captions added by this website]|
Friday, April 15, 2005
liberation of Belsen revealed the Holocaust to the
against Holocaust denial
soldier talking to an inmate at Belsen
concentration camp, May 1945
IT is 60 years since the full
horror of the Nazi Holocaust began to emerge with
the liberation of Bergen
Belsen was the first death camp entered by the
[Website note: The
British Second Army] and first-hand
accounts of mass graves, piles of corpses and
emaciated, diseased survivors spread quickly around
The BBC's Richard Dimbleby described dead
and dying people over an acre of ground, while US
radio correspondent Patrick Gordon Walker
[Website note: He was
in fact British, later a member of Parliament and
father of one of Britain's best publishing
editors] described the camp as a
"hellhole", adding that this was not propaganda but
the "plain and simple truth".
But, in the 21st Century, as these events recede
into history and the number of Holocaust survivors
dwindles, there are still people who deny these
crimes happened -- and it is a tendency that some
experts say is growing.
"Holocaust revisionism is spreading, and not only
among neo-Nazis," Kate Taylor, of the
anti-fascist publication Searchlight, told the
BBC News website.
- COUNTRIES WITH LAWS AGAINST
- Czech Republic
NOTICE the subtle
suggestion by this evidently Jewish writer
that I have written books about the
Holocaust (I haven't, ever), articles
(ditto), and made broadcasts about it
(ditto); a notorious, but rather
ineffective, "denier", one might
juxtaposition of photos of myself and of
the British soldier suggests that I deny
that prisoners suffered inhumanities in
the Nazi camps (I have never suggested
they didn't). But by such lies is the
history of the world enriched.
As for Belsen, "the
first death camp", -- note the unspoken
but totally untrue suggestion that the
camp near Hannover was a place of
industrial-scale extermination -- here's
an autobiographical note.
In about 1947, when
Britain was still starving from having
fought Churchill's War to its lunatic
conclusion, my Mother took us to the Isle
of Wight for a two week holiday.
Seeing myself and my
nine-year old twin brother on the beach,
our ribs poking through our undernourished
skin, she said: "You two look like Belsen
It meant nothing to me
at the time, but it shows the degree to
which the powerful photo propaganda had
pervaded every level of British post-war
unfortunate it is that Jewish historian
Sir Martin Gilbert refers here to
"the incredible state of Holocaust
survivor memoirs." Yes, incredible
-- unbelievable -- that is the main
problem of the
Holocaust industry. There are no
documents, and "survivor testimony" alone
is what has kept it awash with money.
Survivors like the
Wilkormiski, who claimed to have
suffered in Auschwitz, but in fact turned
out to have lived a cushy life in
Switzerland throughout the war. (Deborah
Lipstadt still recommends his book
to her students in Atlanta: faute de
mieux, on couche avec sa femme).
The truth? The horrors
at Belsen were primarily brought about by
the collapse of the German food and
transportation economy in the closing
weeks of the war.
This was a result of the
British and American saturation-bombing of
the transport system.
And, come to that: What
exactly does the BBC's photo illustration
above show? A British soldier, and an
equally sized man, probably a former
prisoner. But the subliminal conjunction
of text and photo, seems to authenticate
whatever message is overlaid by Mr Berg,
the writer. Way to go, Raffi!
The BBC should be
ashamed of itself, publishing such
disgraceful tripe as this.
"As survivors are increasingly dying out it is
much easier to hijack history for whatever cause or
The internet has played a role in this.
While publications peddling Holocaust denial
were previously confined to the race-hate
paraphernalia of extremist groups, the same
material is now readily available on the web.
One of the earliest and most infamous
publications denying the Holocaust was a 32-page
pseudo-academic booklet entitled Did Six Million
Really Die?, first printed in England in
It dismisses concentration camps as "mythology",
rejects the Diary of Anne
Frank as a hoax and claims Jews were not
exterminated but rather emigrated from Nazi Germany
with the help of a benevolent government.
The booklet was widely
banned but has
resurfaced in electronic form on the internet.
Kay Andrews, of the UK Holocaust
Educational Trust, says Holocaust denial sites,
subtly questioning the facts, can mislead the young
people her group is trying to
"With the internet,
you've got to be fairly well-educated to see
through what revisionist websites are trying to
do," she says.
"I think as soon as you look at them closely you
can work it out, but part of the problem that we
find is teachers will send pupils off to do
internet research and not
guide them to specific
"So as a result kids put the Holocaust into a
search engine, which comes up with all of this
stuff, and at 14-years-old they are not mature
enough to make that distinction between a denialist
site and a more
historian Sir Martin Gilbert believes the
tireless gathering of facts about the Holocaust
will ultimately consign the deniers to history.
"I don't think Holocaust denial is really a
problem because of the incredible state of survivor
memoirs," he told the BBC News website.
"The number of deniers and the amount
of denial literature is miniscule compared with
the serious literature, not only the memoirs but
the history books, the specialist books, and
books which cater for every age group on the
"There is a tremendous range of stuff and
some of it is written for young people and
teenagers - in that sense the Holocaust deniers
have totally lost out."
Over a period of many years, Jerusalem's Yad
Vashem museum has documented the lives of more than
three million Holocaust victims.
of them have duplicate names, and duplicate dates
of birth, sometimes ten at a time: go
More recently, Steven Spielberg's
Survivors of the Shoah [Holocaust] Visual
History Foundation (VHF) has recorded more than
50,000 videotaped interviews with Holocaust
survivors and witnesses.Turning
But VHF president Doug Greenberg is less
confident about the future than Martin Gilbert.
the positive side, he notes that in 2000 a British
judge rejected a
libel case brought by a
revisionist, David Irving, against US historian
Deborah Lipstadt who had called him one of
the "most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust
"The most important thing that's happened in
terms of Holocaust denial is the David Irving
trial," Mr Greenberg told the BBC News website.
"Because a British court of law said in effect
Holocaust denial is not a valid way to look at the
On the other hand, he says, we just cannot tell
how far history will be forgotten in years to
"In 50 years from now, not only will there be no
survivors alive, there won't be anybody alive who
even knew a survivor, and that is where the real
danger lies," he said.
The fear that deniers could gain the upper hand
led an SS camp guard, Oskar Groening, to break a
lifetime of silence earlier this year in a BBC
documentary [produced by
Laurence Rees], Auschwitz: The Nazis
and the Final Solution.
saw the gas chambers. I saw the crematoria. I
saw the open fires. I was on the ramp when the
selections [for the gas chambers] took
place," said Mr Groening, now in his 80s.
"I would like you to believe these atrocities
happened -- because I was there."
dossier on Auschwitz and the other
dossiers on the traditional enemies of the
S Marques of Portugal has spotted how BBC
producer Laurence Rees faked what a German
'eye-witness of gas chambers' actually
Yad Vashem's 3
million list has many duplicate names, and
duplicate dates of birth, sometimes ten at a