Holocaust Denial: An Important Conversation about World War II

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Abundant Evidence about the Holocaust


After reading “Secondary Sources on American Veterans, the Holocaust, the Concentration Camps,” a fellow Hubber and I considered the phenomenon of Holocaust Denial, why it exists, and what purposes it might serve. “arb” asked some important questions and in responding, I had to reconsider what I know about National Socialism, and my personal experience with an American Holocaust Denial organization, and the infamous British author and historian, David Irving.

“arb” wrote, “ There is something which troubles me in all of this. Is it really possible in today’s world, to still think that this was the best kept secret the world has ever known? Perhaps, I merely want to believe that by now, we all know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

You are right, for it doesn't seem possible that people would still not believe, after all the first person testimony, academic journals, museum displays, archival materials, numerous documentaries and films, and hundreds and hundreds, possibly thousands of books written about The Third Reich and its descent into barbarism.

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An Incredibly Well Kept Secret?


Is it really possible in today’s world, to still think that this was the best kept secret the world has ever known?” You make an excellent point and it does seem unbelievable that there are still people who deny the reality of the Holocaust. But there are people who still to not believe it actually happened. They tend to fall into one of two categories. One category is the full fledged Holocaust denier; they actually have an association and a publication. Their headquarters is in California, the Institute for Historical Review. They are not historians, they are not even bad historians. They are liars, deceivers, and racists.

Strong words, yes, and I would describe them that way based on a close examination of their literature and periodicals alone. However, I have met some of them in person. They occasionally tour publicly, sometimes with the British historian/Holocaust denier David Irving. About nine years ago they came to the Atlanta area and held a public meeting. I went so that I would always be able to speak from first-hand experience about who they are and what they promote.

Going to hear David Irving and the representatives of the Institute for Historical Review ended up being both an interesting and terribly depressing experience. Police were there for security and to maintain order because the ACLU and several other liberal groups were there to protest the IHR program. Quite a few reporters and photographers were there as well. The meeting room held 150 people. About 25 “curious” individuals were there and approximately 75 Deniers.

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Institute for Historical Reviw and Holocaust Denial


They (IHR supporters) just like most other Deniers and Revisionists, describe Hitler as a strong and good leader who had been maligned and misunderstood; they admire him for taking a stand and trying to achieve racial purity. Not unlike the KKK, they believe and say some horrendously racist things against both black people and Jews. David Irving was in attendance as their guest speaker; at one-time early in his academic career, Irving was actually considered a pretty decent historian.

He is not a "complete denier," he is a "partial denier." Which I think may actually be worse. Not too many people will accept that absolutely nothing happened in the heart of Europe, that it was all a complete fabrication. But Irving is actually quite clever because he doesn't ask you to believe that. What he asks people to believe is that the numbers were greatly exaggerated. He clearly states that a several tens of thousands, maybe a few hundred thousand Jews perished, but there was no design or plan or intention to do so on the part of the Nazis. The forty-five minute presentation included maps of World War II Europe and some discussion of Allied and Nazi troop movements. (David Irving has proven to me a reasonable and credible historian when discussing the non-Holocaust related aspects of World War II.)

There was a question and answer period at the end of the meeting and a few questions were asked, mostly by those already convinced of the truth of Irving’s position. When it was my turn I asked a question, well, actually I made a statement. I explained that I was studying German history in a doctoral program and that I had spent over six months working in the National Archives in DC and another six months working in various museums and archives across the country. My research had discovered voluminous evidence to support the more normative explanation for the millions of dead - military reports, diplomatic reports, and thousands of photographs clearly established the torture, starvation, and murder (not death) of millions of Jews and non-Jews.

The American Liberation of Concentration Camps

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David Irving - Historian and Holocaust Denier


Then I asked Irving how he would explain away such a preponderance of evidence collected by a variety of government agencies, American soldiers, foreign news correspondents and the military and diplomatic corps of numerous European countries. Of course I wasn't expecting to persuade him, but there were a lot of teenagers in the audience and they looked like they had been drug their by their parents who were true believers. I framed my statement and questions in the hope that they would begin to think and read for themselves and walk away from the IHR and its pernicious beliefs.

Irving responded by agreeing with me that the National Archives has tens of thousands of pictures of starving and dead prisoners, many of them Jewish. However, according to Irving, the Nazis did not murder or even mistreat any of those people; they simply incarcerated criminals and enemies of the state in camps, just like troublemakers are put in jail in America. He went on to explain that the deaths were caused by the American military who deliberately prevented the Germans from sending food supplies to the camps. Irving said that American and Allied blockade of German port cities had prevented the delivery of much needed supplies and that the United States was responsible for the unbelievably high death toll, because they had deliberately starved both camp inmates and innocent German civilians.

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What 1000's of Documents, Letters, and Photographs Can Prove


This was patently untrue, because large numbers of Army After Action Reports and individual soldier’s testimony made reference to discovering large warehouses of food within miles of many concentrations camps. I also found no reports that mentioned starving German civilians; that did occur in some areas of Germany in the first few years after the war ended . However, according to Irving when American GIs arrived, they staged the piles of bodies and took photographs in order to turn the world against Germany.

Those photographs and hundreds of fake and manufactures After Action Reports were supposedly filed with government agencies in America so as to perpetuate a lie and deceive the American people. It became more and more clear to me that Deniers and Revisionists believe what they believe because they want to, and because it fulfills some need they have, not because their explanations and false history are based upon any rational argument and certainly not on solid evidence.

Two, the other group which minimizes or denies the Holocaust, are people who minimize everything that is extreme, intense, or terrible. They may do this about the Holocaust, but typically, they do it about a lot of other events, disasters, and wars. They seem convinced that almost everyone greatly exaggerates everything; that modern people don’t know how to endure difficulty or hardship. and in order to make their lives easier or more important, many people have a vested interest in making things sound and look much worse than they really are. This is actually a psychological problem which a small percentage of people have (certainly not restricted to Holocaust survivors alone), but the vast majority of Holocaust survivors, civilians observers, and military witnesses do not belong in this category.

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A Different Non-Fascist Approach to Holocaust Denial


So they believe that Holocaust numbers are greatly exaggerated, but they don't deny that Hitler and the Nazis intended to cause great harm to Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, Soviet soldiers, Polish intellectuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, and many other groups. What they do not believe and can not seem to come to grips with is the sheer scale, the enormity of the crime. But usually this attitude does not seem rooted in anti-Semitism or pro-German or Nazi feeling, but from the conviction that it is their personal responsibility to correct and minimize the tragedies that so many people often exaggerate.

