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Culture War Roundup for the week of December 5, 2022

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I've learned to be distrustful of mainstream conservative commentators, but I still had hope that Dennis Prager was one of the intellectually honest ones. Having read his latest column, my disappointment is immeasurable, and my day is ruined.

I understand that accusing someone of intellectual dishonesty without clear evidence that they are lying is frowned upon here and likely anywhere else that meaningful discussion happens. If anyone has a defensible reading of this column, I would greatly appreciate hearing it, because I can only see two possible readings.

  1. The subject of the holocaust hits so close to home for Prager that he suspends all rational thought when discussing it, leaving him incapable of recognizing his own hypocrisy or recusing himself to avoid embarassment.

  2. He is consciously trying to enforce a norm that you can't question anything about the holocaust; he is aware that this contradicts his encouragement of vaccine hesitancy and other forms of wrongthink, but he doesn't care, because those are forms of wrongthink he likes, and this is one he doesn't like.

The first possibility fills me with pity. The second one fills me with outrage, not only because I consider that attitude to be morally wrong, but because I consider it to be counter-productive. The best way to encourage holocaust denial, and the anti-Semitism that it so often leads to, is to tell people not to question any details about it. And I'm not exaggerating when I say that Prager does not want people to question any details about it whatsoever. He says so himself.

Yet, some people, including an American named Nick Fuentes, aggressively deny the Holocaust, asserting that a few hundred thousand Jews, not millions, were killed.

Prager does not define the holocaust as "the German government's mass-murder of Jewish citizens," or even "the deliberate attempt by the German government to kill all of the Jews in Europe." He defines the holocaust specifically as the murder of millions of Jews, meaning that if you put the death toll at anything under 7 figures, you are denying the totality of the event in his mind. If Prager was giving a live lecture, I would excuse this implication as an accidental result of speaking off-the-cuff, but this is a written column, which means he had the opportunity to proof-read his words and think about what they mean, and he still thought that this was acceptable.

Based on my conversations with others about holocaust denial and revisionism, I suspect there's an unspoken implication in this column that people who are neurotypical (or just not autistic in the same way I am) are capable of picking up on: that anyone who questions any detail about the holocaust is a bad faith actor trying to Ship of Theseus it out of the historical record. I've had many people, even in ratspace, tell me that this is so obvious a reason to ostracize holocaust revisionists that it doesn't even have to be stated explicitly when condemning them. Well, not only is it not obvious to me, but I think it takes an astonishingly poor imagination to think that there might not be anyone out there who, in good faith and without denying Hitler's genocidal ambitions, questions how many people were killed in the holocaust or what methods were used.

This is not a defense of Nick Fuentes. While I can't read Fuentes's mind, I have inferred based on his tone when speaking about the holocaust that he likely either doesn't believe it happened or wants other people to not believe it happened. The column, however, is not about Nick Fuentes. It's a column about the general subject of holocaust "denial," and it merely uses Fuentes as an example. And while I'm at it..

Second, Holocaust denial is not only a Big Lie; it is pure Jew-hatred, i.e., antisemitism. The proof that it emanates from antisemitism is that no other 20th-century genocide is denied (with the exception of the Turkish government’s denial of the Turks’ mass murder of Armenians during World War I). No one denies Stalin’s mass murder of tens of millions of Soviet citizens in the Gulag Archipelago or his deliberate starvation of about five million Ukrainians (the Holodomor); or the Cambodian communists’ murder of about one in every four Cambodians; or Mao’s killing of about 60 million Chinese. The only genocide-denial is the genocide of the Jews.

Prager, buddy, do you have any idea how many people on my university campus alone denied "Stalin’s mass murder of tens of millions of Soviet citizens in the Gulag Archipelago?" I don't, because once you're counting in the dozens, it's impossible to keep track without administering a structured survey. I know that Bob Avakian's group canvassed there every day for years without incident, while right-wing events were met with hostile protests. I was one of the first people to know that Quentin Tarantino spoke at one of their events, but it took Breitbart a month to report on my tip, and not a single other outlet picked up on it because they didn't care.

What world does Prager live in where Stalin apologists are marginalized, but holocaust denial runs free? It's not the world he lived in five years ago, because 3 minutes into this video, he approvingly quotes a professor's statement that denial Stalin's genocide is common. Did Prager's assessment of the culture change over the past five years, or is he just contradicting himself to effectively enforce his preferred censorial norms? I'm inclined to think the latter, and it's a darn shame. I used to be a Ben Shapiro fan until I caught him doing stuff like this, and my search for people who recognized the problems with wokeness without enforcing their own intellectual taboos drove me further right to places like VDare and Unz, because they were less obviously dishonest. Several years later, I don't think those places are particularly honest, but I'm sure they're more honest than Daily Wire, and I expect many people to get stuck at that level of the radicalization rabbit hole without graduating to the general agnosticism and confusion I'm at. Shit, now I'm getting emotional.

Also, whoever chose that headline did a bad job. Prager is Jewish, and his reference to hell in the column was clearly meant to be a figure of speech. Making it the headline makes it sound literal. I wonder if Prager approved it.

I don't know this guy, but come on: if revisionists and outright deniers successfully get it into the mainstream that "Hey, nowhere six million Jews died, it was [a few thousand/a couple of tens of thousands/some hundred thousands] at the very most", then it becomes "just another casualty of war". Nothing special, the Jews were not specifically targeted, look at all the [Russians/Italians/Chinese/British] civilians who died as well".

Except that is not true. There really was a plan to target and exterminate the Jews. It didn't 'just happen' along with all the other civilian casualties.

So yeah, I can understand why Jewish commentators are going to lose it over anything that looks like "nothing special, just like anyone else" attempts to downplay what happened. And even at the best interpretation "Well, only 100,000 Jews died in the campaign to exterminate them, not 6,000,000, so why are you upset?", can you really not see why someone Jewish might be upset about being told they should be glad that the death plan wasn't as efficient as claimed? They wanted to kill us all, they didn't manage it, why would I be okay about being a target of deliberate murder if only they had been able to get me?

"just another casualty of war".

That's if they were killed by another country that was bombing indiscriminately, not by their own governments because of ethnic animus.

can you really not see why someone Jewish might be upset about being told they should be glad that the death plan wasn't as efficient as claimed

Of course I can! What happened is still an abomination, either way.

My opinion of Dennis Prager is roughly the same as Norm Macdonald's one of Hitler. And freedom of speech etc. etc., no disagreements here. However, here I must say that I understand where he is coming from (except the «If the Holocaust is a fabrication, Americans died fighting against nothing particularly evil» part – come on man, just pretend you give a fuck about tyranny and, say, mass killing of Slavs). It feels strange to put into words what a Jew has apparently failed at conveying to a sympathetic another.

The point is as follows. The number of Jews killed in the Holocaust is not just a sacred cow nor an academic sticking point. Six million – considering the incentives of researchers such as perceived immorality or danger of lowballing, maybe a biased estimate, but still close to the center of mass of my a priori model – is near the totality of Jews that had been living by that point on the territory controlled by Germany. As Praeger says,

Beginning in about 1941, the Nazi regime dedicated itself to murdering every Jew — man, woman, child and baby — in countries it occupied. Eventually, more than six of every 10 Jews in Europe were murdered.

Them having been killed, whether via gas and those absurd shower contraptions like mainstreamers insist, or indirectly via starvation and neglect, like some revisionists effectively tell it, regardless of proportion by method or nuances of timeline or sensational claims about particular cruelties, indicates the successfully pursued intention of a complete eradication of a people wherever possible – an intention one can derive from arguments in Hitler's magnum opus already. This clear intention is the main reason I feel disinterested in investigating revisionism (although I know that the mainstream can get stuck on asserting blatant lies, as the case of HBD shows). And, therefore, it is qualitatively different from killing hundreds of thousands, like in some vastly scaled-up impulsive pogrom. It was, indeed, a genocide, and it means that, were the Axis successful in its ultimate political program, it would have been the end of Jewry globally, the final death of Israel.

Jews, in my experience, have stronger sensitivity to existential threats than European peoples, to an extent that, I suspect, they cannot quite believe the difference, and mistake fringe right-wing white identitarian groups for «mask-off» evidence about the sentiment pervading, mostly subconsciously for now, the totality of the race. Must be an unpleasant mental space to inhibit. But they're still the sane ones in this relationship; and Europeans are abnormal by the standards of humanity, too liberated from the longhouse ethics BAP despises so, too collectively autistic and ethnically suicidal to recognize and feel viscerally what makes a genocide so «particularly evil».

Perhaps, as an autistic person, you're closer to white Gentiles in this regard.

too liberated from the longhouse ethics BAP despises so

What is this referring to? "Longhouse" makes me think of some of the structures built by the native nations of America, like Hogans and such, but looking it up, it's also a Viking thing? I thought BAP's thing was something in line with warrior/horse people aesthetics and ideas.

https://twitter.com/17cshyteposter/status/1161883143927767040 This is a decent intro to it. It's a reference to matriarchal stone age communal societies that may or may not be a product of communist anthropologists's fever dreams.

The modern is “nothing new”: it is the return of a very ancient subjection and brokenness under new branding, promoted by new concepts and justifications. If you want to see our future look to Europe as it existed before 1600 BC, or much of the world as it was until recently and still is…. the communal life of the longhouse with its young men dominated and broken by the old and sclerotic, by the matriarchs

Or 0HP's

Thaler called his ("Nudging") approach by the oxymoron "libertarian paternalism", but it's more motherly than fatherly.

The main social role of women is policing adherence to group norms, and the more they are empowered, the more monocultural and stifling social life becomes. A panopticon made of lightning will wrap us like a warm blanket, and already has. McLuhan said electric media makes the world a global village, because instant communication brings us closer together.

The global village turns out to be a global longhouse

Ah. So, essentially, "moms keep people from doing anything"? But what does it mean to be too liberated from this?

Afraid I don't know that part, I'm not a BAPista or whatever. But it probably involves roids, a Conan sword, and apparently raw eggs now for some reason.

The problem is Jews don't share your ambivalence to motives or means. If you deny an explicit plan for extermination, or six million, or "those absurd shower contraptions" then you are a Holocaust denier by definition. They do not take the position of "the number doesn't really matter, the existence of the gas chambers do not matter." Those things are sacred objects. If they are exposed as false, they cannot tolerate it and say "gas chambers or typhus, extermination camps or starvation due to catastrophic war conditions, who cares." They are all-in on a specific mythology and symbology.

It would be like saying Christ wasn't crucified, he died of dysentery in Roman custody. No Christian would accept that and say "who cares", because we aren't talking about historiography, we are talking about Mythology. Someone like you would just be mildly intrigued that Jesus died in prison rather than via crucifixion. But a Christian could not accept that update into his mythological worldview. "Jesus suffered a lot and died for our sins, but he wasn't hung on a cross." That's heresy.

Simply denying the gas chambers, even if you pay every other sort of homage to Jewish suffering in WWII, still puts you squarely in hell according to Dennis Prager.

Europeans are abnormal by the standards of humanity, too liberated from the longhouse ethics BAP despises so

The Holocaust mythology is a big reason for this. Perhaps the largest, in explaining European racial sensibilities in 2020 compared to 1920.

The Holocaust mythology is a big reason for this. Perhaps the largest, in explaining European racial sensibilities in 2020 compared to 1920.

