Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Book chapter "Holocaust denial in the age of web 2.0" by Nicholas Terry Available Online

Author: Hans Metzner
The multi-author book Holocaust and Genocide Denial: A Contextual Perspective edited by Paul Behrens, Olaf Jensen and Nicholas Terry (2017) is a more recent publication on the development, incidence and encountering of Genocide Denial in general and Holocaust Denial specifically. The chapter Holocaust denial in the age of web 2.0 by Holocaust Controversies' Nick Terry is online available at google books. Its conclusion points out these seven reasons which "can be adduced for the decline of Holocaust denial":
1 Consistent social disapproval
2 Its political ineffectiveness
3 The ease of finding other ways of expressing anti-Semitism or delegitimising Israel
4 Loss of 'market share' to other conspiracy theories
5 Inability to cope with the volume of recent Holocaust research
6 Lack of novelty
7 The ageing of the 'movement'
(Behrens et al., Holocaust and Genocide Denial: A Contextual Perspective, p. 53)

94 comments:

Gilles Karmasyn said...

Hi Nick (yeah, I know, it's Hans writing, but, well, it's notehless Nicholas Terry who is talking)

Very good chapter in a very important book. Thank you very much for having assembled those talented people who produced such interresting material. I do think that you identified correctly those seven points, though I do not agree with you that Holocaust denial has lost its momemtum. From what I could grasp by lurking and observing, though mostly passively unfortunately, I think Holocaust denial has become a new "cultural code" of antisemitism and (often though not always) radical forms of antizionism. It has spread as a much wider layer, though less thick, if I can use such an image. You describe a loss of "thickness", but there is no loss of the denial "sickness"... since it has spread in a way that, in my opinion, compensateq for the losses you have underlined.

My two cents...

Thanks again to the HC team. Keep the good work.

Gilles (K)

Nicholas Terry said...

Hi Gilles,

my main point was that the organised 'revisionist' movement has manifestly lost momentum; other commentators have noted generational changes as well, and the list of deceased or silent revisionist authors is very long. Moreover, there are very few new names coming forward to replace them, and a number of potential future leaders either quit or changed their opinions: Thomas Kues, Eric Hunt, Friedrich Jansson, the Black Rabbit of Inle are all examples of this from the past 10 years.

I agree with you that denial remains a 'cultural code' for antisemites and the extreme right, but I think it is less important for the far right now than it once was, simply because they have more contemporary fish to fry. Considering that there is more of *everything*, more videos on YouTube, more self-published ebooks, more blogs, more websites, more social media platforms and Twitter accounts, then one can find 'growth' in absolute terms but still have decline in relative terms.

One can also view this in relation to the content produced for specific sites in the various ideological bubbles and the attitudes of readers and BTL commenters. Most far right sites don't produce Holocaust-denying content, but one can easily find commenters who endorse denial. The mismatch is even more obvious with anti-Zionist sites.

But - in both cases, the denial content is now self-generated or reposted on social media platforms, and recirculates almost endlessly on a loop. So it's easy to find anti-Zionist rank and file members' accounts reposting denial, but much harder to find leading anti-Zionists willing to incorporate this into their middle or higher brow content. Because if it becomes known that some mid-ranking activist is also a denier, this is entirely toxic in the mainstream media, and that still matters to the left-leaning anti-Zionists.

On the far right and in the alt-right, there are already so many divisions that denial is not that crucial. I should note that I've also seen Breitbart commenters tell deniers to get lost - just as Trump supporters reacted badly to deniers at a rally in the 2016 election.

Last January in an interview with The Observer, I talked of a 'Twitterification' of denial, a transition from old-school pseudoscholarship to a more 'low-grade', simplified version. Exactly how far this dumbed-down version has spread is a matter of debate - in certain venues like YouTube, it seems rampant and widespread, but elsewhere it really doesn't. And I am more than willing to accept that things may be different in non-English-speaking parts of the internet, simply because I cannot monitor or track everything.

blake121666 said...

CODOH has reviewed this book:

https://codoh.com/library/document/5309/?lang=en

Nicholas Terry said...

That's not much of a book review since it ignores most of the book. Even its treatment of my chapter concentrates most attention on a section that is 1000 words long (about Mattogno et al), and says virtually nothing about the rest of the chapter. Therefore many of the expectations of the "reviewer" are ridiculous - for example, not mentioning that Rassinier was a former KZ inmate although I explicitly mentioned that Rassinier was on the left.

Elsewhere, I am chided for not mentioning the banning of denial books on Amazon in March 2017 when the book went to press in autumn 2016, and we indicated a cut-off point of 31 October 2016 in the introduction.

This was, in case it's not blindly obvious, the proceedings of an academic conference, thus the high price - it's meant to be borrowed from university libraries, especially by lawyers and those looking for short overviews on various examples of genocide denialism.

bhigr said...

"Therefore many of the expectations of the "reviewer" are ridiculous - for example, not mentioning that Rassinier was a former KZ inmate although I explicitly mentioned that Rassinier was on the left."

I don't think that this is ridiculous because merely being a leftist doesn't mean that you were actually a victim of Nazi persecution and an inmate of one of the most notorious concentration camps. It is extremely unusual for such a person to protect the Nazis from supposedly unjust criticism. This fact was the reason for many people to take holocaust disbelief seriously. Therefore, it is swept under the carpet.

bhigr said...

Then, I think the review makes some really good points. Let me quote:

“Indeed, it seems today as if Holocaust denial is the main aspect of the far right ‘history’ and conspiracy theory, and that other conspiracy theories about Jews stem from this idea rather than the other way around.” (p. 12)

Of course, it’s a usual slander to call Holocaust denial a conspiracy theory. But here’s how you turn the tables (literally): Go to the Nuremberg trial records, the so-called Blue Series, and read Count One of the Indictment (Vol. 1, pp. 29-41). The title is THE COMMON PLAN OR CONSPIRACY, and in the text the word conspiracy appears no less than 15 times. The word conspirators appears 60 times! And as for the Holocaust:

“Of the 9,600,000 Jews who lived in the parts of Europe under Nazi domination, it is conservatively estimated that 5,700,000 have disappeared, most of them deliberately put to death by the Nazi conspirators.

In fact, the Holocaust itself, from the supposed code language of the Nazis to the complete erasure of the traces of the crime, fits much more with the concept of a conspiracy theory...”

Sergey Romanov said...

The designation "conspiracy theory" has little to do with the legal term "conspiracy", and an inmate exhibiting the Stockholm syndrome, while unusual, is not "extremely" so - it's not like there aren't survivors of the Soviet persecution defending the Soviet system.

bhigr said...

Conspiracy theory has little to do with conspiracy? Please let me correct you:

"A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or situation that invokes an unwarranted conspiracy, generally one involving an illegal or harmful act carried out by government or other powerful actors.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines conspiracy theory as "the theory that an event or phenomenon occurs as a result of a conspiracy between interested parties; spec. a belief that some covert but influential agency (typically political in motivation and oppressive in intent) is responsible for an unexplained event"."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_theory

bhigr said...

Oh, the legal term "conspiracy":

"In criminal law, a conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime at some time in the future."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_(criminal)

The legal term "conspiracy" relates to a conspiracy involving a crime.

There is no way around the insight that the holocaust is a conspiracy theory involving thousands of nazi conspirators who secretly conspired to kill all the jews.

Nathan said...

Reposting for bhigr, who clearly didn’t listen in logic class. Almost five years yet deniers are still using basic logical fallacies.


Nathan said...
t 65- My point about the modern use of the word 'conspiracy' was clearly too subtle for sluggish nathan. -

Sigh.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivocation

- Equivocation ("to call by the same name") is classified as an informal logical fallacy. It is the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning or sense (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time). It generally occurs with polysemic words (words with multiple meanings).-

Dr. Terry is using the word "Conspiracy" in one sense - the colloquial definition being a sinister, evil scheme, by this or that party, more often than not the product of an utterly paranoid mind. The IMT and Eichmann trial prosecutors, on the other hand, are using a totally different sense - the legaldefinition wherein a bunch of people conspire to commit a crime. Anyone can see that the senses being used are not the same, well, anyone except for you.

Were you listening in logic class? This is one of the first fallacies that usually get discussed. But, since when have idiots ever needed logic?

Nathan said...

- There is no way around the insight that the holocaust is a conspiracy theory involving thousands of nazi conspirators who secretly conspired to kill all the jews.-

Actually there is. The dictionary entries you posted like an idiot clearly distinguish between the different meanings of the clearly different terms. You and the idiots at CODOH are acting like dumbass kids and pretending that the two different terms with two different meanings and used in different contexts have the same meaning. I’ve provided the name of the lame ass logical fallacy that you’re reduced to using

bhigr said...

"an inmate exhibiting the Stockholm syndrome, while unusual, is not "extremely" so"

So you claim that Rassinier suffered from the Stockholm syndrome. Do you have any evidence for this? If this is not extremely unusual, then I gather that you have proofs of hundreds of holocaust survivors who suffered from the same stockholm syndrome.

The fact that Rassinier actually investigated the holocaust and wrote several books about it rather points to the fact that his opinion was not the result of an emotional reaction due to a traumatizing event {stockholm syndrom} but the result of his investigation. This is even more apparent by the observation that the psychological effect of the trauma wears down with time whereas his revisionist opinion became stronger with time.

bhigr said...

