Holocaust Denial

2. The arguments

Richard V. Pierard

I explained last month what I mean by ‘Holocaust denial’ – namely, rejection of the fact that, as a matter of deliberate policy, the Nazis killed some six million Jews, mostly during Word War II, employing gas chambers and other means to do so.

I shall not attempt a systematic refutation of the deniers’ arguments, since numerous writers have already done this. It is, however, useful to point out the nature of denial argumentation — which runs as follows:

‘Jews died in the concentration camps as the result of wartime exigencies — Allied bombings, disease, food shortages, overcrowding, and overworked prison labour. As for the gas chambers and crematoria, they were for delousing the clothing of inmates and disposing of the bodies of those who died naturally under the difficult wartime conditions.

‘Many Jews did perish in the camps, but their mortality rate was no different to that of other peoples incarcerated there. The crematoria could not have accommodated the number of alleged Jewish corpses.

‘After the war most Jews went to Israel or the United States, and that explains why there were so few left in Europe.’

Moral equivalence

The deniers peck away at inconsistencies in eyewitness accounts to discredit them, and exploit errors made by researchers and historians to suggest that all their conclusions are wrong.

They twist the debates among scholars over specific aspects of the Holocaust, to call into question the entire veracity of the Holocaust. In every case, they use facts selectively and ignore any information that might be contradictory.

Another approach is that of ‘moral equivalency’. Some deniers maintain that what the Nazis did to Jews was no different from what other nations did to their enemies. The United States dropped atomic bombs on two Japanese cities and placed Japanese-Americans in concentration camps. The British systematically destroyed German cities by aerial bombing. Stalin and the Chinese Communists killed far more people than the Germans did.

Deniers also refuse to accept eyewitness accounts and label these as falsehoods. If the account came from a Nazi figure, they say the testimony was extracted by torture or that the person made it up to escape punishment.

Written Nazi documents are dismissed as being too vague or outright forgeries. Some even suggest that Jews and others were placed in concentration camps to protect them from public anger or to rehabilitate them.

Oct 05 – Article – Holocaust Denial – 2. The arguments – Richard V. Pierard > MORE.