all the sources cited for yourself.
Whilst I agree with the idea of supporting the conclusion that seems most founded in the evidence, I think you are being incredibly naive. It's less an issue with the holocaust, but with something like renewable energy, or the Iraq war, the 'evidence' might point a certain way- but that's cause the evidence is totally biased! I don't think this is the case with the holocaust, but I have thought about whether it could be the case and then discounted it.
> Whilst I agree with the idea of supporting the conclusion that seems most founded in the evidence, I think you are being incredibly naive. It's less an issue with the holocaust, but with something like renewable energy, or the Iraq war, the 'evidence' might point a certain way- but that's cause the evidence is totally biased! I don't think this is the case with the holocaust, but I have thought about whether it could be the case and then discounted it.
I, for one, am grateful for your skillful use of Occam's razor on this most complex matter.
> I, for one, am grateful for your skillful use of Occam's razor on this most complex matter.
He banged his head - poor lad :)
As it happens I for one was 99% there never were wmd in Iraq, that Hussein was acting like a silly schoolboy, and Dubya was going to war come what may - I think I posted as such at the time, so your charge of naivete is a bit misplaced, tbh.
> German laws are there for rather obvious reasons I would have thought, and are a credit to modern day German democracy as part of their promise of "never again".
Yes. No doubt many a Brit and many a Frank might say that liberty is not constructed of rules. However, we have to remember that Germany is principally for the Germans.
I would rather suggest that you don't seem to have any sense of how to weigh totally different qualities and quantities of evidence. Now there is extensive evidence that weren't WMDs in Iraq in 2003 - in 02/03 there was very limited and poor quality evidence that there were.
Sircumfrins has said he has not read anything about the holocaust or studied it. Then he picks a video that has very very obvious weaknesses to anyone who has tried seriously studying any historical period or event, and says because we don't find it convincing we are trying to silence people. That's just silly, they can and will say what they want, and those of us who believe that's what they're saying is clearly rubbish can also say so in reply.
As off-duty alluded to above, if you get cancer you can listen to what at homeopath if you like, but you better accept that people who care about you might be vigourously telling you to listen to an oncologist instead.
Stop being silly and melodramatic. You can and have said exactly what you want here, and those of us who have thought it was rubbish have told you that. Everyone says what they want.
I do wonder why you won't just go and read one of the respected works of history on this subject as a counterpoint to video though. You've said yourself that you don't much about the period, so how can you really question it? Again I would recommend "Bloodlands". That's a book based on German, Russian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian etc etc sources by a historian who has mastered those sources, or has worked with colleagues who have. It's not a video that takes a few English language sources out of a library and attempts to pick holes with that one source.
Seems appropriate to point out the announcement of the death of Gitta Sereny, biographer of Albert Speer and Franz Stangl, commander at Treblinka - perhaps Sircunfrins might choose to read the latter
I have done some further reading and out of the 7 (of 7) holocaust survivor accounts I have read, I can't help but feel that most incidences, discussed within the accounts (recounted by survivors), at best, are highly unlikely to have occurred.
Please read what I have read and see for yourself.
I have provided the exact same links, that I have read, below.
Here they are:
One year in Treblinka By Yankel Wiernik An Inmate Who Escaped Tells the
Day-To-Day Facts of One Year of His Torturous Experiences:
Seeing as my initial link was to a video using this book as a source, it made sense to read the entire book.
I have now read this entire story and would recommend it. It doesn't take very long however if you can't/won't then at the very least read Chapter 14 which deals with the escape.
I'm sure you will find the details surrounding the escape and events which took place during the escape, very puzzling indeed.
Holocaust Survivor Stories:
I read all 6 of the survivor stories and once again I found details of the accounts puzzling.
After reading these accounts feel free to comment. I would be interested to hear what a historian would have to say...
Incidentally, I have (now) read a little about Franz Stangl...but not enough to form a solid opinion.
