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Historical revisionism of the Third Reich and the Holocaust

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I'm not familiar with the material, and don't intend to check. Instead, here is a general point about history: you will almost always find facts that contradict its summarized assertions.

 

Was Benjamin Franklin a willing backer of the American revolution, or was he an opportunist? Was Washington a good general or a blundering incompetent? Was the civil war about slavery or about the imposition of an industrial system upon agro-focused states? Was Gandhi a hero or a villain? Were European Jews living their lives as regular peaceful citizens, or were they conspiring against national interests at the highest levels of government? Was Bonaparte a tyrannical power-seeker, or the most modern reformer who created the France of today? One could go on with such examples, and for each example one could make a decent case for wither side. 

 

This is what historians face: a person does multiple acts -- some good, some bad. He also has multiple motivations: some good, some bad. And, to make matters really complicated, major historical events involve multiple people. Historians have to make sense out of this, and decide what is important and what is incidental, or an exception, or a phase.

 

For other events, even if one agrees with the good or evil of some actor, one can make the case that -- given the alternatives of the time -- one has to temper one's case, or even reverse it. For example, one can easily make a case that FDR took some of the largest steps to move the U.S. toward statism. However, some people make a case that these steps were the minimal ones to stop the types of people's revolutions that took place elsewhere. (Aside: The title of Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath" is a warning of an American revolution.)

 

The lesson is that any time one comes across a hero or villain in history, one ought to remember that one is probably reading a summary which has left out facts on the other side. Older texts used to be more hagiographic while some modern texts take an attitude that there are no heroes. So, what one has to discount depends a lot on how the author has prepared the summary.

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Well if you change your mind you can always look up some lectures of David Irving on youtube. Anyone who has any interest in WWII should do that.

 

I am aware that political figures tend to be a mixed bag, but I don't think anyone would argue that they aren't. Sometimes they do good and that's good and sometimes they do bad things and that's bad. We have to aknowledge both and face reality based on the truth that the facts bare out to us. I think that the history people are thought today has so much war time proraganda that it doesn't qualify as history. For example the desparate atempts of the Third Reich to make a peace deal with the British before and after the bombing of London is barely known. This infrormation has been surpassed during the war so that the politicains who wanted peace didn't have a chance to make it happen, but what's the point of not telling the people about it now? Or the fact that Churcill bombed Berlin in order to agaitate Hitler so that he would bomb London. Before the bombing of Berlin Hitler only targeted military structures. The bombing of London was clearly the result of Churcill's handywork so that peace would no longer be an option yet no one knows or writes about it.

 

I am aware of that the winners write history, but shouldn't historians be accaountable (not legally) for the things they write? Why is it that in other fields of science people manage to operate objectiely but not in history?

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Ten years from now, the number of people who have first-hand memories of the Second World War will number less than a few hundred. The significance of those events will hold as much meaning for the present and coming generations as the Thirty Years War has for my generation. I cannot express the shock I am forced to control, when I encounter people who are unsure of who Adolph Hitler was, or of the crimes for which he is held responsible. Will it matter if there are those who claim it never happened? I believe it does. I see it as an opportunity to reopen the case, and discuss the events that made it possible. Few events in history merit the attention that ought to be focused on this epic horror. Even more important, people should be aware of the fact that mass-murders of civilians continue to punctuate the histories of some regions, and that the underlying ideology of statism often plays an important role in motivating the perpetrators.

 

Daniel Boros:

I have watched a few of the videos of David Irving, and it seems his primary motive is to claim that he is persecuted for speaking freely. His secondary motive is to deny that the Jewish Holocaust ever happened, or that there were nothing more than internment camps as there have been in most wars leading up that period. Given that there are today enough first-hand witnesses, as well as a substantial body of evidence to support the popularly accepted notion that indeed the Genocide happened, I would say David Irving is a professional troublemaker. The day may come when history is reduced to bad poetry, as it once was in ancient times. Should that ever happen, it will be in part due to the selective amnesia and general apathy so prevalent in Western society today. So, if you're of the proud minority who agree with David Irving, take heart; the revision of history may one day make Mel Brook's concept of Spring Time for Hitler seem like more serious fare, rather than farce. And I take heart in knowing that I'll be dead by then.