"It is the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning or sense (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time)."


I pointed out the meaning of the term by giving you the oxford dictionary definition. I proved that the legal definition of a conspiracy corresponds to a regular conspiracy involving a crime. When Terry says conspiracy in the English language then he means conspiracy.

So I didn't commit the logical error of "equivocation".

Nathan said...

Paul Rassinier interviewed Pffanenstiel, and yet the latter kept on insisting to him that gassing happened. Like Sassen and Eichmann, Rassinier wanted P to denounce Gerstein and say that gassings never happened. While P did the former, he refused to do the latter and made it clear that gassings happened and that he bore witness to them. Deniers can’t even get their heroes to lie and claim that their life’s work never happened. That’s also swept under the rug.

bhigr said...

"The dictionary entries you posted like an idiot clearly distinguish between the different meanings of the clearly different terms."

Nathan, I did not confuse the two things. I clearly pointed out that the legal term conspiracy relates to a regular conspiracy involving a crime. That's the difference. A regular conspiracy does not have to relate to a crime but it may. The holocaust clearly relates to a crime. Thus, it is a conspiracy both in the legal and in the regular sense of the term.

So instead of cursing people you should read my post thoroughly and respond after you have understood the meaning.

bhigr said...

Nathan, Rassinier apparently didn't believe that these witnesses were telling the truth.

Critically analyzing witnesses is the hallmark of revisionism. The holocaust deniers have published a new book, which exclusively deals with the eye witness "Miklos Nyiszli".

Carlo Mattogno, Miklos Nyiszli: An Auschwitz Doctor's Eyewitness Account—The Tall Tales of Dr. Mengele's Assistant Analyzed

I think you guys should read it.

Nathan said...

- I did not confuse the two things-
You did more than confuse, you pretend that Dr. Terry’s usage of the term carried the same meaning as the IMT’s usage. And you did this even though your own dictionary entries clearly treat them as seperate terms with seperate meanings. See my explanation, which more or less matches up with the dictionary entries you so helpfully provided.

Dr. Terry is using the word "Conspiracy" in one sense - the colloquial definition being a sinister, evil scheme, by this or that party, more often than not the product of an utterly paranoid mind. The IMT and Eichmann trial prosecutors, on the other hand, are using a totally different sense - the legal definition wherein a bunch of people conspire to commit a crime. Anyone can see that the senses being used are not the same, well, anyone except for you.

The term conspiracy theory and the legal concept of conspiracy are literally two different terms, as your dictionary entries themselves show. Grow the fuck up and learn English and logic

Nathan said...

A ham sandwich is better than nothing.
Nothing is better than eternal happiness
Therefore
A ham sandwich is better than eternal happiness

#bhigrlogic

Nathan said...

Time Is money
Money is the root of all evil
Therefore
Time is the root of all evil

#bhigrlogic


Grow the fuck up, learn some English or reading comprehension.

Nathan said...

I have better things to do with my time than waste it on a proven liar like Carlo Mattogno, who omitted cremation figures from German wartime records just because they contradicted his fantasies. As for “witness analysis”, give me a break. Like with Sassen And Eichmann, Rassinier wanted Pfannenstiel to denounce Kurt Gerstein and deny gassings. P eagerly did the former, yet remained adamant that Gassings happened and that he saw it. Pfannenstiel was free to deny the gassings since he was being interviewed by a Holocaust denier who wanted him to, and yet he didn’t. This alone doesn’t prove gassings, but his willingness to attack his fellow witness while insisting that what’s they both saw happened, makes it clear that he’s being honest and sincere. There’s the only witness analysis you need, and proof that Rassinier failed epically, just like Sassen.

bhigr said...

"You did more than confuse, you pretend that Dr. Terry’s usage of the term carried the same meaning as the IMT’s usage. "

Oh, I didn't pretend this. I proved this. The legal term used by the IMT relates to the regular term used by Terry involving a crime. Since the holocaust involves a crime - not even Dr. Terry doubts this - both the IMT and Dr. Terry are talking about the same thing.

"Dr. Terry is using the word "Conspiracy" in one sense - the colloquial definition"

It is an insult to Dr. Terry to claim that he uses colloquial language in a scholarly treatise. Dr. Terry used the term in its regular sense.

The regular conspiracy is a secret agreement by people to commit something wrong or illegal-
The legal conspiracy is a secret agreement by people to commit something illegal.
The holocaust is the secret agreement of thousands of nazi conspirators to kill all the jews.
Thus, the holocaust is the legal conspiracy to commit the illegal crime of genocide.
Thus, the holocaust is a regular conspiracy involving a crime.

Get it?

Nathan said...

Here’s a good one.

All trees have barks
Every dog barks
Therefore
Every dog is a tree

#bhigrlogic

bhigr said...

Sorry Nathan, but you don't get the argument.I am not using the term conspiracy in a different sense than Dr. Terry.

Nathan said...

- h, I didn't pretend this. I proved this. The legal term used by the IMT relates to the regular term used by Terry involving a crime. Since the holocaust involves a crime - not even Dr. Terry doubts this - both the IMT and Dr. Terry are talking about the same thing.-

You’re digging yourself deeper. Sergey already distinguished between the legal term and the colloquial term. So did the dictionary entries you provided.

Here’s a really good one

Noisy children are a real headache.
Two aspirin will make a headache go away.
Therefore
two aspirin will make noisy children go away.

#bhigrlogic

Will aspirin make you and your childish stupidity go away? Based on your idiotic reasoning, it will. It probably won’t though since your reasoning is idiotic. I’d hate to waste aspirin.

bhigr said...

I find your posts amusing Nathan ;-) Keep on posting if it makes you feel happy.

Nathan said...

My posts are examples of the stupidity you’re demonstrating in this thread. So, you’re laughing at yourself.

https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/81/Equivocation


The priest told me I should have faith.
I have faith that my son will do well in school this year.
Therefore,
the priest should be happy with me.

#bhigrlogic

Now for real logic

Explanation: The term “faith” used by the priest, was in the religious sense of believing in God without sufficient evidence, which is different from having “faith” in your son in which years of good past performance leads to the “faith” you might have in your son.

Replace “faith” with the two distinct terms “conspiracy theory” and the legal concept of “criminal conspiracy”, as explained by Sergey, myself and the Oxford dictionar. You won’t get it though.

bhigr said...

Sorry, but you don't understand the argument. Improve your reading comprehension. You are digging yourself into an abyss...

Nathan said...

- sorry but you don’t understand the argument-
Oh, but I do. You’re engaging in well poisoning by pretending that two similar sounding but clearly different terms with different definitions- as explained by Sergey, myself and the Oxford dictionary- are the same. I’ve seen it before in 2013, which was why I shared my response to this exact same stupidity. Seriously man, it’s 2018. Grow up.

Apropos
Criminal actions are illegal
All murder trials are criminal actions
Therefore
All murder trials are illegal

#bhigrlogic

Replace “criminal actions” with the two distinct terms “conspiracy theory” and “criminal conspiracy”, two different words in the dictionary with two distinct meanings. You still won’t get it though. Logic isn’t your strong point.

bhigr said...

If you have understood the argument then try to repeat the argument in you own words. So far you have merely been engaging in the logical fallacy of the false analogy.

Nathan said...

Your "argument" isn't, and is in fact an example of the fallacy of equivocation. No different from the other examples I have shared.

Con is the opposite of Pro
Therefore
Congress is the opposite of progress

Dear god, this is what #bhigrlogic has reduced us to. Childish sophistry presenting itself as clever.

Nathan said...

- try to repeat the argument in your own words-

I have. I provided several examples of the fallacy of equivocation to illustrate the stupidity of your "argument". You don't understand basic logic though, which is why you don't get it.

Giving money to charities is the right thing to do.
Therefore
Charities have the right to our money

#bhigrlogic

I sure hope you understand that "right" means two different things in this paragraph, and that #bhigrlogic is stupid. But since you can't distinguish between "conspiracy theory", the legal concept of conspiracy, and the fact that the Oxford dictionary very clearly differentiates the two, I really doubt it.

- you are merely engaging in the logical fallacy of false analogy-
Nope. You keep pretending that two words with two distinct meanings are the same, and I am merely pointing it out. You clearly never took basic logic classes, which is why you keep digging yourself deeper and deeper.

bhigr said...

Sorry, you are unable to repeat the argument. Therefore, you have not understood the argument. Instead your are posting fanatically false analogies. I don't think that I can cure you. Have a nice day.

Nathan said...

Don't trust atoms
They make up everything

#bhigrlogic

Lol, poor bhigr thought codoh's equivocation of the two different terms "conspiracy theory" and "criminal conspiracy" was so clever, but got butthurt when it was showed not to be clever, but as a textbook example of the logical fallacy of equivocation. And so he runs away.

Nathan said...