I thought that the line you responded to here was more about European passivity and submission to authority--they don't have the reputation for it quite like the British do (what with their surveillance cameras and the ever-memetic loicense), but Continentals lived under hierarchical monarchies for centuries and didn't much question being killed in wars started by their higher-ups for the longest time. Upon re-reading it, maybe your angle is more the frame to take, but I feel like one of the missed/forgotten lessons of the Holocaust is/was/could be/should be "it's okay to stand up for yourself and others sometimes, you know--it can even save lives."

Holy moly. I hadn't thought of it like this. If I understand you correctly, you're saying that what upsets people about the Holocaust isn't just that millions of people were murdered, but that the end goal was exterminating a group of people in its entirety. I'm deracinated enough that it makes little difference to me, but if I had a stronger sense of Jewish identity, then that might make a difference. Thank you.

I've been thinking for a while that the issue with society's response to Holocaust revisionism/denial is that we are seeing a very well-crafted piece of societal engineering (one of the instances that I actually think of as good evidence in favour of @DaseindustriesLtd's "political von Neumanns", whose influence I'm otherwise skeptical of, existing), whose effectivity in part depends on a lack of widespread understanding of its purpose among everyone including most Jews, doing its job against intended targets, as well as a handful of people (chiefly "sees a fishy orthodoxy and pathologically can't resist" autistic contrarians, but also excessive pattern-matchers with a beef against elites, in the Kanye class) getting caught as collateral damage.

WWII was, by all accounts, pretty catastrophic for humanity across all strata, destroyed untold amounts of value and industrial potential, and uncharacteristically created pain even for those social strata that normally are very good at keeping themselves shielded from any calamities short of disease and death, and for whom the social contract so far had been "we don't interfere with you living your life where and how you want close to the optimum the current tech level has to offer, in return you take token care of the plebs and advance our common intellectual and spiritual life when you feel like it". If you had to prevent "something like it" - where "it" is basically a modern, industrious, intelligent nation suddenly conquestmaxing with only a handful of years' warning - from happening again, what would you do? Simple global disarmament won't fly, because Moloch, likewise for wars of aggression, and even restricting nationalism in general won't fly, because Moloch and without nationalism you will lose against any defector that is willing to use that social tech to make its soldiers fight harder. So what's a specific, necessary and sufficient, prerequisite for any country to pull what Germany did then?

The answer on which the current architecture is based is "topple the Jews", as the Jews are a natural tripwire population for exactly that sort of thing. By virtue of aptitude and connections they float to top positions in every mostly-free country earlier or later, and by virtue of the strong ethnic identity they always have solidarity/altruism for their fellow Jews everywhere. If you want to unleash a rain of steel and fire over Europe, but you haven't removed the Jews from the top rungs of your society, then you'll find that your plans will fail, because they will be represented in every organisation that is involved in your country functioning and at least a good subset of them will be more incentivised to save their fellow Jews in the countries you seek to trample from your plans than by whatever you could offer them for cooperating with you. Now, of course, you might naively be tempted to just make this argument explicit; but then I would reckon that absent extra memes, for any leadership that has already convinced its population of the necessity of conquest-maxing, completing the inference chain by "and therefore we need to make the Jews stand aside, so we can go forward with what we must do" would be a formality. It is only by maintaining the perception that going against the Jews qua Jews is an ethical singularity that this last step becomes hard. This maintenance, however, has always seemed like a fragile affair (with threats constantly emerging left and right, from displeasure with Israel to displeasure with capitalism to most recently displeasure with white people), with the Holocaust narrative in its current form being the most reliable support of the edifice. Challenge the sacredness of it, and you might just find that you lost the last thing that pinned the singularity to minus infinity in human moral space; and if people can start bargaining about an exact finite price to put on removing the Jews, then it's only a matter of time until the next conquest-maxer successfully makes the argument to their population that it is a price worth paying for their cause. Therefore, we get the system in which Holocaust revisionism seeking a specific adjustment and even general attempts to profane the topic by dispassionate historical review are quashed, but everyone has to act coy about why this is, further triggering the pattern-matchers and /r/atheists to dig themselves into a social hole.

(How many people, either on the mainstream side or on the Holocaust revisionist side, actually think of it primarily in these terms? I should clarify that I'm actually in the pro-mainstream camp because I think the tripwire system has done great things for us, but I can imagine that many nationalists would in fact be motivated by at least a diffuse understanding that Holocaust figures in a roundabout way underpin the enduring emasculation of their country as an absolute ceiling on how far it could go in pursuing its own interest on the world stage.)

(A funny consequence, I think, is the disconnect that we're now seeing over the Ukraine narrative. The Soviet Union never was brought into this tripwire architecture, and though to some extent "one in our midst might go military FOOM" was never even a concern they shared, to the extent to which they've set up Nazi-detection heuristics at all, it's just "wants to threaten Russia". Therefore to Westerners Zelenskiy's Jewishness makes the "Ukronazis" narrative look comically incoherent, whereas to Russians it's just a curiosum that has little bearing on the perceived plausibility of it)

I don't think of myself as a decoupler, but rather, as someone who is all but incapable of coupling. I would never be able to form the link between "removing the Jews" and "imperialist empire." However, if your hypothesis that people have subconsciously formed this link in response to social pressures, then that is quite interesting and I will have to consider it.

Sorry if that wasn't clear, but my argument wasn't resting on people having to form some sort of mental association between the two; rather, I posited that without doing the former, doing the latter (while targeting your fellow developed countries) would be practically impossible. In a hypothetical world where people were actually biologically incapable of associating the two, the result I would expect would just be that those who tried the latter without coincidentally also doing the former would just fail without understanding what went wrong.

"de-facto Jewish conspiracy exists and is a good thing as prevents world-wars" is a take that I have not seen before, so points for originality at least.

The consensus narrative about the Holocaust might genuinely be the last support pillar holding up America's triumphalist narrative built from the end of WWII. Everything else about the rah-rah story that America used to justify its superpower status has been picked apart by a combination of history nerds and leftists with axes to grind, turning the idea of American Exceptionalism into a sham.

If even the Holocaust is turned into "boring reality," devoid of those more powerful and special qualities of narratives, reduced to another part of the "outdated" and "misinformed" story that conservative, religious boomers tell themselves about how America was great, and becoming a "race card" that Israel plays whenever it's criticized for whatever it did in Palestine on any given week, I suspect that not only will the Nazis be turned into "just another war-monging power" from an age few remember as anything but the boring, deadly past (and thus losing their uniqueness as an antagonistic force, no more or less immoral than America, Britain, or Russia), it will indeed be "fair game" all around WRT conquestmaxing and general politics-by-other-means.

Japan in WWII is also another example that doesn't fit your "tripwire" architecture, to my knowledge, as they'd already been a colonial power that had been snatching up other parts of Asia for decades beforehand (Korea, Manchuria, Qingdao, etc.).

The consensus narrative about the Holocaust might genuinely be the last support pillar holding up America's triumphalist narrative built from the end of WWII. Everything else about the rah-rah story that America used to justify its superpower status has been picked apart by a combination of history nerds and leftists with axes to grind, turning the idea of American Exceptionalism into a sham.

It is easy to imagine that WW2 in general and holocaust in particular will be put on backburner and quietly forgotten, it is easy to imagine that foundation myth of new rules based international order in Cold War Two era will be Cold War One and brilliant American victory over Red Russkies.

Bored of holocaust movies? Get ready for deluge of gulag movies with Russian beasts behaving maximally sadistically brutally. Tired of compulsory holocaust classes? Get ready for gulag education at every school.

Exxageration? Germany, always the bellwether, is ready to classify Ukrainian famine as genocide (scholarly consensus? who needs scholarly consensus). Russian Z is already treated as hate symbol equal to nazi ones, other russkie/commie symbols will easily follow.

The consensus narrative about the Holocaust might genuinely be the last support pillar holding up America's triumphalist narrative built from the end of WWII. Everything else about the rah-rah story that America used to justify its superpower status has been picked apart by a combination of history nerds and leftists with axes to grind, turning the idea of American Exceptionalism into a sham.

Is it? My impression was that winning the Cold War was actually played up more these days. After all, the "Soviets only won because of lend-lease" narrative never really caught on, giving the Soviets at least a roughly equal share at the table of WWII winners in the public mind, thus not on its own really painting America as exceptional.

Japan in WWII is also another example that doesn't fit your "tripwire" architecture, to my knowledge, as they'd already been a colonial power that had been snatching up other parts of Asia for decades beforehand (Korea, Manchuria, Qingdao, etc.).

Well, yeah, the architecture doesn't work for those countries; it's not clear to me if the problem of the emergence of a potential WWII-Japan-like power in that area was in fact solved for that region, but maybe the victorious powers didn't consider it that concerning for some reason or another (perhaps they thought that the conditions for Japan's rise were more unique, or they were happy that the semi-permanent US occupation force plus denuclearisation were enough, or they figured that ultimately China is inevitably going to dominate the region and they can't do anything about it even if they wanted).

After all, the "Soviets only won because of lend-lease" narrative never really caught on, giving the Soviets at least a roughly equal share at the table of WWII winners in the public mind, thus not on its own really painting America as exceptional.

I actually just had to explain to my boomer dad the other day that the USSR was on our side in WW2. I'm honestly not sure how much credit they get in the view of the general public.

I've heard similar sentiments from the US before, so maybe it's different there compared to Europe (where, in the recent years, the "US did more" narrative has been winning out, but it's still not "Russia did little compared to it" outside of boo-lights discussions inspired by more recent events). In what country do you consider the maintenance of America's "triumphalist narrative" to be important? I find it hard to imagine that Americans would stop thinking of America as exceptional just because WWII receded into boring ancient history, whereas I do still think that in Europe its reputation never was exclusively dependent on it.

If even the Holocaust is turned into "boring reality," devoid of those more powerful and special qualities of narratives, reduced to another part of the "outdated" and "misinformed" story that conservative, religious boomers tell themselves about how America was great, and becoming a "race card" that Israel plays whenever it's criticized for whatever it did in Palestine on any given week, I suspect that not only will the Nazis be turned into "just another war-monging power" from an age few remember as anything but the boring, deadly past

If?

When.

The horrors of history always end up being mundane, and so it will end up too with the XXth century. It's only a question of time.

The horrors of history always end up being mundane, and so it will end up too with the XXth century. It's only a question of time.

I'm more pessimistic, I think ideology can buttress whatever gap the passage of time leaves. Anti-semites still hate Jews for things that happened in Biblical times (or Quranic(?) times), Irish nationalists were more militant against the British in the 1920s than they were in the 1840s.

On the other hand, the past can be scoured indefinitely long ago and reinterpreted to fit the current narrative. See how Columbus went from being a point of pride of Italo-Americans and that celebrations were held to commerorate the 500th anniversary of his discovery, to him now being vilified.

Many people claims to be in favor of free speech and free thought until it conflicts with their own beliefs. This is I would argue the default for most people, left and right. There are a handful of principled libertarians who are able to maintain their stance but it is very rare in my experience.

Prager is an example. Elon Musk also. He wouldn't lift Alex Jones' ban because of it's closeness to his emotions around losing a child. It is useful to claim to be in favor of free speech and thought when you are the one being censored. It is then expedient to be in favor of censorship when it is your hobby horses that you are able to censor others on. This is the way of social power and control. And because we are very good at rationalizing our own beliefs it isn't even necessarily a conscious technique

Elon Musk was transparently lying about his level of offense as an excuse to keep one of the most controversial public figures in America off his platform. He was also transparently lying about Kanye West inciting violence. I hate liars, but Musk is in a uniquely tough spot where he wants Twitter to be freer than it was under the previous owner, but he can't make it too free because that would drive away advertisers and make the site unprofitable.