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Daniel Boros:

I have watched a few of the videos of David Irving, and it seems his primary motive is to claim that he is persecuted for speaking freely. His secondary motive is to deny that the Jewish Holocaust ever happened, or that there were nothing more than internment camps as there have been in most wars leading up that period. Given that there are today enough first-hand witnesses, as well as a substantial body of evidence to support the popularly accepted notion that indeed the Genocide happened, I would say David Irving is a professional troublemaker. The day may come when history is reduced to bad poetry, as it once was in ancient times. Should that ever happen, it will be in part due to the selective amnesia and general apathy so prevalent in Western society today. So, if you're of the proud minority who agree with David Irving, take heart; the revision of history may one day make Mel Brook's concept of Spring Time for Hitler seem like more serious fare, rather than farce. And I take heart in knowing that I'll be dead by then.

Personally I like to focus on Darvid Irving's historical work rather than his personal life. I don't believe that David Irving is a professional troublemaker.

I think he is an amature when it comes to troublemaking. I think after being banned from several western countries and jailed for several months anyone would be a little agitated.

People got jailed for simply giving him a forum to speak. I don't believe that is how states should handle peacful troublemakers and I don't think that fall victim to censorhip laws shouldn't complain about them.

There's a big difference between saying that the Holocaust never happened and that the death camps were actually for interment without the specific goal to kill people.

I believe that David Irving's position on the Holocaust can be summarized as follows:

*Much less people died in death camps as it is believed today

*There was no intention to kill the people in the camps

*No person died by gass

*Most people died because of hunger and disease

I think there's good reason to doubt that the Holocaust was in fact a plan to kill people.

To my knowledge the only evidence for that claim is the eye witness testimony of a selected few survivors.

But if someone knows something I would be happy to hear.

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The intent of the Nazi Third Reich was rather explicit: Europe, under direct or indirect leadership from Berlin, would operate under governments of national-socialist ideology. And that the Jewish and other undesirable elements of these vassal-states would be reduced to the smallest numbers, if not eradicated to the last trace existence. This is supported with ample evidence. If there were eye-witnesses who claim to have seen any evidence to the contrary, there testimony is overwhelmed by other bodies of evidence. Of course, it is your choice to believe whatever you wish. Many people claim to have seen extraterrestrial aliens.

 

As for Churchill and other Allied leaders, your claims that they were largely unsympathetic toward the civilian victims of the Nazis, or that they played for political motives, there may be a great deal of truth to that. It was complicated. And the complications of that period are lost to many people of our times. The causes and effects of the Second World War are among the most underrated subjects of American social studies in our public schools, but this is only a personal opinion and subject to another discussion. If David Irving is not denying that the Holocaust happened, why does he insist on speaking publicly in countries where the law forbids Holocaust Denial? He is allowed to speak freely in many countries; why does he insist on making a martyr of himself?

 

Incidentally, I find the censorship of Holocaust Denial controversial and questionable, but I honestly haven't given it much consideration, because it doesn't affect Americans very much. As a European, you may want to re-open an existing thread on the subject. But for this discussion, David Irving spends too much time drawing attention to his own suffer, and too little controversy to make it worth his expense. If his argument only attempts to mitigate the crimes of the Nazis, while the overwhelming evidence suggests that the camps were designed to process human bodies and ultimately dispose of them through mass incineration, how much more proof do you need?

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I think there's good reason to doubt that the Holocaust was in fact a plan to kill people.

 

Hi Daniel,

 

I write this, not as a historian or an expert, but someone with some knowledge/background in the subject, and an interest in history generally.  I wonder -- why do you think that there's "good reason," as you say?