These individuals believe that if a news magazine reports an epidemic in a Third World country, the numbers must be inflated tenfold. If there is a hurricane or a typhoon, several thousand people probably died, but certainly not twenty-nine thousand. When discussing slavery in America (or anywhere else in the world, for that matter), they will readily admit that it was "difficult" being a slave, but it probably wasn't actually nearly as oppressive and terrible as the stories and books make it sound. After all, everybody had to work really hard back then, black or white. poor or rich. They are convinced that times were just hard all the way around.


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Books that Might be of Interest

Exagerations, Mis-statements, Falsehoods

Of course we know that there "are" exaggerations, mis-statements, even falsehoods that circulate in the popular media. On more than one occasion I have had someone say the reason they don't believe in anything anymore, is because of the unreliability of the media. They are convinced that everybody exaggerates everything, so to their way of thinking, they are simply and wisely taking everything with a grain of salt. Generally, these individuals do not wish to reconsider or examine their strongly held convictions. Their positions are not based on a lack of access to information, but on an emotionally or psychologically based tendency to interpret reality in a certain way..

I'm not sure if I have answered your questions adequately, "arb." I don't know that I will ever fully understand why people need to minimize the Holocaust, slavery, or the near eradication of Native Americans. But those attitudes do persist and as long as they do, I will feel compelled to do what I can to present accurate history and encourage students and people everywhere to carefully consider the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that lead, and could lead, to an atrocity, to a genocide, to a Holocaust.

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Resolutely Facing the Almost Unbearable Truth


With regard to your second question: “Perhaps, I merely want to believe that by now, we all know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

I think many of us want to believe, fervently hope, that we are willing to recognize and come to moral and emotional terms with the truth. I think the Holocaust is much more than a historical event that occurred during World War II. After years of study I have come to believe that the Holocaust is a watershed event in modern history that understandably makes many of us uncomfortable and disturbed about the kind of society and civilization we have developed in the West.

I am no longer surprised that moral people, thinking people, realize that the Holocaust says something to us individually and something about us collectively. This kind of tragic and dark knowledge should be wrestled with, as should all evidence of mankind’s inhumanity and cruelty. It should disturb us and trouble our souls. Perhaps it is simply this; some people resent and resist doing the hard and painful inner work of grappling with these terrible events. Perhaps the desire to minimize, eliminate the moral weight, make the horror less appalling and emotionally burdensome, originates there.

I appreciate that you ask thoughtful and probing questions, "arb." I think perhaps I became a professor in part to grapple with these very sorts of questions, not that I could have articulated that sufficiently when I was younger and heading toward graduate school.

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The Conversation Continues


"arb" wrote, Your first group does not concern me for they have a perverted agenda and must defend the lie less they suffer diminishing enlistment from the ranks of idiots hungry for any cause.

The second group begs, I fear, from the comfort of complacency. They live illusory lives, which, diminishes the responsibility or inconvenience that concern would impose upon their lives. To free themselves from the bondage of ignorance would interrupt the pursuit of materialism and it's glorious gratification.

Civil and social concerns rock their tranquil boats and endanger the fantasy of bliss and pleasure. Perhaps the reason history so often repeats itself. Of course every atrocity and tragedy is exaggerated. They constitute a blight on paradise!


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Comments and Questions are Certainly Welcome 97 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

That's the Theresa I know so well. Fantastic hub and food for thought for anyone with a brain. I have always been amazed at those who say that this event never happened....WHAT THE HELL??? Before I get on a soapbox about that subject I will step down and just say that you have done an excellent job of researching and laying out the facts. Bravo my friend!


Larry Wall 4 years ago

I believe the Holocaust was real. There are people who deny it. There are people who deny that man walked on the moon and people who deny other historical facts.

I am no Jewish, have no Jewish relatives who are survivors or descent of survivors. I did meet a person once, a business associate, whose grandmother had to flea with Warsaw Ghetto to avoid being put on a train. She had the clothes on her back and a small purse. She somehow made it to Cuba, where she married, had children, who had children that manage to escape from Cuba.

The personal testimony of the survivors, the pictures taken by soldiers, the stories of survival, the fact that some of the camps still exist should be evidence enough. I have an inlaw who works in Germany. His assignment is winding down, so he is home for a few weeks and in Germany for a few weeks. The German people believed it happened. They do not like talking about it, but they believe it happen.

I think people who deny proven historical events are either seeking to create a name for themselves (be it a negative name) or have such a built in prejudice against the Jews or such a belief if the "goodness" of Hitler, that they cannot accept the harsh and tragic reality of the Holocaust.

Hitler was evil--that is my opinion. Whether he made peace with God before taking his own life I do not know.

I will say that Hitler help to rebuild Germany at a record pace following World War I. He had abilities, but his abilities were overshadowed by his hatred, bigotry and prejudice.

The Holocaust was real. I saw my first picture of bodies piled on top of bodies in my WOrld History book when I was in the 10th grade (normally a senior level course, but I took Civics a year earlier in a trail system) and the horror of that picture has stuck in my mind since then. We never studied the Holocaust in school, except to say it happened. When I was in High School the history classes barely made it to WWII. A lesson not repeated is not learned. The lesson here is that for purely prejudicial reasons, one man tried to exterminate an entire race of people. That is a lesson we must never forget.


mours sshields 4 years ago from Elwood, Indiana

Great hub! I believe the holocaust was real! Some may want to deny it. However, there is too much evidence and testimonials. It was a great historical and tragic event!!

Marcia Ours


mollymeadows profile image

mollymeadows 4 years ago from The Shire

Your comment about the teens at those meetings struck a chord with me. One of my first jobs out of college was as a reporter on a small town newspaper. One of our big stories while I was there was a KKK "roadblock" in the center of town. I interviewed grown men and women with sheets over their heads. But the thing that stayed with me was that one couple had dragged their teen son to the event. Two of us got him away from his parents and asked him, "Do you really believe this stuff?" He looked down and mumbled, "I...I don't know." It was heartbreaking. To this day, I wonder what became of that kid.

It's sad that an article like this one is still relevant. It's hard to believe that there are some who still think the Holocaust never happened. Thanks for shining a light on that lunacy.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Bill - Such encouraging comments...it is hard to believe, as well as terribly infuriating. I have certainly said, "What the hell?!" But my graduate seminar professors frowned on such things. :) Thank you so much for the enthusiastic Bravo.

They don't come along very often for academics, but I am not complaining about my chosen profession...just whining a little. :)


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon

Theresa, needless to say, this was one hell of a response. If you expect me to reciprocate in like manner then I have some real estate on the moon you would also be interested in. Now to the task at hand; A terrific and informative hub, although I would expect as much, given your credentials.

