What constitutes Holocaust denial?

137 posts in this topic

 

 

Yes, there were other acts of brutality in history. Stalin's actions towards just about everyone, the US's treatment of Native Americans and Africans, Pogroms in the late 19th century, ethnic cleansing in the last 20 years in east Europe and Africa to name a few. But none of these measure up in magnitude to what the Nazi party did. Therefore, it is natural that people are interested in What Happened.

 

d4n, in response to: "There are a lot of documentaries and information about the Nazi crimes but everybody seems to forget the communists. So I think that this guy didn't try deny anything, he was just being defensive. You know, it might come to a shock to some, but the Russian army didn't exactly eliberate Eastern Europe." I assume you havent spent a significant amount of time in the US in the last 60 years. Theres plenty of media on the horrors of the Soviets.

 

 

I don't want to get in to the numbers game, but tens of millions were murdered by Joe Stalin.

Attila the Hun killed literally millions of people.

Genghis Khan too.

 

The fixation on the Holocaust and the constant regurgitation of the Holocaust while understandable, is counter productive I think.

It's like constantly talking about Genghis Khan to the Mongols.

No Mongol have an part to play in what Genghis died ......many Germans today played no part in the Holocaust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

All these posts about "Germans today should not be blamed for the Holocaust" are misleading and disingenuous. Nowhere in the OP or anywhere else in this thread did anyone say anything about modern day Germans being blamed for the Holocaust.

Rather, the OP mentions (perhaps) educating people about the Holocaust. An action well worth its time, as, learning about it helps prevent another one.

As for why it is so focused on, despite Herr Dink's implication that its the Jewish Media's hidden agenda (you should be damned ashamed of yourself,) the reason is simple: the sum totality of all of the unique features of the Holocaust, including the numbers killed, the reasons, the methods, and the wide spread compliance make it the single most spectacular example of evil in (modern?) history.

Yes, there were other acts of brutality in history. Stalin's actions towards just about everyone, the US's treatment of Native Americans and Africans, Pogroms in the late 19th century, ethnic cleansing in the last 20 years in east Europe and Africa to name a few. But none of these measure up in magnitude to what the Nazi party did. Therefore, it is natural that people are interested in What Happened.

 

d4n, in response to: "There are a lot of documentaries and information about the Nazi crimes but everybody seems to forget the communists. So I think that this guy didn't try deny anything, he was just being defensive. You know, it might come to a shock to some, but the Russian army didn't exactly eliberate Eastern Europe." I assume you havent spent a significant amount of time in the US in the last 60 years. Theres plenty of media on the horrors of the Soviets.

 

Finally, the idea that we should "forget it and move on" is appalling. Forgetting it is inviting it to happen again. I can speak from experience when I say that in the US, we are taught, as young children, the horrors of slavery, and the heroes of the civil war, the post civil war government, and the civil rights movement. We are taught about the terrible things done to the Native Americans (and are continually trying to make reparations on that front. See: Foxwoods) and that happened much much longer ago than the Holocaust.

We dont tell our children, "These things were your fault." We tell them, "These things were horrible. Don't do them."

 

And Dink, as for "Israel and it's supporters in the US, forever keeping the Holocaust "alive"" and this leading to us being unable "to deal with the big problems on the horizon," your teachers obviously haven't taught you enough. One of Hitler's stated reasons for hating Jews was "At the beginning of the Great War ... twelve or fifteen thousand of these Jews ... were corrupting the nation..." -Mein Kampf

 

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Hey Frank 78 . Brown never got into power by Democratic means and look at the shit state the UK has become. Do you think I would get arrested if I started a simularity tour in London? you have to laugh or else you cry living in the democratic UK (ha ha).

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but at the very least enforced sterilization.., or some sort of eugenics..), we're just going to keep plowing forward til only some huge cataclysm - probably nuclear - settles it for us.. The ultimate logic - massive overpopulation(quantity over quality..) - solved by the ultimate mass-scale weapons.. Now THAT will be a Holocaust..

 

 

So its either enforced sterilization, eugenics, or nuclear destruction?

I hope everyone who was reading and agreeing with you earlier is still reading you now.

 

By the way, the population of Germany, disregarding immigration, is declining, without any forced sterilization.

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We have been at near vertical population growth for decades.. The world's population increases by a quarter million every day..(at least it was in the late 80's, when I wrote a high-school report on it.. Now, the base number being bigger, it's probably more..)

 

Anyway, there's a lot of talk about global warming these days. Heard the stats, like even if we somehow stopped ALL emissions from one day to the next - say, tomorrow morning.. - it would still take a century to return to "normal" levels??..

 

Every year an area the size of Belgium disappears from the Amazon rain forest.