 

I mean, I haven't looked into it in detail myself (nor do I ever expect to), and the histories I've read were all prepared by historians, and it doesn't surprise me in the slightest that some people argue against the dominant explanation (for there are always people who do so), but doesn't the story of the Holocaust seem to fit in comfortably with the overall narrative of the Nazis and WWII?

 

I mean... the Nazis were fairly antisemitic, yes?  The Jewish population specifically were blamed for a variety of problems in Germany, and rhetorically dehumanized and so forth.  This led to ghettoization and the Nuremberg Laws and the Night of the Broken Glass, and etc.

 

The Nazis were not above using physical violence, not above killing to serve their ends.  Hitler himself had orchestrated the Night of the Long Knives, if I recall correctly... and then there was the remilitarization and annexations and invasions, and, well, WWII.

 

So... what would have stopped such men, holding such views, willing to do the things we know they did (unless you also question any/all of the above), from orchestrating a program like the Holocaust?  Doesn't that seem to be consistent with their overall beliefs, and actions?  Doesn't it seem a logical (if horrific) end to their program?

 

I don't know.  Without combing through the evidence myself, just based on what I've learned, I think it very believable that Hitler or others in his circle personally planned out the extermination of the European Jews (and other undesirable populations).  It just seems like something that they would do.  If they didn't have a plan to kill the Jews, don't you think they would have wanted one?  If not, why not?

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Outside of the reports from the soldiers who came home or the memoirs of key figures, like Patton?   

 

How about the fact that they had gas chambers or furnaces?

 

Or Hitler spelled it out in Mein Kampf in which he soft sells the "destruction of the weak and sick" as being "more humane than their protection."

 

Or perhaps you believe they were simply waiting for the more benevolent Madagascar Plan to be revisited? 

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The Brits initiated the night air-raids. But these sort of details are hardly worth quibbling over. The Third Reich and all of the misery and waste it caused can only serve as one of (if not the greatest) examples of tragedy brought about my man's folly. No doubt, there will be others pursuing a career re-writing the events so as to soften the image of Adolph Hitler and his partners in crime. Faced with an enemy as ruthless as the Nazis, a discerning student of history could allow for ruthlessness on the Allied side, as long as the Reich was subdued. I cannot defend the writings of David Irving; I have only watched a few of his interviews on the Youtube, as suggested by Daniel Boros. If writers like Irving wish to begin the process of revising the narrative, I wouldn't try to stop him. The question posed in the initial post:

 

So I've been looking at the revisionist material on Youtube (David Irving) and I was wondering what you guys thought about it.

After learning of who David Irving is, I shall answer as Howard Roarke answered Ellsworth Toohey, after he posed a similar question, "What do you think of me?" ; Roarke: "I don't."

 

But as I stated in my previous post, any discussion of the motives, scope, and ideology of the Third Reich, as well as the poorly implemented peace plan of 1919, merit discussion, if for no other reason, people are libel to forget. And that would be a mistake.

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My god! How easily we forget. There are easily obtainable images of Zykon-B on the web, as well as images of Nazi stockpiles of the poison. That the "final solution" was ordered by Hitler and carried out by the SS is an historical fact supported by many documents. Murder is often refered to euphemistically in these documents so don't expect them to say, "We intend to kill so and so many Jews." Rather, expect terms like "special actions" and "treated accordingly". The camps themselves testify to the meaning. The euphemisms testify to the fact that these same Nazis' knew that what they were doing was wrong. We have the testimony of thousands of conteporary witnesses who tell us of the gas chambers and crematoria.

 

There is no excusing the genocide. What is more, there is no excusing the genocide deniers such as David Irving. When I first read your post I thought, "I hope no one replies to this post since it doesn't deserve a reply." Perhaps the lessons of history need to be reviewed lest they be forgotten.

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Hi Daniel,

 

I write this, not as a historian or an expert, but someone with some knowledge/background in the subject, and an interest in history generally.  I wonder -- why do you think that there's "good reason," as you say?

