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Holocaust Denial.


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#1 Henrietta

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 08:47 PM

So, a typically intelligent brother of mine has recently become very interested in the possibility that the Holocaust death toll is not nearly as high as is commonly accepted. He has sent around this article by Carl O. Nordling to those in his address book (he sends me tons of shit, I tend to delete it sight unseen), http://www.ihr.org/j...5_Nordling.html.

He accuses me of accepting the mainstream line of thinking when I tell him that I think such articles are bullshit. He says the article is well-cited. I ask him if he's even bothered to research the numbers the article cites or if he's ever bothered to research the typically cited 6 million figure. Of course he hasn't, but he says he's probably read more about it than me. He accuses me of never even considering the possibility that the article could be correct. I tell him he's correct, there's a lot of media out there that I don't even pause to consider.

I tell him there are conferences he can go to where he can discuss such thoughts with like-minded individuals. I tell him that he should know how it makes him look, especially when he talks in the same breath about Jewish conspiracies and the State of Israel.

Now, he doesn't have an agenda. He's not a white supremacist or an anti-semite, which is why this has taken me by surprise. He's a very intelligent individual who consumes a lot of information, so it's possible this is just him considering the possibility.

My question is whether any of you folk have experiences with this? With family members or friends who have all of a sudden taken an obsessive interest in such topics? Does it pass? Have you come to an understanding? How can I convince him of his foolhardiness? Is it even worth engaging him on the subject?

Or, on the other hand, are there any Holocaust deniers on this board?

#2 partlycloudy

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 09:29 PM

The best part of this post is the J-Date link at the bottom of the page.

#3 Hewletts Daughter

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 09:32 PM

ysi?
I've got dials and knobs soft to the touch

#4 M_Rots

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 09:51 PM

Thought this was a new black metal band. Wrong side of the board, Ogawa.

#5 surlacarte

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 09:53 PM

Some digging around on the internet turned up this:

http://www.nizkor.or...r/pamphlet.html

It uses a pamphlet about Holocaust Denial called "66 Questions And Answers About the Holocaust," as an example of the most common arguments made by Holocaust deniers. It then offers a point by point refutation of each of those 66 arguments. I haven't read it over myself, but it sounds like it would be helpful in refuting your brother's arguments.

I've also emailed a friend of mine who is more knowledgeable about the subject of anti-semitism and asked for her advice in response to your questions. I'll post back here if she responds.

This is a very serious issue, and I respect that you're taking it as such and seeking out help in responding. Best of luck.

#6 Heretix

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 09:57 PM

Thought this was a new black metal band. Wrong side of the board, Ogawa.



Honestly, me too. I was really disappointed.

There's no irony here. I was expecting a kickass 2009 metal release and/or band.

#7 brobee

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 09:58 PM

i'm getting a microfinance ad. funny, either way.

my first thoughts when i saw this was that maybe there was some experimental/ambient art-metal band called holocaust denial. but good thread idea, but on the wrong side of the board.

anyhow, being jewish (though no direct relation to any holocaust victims) i have a knee-jerk reaction to holocaust denial. maybe i shouldn't be, but when people are more up in arms about the precise number of victims, rather than the enormous scope of the atrocity, it probably should set off some alarms. in my totally unscientific, first-hand experience, most of my jewish friends have family who perished. i don't know about census numbers, but regardless of the exact tally, the holocaust wasn't ethnic cleansing, it was an attempt systematic, manmade extinction. there doesn't need to be much else said.

the catholic bishop brouhaha is an example of how wrong-headed people can be about the holocaust. here is a man who is obviously intelligent and educated making an absolute fool of himself. his interview with der spiegel is really, really troubling: http://www.salon.com...shop/index.html

on the otherhand, jews should be open to the objective truth. five million wouldn't lessen the impact or the tragedy of the holocaust. jews need to be less, well, not less sensitive, but less over-sensitive. just sensitive enough. we need to be able to speak from a place of absolute conviction. knee-jerk reactions are simply not adequate in the face of abhorrent, virulent bigotry.

edit: m_rots and heretix got there first. oops.

#8 Henrietta

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 10:08 PM

Thought this was a new black metal band. Wrong side of the board, Ogawa.

Yeah, I messed up.