 

Natural gas will run out in 50 years. Oil is rapidly being used up. This when population and thus demand is skyrocketing.

 

Look what's happening in the States(and elsewhere..) We're covering up a huge financial disaster by printing money, thus effectively just shoving the problem into the future where it will grow to be even bigger.

 

There are enough nuclear weapons - active nuclear weapons - to pretty much end life on earth - I don't know, a thousand times over??..

 

Etc..

 

So you tell me. Where's the solution?? The democratic process??

 

Ha..

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Hey Frank 78 . Brown never got into power by Democratic means and look at the shit state the UK has become. Do you think I would get arrested if I started a simularity tour in London? you have to laugh or else you cry living in the democratic UK (ha ha).

 

 

A British PM depends on the confidence of Parliament just like the German chancellor. Since both parliaments are being elected, the head of government comes into power by democratic means.

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....

Rather, the OP mentions (perhaps) educating people about the Holocaust. An action well worth its time, as, learning about it helps prevent another one.

As for why it is so focused on, despite Herr Dink's implication that its the Jewish Media's hidden agenda (you should be damned ashamed of yourself,) the reason is simple: the sum totality of all of the unique features of the Holocaust, including the numbers killed, the reasons, the methods, and the wide spread compliance make it the single most spectacular example of evil in (modern?) history.

Yes, there were other acts of brutality in history. Stalin's actions towards just about everyone, the US's treatment of Native Americans and Africans, Pogroms in the late 19th century, ethnic cleansing in the last 20 years in east Europe and Africa to name a few. But none of these measure up in magnitude to what the Nazi party did. Therefore, it is natural that people are interested in What Happened.

....

Finally, the idea that we should "forget it and move on" is appalling. ....

 

 

Here we have again the rather weird combination of claims that

a. the Holocaust is absolutely unique and may not be compared to any other of history´s horrors, whatever their magnitude

b. yet we should remind people about it all the time so that it "doesn´t happen again".

 

Apart from the general impression that mankind doesn´t really learn very much from history anyway, I do wonder how we shall prevent it from "happening again" if all comparisons to other genocides are being disallowed. We aren´t going to see an exact copy of the Holocaust just as we aren´t going to see an exact copy of the Atlantic slave trade happening again. Yet if no comparisons may be made how are we effectively going to prevent any new horrors?

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Maybe people should read up on some history what led up to the raise of Herr Hitler and his cronies.

http://www.tarpley.net/bushb.htm

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Here we have again the rather weird combination of claims that

a. the Holocaust is absolutely unique and may not be compared to any other of history´s horrors, whatever their magnitude

b. yet we should remind people about it all the time so that it "doesn´t happen again".

 

Apart from the general impression that mankind doesn´t really learn very much from history anyway, I do wonder how we shall prevent it from "happening again" if all comparisons to other genocides are being disallowed. We aren´t going to see an exact copy of the Holocaust just as we aren´t going to see an exact copy of the Atlantic slave trade happening again. Yet if no comparisons may be made how are we effectively going to prevent any new horrors?

 

 

Like I said, the German Holocaust was unique in many respects, not just magnitude (in which it has a few peers.) Quoting from "Rethinking the Holocaust" by Yehuda Bauer:

The basic motivation was purely ideological, rooted in an illusionary world of Nazi imagination, where an international Jewish conspiracy to control the world was opposed to a parallel Aryan quest. No genocide to date had been based so completely on myths, on hallucinations, on abstract, nonpragmatic ideology – which was then executed by very rational, pragmatic means."

 

Quoting Eberhard Jäckel:

""the National Socialist killing of the Jews was unique in that never before had a state with the authority of its responsible leader decided and announced that a specific human group, including its aged, its women and its children and infants, would be killed as quickly as possible, and then carried through this resolution using every possible means of state power"

 

and

"the National Socialist murder of the Jews was unique because never before had a nation with the authority of its leader decided and announced that it would kill off as completely as possible a particular group of humans, including old people, women, children and infants, and actually put this decision into practice, using all the means of governmental power at its disposal. This idea is so apparent and so well known that is quite astonishing that it could have escaped Fest's attention (the massacres of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War were, according to all we know, more like murderous deporations then planned genocide)"

 

The point is not that the Nazis killed a whole bunch of people. The point is that the Nazis employed the full legitimate power of a large industrial nation to *wipe out* a people, and, IMO, as a side note, for no pragmatic gain.

 

Finally, Oblomov, your point "a" comes from a flawed reading of points in this thread. I did not say not to compare the Holocaust to other tradgedies. I (and others) said do not compare it to other tradgedies and conclude, "because it happens all the time, it is no big deal", as Dink does here: "The Holocaust happened, and IMO there's nothing more evil about it than when some little girl gets kidnapped, raped, and murdered.. Death is individual."

