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Anti-Holocaust revisionism are various efforts to counteract Holocaust revisionism.
Censorship, persecution, and prohibition of Holocaust revisionism
The Holocaust is in many Western countries an official "Truth" that is illegal to discuss and research freely. Continued attempts are made to extend such censorship to the remaining Western countries that still allow free debate and research on the issue. In 2014, Russia and Greece implemented "Holocaust denial" laws. In 2015, Romania implemented such a law (with help of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). In 2016, Italy implemented a "Holocaust denial" law. Lobbying efforts are ongoing in order to make the European Union pass legislation prohibiting free discussion and research in all EU countries.
Some notable convictions for "Holocaust denial" include against Carlos W. Porter, David Irving, Ernst Zündel, Fredrick Töben, Gaston-Armand Amaudruz, Gerd Honsik, Germar Rudolf, Horst Mahler, Ingrid Weckert, Jean-Marie Le Pen, Jean Plantin, Jürgen Graf, Paul Rassinier, Richard Williamson, Robert Faurisson, Roger Garaudy, Serge Thion, Sylvia Stolz, Thies Christophersen, Udo Walendy, Ursula Haverbeck, Vincent Reynouard, Wilhelm Stäglich, and Wolfgang Fröhlich.
The number of convicted less well-known individuals is unclear. Germany alone has convicted many thousands of individuals each year for "right-wing" "thought crimes", but how many of these involved the Holocaust is unclear.
Persecution and/or censorship have occurred also for groups such as defense witnesses and defense lawyers, if they dispute the politically correct version of the Holocaust or are perceived of doing so.
- "Holocaust denial" laws may or may not also include more general censorship of free discussion and research on many other aspects of the history of National Socialist Germany. See National Socialist Germany revisionism.
- There may be related censorship of various aspects of WWII, such as in Russia (censorship prohibiting discussion of stated Soviet atrocities) and Poland (censorship prohibiting discussion of stated Polish atrocities). The Polish censorship has caused large-scale Jewish protests (including by organizations which support "Holocaust denial" censorship) due to the Polish censorship censoring claims of Polish involvement in the Holocaust.
- In some countries, there may be laws against "genocide denials" more generally, but the Holocaust arguably has a special position regarding the amount of criticisms against the official version and also regarding the degree of repression of such criticisms.
Holocaust revisionism and "hate speech"
Official reasons for "Holocaust denial" laws have included that the revisionist arguments are "hate speech" against Jews. One supposed reason for this is that revisionists argue that some Jewish "witnesses" have deliberately lied for various forms of gain. However, this does not mean that all Jews are responsible for these argued lies (in the same way that not all citizens of warring states are responsible for argued war crimes committed by some individuals during a war).
- See the article on Holocaust motivations and the section on "Argued exploitation" on revisionists arguing that many non-Jewish individuals and groups have deliberately lied about and gained from the politically correct version.
- See the article Holocaust awareness on most "Holocaust survivors" never themselves witnessing any genocidal mass killings according to the politically correct version. See also the article Holocaust testimonial evidence and in particular the section "Witness testimonies" on there being many possible reasons for giving inaccurate testimonies other than deliberate, voluntary lying. Thus, criticizing the politically correct Holocaust version does not mean that every "Holocaust survivor" is accused of being a deliberate, voluntary liar.
Revisionists also argue that the political correct version in practice cause collective guilt and hatred against Germans in general and has contributed to large scale crimes against German civilians (see the article on Claimed mass killings of Germans by the WWII Allies). Thus, it is possible to see the politically correct version of the Holocaust as "hate speech".
An established Jewish author who visited a Holocaust revisionist conference wrote regarding hate that "I would see none of it, certainly less than I would see when Jews were speaking of Germans. No one had ever said anything remotely like Elie Wiesel, ‘Every Jew, somewhere in his being, should set aside a zone of hate–healthy, virile hate – for what persists in the Germans,’ and no one had said anything like Edgar Bronfman, the president of the World Jewish Congress. A shocked professor told Bronfman once, ‘You are teaching a whole generation to hate thousands of Germans,’ and Bronfman replied, ‘No, I am teaching a whole generation to hate millions of Germans.’"
Also, if the politically correct version is false, then numerous people (including researchers not advocating any form of violence) have been falsely punished in various trials and sometimes executed.
