Thursday, December 29, 2011

Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard. Afterword: A Special Note by Jason Myers.

Afterword: A Special Note by Jason Myers

 “I am not a Jew and I was at one time a ‘revisionist.” So said Jean-Claude Pressac in the postface to his monumental and technical study of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.[1] This writer can sympathize with Pressac, as I too identify with such a statement. A detailed history of my earlier Holocaust denial and subsequent ‘road to Damascus’ moment will not be offered here, as a brief account will be more than sufficient.
My acceptance of revisionism occurred at a young and defiant age, as I’m sure most people experience in high school. Of course, few would see Holocaust denial as an opportune or desirous way to get back at the standard-bearers, but as a student fascinated with modern European history it presented itself as such. While I initially took interest in denial for contrarian reasons, I spent much time studying the writings of revisionists. As a naïve youth, without an adequate knowledge of the Holocaust itself, and seeking to show my ‘superior’ knowledge compared to the rest of the world, I came to honestly accept the revisionist arguments based on (what I viewed at the time as) their evidentiary merit. Greatly influenced by the CSI TV series popular around this time, I was quickly taken in by the deniers’ focus on technical and ‘forensic’ issues, such as cyanide residue in the gas chambers and the remains left from open-air cremations. My revisionist beliefs neither began nor were fuelled by any prejudice against Jews, although I certainly recognized an anti-Semitic presence among the majority of deniers.
As the years went on, far too confident in my own cleverness, I began to take an active role propagating Holocaust denial on the internet.[2] In college, on my own initiative I organized and helped found the Inconvenient History blog, to which Thomas Kues belonged and now runs.[3] While working on the blog, I also assisted in miscellaneous research efforts, and helped edit the English translation of one of Carlo Mattogno’s articles.[4] I was proud to offer such assistance, as I had avidly read and studied Mattogno’s work.  
Hopefully as all other honest and open-minded researchers do, I kept running into ‘stumbling blocks’ that were hard for me to rationalise in keeping with revisionist beliefs; these problems arose from both documents (many of which have been quoted or cited in this critique), as well as hard to impugn witness testimony. When such instances occurred, I would search works of Mattogno, Graf, Kues, as well as other revisionists to ease my concerns about the validity of revisionism in general. These episodes were not initially too bothersome to me; one can’t expect answers to everything, I thought. However, as my knowledge of historical methods grew (I majored in history at undergraduate) and as I became more familiar with current research on the Holocaust, as well as the evidence used by historians to support their interpretations, the more uncomfortable I felt about my revisionist stance.
After learning to separate the wheat from the chaff and as I became increasingly convinced that the revisionist position was deeply flawed, I expressed doubts about my own past positions, first in private an then in public. As I did so, I became ever more ostracized from the blog team at Inconvenient History, leading me to leave that blog in late 2009. One year later, as I continued to find substantial flaws to denier arguments, I joined the already underway effort to critique the writings of MGK. I can safely and unhesitantly state that my abandonment of revisionism was the correct choice, as I believe any impartial and objective look into the evidence would attest.


[1] Pressac, Auschwitz, p.537.
[2] See Myers, ‘CODOH: The Forum That Moderated Itself to Death’ for more details on my activities.
[4] Mattogno, ‘Belzec or the Holocaust Controversy of Roberto Muehlenkamp’.

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