Holocaust denial

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Countries with laws against Holocaust denial

Holocaust denial is the claim that the Holocaust did not happen, or was not as bad as people think it was. Historians agree that during World War II, the Nazis did kill millions of people during the Holocaust, including many people in concentration camps. They agree that there is more proof in writing, pictures, and places about the Holocaust than any other great killing of people. Holocaust deniers usually call themselves Holocaust revisionists.[1] They say that the Holocaust is a hoax made up by Jewish people working together.[2][3]

It is against the criminal law to deny the Holocaust in Israel and in many European countries, especially in Germany.[4] Some Holocaust deniers, like Ernst Zündel, have been charged with crimes.

What do Holocaust deniers say?[change | change source]

These are Holocaust deniers' most common arguments:

  • They say the Nazi government was only trying to deport Jews, not to kill them all. They say there was no official Nazi policy to kill Jews, and that no Nazi leader ever gave an order to kill all of the Jews.[3][5]
  • They say the Nazis did not use death camps or gas chambers to kill Jews.[2][3]
  • History experts agree that the Nazis killed about 5 million to 6 million Jews during the Holocaust.[2][3] Holocaust deniers say that far fewer Jews actually died. They also claim that many of these victims died of diseases, like typhus, instead of being murdered by the Nazis.[2][3]

Holocaust denial also includes these claims:

  • They say that during World War II, the Allies made up fake stories about the Holocaust to make Germans look evil. Then Jews, working together, spread these fake stories as part of a bigger plan to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Now Jews continue to spread these stories to get sympathy and to get support for the state of Israel.[2][3]
  • They say evidence about the Holocaust is fake.[2][3]
  • They say there are errors and differences in stories told by Holocaust survivors, and that because of this, these stories cannot be believed.[2][3]
  • After being taken prisoner, many Nazis gave confessions about having committed war crimes. Holocaust deniers say these people said things that were not true because they were tortured.[2][3]
  • They say the Allies treated enemy prisoners of war just as badly as the Nazis treated the Jews.[2][3]

Is Holocaust denial true?[change | change source]

Evidence includes the word of Sonderkommandos like these.

Historians agree that the Holocaust happened.[2][3] They also agree that Holocaust deniers use bad research, get things wrong, and sometimes make facts up to support their claims.[2][3]

Many things together prove that the Holocaust did happen:

  • Written documents, like laws, newspaper articles, speeches made by Nazi leaders, and confessions from Nazi prisoners of war. The Nazis kept careful records, and many of these records still exist. Even in World War II, many Germans knew about the Holocaust, and some tried to help save Holocaust victims.
  • Eyewitness testimony from people who saw what the Nazis did. This includes Holocaust survivors, like people who survived the Nazi concentration camps, and the word of Jewish Sonderkommandos (concentration camp inmates who helped load bodies from the gas chambers to the crematoria because this gave them a chance to survive). It also includes the word of Nazi leaders, Nazi concentration camp guards, and Allied soldiers who discovered the camps.
  • The camps. Pieces of Nazi concentration camps, death camps, and work camps still exist.
  • Other evidence, like population statistics.

References[change | change source]

  1. Lipstadt, Deborah, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, Penguin, 1993, ISBN 0-452-27274-2, p. 25
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Mathis, Andrew E. Holocaust Denial, a definition Archived 2011-06-09 at the Wayback Machine, The Holocaust History Project, July 2, 2004, Retrieved 6 March 2013
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 Michael Shermer & Alex Grobman. Denying History: : who says the Holocaust never happened and why do they say it?, University of California Press, 2000, ISBN 0-520-23469-3, p. 106
  4. Bazyler, Michael J. (December 25, 2006). "Holocaust Denial Laws and Other Legislation Criminalizing Promotion of Nazism" (PDF). Yad Vashem. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  5. Mathis, Andrew E. Holocaust Denial, a Definition, The Holocaust History Project, July 2, 2004, Retrieved 6 March 2013

Related pages[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]