Another official reason is that "Holocaust denial" may increase support for "racism" generally. A counter-argument is that the political correct version and propaganda using it causes hatred against Whites and anti-White policies generally. Furthermore, the politically correct version is used to attempt to suppress/dismiss scientific research on race and even genetics in general which causes ill-informed and therefore often harmful decisions for society in general.
Another argued reason for "Holocaust denial" laws consists of ad hominem by arguing that the researchers are far right. However, Germar Rudolf have argued that "the extreme right wing" are only a small minority among revisionists researchers who span the political spectrum including the far left.
There may also be illogical circular reasoning, such as Holocaust denialism being dangerous, since if it is proven that the National Socialists did not commit a genocide then this may revive National Socialism which is dangerous, since National Socialism committed a genocide.
More generally, revisionists argue that historical research in general and science more broadly often may cause perceived offense for some individuals or groups. This is in other cases not seen as a reason for censoring science.
More unofficial reasons for laws against "Holocaust denial" may be that the evidence supporting the politically correct version is weak and cannot stand open debate, that many groups have gained from and have vested interests in the politically correct version, pathological altruism, and White guilt and exploitation of such guilt. Comparisons have also been made with blasphemy laws, see the Holocaustianity article.
Revisionists have argued that some mainstream historians have in effect admitted that the evidence supporting the politically correct version is very weak.
The term "Holocaust denial" and straw man revisionism
The term "Holocaust denial" instead of "Holocaust revisionism" is disfavored by revisionists, since "denial" in one sense means not accepting a "Truth". There is also the term "negationism", which similarly implies "negationism" of a "Truth".
Holocaust revisionists are sometime accused of being "deniers" because supposedly having a "predetermined conclusion". This is arguably misleading, since likely most Holocaust revisionists did not start as Holocaust revisionists and instead started with the "predetermined conclusion" regarding the Holocaust learned in schools and from mass media. They thereafter only gradually changed their views and became Holocaust revisionists. On the contrary, a view enforced as being "the Truth" by censorship laws prohibiting criticisms can arguably be described as a "predetermined conclusion".
The term "Holocaust denial" can be seen as a form of ad hominem if Holocaust revisionism is responded to by applying a negative label without answering the factual arguments.
Furthermore, Holocaust revisionists argue that their criticisms have forced “mainstream” historians to make various revisions. However, this is seldom admitted to be revisionism, the fact that such revisions have occurred is seldom mentioned, and the role of non-mainstream Holocaust revisionists in causing these mainstream revisions is not mentioned. One example is the changing mainstream views on the Western Holocaust camps, argued to have been caused by non-mainstream Holocaust revisionist criticisms. The revisionist Thomas Kues has argued that "This shows that Holocaust historians were aware of the revisionists already from the start, and that by 1960 they had already adopted the strategy of discreetly cutting out the most untenable parts of the gas chamber mythos (without even for a moment considering the evidential foundation of the remainder) while avoiding naming the revisionists whose writings made these tactical retreats necessary."
Regarding other examples of mainstream revisionism, see The Holocaust: Many earlier Holocaust claims have been admitted to be incorrect.
Some "mainstream" debates have been influenced by non-mainstream Holocaust revisionism:
- Holocaust intentionalism and Holocaust functionalism.
- Holocaust material evidence: Gas vans and gas chambers using diesel exhaust.
Also, only some aspects of the politically correct view on the Holocaust are "denied"/revised by Holocaust revisionists, while other aspects are accepted (such as persecutions and deportations of Jews). In addition, revisionists do not deny the existence of some events, but argue that the politically correct version of what happened is incorrect (such as killings of some Jews by the Einsatzgruppen). Furthermore, non-revisionists are argued to incorrectly deny, minimize, and/or ignore many events (such as World War II statements argued to support Holocaust revisionism).
This use of the term "Holocaust denial" can also be seen as only one part of a more general straw man revisionism. What revisionists actually argue is misrepresented or anti-revisionists only reply to old arguments, while ignoring newer research (such as only replying to the first Leuchter Report, while ignoring later reports and arguments on Zyklon B derivatives measurements, see the article on Missing Zyklon B derivatives in claimed homicidal gas chamber walls argument).
Another problematic term is soft Holocaust denial.