Your first group does not concern me for they have a perverted agenda and must defend the lie less they suffer diminishing enlistment from the ranks of idiots hungry for any cause.

The second group begs, I fear, from the comfort of complacency. They live illusory lives, which, diminishes the responsibility or inconvienence that concern would impose upon their lives. To free themselves from the bondage of ignorance would interup the pursuit of materialism and it's glorious gratification. Civil and social concerns rock their tranquil boats and endanger the fantasy of bliss and pleasure. Perhaps the reason history so often repeats itself. Of course every atrocity and tragedy is exaggerated. They constitute a blight on paradise!


Peter Geekie profile image

Peter Geekie 4 years ago from Sittingbourne

Dear phdast7

I must congratulate you on a well researched and written piece.

I know the stories to be true as my stepmother was a German Jew who survived the camps but carried the numerical tattoos on her wrists.

As has been mentioned many times before the average German was well aware of the final solution but not unreasonably was too scared to stand up and be counted.

Kind regards Peter


Barnsey profile image

Barnsey 4 years ago from Happy Hunting Grounds

I was also going to mention that second group of deniers arb astutely mentions above. They are akin to those who have seen fossils first hand and swear the world was created only a few thousand years ago and dinosaurs never existed! How they just ignore evidence that is clear cut and obvious for all to see is just beyond all ken. Having tried to argue with these types here on hubpages I have learned there is no point in doing so. Thank you for such an informative and well performed hub!


aethelthryth profile image

aethelthryth 4 years ago from American Southwest

I appreciate a historian who recognizes not all humans are motivated to tell the truth, or rather, that all of us are very strongly motivated not to tell the truth, even to ourselves whenever that benefits us. So to be a real historian has got to be a hard job - figuring out who under the circumstances is least untrustworthy.

I have been very cynical about historians because of some of my history teachers. You are slowly encouraging me.


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

Hang on to your hat. They are at it again!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Good Evening Alan. No thanks, I already have all the real estate on the moon that I can handle. :) You have made some excellent points and distinctions. May I add them to the end of the Hub?

I agree with you that the first group is so entrenched in its hatred and twisted views that there really is no profit in talking with them. The second group is more disturbing and problematic. You have described them with passion and accuracy, where I was rather careful what I said. I really would like to add your two final paragraphs to the Hub.

So, this was one hell of a response? I will sleep contentedly tonight. :)

Are you receiving responses, questions, relative to the collaborative project? Hoping for your sake that they do not all arrive at midnight on the 6th. :) Thank you, as always, for a thoughtful and detailed response. Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you for reading and commenting Marcia. It restores my faith in mankind when so many of you are so clear about history and do not buy what the deniers would like to sell us. Take care. Theresa


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Theresa, I have become extremely attuned to the horror of acts done by humans to other humans over the years. Born in a time when it was unthinkable to question the motives and acts of "our folks" - our country and countrymen - even as a kid, I still had to question some obvious realities which didn't add up, even some close to home, such as the prejudice and unfair treatment of others. And the others where I grew up were not 'minorities' but were actually in the upper 90 % of the population. Still, they had to accept second-rate treatment from the more privileged minority, just because of their original nationality.

WWII started when I was 9. We all were subject to propaganda that was in the air. We all were conditioned to think that our country was innocent and others were not. It was obvious that 'our' heritage was closely aligned with that of 'our' enemy. My Dad was of Germanic descent. But I don't recall anyone questioning the horrors of the Nazi regime. Nor should they have, in my opinion. Such was the illogic of it all.

Somewhere along the line I became aware of the difference in the "Western" and the "Eastern" outlooks. I can even recall noticing in the war movies a cavalier attitude of our guys in other parts of the world serving our country - sort of like everyone else was somehow lesser-than and inferior, even in places from which obviously most of our people's origins sprang - even the UK. That bothered me. It became obvious at some point that it was part of the "Western" attitude. Not that the Eastern attitude is pristine, but this was a major attitude difference which I had to question.

Your statement in your hub refers to what I noticed, I think: ". . . the kind of society and civilization we have developed in the West. . . . " It really is the mindset which allowed our forebears to treat the American natives as they did and to accept slavery as a right. Even after all this time, both groups are still not fully afforded human rights as we know them to be and expect to enjoy for ourselves.

The Holocaust has always represented in my mind the epitome of how such attitudes and disregard for human rights and lives can play out in actuality, and how near we come to that extreme in many ways when we deny others the rights we expect for ourselves.

I see your point that mindsets can obscure people's minds from gazing with full awareness and comprehension upon a horror such as the Holocaust and dialing it down or out. But that just further illustrates how far we are from being fully actualized human beings.

Thank you, Theresa, and you, Alan, for asking and answering good questions about how this is possible in this day and time. We must be more aware and alert to reality, no matter how optimistic we are.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon

You may do as like with my comment as it is now public record anyway. To make any contribution to your hub is a pleasure, I think.

I have received about 10 of questions back and about 20 questions expressing confusion. This experience has curtailed any latent desire to become a technical writer and fills me with new found admiration for such profession.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

i asked my mom (a Hitler youth). She really believed it never happened. Irony: it was all brainwashing!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you Alan. So your latent desire to become a technical writer has been curtailed? Very amusing. :)


John Sarkis profile image

John Sarkis 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Hi Theresa, and what a powerful hub this is. I've heard the usual statements thrown around. I don't think most people can ever truly understand the monster that Hitler was. I mean, we throw his name around to describe individuals whom we don't like..., but really, there has only been on Hitler...thank God for that! The idea of killing children...is beyond most people's scope of thought. I know history has a way of repeating itself..., but I hope that humanity never has to endure another Hitler!

Voted up and away

John


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Larry - thank you for your comments, I will respond to them. I start teaching college classes again tomorrow, it may be a while. Theresa


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and interesting. Thank you so much for this thought provoking hub. I happen to know all those horrors were real for sure because I know the horrors that Latvian people had to go through under the Soviet occupation and the injustices done at that time. This cannot be denied nor forgotten. Passing this on.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

phdast7, this is a fine article - really enjoyed reading it. Irving is a strange bird! I know as students and readers, we need to know about the historians political leanings because it will affect the way their history is written but Irving is a negationist, Fascist and Nazi sympathiser first and foremost and so his 'version' of the events of the Holocaust are 'spun' to meet his own needs. It is a shame that there are people who believe him. There is a line in Woody Allen's movie, Hannah and Her Sisters spoken by Max Von Sydow where he wonders why people are so shocked about events like the holocaust, he then suggests that given the behaviour of human beings, people should be shocked such things don't happen more often. The holocaust scares us because it is one of the worst acts of inhumanity ever.