I would also like to respond to what TobyA wrote a few posts back:
"It's a bit like going straight to AIDS denialist sites without trying to understand the basic biology of how HIV acts on/in the body first. How can you know if the denial sites are bollocks or not? "
I strongly disagree with this way of thinking.
I think that if you want to learn about the pro's and con's, of a "supposed" controversial topic (we'll use your AIDS denialist example), that it's probably best to use the so called "facts" that the AIDS denialists put forward, as a platform, to base your investigation on (you would pretty much be cutting to the chase). They would obviously put their strongest evidence forward which you could then research and debunk before moving on to the next "fact"...and so on and so forth.
In so doing, you would learn a great deal about the overall topic and allow the true facts to allow you to arrive at a conclusion (from here you could continue your studies/investigation unhindered by the initial formailities)...would you not agree with this logic?
Please feel free to drop me some links so I can further my understanding (I think that reading more survivor stories is the way forward as they would, obviously, have had first hand experience...).
I'm glad you've done some reading. I've now read some of Wiernik, starting with chapter 14. I do happen to be too busy to read much now as I have to deliver the manuscript of a book in the next week, amongst many other tasks.
It is simply not an historical argument to say you find something implausible or very likely to have occurred. Just because you can't imagine it does not mean it didn't happen - this is exactly the approach taken in the approach. Wiernik's account is written with some colour certainly but a cursory search shows there was a very well documented revolt at Treblinka in August 1943 at which arms were seized, guards killed, fires set and several hundred prisoners escaped - though most were quickly caught. This preceded the much more well known escape from Sobibor.
As an historian I would treat Wiernik's account as exactly what it is - one small source amongst many. Hilberg, author of Destruction of the European Jews, will have read many thousands (for the much smaller project I am completing now I have read several hundred primary documents and scores of secondary works). Gradually a picture will have been built up through a process of corroboration (Wiernik is cited only five times in a three volume work; it is one tiny piece of the jigsaw - and for all I know Hilberg may in any case say he is an unreliable source). Moreover it is not simply a case that sources are either 'right' or 'wrong', true or untrue. It is much subtler than that. Accounts such as Wiernik's are texts containing discourse, narrative effects, rhetoric etc. Adept historians are not naive about this and read documents with an attention to their ambiguities.
Finding something puzzling from the luxury and security of early C21st Britain is not even the beginning of proving it didn't happen
There's some typos in there, it was very early. First line second paragraph should say 'very UNlikely to have occurred.' Second sentence same para should say 'exactly the approach taken in the FILM.'
> "It's a bit like going straight to AIDS denialist sites without trying to understand the basic biology of how HIV acts on/in the body first. How can you know if the denial sites are bollocks or not? "
> I strongly disagree with this way of thinking.
> I think that if you want to learn about the pro's and con's, of a "supposed" controversial topic (we'll use your AIDS denialist example), that it's probably best to use the so called "facts" that the AIDS denialists put forward, as a platform, to base your investigation on (you would pretty much be cutting to the chase).
But if you have no training in or knowledge of medicine or human physiology how on earth do you know that whether their "facts" are facts or simply made up?
It seems your position is that you don't need to know anything about hundreds of years of scientific research (or with the Holocaust case, many decades of historical research), rather you go straight to a few marginal (and often untrained) 'alternative voices' and engage with their facts.
Francis Ween's "How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered the World" is a good polemic on this sort of thing: http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Mumbo-Jumbo-Conquered-World-Delusions/dp/0007140975 but perhaps better for this discussion would be Evans' "In defence of history" which is really a defence against the postmodernist (and arguably nihilist) position that it is impossible to know anything about , but is also a very good description of how historians try to reach as a close an approximation to the truth as possible: http://www.amazon.co.uk/In-Defence-History-Richard-Evans/dp/1862073953
I don't know how you cannot have a solid opinion about Franz Stangl, he was after all the person who brought 'order' to Treblinka, he was proud of his achievement increasing the efficiency of the killing machine, and described in detail his 'achievements' and experience.
