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Holocaust Essay Research Paper What is Holocaust

Holocaust Essay, Research Paper What is Holocaust Denial and Why Does it Exhist? What is Holocaust denial and why does it exhist? This is far from being a simple question, as it

Holocaust Essay, Research Paper

What is Holocaust Denial and Why Does it Exhist? What is Holocaust denial and

why does it exhist? This is far from being a simple question, as it

neccessitates a background knowledge of what the holocaust really was and why

there would be efforts to deny that it ever happened. In my paper, I hope to

explain some of the horrific aspects of the holocaust and provide ample facts

for proof that this terrible ordeal happened, then attempt to understand why

holocaust denial came about in the first place. Attempting to prove that the

holocaust never happened seems virtually impossible given the known exhistance

of concentration camps in Auschwitz, Belzec, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau, and

Westerbork, to name a few. In Martin Gilbert?s ?Holocaust Journey?, a

professor and a group of students visit many of these former concentration

camps. In order to prove that the holocaust really did happen, first one must

understand why and how the holocaust came about. It is important to note that

the roots of the holocaust began years before the holocaust actually took place.

One possible theory as to why there was anti-semitism against the Jews is the

scapegoat theory of prejudice. Because of the social and economical depressions

facing Germany at the time, the people of the country were very susceptible to a

powerful leader who promised to make them the superior race and who provided

them with a scapegoat as to why there is situation was so dismal. By painting

the Jews as a penny-pinching, money-taking, elitist class that was causing all

of Germany?s problems of the day, the people were easily led to believe that

the Jews were the reason that they faced hunger, poverty and a poor economy. One

web site that I visited that had a chronological order of events that led to the

holocaust was ?Holocaust and Genocide Studies? at http://www.webster.edu/~woolflm/chronology.html.

Some of the events that led to the holocaust that can be related to the

scapegoat theory were the collapse of the Germany economy due to hyper-inflation

and Hitler?s drafting of his anti-semetic views in Mein Keimf while he was

imprisoned in 1923 and the collapse of the Great Coalition in German government

in 1929. The collapse of the economy and the government were linked to the Jews

because they were a convenient group to blame. The scapegoat theory fits

perfectly into the scenario of the holocaust and it is because of it that one

can understand why the common people supported the holocaust whether directly or

indirectly. The support of the common people is absolutely essential to cause

destrucution of this magnitude, and in order to obtain their support, a powerful

leader, such as Adolph Hitler must prove to them why the Jews are the cause of

all their problems. Through the use of propoganda and powerful speeches, Hitler

was able to prove his point to the masses. In a time of extreme weakness in

Germany, he was able to grab these helpless individuals and make them believe

that the Jews were and inferior race and that only through their destrcution

could the Germans once again become a powerful and great people. Now that we

have established a sound theory as to why the holocaust occured, it is now time

to provide evidence that it happened. For instance, there are a wealth of

pictures available that were taken at concentration camps that show the terrible

conditions in which the Jews were forced to live and the horrific images of dead

bodies piled up on top of one another like so many dead animals. There are

pictures of the gas chambers, the mass graves, the human ovens. I was able to

view a great many of these pictures at the web site ?The Holocaust Project?

at http://www.holocaust-history.org/hungarian-photos/. Among these photos were

pictures of tight living areas, forced labor upon the prisoners, and multuple

pictures of Jewish victims of the holocaust whether in concentration camps or in

there place of living. Among the more chilling pictures from the holocaust were

the victims of scientific testing done on these poor individuals and the mass

graves that the Jews were dumped into following their deaths at the

concentration camps. Other pieces of evidenc that prove the holocaust?s

exhistance and severity are the first-hand accounts delivered by individuals who

survived the holocaust or people who witnessed it. One website that contains a

link to the stories of holocaust survivors is ?About.com? which can be

reached at http://holocaust.about.com/education/holocaust/. Here is a breif

exert of one of the first-hand accounts taken from the site: ?In March, or

April, 1944, we got the dreaded notice that we had been selected for

re-settlement further East. The train cars they took us in were actually cattle

cars…there was not much room between us and the roof…the SS troops were on

the roofs of the cattle cars shooting past the windows to discourage people from

sticking their heads out….? The story goes on to tell of how they were

stipped of all valuables and property by the Nazis and about the conditions in

which they were forced to live. This survivor also describes daily life at the

camps and portrays the grotesque images of the dead being piled up like

?…cordwood, naked, and without dignity.? He also speaks of the mass

gassings and mass graves that holocaust deniers attempt to prove did not exhist.