#9 surlacarte

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 10:21 PM

The reason for the knee-jerk reaction is that there is a consensus among reputable historians as to the general scale of the Holocaust, even if there is disagreement about the exact number. That means Holocaust denial never arises out of objective historical inquiry (how could there be objective evidence supporting the non-existence of something that exists?), even when it tries to cloak itself in the guise of legitimate historical research.

By the way, Ogawa, believing in Jewish conspiracies is by definition anti-semitic. It is one of the most prominent forms that anti-semitism has taken in history. Your brother may not be a white supremacist, but his beliefs rely on an offensive stereotype with a long history. I know you mean well, but you should accept that your brother is saying things that are anti-semitic rather than trying to make excuses for him.

#10 Henrietta

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 11:06 PM

Well, I hate to be put in the position of defending my brother whom I was just having a shouting match with about all this bullshit, but I honestly don't believe he has any anti-Semitic belief. He has problems with all governments, not just Israel. I just think he's way too easily intrigued. He's read this one article and suddenly he has all these questions. He also gets excited about monatomic gold, holistic cancer treatments, and levitation. It often seems like he has this pathological need for some hidden history or magic or mystery to the world. He'd like to believe there are people here and there with the real truth and the establishment is keeping it suppressed. I think this Holocaust business is more a manifestation of that worldview than anything else. About Holocaust denial in general, I could kind of understand if someone just had reasonable questions about where the statistics come from and that's as far as it went. However, such inquiry is usually coupled with questions about the modern state of Israel and, as my brother just mentioned, the "disproportionate number of films about Holocaust, to serve as a constant reminder." It suggests an overall suspicion of Jews that makes the original inquiry about the Holocaust numbers seem disingenuous. I question whether my brother really cares about the truth of the matter or if he's just interested in having a conversation. I pointed him in the direction of where he could clarify statistics or see if the statistics mentioned in the Nordling article are accurate or not. He said he could be interested in pouring over such books in a coffee shop with a friend but that he has no interest in devoting 24 hours at the library researching the matter by himself. Which seems outrageous to me, but he seems adamant that there's nothing wrong with maintaining such a position.

#11 surlacarte

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 11:35 PM

I honestly don't believe he has any anti-Semitic belief


It suggests an overall suspicion of Jews that makes the original inquiry about the Holocaust numbers seem disingenuous.


Maybe these two quotes sort of speak for themselves?

I think it's an important to make a distinction between calling a person an anti-semite and calling their beliefs or actions anti-semitic. I'm not saying your brother has some inner core of hatred or white supremacy that can't be cured or atoned for. I'm saying, much like you are, that his statements suggest an overall suspicion of Jews that stems from a long tradition of anti-semitism. Your brother should learn to recognize this tradition as something that has played a role in the oppression of Jews over time, and should dissociate himself from it.

Also, noting, as you say, that Holocaust denial is often associated with criticisms of the state of Israel, you might point out to your brother that there are plenty of legitimate ways of criticizing the actions of the state of Israel that don't involve conspiracy theories or Holocaust denial. You might tell him that it is possible to criticize the actions of the Israeli government or of an advocacy group like AIPAC without generalizing that critique to the Jewish people as a whole. You might tell him that it's even acceptable to criticize the use to which discourse on the Holocaust has been put in justifying certain actions, though with the caveat that he should be sympathetic to the fact that many of the people using such rhetoric have been directly impacted by the Holocaust. I do not consider all criticisms of the Israeli government, even those criticisms with which I disagree, inherently anti-semitic, just the ones that participate in long-standing traditions of anti-semitism (Holocaust denial, Jewish conspiracies, Jewish greed, etc.)

#12 undo

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 01:06 AM

and I thought this was going to be about some new metal band. ;)

#13 Mitchell

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 03:04 AM

The term you are looking for is Holocaust Quibbler.
Nice bowl of Crunchy Nut you got here, pretty expensive as I recall.

#14 sKinnY

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 07:59 AM

i always pass up holocaust when offered.

"what kind of moe cop doesn't give her the old suck on my balls warning?

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#15 avec

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 09:17 AM

Well the fact remains that your friend is not denying that the Holocaust has happened, correct? He's simply aligning his trust with a historian that is quibbling with the stats. I would suspect your friend to be a little deranged or misguided if he didn't believe in the monstrous intent of the 'final solution' that Hitler and his gang had planned. However, he does have a right to buy into historical theories no matter how far fetched, in my opinion. It looks like upon scanning that article that the researcher is claiming a possible 600,000 death toll? Hmm... In my mind whether the Nazi regime destroyed the lives of 600,000 or 6 million the intent was laid plain for all to see within their extensive records and documents about disappearing all traces of an entire race. I would expect your friend to have come to terms with this before I would start an argument with the stats.

