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When you're talking about a taboo topic you're held to an impossible standard. You are either accused of not providing enough evidence relative to the strength of your claim, or of Gish Galloping if you provide a lot of evidence, and I was accused of both in the very same discussion.
But I certainly didn't evade any of the topics of discussion. None of the people in that conversation, including yourself, even tried to defend the mainstream position, so there was no evasion on my end. I didn't even get into the minutiae since nobody even tried to defend the claims of mainstream historiography- because the people in that conversation who clearly know something about the debate know that it's the weakest part of the mainstream historiography. Maybe one day someone will try (or we can have that debate which was proposed in that thread) and you will see what minutiae really looks like in this topic.
We don't need to rehash the debate, as that is not the point of this thread. If you want to continue you can make a new thread somewhere, although I would ask that you actually try to defend the mainstream position that actually constitutes the mythos of the Holocaust narrative, rather than limit yourself to far less sensationalist but easier-to-prove claims that nobody contests.
And your responses were to an imagined opponent who defended the mainstream position, instead of the actual people who were responding to you with actual specific questions.
If you want to debate the what you see as the mainstream position with someone who supports the mainstream position, you need to go find someone who supports what you believe the mainstream position is, and then go debate them. If you want to take a stronger position than "the mainstream position is not 100% accurate", you need to defend your stronger position, not just fall back to "well you're not defending the mainstream position so I will not engage.
Lest you think I'm being uncharitable, I'm thinking in particular of this comment, where you said
This being in the context of someone repeatedly challenging your very specific claim that
and your repeated refusals to actually engage with their evidence that such a plan did, in fact, exist.
They do support the mainstream perspective, they are just defending the mainstream narrative with a non-mainstream framing. It's called a Motte and Bailey... the mainstream claims that the "Final Solution" was the German government's decision to exterminate the Jews in gas chambers, and that they exterminated millions of people in gas chambers and buried them in known locations. But they don't try to defend that narrative- they functionally concede the Revisionist position that the "Final Solution" denoted the deportation and concentration of the Jews East. They then try to say that the latter still counts as an "extermination plan" because of a single paragraph in a document that predicts high mortality from forced labor deployed East. Nobody except for Revisionists considers that to be the "Final Solution."
After the war, from 1944 to 1948 at least 12 million Germans were expelled and resettled from areas annexed by Poland and Czechoslovakia. It's estimated that between 10-30% of those expelled, about 2 million, died. Many others were deported to Soviet labor camps where the mortality rate (according to official statistics) was about 35%. Nobody would call the expulsion of the Germans an extermination plan, they would probably celebrate it as a reprisal. Likewise, the expulsion and concentration of the Palestinians by the Israelis could be criticized in its context, but it could not be regarded as a plan to physically exterminate the Palestinians using some absurd murder contraption.
Nobody established any plan for the extermination of the Jews. The Wannsee Conference - that 90 minute meeting with a bunch of mid-level nobodies was the best they could come up with to establish such a plan, although the document supports the Revisionist interpretation.
Let's just pause a moment to appreciate all the ink that's been spilled so far, with not one person raising any sort of physical or documentary evidence for the murder of three million people in gas chambers. It speaks volumes that they dance around the central myth of the entire Holocaust narrative .
The fact that someone opposes your particular perspective does not mean that they support every argument ever made by anyone else who opposes your perspective. I do not doubt that there are places where the 10th-grade-history-class version of the Holocaust is inaccurate. Nobody here, to the best of my knowledge, has said that they do think that the 10th-grade-history-class version is 100% accurate.
I guess if your opinion is "the Holocaust was bad because the Nazis killed people using gas chambers". I don't know any real people who believe that. To me, the genocide is the central thing about the Holocaust. I do not care whether the specific "there were exactly 6 death camps with gas chambers, and it was in those gas chambers that the majority of murders happened" claim is accurate, I do care whether the "about 12 million people were murdered" claim is accurate.
