One of McCluskey’s comments ("This so called Holocaust History Channel should be reported under the Trades Description Act. I see no history on here, [...]") caught my attention because it highlights an essential problem faced by apostles of the "Revisionist" faith, namely that there is no history in "Revisionism".
"Revisionists" can ramble endlessly about what they claim did not happen, but try as they might, they don’t manage to produce a consistent, evidence-backed account of what they claim did happen to Europe’s Jews under Nazi domination, where they venture to make such claims at all. There’s no "Revisionist" account of the historical events in question to match the generally accepted historical record that "Revisionists" reject.
Case in point, the names of the victims. Yad Vashem’s Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names contains the names of over four million Jews that Yad Vashem considers to have been killed by Nazi Germany. "Revisionists" may argue against the evidentiary basis of some of the names or relish about the occasional survivor wrongly recorded as a victim. But to this day they have not been able to provide the name of even one of, say, the Jews that are supposed to have been "transited" via the Aktion Reinhard(t) camps (Bełżec, Sobibór and Treblinka) and the Chełmno/Kulmhof extermination camp to the areas then known as the Reichskommissariat Ostland and the Reichskommissariat Ukraine, or to the Soviet territories under German military administration, in the years 1942 or 1943. And that although one should expect the names of such "transited" Jews to be all over the place, if such "transit" had actually happened.
Another case in point, "Revisionists" cannot provide a consistent, evidence-backed explanation to how what they call a "hoax" (or was it just a "fish tale"?) is supposed to have a) come into being and b) managed to hold its ground and be accepted as fact, by most governments, by all criminal justice authorities that investigated parts of the process, and by the overwhelming majority of historians, over a period of 70 years since the end of World War II.
Nothing shows the intellectual bankruptcy of "Revisionism" more clearly, in my opinion, than the absence of a substantiated account that is a) backed by evidence and b) provides a plausible and evidence-backed explanation for the body of evidence that supports the generally accepted historical record.
If you can’t tell a story, then why should anyone listen to you?
The present blog must have hit a raw nerve over at Jansson’s, for in his response (which falsely claims that I "regurgitate" arguments of Dr. Nick Terry that Jansson commented in an earlier blog he seems to be mighty proud of), Jansson bellowed around as follows:
Muehlenkamp even asks:
If you can’t tell a story, then why should anyone listen to you?This is the whine of a ill-bred child begging its parents for bedtime entertainment, and not a sentiment that would be expressed by any thinking person genuinely interested in investigating the truth. Furthermore, the term “history” does not come from “story”, feminist complaints about his-story notwithstanding, but from the Greek historia, or inquiry. Doing history is about enquiring into the past, not just telling stories.
Who said anything about "just telling stories"?
The context of my question shows that what I mean by "story" is an evidence-backed account that reconstructs past events as completely and as accurately as the evidence supporting it permits.
For what could possibly be the purpose of "enquiring into the past", other than establishing what actually did happen in the past?
Questioning claims or beliefs about certain aspects of past events on the basis of solid evidence (as opposed to questioning facts proven by solid evidence on the basis of distortion, misrepresentation, omission and pseudo-science, which is what "Revisionists" do) is fine and useful, but it isn’t all that "enquiring into the past" is about.
When it comes to large and complex historical events or phenomena, such as the rise and fall of the Roman empire, or how people lived and died in ancient Rome, or the Napoleonic Wars, or the Spanish Civil war, or the First and Second World Wars, or what Nazi Germany did to the Jews of Europe during the latter of these wars, even an honest (as opposed to a "Revisionist") enquiry into the past that only endeavors to establish what did not happen, without producing a solid and evidence-backed narrative of what did happen, is manifestly insufficient.
If Jansson disagrees, he’s invited to show me a history of the rise and fall of the Roman empire, or of how people lived and died in ancient Rome, or of the Napoleonic Wars, or of the Spanish Civil War, or of World War I or World War II, or of any other comparable event or set of events, that is limited to demonstrating that this-and-that did not happen and nevertheless contains a reconstruction of events past that is as complete and accurate as evidence permits. I dare say that these are mutually exclusive propositions.
That aside, Jansson apparently failed to notice (or prefers not to mention) that this blog is not just, and not even mainly, about whether and to what extent "Revisionism" qualifies at history (or better, would qualify as such if it were really the evidence-guided "enquiring into the past" that it claims to be).
It is also about certain questions that "Revisionists" should be able to answer if "Revisionism" is to be more than a rampage against facts inconvenient to certain ideologically motivated notions, and about evidence in support of certain claims essential to their case that "Revisionists" should be able to provide in abundance if such claims were more than just hollow humbug.
As Jansson mouthed off elsewhere about "hard data", I would like to ask him three questions, which I hope he will not run away from as he has from other questions I have asked. The questions are:
1. Which are the "hard data", if any, that support the "transit camp" theory?
2. Which are the "hard data", if any, that support the notion that the historical record rejected by "Revisionists" is the product of a "hoax" (or "fish tale", if you think that’s more plausible)?
3. If there are no "hard data" to support the notions mentioned in the previous two questions, what does this imply for "Revisionism", other than it’s having no merit whatsoever?
I look forward to your answers, Mr. Jansson.
And I recommend you do yourself the favor of cutting on the hysterical abuse when you answer. That’s a piece of well-meaning advice.