As it turns out, maybe because of mounting data and statistics to prove

otherwise, the goal of holocaust denial is not to deny the exhistance of mass

camps for the Jews, on the other hand, to belittle the horrible events that

occured and to deny that such staggering numbers of deaths could not be possible

by means of gas chanmbers and such. From simply reading books such as

?Holocaust Journey? written by Martin Gilbert, about the time he took his

class on a tour of concentration camps, one has ample proof that the holocaust

occured and the camps exhisted. ?Holocaust Journey? is more of a journal

than a novel and contains a day by day, often minute by minute account of the

trip he took with his students on a tour of some of the concentration camps.

They also visited traditionally Jewish communities that dated back more than 500

years. ?Each of them was uprooted and destroyed in the course of those two

years? (2). Gilbert provides some stories of people who perished among the 6

million who died in the holocaust, perhaps in an attempt to create a human face

in light of such staggering numbers that can often erase the human face of this

genocide. He also tells the class (and the readers of course) about the number

of people taken from specific places to camps as they pass by or stop in them.

Interestingly enough, we find out, on page 25, that roughly 70,000 Germans were

killed in an effort to weed out the weaklings and to make the Germans a superior

race. ?An estimated 10,000 German children under the age of sixteen were

murdered by gas in this way? (25). On page 42, they visit a cemetary for

Berlin Jews who were murdered in the holocaust at the Heerstasse Jewish cemetary.

This and many other cemetaries can provide only small images of the vast number

of Jews killed in the holocaust. On the very next page, they visited one of the

places where the ?final Solution? was discussed. Later on in the book, they

visit the site of the concentration camp at Belzic. On the gate are inscriptions

that contain statistics on the number of Jews from certain areas that were

killed there. The book also contains a picture taken in Belzic of where the mass

graves were before the bodies were dug up, burned and the ashes were spread out,

most likely in an effort to erase evidence of the magnitude of deaths that

occured. I believe that ?Holocaust Journey? is a good example of a work

containing evidence that makes it impossible to altogether deny that the

holocaust happened, but I also belive it to be a terrific example of how the

Holocaust deniers are able to support their theories. For example, by calling

the genocide of millions of Jews ?the final solution?, they do not directly

say that they are killing millions of Jews, so in effect, their language can

mask their exact intentions. Also, the burning of bodies and spreading of ashes

at Belzec is a great example of the Nazis erasing evidence to masks the horrific

magnitude of the holocaust. Because there is not a tremendous wealth of tangible

and direct evidence of the mass genocide as one might suspect, denying the

magnitude of the holocaust is not as trying a task as it might seem. What is

holocaust denial anyway? The Jewish Student Online Research Center at http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/Holocaust/denial.html

describes it as follows: ?One of the most notable anti-semetic propoganda

movements to develop over the last two decades had been the organized effort to

deny or minimize the established history of Nazi genocide against the Jews.?

The goal of holocaust deniers is not to deny that anti-semitism exhisted, but to

deny that a mass organized killing program exhisted. Holocaust denial is also

known as holocaust ?revisionism? and there are an abundance of sites on the

net that contain ?revisionist? beliefs. Revisionism.Com at

www.revisionism.com is a web site that focuses on the belief that genocide did

not happen. It provides the site?s viewer with both audio and visual speeches

on revisionism from people who support this theory such as Ernst Zundel and

David Irving. Here is part of a speech by David Irving taken from the web site:

?…eye witness reports, the only evidence that can be used against us… the

dissident historians. I think they should be called "verbal testimony"

or "oral statements" that is all they are, There is a subtle

difference between "verbal statement" on one hand, and "eye

witness report" on the other. That’s how they do it.? In other words,

because of the lack of physical evidence of mass murders, holocaust deniers or

?Revisionsists? can claim that the Jews were in internment camps similar to

that of the ones the United States placed the Japanese in during World War II.