For anyone with the brainpower or interest to learn basic logic, which automatically excludes Bhigr and the Codoh idiots

-Of course, it’s a usual slander to call Holocaust denial a conspiracy theory. But here’s how you turn the tables (literally): Go to the Nuremberg trial records, the so-called Blue Series, and read Count One of the Indictment (Vol. 1, pp. 29-41). The title is THE COMMON PLAN OR CONSPIRACY, and in the text the word conspiracy appears no less than 15 times. The word conspirators appears 60 times! And as for the Holocaust:-

Dumbsss bhigr thought that this was clever, but as his own dictionary entries show, it's an equivocation since they're equating Dr. Terry's usage of the term derogatory term "conspiracy theory", with the distinct legal term "conspiracy". As dumbass Bhigr showed, conspiracy theoryrefers to " explanation of an event or situation that invokes an unwarranted conspiracy, generally one involving an illegal or harmful act carried out by government or other powerful actors", while the legal term refers to "an agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime at some time in the future.". These are two different terms, and codoh is equating them. Therefore equivocation.

By the way

- The legal term used by the IMT relates to the regular term used by Terry involving a crime. -
That's not how the law works. The law means what the law says; that's how laws work. Thus, like Sergey said, the legal concept of criminal conspiracy has no relation to the idea of "conspiracy theory". Codoh's equivocation is based on illiteracy and sophistry, Bhigr's equivocation is based on sophistry and ignorance of how the law works. QED.

Nicholas Terry said...

bhigr in response to me earlier

" "Therefore many of the expectations of the "reviewer" are ridiculous - for example, not mentioning that Rassinier was a former KZ inmate although I explicitly mentioned that Rassinier was on the left."
I don't think that this is ridiculous because merely being a leftist doesn't mean that you were actually a victim of Nazi persecution and an inmate of one of the most notorious concentration camps. It is extremely unusual for such a person to protect the Nazis from supposedly unjust criticism. This fact was the reason for many people to take holocaust disbelief seriously. Therefore, it is swept under the carpet."

No, the reason I did not go into more detail about Rassinier was that the focus of the article was on developments in Holocaust denial *after the year 2000*. I mentioned Rassinier very briefly as part of a very short overview of the evolution of 'revisionism', the chapter was neither a comprehensive history of Holocaust denial nor was it about Rassinier. I actually cited two biographies of Rassinier in French as well as Igounet's history of negationism in France, and Rassinier's experiences in the camps are certainly mentioned in these works.

The non-mentioning of something in a journal article or edited collection chapter of under 9000 words length basically means it isn't mentioned for space reasons, and/or because the detail is mentioned in something cited in the article or chapter. These days, the fact that anyone can look up someone like Rassinier and read about his camp experiences in Wikipedia articles about him makes this look even more like whining.

Nicholas Terry said...

Yes, bhigr and CODOH are engaging in the usual sophistry regarding the term 'conspiracy theory'. The same point has been made by deniers (and other conspiracy theorists) dozens of times; it's nothing new and it's really boring.



blake121666 said...

Nathan said:

"I have better things to do with my time than waste it on a proven liar like Carlo Mattogno, who omitted cremation figures from German wartime records just because they contradicted his fantasies"

I'd be interested to see the omitted cremation figures. Can anyone supply me with a reference?

Nicholas Terry said...

Jett Rucker has piled on with *another* CODOH piece. Several immediate misunderstandings in his headline and opening lines need to be corrected:

1) an edited collection is NOT a textbook. They are very rarely intended to be textbooks; this edited collection is fairly close to a conference proceedings in that most chapters, including mine, were presented as conference papers, with some additional chapters being commissioned on examples of genocide denial that weren't presented at the conference.

2) academic publishers are notorious for setting high prices for obviously academic books, especially edited collections. There are even worse prices in some areas of scientific publishing. The assumption is that they are bought by university or national libraries, and that interested readers will borrow them for free from a library. Increasingly, the prices of ebooks for university libraries are fairly similar to the prices of expensive academic books, so publishers are often more likely to sell the ebook version that can be accessed with a university login via a library catalogue. High prices indicate a small print run and therefore limited sales.

3) Chapters of edited collections are contributed without expectation of payment, just as academic journal articles don't pay authors; academic publishing rests on free labour. So the contributors aren't at any kind of "trough" pigging out because of the high price of the book.

This isn't the only edited collection discussing Holocaust denial in recent years, there's also one edited by Robert Wistrich (2012, price £71.99 versus £105 for our one), and there are chapters on denial in recent edited collections about antisemitism, some of which are occasionally cheaper.

Sergey Romanov said...

> Conspiracy theory has little to do with conspiracy?

You seem to have a poor reading comprehension.

"The designation "conspiracy theory" has little to do with the legal term "conspiracy""

Realizing you've made a fool of yourself:

> Oh, the legal term "conspiracy":

Heh.

> The legal term "conspiracy" relates to a conspiracy involving a crime.

Exactly. And whenever the term is used in the legal context, it has nothing to do with conspiracy theories (the term which doesn't refer to any claim about any conspiracy under the sky).

> There is no way around the insight that the holocaust is a conspiracy theory

It obviously isn't, while Holocaust denial is.

> So you claim that Rassinier suffered from the Stockholm syndrome. Do you have any evidence for this?

Sure, his behavior.

> If this is not extremely unusual, then I gather that you have proofs of hundreds of holocaust survivors who suffered from the same stockholm syndrome.

It's unlikely that they were as prominent as Rassinier, so the request is not rational. I've given the example of the victims of the Soviet regime.

> The fact that Rassinier actually investigated the holocaust and wrote several books about it rather points to the fact that his opinion was not the result of an emotional reaction due to a traumatizing event

Since his books and opinions are irrational, they rather confirm the hypothesis.

geniza said...

I'm happy to see the Terry chapter mention -- albeit in passing, since it's such a minor part of the Holocaust denial movement -- the tiny, failed attempt of Clark-Lowes, Atzmon, and a few others to repackage Holocaust denial as a form of generalized leftist anti-Zionist rhetoric, only to be emphatically and unceremoniously given the boot. Holocaust denial as a form of far-right antisemitic discourse is incoherent, but triply so when attempting to pass itself off as left-wing.

It's also worth noting that Jim Fetzer managed the unimaginably difficult feat of being evicted from "Veterans Today" for being too crazy.

One more sign of the state of Holocaust denial in 2018 is that David Irving's site is down -- has been for days. If not even Irving can cash in on the Holocaust denial audience anymore, then it's time to cue the dirge and draw down the curtain.

Jirka Fojtík said...

Your blog is very excellent. You are doing a great job. Keep it up!

Gilles Karmasyn said...

Passing by, I see Rassinier alluded to...

Let it be clear: Rassinier was an antisemite before the war (yeah: that IS documented). He spent ten years a communist in the 1920s and remained psychologicaly and rhetorically a stalinist. He lied, falsifified and lied again about his own life, about him beeing a hero in the french resistance (he was in the french resistance but against armed resistance, after having somehow managed to publish an article in a collaborationist publication, and only as a journal editor, journal of which ONE issue was published and that was it), he lied about his time in Buchenwald and Dora (he was there ok but invented things that did not happen and managed to spend most of his time as a privileged inmate, mystery still smoking about how...), lied about his resistance decoration, lied about so many things that here is not the place to name them all.

The two books in french about Rassinier plus Igounet's work about Holocaust denial in France are more than enough to know and understand about Rassinier. There are very good studies both in french and english by Pierre Vidal-Naquet and Nadine Fresco on http://www.anti-rev.org/

And last, but not least, I have provided extensive detailed examples of Rassinier's falsifications of figures, texts, historians, documents, you name it, here:
http://phdn.org/negation/rassinier/

French Holocaust deniers have jumped around me hysterically for twenty years, but NOT ONE was ever able to prove the beginning of even one of these demonstrations slightly wrong.

Did I mention Rassinier was friend with the worst fascists, neonazis (and even nazis -- look for "Johann von Leers") after the war?

Jimmac said...

So, rassiniers motivation had nothing to do with being a lifelong pacifist? Nothing to do with him fearing history was repeating itself as regards atrocity propaganda?

Gilles Karmasyn said...

@Jimmac: no

Read.
the.
books.
and.
resources.

Oh, by the way, pro-nazi "pacifism" is as good as pro-communist "pacifism". At best delusional, more probably hypocritical.

Jimmac said...

Sorry, I mistook this for a discussion board. I won't do it again

Nicholas Terry said...

Jimmac: "So, rassiniers motivation had nothing to do with being a lifelong pacifist? Nothing to do with him fearing history was repeating itself as regards atrocity propaganda?"

An antisemitic, pro-Nazi pacifist might well believe that falsifying the history of the extermination of the Jews is all in the noble cause of peace, but the mental gymnastics involved were delusory.

Associating with actual fascists like Bardeche and Nazis like his German publisher is in any case never a good idea if you claim to be a pacifist, since fascism and Nazism alike are both inextricably linked to militarism and war.

Nicholas Terry said...

An off-topic political rant by Reactionary about left-wing political violence was deleted. Why? Because it responded to a post commenting on the inextricable links between fascism/Nazism and WAR and MILITARISM, meaning historic fascism/Nazism arising in the 1920s leading on to the conquests and wars of the 1930s and 1940s.

Gilles Karmasyn said...

Thanks for cleaning the Noltist rant...

Jimmac said...

Codoh the forum that moderated itself to death. Lol! Reactionaries! Double lol!

Jimmac said...

