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Reconsidering the History: Holocaust Denial. The XXI Century Prospects Qualitative Research Essay


Introduction: The Price of Holocaust. When a Murder Is Justified

Whenever one thinks of the most dreadful events of the past, the history stages at which the humankind became so cruel and unreasonable that from the retrospective of our times it seems almost unbelievable, such event as the Holocaust is bound to come to one’s mind.

Because of the scale and the violence of the event, it cannot be erased from the memory of the world, ad is never to be forgotten as one of the most dreadful acts of segregation against the other race. However, according to the recent statements, the denial of the Holocaust events is currently one of the world major tendencies, which offers certain arguments concerning the reasonability of the movement and its controversy.

Despite the fact that Holocaust was one of the hideous crimes against the humanity that is never to occur again, some tend to represent the tragic event as the stage of the history that people should not pay such attention to, which creates the air of considerable controversy and presupposes debates concerning the significance of the event and its meaning for the modern humankind. Therefore, it cannot be doubted that such phenomenon as Holocaust denial is to be discussed and its absurdity must be proven.

The Wind of Changes Is Blowing: When Holocaust Is not a Crime

There is no doubt that Holocaust is one of the most dreadful events in the world history. However, once trying to find a suitable definition for the event, one inevitably faces certain problem – as a matter of fact, there is no actual definition of the issue, as the phenomenon cannot be classified according to the existing standards.

As Landau (1998) says, “What was the Nazi Holocaust? So uncomprehended and incomprehensible is the dread event still, a whole generation after, that in this brief space we can answer this question only with a series of negations” (p. 13).

According to the author, Holocaust was not a war, neither was it a war crime or a part of the war, or a case of genocide, or racism. Therefore, in the light of the abovementioned, one should agree that Holocaust as it is does not have a suitable definition. However, one can supposedly explain the given issue by the uniqueness of the phenomenon.

It is quite peculiar, though, that the Holocaust denial does have certain definition, which can be interpreted as “an Anti-Semitic propaganda movement active in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe that seeks to deny the reality of the Nazi regime’s systematic mass murder of six million Jews during World War II,” according to Anti-Defamation League (2001). Hence, it can be concluded that, generally, the Holocaust denial is posed as a negative concept.

The Reasons to Reconsider the History: Mayer’s Case

Since the outcomes of the World War II were unanimously considered by all states of the world as the act of utter inhumanity, the roots of Holocaust denial mood are rather essential issue which offers plunging into the complexity of the interracial and international relationships.

Despite the fact that the origins of the given movement are rather vague, one still can spot the starting point of the Holocaust denial ideas development. According to the recent statement of historians, the Holocaust denial originated from the assumptions of Mayer, which were further on critiqued by Browning (2011), which means that the ideas of the latter are to be reconsidered.

It is important that Browning dies give credit to Mayer’s assumptions. According to browning, Holocaust does not need reassessment, since Mayer’s attempt to reconsider the course of history seems rather futile:

Mayer does indeed attempt to set the ‘Judocide’ (a term he prefers to Holocaust) within various comparative frameworks, as the subtitle promises. But as the book progresses, the real thrust of Mayer’s argument becomes apparent. He is not so much placing the ‘Final Solution’ in a wider historical context as he is redefining it. (p. 77)

Therefore, it should be admitted that the idea of Holocaust as the event that did to have the significance that people believed it to have first originated due to Mayer. However, despite the fact that Mayer’s objections to the significance of Holocaust are quite debatable and were offered quite a while ago, the Holocaust denial movement is currently gaining momentum.

Reinventing People’s Perception of Truth

It is evident that there is considerable change of people’s perception of the Holocaust all over the world, as Jewish Virtual Library says. The latter belittles the importance of the fact that millions of Jews were killed in the course of the WWII, thus, diminishing the role of Jews in the WWII; on the other hand, reinforcing the idea of Holocaust denial and offering it to the population, the latter make people think carefully over the events of the tragedy and, hence, spurs the discussion. According to what Holocaust Denial (2011) claims, the phenomenon of Holocaust denial is supposed to diminish the role of Jews in the WWII and spread anti-Semitic ideas all over the world:

One of the most notable anti-Semitic propaganda movements […] has been known in recent years primarily through the publication of editorial-style advertisements in college campus newspapers. The first of these ads claimed to call for “open debate on the Holocaust”; it purported to question not the fact of Nazi anti-Semitism, but merely whether this hatred resulted in an organized killing program. (Holocaust Denial, 2011)

Hence, it should be concluded that the Holocaust Denial movement is aimed at belittling the Jews’ assistance and suffer in the WWII, as well as convince the world in the necessity to follow the anti-Semitic ideas. However, Holocaust denial movement is rather efficient. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the Holocaust denial ideas and compare them to the ones that support the fact of Holocaust. Hence, one will be able to see if the Holocaust denial ideas have some grounds to base on.

Consider the Ideas of Anti-Holocaust: Lost in… Interpretation

However, even though most people might consider the ideas of anti-Holocaust movement hideous, it is necessary to consider the major points of the Holocaust Denial theory. Once envisioning the main concepts of the Holocaust denial theory, one is most likely to confront it successfully. Therefore, the major ideas concerning the Holocaust denial are to be viewed.