Or he is telling the truth. But regardless he then values keeping his advertisers above free speech, so either way he counts.

If you lose the advertisers, you lose the site, and then there's no free speech at all for anyone on Twitter... I think he's trying to do the most pro-speech things that are practically possible.

Again though he could fund it himself. Free speech is not his fundamental principle. He values other things above that. Which is fine, but makes my point. He is in favor of free speech unless it conflicts with his other values, such as keeping his money, or his business, or making money off dead children, depending on which you believe is his driving value for this choice.

I'm not criticizing him for it, free speech certainly isn't my overriding principle after all, just pointing it out.

Because I am evil bastard I would go in the other way - I would claim that the Holocaust was 18 million Jews instead of 6, that would put my troll targets in a very hard position to defend. Not correcting me means that they are not attached to historic truth, and correcting me while not giving ammo to the deniers is an exhausting balancing act.

And with barely anyone left alive with coherent memories of the camps - the youngest people that can claim survivorship are in their mid 80s - the Holocaust is turning into mythology by the day. And also with taking so much mindshare - it does deprive the other 70 millions that perished in this war of recognition.

And probably 150 million if we count Gulags, Great leap forwards and other jolly things that happened around that time.

The Holocaust killing millions is very well documented. I'm more of a mistake theorist than a conflict theorist, so I wouldn't call people who say the Holocaust killed 5% of what it actually did are necessarily evil, but I would say they're likely mentally ill(like Kanye) and/or have made some very poor decisions in which sources they want to trust.

The question of when information should be censored is not an easy one in my opinion. Especially because we can never really be sure when information is true or not; even in mathematics "proofs" that are widely accepted can be much later shown to be false. So all information, from the planet being round to evolution to covid policy to the holocaust would be kept open to debate in an ideal society. But in an ideal society then also on the easily answerable questions like the planet being round everyone would quickly come to the right answer, and for even trickier questions like covid policy everyone would quickly dismiss the stupid information like that vaccines are being used to implant microchips.

But we do not live in an ideal society, and if you let debate spread unhindered, you'll get a lot of people believing flat out wrong stuff. And that flat out wrong stuff can have harmful effects. For example, in the 14th century, the belief that Jews were related to the spread of the bubonic plague led to massacres of Jewish communities. I think with the benefit of hindsight, most modern people would agree that if they had the magic power to censor the belief that Jews spread the black plague(and there wouldn't be any butterfly effects through the timeline), they would, since that information was very harmful.

The Holocaust killing millions is very well documented.

How many millions?

2 (lowest estimate for 'millions') or 10, 50, 400?

the Holocaust killed 5% of what it actually did are necessarily evil, but I would say they're likely mentally ill(like Kanye) and/or have made some very poor decisions in which sources they want to trust.

5% of what? What's a ballpark?

5% of 500 millions is still a million, while 5% of 1 million is a mere 50,000, which is still a considerable number, but only a quarter of the victims exterminated in Hiroshima and Nagasaki with technology developed by Oppenheimer and others.

so I wouldn't call people who say the Holocaust killed 5% of what it actually did are necessarily evil

Are they challenging any other figures? Do they say the Nazis didn't kill the number of Roma that was claimed? or that the military and/or civilian casualties were much lower than commonly estimated?

Or do they only question the Holocaust narrative? Because if they're happy that yeah, so many Germans died, so many Brits died, so many Japanese died - but hold on a minute there, you're wrong about the Jews! - then yeah, that looks motivated by more than impartial historical accuracy.

It is actually not well-documented at all. There are no written orders for extermination of millions, likely none ever existed. The "well-documented killings" amounts to historians tallying transports with the assumption that every single person on them was murdered in a gas chamber disguised as a shower room, which is not documented (and in fact documents explicitly refer to these alleged extermination camps with non-homicidal functions, like "transit camp" or "labor camp." Historians say this was all "coded language" to get around the fact that documents paint a different picture for the purposes of these camp than their own assertions). But there's never been a single excavation of a single mass grave at any of the alleged killing sites, despite the fact they exist in precisely known locations. There was never a single autopsy of a single person killed by one of these homicidal gas chambers. Excavations are in fact forbidden by Jewish authorities using the same reasoning as is being used to refuse excavations of the alleged Kamloops Indian Reservation mass graves. They say that excavations at Kamloops would "disturb the spirits of the children" which is practically the exact same reasoning given by rabbinical authorities. More likely, they know that excavations would disprove the prevailing narrative in both cases.

In essence, "If Holocaust Deniers Don’t Go to Hell, There Is No God" is simply the conservative manifestation of the Holocaust dialectic, with the leftist manifestation being Adorno's infamous quote "To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric."

Hold up. I'm lost. While I'm sure that there are still mass graves, the bodies were generally burnt in the crematoriums. Am I mistaken on that front.

That isn't to say that there aren't mass graves or anything. However, is it not well known that the bodies were put into crematoriums?

Shouldn't you be challenging the claim that there were in fact crematoriums?

And I'm not undercutting you here. I want to get on the same page. Are you claiming that there was no explicit documentation related to death camps (save "coded" documents)?

Do you meant that Hitler himself never signed such explicit documents himself?

There was never a single autopsy of a single person killed by one of these homicidal gas chambers.

"Hello. I very much doubt your murdered family actually were murdered as you claim, may I have permission to conduct an autopsy to prove that you are a lying liar?"

Guess my answer. Is it:

(1) Fuck you

(2) Fuck you very much

(3) Fuck you very much and also if you don't clear off within the next ten seconds, someone will be conducting an autopsy on you

I have very hair-trigger reactions when it comes to revisionism about the Famine (to the extent that I hate how Americans refer to it as "the Irish Potato Famine" and before any snoot-nose comes back with "well ackshully it was only potatoes that failed, other foodstuffs were fine", I hope you enjoy your broken nose), and that was way smaller numbers of deaths and not in reality any kind of planned extermination (even though some English sure were happy the Paddies were getting what was coming to them). So imagine if I were Jewish and some snoot-nose was "well ackshully how do we know the Nazis murdered your granny and her young kids? maybe they just got the flu and got badly sick and died of that!".

"Hello. I very much doubt your murdered family actually were murdered as you claim, may I have permission to conduct an autopsy to prove that you are a lying liar?"

Guess my answer. Is it:

(1) Fuck you

(2) Fuck you very much

(3) Fuck you very much and also if you don't clear off within the next ten seconds, someone will be conducting an autopsy on you

You are using the exact same pearl-clutching that progressives are using to assert that it's racist for skeptics of the Kamloops Mass Graves to ask for excavations to investigate if what is claimed actually happened. "How dare you demand that they disturb the spirits of the children to satisfy your perverted, white, racist, genocide denial!" It is emotionally powerful reasoning, I get it.

In most murder cases it is extremely typical for excavations and autopsies, and identification of bodies if possible. You would expect it in the murder case of a single person, but somehow for the case of the alleged murder of a million people in a precisely known location, it transcends any expectation for physical evidence.

Are you seriously saying you would break someone’s nose because of comments about an event in 1850? Why are you so sensitive about it?

More likely, they know that excavations would disprove the prevailing narrative in both cases.

And what Holocaust-denialist claim about for example Jewish population in Poland? It never existed? Coincidentally they almost entirely died during WW II but it was unrelated to German Jew-obsessed terror? German-ordered ghettos also have not existed? They ascended to higher plane of existence?

An explanation I've heard is for deniers to grudgingly admit that sure, they were brought into camps, but they only got ill and died because the war went bad! If those dastardly allies hadn't made it so hard to supply them, they wouldn't all have died!

This conveniently leaves out the gloating of high-ranking Nazis about all the Jews that died and how giddy they got about it, sure, but if deniers had a case to make theirs wouldn't be a movement made up solely of evil losers.

Holocaust deniers tend to all focus on Auschwitz, and with good reason: it was a massive operation with three prominent subcamps, it had the most victims and most survivors, it received mostly western and Balkan Jews as well as POWs and political prisoners. In short, it had a wide range of experiences; which is ideal for someone who wants to chip away at a subject that an individual has a very general and non-specific understanding of.

A classic tactic of deniers (and conspiracy theorists in general) is to insert a wedge into the mind of a layman, and then try to lever it. They have a vast array of knowledge of all kinds of minutiae about the subject, and the layman does not. They have an endless arsenal of anecdotes or factoids or even legitimately true things that they known and the layman does not. A classic example would go like this: did you know Auschwitz had a swimming pool? It's true! The Germans even let prisoners use it! Boy, that doesn't sound like the sort of thing a death camp would have, now would it? Huh, I wonder why we never learned about that in history class... wonder what else we're not told about.

And then maybe the layman goes and googles it and boy, sure enough it's true. Of course some of the details are fudged: yes, there was a reservoir for firefighting that the German guards would swim in sometimes, and even let certain privileged political prisoners use from time to time. It was a massive operation, with thousands of guards and support staff that along with lodgings and mess halls needed some form of entertainment. And in the bigger picture it doesn't really change anything: somewhere close to a million people were murdered at Auschwitz, swimming pool or no. Someone posted the link to epistemic learned helplessness: this is the exact kind of thing that heuristic is meant to guard against.

So when @SecureSignals says something like "There are no written orders for extermination of millions", he's hoping you might go google it and think "well jeez, it turns out we don't have a Führerbefehl relating to the Holocaust. Why did I never know that?", and from that be incrementally swayed to his side. Of course, if you were to actually read a history of the Holocaust you would know; but most people don't read history books about any subject, and let pop culture shape their impressions for them.

Holocaust deniers tend to all focus on Auschwitz

Holocaust deniers have in previous decades focused on Auschwitz because the historical narrative, and particularly the cultural depiction of the Holocaust in popular culture, was focused on Auschwitz. After all, until the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s it was claimed that four million people were murdered at Auschwitz, only to be revised downwards to the still-wildly inflated 1.5 million. Auschwitz is also the only "extermination camp" which claimed to have an intact gas chamber, the "gas chamber" which you will see frequently posted to the front-page of Reddit and has been visited by millions of unwitting tourists.

It was the Revisionists who visited the archives and procured the blueprints which label this room a morgue (Leichenkeller) during the period it was allegedly a gas chamber. It was Revisionists who exposed in an undercover interview the head of the Auschwitz Museum admitting that the "Zyklon introductory chimneys" in that room were in fact "reconstructions" built post-war in Soviet-occupied Poland, whereas previously all were told that they were original structures attesting to the homicidal function of the room.

If you talk to a smart anti-denier, he will downplay the importance of Auschwitz and in particular the importance of that famous gas chamber on the Auschwitz tour (the only one left standing at any of the extermination camps!). But that's only because Revisionists have forced a retreat.

So when @SecureSignals says something like "There are no written orders for extermination of millions", he's hoping you might go google it and think "well jeez, it turns out we don't have a Führerbefehl relating to the Holocaust. Why did I never know that?", and from that be incrementally swayed to his side. Of course, if you were to actually read a history of the Holocaust you would know; but most people don't read history books about any subject, and let pop culture shape their impressions for them.

Well then help bring back the people who would potentially be swayed upon learning that there are no such documents ordering the extermination of the Jews. You say "if you would read a history book, you would know", but can you just explain it to everyone real quick and save them the trouble? Why are there no documents, @johnfabian?