Oh and before this post is deleted could you elaborate as to why the reactionaries post was deleted? Was it because he was off topic or was it because he was a reactionarie? Was Giles post on topic? It was not deleted so it must have been. I replied and was told to go read the books. Plus a pro Nazi pacifist is an oxymoron. It's in the books apparently. Another poster points out that Stalin wasn't exactly into flower power and gets his post deleted for being off topic! So rassiner lied about his time in Buchenwald. Did this pro Nazi lie about being tortured by the Gestapo? I suppose I should read the books.

Jimmac said...

O.k. my bad. I have just remembered the posters username was reactionary hence you deleted the post by reactionary. However I only made that mistake because you deleted his not off topic post.

Nicholas Terry said...

Actually, Reactionary has commented here a fair bit, so it's not his politics that got his off-topic post deleted, it's because our comments guidelines say we reserve the right to delete off-topic posts.

Reactionary's reply was a non sequitur - we were discussing Rassinier thanks to Gilles and you, and I pointed out that Rassinier's supposed credibility as a pacifist was greatly undermined by the fact that he associated with outright fascists and Nazis, since the fascist and Nazi movements that arose in the 1920s were inextricably linked to war and militarism. Reactionary didn't even try to engage with this point, he started ranting on about leftwing violence in 21st Century Sweden towards nationalists. Had someone responded to a point about Stalinist aggression and expansionism in the 1940s with 'but Charlottesville!' that would have been just as idiotically off-topic and would also have been vulnerable to deletion.

Jimmac said...

Point taken. But I think bhigr was correct. To most people rassiners position was perplexing. He does not fit the bill so to speak. I am not sure his post war fascist associations works either because with his views he quickly became a pariah. Who else would publish his views other than them? When you pariah someone their options on who they can associate with dwindles. They are driven into that camp because they are the only people who will engage with them.

Nicholas Terry said...

Rassinier wasn't as unique as you think, either for having survived internment in an Axis camp or for his politics, within 'revisionism'.

J.G. Burg, a Romanian Jewish writer, survived deportation to Transnistria and then made a name for himself writing for neo-Nazi and far-right outlets, who obviously exalted him as he was Jewish (there were others like Benjamin Freedman, a Jewish convert to Catholicism, who performed similar roles for US antisemitic publications). But two 'camp survivors' embracing revisionism isn't exactly terribly convincing when several hundred thousand Jews and non-Jews had survived, they look more like anomalies.

It's also well-known that French Holocaust denial continued to bring the far left and the right together; La Vieille Taupe, a bookstore and publisher, were ultra-leftists and arrived at Holocaust denial via Bordigism and then reading Rassinier. One of the more vocal supporters of Faurisson in the late 1970s and early 1980s was Serge Thion, a Southeast Asia specialist.

The common denominator with this 2nd generation of 'revisionists' on the left was that they followed an anti-imperialist, anti-Zionist logic which led them to embrace the principle of 'the enemy of my enemy'. Anti-imperialism and anti-Zionism were standard views on the far left in the West, and were also subtly supported by Soviet propaganda, which created some of the memes that then caught on in the west. But embracing Holocaust denial meant cozying up to figures on the right, and apologising for Hitler.

Far Left denialists have in their time denied the GULag's true extent (eg the Kravchenko affair in the late 1940s in France), North Vietnamese atrocities in the 1960s, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and many other outbreaks of mass violence and genocide. So there are other examples of prominent left-leaning activists or intellectuals ending up looking silly for denying atrocities usually on the basis of either rabid partisanship or the 'enemy of my enemy' principle. Fellow-travellers did the same thing in the 1930s with the Ukrainian famine and Stalin's show trials/purges. The sensible ones changed their tune when they learned of more evidence, but the stupid ones remain in denial, and a very small number are serial genocide denialists (like Edward Herman, a sometime collaborator of Noam Chomsky).

There are similar examples today: some anti-Zionists or Palestine solidarity activists eventually lose their minds and decide to embrace outright Holocaust denial, which then might mean saying nice things about Ernst Zuendel, who was an avowed neo-Nazi and Hitler groupie. The optics of this makes it harder for 'revisionism' to spread further outside of its main ghetto on the far right.

Whatever the original motivations for whichever denier we're talking about, they all end up as useful idiots for neo-Nazis and antisemites. Rassinier was simply the original useful idiot.

Jimmac said...

But originally motivated by pacifist beliefs? There seems to be reluctance by many to make a concession like this. I think this is important with rassiner because he was active in the 1950s. It was widely but wrongly beleaved that there extermination camps in Germany and the iron curtain must have hampered investigation into the camps in Poland. His views became extreme in the 1960s but in the early 50s there was much to correct in the Holocaust narrative. I think in his early phase a least he qualifies as a genuine revisionist.

Nicholas Terry said...

Rassinier may well have believed that Mensonge d'Ulysse was some kind of pacifist intervention, but in practice the publication ended up as yet another Gallic 'affaire', modelled strongly on previous iterations of this genre. The book reflects many of these 'affaires', invoking the Kravchenko affair, discussing comparisons between Nazi and Stalinist camps as was already becoming the norm with two of his targets Rousset and Kogon, discussing "Nuremberg" so reflecting parallel criticisms from farther to the right by Bardeche (who promptly buddied up to Rassinier after the book appeared), discussing the epuration of '44 and afterwards, and so on.

Paraz's preface placed the book in the direct lineage of Jean Norton Cru who had criticised WWI soldiers' memoirs in the late 1920s and provoked an 'affaire' of his own; Rassinier makes the same comparison between the exaggerations of WWI memoirs and what he saw as the false picture of the Nazi KZs emerging from survivor memoirs in the 1940s.

The problem with the comparison is Norton Cru analysed 300 memoirs, whereas Rassinier cherrypicked about six, despite the fact that there were already many dozens of KZ memoirs in French alone, and well into three figures across all languages. The sloppy generalisation from a small part of the KZ literature naturally caused offence, and was also intellectually untenable. Rassinier repeated the same lazy approach with his writings on the Holocaust - he fixates on Nyiszli, Hoess and Gerstein, when there were *hundreds* of accounts available by the late 1950s/early 1960s.

It's frankly hard to work out exactly what the intervention was meant to achieve; by 1950, the Federal Republic of Germany had been founded with its own government; sovereignty followed in 1955 so very rapidly, and the idea of "Europe" together with a Franco-German reconciliation was certainly building up. By 1950, war crimes and collaborator trials were winding down, and the main wave of war stories including camp memoirs - and isn't it striking that nowhere does Rassinier consider the equally large genre of POW camp memoirs, to which French authors contributed dozens of titles in the 1940s, or maquis memoirs, or military memoirs - was also starting to die down at the exact moment the book appeared.

The Korean War broke out, and talk of totalitarianism increased dramatically, including equating Nazi and Soviet camps on a routine basis. The main danger of war was if the Cold War turned hot; to fuss over some cherrypicked examples of concentration camp literature wasn't going to fucking achieve anything to prevent WWIII. In part because of the perceived Soviet threat, Franco-German rapprochement unfolded from above as much as from below in the 1950s and beyond, due to the willingness of West German elites to bind West Germany into Europe and form economic ties. "Don't mention the war" was being enacted on a regular basis at elite level, while pressure campaigns to reverse some of the consequences of Allied trials were already having a significant effect on the US by the end of the 1940s and during the Korean War - lots of quietly paroled and pardoned war criminals returned home.

The irony of Mensonge d'Ulysse is that one of his main targets, Eugen Kogon, a Catholic intellectual, worked actively for European integration via the Union of European Federalists, and was politically active via founding the Frankfurter Hefte in 1947 - none of which Rassinier evidently knew about. Whatever one thinks of Kogon's book - and I'm not arguing it's immune to criticism, or that Rassinier didn't have the right to criticise it - it's pretty damn clear who was working more successfully in a pacifist direction, especially since the *real* pacifist issues of the 1950s were things like opposing rearmament or excessive armament, and opposing the spread of nuclear weapons.

bhigr said...

> Conspiracy theory has little to do with conspiracy?

You seem to have a poor reading comprehension.

"The designation "conspiracy theory" has little to do with the legal term "conspiracy""

Ridiculous. The legal conspiracy is a normal conspiracy involving a crime. An conspiracy theory is a theory involving a conspiracy. So to say its something completely different is wrong. Logic and clear thinking is truly lacking here.

geniza said...

"So to say its something completely different is wrong."

A vapid word game. It's like saying "'Apple' is a species of tree, 'pine' is a species of tree, and therefore 'pineapple' must be a species of tree."

Oxford Dictionary of English: "conspiracy theory, noun: a belief that some covert but influential organization is responsible for an unexplained event."

Please address directly this definition - the sole one the ODE gives for "conspiracy theory" - with some argument other than 'even the dictionaries get it wrong, because I, bhgir, I alone determine what words *really* mean.'"

Sergey Romanov said...

> Ridiculous. The legal conspiracy is a normal conspiracy involving a crime. An conspiracy theory is a theory involving a conspiracy.

And obviously no one uses the term CT to refer to legal cases involving conspiracies.

> Logic and clear thinking is truly lacking here.

Absolutely correct as far as you're concerned. Oh, and vocabulary usage has all to do with trends and traditions and very little to do with formal logic.