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

Hitler was a man. He inspired the monster.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

I remember in the 70's the Holocaust was said to have been an exaggeration.. so many people just brushed it away or ignored it. They believed that the Jews just gave it intenisty to make it look bigger than it really was.. I bet you Ann Frank would have just curled up.. with shame. I'm glad you're bringing these hubs to light again so new generations can see the widespread of destruction caused by humanity. God bless you Phdast7 FRank


healingsword profile image

healingsword 4 years ago from California

phdast7,

Thank you for writing about the Holocaust with such righteousness and determined perception. This is why we need education, to guide people to face and examine the hard questions and deep, meaningful issues in human life, and to help people search for meaningful, positive solutions. Great Hub.


alian346 profile image

alian346 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

Thank you.

Ian.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Peter. Thank you. I appreciateyour comments. So you, too, grew upwith first-hand expeiernce of the Nazi atrocities, your poor stepmother. I do agree with you that the average German citizen was terribly afraid of the Nazis. It was a terrible time.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Well, of course we are. :) Good to see you, metaphorically- speaking of course. :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

It is simply amazing and horrifying how the Nazis controlled people with propagand and brain-washing. Thanks for your comments.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

You are so very welcome, Ian. Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate it.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi molly - I bet that episode did stay with you and it is heartbreaking.. It is just unconscionable what these KKK and neo-Nazi parents do. Bad enough they seem to believe, but to pressure their children is just too, too much. Thanks for your comments. I hope I am always able to shine some light on the lunacy. :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello Barnsey - Good comparison with the fossils. They do ignore evidence and twist it and attack the sources of the evidence as if that actually changed the truth. Personally, I might be a liar and a thief, but the Holocaust still happened. And you are right, there is no rational debate with them. Their belief is emotional and not logical. Thank you for your encouraging comments.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

aethelthryth - Sadly, we are all too quick to stretch the truth when it is to our benefit. Historians have no lock on truth, and you are right, one of ur hardest jobs is evaluating evidence and personal witness, trying to figure out what or who is most reliable. I understand your cynicism and your final sentence may be one of the nicest compliments I have ever received. Thank you. Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello John - I am glad that it is powerful, that was my hope. And you are right, people are entirely too casual with language. I hear people describing small problems as a holocaust and your garden variety bad man as Hitler. We impoverish language and ourselves when we so misuse language. I too hope we never face another Hitler.

Thanks so much for the comments and the votes and for coming by. :) Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Gypsy - I am so glad it was thought-provoking; I certainly wanted it to be.

Do you think with the collapse of the Soviet Union that more attention is being paid to what happened to the Latvians and other populations. I hope so. Thanks for your comments/ Theresa


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Discussion alike this are so important. Thank you for all your work to answer arb and to keep up with the comments. They will be worth following.

Wish I had been there to see you step up with your response/question to the meeting with D. Irving. Hmmm, C.S.Lewis' Space Triology, particularly That Hideous Strength, comes to mind after reading this.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

WD - Good to hear from you, but I am not quite sure what to think :) You are not usually a man of few words. I hope all things are well with you. :) Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Good morning Frank. I am teaching again, just two days a week,(but they are 10 hour days), so I am behind on reading and late responding to comments.

There was a lot of talk like that in the seventies. I remember in a couple of my graduate courses in the lat eighties, professors who referred back to the attacks against the credibility of the Holocaust in the seventies. They were determined that "regular folks" know the truth, although they held out no hope for the KKK and neo-Nazis. I do hope to do my part in making sure that those terrible times and the "type of government" that perpetrated them are never forgotten. As always, thanks for your support and encouragement.


anonymous 4 years ago

I'm as fine as frogs hair. This subject, which you covered brilliantly, is extremely intense for me. Do you remember the old Steppenwolf song, "There's a Monster on the Loose"?

Well, those guys weren't so adept at identifying the monster, but they could feel it coming.

You mentioned a group who is not worth talking to. They will never listen to reason, or come around . . . their course is set. These insignificant fringe groups and maniacal leaders have a way of stealing the stage. History is rife with it.

It is the same monster that ravaged the Moravians. Someone set it loose in Nepal. It kicked my ass in Alabama.

As far as I know . . . there is only one way to be rid of it. Bring it on ! I am begging you. Bring it on!


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

Excuse me, That was me blathering on up there. Out here in the scrub, our internet connections get sketchy. Then you have the host with their old iron curtain software and then you have . . .


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

WD -Sorry about your sketchy internet connection. Always glad to read your "blathering on." :) Thanks for letting me know it was you. Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello again WD. Glad you are fine, although I think that is the first time I have heard that frog comparison. :)

"They will never listen to reason, or come around . . . their course is set. These insignificant fringe groups..." You are right of course, thank God they remain "small and insignificant Fringe" groups. God help us if they ever manage to become mainstream here as they did in Germany.

The maniacal leaders and their slavish followers do pop up all across the globe. What is wrong with humankind? At least I can rest securely knowing that if push ever comes to shove in the southeast, they will have to go through you. Me and my three sons as well. We are not gun nuts and we don't look for trouble, but we have them and when neccesary we are prepared to use them. Take care.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Good Morning Nellieanna. I have only read about the propaganda of WW II, I can't really imagine what it must have been like to live through it. I guess a certain amount of propaganda is unfortunate, but inevitable in terms of most governments.

You make good observations and distinctions about the Western and Eastern attitudes and belief systems...correct, neither is pristine and above reproach, but there are differences. And the Holocaust is the ultimate example of all the negative attitudes and arrogant superior thinking being taken to the farthest extreme.

You are so welcome and thank you for taking the time to read and comment, thoughtfully. I have added one final section you might want to look at. It contains Alan's response after reading the essay. Talk to you soon. :) Theresa


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

You provoked me. I am super busy in the real world, that's all.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

No problem. I understand. I have these two week breaks between semesters and then life gets crazy busy again. Thanks for taking time. I appreciate it. Take care.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Jools - Sorry it took me so long to respond. I just started teaching and received a lot of feedback all at the same time. And Irving is a strange bird! :)

"Irving is a negationist, Fascist and Nazi sympathiser first and foremost and so his 'version' of the events of the Holocaust are 'spun' to meet his own needs. It is a shame that there are people who believe him." I could not have said it better myself. Thank you.

"The holocaust scares us because it is one of the worst acts of inhumanity ever." And I think we had come to believe that such things only took place in uncivilized and non-Christian nations and regions. We were so terribly wrong.

