Holocaust Denial

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  • Topic: Holocaust denial, Antisemitism, David Irving
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THE HOLOCAUST DENIAL

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Running head: THE HOLOCAUST DENIAL

The Holocaust Denial

Alonso Martinez Western Governors University WGU Student ID# 000229971

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Holocaust Denial During the past two decades, the Holocaust Denial has been given considerable attention. It has become a topic that has created controversies among cultures, countries, politicians, newspapers reporters and internet web site writers. According to Barbara Kulaszka (2007), a Canadian lawyer known especially for her role in defending far-right figures, the Holocaust denial is against the law in several countries including Israel, France, Germany and Austria. Kulaszka explains that these “deniers” have been punished with stiff fines and prison sentences. Research has shown that the Holocaust denial is raising rapidly leading people to ignore what the holocaust denial is, what are the main claims of the denial, who are the main exponents, and if denying the holocaust will affect everyone. To be specific on what the Holocaust denial is, it becomes fundamental to define what the Holocaust is to begin with. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (n.d), The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. "Holocaust" is a word of Greek origin meaning "sacrifice by fire." The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were "racially superior" and that the Jews, deemed "inferior," were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community (para. 1). The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (n.d.) shows that Jews were not the only group being targeted as “inferior” by the Germans; other groups included the gypsies, the disabled, poles and Russians. There were also groups attacked and persecuted based on political, ideological and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and homosexuals.

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In an interview performed by Matthew Boyden (2010), International Holocaust scholar on the denial movement, Ephraim Kaye, states that the Holocaust Denial means that someone refutes that there were gas chambers, crematoria and death camps, and asserts that there was not systematic plan to kill every Jewish man, women and child. Matthew Boyden (2010), states that Holocaust deniers consider themselves to be historical revisionist. They do not call themselves holocaust deniers. Scholars consider this to be misleading and confusing. According to Barbara Kulaska (1992), legitimate historical revisionism is explained in a resolution adopted by Duke University History Department on November 8, 1991 and reprinted in Duke Chronicle on November 13, 1991 in response to an advertisement produced by Bradley R Smith’s Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust: That Historians are constantly engaged in historical revision is certainly correct; however, what historians do is very different from this advertisement. Historical revision of major events… is not concerned with the actuality of these events; rather, it concerns their historical interpretation- their causes and consequences generally (p. 85). Daniel McGowan (2009) synthesizes that for most Holocaust deniers their arguments are in three simple contentions: 1. Hitler’s intention was not the extermination of the Jews. 2. There were no homicidal gas chambers or extermination camps 3. There were fewer than 6 million Jews killed during WWII. Dr. Michael Shafir (2002), a Hebrew professor in the University of Jerusalem, explains in his book, Between Denial and Comparative Trivialization- The Holocaust Denial in post-Communist East Central Europe, the three forms of denial in Eastern Europe. These are: categorical, deviant and selective. The first denies the existence of the Holocaust. The second one concentrates in using

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strategies such as...
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