Well then help bring back the people who would potentially be swayed upon learning that there are no such documents ordering the extermination of the Jews.

Gee, I guess these American photographers who took pictures like this were all lying and faking too, then, SecureSignals?

April 14, 1945 - Pile of ashes and bones found by U.S. soldiers at Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany.

Or this one:

April 12, 1945 - Bodies of prisoners of Ohrdruf concentration camp stacked like cord-wood

Who are the actors playing Patton, Bradley and Eisenhower in this one?

April 12, 1945 - Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar Bradley, and George Patton are given a tour of Ohrdruf concentration camp. Here they visit a burial pit containing the charred remains of prisoners who were burned to death at Ohrdruf, Germany.

Plainly the Eisenhower presidential library is just unreliable source!

The high mortality at these camps liberated by the Western allies was caused by a collapsing German infrastructure as it was being destroyed in the final days of the war. It is no longer claimed that Buchenwald or its sub-camp Ohrdruf were extermination camps with gas chambers. The high death toll is what initially caused the gas chamber story to center on Western camps. Images can also be deceiving in several ways. For example, one of your images is captioned:

Here they visit a burial pit containing the charred remains of prisoners who were burned to death at Ohrdruf, Germany.

But it's far more likely that this was a makeshift cremation of people who had died from other causes, like epidemic typhus. There are no credible accusations that I am aware of describing the Germans burning prisoners alive, and it is not maintained by official historiography that this took place (although Elie Wiesel claimed to witness this at Auschwitz in his memoir). On the other hand, the cremation of prisoners that had died was standard operating procedure in order to reduce the spread of disease and epidemic typhus.

Another example of a notoriously deceptive image is found in your link to the Eisenhower presidential library. There is an infamous image of the dead prisoners at the Nordhausen camp, captioned "April 12, 1945 - A portion of the bodies found by U.S. troops when they arrived at Nordhausen concentration camp in Germany." But it is well-known that this camp was bombed by the RAF. You can even see the mass destruction in all the buildings surrounding the bodies which have been used as a prop for propaganda. CODOH has an article on the Nordhausen film and image propaganda:

On April 3 1945, 247 Lancaster bombers and 8 Mosquitos of Group Nos 1 and 8 of British Royal Air Force bombed and strafed the Nordhausen Camp hospital, killing thousands of inmates. The hospital doctors, nurses, and caregivers, (both German and detainee) fled the smashed hospital leaving the sick and wounded in a desperate situation.

The next day, the British attacked again; this time sending 243 Lancasters, 1 Mosquito of No 5 Group, and 8 Pathfinder Mosquitos to bomb the town of Nordhausen and bomb the barracks. Thousands of German civilians and more inmates were killed in the second attack.

Altogether, 490 bombers, each carrying 12,000 lbs. of bombs or almost 6,000,000 pounds of explosives, hit Nordhausen. The hospital was smashed, the doctors and staff scattered, the surrounding area devastated. The already difficult situation in the crowded hospital turned into a disaster. The death toll of hospital inmates and workers was approximately 3,500. The number of dead civilians has been given as approximately 8,000.

On April 11 elements of the US 3rd Armored and 104th Infantry Divisions reached Nordhausen. The bodies of those who died in the bombing and its aftermath were pulled from the rubble and lined up for a "photo opportunity. " No mention was made that the "props" were provided courtesy of the British air force.

Cameramen A. Statt and Rosenmann had a keen eye for filming the horrors, focusing on details of the dead and sick. The filming was supervised by Major Frank Gleason of the JAGD 89th

Their work was packaged into numerous propaganda films and Nordhausen achieved a brief notoriety. An example of the propaganda use Gleason's work was put to can be seen at; Universal Newsreel's Nazi Murder Mills, an Official NewsReel. We are informed that, "The vile inhuman beasts took pride in their concentration camp at Nordhausen;" that the deaths were the result of "Germany's organized carnage", and "For the first time, America can believe what they thought was impossible propaganda. Here is documentary evidence of sheer mass murder. Murder that will blacken the name of Germany for the rest of recorded history."

The true history of the bombing and devastation of Nordhausen was known when the Nuremberg Trial started but the film images were "too good" not to be used by the prosecution. The film footage was shown early in the Trial, on November 29, 1945, as a segment of a longer motion picture described as A Documentary Motion Picture / Document No. 2430-PS / Submitted on behalf of U.S. Chief Counsel as exhibit USA 79. In the film it was stated that, "at least 3,000 political prisoners died here [the Boelcke Kaserne] at the brutal hands of SS troops..." The camp hospital was described only as "a depository for slaves found unfit for work."

No mention was made of the British bombings.

To summarize, the mass death and destruction at Nordhausen concentration camp was caused by RAF bombings of the camp and civilian areas. The United States arrived and produced propaganda films of the aftermath which was submitted as evidence of German brutality at the Nuremberg trial, with no mention that these were victims of Allied bombing. Likewise, the caption of that photograph in the Eisenhower library "A portion of the bodies found by U.S. troops when they arrived at Nordhausen concentration camp in Germany" makes no mention that these people were killed by Allied bombings. In fact, the Nordhausen camp population was minority Jewish. So this is a picture of mostly non-Jewish victims of RAF bombings being posed and passed off as Holocaust victims of a German extermination policy.

The image is real, the context and its use in Holocaust propaganda is highly deceptive.

Speaking of deception, Eisenhower was in command of the Psychological War Division (PWD/SCHAEF) which was the unit which conducted the "investigation" of Buchenwald after its liberation. There's the infamous propaganda film of the forced march of the civilians of Weimar through Buchenwald, which culminates in a table display of human-skin lampshades and shrunken heads allegedly created by the Germans. The shrunken heads were disappeared after they were dramatically presented on the first day of the Nuremberg trial, and the human-skin lampshade was also conveniently disappeared. Historians have also dropped the famous human-skin lampshade story.

Not surprisingly, the famous images of the shrunken heads and human-skin lampshade at Buchenwald did not make it into the album you posted.

The high mortality at these camps liberated by the Western allies was caused by a collapsing German infrastructure as it was being destroyed in the final days of the war.

What you then claim what happened with Polish Jewish pre-war population? Are you also claiming that forcing Jews into ghettos by Germans was fake? Executing people across conquered territories?

I bet that there is plenty of propaganda (add "soap made from human fat" to that) but presenting in a way that claims "Germans have not mass-murdered millions" is even more misleading.

Also, is it intentional that your username in short is SS?

I think the whole demographic question (ie. what happened to the prewar Jewish population) is the crucial question here, much moreso than the concentration camp doors or camp memoirs etc., but this is also a month old subthread so it's probably not a good place to discuss such issues.

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Oh well, that's all right then; they didn't deliberately murder the people they rounded up and held in camps, it was all down to collapsing infrastructure and typhus.

That is not really any better, SecureSignals, because you still have to explain "why did they round up all these people and hold them in camps?"

No, he actually doesn’t have to explain why they were in concentration camps, because the claim of the holocaust is not that Germans kept Jews in camps like the Americans did the Japanese. The claim of the holocaust is the intentional killing of millions of Jews in these camps.

The reason intentionality was such a big deal for holocaust historiography is because a lot of other nations have this on their records.

The gas chambers and skin lampshades and SS-she-wolves and Looney Tunes electric roller coasters have to be real, because if was all just starvation and cholera and slave camps and mass reprisal executions the holocaust starts looking too familiar. And it has to be seen as a categorically different and historically unique event, not just a quantitatively worse successor.

(Of course, future generations of historians might not care, and will instead prefer to treat the holocaust as just one of many related examples of "naturally evil white devils being evil")

Wikipedia is incredibly ambiguous regarding the consensus on the authenticity of the shrunken heads and lampshades.

A human skin lampshade was reported to have been displayed by Buchenwald concentration camp commandant Karl-Otto Koch and his wife Ilse Koch, along with multiple other human skin artifacts.[2] Despite myths to the contrary, there were no systematic efforts by the Nazis to make human skin lampshades.[3]

This seems to leave their authenticity an open question (systematic doesn’t mean it never happened). Google’s top results also seem very evasive and weasely. Do you have anything more solid or unambiguous regarding current mainstream consensus?

General Lucius Clay, the military governor of the US zone of occupied Germany, explained the lampshade story, "Well, it turned out actually that it was goat flesh. But at the trial [of Ilse Koch] it was still human flesh." (Interview with Lucius Clay, 1976, Official Proceeding of the George C. Marshall Research Foundation Quoted in M. Weber, "Buchenwald: Legend and Reality," The Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1986-87 7(4), pp. 406-407.)... A similar statement from General Clay:

There was absolutely no evidence in the trial transcript, other than she [Ilse Koch] was a rather loathsome creature, that would support the death sentence. I suppose I received more abuse for that than for anything else I did in Germany. Some reporter had called her the 'Bitch of Buchenwald,' [and] had written that she had lampshades made out of human skin in her house. And that was introduced in court, where it was absolutely proven that the lampshades were made out of goatskin."—General Lucius Clay, quoted in: Smith, Jean Edward, Lucius D. Clay, An American Life, p. 301. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1990

Moreover, Ilse Koch had left Buchenwald nearly two years prior to the liberation and PWD table display of these artifacts. If you are interested in a deep-dive into the circumstances surrounding this lampshade and shrunken head display, I would suggest this Revisionist film because the circumstances of these legends are far sketchier than you would probably believe.

The "mainstream consensus", however, is to categorically ignore the issue. They just don't talk about it.

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The photos only prove that many starved and many died. Look at photos of Andersonville prisoners from the American Civil War, they look the same. That doesn’t mean necessarily that there were gas chambers or a deliberate extermination program.

Well then help bring back the people who would potentially be swayed upon learning that there are no such documents ordering the extermination of the Jews. You say "if you would read a history book, you would know", but can you just explain it to everyone real quick and save them the trouble? Why are there no documents, @johnfabian?

Well there were documents ordering the killing of Jews, and unless you read exclusively denialist writers you would know this. With your wording I'm not sure if you're being deliberately dishonest or if you're just nonspecific in your wording. But I'm going to assume honesty and believe you're referring to the lack of a Führerbefehl: an order from Adolf Hitler, starting the Holocaust.

First of all, you might want to flip the question: would you necessarily expect an order to undertake a vast criminal conspiracy to survive? Ignore the context of everything else for a second: there were 9 million Jews in Europe, give or take, in 1939 (the Nazis believed a higher number because of their racial theories). Planning to kill that many people would qualify as the greatest conspiracy of all time. The key perpetrators might want to conceal their decision-making a bit. Certainly the lack of similar documents haven't stopped the same people who believe in Holocaust denial from alleging in 9/11 or moon landing conspiracies, as an aside.

And the Nazis were quite keenly aware of the importance of secrecy in what they were undertaking. Not only were they not so un-self-aware that they anticipated the rest of the world might quibble with them murdering millions of civilians, the Aktion T4 program had been undermined by insufficient internal secrecy leading to a considerable protest movement against it both within and without Germany. Awareness of the systematic murder of Jews, POWs, and "useless mouths" could (and eventually did) harden resistance and resolve to German conquest, pacification, and occupation of lands in the East. Institutional and operational secrecy was as important and necessary as the undertaking itself. It was, as Himmler later said, a "glorious chapter that has not and will not be spoken of."