In terms of concrete evidence, I expect that you have more in-depth knowledge on any part of this topic that you are trying to steer the conversation to, so I expect that if I allow you to guide where the conversation goes, I will indeed see something that looks like "oh look the conventional narrative is inaccurate". However, I expect that the conventional narrative that the Nazis rounded up Jews and other undesirables and then shipped them to concentration camps where they were killed in large numbers, coming out to about 12 million total, is broadly correct. So I expect that if I pick a random link on Wikipedia and then do a deep dive on it, it will turn out that the assertion is basically accurate.
So let's do that. Starting at the wikipedia page for extermination camps, choosing a link at random on that page leads me to the page on the city of Łódź (right between the links for "chelmno" and "gas vans" -- I'm pretty sure those links each lead somewhere equally damning, but my goal here was to get somewhere that is both damning and also unfamiliar territory to someone who knows a lot about a few very narrow, very particularly selected topics). Skipping to the section on "Second World War (1939 - 1945)", wikipedia has this to say:
So I see a number of factual claims here. I will list them off -- let me know which, if any, you think would be wrong or misleading if I dug into them further.
The city of Łódź contained over 200,000 Jews before the Nazi invasion.
The city of Łódź contained less than 1000 Jews by 1945
Fewer than 10,000 Jews from the city of Łódź were alive anywhere after the Holocaust
In August 1944, most of the 70,000 Jews remaining in the Łódź Ghetto were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Considering the "less than 10,000 total survivors" above, most of these people died within the following 6 months.
Additional evidence on clicking on the wikipedia page for the Łódź Ghetto
And, after looking at maps of Chełmno
Do you think any of this is substantially inaccurate? Because it sounds about like what I expected going in (besides being somehow even worse than I imagined in terms of conditions within the Łódź Ghetto).
The Genocide, concentration camps, and slave labour section of the World War II page on Wikipedia has one paragraph for the Nazi genocide, immediately followed by a paragraph describing the soviet gulags, with associated links. "The soviets committed atrocities against the Germans during WWII" is not a fringe position. If you find yourself frequently interacting with people who celebrate those atrocities, consider that that might be an opinion specific to the people you interact with.
But that is not my claim. My claim is that there were no homicidal gas chambers disguised as shower rooms or "extermination camps." They believe those things, they just do not care to defend them because it's much harder to engage the physical and documentary evidence for those claims. So instead of defending the sensational but hard-to-prove claim, which they believe (otherwise they are Revisionists), they retreat to a much less sensationalist but easier-to-defend claim of "murderous intent" with deportation and forced labor.
Deportation, imprisonment, and forced labor are all very common experiences in wartime. We are told that Jewish suffering is special because of the factory-extermination of about 3 million Jews in extermination camps using gas chambers. That is the mythos which captures the imagination of the public, and it's the mythos that's worshipped in popular culture. Saying "I don't think 10th-grade-history-class version is 100% accurate" is not what Revisionists claim.
You expect wrong. Your "12 million victims of the Holocaust" understanding is based on an older Holocaust software version which claimed that there were 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and 5 million non-Jewish victims. But the claim that there were 5 million non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust was a big lie allegedly made up by a Jew in order to manipulate Gentiles into caring about Jewish suffering: ‘Remember the 11 million’? Why an inflated victims tally irks Holocaust historians
So 5 million non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust, clearly the basis for your 12 million-overall estimate, was a wholesale lie that was uncritically accepted by our finest institutions. You'll still see the "11 million victims of the Holocaust" as popular understanding on Reddit. For the record, I doubt that Simon Wiesenthal was solely responsible for the creation and proliferation of this lie. He's a convenient scapegoat so that the historical establishment can wash their hands of a big lie that, to any reasonable person, should also make them suspicious of the authenticity of the holy 6 million number.
Incidentally the source for the "10,000 survivors of the Lodz ghetto" is a publication from the Simon Wiesenthal Institute hosted on the Museum of Tolerance website. The author simply states the figure with no apparent basis. And if you think "they wouldn't just make up a number with thin or no basis, would they?" Oh yes they would.
Abraham Peck writes:
Here you see the popular claim that the SS were paid a special bounty for "snatching Jews for extermination." But what does the document say?
