How much of Nizkor's material is truth?
Thanks for your inquiry about The Nizkor Project.To give a precise answer to your question would require an in-depth analysis of all of the contents of the Nizkor Website. It would require also an in-depth explanation of exactly what is right and what is wrong. The Nizkor site, like the CODOH site is quite large and a complete answer would require far more space than we allot for this column and far more time than I care to spend on the matter.
Certainly much of the Nizkor information is in fact correct. There can be no doubt for example of the existence of various concentration camps or various personalities. There are also useful historical documents, like the various Nuremberg documents which are of use to scholars and researchers.
With regard to your specific question however about how much of the site is truthful, let us consider only one page of the site — the homepage of Nizkor. Besides the various links to other pages on the site and a few advertisements, there are basically only three statements on the page. Let us examine them one by one.
First, the site is "dedicated to 12 million Holocaust victims who suffered and died at the hands of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime." Nizkor has at various times reported "nearly twelve million" victims and "millions of victims." They have become more decisive recently and support the number 12 million. This number is a wild exaggeration. For a time supporters of the orthodox Holocaust story suggested 11 million victims. The idea was six million Jewish victims and an additional five million "other victims." Peter Novick points out in his book, The Holocaust in American Life that this number "makes no historical sense." The eleven million number originated with none other than Simon Wiesenthal. According to Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer, Wiesenthal admitted in a private conversation that he simply invented the figure. (See Novick, p. 215). Novick also notes that "before the late seventies, few in the United States had ever heard the figure "eleven million." Nizkor's dedication shows their lack of objectivity on this subject. Their figure is not supported by historians on either side of the debate.
Nizkor then supplies the question, "Given the evidence, why do people deny the Holocaust"?The answer they provide is "The real purpose of holocaust revisionism is to make National Socialism an acceptable political alternative again." To support this quote, Nizkor cites the obscure "group" the National Socialist White People's Party and specifically Harold Covington. Although this quote supports Nizkor's worldview it is a blatantly false statement. Rather than quoting from a reliable revisionist source, Nizkor has chosen to cite a neo-Nazi organization and utilized a bit of circular logic. Of course Nizkor would not quote early revisionist pioneer Harry Elmer Barnes who explains that "Revisionism means nothing more or less than the effort to correct the historical record in the light of a more complete collection of historical facts, a more calm political atmosphere, and a more objective attitude." In fact, revisionism is not a political movement and its adherents come from every place in the political spectrum from the far left to the far right with most in the United States supporting either Democrats or Republicans. Nizkor's use of this quote is a bit of a slogan for them that they have used for some ten years. It is a stereo-type and just out and out anti-revisionist propaganda.
Finally, the Nizkorites tell us that "Nizkor is a Hebrew word which means 'We will remember.'" Although no expert in Hebrew, this appears to be a valid translation.
If the homepage of Mr. McVay's Project is representative of the balance of his site only 1 in 3 statements seem to hold up.
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|Title:||How much of Nizkor's material is truth?|
|First posted on CODOH:||June 29, 1998, 7 p.m.|