Take the Commissar Order, for example. It acknowledged quite openly that it was brazenly in violation of international law, and there was a concerted effort to limit possible leaks: only thirty copies of the original were created, and the ultimate promulgation to the Army Groups was only extended to 340, and ultimately all copies were ordered to be destroyed. If they had been, presumably you'd also argue that "there was no proof of the order to kill Soviet commissars!" which would again be untrue, because even if the primary source documents had not survived we have plenty of contemporary secondary sources, both of those who received the order (including many who subsequently lied about receiving it) and of those who carried it out.

That at some point Hitler ordered the extermination of Jewry is not contested among historians. The specific date is contested; some favour an "early" hypothesis (around September 1941) and some favour a "late" hypothesis (around November-December 1941). The order was almost certainly issued verbally to Heinrich Himmler, hence the lack of "documents", but many of the key figures in the Nazi regime discussed being aware of such an order. In any case, by the time this order had been issued somewhere between 500,000 and a million Jews had already been murdered, but that's a different discussion and deniers tend to very pointedly ignore the Holocaust by bullets anyways.

The big problem deniers have to always work around is that the Nazis themselves never denied the Holocaust. While individuals might have tried to shirk their specific responsibility, when it came to the criminal trials and executions the one legal defence never attempted was "it didn't happen."

Well there were documents ordering the killing of Jews

Let's not do a Motte and Bailey here, there were documents ordering the killing of a lot of people in WWII. There are of course documents, well-studied by Revisionists, explicating the executions of Jewish partisans and reprisals against the local population. The executions and reprisals are the grain of truth within the wider Holocaust lore, but at the time reprisals were legal under international law and those reprisals were not even considered a warcrime at Nuremberg for that reason. When people talk about the Holocaust and the "final solution", they are obviously referring to the historical assertion that the extermination of the Jews became a matter of policy of the German government as the "final solution" to the Jewish question, and that most of six million Jews were exterminated in makeshift gas chambers disguised as shower rooms. "There were documents ordering the killing of Jews" is a Motte and Bailey at a comical level.

Let's see how the most eminent Holocaust Historian, Raul Hilberg, describes the origin of the "final solution":

But what began in 1941 was a process of destruction not planned in advance, not organized centrally by any agency. There was no blueprint and there was no budget for destructive measures [of the Jews]. They [the measures] were taken step by step. Thus came about not so much a plan being carried out but an incredible meeting of minds, a consensus mind-reading by a far-flung [German] bureaucracy.”

You correctly posit the Holocaust as one of the greatest conspiracies in human history- the trans-continental extermination of millions of people in bedroom-sized gas chambers disguised as shower rooms, using Zyklon B pellets or carbon monoxide from the engine of captured Soviet tanks. But Hilberg would have us believe that there was no plan, no blueprint, no budget for this mass conspiracy. It wasn't carried out by a "plan" but by "an incredible meeting of minds, and consensus mind-reading".

On the other hand, a simple matter like an order for the execution of Commissars, was unable to escape exposure in the documentary body of evidence despite being limited to 30 documents that they tried to keep secret and later tried to destroy. Hilberg and you would have us believe that the greatest conspiracy in human history was accomplished without the benefit or survival of written plans, blueprints, or budgets. It was just mind-reading across the German bureaucracy, according to Hilberg.

If the Commissar order couldn't escape being exposed in the documentary body of evidence, it is entirely incomprehensible that the trans-continental extermination of millions of people in bedroom-sized gas chambers was accomplished without the survival of explicitly written plans, blueprints, or budgets, and without bodies or mass graves that have ever been excavated. The Commissar order was directly exposed in the documents, why wouldn't this far more gargantuan conspiracy?

That at some point Hitler ordered the extermination of Jewry is not contested among historians.

Actually, some historians suggest that it could have not been known by Hitler but that's besides the point. The assertion that this was a homicidal gas chamber disguised as a shower room used to gas Jews is also not contested among historians, but it has been completely refuted by Revisionists nonetheless.

The specific date is contested; some favour an "early" hypothesis (around September 1941) and some favour a "late" hypothesis (around November-December 1941).

Historians are all over the place in formulating a date on when the extermination was apparently decided upon, but none of them are internally consistent. Historians who pick a date too early are contradicted by documents proving Hitler and Nazi Leadership still considered the Madagascar Plan to be the "Final Solution." Historians who pick a date later than that run into the fact that it is claimed extermination camps were already built and operational, so they are saying the order came after the construction of the earliest extermination centers. But there is no consensus because there is no evidence to establish any of their positions.

Here's an alternative hypothesis: there was no order and never a plan to exterminate the Jews as the "final solution", and that's why the historians have been unable to find documents or even agree on a basic timeline of how this occurred.

Lastly, I'm sure you are aware that upon liberation it was the Western camps which featured most prominently in the propaganda surrounding German "death camps," like Dachau, which were claimed to be the centers of gas chamber extermination. But the Western Allies investigated those claims and found them to be false. The entire death camp narrative shifted to the East, where the Soviets denied access to outside investigators and freely modified structures post-war (like the Auschwitz "gas chamber.")

If the Western camps were originally accused of perpetuating the greatest conspiracy in human history, and those claims turned out to be completely false, why wouldn't that lower your confidence in the authenticity of identical claims in the Eastern camps where all of the evidence and investigation was managed in the Soviet sphere? The "current" map is now oudated as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum finally revised their website to revise Majdanek from "extermination camp" to "concentration camp", so that's another "death camp" that is in the dustbin of history due to Revisionist research. And that one was in the East and was in fact liberated before Auschwitz.

You can see this article form August 1944, before the liberation of Auschwitz declaring a mass murder of "1,500,000 in Huge Death Factory of Gas Chambers and Crematories" at Majdanek. Then the Soviets liberated Auschwitz in January 1945 and made the exact same claim. The problem is that in 2003 the death toll at Majdanek was revised to something like 50,000. The entire gas chamber narrative began at Majdanek, and just recently historians are finally admitting it was not an extermination camp.

Given your obvious bent and contempt for academic history, again I don't know if you're being deceitful, ignorant, or just plain dumb. The "functionalist" camp is the pre-eminent one in Holocaust studies; scarce few contemporary historians hold that the Holocaust was masterminded by Hitler from the beginning. The Holocaust began roughly simultaneously within three separate Nazi bureaucracies, each with specific problems, methods, and goals. Again, like almost all deniers do, you steadfastly ignore the Holocaust by bullets. By the time the Holocaust moved onto a more deliberate stage and the combined resources of the Nazi state begin to dedicate itself to the task, yes then we have plenty of documentation of that effort (which again you just ignore). Surely you know you're not convincing anyone who has ever opened a history book on the subject?

Here's an alternative hypothesis: there was no order and never a plan to exterminate the Jews as the "final solution", and that's why the historians have been unable to find documents or even agree on a basic timeline of how this occurred.

Well, Himmler would've disagreed with you. And Heydrich and Eichmann, and Goebbels. C'mon dude, these are your heroes! Why are you denying them their greatest works? Think of the shame they would have if 80-odd years on people who claim to follow in their footsteps would disavow the immense effort and sacrifice in attempting rid Europe of Jewry!

This exchange is a lot like this classic meme. You are being extremely condescending and scornful, sneering that anyone that “ever opened a history book” would know better (but refusing to elaborate or engage), while FarNearEverywhere is saying he would break the nose of anyone questioning genocide.

On the other hand, @SecureSignals is providing numerous sources, links and actual arguments regarding the historiography of the Holocaust.

I understand there is the whole issue from Epistemic Learned Helplessness, that a crank with a hobby horse can be much more prepared than a mainstream normie. But you should understand, SecureSignals is coming across better here. In this exchange, the mainstream looks smug and dismissive, but simultaneously evasive and heavily reliant on emotional manipulation.

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You know, stuff like this really doesn't help convince people. Obvious consensus enforcement works in most places, but a lot of people here are instinctively suspicious of it to the point that it becomes counterproductive to even try.

Wasn't August Hirt's work all produced from gas chambers at a camp? Not mass grave of course given the nature of his work but corpses and there is some first-hand testimony of how they got there.

The alleged Natzweiler gas chamber in France is not considered to be related to the alleged extermination camps in Poland. There was an autopsy of some of the corpses from August Hirt's collection, which tested negative for cyanide poisoning, although if they were killed with gas it was probably not cyanide gas like the alleged gas chambers in Poland. The testimony is based on the confession of Josef Kramer, who was the commandant of the (alleged) extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau and later Bergen-Belsen. The Natzweiler gas chamber was not included in the charges against Kramer or in the charges of the Nuremberg Military Tribunal.

Incidentally, Josef Kramer was commandant of Auschwitz-Birkenau from May 1944 - November 1944 and was one of the earliest Holocaust deniers, who described the accusation of gas chambers at Auschwitz as "untrue from beginning to end."

I may well get banned for asking this, but whatever. Are there any books or sites that present the case for Holocaust denial in a sane and somewhat reasonable way? I read some book skeptical of the Anne Frank diary that someone on here mentioned a while back, but I wasn’t impressed with it.

Now I understand the witches problem, and the fact that it is so taboo/ghettoized it’s going to select for nuts, but if there’s anything to it surely someone has put together a relatively coherent argument that actually engages with the strongest arguments of the non-denial side.

I have seen enough BS like Kamloops to be willing to give denialists a hearing, if any of them have written a summary worth reading

Despite some answers below written with excessive charity, the best answer is "they don't exist". At most you can find books that use neutral language but present misleading information.

It's like homeopathy. Homeopathy is not a subject which leads to people being banned as witches, but even so, if you ask "give me books with reasonable arguments for homeopathy", there won't be any. Homeopathy is so out of touch with the real world that you can't have books with reasonable arguments for it, because there aren't any reasonable arguments for it. It's the same here.

Every once in a while, I'll take a look through the transcripts from the tribunals/interrogations to fact check an anecdote about the war and they're not quite the best at clearly establishing what happened either. Lots of inference, jumping back and forth between various incidents or to previous statements abruptly trying to catch out inconsistencies, try to get an admission then (at least in transcript form) quickly moving on to the next thing. And for many things testimony is the only thing that survived the chaos and destruction of war. For the ones I remember off-hand the textbook summary was generally in line with what was established in the transcripts but that establishment wasn't necessarily clear, reasonable or detail rich even if ultimately convincing.

The best resource is the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust, they do consistently excellent work and have a rich archive of high-quality articles on many topics. They have an overview pamphlet of their claims but if you are willing to give their case a hearing I would suggest reading Debating the Holocaust (which is published by CODOH, you can get the full book or ebook here). This book is useful because it presents what is claimed in the official historiography alongside the Revisionist case, making it easier to see where mainstream historiography disagrees with Revisionism and where it does not.

Why would you get banned? The idea is not verboten, no matter how distasteful. If you're going to get links to decent scholarship...here is probably the place.

Bear in mind the usual disclaimers about epistemic learned helplessness. Given enough time--and a powerful enough selection effect--specialists in any field will develop some elaborate fortifications.

I think the case for the Holocaust is much, much stronger than Kamloops. The most defensible objections, in my opinion, are of scale or of details. But I will defer to some of our other regulars for actual citations.

Also the opposite if anyone knows of one. It's almost impossible to research this because you'll just get banned in most places. I would be interested in an account of how scholars came to the modern consensus on how the holocaust happened with lots of original documents.

Are you looking for a discussion of historiography, or specifically a focus on primary sources?

A focus on primary sources, ideally something that goes through what would typically be taught in a class about the Holocaust but that meticulously shows how each claim is supported by primary sources.