 

I mean, I haven't looked into it in detail myself (nor do I ever expect to), and the histories I've read were all prepared by historians, and it doesn't surprise me in the slightest that some people argue against the dominant explanation (for there are always people who do so), but doesn't the story of the Holocaust seem to fit in comfortably with the overall narrative of the Nazis and WWII?

 

I mean... the Nazis were fairly antisemitic, yes?  The Jewish population specifically were blamed for a variety of problems in Germany, and rhetorically dehumanized and so forth.  This led to ghettoization and the Nuremberg Laws and the Night of the Broken Glass, and etc.

 

The Nazis were not above using physical violence, not above killing to serve their ends.  Hitler himself had orchestrated the Night of the Long Knives, if I recall correctly... and then there was the remilitarization and annexations and invasions, and, well, WWII.

 

So... what would have stopped such men, holding such views, willing to do the things we know they did (unless you also question any/all of the above), from orchestrating a program like the Holocaust?  Doesn't that seem to be consistent with their overall beliefs, and actions?  Doesn't it seem a logical (if horrific) end to their program?

 

I don't know.  Without combing through the evidence myself, just based on what I've learned, I think it very believable that Hitler or others in his circle personally planned out the extermination of the European Jews (and other undesirable populations).  It just seems like something that they would do.  If they didn't have a plan to kill the Jews, don't you think they would have wanted one?  If not, why not?

 

The nazis were very antisemitic. They were also German and nationalists.

If you wish to kill an ethnic subgroup you don't need to collect them. Look at any genocide (like in Yugoslavia) and you will see that the Nazis were the only people who collected people for the purpose of killing them instead of simply killing them.

Now if you want to deport people which is somehting a bunch of nationalists would hapily do than you would have a good reason to collect the people before you deport them.

Or alternatively you can imprisone everyone and prevent them from multiplying. You can even castrate them to be sure but even if you do that it would not be true that your goal was to kill them.

The way I understand it the high command of the Third Reich did not know about the Night of the Broken Glass and that documents prove this.

I also do not think that riots similar to the Fergusson riots are an effective way to kill thousands of people if you have all the power all the military and all of the police backing you.

The Night of the Long Knives was done so that Hitler would have no opposition in his own party. Hitler had a logical reason to kill those Nazis whom he did not trust. Did he have a logical reason to kill millions of jews?

Look at the places Hitler explicite said he wanted. Only places with lots of Germans. Maybe because he was a nationalist?

Look at every other place that he also attacked. Only countries that declared war on him or that were in war with his allies.

And the USSR that had more soldiers and tanks on his border than all of Europe combined.

People do things for various reasons. To simply say that they were evil and therefore they did evil is not usually a good explanation.

They were evil. Yes. They did lots of bad things yes.

Therefore there is absolutely no reason to make the look worse than they actually were.

 

Outside of the reports from the soldiers who came home or the memoirs of key figures, like Patton?   

 

How about the fact that they had gas chambers or furnaces?

 

Or Hitler spelled it out in Mein Kampf in which he soft sells the "destruction of the weak and sick" as being "more humane than their protection."

 

Or perhaps you believe they were simply waiting for the more benevolent Madagascar Plan to be revisited?

The furnaces were there to cremete the dead bodies. People die of old age and disease even if the nazis don't kill people. That is how nature works.

It is the most effective way to dispose a corpse and its germs although it is not the cheapest. 

When you have lots of people in a small camp in the 1940-s you might be concerned about disease.

The existence of gas chambers is debatable. Even if they existed only a few camps had them.

The sistematic murder and castration of the so called "weak and sick" is not the same as the sistematic murder of jews. One does not follow the other.

I do not know what the Madagacar plan was or is.

 

And the idea that Churchill is responsible for the blitz is a joke.  Sorry, but true.  Germany had done it once in WWI and obviously if they were going to take the island it would have to happen again to avoid a ground campaign the Hitler was not ready to commit too.

A very bad joke indeed. 

