It can hardly have escaped the attention of most readers of this blog that the Aktion Reinhard camps of Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka have attracted more and more attention from revisionism this decade.
In 2003 and 2004, Carlo Mattogno published two studies of Belzec and Treblinka, the latter co-authored with Jürgen Graf, and this blog has had plenty to say about both of these books. Indeed, Roberto Mühlenkamp's critique of Mattogno's Belzec book, written in 2006, has finally attracted a response, which Roberto is rebutting, and Mattogno is now apparently counter-rebutting as well. Also in 2006, Holocaust Controversies began criticising the 'One Third of the Holocaust' video put together by 'denierbud'. Since then, we've seen discussion of the Sobibor Archaeological Project and many other Aktion Reinhard camp-related posts here, as well as new revisionist authors writing essays on themes relating to these camps elsewhere.
Back in 2004, the RODOH forum hosted a formal debate on Auschwitz, between a Negationist Team headed by the late Robert Countess, and a Veritas Team composed of many veteran anti-deniers, including our own Roberto Mühlenkamp and Sergey Romanov. In 2006, the Phora hosted an abortive debate on Treblinka, which never quite got past the opening statements. Since these debates, there have been repeated suggestions to stage a new formal debate, with the Aktion Reinhard camps as the obvious next candidate.
But to no avail. Why that might be so, we'll leave for our readers to speculate in the comments. Note that these suggestions were for a formal debate, not the usual day-in, day-out forum threads that make up most of what passes for 'debate' on the internet these days. As revealing as such discussions can be, they rarely lend themselves to the set-piece clash of ideas that many people profess to want to see happen. Contrary to the fond delusions of many internet trolls, an issue cannot be settled in the nether reaches of blog comments or by quickfire discussion on a forum thread capped off with hollow declarations of victory. It requires time and thought to present the relevant arguments, it requires effort and research to back up those arguments with the appropriate evidence, and most of all it requires some structure and coherence.
A few weeks ago, I threw down the gauntlet to the revisionists at RODOH and challenged them to a formal debate. Rather than persist with 600-post threads on the skin discolouration of CO gassing victims, it seemed a better idea to argue some of the issues in a more structured format. And frankly, perhaps a little bit more interesting.
After much discussion in public and private, we can now announce that RODOH will host a formal debate on the Aktion Reinhard camps this autumn. Our opponents have declared themselves quorate, and solicited the agreement of a number of revisionists, some from RODOH and some from elsewhere, to take on a new Veritas team of non-revisionists.
At this stage, we are in the process of discussing debate rules, the precise proposition to be debated, and thrashing out our arguments in private. The debate itself will likely begin some time in October, to allow proper time for preparation. We would like to encourage readers of this blog to visit RODOH and take part in the public part of the groundrules discussion. If anyone wishes to assist either side, then they are more than welcome to contact the team organisers by registering at RODOH and sending a private message. For the Veritas Team, contact Kent Ford, although be aware we have quite a lot of help already drafted. For the revisionist side, contact Wahrheitseeker.
None of this will interfere with regular HC blog service from Roberto or Jon, who intend to complete their ongoing critiques and blog series. The purpose of the formal debate, in our eyes, is to sum up the arguments. It is surely no secret that we think that revisionist arguments on the Aktion Reinhard camps, as with other aspects of the Holocaust, are incoherent and illogical, if not often ignorant and ill-researched. They of course think otherwise, and that their arguments are right. Fine: so we have challenged them to prove this, and they have accepted the challenge. Stay tuned through the autumn to see how that turned out for them.