But away from the lurid accounts, why not read some of the books I've suggested - or Eichman in Jerusalem, by Hannah Arendt, which reports Eichman's own testimony on the witness stand in Jerusalem? He never denied the Holocaust occurred, even as he was fighting for his life; his (in)famous justification was that he was just obeying orders like a good bureacrat.
Primo Levi describes these issues in some detail in his essay "The Drowned and the Saved". Most particularly he cautions against generalising from the accounts of survivors, who were very much the minority, to the experience of the majority. Many, possibly most, victims never survived the initial selektion. The experience of the majority was death in a particularly horrible form, either in the cattle trucks on the way to the camps, or immediately on arrival or very soon afterwards.
The instigators of genocide tend not to have PR departments, or if they do, they are dedicated to obfuscation and covering up information, not revealing it. Indeed Nazi repression (more of political opponents than racial targets in this case), intentionally took place under Nacht und Nebel, night and fog :
It would be interesting to ask those that challenge accounts of the holocaust how they would account for the disappearance of populations of many millions or tens of millions of people from (mostly) Eastern Europe during the relevant period - the sort of death rates that could only occur through mass murder on an industrial scale, or through population-devastating epidemic of biblical proportions or massive crop failures, which would not be racially or religiously selective in their effects.
One thing this discussion does make clear however is the folly and wickedness of making "Holocaust Denial" in any way illegal. To do so lends a spurious rebel glamour and entirely unjustified legitimacy to those who engage in it, the appropriate response is to listen to their weak and ahistorical arguments and refute them in a reasoned way. There is a vast amount of evidence of all kinds available to do this, to fail to use it and to just shout "denial" or "we'll send you to jail" itself suggests intolerance and weakness in equal parts.
Making holocaust denial illegal doesn't close down all debate though. In my own field (business history), for example, recent years have seen a wave of (German) scholarship on the involvement of German corporations (and the corporations of many other nations, occupied and not) with the Nazi regime in general and the holocaust in particular - much of this work specifically commissioned by the corporations themselves. Similarly, its not as though German children are not taught about the holocaust. In the German context, the illegality of denial is clearly an important part of the ongoing acknowledgement of guilt.
It is my impression (no more than an impression I admit), that in Germany and Austria, the effect has been the exact opposite, to provide neo-Nazi groups with the comforting sense that is them that are the victims, similarly for "historians" such as David Irving. A more appropriate and measured use of the law was when Irving himself brought a libel action against his critics and was comprehensively trounced and widely ridiculed as a consequence of his failure and absence of arguments, the court found :
"he (Irving) had 'for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence'"
Whereas his arrest in Austria for Holocaust Denial promoted some sympathy for him, even in normally hostile quarters.
Forbidding free speech on the basis that some views "should not be allowed, even to be thought" proclaims the insecurity and authoritarianism of the person doing it, it is in any case likely to be unenforceable and self-defeating.
Irving is a case in point, he perhaps would have some interesting things to say about, say, how much Hitler really knew about what was going on, and how much the decisions to proceed were his, if he wasn't such an obviously racist b*stard.
> Irving is a case in point, he perhaps would have some interesting things to say about, say, how much Hitler really knew about what was going on, and how much the decisions to proceed were his, if he wasn't such an obviously racist b*stard.
Not another sin to heap upon our pet Boer.
For all that its worth Irving's scholarship is rather out of date though, isn't it?
> In so doing, you would learn a great deal about the overall topic and allow the true facts to allow you to arrive at a conclusion (from here you could continue your studies/investigation unhindered by the initial formailities)...would you not agree with this logic?
It's peverse logic to go to the denialists first rather than the conventional scientists who have built on a history of discovering germs leading to the invention of antiseptics, drinking water treatement, sewage treatment and improved prevention/treatment of infectious diseases. Having understood some of the conventional science that has everyday evidence of delivering benefits you should then apply an equally critical eye to the non-mainstream viewpoists that lack that successful history of conventional science/medicine.
In my head I know what I'm on about....
Er, no it's not but Sircumfrins is South African (see profile) and this was to suggest that A/S was being added to his denial of the annihilation.