Well, not only is it not obvious to me, but I think it takes an astonishingly poor imagination to think that there might not be anyone out there who, in good faith and without denying Hitler's genocidal ambitions, questions how many people were killed in the holocaust or what methods were used...

... he writes, after implying that the total death toll was fewer than a million.

I'm going to echo @2rafa's thoughts here: of course this amounts to Holocaust denial. But I'd like to point out something else in this kind of argumentation. You say that claiming only a few hundred thousand Jews dying would not amount to "denying Hitler's genocidal ambitions", but if this claim was actually accepted, or merely allowed to exist as a hypothetical, am I to believe that this would not then change? After all, if it was only half a million Jews who died, well then that would be roughly similar to the number of German civilians who died via the Allied strategic bombing campaign, or the number of ethnic Germans who died in the ethnic cleansing campaigns in Eastern Europe in 1944-46. That would be particularly rhetorically useful to a prospective Holocaust denier: to equivocate between the slaughter of Jews and the killings of Germans, or even to suggest that while the Jews did suffer, Germans were disproportionately and unequally punished for this (which was generally speaking the prevailing public opinion in immediate post-war West Germany). Hell, given the rough-and-tumble nature of total war it would be natural then to suggest the Holocaust wasn't deliberate, but an unfortunate, regrettable, violent episode in a war full of them.

I'm much too well-versed in the rhetorical style and strategies of Holocaust deniers not to get a lot of red flags popping in my brain as I read this post. There's been a lot of this kind of bullshit this past few weeks, and I hope it's not a sign themotte.org is turning into the internet's #1 haven for witches.

he writes, after implying that the total death toll was fewer than a million

What?? I don't understand where you're getting that, but I don't want to argue with it because it feels like a distraction.

After all, if it was only half a million Jews who died, well then that would be roughly similar to the number of German civilians who died via the Allied strategic bombing campaign, or the number of ethnic Germans who died in the ethnic cleansing campaigns in Eastern Europe in 1944-46.

It would not be similar to the civilian casualties of war. War is morally complicated in a way that straight genocide isn't. As for your second example, I wasn't aware that there was a genocide that took place against ethnic Germans, but if such a thing did happen and was deliberately orchestrated by the government of whatever European country this took place in, then I do think it is morally equivalent to the Holocaust. That doesn't, however, mean it warrants as much attention as the Holocaust. The Holocaust is exceptionally well-documented by the very people who perpetrated it, and there are also thousands of hours of recorded interviews with survivors. The ethnic cleansing you speak of here is presumably less well-documented because I haven't even heard of it.

Germans were disproportionately and unequally punished for this

To my knowledge, their only punishment is living in a country where "hate speech" is illegal, and every Western country except America has unfortunately been given this punishment.

Hell, given the rough-and-tumble nature of total war it would be natural then to suggest the Holocaust wasn't deliberate,

They were put in camps, for Pete's sake! The camps are still standing! How can people be accidentally put in camps? I know you're trying to play devil's advocate, but I can't even follow the devil's advocacy you're doing.

I'm much too well-versed in the rhetorical style and strategies of Holocaust deniers not to get a lot of red flags popping in my brain as I read this post.

If I have to accept the label of Holocaust denier to have this discussion, then fine. I don't care. My point is that I don't understand why getting details wrong about a historical event is a moral failing and that people who do it should be "damned to hell." I also don't understand how someone could feel that way about the Holocaust, then turn around and express other taboo ideas without any cognitive dissonance. Dennis Prager is viewed by many leftists in prominent positions in the same way that he views people who underestimate the death toll of the Holocaust.

Again, I apologize if I'm making less sense now. This is one of the few subjects that makes me really emotional, and when I'm emotional, I don't make as much sense as I otherwise would. But that's why I need to talk about this, and there aren't any other places for me to talk about it.

If I have to accept the label of Holocaust denier to have this discussion, then fine. I don't care. My point is that I don't understand why getting details wrong about a historical event is a moral failing and that people who do it should be "damned to hell."

Depends on kind of detail. Bunch of Germans tried to murder/enslave my gradfathers and grandmothers and my entire ethic group. My parents lived in area "liberated" by Red Army fighting with their former ally. Nowadays Russia is invading neighbour country and accusing them of rampant Nazism. (It degenerated into ukro-jewish-nazi-satanism-sim3cardinism since that time).

See also a related "mistake"

It is kind of thing where historical inaccuracy has a real chance to end with me being dead/oppressed/enslaved. Got significantly lower as Russia fails in Ukraine and Germany fails to spend this promised 100 000 000 000 euro for military. But still, that is likely one of easiest ways to get a lot of people irritated and scared.

Though I would reserve "damned to hell" for denialists of communist/nazi mass murder.

I don't understand what you're saying. Are you saying that historical inaccuracy will get people killed because people will misidentify who Nazis are and use that as an excuse to invade nearby territory?

Not necessarily "will get" but it helps to enable this.

It also increases risk of this happening again.

Again, I apologize if I'm making less sense now. This is one of the few subjects that makes me really emotional, and when I'm emotional, I don't make as much sense as I otherwise would. But that's why I need to talk about this, and there aren't any other places for me to talk about it.

I'm actually going to back off and apologize here. In general I take a very dim view of anybody who comes out with the "what do we really know about the Holocaust" shtick because 9 times out of 10 they're deniers in disguise. With your response I think I overreacted and you're not actually a denier (though it did bring some out of the weeds). Something like acknowledging that the Germans were quite fastidious in documenting the murder of Jews is something deniers typically never cop to. So I'm sorry I was overly dismissive of your concerns.

If I have to accept the label of Holocaust denier to have this discussion, then fine. I don't care. My point is that I don't understand why getting details wrong about a historical event is a moral failing and that people who do it should be "damned to hell."

I think @Nantafiria gets to the heart of it. I would also add that in the contemporary context Holocaust deniers almost uniformly fall into one of two camps: white nationalists and Muslims. Both deny the Holocaust for obvious ideologically-motivated reasons, and people find it both crass and dangerous in this respect, because the ultimate aim of the denial is to again build support for violent ethnic cleansing.

That Holocaust denial gets more attention than any other historical genocide I think is mostly a product of the number of Jews in America, their relative influence/prominence, and of course the cultural soft power of the USA. But it is also history's largest genocide (in so far as the word can be rigorously defined) and perhaps also its most unique with respect to the extent and sophistication to which it was pursued.

I understand that Holocaust denial can be motivated by anti-Semitism, and obviously the desire to murder Jews is motivated by anti-Semitism (in conjunction with other pathological traits), but I don't know that one necessarily leads to the other. If someone is motivated to deny the Holocaust, that implies a recognition that the Holocaust was a bad, right? If somebody thinks it was a good thing, wouldn't they prefer to claim that it happened? But I'm speaking of psychological territory I'm unfamiliar with. I only empathize with Holocaust revisionism and denial when they are motivated by contrarianism and a disdain for ideological taboos, because that's the kind of person I am. I don't know if you've read this Richard Hanania post, but it sums up my feelings well if you replace "pronouns" with "morally castigating anyone who asks questions about a specific historical event, especially if you don't do the same with different historical events" and add the caveat that I think the p̶r̶o̶n̶o̶u̶n̶s̶ castigation will increase the chances of a genocide.

This is kind of a tangent, but my reaction to the alt-right over the years has continually been "well, they have legitimate grievances and are being treated unfairly," and I didn't feel a twinge of genuine fear about the possibility of another holocaust (or widespread pogroms) until I saw Nick Fuentes and Kanye West team-up for an interview tour and possible presidential campaign. I still think the odds of it happening are low, but they get higher every time "the Jewish media" takes action against Kanye. Look at this video, and look at the comments. Jonathan's behavior isn't just wrong, but it's creating the enemy he claims to be afraid of. And sometimes I think that he knows this, and is doing it deliberately so that he has something to fight. It's like an exterminator who breeds rats and strategically places them in local businesses so that he can be hired later to kill them. But what happens when the rats (anti-Semites in this analogy) start reproducing too fast for the exterminator to keep up? Has Greenblatt considered that a possibility?

Okay, tangent over. Thank you for explaining why you think the Holocaust is treated with more reverence than other genocides. I think that what you're describing is actually similar to the point that Kanye was trying to make before Nick Fuentes started whispering in his ear: that Jews aren't morally inferior to gentiles, but their overrepresentation in the media leads to a degree of unintentional bias, such as overlooking the death toll of communism. As I've said before on this sub, it's similar to the (valid!) complaint feminists make that when men are in positions of power, they tend not to think about the needs of women. I advocate meritocracy, so to me, the solution isn't removing Jews from power, as Fuentes has taught Kanye. The solution is asking people to be aware of their biases and listen to people outside of their group. Kanye is past that now, and so are the people listening to him, and so I fear for the future. Not too much, but enough that I feel compelled to voice this fear. (Or maybe I'm just afraid to admit the extent to which I fear a resurgence of pogroms because it would make my priorities seem ridiculous.)

I don't understand why getting details wrong about a historical event is a moral failing and that people who do it should be "damned to hell."

I'm mostly with the other incredulous people here, but alright. Let's say your username isn't trolly nonsense and you're deeper down the spectrum than I am, or the median mottizen is.

Put plainly, people really really really hate their enemies. Today's world is a little fraught, and people disagree on who this should be, but in any Western nation you'll find (at least) two groups that everyone really hates: nazis and pedophiles.

Nobody likes nazis. Depending on where you are you'll get taught more or less of who they were and what they were like, but everyone knows the big outlines. Swastikas, toothbrush stache man, holocaust, invading Poland, huzzah. To a median Westerner, the nazis wete evil losers, neo-nazis are evil losers, and they aren't interested in debating this. They have better stuff to do.

There are then two kinds of people who will go and doubt the dominant narrative about the Nazis anyway. The first are - obviously - their ideological descendants, who want to look good. The second kind of person is the sorts you'll readily find in here: the sorts who never got over being the smart kid in class. Reflexive contrarians who have never held a conventional opinion in life, because those are the normies' opinions and ohmygod they're so dumb.

A normal person, or even a smart one, isn't really going to notice or care for the distinction. They rightly know the Nazis killed millions of innocents. They rightly know national-socialist ideology is an evil one that has only brought misery to all those involved. They know this, they know their friends know this, they know their loved ones know this, they know every good person they agree with knows this. Every single one.

The people who loudly profess to disagree or question this are all, at the least, Nazi sympathisers. There's a lot of reflexive contrarians, but most of us have still the modicum of shame and social regard needed not to delve into holocaust denialism as the cause to espouse. Holocaust denier club isn't fifty truth-seekers with a couple Nazis around, it's fifty Nazis with a couple autistic kids who genuinely ought to seek their intellectual masturbation elsewhere.

The result is that the average person, or even a smart one like Prager, doesn't care to ponder just why someone might question the Holocaust. Not even the staunchly leftist atheists Prager hates like or will defend Nazis. No normal person will. But he knows that holocaust deniers fall into three rough groups: Nazis, smart people who should know better, and idiots who ought to listen to smarter sorts.

Does that help? Or are things still unclear to you?

I understand what you're saying, and I think we're at a point where my issue is no longer that I don't understand, but that I disagree. I don't mean that I disagree with what you're saying, but rather, that I disagree that this is acceptable behavior for public intellectuals. If Prager doesn't care to understand why people might question aspects of the Holocaust or how his behavior may do more to encourage Holocaust denial than discourage it, then he shouldn't write a column above the subject for both ethical and pragmatic reasons.

