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Why Your Organization Should Host a Holocaust Debate
by Ken Meyercord Friday, Jan. 12, 2007 at 11:39 AM

Poking holes in the holocaust story is a poke in the eye of the warmongers

First, a story, a holocaust story, the one about the Nazis making soap from Jewish corpses. On the basis of that story bars of soap supposedly made from Jewish fat have been solemnly buried in Jewish cemeteries around the world. But the story is a myth. At least according to Deborah Lipstadt. And who is Deborah Lipstadt? A holocaust denier? Hardly, she’s the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University.

How do you suppose those worshipers felt when they learned that the bars of soaps they have been praying over all these years are just plain old Ivory? Hurt, betrayed, humiliated, I suspect. What if there are other myths that people solemnly memorialize and on which they base their beliefs about how the world works? Should we leave them to dwell in their cavernous, mythical world or force them to face the bright light of day? We all agree that we should learn from history in order to avoid the tragedies of the past being repeated in the future, but how can we learn from the past unless we have a thorough understanding of history?

You might think that after 50-odd years of scholarly research we do have a thorough understanding of holocaust history, but revision of the holocaust story – by the affirmationists themselves, mind you – takes place all the time. Just last year the official count of the number killed at the concentration camp at Madjanek was revised down from 360,000 to 78,000 (while the overall death count remains magically constant at 6 million!). If historians could adjust the number killed at Auschwitz down to 1.1 million after the official count stood at 4 million for over 40 years, what faith can we have that they’ve got it right now? Learning from the past entails constant re-examination of the known facts, a continuous search for new facts, and open discussion of all the facts.

All the so-called holocaust “deniers” I’ve read agree that the Jews were persecuted by the Nazis, that they were locked up in concentration camps, and that they died there in great numbers. How is this denying the holocaust? To refer to such historians as “deniers” is like calling anyone who opposes affirmative action a “racist”. It’s inaccurate, unfair, and really nasty.

There are three issues which distinguish holocaust “deniers” from holocaust “affirmationists”:
(1) Was there a plan to exterminate the Jews?
(2) How many Jews died?
(3) Were there gas chambers?
This is no place to go into the arguments of the revisionists. If you’d like to know what the debate is all about, you can easily find revisionist websites, as well as sites rebutting the revisionists, through an Internet search. For what it’s worth, while not an expert by any means, from my own perusal of these sites I have concluded that the arguments of the holocaust revisionists merit discussion.

Some revisionists are clearly anti-Semitic, but what group of any size doesn’t have adherents self-respecting members of the group would not want to be associated with? Look around you at the next antiwar rally. See some folks you’d just as soon not be associated with? Is that going to cause you to abandon the peace movement? If we shy away from discussing holocaust revisionism because of some of the people associated with it, we could be committing a grave blunder. Suppose the revisionists’ points are valid. Do we want to give Aryan Supremacists and the like the strategic advantage of being the primary supporters of the truth? If there is truth in the revisionists’ position, isn’t it better that it come out in the open now, while anti-Semitism in American society is negligible, instead of after our policy in the Middle East has gone disastrously south on us and our leaders are looking around for a scapegoat? (In this regard, let me mention that, if the holocaust story is a myth, I do not hold the Jews responsible for it.)

But why should we concern ourselves with a 60-year-old event when there are so many pressing current events to be addressed? Well, because the holocaust, like the poor, will apparently always be with us. In a typical year the New York Times publishes 200 or so holocaust-related articles (while it might publish a couple of dozen articles on all of Africa over the same time period!). The holocaust story is a major weapon in the propaganda arsenal of those opposed to a just and peaceful world: Zionists, imperialists, neocons. As the Israeli writer Israel Shamir puts it: “The official version of the Holocaust goes even farther than Writ: you may deny the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection of Christ, you may besmirch Muhammad, but if you have any doubt that six million of Jews were executed by Germans in gas chambers within the framework of a total annihilation project you may find yourself in a jail in Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland and other ‘free’ countries. The Teheran Conference is the first one ever to deal critically with the sad events of the World War Two. One does not have to be a fan of Hitler to approve of the conference…. If anything, the conference proved that the holocaust dogma is a basic tenet in the great world-embracing brainwashing machine of mass media described by Noam Chomsky as ‘the manufacture of consent Stalin could only dream of … whose discipline, and uniformity, are really impressive’. This media syndicate is the enemy of free people everywhere, and it carries on a relentless war against Iran and other independently-minded nations…. This is the reason why Iran hosted the conference. Nobody – and I do mean nobody, including British, French, American, German, Russian leaders – really cares about the victims of a war long past, Jewish or otherwise; they pay tribute to the Holocaust as nations pay tribute to their vanquisher. Iran has refused to pay this tribute; when will the rest of you follow their courageous example?”

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