Here is a god example of the goal of holocaust deniers and what they believe in.

This qoute was taken from ?The Student Revisionist Resource Site? at http://www.wsu.edu/~lpauling/?:

?Revisionists are, in fact, Holocaust DIMINISHERS, not deniers. They are

questioners about what they believe are significant exaggerations in the

Holocaust tale, and they are critics of the view that somehow this historical

event is beyond discussion on pain of being placed in the category of

child-molester or worse, shunned by society, even fined and imprisoned by some

so-called free countries in the western world.? It goes on to say that

Revisionists do not deny that there were wrongs done to the Jews such as the

wrongful stealing of property, brutality and many deaths due to disease in poor

conditions, yet they look to diminish the terrible things that happened to the

Jews by pointing to other horrible aspects of World War II. They believe that

what happened to the Jews was just ONE of the terrible things that happened in

the war, and far from the worst. Here is a paragraph taken from the page that

belittles what the Jews went through: ?One needs merely mention Hiroshima,

Nagasaki, the deadly carpet bombing of German and Japanese working class living

areas, the Soviet of Germany in their 1945 advance, the treatment of German

civilians and German POW’s after the war. One could go on almost ad infinitum in

this recitation of atrocities. Fifty million – some say sixty million – died as

a result of the war. Was there more criminal behavior on one side than the

other?? By denying the mass killings of Jews and claiming they were victims of

poor conditions at the concentration camps which came from a lack of materials

due to the war costs, which in turn led to disease, holocaust deniers attempt to

belittle the terrible things that were done to the Jews by Nazi Germany before

and after the war. They do however, take blame for persecuting and robbing the

Jews of their possessions, and in addmitting so much, they may come off as being

a group that is speaking the truth. Now that we have established what holocaust

denial, or ?revisionism? is, we may now examine why holocaust denial came

about in the first place. Well, one reason may be that due to the lack of

physical evidence, it is easy for them to flat out deny that it happened. But

what are the gains from denying the holocaust? Denying the holocaust ever

happened is a terrible injustice to the not only the millions who suffered and

perished in the concentration camps, but the people close to them who suffered

along with them. It is considered by many to be a new form of anti-semitism and

one can only imagine the pain it causes to the families of holocaust victims and

especially the survivors. Imagine surviving this terrible ordeal and then having

someone belittle what happened to you, the grotesque things you witnessed, the

grim conditions, the hunger, the forced labor, the imminent threat of being

killed alongside many others. This is why the force of holocaust denial is so

strong in terms of anti-semitism, and that is often the goal of hate-orientated

groups, to find the best way to hurt a group of people. There are also other

benefits of white supremacists in denying the holocaust. First and foremost, it

is easier to gain support for their cause if they dont come off as the animals

that they are made out to be. Being associated with what happened during the

holocaust can turn away many potential followers who hate, but do not

neccessarily condone violence and killings. Another paragraph taken from the

Student Revisionist Resource Site is yet another example of belittle the Nazi

treatment of the Jews. It is as follows: ?Contrary to Holocaust Mythology

there was no attempt by Nazis, or anyone else, to exterminate the Jews. There

was an attempt, largely successful in the areas controlled by the Axis, to expel

the Jews from Europe. In the context of the 1990’s it was a terrible

undertaking. In adifferent context, the context of European history over the

last two millennia, the expulsion of the Jews from this region or that region

was not uncommon. Historically there seems to be something about the Jews that

brings forth a plenitude of animosity on the part of people amongst whom they

live.? By painting the Nazis as just another group trying to remove the Jews

from Europe, Revisionists can claim there is something about the Jews that makes

them undesirable and there is a reason that people dont want them around. This

has another along with diminishing the crimes the nazis committed, it feeds into

the hatered of Jews as well and makes it seem that this type of hatred has a

just cause. Its as if they are saying that ?if everybody else hates the Jews,

what is so wrong with us hating them as well??

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