The "special account" was used for hazard pay for exposure to risk of infection. The risk of deadly diseases like typhus, which threatened to spread to the Eastern Front and Germany, was one of the top reasons for the liquidations of the ghettoes. In the minds of historians, this hazard pay becomes a bounty for snatching Jews to be exterminated in gas chambers.
There are no documentations for such transports to Chelmno. They are claimed by eyewitnesses and then estimates deriving from eyewitness testimony were used to pull up estimates of gas chamber victims from thin air, i.e. from Mattogno's work on Chelmno:
Can you imagine the case for the alleged murder of 330,000 people being based on such nonsense? "Eyewitnesses" and napkin math? Does that seem like a fair trial to you, or a show trial?
The judge used the witness-reported total of 1,000 Jews killed per transport, supposed 1 transport per day for 330 days the camp was open, and came to an estimate of 340,000 victims at Chelmno. This was the official number of victims for half a century and was the official figure reported at Nuremberg. This figure was quietly reduced by more than half in the 1990s, but it was never based on documentary or physical evidence in the first place. It was built on a mishmash of wildly inconsistent testimonies of "eyewitnesses" and napkin math. Western observers, who after investigation disproved the "extermination" narrative in all camps liberated by the Western Allies, were denied access to these Soviet-led investigations.
Most people have likely not heard of them. The Soviet Gulags became well-known because that propaganda aligned with US policy interests against communism. But the mass expulsion and death of German civilians after the war is not well-known because German suffering in those events is considered not even a small fraction as important as the gas chamber legend.
Is that really your only claim? In this comment, you said
Is your claim that revisionist spaces believe all of those things, but you explicitly don't believe all of those things, only the "there were no gas chambers disguised as shower rooms" one? If that's the case, then when people keep steering the topic away from gas chambers towards "ok, but where did the Jews go" you can say "they died in the genocide, but mostly from disease and bullets, not gas chambers". And then explain why you think that the way they died is central or important.
If "the gas chamber bit was the important bit, not the genocide bit" is not in fact your core claim, then I find it suspicious that you keep coming back to that topic after people have repeatedly told you that we do not find it an interesting or important topic of discussion, and that you keep evading topics where more substantial documentation exists.
Looking at wikipedia, it does appear to me now that the modern convention is indeed to classify the murders of non-jewish people by Nazis as "not holocaust victims". So, for example, the over 3 million Soviet POWs who died during the time period of the Holocaust, while in Nazi custody, to things like starvation, murder, and death marches, are not considered "Holocaust victims".
You are thus technically correct that there were not "12 million victims of the Holocaust" according to modern definitions of who is considered a "victim of the Holocaust". Consider me corrected.
Explicit question - do you explicitly think that the "10,000 survivors" claim is factually incorrect? If so, approximately how many survivors do you expect that there actually were? Playing the "I will say that specific claims are not well enough supported without explicitly saying that I think those claims are wrong" game is not exactly making a strong case for your position.
I have not seen that claim, no. I am also not clear on how it's relevant to the question of what happened to the majority of the people who were in the Łódź Ghetto.
Is your assertion that no people, or extremely few people, were murdered at Chelmno? Because I think if I got together with my buddies and we did a mass murder, and then we covered up as much evidence as we could, then saying "we didn't kill 300,000 people, we only killed 150,000 at most" would not in fact lead to a better outcome for me at my trial.
So here are some concrete questions for you:
Of the people who were in the Lodz Ghetto, how many do you think survived the war?
Do you think that large numbers of prisoners were shipped to Chelmno? If so, what do you think happened to them? If not, then where did the 20,000 children and elderly people referenced in the September 4, 1942 "give me your children" speech go instead? (content warning: this is the "worse than I had imagined" bit from my previous comment)
Do you think that the fate of the Jews of the Lodz ghetto was unusual? If so, would you be willing to bet money, at even odds, that at least half of the Jews at a ghetto randomly selected from this list of 278 Jewish ghettos in Poland survived the Holocaust? If not, why not? If so, how much are you willing to stake?