 

 

My god! How easily we forget. There are easily obtainable images of Zykon-B on the web, as well as images of Nazi stockpiles of the poison. That the "final solution" was ordered by Hitler and carried out by the SS is an historical fact supported by many documents. Murder is often refered to euphemistically in these documents so don't expect them to say, "We intend to kill so and so many Jews." Rather, expect terms like "special actions" and "treated accordingly". The camps themselves testify to the meaning. The euphemisms testify to the fact that these same Nazis' knew that what they were doing was wrong. We have the testimony of thousands of conteporary witnesses who tell us of the gas chambers and crematoria.

 

There is no excusing the genocide. What is more, there is no excusing the genocide deniers such as David Irving. When I first read your post I thought, "I hope no one replies to this post since it doesn't deserve a reply." Perhaps the lessons of history need to be reviewed lest they be forgotten.

The way I understand it it is accepted by all Historiens that at least 95% of Zykon-B was used to dissinfect the clothing of the inmates and the buildings they lived in.

Historiens and reviosionists disagree in the remaning 5% percent so the fact that the Nazis had lots of stockpiles proves nothing.

I do not know why there is no excuse for people like David Irving but here is a video of the late Cristopher Hitchens talking about the subject:

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The Madagascar Plan was the original plan to ship the Jews to Madagascar.  It was dropped and a more cost effective solution was put into place.  It's a strange read for history buffs. 

 

The existence of Gas Chambers is not debatable however.  There are eye witness accounts from then, post commentary afterwards in the memoirs, and even inventory of the gas that was dropped in the "showers".  Castration and other portions of the Nuremberg Laws that specifically target Jews was the beginning.  It ended in 6 million dead through central planning.   Corpses don't lie - They are dead and it was through Government planning and at no time was there any attempt to stop it.  Plus if it was random then we would have comparable dead with the prisoner's of war, which obviously didn't happen.  

 

I'm always amazed how things like 6 million dead Jews or 10 million dead Ukrainians are just brushed aside as if the dead can be justified by some historical accident. 

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I've looked at the info for the Gas Chamber in Auschwitz and the fact that it is a reconstruction by people who have never seen the original was a bit suprising. It is also a fact that this reconstruction destroyed any and all evidence of the gas chamber ever existing.

Also how did people realize that this particular gas chamber was a Soviet reconstruction if the existence of these chambers was not up for debate?

 

The claims of eye witnesses are rearely reliable especially if we are talking about people who had every reason to hold a grudge against the nazis.

 

Corpses rearly lie I however doubt that too many of the dead bodies have been dissected or even counted.

 

I like concrete evidence. Like real concrete with gas in it.

 

I don't see how a historical accident could ever brush aside a single dead body.

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People do things for various reasons. To simply say that they were evil and therefore they did evil is not usually a good explanation.

They were evil. Yes. They did lots of bad things yes.

 

Okay, Daniel, we'll start here.

 

I don't think I've said (simply or otherwise) that "[the Nazis] were evil and therefore they did evil."  I said that they were antisemitic (to an large degree) and were willing to use violence and murder to achieve their ends.  I said that the Holocaust was consistent with their program overall.

 

Do I judge that as "evil"?  Absolutely.  And whether or not we agree on the details of the Holocaust, it seems you think the Nazis were evil, too, for which I am somewhat heartened.  But I never suggested that "evilness" was itself somehow the cause.  Instead I'm saying that it was characteristic of them to do horrible things to people they did not like, and that they did not put a high value on life, especially Jewish life, and that they hated the Jews.  I'm saying that in light of this, the Holocaust is not particularly surprising as an outcome.

 

To try to put this another way, suppose you were telling the story of the Nazis and WWII and the Holocaust to someone for the first time -- someone who'd never learned the history, nor heard the tales.  And as you describe the laws directed against the Jewish population, and the rhetoric of Hitler, Goebbels, et al., and the ghettoization, and the trains collecting them together in camps, and so forth... well, at some point, I can imagine your listener leaning forward and saying, "Holy shit... did they kill them all?"

