Do you think the holocaust really happened?
In light of many media statements where so many claim the holocaust never happened, I thought I would pose it here. My children's great great grandparents were killed in the Warsaw invasion but one ancestor made it here marrying a Polish man to hide identity. Naturally, I believe the holocaust really happened. And you?
It did happen and it has never really stopped. It's just changed location and victims.
I can't see how you can deny it, really. There is plenty of source evidence, not to mention eyewitness accounts.
Of course, there's debate about some of the details, including the exact number of victims.
And it's a topic that's surrounded by a lot of emotion, which makes it difficult to have a real debate about it. Most people interested in it would have some personal connection to it, as you yourself do. I'll readily admit I myself am no exception to that rule either.
I absolutely know that it happened! The documentary, photographic and physical evidence are all too much for me to believe otherwise. The holocaust was too large and too terrible for it to have been the figment of a few imaginations. I have never understood how anyone could believe it did not happen.
I know that the Holocaust (and I assume you are referring to that of World War II) happened. I was privileged to grow up in an urban area in which many survivors of that Holocaust lived and worked and were cherished members of the community.
The archival evidence (particularly that of the Third Reich), the documentary (both print and photographic) evidence, the narratives (both formal and informal; unofficial and official), the reports from Allied liberators, the Nuremberg Trial and its official record, all make one thing very clear: The Holocaust happened as reported and documented. End of story.
My only other thought: Why are you asking this question?
I spent a long time debating with Holocaust deniers and read some books on the subject (one by Michael Shermer and 2 by Deborah Lipstadt). Denier arguments can sound VERY convincing to the uninformed person. However, when you address them, you'll realize that they cherry pick what fits their beliefs and ignore everything that doesn't. I don't "believe" the Holocaust happened. I KNOW it happened. It's one of the most well-documented events in history. These people deny the Holocaust for one of two main reasons:
b) They're not prejudiced, but simply feel like skeptics for questioning everything.
Here's a common argument from their stock arsenal. They claim that the Ann Frank diary was written in ballpoint pen - a tool unavailable until after World War II. Therefore, the diary is a forgery. What they conveniently don't mention is that the ballpoint pen in the diary is due to edits and notes thrown into the original manuscript after the war. They also don't acknowledge the 200 page report by the Krakow Institute of War Documentation, indicating that the paper and ink both fit the time period, and the handwriting is consistent with that of a developing young girl.
When asked about eyewitness testimony, all they can say is "well, they're lying". They have no evidence to support that, it's simply a cheap cop-out. The idea of that the Holocaust is some worldwide conspiracy to extort reparations from Germany is beyond absurd. You'd think that by now, at least one of the millions of alleged conspirators (or someone who knows them) would come forward.
People believe stupid things for all kinds of reasons. I don't think the media should provide exposure to these people, any more than they should call attention to the cause of white supremacist groups.
Many Muslims have been taught that the Holocaust was "made up by" the Jews. So, many of the Holocaust deniers are Muslims.
I thank each of you for your very impressive contributions to this question. I learned from it and I will use this in my generation journal to my children. Thank yo u so much! This answer went above and beyond explaining why some don't believe.
I am really not sure where people who deny the holocaust come up with their proof or evidence that supports their theory that it did not happen. Many also claim the numbers were much less - more like one million that died instead of 6 things like that. I still shake my head at them also. It doesn't matter if it was 100 people or 10 million - the fact that genocide happens at all is atrocious and we should be working to ensure history doesn't continue to repeat itself.
Holocaust deniers have no proof, but ironically, their response to any prove your claim demands is (basically) that one cannot prove a counter-factual. I think Holocaust minimizes are just as dangerous as the deniers and perhaps even more.
I'm with you. I don't think it matters how many, just that it happened. Whether it was 1 million or 6 million or somewhere in between, it saddens me.
As a historian, I'm saddened that people are trying to be uber-sceptic by denying absolutely everything. Millions of murdered people, with countless evidence and testimonies - how cynical one has to be to deny it all?
I totally agree. As a historian myself I see this too---particularly in the classroom! Skepticism is good and valuable, but the conspiracy mindedness needs to stop. Facts and evidence do exist; historical events are real; documents are authentic.
Great viewpoint. And from a historian - Veroniquebee. I appreciate your thought into such a matter so many would like to forget - but we must never, no matter how painful it is.
Denying the Holocaust makes me feel like crying. When I was working as a nurse, I took care of a patient who had a scar on her arm. She told me she got it a concentration camp, as a child. She also told me not to worry about it, she wanted to forget about it, never remember it.. Here is some information about the Islamic Holocaust Denial and how it is rising up.
I was stationed in Dachau in 1972 and at Herzo Base in 1973. The stench of death was still in the drinking water. I had the opportunity to visit many of the concentration camps. I have stood in the gas chambers and ovens used to try to eliminate an entire race of people. The answer is yes.
The holocaust brings to mind the words of Jonathan Swift, "We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another"
Not much room for writing in the comment section. I want to thank all of you for making this tragedy a renewed memory lest we allow it again. It includes Native American genocide and all other genocides based upon ANY type of discrimination. I will definitely leave some of your notes in my children's generational journals. Their lives may not have been directly affected by these genocides but their ancestors were - both Native lines and Jewish.
I walked with each of you briefly, once again to the gas chambers and saw the starving people in ragged clothes again in the treasure chest of my heart. And though, I did not have room to comment to the one who quoted Jonathan Smith, I greatly appreciate that quote and have made note of it. Thank you all so much for your input.
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