Thank you for such a thoughtful and nuanced comment. Theresa


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

Theresa,

I actually read this yesterday and had to wait some time to compose my thoughts. This is typically the case when the topic of deniers comes up. Such willful ignorance never fails to amaze me.

Anyway, the minimalists are worse than the fascists. They're just lazy and the apathy they present is what allows 'real' fascists to flourish. I hate fascists.

Great job as always!

Thomas

PS...I must start following 'arb'.


CriticalMessage profile image

CriticalMessage 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

One shouldn't generalize all 'minimalists' as you've described there Sandwishes... I consider myself as being a minimalist in many respects over the last 10 years... Nobody has ever identified me as being lazy.. Quite the opposite actually.. To the point that I concern those close to me for my over extending of the generosity of my time and efforts.. I have purposely chosen not to have a lot.. Because I spend most of my time in public places doing good deeds for all sorts of people.. It requires no money, no organization, no schedule to provide an ear, a suggestion to be considered, or the occasional muscle.. I seek no rewards beyond the true sincerity of appreciation expressed on their face.. Comparitively this has cost me tons of money that I could have earned if I were to utilize my learned and trained techy abilities at the same pace that did afford me all the superficial materialistic junk that actually provided me less satisfaction than the smiles I generate on a daily basis.. I eat, I have a place to rest my head, and I do enjoy finer things on a whim, not an expectation.. I have found that I have received so much more by having so much less that it has become rather addictive to the point of indecision on whether I wish to expose myself to the glorified rat race ever again... Yet, on occasion I get that urge to profit off my abilities.. Then I see the smile on the homeless guys face after I just bought him a couple of tacos so he has something for his cheap whiskey to rest on other than his stomach lining... Not all minimalists are what you have described Sandwiches... I know where you are coming from... I know I may be the exception to the rule... But give those of us who deserve the credit for choosing and living a minimalistic lifestyle in a socially conscious fashion.. It is never a good thing to generalize lifestyle choices that provides positive social results... I will give you this though... Nothing to appreciate about Facists... *smiles*


CriticalMessage profile image

CriticalMessage 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

I have nothing nice to say about the Pacifists either.. For they are truly the lazy ones.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Thomas - Interesting way to look at the two categories. I guess I tend to think the fascists are worse because they do so much injury to those around them. But you are probably right - they are insanely, fanatically convinced that what they are doing is right.

But minimalists/minimizers are lazy and apathetic; their immoral decision to be passive Bystanders does permit fascists to do what they do with impunity. A very good point. My perspective has shifted.

You really should follow arb. He writes philosophical essays, poetry, short humorous pieces on a great variety of topics, hubs on social and political issues. He is an excellent writer and very good at framing anissue and getting to the heart of it.

I discovered him, as I have many very good writers, by paying attention to lengthy and very well-written comments at the bottom of Hubs. He is well worth following and he and I and a couple of other Hubbers have long back and forth conversations sometimes.

arb has designed, proposed, organized and enlisted 25 hubbers over the age of 55 to work together on a collaborative Hub about the benefits of growing older as they affect out lives and our writing. The goal is to start posting Them around July 1. Do watch for them, but go ahead and follow him now. :) Sorry to go on so. Thank you for the wonderful comments. Theresa


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

hi CM,

(hi again, Theresa), I do believe I may have mis-typed to the extent that is was, by no means, my intention to apply a broad stroke across the entire genre of 'minimalists'. I too am a minimalists in many ways. My diatribe was actually only aimed at the minimalists that are associated with the Holocaust denial movement.

Whereas an actual fascist has hate in their soul, racism in their heads, and an ideology that they purport...their denial of the holocaust makes sense. A minimalist who says it didn't really happen because everyone lies and exaggerates about everything...they are lazy. They are unwilling to do the spade work themselves to get the (readily available) truth and so they are dismissive. Apathy is the devil's handmaiden in these affairs, I believe.

Thomas


CriticalMessage profile image

CriticalMessage 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

So can I call you Thoman now too ?.. *giggles*... Because it does allow me the feeling of providing the respect you deserve as opposed to calling you Sandwiches... Which do you prefer?.. And you are correct about Apathy... Apathy being the act of those Pacifists I loathe... For they are the cause of all fanatical uprisings with their lack of strength in desire and fear to prevent such lunacy as the Holocaust... Or to stand up against those who believe that it never happened.... For their pacifistic apathy is what would allow for it to happen again, and again.


CriticalMessage profile image

CriticalMessage 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

Hates my typos caused by my angst to get a thought out... Sorry about that Thomas.. a.k.a. Sandwiches..


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello Gentlemen - Great stuff and I will return to reply in detail, but quickly, quickly (although I think TS has explained himself well) the word I was using, for lack of a more precise and descriptive term, was "minimizers" which carries a different meaning and feel than minimalists (but you have worked that out). I knew what TS meant and I was planning to reply to you both, and I will. The responsibilities of daily life so often intrude in the middle of a great HP conversation. :) Later.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

hi CM,

As a rule I will answer to anything polite. Unless it is a bill collector then I just don't answer. Thomas, thoughts, Thoughtsandwiches, sandwiches, or sammies, even. Have a good one!

hey Theresa,

I look forward to your reply!

Thomas


Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi Theresa,

"What he asks people to believe is that the numbers were greatly exaggerated." I would say to Irving, "And that makes it okay to starve, torture and murder a race of people?

I googled Irving and learned that he unsuccessfully sued Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin books for libel for calling him a "Holocaust Denier" in her book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth & Memory.

I quote Lipstadt,"The deniers manipulate information so that the general public will question whether the knowledge it has is accurate. They seek not to illumine but to deceive"

Voted up and awesome

Have a good evening. :)


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

You are a true academic and historian. I learned a great deal from this hub. I grew up in the 70's and 80's and I learned about the Holocaust. I was never taught that any person or group ever denied it existed. This has been an eye opening experience. You are a wonderful writer.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi RT - You are very welcome. It is a pleasure answering good questions - it actually helps me formulate the direction for the hub. I wish you had been there too; it was a bit scary. Both sides were so angry that it seemed like a fight or riot might break out. My best friend's husband went with me, because he didn't want me to go alone.

So few people seem to have read That Hideous Strength, by Lewis!! The trilogy is something I have re-read every five years or so for the last thirty years. Clearly, we had to become HP friends. :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thomas, your point is well made. You used "minimalists" only as a description of those people who "Minimize" rather than "Deny" the Holocaust.