The substantive point was that Irving's work is pre-collapse of the Soviet Union followed by its vast archive becoming available to Western historians: Goebbels diaries and similar documents. There's been an awful lot of scholarship since then
It cheapens and trivialises the experience of victims of mass murder, reducing it to a tired and increasingly ineffectual rhetorical trope, while at the same time attempts to shut down debate and bludgeon opinion.
In the context of situations like the Armenian genocide or the Ukrainian famine however, the comparison is entirely appropriate given that there are plenty of individuals with motives for suppressing the memory of these events, for genuinely similar reasons to those who wish to deny or belittle the holocaust.
Surely Irving's scholarship is now largely viewed as discredited in any case?
> Surely Irving's scholarship is now largely viewed as discredited in any case?
Does "denialist" refer only to holocaust deniers? That might be where we have hear it used most, but I'm pretty certain I've heard it in reference to other minority positions that attack generally well founded and widely held scientific positions; i.e. AIDS denialists or climate change denial. In particular it seems to be used when a minority position is very much the minority position - and those holding the majority position tends to include virtually all the 'professionals' in that field, whether that be academic historians or climatologists. And then also when there is either a cost or seeming political motivation to the denial; so for example Mbeki's denial of the HIV-AIDs link cost lives; Irving's denialism seemed motivated by his anti-Semitism; Exxonmobil funded climate change denial because of its business interests etc.
You could easily have completed reading chapter 14, in the time it has taken you, to continue posting.
If you are really pressed for time then I would love to get your opinion (and anyone elses opinion) of the last few paragraphs of chapter 14.
I would like to know, simply, if you (and others) believe, Wiernik's story, is true or false...there simply can't be a grey area.
Here are the final paragraphs I'm referring to:
"Suddenly we heard the signal - a shot fired into the air.
We leaped to our feet. Everyone fell to his prearranged task and performed it with meticulous care. Among the most difficult tasks was to lure the Ukrainians from the watchtowers. Once they began shooting at us from above, we would have no chance of escaping alive. We knew that gold held an immense attraction for them, and they had been doing business with the Jews all the time. So, when the shot rang out, one of the Jews sneaked up to the tower and showed the Ukrainian guard a gold coin. The Ukrainian completely forgot that he was on guard duty. He dropped his machine gun and hastily clambered down to pry the piece of gold from the Jew. They grabbed him, finished him off and took his revolver. The guards in the other towers were also dispatched quickly.
Every German and Ukrainian whom we met on our way out was killed. The attack was so sudden that before the Germans were able to gather their wits, the road to freedom lay wide open before us. Weapons were snatched from the guard station and each one of us grabbed all the arms he could. As soon as the signal shot rang out, the guard at the well had been killed and his weapons taken from him. We all ran out of our barracks and took the stations that had been assigned to us. Within a matter of minutes, fires were raging all around. We had done our duty well.
I grabbed some guns and let fly right and left, but when I saw that the road to escape stood open, I picked up an ax and a saw, and ran. At first we were in control of the situation. However, within a short time pursuit got under way from every direction, from Malkinia, Kosow and from the Treblinka Penal Camp. It seemed that when they saw the fires and heard the shooting, they sent help at once.
Our objective was to reach the woods, but the closest patch was five miles away. We ran across swamps, meadows and ditches, with bullets pursuing us fast and furious. Every second counted. All that mattered was to reach the woods because the Germans would not want to follow us there.
Just as I thought I was safe, running straight ahead as fast as I could, I suddenly heard the command "Halt!" right behind me. By then I was exhausted but I ran faster just the same. The woods were just ahead of me, only a few leaps away. I strained all my will power to keep going. The pursuer was gaining and I could hear him running close behind me.
Then I heard a shot; in the same instant I felt a sharp pain in my left shoulder. I turned around and saw a guard from the Treblinka Penal Camp. He again aimed his pistol at me. I knew something about firearms and I noticed that the weapon had jammed. I took advantage of this and deliberately slowed down. I pulled the ax from my belt. My pursuer - a Ukrainian guard - ran up to me yelling in Ukrainian: "Stop or I'll shoot!" I came up close to him and struck him with my axe across the left side of his chest. He collapsed at my feet with a vile path.
