Holocaust History: The Sound of One Hand Clapping

Published: 2014-05-23
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Claims by gay activists and their supporters for the number of homosexuals killed by the Third Reich reach as high as one million, and assertions that it was a quarter of a million or half a million are common. The actual number of gays who died or were killed in the camps appears to be around five thousand, conceivably as high as ten thousand.

—Peter Novick, The Holocaust in American Life, p. 223

The passage above, from a 2000 book by an eminent Jewish historian, satisfies my definition of “Holocaust revisionism,” and perhaps that, of other people, for “Holocaust denial.” Except for one thing. It has nothing to do with Jews. It has to do with other victims of the Holocaust, specifically homosexuals, a group to which the author apparently did not belong. Nor has this group been instrumental in getting laws passed that criminalize “denying or minimizing National Socialist crimes during World War II,” the touchstone of (criminal) “Holocaust denial.”

Accordingly, a German translation of this book, under the title Nach dem Holocaust (After the Holocaust) is available today on the German Amazon Website, unlike works by Wilhelm Stäglich such as Der Auschwitz Mythos (The Auschwitz Myth), which remains banned under Germany’s Holocaust denial laws[1]. But Peter Novick (the author quoted above) is not—otherwise—any sort of “Holocaust denier.” His book, though incisive about the misuses to which Holocaust history has been put, and the dubious causes it is used today to promote, is replete with affirmations of the Six Million meme, including gas chambers, exterminative intent, and the rest of the program with which every reader of these words has undoubtedly been imbued since early childhood.

But Novick remains, however unintentionally, however unconsciously, a revisionist of one corner—dare I call it a small corner?—of the Holocaust. In that corner, and a very few others, it is permitted, even in Germany, to debate the Holocaust, and the debate, if Novick and his scrupulous research are to be credited, has yielded, as it happens, some deflation, some minimization, of National Socialist crimes against humanity, to all of which Novick evidently subscribes, not just openly, but even casually, as though it were, of course, every historian’s duty to do such diligence.

In general, but particularly where it bears on matters pertaining to Jewish victims, such debate, such statements, such questions, even, are literally illegal, not only in Germany and Israel, but in Switzerland, Austria, France, Spain, Romania, Lithuania, Slovakia, Poland, Belgium, the Czech Republic, and perhaps next Russia. It is similarly penalized by “hate-crime” legislation in Canada, Australia, and many other countries.

Russian Judges at Nuremberg Trials

At the Nuremberg trials, it was specifically and rigorously prohibited to contest what really happened when mounting a defense against charges made. Major General I.T. Nikitchenko (center) and Lieutenant Colonel A. F. Volchkov (left), the Russian judges on the International Military Tribunal. British Justice Norman Birkett is on the right. Photo: October, 1945.
By Charles Alexander,[1] Office of the United States Chief of Counsel[2] [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This augurs ill indeed for the historical process as it has been known, at least in the West, since the dawn of the era of human rights. As early as, say, 1789 (the American Bill of Rights), freedom of conscience, and expression, have been enshrined in law, not only out of concern for the validity of the process of developing history, but even more importantly, for the purpose of containing tyranny. This bulwark against thought control remains intact, at least nominally, in the United States, but it has been breached, with respect to Holocaust history, in all the countries mentioned, plus many more.

What has this pervasive censure yielded in the way of facts that the interested, but not casual, observer might infer as to What Really Happened? The immediate, facile answer, reaching back far beyond the iconic Nuremberg “Trials,” might be, “tons and tons, all sworn to by the most eminent and respectable figures in public life.” But the true answer, relying on dispassionately—or even also passionately—scrutinized, discussed, confirmed or refuted, debated findings, would be more like “nothing.” Or even far less than nothing, if deceptive, meretricious, self-aggrandizing distortion, exaggeration, and outright fabrication be evaluated negatively and set against whatever truth might be encompassed by the body of material that has received the imprimatur of the victors of World War II.

