Sunday, October 19, 2014

Denying the Holocaust: the growing assault on truth and memory by Deborah Lipstadt

Ms. Lipstadt has written a history of Holocaust denial, the troubling trend to sow the seeds of doubt about the most horrific event of the twentieth century.  Denying the Holocaust is a subtle way of hiding one's antisemitism under the cover of 'scholarship' by questioning the number of victims and methods of the Nazi annihilation of European Jewry.

The numbers defy the imagination.  The method of gassing seems too brutal to be true.  Coupled with the responsibility attached to the national identity of Germany one can understand a desire to forget about the greatest blight on humanity.  Without the overwhelming evidence of the slaughter, one could easily question how one could one be so cruel.

The evidence, however, has not stopped many from attempting to rehabilitate Germany from its Nazi past.  Most deniers, antisemites in disguise tend to create doubt by actually ignoring the overwhelming evidence by espousing arguments of 'reason', speculations and assumptions that reasonable people would never conjure up such brutality! Or peg the evidence on Jewish historians who they claim have an obvious bias against Germany!  Never is their argument ever fully explained because internally it can't stand up to internal logic.  If Hitler never wanted to destroy the Jews why would the Jews be against him?  Their arguments only make sense to one who hates Jews, who believe there is some kind of Jewish conspiracy against them.

I remember a Television program that aired a visit to Auschwitz in which a so called "expert engineer" collected samples of Zyklon B from gas chambers and concluded that there was not enough residue to effect lethal levels.  I don't remember a rebuttal of the charges that he made on the program.  Prof. Lipstadt, however, gives the background and discussion of this fellow and exposes him as a absolute fraud who lacked any professional training.  And in-spite of debriefing the TV producers before the airing of the show about the fraud, the program nevertheless aired!  It is a sad commentary about the nature of TV and ratings vs. the need to tell the truth.

It is clear to me, with the aging of and passing of Holocaust survivors, there will be more denial of the past crimes because most can't or won't fathom such abuse, sadism and murder even with the overwhelming evidence of the program for the 'final solution of the Jewish problem' by Hitler and his Nazi regime.

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