Agreement among Holocaust revisionists
Another example of straw man revisionism is by claiming that revisionists are extremely divided regarding what happened. Instead, most scholarly revisionists likely generally agree on what is argued to have happened, although they may disagree on specific details. The exception to this are a few who support Holocaust revisionism lite views, as discussed in the article on this topic.
The revisionist version is often criticized as being a "conspiracy theory", which is implied to be dubious in itself. However, it is now admitted that the Allies made false claims of Germans atrocities for propaganda purposes and in order to deceive the general public already during the First World War. Examples include false allegations of production of human soap, false allegations of mass atrocities against the Belgian civilian population, and false allegations of hundreds of thousands Serbs being killed by methods such as poisonous gas.
The Communist Soviet Union since its creation routinely falsified history using a variety of sophisticated methods. Even non-revisionists now admit that the Soviet Extraordinary State Commission during and after the war "conspired" and falsely blamed Germans for various crimes in their reports. See the article on the Extraordinary State Commission.
A common straw man is to state that revisionists argue that everything is part of an exclusively Jewish and carefully planned conspiracy. As noted in the article Holocaust motivations, revisionists have instead argued that there were and are many different parties who would have had or have an in interest in supporting Holocaust propaganda, for variety of different reasons. An especially important Holocaust propaganda producer is often argued to have been Stalin's Soviet Union, despite the Jewish influence having been greatly reduced during the Great Purge before the war. Furthermore, all the Allies need not necessarily have planned the wartime propaganda together, but may instead have copied, imitated, and added to useful propaganda from other Allies without any central coordination.
Another straw man is by claiming that revisionists argue that all "confessors" and "witnesses" supporting the politically correct view(s) were members of a vast conspiracy. Instead, revisionists argue that there are many different reasons for giving incorrect testimonies and that many testimonies have been admitted to be incorrect also by non-revisionists. See the article on Holocaust testimonial evidence.
If there was a single powerful propaganda actor who had carefully planned a false genocide story, then one would expect a story that would at least superficially be consistent. Instead, Holocaust revisionists have argued that the different Holocaust stories are often grossly absurd and inconsistent, which would fit with there being many different propaganda actor, ranging from individuals to countries, with different motives, sometimes copying some propaganda parts from other actors, sometimes inventing propaganda on their own, which would cause numerous different stories, often absurd and contradictory. See also Allied psychological warfare.
Regarding individuals who, for example, may have used coercive methods on National Socialists in order to obtain confessions, this must not necessarily have been due to being part of a secret conspiracy, but may have been due to a sincere belief that the Holocaust did occur as claimed by the politically correct versions and that coercion was needed in order to obtain confessions from lying perpetrators. Similarly, even individuals who may have fabricated/edited Nationalist Socialist documents must not necessarily have been part of a conspiracy, but may have done so, for example, in order to ensure convictions of accused who were viewed as guilty, even if clear evidence for this was lacking. Furthermore, possibly deliberately false witness testimonies need not have been due to the witnesses being part of a secret conspiracy but may have been due to coercion, personal gain, group gain, and/or a variety of other factors as discussed in the article on Holocaust testimonial evidence.
Revisionists have differed regarding to what degree they see the politically correct Holocaust version as being deliberately fabricated. For example, some have viewed documents often cited as evidence for the Holocaust as fabricated/edited, others have viewed them as authentic but misinterpreted. Many would likely argue that much of the initial wartime propaganda was (like the WWI wartime propaganda) at first deliberately fabricated by various parties, but that many others started to sincerely believe that the claims were true. Such views were immensely strengthened and seen as verified at the end of the war, by the discovery of some camps which did contain many corpses. Regarding the continuation of the wartime propaganda into the postwar period, some have seen this as deliberately organized falsehoods (especially by Stalin's Soviet Union), others as akin to the European witch hunts and witch trials which self-propagated into a massive movement in which many of the participants sincerely believed (based numerous "witnesses", "confessors", and other forms of "evidence") that witches existed and needed to be severely persecuted for the good of society.
Alleged German conspiracy to hide the Holocaust
Despite criticizing Holocaust revisionists for "conspiracy theories", anti-Holocaust revisionists at the same time invoke an alleged National Socialist conspiracy theory, in order to try to explain the absence of various kinds of evidence for the Holocaust. See the article on the Alleged German conspiracy to hide the Holocaust.
