Holocaust revisionism is a body of work which attempts to prove that
the Holocaust did not happen, that it is a huge hoax perpetrated by the
Jews in their quest for world power and to extort money from Germany.
The largest purveyor of Holocaust revisionism in the United States is
for Historical Review/Noontide Press, which is under the aegis of
the ultra-right-wing Liberty
Lobby, run by Willis
A. Carto. [Note: Since the publication of this article,
Willis Carto has split with the IHR. See the ADL's booklet, Embattled
Bigots, for more information.] The IHR
holds annual conferences in California and publishes and distributes
some of the most famous revisionist titles, including The Hoax
of the Twentieth Century, written by Arthur
R. Butz, a professor of electrical engineering at Northwestern University.
The Nazis themselves may be thought of as the first Holocaust
revisionists, for they tried to camouflage their extermination program
behind euphemisms such as "resettlement," "special treatment," and
"final solution." During the past two decades, the Holocaust-denial
books have become very sophisticated and attempt to appear scholarly,
presenting large bibliographies and employing extensive footnotes. The
reader who is not careful will not realize that the revisionists
usually cite each other in their footnotes, as well as distorting the
historical record and eliminating whatever does not agree with their
pre-determined thesis. For example, all revisionists argue that the Nuremberg trials were a
sham and all the testimony there was coerced -- therefore, they ignore
it. The testimony of the Jews is likewise discarded because they have
an interest in maintaining the Big Lie. And on and on.
Many Poles and Roma (Gypsies) lobby to have the suffering of their
peoples recognized and included in the term "Holocaust." Although
Holocaust revisionists are primarily interested in, and try to
disprove, the Jewish Holocaust, they also deny by extension the
attempted genocide of the "others" -- if the Nazis really weren't all
that bad, if there were no gas chambers in the camps in occupied
Poland, then not only weren't all those Jews not killed, but also not
all those Poles, Gypsies, homosexuals, physically handicapped et al.
were killed either.
With each year that passes, fewer and fewer survivors of the
Holocaust remain. For the younger generation which has no first-hand
knowledge of that event, the Holocaust appears to be inconceivable --
it is for this reason that the revisionists target young people,
especially college students.
The best way to combat those who deny the Holocaust is with education, not censorship. The actuality of the genocide is testified to by the victims, survivors, perpetrators, collaborators, and witnesses. We must teach our children that yes, these terrible things did happen to our parents and grandparents in Nazi-occupied Polish territory, and that it is our duty to see that it never happens again to any people anywhere.
HTML: John A.
Last modified: Mar. 30, 2006
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