Also, the reasoning you've given for why people hate Nazis and the Nazi-adjacent certainly applies Prager, but I don't think it actually applies to most people, because if it did, they would hate communists as much as Nazis and respond to any attempt to rehabilitate Marx's image with the same anger they have towards anyone who they believe is trying to rehabilitate Hitler's image. Instead, Chapo Trap House has a best-selling book that was prominently displayed at my local library for over a year, with a favorable blurb by Tim Heidecker, the same person who thought Sam Hyde was too chummy with Nazis.

Communists are excepted not because of history, not quite, but because of the present.

Nazis are people nobody really personally knows. Insofar these are people you do know, they're skinhead degenerates and terrible people altogether - again, evil losers. Everything I said applies to Nazis because that's just who they are.

Communists aren't so rare. They appear in your library, you went to school with some, your child goes through a stupid phase, what have you. These people are, mostly, losers.. But not that evil about it. It's tough to be so viscerally hateful of communists when the median commie isn't a skinhead hooligan, but more of a weirdo who thinks society would be great if we'd just, like, learn to share, man.

Crucially, the people most likely to hate and revile communists as much as they do Nazis don't meet any in their regular lives - rural Americans. The median communist is irredeemably evil to them, because nobody close to them would ever think of adhering to such an evil ideology, much as with Nazis and anyone else.

You make a very good point, and I hate this because it should be a cause for people to recognize their own hypocrisy.

Why? They're not even really wrong. There are communists who are basically decent people. Nazis, not so much. A normal person might let a seventeen-year-old communist babysit their kids - a Nazi? Not a chance.

That sounds like prejudice on your part. Using pure logic, there is no reason for me to trust a communist other than Nazi, other than that because communism is more acceptable (even though it shouldn't be), it attracts people who are less psychologically deviant than white supremacy/fascism/National Socialism/etc.

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I have to say, the line from Hitler to Holocaust is much shorter than from Marx to the Holodomor. On that alone I think it’s more reasonable for people to want to rehabilitate Marx in broader society.

I think most Westerners would look askance about rehabilitating Stalin, though, and tankies who try are generally seen as lunatics.

I have to say, the line from Hitler to Holocaust is much shorter than from Marx to the Holodomor. On that alone I think it’s more reasonable for people to want to rehabilitate Marx in broader society.

You are wrong. Extermination of undesirables was one of Marx's explicit prescriptions.

I don't think the line from Marx to the Holodomor is pretty short. Seizing the means of production and having the government (euphemistically referred to as "the people") make all economic decisions inevitably leads to mass deaths. In my view, the only different between a socialist (in the original Marxist sense of the term) and a tankie is that a socialist believes if Snowball wasn't exiled, then Animal Farm would've worked, while a tankie believes Napoleon did nothing wrong. I think that Napoleon just accelerated an inevitable decay.

Even granting that Marxist rhetoric is violent in this way (which I’m hesitant to grant without significant qualifiers) surely you can see there is a difference between:

  1. A likely explicit order to exterminate a group of people when in paramount power, and

  2. A discussion of mass murder visited upon one’s political opponents, written not in any sort of office, which then was reinterpreted by various organisations decades after the death of the author, and in one case was perpetuated against a separate ethnic population, which was really not quite the point of the original texts (even if it was justified on those terms at the time).

In any case, it’s undeniable that Marx advocated for violent revolution, but I think there’s a qualitative difference between that and the sort of industrial murder machine created by the Nazis and the Japanese during WW2, as well as between advocacy and, well, actually doing the thing.

Okay, I'll agree with you that Marx isn't equivalent to Hitler, because he didn't actually do anything and only wrote about wanting other people to do things. But he's at least equivalent to.. oh, Richard Spencer.

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It seems to me that all your similes are set up to have a significantly larger gap between the scale of the deed in the accepted narrative and the suggested lower one: revising the Holocaust down to hundreds of thousands instead of millions would be dividing by 10, whereas your Rotherham example involves a factor of 100 and a noise floor that is much higher relative to the signal than the noise floor for ethnically targeted killings, and in the Kurds and Ukraine cases you postulate non-deliberateness which no remotely sane form of Holocaust revisionism could defend. For the rape example, you are actually invoking a qualitative difference that in the minds of most would make a much larger impact to moral implications than any of the quantitative ones above.

If the comparison actually has legs, why do you need to exaggerate like that?

I can't tell whether you're making a moral argument or a taxonomical one in this post.

Take the Rotherham grooming gangs, a conservative cause celebre in which largely Pakistani young men allegedly raped 1400 girls in the town of Rotherham over a 30 year period. Imagine if you responded to those accusations with the argument that “look, I’ll agree that maybe some Pakistani lads did molest about 15, maybe 20 girls over maybe 20 years, but that’s the same rate you’d expect from the white population, if not less, so really it’s not the big problem you seem to think”.

The leftists in this example are not arguing that molesting 20 girls is less evil than molesting 1400. They are arguing that because the problem is so small, dedicating resources to fixing it isn't worth it. I didn't pay much attention to the Rotherham stuff, but my inference is that people were paying attention because they were worried the gang rapists would strike again. Is that correct? If so, it's not comparable to the holocaust, because the holocaust is over and the perpetrators are almost all dead. However, this is only a rebuttal to your argument if you're making a moral one, and not a taxonomical one.

Taxonomically speaking, I consider holocaust denial to be "denying the specific thing that makes the holocaust bad and worthy of remembrance."

Saying that 300,000 died instead of 6 million is denial.

If it is, then I don't know why denial would be seen as morally wrong. I also don't know how much of the story you'd have to change in order to be committing denial.

If someone rapes you and the case goes to trial and they argue that they did non-consensually touch you but they patted your thigh instead of raping you

See, you're replacing rape with poking. That's replacing an act of horrific violence with a minor annoyance. Murder is murder no matter how many people are murdered, but when you change rape to poking, you are changing the nature of the crime.

I fear I'm letting my emotions cloud my mind as I'm writing this, but I am genuinely frustrated by this common sentiment that the more murders you carry out, the more monstrous you are. Maybe that's true if we're talking about murdering one person versus murdering their whole family, but when we're working with a scale that is beyond emotional comprehension for most (all?) people, I don't think the distinction is important.

I am genuinely frustrated by this common sentiment that the more murders you carry out, the more monstrous you are. Maybe that's true if we're talking about murdering one person versus murdering their whole family, but when we're working with a scale that is beyond emotional comprehension for most (all?) people, I don't think the distinction is important.

Murdering 2 000 vs murdering 2 000 000 000 is beyond my emotional comprehension (if all of them lived far away and were not known to me and my friends and had no strong connection to them).

Nevertheless someone murdering 2 000 000 000 is far more monstrous than someone murdering 2 000 000 or 2 000.

Are you able to articulate why?

Because murdering 2 000 000 000 is far worse than murdering 2 000 (being 100% pure consequentialist is a pure ethics system, but consequences also matter and murder is bad)

Maybe that's true if we're talking about murdering one person versus murdering their whole family, but when we're working with a scale that is beyond emotional comprehension for most (all?) people, I don't think the distinction is important.

What do you think the cutoff is for emotional comprehension? I think it is higher than you suspect, if for no other reason than how that filters out to survivors.

For instance, on a raw level I don't think I can really process 300,000 deaths versus 6 million deaths. But using a hypothetical of something awful happening to my state, that's the difference between probably having a passing acquaintance die versus almost certainly losing multiple people close to me. Just because the quantities are more than I could reasonably handle on a direct basis doesn't mean there can't be a qualitative difference. The macro very much informs the micro.

I appreciate your response. When I hear you put it like that, I do think this might be a problem unique to me. If two million people in my state were murdered, but they were all people I don't know, then it would be just as bad to me as one million people who are scattered across the country being murdered.

It's not unique to you, maybe it's an autistic thing. When @2rafa said " It is denial the same way saying “yeah, the Kurds got carried away and a few Armenians got caught in the crossfire, but it was like 50,000 and it wasn’t deliberate” is a denial of the Armenian genocide" I was blown away, I can't imagine not losing my shit if we had this conversation in real life. 50,000 is a few? Not genocide? Is my judgement of the value of human life jacked way too high?

And yeah it's true that the difference is the difference between losing loved ones and maybe losing an acquaintance, but it is still beyond the pale to me. To me the deaths are only the second most terrible thing about these kinds of events - it's the killing, the fact that someone could set thousands of deaths in motion and the fact that people will carry it out, that bothers me the most.

“yeah, the Kurds got carried away and a few Armenians got caught in the crossfire, but it was like 50,000 and it wasn’t deliberate” is a denial of the Armenian genocide" I was blown away, I can't imagine not losing my shit if we had this conversation in real life. 50,000 is a few? Not genocide?

It would say that it would be a denial of genocide that happened, while murdering 50 000 Armenians for being Armenians would be still a genocide.

In the same way that claiming that WW II had happened worldwide but had death count 100 000 would be still denial of WW II but such war, if would happen instead, would be likely still named WW II.

So it is a denial of the genocide that happened by claiming a smaller genocide happened.

That's fair! I will add another thought, once again trying to put in perspective why these differences between two large numbers matter due to how the macro impacts the micro.

There's a John Calvin quote about relics:

There is no abbey so poor as not to have a specimen [of the True Cross]. In some places there are large fragments, as at the Holy Chapel in Paris, at Poitiers, and at Rome, where a good-sized crucifix is said to have been made of it. In brief, if all the pieces that could be found were collected together, they would make a big ship-load. Yet the Gospel testifies that a single man was able to carry it.

So, if X churches claim to have Y amount of the True Cross, and X times Y is far greater than the possible dimensions of the True Cross, then obviously some of those churches are lying or have been taken in.

Similarly, at some point when the numbers go low enough (even with those numbers still being more than enough to be well into the realm of the truly monstrous/genocidal!) one is implicitly accusing living Jews of lying (or, at best, having been lied to by other relatives) about their relatives who died in the Holocaust. Does it make sense why that would be seen as at least in the same ballpark as denial?

So, if X churches claim to have Y amount of the True Cross, and X times Y is far greater than the possible dimensions of the True Cross, then obviously some of those churches are lying or have been taken in.

There was a Catholic guy who was obstinate and autistic enough to dig into these kinds of claims about how many such relics were out there (and Calvin and the other Reformers had good incentives on their side to ridicule relics and make outsized claims to mock the whole enterprises, so while indeed there were fakes, mistakes and outright frauds - read Chaucer and the Palmer's Tale - they weren't being anything but rhetorical in their claims) and he came up with figures that were not "a big ship-load":

Conflicting with this is the finding of Charles Rohault de Fleury, who, in his Mémoire sur les instruments de la Passion of 1870 made a study of the relics in reference to the criticisms of Calvin and Erasmus. He drew up a catalogue of all known relics of the True Cross showing that, in spite of what various authors have claimed, the fragments of the Cross brought together again would not reach one-third that of a cross which has been supposed to have been three or four metres (9.8 or 13.1 feet) in height, with transverse branch of two metres (6.6 feet) wide, proportions not at all abnormal. He calculated: supposing the Cross to have been of pine-wood (based on his microscopic analysis of the fragments) and giving it a weight of about seventy-five kilogrammes, we find the original volume of the cross to be 0.178 cubic metres (6.286 cubic feet). The total known volume of known relics of the True Cross, according to his catalogue, amounts to approximately 0.004 cubic metres (0.141 cubic feet) (more specifically 3,942,000 cubic millimetres), leaving a volume of 0.174 m3 (6.145 cu ft), almost 98%, lost, destroyed, or from which is otherwise unaccounted. Four cross particles – of ten particles with surviving documentary provenances by Byzantine emperors – from European churches, i.e. Santa Croce in Rome, Caravaca de la Cruz, Notre Dame, Paris, Pisa Cathedral and Florence Cathedral, were microscopically examined. "The pieces came all together from olive." It is possible that many alleged pieces of the True Cross are forgeries, created by travelling merchants in the Middle Ages, during which period a thriving trade in manufactured relics existed.