The “history,” so to call it, of the Holocaust must be discounted out of hand, not because much of it is the product of Jewish survivors bent on vengeance, nor of Soviet and other Allied governments eager to justify their savage depredations of one of the largest civilized nations in the world, nor of Zionists vigorously mining the tragic tales for every excuse they can find for their own country’s mimicry of Hitler’s institutionalized racism, but because it has always been a crime to voice any accounts or understandings that oppose any of this.

At Nuremberg and the war-crimes trials that followed it, for example, while quibbling about what really happened wasn’t held a crime in itself, it was specifically and rigorously prohibited to contest any such issue in mounting a defense against charges made by those tribunals, corpus delicti be damned. Defendants (they were called “accuseds,” never defendants), denied any way of ever suggesting that any alleged crime had not been committed, were limited to claiming personal noninvolvement—usually by accusing some other person(s)—or claiming extenuating circumstances to support an abject appeal for mercy from the tribunal, which ultimately passed dozens of death sentences, and even more sentences of life imprisonment. Thus did censorship of “Holocaust denial” have its beginnings.

As for people who had by any chance been spared accusation, anyone who claimed enough knowledge to question the accusations faced the immediate prospect of joining the ranks of the accused on the strength of whatever involvement the claims of knowledge would necessarily be based upon. The only way out of that trap was to be documentably, unambiguously a victim of the process, and the number of victims who in any concerted way contested the tribunals’ horrific charges can be counted on the fingers of one hand.[2] Victims who might in any way fail vigorously and credibly to confirm the tribunals’ charges were in any case scrupulously deselected by the hard-working teams of prosecutors who alone had the power to call witnesses from the eager pool of would-be “victims” who by right of their selection to testify, won precious food and heated (!) shelter for the durations of the proceedings.

As for any who at the present late time might wish to step forward and offer their own unvarnished, if faded, recollections of what really happened, the threat of becoming an accused (nonagenarian) is very much alive, as cases like that of John Demjanjuk demonstrate so tragically and incredibly. Thus does censorship of “Holocaust denial” live on forever in, among others, precisely the form it assumed upon the fall of the Third Reich.

There is, in consequence, no such thing today meriting any such label as “Holocaust history.” The only part of this ever-so-lamentable iceberg that is to be seen in the light of public—and legal—acceptability at this time seventy years after the time of the events is the looming edifice of very interested confabulations erected in the service of a number of very conspicuous agendas of powers-that-be. Beneath the occluding waves of censorship and moral disapprobation lurks the vastly greater part of the elusive truth, unexplored but for the pathetic, underfunded, deliberately hampered and deafeningly condemned efforts of tiny, beleaguered bands of “Holocaust revisionists,” perhaps, gentle reader, including your very self.

The contours and protuberances of the hidden part of the iceberg will, for the most part, never see the light of day. But as icebergs melt, it occasionally occurs that their balance, or “trim” in nautical terms, happens to shift in one way or another, and small areas previously submerged actually do slowly get exposed to the air, and the view of anyone happening to be present at such times.

Most of the little of this that will occur in the future will occur long after the last victims and the last perpetrators have gone on to their respective rewards. And the vast majorities of those alive in those future times will have neither time nor occasion to take any interest in the matter.


[1] The English translation of Stäglich’s book is very much available on Amazon—at very steep prices. The truth, in this case at least, does not come cheap.
[2] The list might, in fact, just about begin and end with the late Frenchman Paul Rassinier, who was, be it noted, not Jewish, nor imprisoned on any suspicion that he might have been.

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Author(s) Jett Rucker
Title Holocaust History: The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Editorial
Sources Inconvenient History, 6(2) 2014, http://inconvenienthistory.com/archive/2014/volume_6/number_2/holocaust_history_the_sound_of_one_hand_clapping.php
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Dates published: 2014-05-23, first posted on CODOH: June 10, 2014, 7 p.m., last revision: n/a
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