Your "12 million" estimate was not errant based on any changes to "who is considered a victim of the Holocaust." The implication of your about-face would be that you were also counting 3 million non-POW-non-Jews as Holocaust victims, a number which has no basis no matter how you arbitrarily define a "Holocaust victim". Neither the 11 nor 12 million number are even approximately consistent with any of those definitions at any point in time. It was a pure propaganda figure.
You were not uninformed, you were misinformed- the problem was not that you failed to keep up with modern definitions of Holocaust victims, the problem was you were deceived by liars who, according to the Times of Israel, created the lie of 11 million Holocaust victims in order to manipulate the opinion of people like you towards Jewish suffering.
Your "expectation that the conventional narrative was broadly correct" was wrong- you were intentionally deceived by those with high institutional status.
The gas chamber claim is the mainstream explanation for how the Germans murdered approximately 3 million Jews. You are also claiming that those 3 million Jews were murdered, you are just refusing to take any position on when they were murdered, where they were murdered, or how they were murdered. Because people are so inoculated against Holocaust denial you can probably get away with flagrantly making a sensational claim like that and then refusing to elaborate on any specifics for how this sensational crime actually happened.
At least some people should find it odd that you are claiming the Germans killed 6 million people, a serious accusation, and then absolving yourself of any responsibility to specifically explain when, where, and how they committed such a crime. The reason the gas chamber question is important is because it is the method by which mainstream historians claim the Germans murdered about 3 million people. You want to sidestep the issue entirely and make no specific claims at all for how these murders happened.
My claim was that the 10,000 figure lacks any apparent basis and has no reference, it is simply stated as true by the author with no elaboration or references. This is a great microcosm for the mainstream historiographical approach because instead of pointing to any solid basis for the figure you have claimed, you immediately reverse the burden of proof. It doesn't help that the author simply states this figure, with no explanation or reference or apparent basis, right next to a similar outlandish claim of a special account in the ghetto administration that existed to pay bounties for snatching Jews for the gas chambers- whereas a sober reading of the document shows this bonus pay was nothing of the sort, it was hazard pay for the risk of exposure to deadly disease like epidemic typhus.
The authoritative source of the new, by-over-half reduced death toll at Chelmno (1995 Julian Baranowski) is reproduced in a table by Mattogno here. It places 167,540 Jews in Lodz in December 1941, and records about 78,000 "Number of Murder victims" in that city. Of course Revisionists do not accept that figure, but I cite it to point out that even the official revision by Polish historiography claims that "only" 78,000 Jews in that city were murdered. So the figure you have cited of 10,000 survivors, and the rest murdered, has no apparent logic or basis. This is a good example of why reversing the burden of proof, making a claim with no support and then demanding Revisionists debunk your claims is an alluring strategy but massively fallacious.
Did you even read the source I provided for the 300,000 estimate? It was based on absolutely nothing except napkin math by a judge. No documentary or physical proof. It would be more like if I accused you of murdering 100 people on the basis of no physical or documentary evidence, and then when pressed for evidence say "fine, you murdered 50 people." A reasonable person would not assume that the accusation of 50 murders is more likely just because the initial estimate was reduced. The proper conclusion is that the entire accusation was baseless, so a reduction of an estimate with no basis has no more credibility than the original estimate.
This is a question that cannot be answered conclusively. Certainly there would have been high mortality during the war due to many causes. Ryan Faulk estimated that, assuming Jewish civilians had the same rate of death as other civilians in the areas which they lived, then something like 1.1 million Jews would have been expected to die during the conflict. Furthermore, the evidence that at one point could have been conclusive was purely in the custody of the Soviet Union, who had a motive and an opportunity to present false information.
The number of prisoners who arrived at Chelmno is not known. Mattogno shows that the large majority of Jews evacuated from the Lodz ghetto where Jews of working age (starting page 113), while many young children and elderly remained in the ghetto. This would be consistent with the documents Mattogno provides explicitly describing the motive for the evacuation. Mattogno has a section on the deportations in Chapter 12.
