If we were to sum up Holocaust Revisionism in one sentence, we should say: Yes, there was a Holocaust, but No, there were no gas chambers. The gas chambers were a product of wartime propaganda. Mass media propaganda in turn generated mass hysteria about mass murder. There are three political and three psychological reasons why this fact is not generally recognized.
Political Reason #1: The Holocaust gas chamber story demonized the German people, and justified the partition of Germany, and the loss of three provinces, Pomerania, Silesia, and East Prussia, which had been populated by Germans for hundreds of years.
Political Reason #2: The Holocaust gas chamber story justified the expansion of Soviet influence throughout Eastern Europe, supported the establishment of Communist regimes, and the implementation of communist terror, and the complete disregard of the rights of the people in this region.
Political Reason #3: The Holocaust gas chamber story justified the creation of the State of Israel. Behind several political struggles in the early days of Israel it played a role, and in the shocking maltreatment of native Arab populations in the broad area of Palestine it was also an important element.
Political reasons can support any myth as long as that myth is able to exert some influence. But the gas chamber myth has now outlived its political utility. The lands that Germany has lost will not be returned to them anymore. The only thing Germans can look forward to now would be to once more peacefully repopulate and improve the land, as their ancestors did originally 800 years ago. Meanwhile, the communist regimes of Eastern Europe are a thing of the past. They need no more artificial supports. Finally, the State of Israel is almost now 50 years old, no one anymore seriously questions its right to exist, now people only question its right to permanent possession of territories seized in the 1967 war.
But if the political reasons are of no more use, the emotional reasons are still powerful.
Emotional Reason #1: A lot of people in America fought and saw their friends die defeating Nazi Germany. They feel satisfaction that their comrades did not die in vain, and that the crimes of the Nazis, including the gas chambers, were proven at Nuremberg. To say that there were no gas chambers seems to dishonor their own hardships or the sacrifice of their friends.
Emotional Reason #2: After World War Two, and partly because of population transfers and mass shootings by the Nazis, the Jewish community of Eastern Europe almost ceased to exist. An analysis of history will show that the Eastern European Jewish community, that is, as a separate, unassimilated, Yiddish speaking, and devoutly orthodox entity, had been on the way out ever since the first partitions of Poland in the 1770's, but no one wants to admit that the *World of Our Fathers* was bound to disappear eventually through the modernization process. And so the Nazis serve as a convenient scapegoat.
Emotional Reason #3: Many Jews came under German control in World War Two, and suffered terribly. Many were killed. Many families were separated. Almost everyone lost everything they had. This is the reality of the Holocaust. It was similar to what occurred to the class enemies of the Soviet regime, from 1917 on. The difference is that everyone in the West either knows or knows of a person who experienced the camps, and who goes on endlessly about homicidal gas chambers, even while they usually admit having never seen one. Well, do you want to contradict them? No, we'll just leave it alone. And so, propaganda became rumor, and in the words of *eyewitnesses*, assisted by charitable impulses, becomes fact.
The emotional reasons for the continued belief in gas chambers will not last forever. As time passes we will be able to see the past in greater clarity, without the investment of our personal interest, or the variability and inherent untrustworthiness of our emotions. This is also known as wisdom.
Additional information about this document
|Title:||Revisionism In a Nutshell|
|First posted on CODOH:||Sept. 15, 2000, 7 p.m.|