 

Therefore there is absolutely no reason to make the look worse than they actually were.

 

That's not my intention at all.  Why on earth would I be interested in making the Nazis look worse than they were?  (And... how could I possibly accomplish such a thing?)

 

The nazis were very antisemitic. They were also German and nationalists.

 

Agreed.

 

If you wish to kill an ethnic subgroup you don't need to collect them.

 

This may be true.  It's another thing to say that there's no conceivable reason to collect a population prior to killing them, and it's yet another thing to say that killing the Jews was the singular reason for collecting them (or even that it was the original intention, as such).

 

Look at any genocide (like in Yugoslavia) and you will see that the Nazis were the only people who collected people for the purpose of killing them instead of simply killing them.

Now if you want to deport people which is somehting a bunch of nationalists would hapily do than you would have a good reason to collect the people before you deport them.

Or alternatively you can imprisone everyone and prevent them from multiplying. You can even castrate them to be sure but even if you do that it would not be true that your goal was to kill them.

 

Or you could have any number of reasons for a concentration camp, including some idea of efficiency in keeping tabs on a population, or keeping them controlled, or extracting work out of them, or etc.  You might do such a thing before killing the population, as planned all along, or you might do such a thing for these other reasons... and then later decide to kill them, as a "final solution."

 

The way I understand it the high command of the Third Reich did not know about the Night of the Broken Glass and that documents prove this.

I also do not think that riots similar to the Fergusson riots are an effective way to kill thousands of people if you have all the power all the military and all of the police backing you.

 

This may or may not be, but do you think the Night of the Broken Glass to be out-of-step or out-of-character with Nazi ideology?

 

And who said that every thing the Nazis did had to be "an effective way to kill thousands of people," in order to believe that the Holocaust took place?  I wasn't suggesting that the Night of the Broken Glass was an attempt to kill thousands of people.  I was attempting to establish (in a broad manner, and in conjunction with other incidents) that the Holocaust was an escalation in terms of how the Jews were treated, not some complete surprise out of nowhere.

 

It's not like it's being claimed that Gandhi was a secret cannibal.  That would be somewhat surprising, given what else we know about Gandhi -- yes?  But the Nazis running death camps against the Jews?  That seems to me to be fully consistent with the historical build-up to the death camps, and with Nazi rhetoric and methodology generally.

 

Put it this way: suppose you were in council with Hitler, and you said, "Hey Chief, you know, we have all of these vile Jews incarcerated in Auschwitz and elsewhere, fresh trains streaming in all the time from all across Europe -- space is limited, guards are overworked, the food budget's through the roof, and... well... why don't we just kill them?  I know, I know, we talked about settling them in Madagascar one day, but... they're Jews, right?  Why not just kill them now and be done with it?"

 

Do you think Hitler would have blinked at the suggestion?

 

The Night of the Long Knives was done so that Hitler would have no opposition in his own party. Hitler had a logical reason to kill those Nazis whom he did not trust. Did he have a logical reason to kill millions of jews?

 

Skipping past the (questionable at least) suggestion that the Night of the Long Knives was, itself, completely sensible, I'm sure Hitler had reasons within his own twisted mind for all of the various things he did.  On this specific question, if you start with the kind of virulent hatred he seemed to have for the Jews, and if he believed them to be somehow less than human, and if he sought what he considered to be "racial purity" in Europe, then perhaps it's not so much of a "logical" leap.

 

Beyond that, you know, there's only so much accounting I can do for such a man.  I don't even know whether he was wholly sane.

 

Look at the places Hitler explicite said he wanted. Only places with lots of Germans. Maybe because he was a nationalist?

Look at every other place that he also attacked. Only countries that declared war on him or that were in war with his allies.

And the USSR that had more soldiers and tanks on his border than all of Europe combined.