I follow and agree with your reasoning and conclusions in the second paragraph as they apply to Holocaust Minimizers; their apathy and indifference to the loss and suffering of others is indicative of a kind of emotional selfishness and intellectual apathy. Apathy is the devil's handmaiden. In Holocaust studies we have two words for these people. Depending on their reaction to the Nazi Perpetrators, they are either Collaborators or Bystanders. On to the next comment. Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Sue - Irving is reprehensible and your reply is so appropos.

"I googled Irving and learned that he unsuccessfully sued Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin books for libel for calling him a "Holocaust Denier" in her book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth & Memory."

The internet, in spite of all the misuse and abuse, is truly a wonderful thing. :) Professor Lipstadt (Emory University) was the third "reader/commenter" on my dissertation committee.

Deborah is an incredible Holocaust scholar...brilliant, stubborn, informed, opinionated, and tough...Irving had no idea what would happen when he brought suit against her.

"You quote Lipstadt,'The deniers manipulate information so that the general public will question whether the knowledge it has is accurate. They seek not to illumine but to deceive.'" That is precisely what they do and why they are so frightening and disturbing.

She and I and many other scholars, write and teach and speak to preserve the memory of the dead, to insure that there is no doubt about what happened in Eastern Europe during World War II, and to speak against people like Irving and the members of the Institute for Historical Review.

They cannot be allowed to prevail and poison the minds of people who assume they are honest historians. Thank you for your excellent comments. Hope your week is going well. Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you Tammy. I respect you and your writing and I really appreciate your opinion of my work. Because my father and his family survived the Nazis, I always read a lot about WW II and the Holocaust. It wasn't until I was in graduate school in the early nineties that I began to hear about the Deniers, Irving, and the IHR. They are maddening and horribly offensive, but so far they don't seem terribly effective. Oh, they do have a following, but it is pretty small, and mercifully, it does not seem to be growing. Thanks so much for your comments. Theresa


anonymous 4 years ago

I don't always read 'every word' of a Hub,(not even my own!) but I certainly did with this one. Thoughtful and intelligent writing. A joy to read.

The only thing I would add, as my personal view, would be the word 'Evil' which of course, a historian, as such, cannot consider, leaving it to the theologians and others who write on ethics and morality et.al.

But for me, the Holocaust, unlike any other event in human history, is in a group, a category, all it's own. It is unique. And as such, it cannot be explained in any way by reference to historical,sociological,or political forces. An event that is Evil is beyond all such formulations, having as it's driver, a supernatural, or extra-human power. A Will-to-Evil I suppose, where human beings allow themselves to possessed by something that is beyond comprehension and as a result, do incomprehensible things.

Evil is rampant in our world today, and you only need turn on the news to see it working it's way out in human history, from Syrian massacres to the man who recently killed and dismembered someone and sent the body-parts to the Prime Minister (indirectly through his political headquarters) to name just a couple.

Now my thesis would be that these things are not excusable because they are Evil but rather they are in-excusable AND that they are Evil.

But in my mind, I cannot reduce them to sociological explanations, or the most recent fad, biological explanations, (his DNA made him do it.)

That's not good enough for me when it comes to the Holocaust, because TOO MANY people were involved to explain the entire event in any sensible way via such 'scientific' rationales.

Is the Holocaust unique? Yes. Are other evidences of Evil also unique? No.

The Holocaust was, as I said in a category all it's own. Beyond explanation, but motivated by a force that daily operates in men's (and women's) lives, giving us the option to opt-in or opt-out. If we opt-in we become embodiments of this extra-natural force, but that is a choice and as such it is not excusable. The choice itself is our fault. I don't believe Evil can operate without our assent.

As such the perveyors of the Holocaust were guilty.

What they did was Evil.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Anonymous - Thank you for reading "every word." I consider that great compliment. I do agree with you that addressing good and evil is primarily the job of the ethicist, philosopher, or theologian, but even for historians it is hard not to get into issues of morality when dealing with the Holocaust or perhaps someone like Stalin or Pol Pot.

There are so many horrible regimes and situations in the world today, it is very hard not to become very cynical or clinically depressed. The fact that we don't succumb to those feelings is indeed a small personal blow against evil.

Thank you for your comments.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Larry - Thank you for your thoughtful and intelligent comments. They are deeply appreciated. “The personal testimony of the survivors, the pictures taken by soldiers, the stories of survival, the fact that some of the camps still exist should be evidence enough." I am in complete agreement of course; it still amazes me that anyone would state that it was all a hoax or a ploy.

“I think people who deny proven historical events are either seeking to create a name for themselves (be it a negative name) or have such a built in prejudice against the Jews or such a belief if the "goodness" of Hitler, that they cannot accept the harsh and tragic reality of the Holocaust.”

I think you are right. Hitler did do some very positive things for Germany and I can see why the German people supported for him at first, but at what a terrible, terrible cost.

It has been both interesting and puzzling to me to see how very differently the Holocaust is treated (or not treated) in different textbooks and classrooms. I always wonder what it is exactly that leads to such different emphases.

Your final words mirror my sentiments exactly and are certainly a large part of why I teach and write about the Holocaust.

“A lesson not repeated is not learned. The lesson here is that for purely prejudicial reasons, one man tried to exterminate an entire race of people. That is a lesson we must never forget.”

Again, I cannot thank you enough for the time and thought you put into this great comment. Theresa


Larry Wall 4 years ago

You wrote a very important and well researched Hub and deserved to be commended for it. Racial hatred is perhaps the most loathsome trait any person can have. If circumstances had been different, our own nation could had faced its own holocaust during its history. Fortunately, our system of government, however imperfect it may be, prevents those things from happening.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you Larry, I really do appreciate your comments. My earliest Hubs were heavily researched and foot-noted. It took me awhile to feel like I had established my credentials and start writing a little less structured and more conversational Hubs. So far, they have been well-received.

I agree with you. We are very fortunate that our government, which as you say has its problems, has never led us anywhere near such a terrible path. I hope you have a good week.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

What a powerful essay! There was never any moment in my life when I doubted the extent of the Holocaust; however, I was born in 1643, soon after my birth father shipped out with his American Army division to fight the Nazis in Europe.

However, I've been aware since early adulthood of those who claimed disbelief of this horrendous event. I'm glad you stood up to the hardcore "doubters" at the meeting you described, marshalling facts to support your statement. Even though you could not hope to reach those deluded "...liars, deceivers, and racists...." among them, I hope your reasoned remarks influenced the young people in the audience to not believe blindly, but to search out the truth for themselves.