The phrase "for example" was included in the GP comment, but I have bolded it this time because apparently you missed it last time. There were additional victims of the Nazi regime besides
6 million Jews and3 million Soviet POWs - some more examples are 13 millionSoviet civilians, which is in turn estimated to be 7 million deaths directly due to violence (bombings, etc), 4 million deaths due to famine and disease in occupied regions, and2 million who died as forced laborers (though the "forced laborer" number does not seem to me to be backed by anything in particular)
1 - 2 million non-Jewish Polish civilians
Hundreds of thousands of Romani people (credible estimates vary widely but at least 130,000 total)
Hundreds of thousands of disabled people (estimates here vary less, wikipedia says 275,000 to 300,000)
I do agree, though, that the specific "12 million" number does not seem to correspond to a specific subset of the people who died outside of combat as a result of Nazi actions during WWII - the total number seems to be much higher than 12 million, and the number specifically killed by ethnic cleansing related activities as opposed to more generic "stuff that would retroactively be classified as a war crime" seems to be quite a bit lower (though note that the treatment of Soviet POWs was already considered a war crime). It makes sense to me now why modern-day historians limit "the Holocaust" to refer specifically to the attempted extermination of European Jews.
As I said before, consider me corrected on my earlier vague impression that "about 12 million people were murdered in the Holocaust" -- upon reflection both the "murdered", and "in the Holocaust" parts were underspecified to the point that they did not correspond to falsifiable beliefs about the world as it is.
For the "in the Holocaust" part, I was just plainly wrong about how the term is used. For the "murder" part, I had never actually considered the following questions:
Does it count as "murder" if you invade someone's country and then steal their food such that they starve to death? Does the answer change if the "and then they starve to death" was explicitly called out in your plans before you actually went and did it?
How about if you abduct them and use them for forced labor, with poor safety practices, on starvation rations, and then they die on the job? If a factory full of forced laborers is bombed, and you don't let the laborers use the bomb shelters, is that murder? Maybe it counts as murder for the other side?
Or maybe you relocate them from one slave labor camp to another, in the dead of winter, again on starvation rations, on foot, and then they die during the march?
Okay, how about if the people you murder are people who might hypothetically be able to organize resistance to your invasion?
If you say "We are invading your country now. For every German killed in the invasion, we will round up 50-100 of your citizens and execute them," and there is resistance, and you follow through on your threats and do the mass executions, is that murder?
Depending on your answers to the above questions, two people can look at the exact same set of people killed in exactly the same circumstances, not disagree about any of the material facts, and come to quite a wide range of estimates of how many of those people were "murdered".
But I don't get the impression that's what your argument is. In fact, I'm starting to get the impression that you don't have any specific affirmative beliefs about what happened during WWII, and instead you're operating by looking at what claims other people make about WWII, and saying "that one does not seem particularly well-supported, I will request clarification on that point, and if it turns out that point is correct I will not change my mind but instead just move on to the next point and never mention it again".
And on the topic of specific claims
No, it records 78,000 as "number of murder victims of the Chelmno camp in that city". Which makes sense, as the ~70,000 inmates of the Lodz ghetto at the time the ghetto was liquidated in August 1944 were instead sent to Auschwitz.
I would be a lot more sympathetic to this point of view if the Nazi regime had not specifically made significant efforts to destroy evidence. The man in charge of that initiative was Paul Blobel. Here is his affidavit on the topic of the burning of bodies and the destruction of evidence:
Blobel's last words were
That does not sound like "there is no evidence of bodies because there were no bodies", that sounds like "there is no evidence of bodies because the evidence was deliberately destroyed". Claims about how there's no physical evidence ring a bit hollow when there were specific, documented efforts to destroy the physical evidence.
Yad Vashem has a database of 4.8 million known holocaust victims. You can search that database by name, or by place of birth. Each entry says where and when that person was born, and what their name was, and how they died (or, in rare cases, that they survived). In that database, there are 139,692 people who were born in Lodz. I will ask, one last time before I give up and conclude that you're either a troll or just not someone who agrees that there is a physical underlying reality, and it is important to have accurate beliefs about what that physical reality looks like:
Do you think those 139,692 people are just fictitious people? Do you think they survived somewhere else? Do you have any beliefs at all about the physical world beyond "historians are lying about the Holocaust?
