Holocaust Denial


Holocaustis one of the most significant historical issues in the 20thcentury. It is among the most studies and discussed topic in modernhistory. The holocaust was genocide against the Jews perpetrated bythe Nazi Germans in the Second World War under the command of AdolfHitler (Rosefielde, 65). It is estimated that over six million Jewsdies in the German occupied regions and German Reich in Europebetween 1941 and 1945. The genocide was aimed at eliminating theJewish race in the European continent to avoid Jewish dominance ofthe world and contamination of the pure race (Mazower, 89, Norman17). Despite the compelling evidence, including eye witnesses’accounts, holocaust denial theories have emerged in the recent past. Holocaust denial is a theory that denies the fact that genocidehappened during the Second World War. There are many reasons why somescholars and historians have denied the events of the holocaust. Someof the reasons include the attempts to refute the existence of afinal solution policy and mass murder to defend the Nazi Germans(Michael, 23, Charny 1). This paper looks at some of the literaturesrelating to holocaust denial. The paper mainly uses information fromhistory books due to the depth of information that can be extracted.Also, some of the information is obtained from peer reviewed journalarticles on European studies. Holocaust denial has been based on theargument that the magnitude of the number of Jews that may have diedin the Second World War has been exaggerated.

Majorityof the sources do not support the ideas of the holocaust denialmovement but seeks to disqualify their claims. Scholars who haveargued against the existence of the holocausts have preferred to bereferred to as historical revisionist rather than deniers (Wicken,103). However, majority of historians have maintained that the ideasof holocaust denial are very different compared to historianrevisionism. This is because historical revisionism of the holocaustdoes not focus on the holocaust as an historical event, rather thehistorical interpretation of the even which includes the causes andeffect. Holocaust denial focuses on the event and not the cause andaffects of the holocaust (Gottfired, 29).

Oneof the main arguments in favor of holocaust denial has been theabsence of an official policy of the Nazi Germans to exterminate theJews in its territory. They have argued that there are not reasonablewritten orders from the Nazi government ordering the killing of theJews in all German territories. However, historians have produceddocument that reveals the desire of the Nazi German leader, AdolfHitler to eradicate the Jewish race from the European continent.Before Hitler assumed power in Germany, he had made his intentionsclear by stating that his “foremost task will be the annihilationof the Jews” using all the available means including hanging untilthey stink (Stephen, 76). Also, at the start of the Second World Warin 1939, Hitler stated that the Jews will not get away as they did inthe First World War and he was determined to destroy them. Holocaustdenial theory has also argued that in contrast to other genocides inthe world, for example the T4 Euthanasia, Hitler did not sign anydocument to order the holocaust (Robert, 102). The lack order hasbeen argued to be enough evidence for the absence of annihilationpolicy by the Nazi government. However, critics of the denial theoryhave argued that following public reaction against the T4 euthanasia,Hitler and the Nazi government avoided issuing and signed documentordering the extermination of the Jews. Additionally, if there weredocuments signed by the Nazi officials relating to the holocaust,they could have been the first documents to be destroyed when theysensed defeat (Lipstadt, 75, Patrick 359).

Thedenial movement has also claimed that the gas chamber, one of themost reliable evidence of the holocaust were not gas chamber butserved other purposes. While some argue that the chambers wereconstructed after the war to incriminate the Nazi Germans others haveargued that the structures referred to as the gas chambers were usedfor other purposed (Richard, 35). It is important to state thatmajority of the holocaust denial arguments are aimed at clearing theNazi Germans from any wrong doing in the genocide. Therefore, thearguments in favor of the denial theories are based on the historicalanalysis of the Nazi sympathizers, the holocaust according to Nazis.Documented evidence indicates that when the Nazis sensed an imminentdefeat and a possible trial, they started destroying any possibleevidence that could have been used against them (Robert, 25). In theearly 1960s, modern holocaust denial sentiment emerged which mainlyargued that rather than the Germans being responsible for theholocaust, they were victims of the plot that necessitated the SecondWorld War, the Anglo-Polishconspiracy. The argument as containedin the “The Forced War” by David Hoggan formed the foundation andreference point of the holocaust denial movement (Shermer andGrobman, 120).

Inconclusion, the events and motivations of the holocaust is one of themost intriguing historical events in the modern history. There is awide range of information about holocausts denial in history books aswell as journal articles. Holocaust denial arguments are mainly basedon lack of documentary evidence of a policy by the Nazi government toannihilate Jews and there was no official document signed by Hitler.They have also argued that the gas chambers did not exist. However,historians have criticized the holocaust denial arguing that themovement has been motivated by attempts to clear the Nazi Germans theguilt of the holocaust. Also, based my tour to Auschwitz Germany thearguments that the gas chambers did not exist is wrong.


Charny,Israel. &quotThe Psychological Satisfaction of Denials of theHolocaust or Other Genocides by Non-Extremists or Bigots, and Even byKnown Scholars&quot. IdeaJournal.(2001), Vol.6, no.1.Available athttp://www.ideajournal.com/articles.php?id=27

Gottfired,Ted. Deniersof the Holocaust: Who They Are, What They Do, Why They Do ItTwenty-First Century Books, 2001. Print.

Lipstadt,Deborah. Denyingthe Holocaust.New York: Free Press, 1993. Print.

Mazower,Mark. Hitler`sEmpire: Nazi Rule in Occupied Europe.London: Allen Lane. 2008.

Michael,Shermer. &quotHolocaust Revisionism Update: David Cole Recants/DavidIrving Says Churchill Knew About Pearl Harbor&quot. Skeptic6, no. 1 (1998): 23–25. Available athttp://www.fpp.co.uk/online/98/07/articles/Skeptic07.98.html.

Norman,G Finkelstein. TheHolocaust industry: reflections on the exploitation of Jewishsuffering,London: Verso, 2003. Print.

PatrickFinney &quotEthics, Historical Relativism and .&quotRethinkingHistory2 (1998), pp. 359–369. Print.

RichardJ. Evans. LyingAbout Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the David Irving Trial,ISBN 0-465-02153-0. Basic Books, 2002. Print.

RobertEaglestone. Postmodernismand Holocaust denial.Cambridge: Icon Books, 2001. Print.

RobertS. Wistrich. Holocaustdenial: the politics of perfidy.Berlin: De Gruyter, 2012. Print.

Rosefielde,Steven. RedHolocaust.Oxford: Routledge. 2009. Print.

Shermer,Michael and Grobman, Alex. DenyingHistory: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They SayIt? Berkeley:University of California Press, 2002. Print.

StephenE Atkins. Holocaustdenial as an international movement.Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2009. Print.

TedGottfried, Deniersof the Holocaust: Who They Are, What They Do, Why They Do It,Brookfield Conn Twenty-First Century Books, 2001.

Wicken,Stephen. &quotViews of the Holocaust in Arab Media and PublicDiscourse&quot. YaleJournal of International Affairs:(2006). 103–15. Available athttp://yalejournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/061209wicken.pdf