I was free and ran into the woods. After penetrating a little deeper into the thicket, I sat down among the bushes. From the distance I heard a lot of shooting. Believe it or not, the bullet had not really hurt me. It had gone through all of my clothing and stopped at my shoulder, leaving a mark. I was alone. At last, I was able to rest."
I would also like to state that this doesn't (by a very long shot) come close to disproving the holocaust, by any means.
I would also point out that this doesn't necessarily discredit the entire story however it would make you question other aspects...and rightfully so.
This account however would have undoubtedly been used as a source as there weren't very many survivors at Treblinka.
Would you use it as a reliable source?
Plenty of people when telling accounts about some crisis have the habbit of guilding the lilly to make themselves seem more heroic or selfless than they actually were, while frequently they genuinely don't know what is going on overall, being totally pre-occupied with their immediate situation. This does not mean that their accounts do not relate the basic point about an event.
Concentration camps and terror regimes were very largely worked on collaboration from various people who were not the initial instigators, (Nazis, Marxists, Young Turks etc), at various points those collaborators may have turned on the original perpatrators and rebelled, but then tried to exagerate or backdate their resistance.
You may wish to read Primo Levi's account of his time in Auschwiz, "If this is a man". It is striking for its low-key, factual style, no attempt to play up the horrors or to tell you what to think. What he recounts stands on its own, there is no need to inflate it.
of course it can. The chances are there will be some inaccuracies in that account since thats human nature and why its a really bad idea just to rely on one or two eye witnesses.
Its why you want as many eyewitnesses as possible and also other sources, for example look at census histories etc and also forensic examination of the site.
how about applying the same argument to those claiming there wasnt a Holocaust and see which one runs into more issues.
The problem is this "rightfully so" approach is a common tactic used to try and discredit arguments. Find some minor part and then keep pointing at it while ignoring the rest of the evidence and also the massive parts which would need changing to support the case.
Accuracy or inaccuracy of an eyewitness account is very different from whether that account is true or false.
God Sircumfrins you're really bloodly literal aren't you. I've got some time, particularly in small chunks, just not lots to do all the reading. I think that literalism is you're problem in fact, history is full of grey area. Wiernik's account can absolutely be true and false simultaneously.
Anyway I did read all of chapter 14 and didn't have a massive problem with it. Would I use it as a reliable source? Well that begs several questions; for what purpose, in what context, how corroborated. It certainly seems of some value and not to be dismissed out of hand.
You haven't yet said what your problem is with it. It seems to amount to a simple refusal to believe it.
That approach is what defence briefs do to try and get the guilty off, not what historians do to try to establish the truth.
Climbing partner of mine is an ex copper, who used to investigate fatal road accidents. He used to find that if there were a half-a-dozen witnesses, there would be half-a-dozen accounts of what happened. None of these witnesses were themselves in any way threatened, or likely to be prosecuted, they just got exited and filled in the bits that they didn't know.
Which doesn't mean that there wasn't an accident, or that someone hadn't been killed in it.
Why not simply ask the people who know all about such atrocties?
"I think that if you want to learn about the pro's and con's, of a "supposed" controversial topic (we'll use your AIDS denialist example), that it's probably best to use the so called "facts" that the AIDS denialists put forward, as a platform, to base your investigation on (you would pretty much be cutting to the chase). They would obviously put their strongest evidence forward which you could then research and debunk before moving on to the next "fact"...and so on and so forth.
In so doing, you would learn a great deal about the overall topic and allow the true facts to allow you to arrive at a conclusion (from here you could continue your studies/investigation unhindered by the initial formailities)...would you not agree with this logic?"
Why did you decide not to include the rest of my quote? You obviously glanced passed the section that says,"...you could then RESEARCH and DEBUNK before moving on to the next "fact"...and so on and so forth" or you deliberately excluded it to make me look foolish.