John Paul Leavey said...

A belated thank you to Gilles Karmasyn for the links to pages on Paul Rassinier .Perhaps the admins here could include them on the links page? If someone could translate the articles from French into English that would be great but i appreciate that would be time-consuming.

Thanks to everyone for all the great work here.

bhigr said...

Well , I proved to you that the Holocaust is a conspiracy theory and all you do is play ridiculous word games. You claimthat the legal term conspiracy is completely different from a regular conspiracy. I prove that a legal conspiracy is a conspiracy in the general meaning and you guys freak out. Clear thinking and clear reasoning is obviously lacking here. Is this the best the Holocaust industry has to offer?

bhigr said...

"conspiracy theory, noun: a belief that some covert but influential organization is responsible for an unexplained event."

Sure, that's easy, the Nazi leadership together with thousands of Nazis covertly conspired to kill all the Jews. The event is still unexplained. So far the best explanation is the mind reading of a far flung bureaucracy according to the pope of the Holocaust industry.

bhigr said...

Thus, according to Raul Hilberg, you have to believe in mind reading inorder to believe in the Holocaust. The latest Looney explanation has been offered by Timothy Snyder who thinks that anarchy lead to the Holocaust.Nobody can explain the mistery.

bhigr said...

But then, this is the real definition of a conspiracy theory: The Oxford English Dictionary defines conspiracy theory as "the theory that an event or phenomenon occurs as a result of a conspiracy between interested parties..."

So please be honest and admit that you believe in a conspiracy theory. If you don't admit it, you are not intellectually honest.

Nicholas Terry said...

There's a difference between theory, in the everyday sense of the word, and fact. There's a difference between belief, which can be unfounded, and 'justified true belief', i.e. knowledge.

So no, there's a world of difference between conspiracy theory and conspiracy in the legal sense of the term.

The equivocation between different meanings of the word theory won't save you, either. Standard English usage of conspiracy theory, ditto for theorie du complot and Verschwoerungstheorie in the respective languages, signals that the 'theory' part is meant in the sense of 'it's just a theory, it's unproven', not in the sense of a scientific theory that has been tested and proven.

There's also a world of difference between conspiracy and secret operations of the state. A coup d'etat is the product of a political conspiracy; genocide carried out by a state no matter how covertly or shrouded in 'need to know' is not a conspiracy. Secret diplomacy between states is not a conspiracy. Launching a surprise attack and starting a war is not conspiracy. Historians and social scientists do not generally analyse secret state actions as conspiracies.

The dictionary definition of conspiracy, as much as the legal definition, doesn't really help you here, either. State actions whether carried out in secret or in public are usually understood by the actors involved as lawful, legitimate or justified; the Nazis certainly believed they were acting with full justification in murdering the Jews. A Fuehrer order had the force of law, whether written into the Reichsgesetzblatt or issued by OKW as a secret military order or carried out in secret by the SS. Since the Final Solution wasn't the only thing kept secret by the Nazi regime, it makes even less sense to view the Holocaust, and only the Holocaust, as a 'conspiracy'. It wasn't; it was state policy.

Too loose a usage of the term conspiracy turns half of government into a conspiracy; no doubt an attractive delusion for nutjobs, but not terribly helpful analytically, since the mere act of keeping something secret doesn't make it unlawful, nor are all unlawful state acts kept secret.

bhigr said...

"There's a difference between theory, in the everyday sense of the word, and fact. There's a difference between belief, which can be unfounded, and 'justified true belief', i.e. knowledge.

So no, there's a world of difference between conspiracy theory and conspiracy in the legal sense of the term."

Not at all. Your premise does Not Support your conclusion. A conspiracy theory relates to a conspiracy. Thus, there is no world of difference between the Terms. They are immediately Linked to each other.

Your belief May be justified but your cannot ever know for certain whether IT IS true. Therefore IT remains a belief. That's the Nature of scientific "knowledge".

bhigr said...


"The dictionary definition of conspiracy, as much as the legal definition, doesn't really help you here,..."


So now you are Trying to Change the meaning of the term conspiracy. That's called moving the GoalPost...


You are wrong. Anyone can committ a conspiracy including governments. You are a conspiracy theorist because you beliebte in the Holocaust conspiracy.

bhigr said...

So now Mr Terry, be so honest AS to acknowledge that you believe in a conspiracy theory.

By the way, where IS your solid evidence for the Fuhrer Order? IS your belief in this Order justified?

You appear to be an old school intentionalist. Mainstream Scholars do No longer believe in the existence of the Fuhrer Order. They call themselves Functionalists.

Nicholas Terry said...

The meaning of terms stems from usage and custom, not hairsplitting over dictionary definitions - "conspiracy theory" is *generally* understood to refer to unproven or poorly substantiated hypotheses and speculations regarding a purported conspiracy. The 'theory' part is used in the everyday sense of 'it's just a theory', and contrasts with proven fact. Conspiracy theory has always been used negatively and pejoratively in English; there has never been a time when it was used neutrally. The term is greater than the sum of its parts.

There is an extensive academic literature on conspiracy theories - some of which I cited in my chapter, by the way - which focuses on precisely this category of unproven speculation and wild accusations. Across sociology, cultural studies, political science, psychology and history, the usage is pretty consistent. Only a small number of philosophers engage in hairsplitting - while many other philosophers don't.

Language is social and historical, meaning is derived from usage and context, and not from attempts to hit the reset button by playing word games.

There is, incidentally, another term I am happy to use, which was defined from the outset as referring to precisely the producers and consumers of the same genre of unproven speculative bollocks that mainstream academia and media refers to as 'conspiracy theorists'. This term is 'conspiracist'. The meaning of this term and how it has been used - in academic publications - has been quite consistent. It also avoids the equivocation problem with 'theory'.

However much conspiraloons or conspiracists might hate being labelled, it's clearly useful to have a term that identifies a group of people, and a group of claims, that are conventionally regarded as unproven bollocks. That won't stop arguments over what counts as unproven bollocks, but respecting the fact that there *is* such a category of unproven conspiracy claims would go a long way to avoiding the pointless time-wasting Haarspalterei and word-games that so many conspiracy theorists seem to want to waste their time on.

Nicholas Terry said...

I'm sorry, but you're going to have to give up the denier talking point that 'the Holocaust is a conspiracy theory'.

Firstly, nobody other than deniers regards the Holocaust as anything other than proven. The equivocation which you reject when someone labels *you* a conspiracy theorist also doesn't work; historians don't talk of policies or events as 'theories'.

Secondly, the actual argument between deniers and non-deniers is over the *interpretation* of a commonly accepted secret state policy by the Nazi regime known as the Final Solution of the Jewish Question. With very few exceptions, no denier actually denies that there was a Final Solution or that the Nazis decided to implement it, they argue over what it *meant*.

The repetitious talking-point that the Holocaust is a conspiracy theory thus fails, because deniers would then be advancing their own conspiracy theory that the Final Solution was actually a program of resettlement... somewhere.

The Holocaust is also not identical to the Final Solution; it includes deaths in ghettos and concentration camps that were the result of mass starvation, overwork, harsh conditions and so forth, all of which are considered to be genocidal and which meet the UN Convention on Genocide definition of genocide. Explaining why large numbers died in the Warsaw ghetto or the KZs in 1944-45 doesn't require a conspiracy explanation anyway.

The same might be said for the mass shootings that constitute about 40% (well over 2 million) of the death toll of the Holocaust (using Hilberg's 5.1 million or my own 5.3 million calculation). Some of these shootings occurred as a result of reprisal orders decreeing 100:1 reprisal ratios, which are thoroughly documented referring to secret orders of OKW - these led to all male Jews in Serbia being executed in 1941, for example.

The same can also be said regarding the functioning of the extermination camps. These were certainly secret - but *cover up* is a more descriptive term than *conspiracy* to capture how the operation of the extermination camps was meant to unfold in secret. The Nazis used deception against the victims, and against the Jewish councils and other actors involved in the process (eg the Axis states weren't told officially of the purpose of the camps). Deception is also a more precise term than the generic 'conspiracy'.

'Conspiracy' therefore neither captures the totality of the Holocaust as it is conventionally understood, nor is it very helpful as a generic term for describing how the Nazis used secrecy, cover-up and deception. Which is why historians don't often use it when discussing the Holocaust, or indeed any other secret program of state-implemented mass murder.

Nicholas Terry said...

As for governments and conspiracies: labelling every secret government action a 'conspiracy' inflates the term to meaninglessness.

There are many examples of political conspiracies or conspiracies by *factions* in a government which are conventionally labelled as conspiracies. The 20 July 1944 bomb plot was a conspiracy aimed at assassinating Hitler and overthrowing Nazi rule. As I said before, every coup d'etat is a conspiracy. Rogue factions of intelligence services or other government departments carrying out operations without the knowledge of the authorities given formal oversight over them are involved in conspiracies.

But a secret operation is not a conspiracy; D-Day wasn't a conspiracy; the US raid that killed Osama Bin Laden wasn't a conspiracy. The famous assassination of Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov using a poisoned umbrella also isn't considered a conspiracy - it is regarded as a sanctioned assassination.