 

In the first place, I don't know that "nationalism" excuses anything in particular, or at all.  But as for "every other place that he also attacked," or annexed, are you including the non-German portions of Czechoslovakia?  Poland?  Belgium?  (And what was the disposition of Norway at the time of the Nazi invasion?  I know they started WWII as neutral... but I wouldn't be surprised if they were driven towards the British before long.)  I mean... those are just off the top of my head, and I guess we could both go do some research if we wanted, but... it's just not true that the only places Hitler attacked had first declared war on him, or were already embroiled in war through alliances.  Right?  That's just not the record, as far as I understand it.

 

As for the USSR, I don't know about the disposition of Soviet soldiers or tanks at the time -- and I also don't know what it means that "the USSR that had more soldiers and tanks on [the German] border than all of Europe combined."  I mean, are we talking about Nazi Europe at the time of the Soviet campaign?  I'd dare say there weren't a lot of foreign troops or tanks massed on the Nazi borders by that point.

 

But isn't it pretty well established that the Nazis and Soviets had entered into a military pact before the war (precipitating mutual invasions into Poland, and the Soviets into Finland), and that the Nazis nonetheless invaded the USSR (catching notoriously paranoid Stalin off-guard, from what I've heard)?  If so, that would be invading yet another country that had not declared war on the Germans... yes?  Or, rather, invading their supposed allies.

 

These details notwithstanding, is it really your position that Hitler wasn't the driving force behind the European theater of WWII?  I see him as an absolute warmonger (completely aside from his racial ideas, his secret police, his socialist programs, his death camps).  You see him as -- what?  Misunderstood?  Or are the histories just filled with lies on all of these details?  Has my education misled me?

Edited by DonAthos
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Adolph Hitler made it quite clear that one of his goals was for lebensraum, room for the expansion of racially Aryan-Germans. This was to be achieved with the conquest of lands to the East,i.e. Russia, Ukraine, and any other lands that were occupied by Slavic or "inferior" people. In December of 1935, a program, entitled Lebensborn, was initiated for the purpose of increasing the number of racially pure Aryan-Germans. These programs, while not direct proof of the Holocaust, were not secret, they were quite open and explicit. To take it a step further, they were ideals popular with many Germans of that era, as well as many non-German people of Norse extraction. Eugenics programs were sponsored in Sweden in the early 20th century. My point of raising these items is that in the context of those times, the idea of artificially designing the future of a nation was embraced by many intellectuals.

 

Adolph Hitler, and many who witnessed his rise, saw himself as an intellectual, and in many ways, he was. His vision of a future Germany was spelled out in his personal manifesto. Mein Kampf. His goals of dominating Eurasian territories, and populating them with Aryan-Germans was becoming a reality in the years of 1941 through 1944. The cost of this goal was the lives of hundreds of thousands of young and healthy Aryan-German lives, thus reducing the ranks of those Hitler wished to live. The lives Hitler sought to banish from Europe were disproportionately offsetting. In one reported instance, an associate of Hitler confronted him with the reports of the Jewish extermination program. To wit, Hitler justified his decision with the fact that young German men were dying by the thousands, and therefore the lives Jews were of no concern to him.

 

Adolph Hitler was not the only man who wished the eradication of undesirable tenants from his homeland. Many of the Nazi records were destroyed before they could be captured, suggesting that they knew their fate as war criminals. Indeed, we have seem this play out again in the 70 years since the surrender. If one is looking for a "logical reason" for committing atrocities, usually the motives and facts are more complicated than they appear on the surface, but if the results are that a disproportionate number of victims are of a specific race or "ethnic identity", you can be sure a deeply-seated prejudice existed in the minds of the perpetrators long before the violence escalated. Deeply-seated prejudices are not easily evicted from the human psyche. However, rational convictions and an understanding of the horrors of the past can provide useful means by which the horrors of the future might be avoided.

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Dániel Boros :  "... late Cristopher Hitchens talking about the subject..."

 

What was the point you wished to make with the link to Hitchens speech?