You've accomplished neither.
Now, I understand that I never said where or what I would use to research this information however I assumed that you would probably have afforded me some intellectual courtesy and assumed that I would have read some information (perhaps using books or websites dedicated to the research and understanding of AIDS and HIV). At the very least/worst I could have done a Wiki search...If you are not intuitive enough to piece together such obvious details then there is no point in me engaging in dialogue with you.
I have several friends who have recently graduated as doctors (congratulations guys if you are reading this) and could easily have asked them for their opinion or to point me in the direction of well researched literature.
The rest of your post follows on from this assumption and (as I previously predicted in an earlier post about omniscience - I believe you responded to it) you then, arrogantly, think you know me well enough to state:
"It seems your position is that you don't need to know anything about hundreds of years of scientific research (or with the Holocaust case, many decades of historical research), rather you go straight to a few marginal (and often untrained) 'alternative voices' and engage with their facts".
The truth is you don't need to know anything about hundreds of years of scientific research. If you want to learn about the subject of AIDS & AIDS Denialists all you need to do is filter your criteria and knowledge to suit the subject! For example, all doctors call upon knowledge accumulated over the centuries in order to better understand the human body. This will obviously help them in their occupation as they will deal with a wide variety of ailments and incidents throughout their career as a doctor. They would not need to know how the heart functioned However, if a doctor wants to specialise in AIDS research they will need to filter their knowledge in accordance with their chosen specialty. 95% of the knowledge they learned at medical school would be come irrelevant as it is not needed to defeat the AIDS virus.
What you then try and do is demonstrate your superior intellect and knowledge by illustrating what you have read (once again I predicted this in my omniscience post).
I'm not going to purport to know or understand your thinking but I can tell you this. I don't need to read a book on "How mumbo jumbo conquered the world" to understand or be exposed to the subject.
Some people don't need to read a book, on this subject, to be acquainted with it's presence...I find it all to pervasive.
Would it also be illogical that I'm reading about the trial of Ernst Zundel? It features Raul Hillberg who was put on the stand to refute Ernst Zundel's claims...who better than one of the most knowlegeable people on the subject of the holocaust.
Here's the link however it makes for truly long reading as it is the courtroom excerpts:
Have you read how far fetched the escape story sounds?
Did you read it? Do you think it's a work of fact or fiction?
Because I disagree with what you said in the bit I quoted, not the bit that I didn't. I disagree that if you start learning about the holocaust or AIDS by looking at denialist sites you wont be able to:
That's ridiculous. You will have no filter if you have no knowledge of the subject at hand.
Perhaps we can find a virologist to comment on that, but I very much doubt that "95%" of a doctors education from medical school will be irrelevant if they specialise in AIDS research.
Are you talking about the Ween book or the Holocaust now?
Let me just run back over how it seems to me that we got here. You posted the link to a youtube film questioning whether the holocaust happened or at least happened in the way that modern historians generally accept and said it "challenged" how you look at the holocaust. You then said that you've never really studied the holocaust or, and please correct me if I'm wrong, read a book about the holocaust. Now you seem to be saying that you don't need to - you can research and debunk holocaust denialists by just watching their films? Or is that just in the case of AIDs because with the holocaust film you said it challenged what you had originally taken to be the case with the holocaust?
The next passage is speaking to people in general Dissonance.
I think it's important as this is probably the most famous and possibly the only Treblinka survivor story we have.
I think most people aren't willing to give their honest opinion or have rather thought twice about posting an opinion.
That is the problem...why would you feel the need to self censor yourself. This is what happens when laws are put in place that prevent these subjects from being spoken about freely.
This post would have been pulled in some European Countries and people who posted could be jailed.
I haven't once stated my views. No one has even asked me about where I stand...and yet I've had some people imply that I'm a holocaust denier and anti-semitic.
I have learn't more about this subject over the last couple of days than my entire time at school (not just because I didn't pay much attention in school haha!) because some people have challenged me to read a bit more which is brilliant.