Themes in anti-revisionist writings
Focus on German WWII statements
Postwar "confessions" and "testimonies" are very important sources for the politically correct view(s) on the Holocaust (see Holocaust testimonial evidence). However, such postwar statements are relatively rarely used as arguments against "Holocaust denialism", which may be seen as an indirect admission of their unreliable and unconvincing nature. Instead, supporters of the politically correct view often prefer to cite German wartime documents/statements. See Holocaust documentary evidence on such statements, including in the section Speeches, diaries, and private conversations by the National Socialist leaders.
In particular, Holocaust revisionists argue that such statements are often mistranslated/misinterpreted. See Meanings and translations of German words and Holocaust revisionism.
Focus on persecutions both sides agree on
Another method is focusing on persecutions of Jews which also revisionists agree on, such as Jews being deported to the Holocaust camps and killings of some Jews by the Einsatzgruppen, and misleadingly try give the impression that Holocaust revisionists deny these persecutions and/or that the existence of such persecutions necessarily prove the existence of genocidal killings.
One example is by implying that Holocaust revisionists have criticized Anne Frank's diary because Holocaust revisionists claim that Anne Frank, or Jews more generally, were not persecuted and not deported to camps, which is incorrect.
Focus on the Western Holocaust camps
These camps have continued to be important for the politically correct view on the Holocaust, such as by continued showing of photographs and movies showing heaps of corpses from these camps to the general public, without mentioning the non-genocidal causes of deaths, as discussed in the article on these camps.
Another example of use of these camps in order to support the politically correct view is that both Rationalwiki and Wikipedia give very prominent place to statements by the Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower on his visit to the Buchenwald camp in 1945, but make no mention to the readers on that even non-revisionist historians now admit that this camp was not an "extermination camp" and had no homicidal gas chambers.
Focus on discredited arguments and sources
Anti-Holocaust may continue to criticize some early revisionist writings, such as Did Six Million Really Die? and the Leuchter Report, but make no mention of that also revisionists agree on that these works included some errors and unsupported statements. Revisionists have argued that these did not invalidate other arguments stated in or the overall conclusions of these works. Furthermore, later works, which answered criticisms and expanded the argumentation, such as the Rudolf Report, may not be mentioned or be mentioned only very briefly.
In contrast, anti-revisionists may continue to cite sources which have been discredited as support for their views, such as Communist propaganda productions, such as the reports by the Extraordinary State Commission.
Focus on the Irving-Lipstadt trial
"Where did they go?"
Holocaust education in schools is has anti-Holocaust revisionism as one goal.
Wikipedia and RationlWiki
Many have been stated to be (at least partially) deliberate propaganda against Holocaust revisionism. Some, such as Schindler's List, even try to give the impression of being documentaries.
- ↑ Why Romania had to ban Holocaust denial twice https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/07/27/why-romania-had-to-ban-holocaust-denial-twice/
- ↑ WJC Approves Resolution Calling for Ban of Public Holocaust Denial http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/news/wjc-approves-resolution-calling-for-ban-of-public-holocaust-denial.premium-1.519763
- ↑ The Prohibition of Holocaust Denial. http://www.inconvenienthistory.com/archive/2009/volume_1/number_2/the_prohibition_of_holocaust_denial.php
- ↑ Israel Slams ‘Baseless’ Holocaust Legislation in Poland https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/27/world/middleeast/poland-holocaust-law-israel.html
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Holocaust Handbooks, Volume 15: Germar Rudolf: Lectures on the Holocaust—Controversial Issues Cross Examined 2nd, revised and corrected edition. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=15
- ↑ German Rudolf's Website. http://germarrudolf.com/
- ↑ The Non-Jewish Stake in the Holocaust Mythology: Why the Continued Success of a Failed Ideology? http://inconvenienthistory.com/archive/2010/volume_2/number_1/non_jewish_stake_in_holocaust_mythology.php
- ↑ A Chronicle of Holocaust Revisionism, Part 3 (1956-1960) https://codoh.com/library/document/3120/
- ↑ World War I Atrocity Propaganda and the Holocaust, Is There a Lesson Here? http://www.codoh.com/library/document/363/
- ↑ Anti-German Propaganda during WWI http://codoh.com/library/document/916/
- ↑ The Bryce Report, Report of the Committee on Alleged German Outrages http://codoh.com/library/document/905/
- ↑ Paul Eisen. But how could the Holocaust not be true? http://codoh.com/library/document/1970/