There have been, and continue to be, large-scale atrocities on our planet, but the Holocaust serves as an awful reminder that moral people cannot afford to shut their eyes to racial hatred.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

What a difference a typo makes! I MEANT to type that I was born in 1943...obviously NOT 1643....Gremlins must inhabit my keyboard. :-)

Jaye


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands

Hi :)

I always find this subject so terribly depressing.

The Holocaust happened. We may not have every single piece of information. We may not even have everything absolutely right. But it happened ~ and it happened relatively recently.

I always found it particularly hard to come to terms with the fact that Anne Frank was the same age as my Mum.

What was happening, over there, was happening while my parents and their families and friends were living through the war. This is not an ancient story.

A work-mate once said to me that it couldn't happen here, but I think that the Holocaust proves that it could happen anywhere ~ and some of the evils which occur, regularly, show that it can happen anywhere and at any time.

This is what is so frightening. Maybe this is what fuels the nay-sayers. They cannot, perhaps, accept that modern civilised people ~ people exactly like us ~ could behave in such an unbelievably evil manner.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Jaye - Thank you for your positive and encouraging comments. I thought it was a "strong" essay, but it can be hard to judge one's own work, especially when it is close to your heart.

The ongoing persecutions and atrocities are horrifying and so depressing...I have to remind myself that I cannot research and write about all of them. I must focus my energy on my history students and on reminding those that I can through HP. Thank you for reading and commenting. :)

No worries about the date, I knew what you meant. :)


moncrieff profile image

moncrieff 4 years ago from New York, NY

Quite interesting. I think the deniers contribute to the tapestry of opinions of our age and keep the subject rather hot, so to speak. I'm sure in a few generations WW2 and the Nazis will evoke less emotions and will be discussed in a merely historical aspect. Voted up.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

moncrieff - I imagine you are probably right. As we get further and further from WW II, it would seem like the deniers would lessen in intensity. Thank you for your comments.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Trish - The holocaust was recent; I think we forget sometimes. I know some of my students seem to think it is ancient history. My father died last year. He was in his mid seventies and survived the Nazis in Poland when he was a boy. Thinking about your mother and Ann Frank being the same age also puts it into perspective.

I disagree with your work-mate too. We are no more moral or civilized that the Germans were before Hitler cam to power...we can never stop being careful. And I think you are right about what fuels some of the nay-sayers. Thanks for the great comments.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands

It's a very thought-provoking topic. Too thought-provoking at times.


CriticalMessage profile image

CriticalMessage 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

Curious as to your reason for censoring my respectfully sincere and considerate reply?... And isn't censorship one of the controlling traits of such a system that leads to what this article represents as being an acceptable mindset?...

My reply was again, sensible, respectful, and sincere... If you read another other into it? It is your interpretation at question... not my intent...

I even provided the paragraphs in which you prayed to your lord to provide my the ability to do... You must have the super power of determining ones tone of emotion expressed from black and white text...

Intents, meanings, feelings are often misinterpreted simply because of the lack of tone of emotion not being able to be expressed through black and white text... Again, unless there is some super power involved...

Surely this reply will also be censored for few would allow to expose themselves to a deserved shame when they have control over avoiding it... Have a good day... and think about what others percieve... Because you are not fooling everybody with your arrogant, yet insecure phd.

Otherwise I did enjoy your article shared here as it too, is something I am interested almost as much as why humans choose to react as they do.

Again, I suggest you think about your reactions...

I personally do not censor any reply to any of my submissions here... No matter how poor of light they attempt to put me under.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

CM - I removed your comment and mine, because they had nothing to do with the subject of the original hub, and the language was becoming critical. We apparently do not speak or write the same language. I used smiley faces to indicate humor. You either ignored them or misunderstood them. You mis-understood my comments and assumed that “silly” prayer was a serious prayer. It was not and when I pray seriously, it is in private.

We both seem to mis-interpret each other’s comments and read the wrong things into them. So there is no reason to continue a conversation that is not going well. Your comments to Thomas and his comments to you remain as they were. I see no need for any more comments to pass between us.

Any future comments from you will be deleted. You may call it censorship if you like. Moderating the content and tone of the comments section of a hub is an option that HubPages provides to all Hubbers. I wish you well, but believe we should pursue this conversation no further. Thank you.


joanveronica profile image

joanveronica 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

A wonderful Hub, and so many fantastic comments! It's hard to digest all these ideas in one read, I think I will have to come back for a second try.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Why Joan, is music to my ears. Please come back again. :) The comments really are great and very helpful. I always learn a lot from them myself. Thanks for commenting and I hope you are having a lovely day. :)


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

I have to commend you on the professional, non emotional way in which you presented this information. All I could think of while reading it was those among us who deny President Obama's American Birth even when they are presented with his actual birth certificate. This kind of mentality is not dead and still wreaks havoc with the world.

Only a moron would refuse to believe the Holocaust happened. I went to a school with a boy who watched someone's head roll across his feet when he lived in Germany "back in the day". I have seen the tattoos and have talked to survivors. What went on there goes on still because there are always evil, hateful people who are able to bring out those same traits in others, form "groups" or "armies" and torture, maim and kill the innocent simply because "they can".

It's sickening. It's also frightening. One thing is certain...it can happen anywhere. We should all be watchful for that reason.

Magnificent, well researched, well written and well presented hub. Thank you.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you TimeTraveler. Six years in graduate school and they drilled it into us, "strive for a fact-based objective style, no emotions, exaggerations or hyperbole." :) I had not thought about it that way, but you are right, those who refuse to accept Obama's birth records are "deniers" as well. It is a pernicious and destructive mentality. To see that mentality popping up again and again is very distressing and frightening.

Your generous comments are music to my soul, thank you. Certainly, not everything I write is thoroughly researched, documented, footnoted, but I do try. So nice to find a few folks who appreciate a more academic style. Thanks again. :)


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

That's what ya' git fer lettin' a teacher read your stuff! LOL


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Denying the genocides of WW2 and inferring that underneath all the maligning Hitler was really a misunderstood champion for humanity is hard to fathom in anyway, shape or form. But, it takes all kinds as the saying goes, however wrong-thinking they may be. This is certainly a good one to share Theresa.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM

Theresa, you have done a thorough job of answering arb's questions and comments. This is a well documented and researched hub with appropriate photos. You have handled this topic well. I am probably being simplistic, but the David Irvings of the world and their organizations are revisionists. They are trying to rewrite history, probably to assuage their guilt feelings and those of the Germans. They are harliquins and con men. The feed on the ignorance of others. I have known actual teachers that have taught these revisionist Holocaust ideas in high schools. It is frightening! Those who are intelligent know the truth. The Nazi's themselves kept copious records of their "Final Solution" Their own records and handwriting condemn them. All we can do is stand up for what we know is the truth and inform the world these people are liars. It is sad that the world does not learn from its mistakes. Bosnia, Serbia, Darfur, Rwanda - all are examples of man's inhumanity to man. Genocide, ethnic cleansing - the "Final Solution" continues. And what is the U.S. doing about these places? Holocausts are going on all over the world even as we speak.


