Sunday, May 03, 2009

In my mail... 

I received a review copy of Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It? by Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman. It looks interesting and is very well blurbed, including this bit from Jared Diamond, author of the fascinating Guns, Germs & Steel : The Fates of Human Societies:

You won't be able to stop reading this great, gripping story.

What more do you need?

If I get into Denying History (I have a long pipeline) I will report back.


By Blogger John, at Sun May 03, 01:03:00 PM:

A great, gripping story doesn't always, and actually rarely makes something the truth.

No need to call it 'denying history' unless 1. one was there, or 2. one has researched to only small shreds of doubt.

What do you think?  

By Blogger Aegon01, at Sun May 03, 01:10:00 PM:

I'm just commenting here to say that the ads are endorsing the Employee Free Choice Act.  

By Blogger Neil Sinhababu, at Sun May 03, 02:11:00 PM:

TT, I knew there was some reason I liked this blog...

Seriously, Guns, Germs, and Steel is one of my favorite books.  

By Blogger Brian, at Sun May 03, 03:14:00 PM:

Good documentary on a Holocaust denier who's more foolish and sad than evil:


By Blogger Brian, at Sun May 03, 03:32:00 PM:

Skimmed by John's comment till just now. John, do you not consider Holocaust denial a false history?  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Mon May 04, 01:30:00 AM:

Sanzone, it has been researched to *zero* doubt. It is not even a matter of "history". There was voluminous evidence of it from the Nazis' own captured documents. If you doubt it, there is no doubt that your IQ doesn't break out of single digits.

"What do you think?"

I think you're a weasel too gutless to tell us what *you* think.  

By Blogger John, at Mon May 04, 02:07:00 AM:

Sorry I phrased it in such a way to be pounced on, though I kind of guessed that might happen.

My knowledge on the subject leads me to believe that quite clearly there is motivation and evidence that Germany under Hitler imprisoned vast amounts of political enemies and especially Jewish people.

However, I haven't come across anything that would lead me to believe that prior to 1943 there was much serious anticipation or planning for a so-called "Holocaust" and that it all occurred by a small group of extremely violent and extremely 'loyal' pseudo-military force, which managed to kill in the several millions of citizens.

My only concern is that (1) many people jump to the conclusion that it was some sort of pan-German sentiment, and that everyone 'knew about it, but did nothing,' or (2) that Hitler and the top Nazi officers planned it all along as part of a strategy for world domination. (By 'it' I mean to mass extermination of Jews).

My only reason that this is a concern, is becuase of people like commenter Gary Rosen, who seem to be psychopathically loyal to the truth of the Holocaust in a way unrivaled by any other historical phenomenon.

In a word yes, I "believe" that several very high officials in the Germany system during WWII planned later on in the war, and executed, the truly murder of millions on top of the tens of millions already destroyed by the war itself. And, I don't feel I should have to qualify myself.

Again, if we were discussing, say, the Armenian genocide, I think I would have much more room to ask people to further qualify their points, even though an entire body of people, many in diaspora similar to the Jews, have a deep-seeded concept and cultural history of what they consider a hugely tragic and murderous event.  

By Anonymous tyree, at Mon May 04, 09:11:00 AM:

John said,
"(1) many people jump to the conclusion that it was some sort of pan-German sentiment, and that everyone 'knew about it, but did nothing,' or (2) that Hitler and the top Nazi officers planned it all along as part of a strategy for world domination."

If those are your "only concerns" then why call it a "so-called Holocaust"?

There is zero doubt that the Holocaust occurred and no reasonable explanation as to why some people deny it. The liberal "War on Facts" is going to have far reaching and deep social repercussions.

Whats the line from Simon and Garfunkle's "The Boxer"?
...still a man believes what he wants to believe and disregards the rest.  

By Blogger Brian, at Mon May 04, 11:56:00 AM:

Well, that's interesting. John's not a garden-variety Holocaust denier, and more of a "just a few bad apples did it all" type. I'm not sure what that achieves for him though - maybe the idea that Nazis were just typical dictators, and the Holocaust was just a tragic anomaly that doesn't represent something deeply sick about German society at that time.

Of course any serious reading of history suggests otherwise, especially regarding the level of responsibility somehow stopping below Adolf.  

By Blogger John, at Mon May 04, 02:39:00 PM:

I wouldn't go so far as to say that many Germans -wouldn't- turn a blind eye and that there was something seriously sick about German society at the time, that's fairly obvious. However, as one could see from serious reading, early on, the SS under Himmler and Heydrich was a serious departure from what most high-ranking Nazi officials had planned for Germany, and was not very well respected by the regular army; look at the early conflicts with the SA and the later hatred most officers began to feel toward Hitler and Himmler.