According to what Raul Hilberg says, Jones & Icke (2009) claim, one of the greatest mistakes of the people who learn the issue of Holocaust is the attempt to see the entire picture from the every beginning, skipping a number of essential details, and, thus, being an easy prey for those who can lure the public into believing the futility of Holocaust.. According to the researcher, it is important to consider the niceties of the Holocaust first before trying to see the whole picture:

In all of my work I have never begun by asking the big question, because I was always afraid that I would come up with small answers, and I have preferred, therefore, to address these things which are minutiae, or detail, in order that I might then be able to put together in detail a picture which, if not an explanation, is at least a description, a more full description […] (Jones, & Icke, 2009).

Thus, it is necessary to consider the details of the event without trying to embrace the whole concept of Holocaust, the scientist claims. However, the given idea offers considerable complexities as well, since it does not allow to consider the entire concept if Holocaust and, thus, leaves much room for the Holocaust Denial ideas, which is quite undesirable. Once the Holocaust denial supporters are able to manipulate the concept of Holocaust and people’s vision of the latter, the change of the attitudes towards the historical event is inevitable.

Concerning the Motifs and the Ideas: The New Concept

It is essential to mark that in the given case, when the ideas of tolerance and the political correctness can intertwine to be used a shield for the Nazi-like behavior, one should consider the concept of the Holocaust denial movement closer. According to the recent news, the issue is currently getting out of control. As Sandy & Allan (2011) report,

Friends of a high-flying Tory MP are ‘facing prosecution’ for chanting offensive Nazi slogans in a crowded restaurant at a French ski resort – where one of the party dressed in an SS uniform.

Aidan Burley, MP for Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, was with 12 friends, some of whom chanted ‘Hitler, Hitler, Hitler’. One toasted the ‘Third Reich’ and one taunted a waiter for being French. (Sandy & Allan, 2011)

Judging by the above-mentioned example, the motifs of the movement adepts can be hardly viewed as another attempt at restoring the Nazi regime. The given trend is rather a tendency to conduct the policy of political correctness and forgiveness. However, it is worth mentioning that the given policy allows and actually promotes the idea that the tortures of millions of people were insignificant. Hence, the Holocaust denial is the concept that does not have the right to exist.

The Argumentation of the Holocaust Rejecters: Lame Excuses

Among the most essential proofs that support the fact that Holocaust could not have taken place the way in which it is described nowadays, the ideas offered by the U.S. forensic expert concern the opposite side of the conflict, namely, the way in which the mass extermination of Jews took place.

As a result of the research conducted by Fred A. Leuchter, it became evident that the capital punishment tools used in the WWII by the Nazi were not designed for conducting mass executions and, hence, could not be used as the weapons of the Holocaust as it was depicted in a number of sources. As Leuchter explained, his discovery was an utter surprise for him as well:

One by one I determined that this state equipment was not functional, this state equipment was not functional; and suddenly, one day I said, “None of the equipment is functional!” Many of the electric chairs were built by inmates and electricians who had no idea of what they were building. They took a picture of another state’s electric chair and they made something that was looked like it. (Leuchter, 2006)

Therefore, it can be suggested that in some of the cases, mass manslaughter did not take place in the course of the Holocaust. Though the fact that the data concerning the Holocaust victims was imprecise or exaggerated has not been stated yet, there are certain reasons to think that the number of Jews who have suffered death for their nationality I the course of the WWII and the Holocaust is much smaller than it is estimated, Leuchter thinks.

However, it still must be admitted that the observations offered by Leuchter are not precise calculations, but merely suppositions and the researcher does not have the sufficient evidence to prove his point, having only the circumstantial one at his disposal.

Bringing Back the Ideas of the Past: No More Misunderstandings

Despite the fact that the ideas offered by Leuchter do contain certain evidence which can be used as a proof for the reasonability of the Holocaust Denial, it is still obvious that denying the fact of mass slaughter of the Jews is completely absurd.

Taking into account the existing evidence concerning the concentration camps, the anti-Semitic ideas that the Nazi proclaimed, and the attitude towards the Jewish people in the epoch of the WWII, one can still observe the violent treatment of Jews, which confirms the fact that Holocaust did take place. As Lipstad (1999) explained, the fact that the fact of the Holocaust can be denied is one of the most outrageous ideas of the XXI century. According to the author’s own words,

When I turned to the topic of Holocaust denial, I knew that I was dealing with extremist anti-Semites who have increasingly managed, under the guide of scholarship, to camouflage their hateful ideology. However, I did not then fully grasp the degree to which I would be dealing with a phenomenon far more unbelievable than was my previous topic. (p. 12)

Hence, there can be no possible doubt that the idea of Holocaust denial is absurd. Defying the Jewish people several years of fighting for justice and the acknowledgement of their nationality is one of the crimes of the XXI century. With the help of efficient evidence, one can easily prove that the Holocaust did take place in the distant 1939-1745.