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Dear Theresa ~ you are doing incredible work here on Hubpages by answering questions for those who do not know or understand both past history and present posturing by those who wish to make a statement or influence others.

I want to shake your hand and thank you for focusing on this topic throughout your Hubs, creating a wealth of information, documentation and a legacy for truth.

Blessings, Debby


tlmntim9 4 years ago

It takes all kinds! My God, what simple minded complacency. Forget tolerance, learn right from wrong!

All things are not excusable and truth...IS NOT RELATIVE. I am amazed how some peoples minds work. Yeah Stalin was kind of Ok too, what of , Kaiser Wilhelm, Stalin, or Mussolini, how about Togo, Ho chi min, Mao Tse Tung, Paul Pot. I guess they were just misunderstood..Takes all kinds... They never did anything bad to me...Jeez!


AnimalWrites profile image

AnimalWrites 4 years ago from Planet Earth

Personally I have always found it incomprehensible that anyone could deny that the Holocaust happened. I used to work with some Jewish ladies who had lost many family members in the camps and even many decades later they found it an incredibly difficult thing to talk about and their grief was palpable. It must be so hurtful and offensive to Holocaust survivors and their families to listen to these people who imply that they are lying about what happened to them and who try to diminish their pain.

Unfortunately, in the UK at least, history is taught incredibly badly if it is even taught at all and a lot of what is churned out says more about the agendas of those doing the churning rather than the facts. True scholarship is about uncovering the facts and then commenting on them or interpreting them, even if some of those facts are inconvenient or do not fit with the argument you are trying to prepare.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Alastar - It is extremely hard to fathom and yet there are still revisionists and deniers who are quite vocal, but they are still out there. Thanks for commenting and sharing. Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Suzette - Your description of Irving and the other revisionists and deniers isn't simplistic at all - it is right on target. They do feed on people's ignorance and upon their social. economic, and political fears. It is amazing that a great deal of what we know about the Holocaust does indeed come from the extraordinarily detailed and meticulous records the Nazis kept about almost everything they accomplished. There are so many genocides still going on and most of the world, the US included does very little. Such tragedies. Thanks so much for commenting. Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Dear Debby - Thank you so much for your kind and generous comments. Consider that we have indeed shaken hands and I will continue to do my best to speak truthfully on this important and often misunderstood topic. Thanks again. Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

tlmntim9 - Your on target comments are greatly appreciated. Of course you are absolutely correct, it goes far beyond confusion or complacency to deliberate and malicious distortion of right and wrong. Truth is not relative, and although historians are fond of "interpreting" we don not interpret facts and events like the assassination of Lincoln or the Holocaust.

We might argue about our interpretation of Booth's motivations for what he did or discuss various explanations for Hitler's fierce anti-Semitism. But reputable, trained, moral historians do not discuss or "interpret" whether the Holocaust actually happened. Sadly, it does take all kinds and sometimes I wish it didn't. Thanks again.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

AnimalWrites - It has been a crazy two days, my apologies for taking so long to respond. I appreciate your thoughtful comments. It is all but incomprehensible and although I am not Jewish (my father's family, Polish Catholics somehow managed to survive the Nazis and the Soviets before emigrating to America) I cannot even imagine how painful and infuriating it must be for both Jewish and non-Jewish survivors to hear people minimize their terrible history.

The UK is not the only country churning out poor textbook history. Both of our nations, and many others for that matter, have some excellent scholars and historians, but their work seldom seems to be included in the standard textbooks.

~~~True scholarship is about uncovering the facts and then commenting on them or interpreting them, even if some of those facts are inconvenient or do not fit with the argument you are trying to prepare.~~~

I could not have said it better if I had tried. Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment. :)


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

I had all I could do to get through this article without throwing up. I simply cannot fathom people who so blatantly ignore proven facts. What scares me is that I see this happening right now in the US. People are spreading horrible lies about our President and defaming him shamelessly...and many believe their statements to be true. These people claim to be "patriots", but we all know what they are...this is a tough issue you've discussed here, but you've done it beautifully. Great job and voted up.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

TimeTraveller - It is very hard to understand those who so willingly believe falsehoods and even harder to comprehend those who committed the atrocities. They are alike aliens to me, unbelievable in their arrogance and cruelty. The lies being spread about President Obama are terribly distressing. They are certainly not patriot, no matter how much read, white, and blue they wrap themselves in. Thank you for such a thoughtful comment. ~~Theresa


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Revisiting. There have been so many comments and much dialogue on the topic of denialists. It seems a theme crossing all fields in science, history, medicine, etc. How did we get here, that we so wish to erase the truth and fact that our own eyes have seen and observed? How can we change our own history so easily, when remembering determines our future? Blessings Theresa.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thanks for revisiting Debbie. I think you are right. Denial and revision does seem to cross many fields and disciplines and sometimes in the scientific and medical fields it is necessary. But in History When there was and is so much hard evidence? Hard to imagine what motivates these people. :( Thank you for your thoughtful comments.


Hollis96052 profile image

Hollis96052 3 years ago

I still think that the simplicity of some minds can't grasp that such a terrible thing could happen, so they look for ways to argue against.

I realized how intrigued I was and read parts again and thought "I'll never be done with history at this rate." I still enjoy reading your (sometimes long) insights (and rants). I found myself with an hour or two to spare today and here I am.


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phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Dallas - Interesting comment. " I will never be done with history at this rate." Something like that impulse is why some of us become historians. :) Even though it takes a long time and the big money isn't there. :) Thank you for the kind words. It is nice to know that some people enjoy my insights and rants. Glad you had a free hour. Take care.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 months ago from TEXAS

If anything, it's even more applicable today, when the urging to nationalism and refusal of whole groups has arisen so dramatically. Your hub is outstanding, Theresa. I reread the entire thing again and feel I got even more from it.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 2 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you dear Nellieanna. I so appreciate your affirming comments. and these are very troubling times. And I am do sorry that I have been so remiss about keeping up with Hubpages. Seems like once I started working on my two books and then involved with the MFA program at Reinhardt, I never had time or energy for HP. I keep telling myself, "one of these days." :) Blessings!

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