Watergate and the Iran-Contra affair are regarded as conspiracies (and not conspiracy theories) because small groups of political operatives or state officials did things without the knowledge of other people, which were also deemed illegal or unsanctioned. If a parliament or representative body is systematically misled, then one might speak of a conspiracy to mislead them, or about a cover-up.

To be considered a state or political conspiracy, generally speaking some part of the ultimate political or sovereign authority must be infringed.

If the action is sanctioned by the state, by the ruler or a parliament, no matter whether that action is sanctioned in secret, then it's not a conspiracy. Otherwise literally everything that intelligence services do would be a 'conspiracy', despite the fact that their actions are not deemed illegal.

The CIA carries out covert actions; the mafia conspires when committing organised crimes; when the CIA collaborates with the mafia, that is a conspiracy. If part of the CIA collaborates with the mafia without anyone else in the US government knowing about it, then that's absolutely a conspiracy; but since the mafia is engaged in illegal acts of organised crimes, *any* collaboration between a government agency like the CIA and an illegal organisation can be considered a conspiracy. By contrast, if the CIA collaborates with the US Army or the British MI6 or the National Security Agency, then cooperation of that kind is in no way a conspiracy.

Nazi policies in the Final Solution and Holocaust weren't conspiracies, any more than policies in antipartisan warfare or policing of occupied territories were conspiracies. How is the arrest of Polish resistance fighters in Warsaw or elsewhere by the Gestapo a 'conspiracy'?

Nicholas Terry said...

bhigr: "By the way, where IS your solid evidence for the Fuhrer Order? IS your belief in this Order justified? You appear to be an old school intentionalist. Mainstream Scholars do No longer believe in the existence of the Fuhrer Order. They call themselves Functionalists."

You're the one stuck in the 1980s asking about a Fuehrer 'order'. Hitler announced his political decision for the destruction of European Jews on December 12, 1941, to a secret meeting of Reichsleiter and Gauleiter in Berlin, as recorded in Goebbels' diary. Himmler referred subsequently to being given an order for the destruction of the Jews by Hitler on several occasions (eg the Sonthofen speech in 1944). These written documentary sources are sufficient to prove that Hitler made a decision - he could of course have given it more privately prior to 12 December 1941, eg to Himmler, but the announcement to the senior political leadership on that date is clear-cut. Subsequent retrospective written documentary references by Himmler in speeches and correspondence to a tasking by the Fuehrer or an order by the Fuehrer confirm this.

The "order" was an oral decision that was likely never written down as a decree signed by Adolf Hitler. This fits with his frequent practice of getting key subordinates like Keitel, head of OKW, to sign orders that began 'the Fuehrer has ordered'. Dieter Wisliceny claimed after the war that Eichmann showed him a Himmler order to Heydrich signed in April 1942 regarding the extermination of the Jews. This fits with a sequence of making a decision (12 December 1941) and involving the bureaucracy in finessing the details of that decision (20 January 1942, the Wannsee conference) then implementing it systematically in the spring/summer of 1942. It is also matched by an order from Heydrich's subordinate Heinrich Mueller, head of the Gestapo, ordering the execution of Jews other than of working age, from May 1942, which survives as a document.

A general order was not actually needed regionally, the 'order' concerned extending existing practices of mass murder from regions where local authorities had had powers of life and death devolved to them some time previously - as in the occupied Soviet Union and the Warthegau, for example - to the treatment of Reich Jews in particular. 100s of 1000s of Jews were murdered regionally in Eastern Europe before Hitler decided to destroy the Jews of Europe as a whole. Pretty much every historian agrees that there was for a time in the decision-making process a distinction between the fate of Soviet and Polish Jews, and the Jews of the rest of Europe.

'Intentionalism' and 'functionalism' are dated 1980s terms which do not categorise or explain historiography of at least the past 20 years - certainly ever since Christian Gerlach's essay on the Wannsee conference which is over 20 years old, the terms are meaningless.

bhigr said...

"I'm sorry, but you're going to have to give up the denier talking point that 'the Holocaust is a conspiracy theory'. "
I think you are in a State of denial. Belief in the Holocaust conspiracy is belief in a conspiracy theory.

"As for governments and conspiracies: labelling every secret government action a 'conspiracy' inflates the term to meaninglessness. "

Not at all. A governments conspiracy is a conspiracy. The term is Not meaningless since countless governments actions are Not conspiracies.

You are simply Shifting the GoalPost, because you want to deny the Truth.

Your opinuon about supposed oral Hitler Orders IS rejected by mainstream Historians. The propose Date for this Order for killing all the jews Is after the commencment of the Holocaust. That's doesnt make sense. The meaning of the Wannsee Protokoll is highly controversial among Historians of the Holocaust. The Dispute between intentionalism and Funktionalismus is far from over, which is proven by your own words. Unfortunately, you are Not discussing the topic honestly.

bhigr said...

Oh by the way Not every Secret governments Action is a conspiracy. Let me remind you of the Definition of a conspiracy.
"In criminal law, a conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime at some time in the future."

You do Not deny that's the Holocaust was a crime, do you?

Nicholas Terry said...

bhigr: "Your opinuon about supposed oral Hitler Orders IS rejected by mainstream Historians."

No, it's not, you evidently haven't read enough mainstream historians to know what they say. Everyone agrees that no written order survives; most think such an order was conveyed orally and not set down in writing with Hitler's signature attached.

"The propose Date for this Order for killing all the jews Is after the commencment of the Holocaust."

Moron, there is a distinction between killing some Jews in certain regions and deciding to destroy Jews across the whole of Europe.

The era of the Holocaust, which I would describe as the persecution and mass murder of European Jews by Nazi and Axis states as well as collaborators, began in 1933. The Holocaust encompasses non-Nazi actions (eg by Romania and Croatia); it predates and postdates the Final Solution.

"That's doesnt make sense. The meaning of the Wannsee Protokoll is highly controversial among Historians of the Holocaust. The Dispute between intentionalism and Funktionalismus is far from over, which is proven by your own words. Unfortunately, you are Not discussing the topic honestly."

You have no idea what you are talking about. Virtually none of the historians participating in debates over Nazi decision-making and the origins of the Final Solution since the mid-1990s (Browning, Gerlach, Longerich, Jersak, etc) would call themselves either intentionalists or functionalists, nor are they categorised by other historians as intentionalists or functionalists. Browning *used* to position himself in relation to this division, but that is because he participated in the early 1980s debates. He doesn't seem to classify himself as either term these days at all.

The intentionalism-functionalism debate was so passe by the start of this century that historians were looking back on it as somethign that happened 20 years ago and had disappeared:

Richard Bessel, 'Functionalists vs. Intentionalists: The Debate Twenty Years on or Whatever Happened to Functionalism and Intentionalism?', German Studies Review, Vol. 26, No. 1 (Feb., 2003), pp. 15-20

Nicholas Terry said...

bhigr: "Not at all. A governments conspiracy is a conspiracy. The term is Not meaningless since countless governments actions are Not conspiracies. You are simply Shifting the GoalPost, because you want to deny the Truth."

The shifting of the goalposts is on your side, not mine.

The Nazis carried out a variety of murderous actions against non-Jews as well as Jews especially during WWII which were ordered by what *they* perceived as legitimate state authorities, up to and including Hitler.

If your yardstick for a conspiracy is simply illegality by *our* standards today, then every breach of the laws of war, every war crime, every act of violence by a dictatorial regime becomes a 'conspiracy', regardless of whether it was authorised or unauthorised by the state or its agencies (the military, police, intelligence services).

The term conspiracy then becomes analytically useless, as it would encompass My Lai, the Armenian genocide, murders of resistance fighters in WWII Europe and many other examples that aren't generally called conspiracies but *are* called war crimes, atrocities, acts of genocide, etc - whereas the Stauffenberg plot and the assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem ARE considered conspiracies because they involved attempts to overthrow the head of state.

Iran-Contra is considered a conspiracy because the actions of Col North were not fully authorised, whereas many other covert actions by the US are not considered conspiracies, because they were authorised and ordered by legitimate authorities.

Nicholas Terry said...

bhigr: "You do Not deny that's the Holocaust was a crime, do you?"

Not by contemporary Nazi standards of morality and legality. The perpetrators perceived themselves as carrying out the secret, legitimate orders of the state. In WWII, many other uniformed men and women carried out secret orders of the state, some of which might be considered illegal by present-day understandings of international law and the laws of war.



Sergey Romanov said...

> I proved to you that the Holocaust is a conspiracy theory

Actually you proved no such thing. Obviously, the Holocaust does not fall under "conspiracy theory" in any way, shape or form.

> I prove that a legal conspiracy is a conspiracy in the general meaning and you guys freak out

"Conspiracy theory" does not suddenly apply to any conspiracy under the sky, and certainly not to the legal conspiracies.

> Clear thinking and clear reasoning is obviously lacking here.

On your part, absolutely.

> Is this the best the Holocaust industry has to offer?

There is no such thing.

> Sure, that's easy, the Nazi leadership together with thousands of Nazis covertly conspired to kill all the Jews. The event is still unexplained.

Since the Nazi leadership was not covert and the event is explained by the documented actions of the Nazi leadership, you fail again.

> Thus, according to Raul Hilberg, you have to believe in mind reading inorder to believe in the Holocaust.