 

(Here is, btw, the link to the transcript)

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I was replying to aleph_1's comment:

 

There is no excusing the genocide. What is more, there is no excusing the genocide deniers such as David Irving. When I first read your post I thought, "I hope no one replies to this post since it doesn't deserve a reply." Perhaps the lessons of history need to be reviewed lest they be forgotten.

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Regarding David Irving, the first and longest of the Youtube videos I sampled centered around his persecution as a public speaker in countries that censor any sympathies toward the Nazi Genocide. The Youtube video on Christopher Hitchens is roughly 18 minutes of defending free-speech, and very little (maybe two minutes) in the defense of David Irving. And his defense was of Irving's right to free-speech, not the actual content of his claims.

 

Personally I like to focus on Darvid Irving's historical work rather than his personal life. I don't believe that David Irving is a professional troublemaker.
I think he is an amature when it comes to troublemaking. I think after being banned from several western countries and jailed for several months anyone would be a little agitated.

Daniel Boros,

 perhaps you would rather focus on the historical works of David Irving, but I would suggest that David Irving would rather have us focus on his problems, as evident in video I watched. If this is a free-speech issue, I would stand with the late Christopher Hitchens, and protest the treatment of an author and public speaker; after all, the Nazis celebrated the Rights of Spring with a massive book-burning, and legalized the muzzling of undesirable speakers. On the other hand, I suspect the more authoritarian nations of Europe, where this state-sponsored-censorship exists, have a reasonable argument for muzzling any form of Nazi sympathies. One day, these bans on free-speech may be lifted; most in America enjoy freedom from such restrictions. As for Irving, I get it, he offering an opposing view. So what? The facts stand against him.

 

Now, let's say your man, Irving, is dead right. Let's suppose he could actually prove that the body-count was overstated, and we could shave off a few million murder victims. Now we have a count of roughly four million. Does that make anybody view the Third Reich any differently? I wouldn't. Or maybe the body-count was under-estimated? Would that make different? I would hope that with all of the intensity of the post-war investigations there was no need to adjust the numbers, other than to round them off for simplicity sake. But we are not talking about bottle caps, or cockroaches, or stars in the galaxy. We are talking about human lives. Individuals, just like you. However simple or productive, each one of those lives had value to someone, if only to the one who held that life. Some bore babies; some were babies; some built useful things; some were intellectuals, but all had their own lives. A central planning agency, comprised of mystic-minded and power-drunk government leaders, ordered the elimination of those lives. They authorized semi-literate men, capable of no independent thought, to follow those orders, and they did. Oh, but you say, the numbers of those murdered were exaggerated, and many of the deaths were accidental, because the prisons were ill-equipped to properly handle so many non-citizens of Germany. And the bug-spray couldn't have been used to poison people, because those nice Nazis would never do such a thing. They only wanted to kill the bedbugs. Well, it's a little too late in the day to provide enough evidence; if such evidence did exist, maybe the Nazis should have saved it from the mountains of records they were burning as the Allies arrested the perpetrators.

 

Daniel, maybe you sleep better with the sense of assurance that you and David Irving are the only ones that "know" the truth. Maybe you believe the world is obliged to re-write the lessons of the 20th century, because the number should be four million, rather than six million, and/or that most of the deaths were  accidental. And let's not forget how those wretched Allies retaliated against the treaty-violating aggressors. Or maybe your point is simply that because the majority believe it is so does not make it so; this may be the only point on to which I would agree. But you and your buddy, David Irving, will have a long and rather futile struggle convincing students of history to your argument. Nonetheless, I encourage you to do so. Far from making trouble for anyone but yourself, it allows for another opportunity to remind ourselves of just how bad a misguided government, and its people, can be. The Catholic church would like everyone to forget about the Inquisition as well.

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If David Irving, or any daring author, truly wanted enough attention, he could try touring Russia promoting an expose' that proves Vladimir Putin is behind the murder of journalists. Testing the limits of free-speech in the West is relatively safe, by comparison.

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