On the contrary, I believe you are correct that it is useful to compare the circumstances to other tragedies so we are better able to spot similar future trends in order to prevent or curb them (eg, NATO's intervention in Kosovo.)

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There was indeed a pragmatic side to the Holocaust. If nothing else, it gave jobs to the people who organized and implemented it..

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You are delusional. Killing 17 million people doesnt create an economic boon through job creation. What about all the jobs lost servicing those people you killed?

 

This is exactly why the Holocaust happened. You pick some random group, assign blame for your woes to them based on zero evidence, and then act on your imagination as if it were fact.

 

You are pathetic.

 

Dink, there is no conspiracy against you. The Jews, the Arabs, the Turks, the Roma, the liberals, the conservatives, and little green men from mars are all NOT the source of your problems. YOU are the source of your problems. Be a man, and take some responsibility.

 

Furthermore, I would really like you to apply the Golden Rule for a moment. Here:

Dink, I think *you* are the source of *my* problems. I base this on nothing, but, I have lots of money and power. You, and your family, your mother, your father, your brothers, your sisters, your sons, and your daughters are now slated for execution. First, they will be experimented on. I would like to see what happens when I sew your son to your daughter. I would also like to see what happens when I remove your various extremities without pain killer. Ive also often wondered what would happen if I swapped your mother's eyes for those of a cat.

How does it feel Dink?

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Here we have again the rather weird combination of claims that

a. the Holocaust is absolutely unique and may not be compared to any other of history´s horrors, whatever their magnitude

b. yet we should remind people about it all the time so that it "doesn´t happen again".

 

 

I think there are aspects of the Holocaust that are arguably unique, those I would list as

 



  1. A modern industrial state behaving in an Old Testament/Barbarian/old Roman 'Carthage must be destroyed' manner. For something similar in western history you would probably have to go back to Rome's destruction of Carthage.
  2. The pointlessness of it - If you look at most´instances of ethnic cleansing there is an element of Realpolitik behind them however obnoxious it is. When you look at the Holocaust it was targeted at assimilated groups in Germany.
  3. The industrialisation of murder - Not to get into post modern BS, but the fact that the full capacity of state resources were mobilised.
  4. Went against logical war aims - resources that could have been better used elsewhere were used to the detriment of war aims.
  5. An educated country ended up providing the tools for a madman (this I think is the real danger, and the most misunderstood)

 

Part of the problem with the discussion is that it has become polarised and that can be seen on this thread.

One of the things that always frightens me is that if you look at many of the sentiments expressed they are essentialy 'Hitlerian' world views by that I mean:

 

  1. Conflict is inevitable and the normal state
  2. history is about competition between ethnic groups for resources
  3. conflict is not 'politics by other means' but about total victory/survival of the fittest.
  4. conflict is normal and even healthy

 

 

Apart from the general impression that mankind doesn´t really learn very much from history anyway, I do wonder how we shall prevent it from "happening again" if all comparisons to other genocides are being disallowed. We aren´t going to see an exact copy of the Holocaust just as we aren´t going to see an exact copy of the Atlantic slave trade happening again. Yet if no comparisons may be made how are we effectively going to prevent any new horrors?

 

 

Until we have a world government there will always be obnoxious governments, human rights etc are just sentimentality however it is a good sentiment and the longer we can avoid these events and the deeper the sentiment becomes the more chance we have of reducing the number of these events again.

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Possibly. There is still alot of debate on the issue. He certainly was in the same ballpark if you include the Ukraine famine, which may or may not have been 100% intentional.

 

But, like I said, at least in the US, the Soviets are not given much slack in terms of media portrayal.

 

 

Yes, the Soviets are the evil communist bad guys, but growing up in the states you learn the Hitler was the absolute face of Evil and far more attention is given to his atrocities. Your average high school kid knows far more about Hitler than Stalin.

 

 

One of the things that always frightens me is that if you look at many of the sentiments expressed they are essentialy 'Hitlerian' world views by that I mean:

 

Conflict is inevitable and the normal state

 

I don't think its really fair to assign the painfully obvious observation that Humans are prone to conflict as a Hitlerian world view.

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I don't think its really fair to assign the painfully obvious observation that Humans are prone to conflict as a Hitlerian world view.

 

 

It is reasonable to say that the use of force will remain for the forseeable future part of statecraft but that does not make it part of our nature, only the system we find ourselves in. If warfare really is part of our nature physically and mentally we would be better prepared for it.