Obviously not.

> The Oxford English Dictionary defines conspiracy theory

"the theory that an event or phenomenon occurs as a result of a conspiracy between interested parties; spec. a belief that some covert but influential agency (typically political in motivation and oppressive in intent) is responsible for an unexplained event"

Obviously the Holocaust does not fall under this definition. Thank you for proving my case.

> So please be honest and admit that you believe in a conspiracy theory.

We don't. But you obviously believe in tens of thousands of conspiracy theories by your own definition.

Do you admit it?

If you don't admit it, you are not intellectually honest.

bhigr said...

""The propose Date for this Order for killing all the jews Is after the commencment of the Holocaust."

Moron, there is a distinction between killing some Jews in certain regions and deciding to destroy Jews across the whole of Europe."

Ad hominem attacks like moron are unscientific and usually a sign of desparation. So, then let me see, what this entails. The killing of jews in 1941 was not part of the holocaust! It was not part of the attempt to kill all the jews, because this decision had not been reached. Let me quote you:

"Dieter Wisliceny claimed after the war that Eichmann showed him a Himmler order to Heydrich signed in April 1942 regarding the extermination of the Jews. This fits with a sequence of making a decision (12 December 1941) and involving the bureaucracy in finessing the details of that decision (20 January 1942, the Wannsee conference) then implementing it systematically in the spring/summer of 1942."

That's an intentionalist interpretation of the holocaust. This would mean that the holocaust was implemented intentionally following an oral Hitler decision and thus began in the April of 1942. The prior killings of jews was not part of a holocaust.

Please be aware that this opinion represents a revision of the mainstream holocaust narrative which holds that the holocaust began in 1941 not 1942! That's a fringe position in the field.

bhigr said...

"The shifting of the goalposts is on your side, not mine. "

I adhere to the dictionary definition of the term whereas you try to invent alternative definitions. Thus, it is clear who is shifting goalposts here.

But, then you are an expert in shifting goalposts. Here is another attempt in this art:

"The era of the Holocaust, which I would describe as the persecution and mass murder of European Jews by Nazi and Axis states as well as collaborators, began in 1933. The Holocaust encompasses non-Nazi actions (eg by Romania and Croatia); it predates and postdates the Final Solution."

Here you are redefining the term holocaust in order for it to fit your needs.

Your posts are riddled with logical absurdities and mistakes. It is apparent that finding the truth is not your top priority. You are willing to use ad hominem attacks and logical fallacies in order to seemingly win an argument. However, you lose the argument and credibility by doing so.

Nicholas Terry said...

So now let's add 'ad hominem' to the list of concepts you don't understand. An ad hominem argument is fallacious because it dismisses the argument on the basis of who the opponent is. Adding an insult to a simultaneously made argument doesn't do that.

'You are wrong because you are a Jew' is ad hominem, ditto 'You are wrong because you are a neo-Nazi'. You are wrong, here is why, and by the way you're a moron, isn't ad hominem. It's *insulting*, it's name-calling, yes, but it is not an informal logical fallacy and not "ad hominem".

And no, it's not a sign of "desperation" if someone insults you when you have clearly not understood a topic, it's a sign of *exasperation*.

Nicholas Terry said...

And now back to pointing out bhigr's tendency to equivocate and play word-games.

"The killing of jews in 1941 was not part of the holocaust! It was not part of the attempt to kill all the jews, because this decision had not been reached."

Moron, there is a distinction between killing some Jews in certain regions and deciding to destroy Jews across the whole of Europe.

*You* are equivocating between the "killing of Jews" and "kill all the Jews".

It's generally well-understood by historians that the escalation to mass murder of Jews in 1941 in the occupied Soviet Union preceded the decision to destroy Jews across Europe. Both are considered part of the Holocaust.

The decision to extend destruction across Europe meant the decision to enact a lethal 'Final Solution of the Jewish Question' in Europe. Thus the use of the term Endloesung in the Wannsee protocol, Korherr report and other sources from 1942 onwards.

Retrospectively, some Nazis used the term Final Solution to apply to the killings of Jews in the USSR in 1941, which is why the Korherr report has statistics relating to RSHA information on the USSR that correlate with the Einsatzgruppen bodycount claims. But in the spring and summer of 1941, the term Endloesung was only being used in relation to pan-European planning; the escalation to extermination in the USSR wasn't considered at that point part of the Final Solution. (And the Nazis weren't using the term Holocaust, of course).

"That's an intentionalist interpretation of the holocaust."

Historians don't use the terms intentionalism-functionalism any more. The interpretation I advanced, regarding a final confirmation in April-May 1942, is one made by Peter Longerich, who is not considered an 'intentionalist' because by the time Longerich began writing extensively on this subject in 1998, twenty years ago, the term intentionalist was considered entirely unhelpful.

If you mean that acknowledging Hitler's responsibility is in some form 'intentionalist', then essentially everyone in the field other than Martin Broszat and Hans Mommsen, both now dead, are 'intentionalists', and a strict 'functionalist' interpretation was always only a minority position. It's more helpful to confine these terms to discuss 1980s interpretations and debates, since historians no longer use these terms.

"This would mean that the holocaust was implemented intentionally following an oral Hitler decision and thus began in the April of 1942. The prior killings of jews was not part of a holocaust."

If you change 'Holocaust' to 'Final Solution' then you might almost have a point. But you cannot continue to equivocate between the two terms.

"Please be aware that this opinion represents a revision of the mainstream holocaust narrative which holds that the holocaust began in 1941 not 1942! That's a fringe position in the field."

On the contrary, my point regarding a final confirmation of extermination in spring 1942 is entirely mainstream, as it's the position taken by Peter Longerich in his book 'Holocaust'. Which you've evidently not read, otherwise you wouldn't be saying such stupid things.

bhigr said...

Sorry Terry, but I chose not to take you seriously any longer. Instead of presenting reasonable arguments, you chose to insult people and commit serious logical mistakes. That's unscientific. I think that you are not advancing your cause in this manner. On the contrary, people reading this exchange will figure out very fast who you are.

Nicholas Terry said...

It's cute how you've retreated entirely from making substantive arguments in this exchange. You've yet to refute a single point made by myself or Sergey, and this is pretty obvious to anyone else reading this discussion.

Your equivocation and word-game-playing with 'conspiracy theory' as well as 'Holocaust' are both amply proven. You evidently understand neither topic, nor how they are used in English, nor the relevant historiographies or social science literatures.

That's why, after many posts spent patiently explaining to you how you have misunderstood these things, eventually you get called a moron.

bhigr said...

Word games were played by you. I quoted dictionaries for reference, namely for the term "conspiracy theory". You chose to change the meaning of the term several times. Then, you did the same logical fallacy with the term "holocaust".

All you've got are ad hominem attacks and word games for lack of substantive arguments. I pity you.

Nicholas Terry said...

I wrote thousands of words before you stopped responding to my substantive arguments and started earning well-deserved insults.

Let's sum up:
1) the term 'conspiracy theory' is conventionally understood in English to refer to an *unwarranted*, unsubstantiated claim of a conspiracy.
2) The theory in the term 'conspiracy theory' is used colloquially to mean hypothesis, and is not equivalent to scientific theory.
3) a proven conspiracy is a conspiracy not a 'conspiracy theory'. There is no 'conspiracy theory' of the 20 July 1944 bomb plot, which was a political conspiracy.
4) social scientists and historians don't use the term 'theory' to describe a narrative sequence of known events; they label these as wars, surprise attacks, plots, coups, assassinations, genocides etc. Only a small number of these events, e.g. the 20 July 1944 bomb plot, are also described as conspiracies.
5) The Holocaust is conventionally used to refer to the era of Nazi *and* Axis persecution and murder of Jews; it is not used only to refer to the extermination phase, thus historians speak of ghettos "during the Holocaust" meaning from when they were established. The Holocaust involved multiple nation-states and social movements persecuting and murdering Jews at various times and places, often spontaneously (eg pogroms such as Iasi in 1941) or openly (starving Jews in ghettos, on death marches in 1945, etc). Parallel but independent actions do not amount to a conspiracy.
6) Nazi extermination policies crystallised into the Final Solution, which was ordered secretly by Hitler and carried out from 1942 to the end of October 1944 (when the gas chambers at Birkenau ceased operating), largely by the SS. Other agencies did not have 'need to know' so were not always told of the ultimate fate of deported Jews.
7) The OED definition of conspiracy theory:
"the theory that an event or phenomenon occurs as a result of a conspiracy between interested parties; spec. a belief that some covert but influential agency (typically political in motivation and oppressive in intent) is responsible for an unexplained event"
shows that the Final Solution doesn't qualify as a conspiracy for several reasons:
a) firstly, the agency responsible wasn't "covert", but was fully known: the SS. Secrecy is a different issue to conspiracy.
b) secondly, the event is not unexplained - it's quite clear that the Nazis exterminated the Jews. A conspiracy theory of the Final Solution would seek to blame someone else such as the USSR, much as conspiracy theories of Katyn blame the Nazis rather than the now-admitted perpetrators, the Soviet NKVD.

and finally, there are other definitions of conspiracy emphasising illegality. However:
c) the SS and Nazi regime did not regard the murder of Jews as criminal or illegal but necesssary for reasons of state and legitimate because it was Hitler's wish that the extermination be carried out.