The Analysis: When the Obvious Needs to Be Proven

Comparing the two existing viewpoints, one must admit that, no matter how absurd the fact that the Holocaust did not take place could seem to the humankind, there are certain proofs that the theory offered by Raul Hilberg is quite worth believing. Since restoring the historical facts does not seem possible, one is supposed to rely on the evidence remaining since the end of the WWII, which might have failed to pass the time testing. Therefore, there are certain concerns as for the veracity of both theories.

It is worth mentioning that the Holocaust denial theory offers sufficient proofs that can be considered worth taking a closer look at. Providing profound scientific basis for the ideas that Raul Hilberg conveyed with his observations of the German weapons of mass destruction and the Nazi concentration camps, the followers of the theory create the environment that favors the development of the Holocaust denial ideas.

It is essential to emphasize that at present, specific techniques of Holocaust denial are suggested for faking the results of the independent researches concerning the Holocaust issue. As Stein (n.d.) explains, these are aimed at creating the impression that the Jews were not as oppressed in the WWII as they claim and, hence, undermine the trust in the Jewish nationality:

One thing “scientific” Holocaust deniers like Berg and Fred Leuchter count on is the fact that many non-scientists can’t follow scientific debates, and assume that if it is dressed up in scientific terms, it must be right. But there are many other scientific debates we see today – pollution, cancer, global warming, etc. – which enter into the political arena. Some of these arguments are made to support a hidden ideological agenda, and the science is dishonest.

Therefore, it cannot be doubted that the research results are faked. Noting the tiniest discrepancies in Berg’s conclusions, Stein (n.d.) explains that the Holocaust denial is actually another attempt at conducting anti-Semitic policy.

Be Upstanding in Court: Passing the Judgement

Even with the evidence presented so far on the issue of Holocaust denial, there can be no possible doubt that the Holocaust did take place, taking away the lives of millions of Jews. Taking into account the stories that have been told, the things that have been seen and the issues that were documented on the subject of the Nazi concentration camps, one must admit that the Holocaust as a phenomenon of utter violence and incredible cruelty did take place, which means that the assumptions of those who support the Holocaust denial are completely wrong.

Even though there is a considerable lack of the documented evidence of the genocide of the Jews, as Shermer & Grobman (2009) explain, it is still worth keeping in mind that the facts of tortures and murders are still evident. Thus, it can be deduced that the Holocaust denial does not have enough sufficient ground to base on and is an abuse for the Jewish people.

Conclusion: When There Is Nothing to Find. The Holocaust as It Is

Judging from the afore-mentioned facts, it can be concluded that the Holocaust did exist. Moreover, it I necessary to admit that people must not forget the Holocaust; nor may they pretend that the given event had no significance in the course of the WWII. Hence, the situation concerning the attitude towards the Holocaust is slowly getting out of control and becoming increasingly controversial.

However, the situation can still be changed. Once offering sufficient proof of the inconsistency of the Holocaust denial ideas, one is likely to restore the self-esteem of the Jewish nation and the relationship of the latter with the rest of the states. In the given situation, it is crucial that people should not follow the false leads and be confused into misconceptions by the half-baked claims. Only with the help of the mutual respect and careful consideration of the historical facts, one is likely to find out the truth.

Reference List

Anti-Defamation League (2001). What is Holocaust denial. ADL. Web.

Browning, C. R. (1995). The path to genocide: Essays on launching the final solution. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Holocaust denial (2011). Jewish Virtual Library. Web.

Jones, A., & Icke, D. (2009). One third of the Holocaust – conspiracy. Nazi, Hitler, Israel, Zionism, Jews. Google Video. Web.

Landau, R. S. (1998). Studying the Holocaust : Issues, readings, and documents. New York City, NY: Routledge.

Leuchter, F. A. Jr., et al. (2006). Mr. Death. The rise and fall of Fred A. Leuchter Jr. Google Video. Web.

Lipstad, D. E. (1999). The growing assault of truth and memory. With a new preface by the author. New York City, NY: Plume.

Sandy, M., & Allen, P. (2011). . Daily Mail. Web.

Shermer, M., & Grobman, A. (2009). Denying history: Who says the Holocaust never happened and why they say that? Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Stein, M. P. Deceit & misrepresentation. The techniques of holocaust denial. The Nizkor Project. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2019, October 15). Reconsidering the History: Holocaust Denial. The XXI Century Prospects. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/reconsidering-the-history-holocaust-denial-the-xxi-century-prospects-essay/

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"Reconsidering the History: Holocaust Denial. The XXI Century Prospects." IvyPanda, 15 Oct. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/reconsidering-the-history-holocaust-denial-the-xxi-century-prospects-essay/.

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IvyPanda. "Reconsidering the History: Holocaust Denial. The XXI Century Prospects." October 15, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/reconsidering-the-history-holocaust-denial-the-xxi-century-prospects-essay/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Reconsidering the History: Holocaust Denial. The XXI Century Prospects." October 15, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/reconsidering-the-history-holocaust-denial-the-xxi-century-prospects-essay/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Reconsidering the History: Holocaust Denial. The XXI Century Prospects'. 15 October.

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