 

It is 'Hitlerian' in combination with other things (see list). Actually it is not strictly speaking true, either on the small scale or the large scale by and large. We have very low rate of murder in comparison to other species for example and on the large scale periods of peace outweigh periods of war. It is also 'Hitlerian' when it is seen that way in the apocolyptc sense that the inevitable end point of the future is some sort of Wagnerian downfall of civilisation.

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Here we have again the rather weird combination of claims that

a. the Holocaust is absolutely unique and may not be compared to any other of history´s horrors, whatever their magnitude

b. yet we should remind people about it all the time so that it "doesn´t happen again".

 

Apart from the general impression that mankind doesn´t really learn very much from history anyway, I do wonder how we shall prevent it from "happening again" if all comparisons to other genocides are being disallowed. We aren´t going to see an exact copy of the Holocaust just as we aren´t going to see an exact copy of the Atlantic slave trade happening again. Yet if no comparisons may be made how are we effectively going to prevent any new horrors?

 

The problem with comparing the Holocaust to other atrocities is the way that it's often done. Not by drawing parallels with other atrocities but by, for example, looking at how many people were killed, or the fact that the main targets were Jews. So the Holocaust can end up being played down, which suits those people who have a particular agenda. It can end up being seen as no worse than other atrocities, and perhaps even less serious than some. Once it has been lumped together with the other atrocities and cut down to size, people lose sight of its significance and will see no point in the argument that it (i.e. organised genocide) should never happen again.

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The problem with comparing the Holocaust to other atrocities is the way that it's often done. Not by drawing parallels with other atrocities but by, for example, looking at how many people were killed, or the fact that the main targets were Jews. So the Holocaust can end up being played down, which suits those people who have a particular agenda. It can end up being seen as no worse than other atrocities, and perhaps even less serious than some. Once it has been lumped together with the other atrocities and cut down to size, people lose sight of its significance and will see no point in the argument that it (i.e. organised genocide) should never happen again.

 

 

Inorganized genocide, regardless of how many people die, is not as bad?

How about: Genocide should never happen again?

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It is reasonable to say that the use of force will remain for the forseeable future part of statecraft but that does not make it part of our nature, only the system we find ourselves in.

 

What 'system'? If we were not inherently self centered animals prone to conflict than why has every chapter of human history been colored with brutality? Not to mention that 'conflict' does not just mean 'armed conflict'.

 

 

If warfare really is part of our nature physically and mentally we would be better prepared for it.

 

We seem to be quite adept at it, we don't need physical adaptations because we can use tools. Mentally it is amazing how humans can compartmentalize atrocities and still live live their normal lives that these atrocities paved the way for.

 

 

Actually it is not strictly speaking true, either on the small scale or the large scale by and large. We have very low rate of murder in comparison to other species for example and on the large scale periods of peace outweigh periods of war.

 

Who is 'we', point out to me a worldwide period of peace. We don't act like animals because we were intelligent enough to form society because we know it was the only way to keep ourselves from killing each otherlike animals, but history has shown us that the protection of society doesn't change our nature. Periods of peace outweigh periods of war? How many worldwide periods of peace have their been in human history, there is always a war somewhere. The relative post WW2 'peace' in the western world was bought from fear of mutual destruction rather than enlightenment.

 

 

It is also 'Hitlerian' when it is seen that way in the apocolyptc sense that the inevitable end point of the future is some sort of Wagnerian downfall of civilisation.

 

 

Its hardly hitlarian to expect that in the formula rapidly growing population + dwindling resources + human nature + weapons of mass destruction = x, x is not going to be positive.

 

Anyway, Hobbes said that a mans state of nature is a 'war of all men against all men' in the 1650s, not really fair to attribute this view of humans to Hitler.

 

If you want a 'hitlarian' world view, then it would involve creating a scapegoat population to distract the populace from other problems. He didn't invent that game either, he just applied Henry Ford principles to it to bring it to a grotesque new level.

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Inorganized genocide, regardless of how many people die, is not as bad?

How about: Genocide should never happen again?

 

Not sure what you mean by inorganised genocide, regardless of how many people die. Genocide, i.e. "the deliberate killing of a very large number of people from a particular ethnic group or nation" (AskOxford.com), is by definition organised. In that sense, I agree that the word genocide is enough.

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Not sure what you mean by inorganised genocide, regardless of how many people die. Genocide, i.e. "the deliberate killing of a very large number of people from a particular ethnic group or nation" (AskOxford.com), is by definition organised. In that sense, I agree that the word genocide is enough.

 

 

Was the holocaust the only genocide? If not then what makes it special among genocides?

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Was the holocaust the only genocide? If not then what makes it special among genocides?

 

 

I think it´s the "industrial methods" used to kill people.

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