That's interesting! I wonder if there's even less today given the damage done to European towns and cities in WW2? It seems the far easier criticism would have been things like Saint's bones (I thought there was a similar quote from a protestant or atheist about all the Saints that walked around with many extra fingers but couldn't find it), though in both cases it isn't like the Church is saying that no one has ever made a forgery.

That being said, my purpose was more that despite that quote not directly saying "these churches are wrong/lying", Calvin's (apparently wholly incorrect) estimates of mass would necessitate that, independent of Calvin's estimates being accurate.

I mean, obviously they did. I don't want to argue about that. The question is whether having doubts about that specific claim as you phrased it makes one a denier and/or whether that is a moral failing. Prager's insistence upon both is what bothers me. It feels hypocritical given his vaccine hesitancy, willingness to ask hard questions about gender and sex, etc.

I don't get this insistence on labeling the holocaust as undeniably evil when in this same forum you have guys celebrating the fact that their ancestors 'destroyed the Indian nations' and getting a bunch of upvotes for it. If you think that a group being a threat, competitor, or burden to your group is justification to exterminate them, then why would that principle not apply to what happened to the jews in europe.

The land acknowledgements are as if the Nazi party survived the war, became just another political party like the rest of them, got into power, and then before every state occasion had a little ceremony about "We acknowledge that [the paintings in this museum/the property here/this land] were/was stolen from the Jewish people".

Are they going to give it back? Hell, no. Are they paying rent for use of the land to the Indians Jews? Also hell, no. So what is the purpose of this little song-and-dance act? Why, to feel virtuous about yourself.

People here are not median internet nerds, they hate the pride-flags-and-land-acknowledgements left above all. Celebrating the destruction of the American natives' nations is dunking on those people by proxy; celebrating the holocaust.. Isn't.

The deaths of tens of millions in the Gulag Archipelago just plain isn't the current records-based expert consensus. (It bears mentioning that the records of Gulag system camps were opened up during the post-90s thaw and the efforts by Yeltsin government to categorize CPSU crimes for political benefit against the still-strong CPRF, and were then studied fairly extensively by Russian and Western researchers). Wikipedia summary:

Prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the archival revelations, some historians estimated that the numbers killed by Stalin's regime were 20 million or higher.[5][6][7] After the Soviet Union dissolved, evidence from the Soviet archives was declassified and researchers were allowed to study it. This contained official records of 799,455 executions (1921–1953),[8] around 1.7 million deaths in the Gulag,[9][10] some 390,000[11] deaths during the dekulakization forced resettlement, and up to 400,000 deaths of persons deported during the 1940s,[12] with a total of about 3.3 million officially recorded victims in these categories.[13] According to historian Stephen Wheatcroft, approximately 1 million of these deaths were "purposive" while the rest happened through neglect and irresponsibility.[2] The deaths of at least 5.5 to 6.5 million[14] persons in the Soviet famine of 1932–1933 are sometimes, though not always, included with the victims of the Stalin era.[2][15]

Of course, if you include the higher estimate of famine deaths into account, you get a bit over 10 million of total deaths, but that still isn't tens of millions, and the specification of Gulag Archipelago leads one to understand we are specifically referring to the claims concerning camp deaths made by Soltzhenitzyn, among the others.

To steal an idea from Timothy Snyder, if you look at mass killings of civilians in Europe from 1933-45 you can divide them into three principal and roughly even groups: the German killings of Jews, the German killing of non-Jews, and the Soviet killing of Soviet citizens

I've sometimes observed that one of the things about the way Holocaust is discussed is that it often leads to people underestimating Nazi deaths, since, upon hearing the question "How many people did the Nazis kill", the number that automatically comes to mind and is hard to unlodge is "six million", even though that leaves out at least the equal amount of non-Jews killed.

There is more incentive to exaggerate the extent and significance of the holocaust than any other event in history. At the same time, it is one of the most ideologically influential events of the 21st century. These two reasons are why it should be morally acceptable, and in fact encouraged, to poke holes and relitigate the events of the holocaust. Holocaust denialism is not evidence of any bias whatsoever, because autistic men online will spend thousands of hours examining innumerable less important matters like the best tanks and rifles, who killed JFK, UFO sightings, the battle of agincourt and the policies of FDR.

In theory, it might be that some people just become obsessed with the nitty-gritty details of the Holocaust and exactly how many people actually died and what methods were used and the literal accuracy of all historical claims, etc.

In practice, I've never encountered a Holocaust denier who didn't, purely coincidentally, have a great deal of animosity towards Jews.

Some will use more evasions than others ("I don't hate every single Jewish person!" "I only feel animosity towards the organized Jewish media that pushes false narratives and ideologies on me, not Jews as a people," etc.) Even if I were to believe these disclaimers (I don't), Holocaust denial is clearly not like trainspotting, an odd hobby that certain people become obsessed with for no ideological motivation. It's something that attracts people who don't like Jews, not niche historians.

How would your opinion change if Revisionists are right? Let's say there was no order or plan to exterminate the Jews, and there were no gas chambers at all, and the 6 million number was pure symbology that Jews forced into the historical record and refuse to let go because of its symbolic importance. Would that even affect your opinion of Revisionists or would you still dismiss them as just people who don't like Jews?

there were no gas chambers at all

Just forced labour camps? Just movement to be resettled in the East? Just smash up their property and declare them non-citizens? Just requiring everyone to prove they weren't descendants of filthy Jews?

Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien:

From a letter to Stanley Unwin 25 July 1938

[Allen & Unwin had negotiated the publication of a German translation of The Hobbit with Rütten & Loening of Potsdam. This firm wrote to Tolkien asking if he was of 'arisch' (aryan) origin.]

I must say the enclosed letter from Rütten and Loening is a bit stiff. Do I suffer this impertinence because of the possession of a German name, or do their lunatic laws require a certificate of 'arisch' origin from all persons of all countries?

Personally I should be inclined to refuse to give any Bestätigung (although it happens that I can), and let a German translation go hang. In any case I should object strongly to any such declaration appearing in print. I do not regard the (probable) absence of all Jewish blood as necessarily honourable; and I have many Jewish friends, and should regret giving any colour to the notion that I subscribed to the wholly pernicious and unscientific race-doctrine.

You are primarily concerned, and I cannot jeopardize the chance of a German publication without your approval. So I submit two drafts of possible answers.

To Rütten & Loening Verlag

[One of the 'two drafts' mentioned by Tolkien in the previous letter. This is the only one preserved in the Allen & Unwin files, and it seems therefore very probable that the English publishers sent the other one to Germany. It is clear that in that letter Tolkien refused to make any declaration of 'arisch' origin.]

25 July 1938 20 Northmoor Road, Oxford

Dear Sirs,

Thank you for your letter. .... I regret that I am not clear as to what you intend by arisch. I am not of Aryan extraction: that is Indo-iranian; as far as I am aware none of my ancestors spoke Hindustani, Persian, Gypsy, or any related dialects. But if I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people. My great-great-grandfather came to England in the eighteenth century from Germany: the main part of my descent is therefore purely English, and I am an English subject – which should be sufficient. I have been accustomed, nonetheless, to regard my German name with pride, and continued to do so throughout the period of the late regrettable war, in which I served in the English army. I cannot, however, forbear to comment that if impertinent and irrelevant inquiries of this sort are to become the rule in matters of literature, then the time is not far distant when a German name will no longer be a source of pride.

Your enquiry is doubtless made in order to comply with the laws of your own country, but that this should be held to apply to the subjects of another state would be improper, even if it had (as it has not) any bearing whatsoever on the merits of my work or its suitability for publication, of which you appear to have satisfied yourselves without reference to my Abstammung.

I trust you will find this reply satisfactory, and

remain yours faithfully

J. R. R. Tolkien.

Just all the above? The Revisionists still aren't coming out of this looking too good.

Just forced labour camps? Just movement to be resettled in the East? Just smash up their property and declare them non-citizens? Just requiring everyone to prove they weren't descendants of filthy Jews?

Yes, all of those things. Although the assignment of class of citizenship along with financial and legal privileges based on racial laws regarding Jewish descent has made a comeback with the state of Israel.

Just all the above? The Revisionists still aren't coming out of this looking too good.

Agree to disagree. Revisionists acknowledge all those bad things happened. If they acknowledge the bad things that happened actually happened, and the things that did not happen did not happen, that "they still aren't coming out of this looking too good" is only going to be the case for a certain type of fanatic.

I'll give you another example. There are some rabble-rousers publishing articles openly declaring skepticism of the alleged Kamloops mass graves and demanding an excavation. Someone like you might say: "The history of Residential schools and the Canadian treatment of the indigenous people was completely horrible. Even if it turns out that not a single person was buried among the hundreds of alleged graves, you still come out looking bad." A lot of people will take that position, like you, but I don't. I think it would be brave for people to trust their interpretation of the evidence rather than expert consensus and popular narratives. And if they turned out to be right I would have respect for that, but clearly you would not.

Oh it's bad stuff, I agree, but there is a historical context to it.

Besides, this kind of stuff is going on right now in Ukraine against the Russophone minorities, and I don't see much reaction besides enthusiasm coming from the people that want us to care about the Holocaust.

If anyone is doing it to any minority, it's wrong. Be it Germans and Jews, the British and Boer civilians, or Ukrainians and Russian-speakers.

I suppose that's kind of like asking me "What if you found out the creationists are right and the Earth is 6000 years old?" I'd be surprised that they got that one right and wonder what else they were right about, but it wouldn't convince me that everything else they believe is true.

Well you are kind of making it sound like you would just be surprised that somebody got a particularly hard trivia question right. It wouldn't change your perception of the world in any way? When I realized that Revisionists are in fact correct, it did not make me wonder what else they were right about, it changed the way I interpret popular culture and a lot of the cultural signals which were previously influential in my perception of history, morality, and politics.

It's interesting that you compare it to young-earth Creationism being truthful, so that leads me to think you would agree that it would have a significant impact of your perception on the world. Obviously, if young-earth Creationism were true it would significantly overhaul my perception of the world.

It wouldn't change your perception of the world in any way?

Well, obviously. Learning that the Earth is 6000 years old would change everything we know about science. Considering what would have to be true for the Holocaust to be a hoax, yes, I'd consider it nearly as dramatic.

I guess what you're getting at is, would I be convinced to join the resistance against the ZOG? And just like learning creationism is true wouldn't prove to me that Christianity is true, learning that the Holocaust didn't happen would not convince me that ZOG exists.

Learning the earth was really 6000 years old would actually go a pretty long way towards convincing me Christianity is true. Maybe it doesn’t necessarily follow in a strict logical sense, but it would adjust my trust in the involved parties in such a radical way I would have to consider Christians the most trustworthy generally