Holocaust denialism is often viewed as the act of denying the genocide of Jews during World War Two, or underestimating the numbers of those who died, while attempting to deny the events which took place in the concentration camps. What makes Holocaust Denialism one of the greatest cancers on this earth, is the fact that not only are those in denial trying to refute something so horrendous, they are also seeking to denigrate the experiences of millions of people, who died and survived the process which resulted in the Holocaust.
The great thing about denialism, is being able to relinquish responsibility, to be able to “move on” from “historical events” with sound bite politics, and not take into account any of the key elements which played a crucial role in the creation of a monster. Many like to think that Hitler himself was the person responsible for the Holocaust, which through some genetic default or tragic upbringing, was able to warp the minds of millions of people, to carry out the extermination of over six million Jews and countless millions of Gypsies, LGBT, disabled people, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Trade Unionists and others.
Through the process of denial, a group or a person is able to go about their daily lives, holding their meetings, carrying out their work with the collective understanding that everything is fine. That they can do whatever they want without thought or fear of the consequences. What makes denialism a perfect philosophy, for the denialists, is they can pass comment on events “over there” but will always remain the passive spectator in an audience, while events are taking place in the world, which will forever remain the stage.
Many people who deny or diminish the Holocaust, have a basic inability to look at detail, when infact the details surrounding events in a concentration camp, do provide some of the answers which explains the genocide. It is fact, that when people arrived at a concentration camp, they were sorted into lines, of those who were to live and face forced labour and those who were to die. It is fact, that Zyklon B was used as the chosen gas because it was a more “productive” form of extermination, over mass shootings, or driving around and trying to poison people in the backs of vans.
It is also fact, that what was called the Final Solution was not formulated by one person because of genetic fault, mental illness or personal tragedy but because the ruling group of occupied Europe sat around a conference table and sought to resolve “the problem”. The very fact that a conference was called and a policy of organised extermination was agreed upon, throws up the biggest question mark in many people’s minds, as to how and why anyone would carry this out.
The reasons as to what drove a particular person to do any one thing we will only know through testimony, if we ever get to hear at all but the facts on the ground still remain the same and every day we are learning more about the events and the people who perished in concentration camps like Auschwitz. The danger that we all face though, which plays into the hands of any Holocaust denier, is if we ourselves believe the Holocaust only started or was a reaction to the beginning of World War Two.
From the boycotting of Jewish shops, the devastation on Kristalnacht, the purge during night of the long knives, the opening and liquidation of ghetto’s, the scientific experiments’ forced up on those with disabilities, the subjugation and humiliation of all occupied people, each of these played an equal motivation in the fight for the liberation of Europe, just as they are equally ignored by those, who say the Holocaust never happened.
by Hussein Al-alak. Hussein is the chairman of the Iraq Solidarity Campaign. You can read more articles by Hussein on his website Totally Hussein