Edit 2023-01-24T08:08:03Z: character limit bug showed I was under 10k chars, but I was actually just barely over
You are continuing to pretend that this is just some shift in the sensibility of modern historians. Stop, it's not true. The figure of non-Jews allegedly killed in the Holocaust was fabricated in order to deceive you- and it worked. It had absolutely nothing to do with limitations set by "modern-day historians." You keep saying that you've conceded the argument, but you have not conceded until you acknowledge that this was a propaganda figure fabricated in order to manipulate the masses. It was not a change by "modern-day historians."
No you weren't- you were lied to, and you believed the lie.
You are free to categorize the 70 million civilian deaths during WW-II as "murder" vs "not murder" however you want, that doesn't interest me and it's not what Revisionists are claiming. We are discussing the claim that the Germans murdered 6 million Jews. If you want to count most or all civilians who died in the war as murdered by the Germans, that's up to you.
The Eastern Front collapsed and hundreds of thousands of desperate people fled West. Elie Wiesel, due to being in the camp hospital (!), was given the option of going on the "'Death March" with the Germans or waiting for the Russians, and he and his father chose the "Death March."
Why do you continue to be so lazy with your claims? The executions mentioned in your link refer to reprisals as punitive measures for partisan warfare. Your comment says "killed in the invasion" implying that they would tabulate all the German soldiers KIA and then murder 50-100 citizens for each one. But what this is actually referring to are punitive measures for German soldiers killed by partisan warfare. Partisans were what you or I would call terrorists today, and they had no protection under international law. Reprisals were even legal according to international law.
Partisan warfare was a major reason Germany lost the war, IIRC they lost about a million troops to partisan warfare. Reprisals should be understood and criticized in that context. But it bears no relation to your claim that all the Germans killed in the invasion were avenged with 50-100 civilian deaths. That is a lie.
Oh, 70,000 were killed in Auschwitz I wonder what evidence you are going to provide... turns out it's just a picture of a train with the claim stated by Yad Vashem. Par for the hole I guess.
Fortunately Revisionists are more thorough:
So Mattogno found documentation for over 11,000 prisoners from Lodz, including women and children, which were transferred from the "extermination camp" Auschwitz to the concentration camp Stutthof:
All three of those Jews survived the war, so it's interesting to note that all three names appear in the Yad Vashem “Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names"! What was the historiographical criteria used to add names to that database? Historical investigations or historical records? No. Yad Vashem just takes forms where you can write the name of someone you lost contact with and then they can become a Holocaust victim.
Such a database has all the problems you could imagine- duplicate entries, survivors entered into the database (as the Lodz Jews deported from the "extermination camp Auschwitz" to Stutthof), entire transport lists all assumed murdered and entered multiple times.
The way historians estimate the number of those killed at Chelmno is to simply tabulate all of the Jews who were deported from Lodz and assume they were killed there or at Auschwitz. The documents describe deportation or resettlement for labor, and that is what Revisionists claim happened.
For example, 1944 documents described the deportations as "zur Arbeit aus Litzmannstadt-Getto ausgereist", which translates to "left the Litzmannstadt ghetto for work". This is what Revisionists claim was the purpose of the transport. But historians say that this was code for "transferred to Chelmno and murdered in gas chambers." This same general pattern applies to thousands of documents, where the document states what Revisionists claim but mainstream historiography says "no, that is camofloauge and what actually happened was completely different from what the document says".
Mattogno cites another document that refutes the claim of ~60,000 deportees from Lodz being exterminated in August in 1944:
To estimate deaths in the Lodz ghetto, historians just sum the deportations and say they were all murdered in gas chambers. There's no proof that these numbers of people were ever sent to Chelmno, it's an assumption based on witness testimony.
Let's take Treblinka for example, which is a common example for demonstrating the Revisionist case for the forensic evidence:
This isn't even counting the much-greater quantity of larger bone pieces which would be in the ground there. But how many mass graves have been excavated there? Zero. Caroline-Sturdy Colls did excavations which received a lot of press, but she didn't find any mass graves. She did find a tooth- a fossilized shark tooth from when Poland was covered by an ocean. It is impossible that the evidence for this crime would have been destroyed.
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