#16 Tony

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 11:58 AM

Consider the source. The IHR was created by Neo Nazis with the express intent of discrediting the veracity of thinking about the Holocaust.

#17 held

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 12:11 PM

The term you are looking for is Holocaust Quibbler.

let's just call em da quibs.. Ogawa: waiting for the tide to come in..



















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#18 Thee AP

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 12:14 PM

This guy agrees too. He isn't a white supremacist either.

This isn't just angry white dudes in Idaho. Hell, they could care less. There is an entire region in the middle east that believes the same propaganda. And many of them too have college educated minds... It's all perspective. (my opinion is the growing number of palestine supporters & sympathies) . Moral of this story, be careful of the bedfellow you choose.
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(old link but relevant none-the-less)

http://news.bbc.co.u...ast/4527142.stm


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has courted further controversy by explicitly calling the Nazi Holocaust of European Jewry a "myth".
"They have created a myth today that they call the massacre of Jews and they consider it a principle above God, religions and the prophets," he said.

On live TV, he called for Europe or North America - even Alaska - to host a Jewish state, not the Middle East.

Israel swiftly denounced the president's comments.

"We hope these extremist comments... will make the international community open its eyes and abandon any illusions about this regime," foreign ministry spokesman Mark Regev told AFP news agency.

Mr Ahmadinejad's latest declaration echoes comments he made last week, in which he said territory should be "provided" in Germany or Austria to establish Israel "if European countries claim that they have killed Jews in World War II".

The president sparked international outrage in October when he said Israel should be "wiped off the map".

'Europe's fault'

Speaking to thousands of people in the south-eastern city of Zahedan, Mr Ahmadinejad brushed aside criticism of his views, saying it was orchestrated by supporters of Israel.

"If someone were to deny the existence of God... or prophets and religion, they would not bother him.

"However, if someone were to deny the myth of the Jews' massacre, all the Zionist mouthpieces and the governments subservient to the Zionists tear their larynxes and scream against the person as much as they can," he said.

He returned to his earlier theme that Europe should shoulder the responsibility for a Jewish state.

"If you [Europeans] committed this big crime, then why should the oppressed Palestinian nation pay the price?

"This is our proposal: give a part of your own land in Europe, the US, Canada or Alaska to them so that the Jews can establish their country," he said.

Someone should teach those kids to fish.

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#19 nobodies

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 01:10 PM

He also gets excited about monatomic gold, holistic cancer treatments, and levitation. It often seems like he has this pathological need for some hidden history or magic or mystery to the world. He'd like to believe there are people here and there with the real truth and the establishment is keeping it suppressed. I think this Holocaust business is more a manifestation of that worldview than anything else.


I suppose it's dime-store psychologist time. I'm not sure what's the status of your brother's personal and professional life; but like a lot of (most?) conspiracy theorists, perhaps he's transposing a lack of professional/personal achievement into his conspiracy theory habit.

When your own life sucks, sometimes it's easier to believe the conspiracies. If there's a covert group of men in black suits with no identities pulling all the strings in society, it becomes easier to justify your own shortcomings.

I think this is especially true when it comes to intelligent individuals. We're taught from a very early age in this country that intelligence=success. Obvioulsy this isn't true, but it's difficult for some people to break free from this equation. Instead of abandoning the equation, they'd rather blame external forces.

I recommend you go out and rent Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. Not only is it about a (purported) non-antisemitic holocaust denier, Fred Leuchter is plagued by the same feelings of inadequacy I described above.

It's also just a great film by a great director (Errol Morris).

#20 Thee AP

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 01:18 PM

.....
1. We're taught from a very early age in this country that intelligence=success. Obvioulsy this isn't true, but it's difficult for some people to break free from this equation. Rather than abandon the equation, they'd rather blame external forces.

2. I recommend you go out and rent Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. Not only is it about a (purported) non-antisemitic holocaust denier, Fred Leuchter is plagued by the same feelings of inadequacy I descrived above.

3. It's also just a great film by a great director (Errol Morris).




yep.
yep
and yep.

Someone should teach those kids to fish.

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