To get back to basics, why does it need any great research and reflection to know that during WW2 millions of people, many of whom were Jewish, were exterminated by the Germans and assorted allies? That this originated in the ideas of Adolph Hitler, and others before him, corresponded to a stated objective and was carried out ruthlessly and industrially?
That there may have been stories elaborated by traumatised people, that witnesses may have got muddled, or even possibly some had something to hide, or felt guilt at surviving when their families had not and so on can easily be seen as likely causes of innacurate reports... but none of these details prevent us from being as convinced of this historical fact anymore than we are convinced that Henry VIII existed and had six wives.
I am perfectly willing to do so - you are wrong, and appear to be arguing for the sake of it, while grossly distorting the evidence.
I feel no need to self-censor and have been quite unambiguous in opposing the idea of a "holocaust denial" law in the UK, and in suggesting that such laws are bad in those countries that have them. Not because I think holocaust deniers are in any way correct or reasonable, they are not, but because it lends some support to quite irrational and unjustified conspiracy theories. In so far as it proceeds from noble motives, it is a counter-productive course of action.
Which is a bad thing, misguided and illiberal. It makes martyrs of those who are silly, paranoid and malicious.
I did a quick google, and came up with the name of Hershl Sperling who took part in the Treblinka uprising and survived. His witness testimony is here http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/survivor/sperling.html it's pretty haunting but not melodramatic.
He moved to Scotland after the war where sadly in 1989 he took his own life http://scotland.stv.tv/history/234575-holocaust-mystery-why-did-treblinka-survivor-kill-himself-in-s...
it really needs context. It certainly isnt an impossible story.
thinking twice is normally a good thing regardless of the subject.
not convinced by that. there is still discussion and argument about the finer details in Germany etc it is just there is a cut off point, albeit unclear.
Personally i dont agree with the law although can see why Germany saw it as needed for a time.
this is where preconceptions can play a role. If people are familiar with the general arguments used by the holocaust deniers, as there is a fairly standard set, then if they see someone using some variation of them then they may well naturally categorise the person using them as one.
Unfair but somewhat understandable.
This remark is a bit of clue to where you really are going... it is untrue and quite typical of the way extreme right propagandists work. Behind a "butter wouldn't melt in my mouth" attitude they hint of victimisation and Big Brother oppression, all the time denying that they are denialists.
For information, in France which has this sort of legislation, thinking about and discussing the subject is not illegal, what is illegal is the proffering such allegations in a way that leads to crimes being committed or attempted. Just discussing in a balanced way is not outlawed. In other countries the laws may be stricter - apparently in Germany and Austria the sale of Mein Kampf is banned as well as nazi memorabilia but given their past this is understandable.
I just want to clarify a few points and then I'm abandoning this thread...
1) Did you not read where I said "most people" aren't willing to give their honest opinion? Why did you feel the need to re-iterate the point? It was self evident and rhetorical. The fact of the matter is most people do not have the courage to say anything and therefore "some" people would.
2) I am wrong? I haven't even confirmed what my point of view is. In order to be wrong surely you would need to know my position or opinion?
3)What evidence have I grossly distorted? I'd love to know as I haven't even put any forward! I merely put a link to a 4hour documentary and said it was interesting. I then confirmed I had read 7 (of 7) holocaust survivor stories and said they were highly unlikely to true. Is it not okay to read a story, objectively, and say I don't think it's true? Is our whole judicial system not based on investigating peoples statements and trying to find who is telling the truth and who is not? If someone said to you that they were shot in the shoulder, by a pistol, and it went through their clothes and only left a mark...would you believe them? Unless they had bullet proof armour I would have no reason to believe them and would quite happily say they're lying.
4) I don't believe I have been arguing for the sake of arguing. It's not easy taking the time to respond to people and I feel that all my posts have a point.
I am going to stop now.
That's a fair bit of distorting for a start, it wasn't interesting it was nauseating! That voice, yuk!
'I merely put a link.' You're now being entirely disingenuous about your every aspect of your participation in this thread.
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