As hard as it is to believe, “Holocaust Denial” pushes the idea that the Holocaust never happened or was at least exaggerated. Holocaust Denial is classed as a form of anti-Semitism (anti-Jewish feeling).
Those who subscribe to this belief often believe that the Holocaust was fabricated (or partly fabricated) for some sort of agenda, mainly for political gain and for financial advantage. It is claimed that in this case, Germany is the true victim of World War II, not the innocent lives lost as part of a brutal regime.
According to Holocaust deniers, Hitler and the Nazi party did not commit genocide resulting in 6 million Jews losing their lives and millions of Poles, Catholics, Communists, Homosexuals and Gypsies. The mere notion that gas chambers designed to kill the masses and death camps such as Auschwitz are a myth and any deaths that occurred were as a result of wartime collateral damage rather than a systematic mass murder.
A very surprising belief held by some Holocaust Deniers is that Hitler was, in fact, a friend of Jews and that he actively worked to protect them in Germany.
Clear Evidence of Genocide
Holocaust Denial puts forward that the Jews and their “allies” have conjured up the happenings of the Holocaust for their own ends, despite it being one of the most greatly documented genocides in history with barrels and barrels of evidence in written, photographic, audio-visual and testimonies from both victims and aggressors. Basically, the evidence is prevalent in every single form possible – yet there are still people who deny it all as a simple fabrication.
Deniers will argue that evidence is simply forged after World War II concluded by those who wanted political and financial gain for the worldwide Jewish community, as a sort of conspiracy. Deniers claim that the evidence has clearly been cleverly constructed, with forgers creating the documents using contemporary-style typewriters which match perfectly to those used either by the Germans or by the allies depending which kind of document they are forging. They would then plant these documents in numerous archival collections all across Europe.
Of course, this notion put forward by deniers is beyond improbable, it does not provide hard evidence in the favour of Holocaust Denial in any way at all. How come these forgers did not slip up once to provide hard evidence that can be used by deniers to prove they are fake?
Famously, there are plenty of documented confessions from perpetrators who have outlined their role in World War II and/or in the camps which housed and murdered millions of Jews. An example of this is Otto Ohlendorf confession very openly that between the years 1941 and 1942 he and his Einsatzgruppe (SS Death Squad) murdered approximately 90,000 people. How can deniers counter confessions from perpetrators? Why would people openly admit to mass murder for the gain of others?
Well, deniers are quick to dismiss these Nazi confessions that a “Final Solution” was actually ever part of the Nazi Regime and ideology. Their justification for denying this form of evidence is that the confessions were obtained through torture and are therefore not true. They argue that therefore, these confessions cannot and should not be regarded as evidence that the Holocaust occurred.
However, plenty of confessions from perpetrators were written after they have been sentenced to death for their crimes against humanity, therefore they had nothing to lose. The Denier’s argument also ignores that fact that many people described in great detail what occurred as part of the Holocaust, which is consistent with other accounts, but insisted that had nothing to do with the acts they described or that they were forced to carry out these actions by their superiors. It has been documented that SS guards often had their families lives, as well as their own life, threatened if they dared to refuse to carry out orders, no matter how unspeakable.
The decrease in Jewish Population
Surely, one of the most major indicators of a genocide of the Jews is the fact that the population greatly decreased during World War II. How can this be explained by deniers? Deniers often put forward the argument that Jews they disappeared during the war (the ones said to be killed by the Nazis) actually survived the war but have simply avoided detection by fleeing to places such as the Soviet Union or the United States of America. These countries already have such a dense Jewish population, that no one would notice an extra few million Jews living there.
Those who were supposedly killed in the Holocaust survived but never made contact with their pre-war relatives or friends because they wanted to remain undetected as to push the end goal of a means to an end. Some deniers state that the Jews used the Holocaust to “disappear” so as to not return to bad marriages. Of course, this seems absolutely ridiculous. To put it in perspective, deniers believe that people literally orchestrated a genocidal regime to leave behind a partner they no longer loved – seems pretty extreme?
The real facts are very well documented. For example, we know that at one point the Nazis were using gas buses to kill Jews as well as gas chambers in the camps dotted around Europe. This is factual and obviously far more plausible as an explanation as to where 6 million Jews disappeared too, rather than simply fleeing to blend in with an already established Jewish community elsewhere.
One of the most focused on subjects for Deniers is the extermination camp known as Auschwitz. Despite overwhelming documented and physical evidence of the existence of the place and the autarchies which took place there, Deniers claim that Auschwitz was never a death camp. They try to explain away or simply ignore evidence which leaves no doubt at all about the purposes of Auschwitz.
Deniers will often twist evidence. There is a lot of evidence pointing towards the use of gas chambers during the Holocaust to kill Jews in their masses. However, Deniers claim that the gas chambers, which can be visited to this day and seen with your own eyes, were simply delousing chambers or morgues for those who died (not at the hands of the Nazis).
Have Deniers seen success in their claims?
To no surprise, Holocaust Deniers put forward no hard evidence, whereas there is plenty of evidence to counter their claims.
It is a worry for some that as the last Holocaust Survivors pass-away that the Deniers will achieve greater support and traction. However, historians are confident that the evidence which proves the Holocaust did happen and was in no way fabricated will always prevail, especially if we keep the conversation going.