8) secret state actions are not normally labelled as conspiracies, to distinguish them from political plots (such as the 20 July 1944 plot) or cases of rogue operations (eg Iran-Contra). Merely acting in secret at the behest of legitimate authorities isn't a 'conspiracy', otherwise the term is inflated beyond all usefulness.
9) there are in any case doubts about whether the Nazis really acted in secret, since they proclaimed their intentions to destroy and extirpate Jews repeatedly in the crucial years of the war, and deportations could not be kept secret at all. Extermination camps were subjected to a veil of secrecy, a cover-up and were shielded behind 'need to know' for most Nazi and all Axis officials, but this does not make them a 'conspiracy'.

Nicholas Terry said...

To sum up more succinctly

1) 'conspiracy theory' is not used to describe a proven conspiracy but an unproven allegation of conspiracy.
2) the Holocaust had enough public elements that it cannot be considered a secret much less a conspiracy, as a whole.
3) the secret component of the Holocaust, i.e. the Final Solution and the extermination camps, don't fit the customary usage of conspiracy, for multiple reasons.
4) if the secrecy of the Final Solution/extermination camps makes them a conspiracy in the eyes of a commentator, then 10s of 1000s of other state actions are likewise 'conspiracies', certainly also including military operations*
5) therefore the assertion 'the Holocaust is a conspiracy theory' is meaningless at best and basically wrong.

*note that a big chunk of the Final Solution/extermination camps was carried out by a military branch of service, the Waffen-SS, to which the KZ guards and staffs belonged.

bhigr said...

1. conspiracy theory: a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators

Source:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conspiracy%20theory

A standard dictionary of the English Language.

Thus, you are shifting the goal post. Q.E.D


bhigr said...

"5) The Holocaust is conventionally used to refer to the era of Nazi *and* Axis persecution and murder of Jews; it is not used only to refer to the extermination phase, "

Holocaust

"The Holocaust, also referred to as the Shoah,[b] was a genocide during World War II in which Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany, aided by its collaborators, systematically murdered some six million European Jews, around two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe, between 1941 and 1945."

genocide:

"Genocide is intentional action to destroy a people (usually defined as an ethnic, national, racial, or religious group) in whole or in part..."

Source: Wikipedia.

Again, you are shifting the goal post. The holocaust is defined as a genocide.

This is boring because it is so easy!

Nicholas Terry said...

USHMM's introduction to the Holocaust
https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005143
"The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators"

As I said, 'persecution and murder'.

Yad Vashem Holocaust Resource Center
http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/holocaust/resource_center/the_holocaust.asp
"The Holocaust, as presented in this resource center, is defined as the sum total of all anti-Jewish actions carried out by the Nazi regime between 1933 and 1945"

JewishGen, A Timeline of the Holocaust (1939-1945)
https://www.jewishgen.org/forgottencamps/general/timeeng.html

a library guide
http://libguides.merrimack.edu/CourageToRemember/HolocaustQs
1. When speaking about the "Holocaust," what time period are we referring to?
Answer: The "Holocaust" refers to the period from January 30, 1933, when Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, to May 8, 1945 (V-E Day), the end of the war in Europe.

Wiki
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust#Terminology_and_definition
In Teaching the Holocaust (2015), Michael Gray offers three definitions.
The first refers to the persecution and murder of Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945; this definition views the events of Kristallnacht in Germany in 1938 as an early phase of the Holocaust.
The second focuses on the systematic mass murder of Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators between 1941 and 1945; this acknowledges the shift in German policy in 1941 toward the extermination of the Jewish people.
The third and broadest definition embraces the persecution and murder of several groups by the Nazis and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945; this includes all the Nazis' victims, but it fails, Gray writes, to acknowledge that only the Jewish people were singled out for annihilation.[2]

It should be entirely clear that in speaking of the Holocaust as encompassing the persecution and murder of Jews from 1933 to 1945, I am not in the least bit alone or unusual, since USHMM, Yad Vashem and other leading organisations or historians also use such a definition.

Peter Longerich, Holocaust (2010), covers 1933 to 1945, as does Leni Yahil, Holocaust (1990). So did Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of European Jews (1961/1985/2003).

Nicholas Terry said...

We use "the Holocaust" as a shorthand and because it's so well known, but analytically it is not very meaningful, and I don't encourage its use when teaching the subject, since it is too broad to be precise, and because - as we see here - there are too many potential confusions over what is meant.

I use 'the Holocaust' as a shorthand/synonym for 'the persecution and murder of European Jews from 1933-1945'. This phrase acknowledges that there were phases of persecution and murder that preceded what is conventionally recognised as the genocide of European Jews.

As for when that genocide began, from the perspective of the UN Convention of Genocide definition of genocide, the start date is the invasion of Poland in September 1939. The UN definition of genocide is not restricted to extermination, as the means by which genocide can be brought about are broader than just direct killing, and the definition also stresses that the destruction of target groups in a genocide can be 'in whole or in part'.

Ghetto deaths and ordinary deaths in concentration camps, or on death marches, are considered part of the genocide of European Jews, and the statistics are included in every calculation of the Jewish death toll "during the Holocaust", as can be seen in especially Raul Hilberg's work.

The Nazis began exterminating Jews in the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941; and extended extermination outside of the occupied USSR to other parts of Eastern Europe and to groups of Jews deported to Eastern Europe between autumn 1941 (when the first gassings of entire communities in western Poland took place, in Konin at the Warthegau) and July 1942 (when selections on arrival became systematised at Auschwitz, at the same time as west European Jews began to be deported there).

The extermination of European Jews therefore took place between mid-1941 and the end of October 1944, when gassings at Birkenau ceased. Mass killings and mass deaths continued until May 1945, but it's more accurate to refer to the genocide of European Jews taking place from September 1939 to May 1945.

Since the Holocaust is a proper name (like the Time of Troubles in Russian history), then if one wishes to argue analytically - and to speak of logic in any way - one should use other concepts to capture exactly what is being discussed, thus:

persecution and murder of European Jews (1933-1945)
genocide of European Jews (1939-1945)
extermination of European Jews (1941-1944)
Final Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe (1942-1944)

Each term encompasses the ones below it. Soviet Jews killed in autumn 1941 when their communities were wiped out entirely were absolutely exterminated, but the Nazis did not have to consider them part of the Final Solution to have exterminated them.

Besides which, the term extermination is also used to describe the killing of psychiatric patients in the euthanasia program, T4. The Nazis exterminated target groups other than Jews, and one (the Roma) were subjected to genocide; they murdered even more extensively.

Sergey Romanov said...

Bhigr, do those who accept the Soviet responsibility for the Katyn massacre believe in a conspiracy theory? I would like a yes or no answer. Thank you.

Okiku Saji said...

I would argue that Holocaust denial has not gone away - it has spawned in a new form on the 4chan board /pol/. And across the 4chan knockoff 8chan. Whereas the rest of 4chan has a distinctly anarchist/centrist feel to it (even going so far as to harass white supremacist Hal Turner), /pol/ is a veritable cesspool. Uncited infographics are peddled as evidence debunking the Holocaust, and any dissent results in many people calling you a Jew. The rest of 4chan has opted to ignore /pol/ in the belief that if you don't give idiots attention, they will go away. To some extent, it works. Meanwhile, /pol/ has conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory, such as nonsense about "white genocide" conducted by Jewish masterminds via promoting "miscegenation, feminism, homosexuality, mass immigration, and pornography," the German Revolution having been led by only Jewish Communists, blood libel being an actual ritual, the Danzig massacre having actually occurred, and that the Jews control the United States via the Federal Reserve and various politicians in Congress holding "dual citizenship" and the Jews ostensibly running the media.

Holocaust denial, and anti-Semitism as a whole, has not faded away. It has transformed. /pol/. Smoloko News. The Right Stuff. Various websites appealing to a young audience. A new generation is being brainwashed into anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.

If you want to combat deniers as they are now, you could go on /pol/. But It wouldn't recommend it. Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, and many other horrors can be found there. But if you're brave enough to dive in like I have, you should ensure you don't let them get to you with insults.

Nicholas Terry said...

Nobody is arguing that Holocaust denial has 'gone away'. "Revisionism" in its classic 1980s/1990s form, however, is in decline, because there are very few active revisionists producing new content. One of the original aims of revisionism was to make denial respectabl, and this has completely failed.

Thus, denial has shifted to less respectable venues like /pol/, YouTube comments threads and Twitter, the catch being as you noted that it is just one of many beliefs in a conspiracy-minded, antisemitic, racist worldview.

There is a growing disconnect in any case betweeen the supposed revisionist leaders and the activists or leaders in other scenes (race realism, alt right, white nationalism). Most of the latter - Kevin Macdonald, Richard Spencer, and so on - cannot be bothered to waste their time on Holocaust denial. Some years ago, Matt Parrott, who was until recently quite active as a white nationalist, called Holocaust denial 'strategic buffoonery'. And these are people who are unabashed antisemites.

As for combating such deniers, Sergey Romanov has been distilling down arguments against the most common memes and claims seen on Twitter and other platforms.
http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/rebutting-twitter-denial-most-popular.html