To look at it so broadly just seems to prove my point that nobody really cares about factual evidence beside merely repeating that there is 100% factual evidence to prove that Nazi Germany killed millions of Jewish people and planned on it since they took power, and somehow if one wore a swastika at the time, then one was responsible? I daresay vast amounts of soldiers, officers, and even high ranking officials, had very little to do with this Holocaust.

Do I need to list more examples of what I could "question" or "deny," and not get this 'no way, there is 0% chance of you being correct' to make my point clear? Soviet Union under Stalin killing perhaps 4x as many as the Holocaust, Rape of Nanking/Japanese occupation of China, Myanmar, Vietnam, Armenia, Yugoslavia, Rwanda (maybe not so much, but still), Dem. Rep. of Congo, Nicaragua...
These are only from the twentieth century, and the list would go on even further. The point is, I could dispute the validity of the textbook story/sentiment of each of these, or make this wild claim that somehow an entire nation or entire government wasn't responsible for mass killings, and we wouldn't see this 100% fanatical devotion to "indisputable fact" that we see with the Holocaust.

If one wanted to discuss the deep sickness of Germany under Hitler, that's something different.

Now, commenters, hear me out, I am only trying to prove the point that things like the Socratic method, logic, reasoning, and learning processes are often ignored when discussing the Holocaust for whatever reason. This isn't because I don't "believe" it, and I'm not a "Holocaust denier," a ridiculous term if I ever heard one. If you haven't yet come to realize that the vast body of 'facts' passed down from history are quite questionable and worthy of debate and intense research if one is to find the truth, then they could really tell you anything, couldn't they?

Surely every little Johnny and little Jane who goes to school isn't so adept as to arrive at a 100% factual conclusion on this topic alone, and carry that into their adulthood or bloghood, so that everyone who says "you may be wrong" or "wait before you judge everyone all at once" is 'obviously' just a Holocuast denier who doesn't believe a common fact.

So, what about my argument? What if I said that the Turkish people shouldn't be held responsible for the Armenian genocide? Or that it wasn't part of their greater plan for regional domination/living space? Or that the numbers were a little too conclusive/fuzzy?

A good deal of Armenians would certainly say the opposite to be true. Would you, with the certainty you argue for the Holocaust?

P.S. Brian, enough with the labels, it doesn't accomplish anything. I'm not a 'type' who regurgitates what my idols say.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Tue May 05, 03:14:00 AM:

Wannsee Conference. Case closed, Sanzone. Yes, I'm addicted to the truth, too bad for you. I would also suggest you read what Eisenhower said at the end of the war, but you're the one who is not interested in learning the facts.  

By Blogger John, at Tue May 05, 01:59:00 PM:

I'm sorry, but from a very basic logical perpsective, a conference in which a few people plan something, does not mean anything.
Eisenhower saw post-soviet, post-bombed camps in 1945. I don't see what that means either. You're leaving out the crucial period here, the 1942-1945 when everything actually occurred.
Before one makes such very firm, absolute conclusions, one ought to be more objective and precise.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Wed May 06, 03:02:00 AM:

You're the one denying what happened from 1942-45, sonny. The Nazis deliberately planned to eradicate the Jews of Europe, and succeeded to the extent of killing half of them. There's overwhelming evidence of this but you don't want the facts to get in the way of your story, which stripped of the rhetoric is just a lot of misinformed speculative bushwah.

By the way you're already contradicting yourself. Before you said nothing "prior to 1943", now it's 1942. I'm sure you'll claim "typo", I'm waiting for it.  

By Blogger John, at Wed May 06, 02:55:00 PM:

I still don't see where you're getting that I'm "denying" anything. It seems like an easy word to throw around at anyone who may either have questions, or like me, see gaping holes in the academic process and an unwillingness by advocates of this belief to be Socratic even in the face of evidence.
OK, "The Nazis deliberately planned"...the closest to this you can come is Heydrich in his conference deciding to create labor camps where prisoners would eventually work themselves to death. But, as you know of course, he was killed shortly after and never carried out much of anything with regard to the prison camps.
I am not misinformed, and saying 1943, which is when I recalled by the top of my head that Heydrich held his conference, does not make me misinformed.
My question to you is this: why this, why the Holocaust, the mass murdering of Jews which is so off-limits and so 'firmly' believed in to exactitude of numbers and methods?  

By Blogger John, at Wed May 06, 02:56:00 PM:

Addendum: And mostly everything else in history is able to be debated and re-studied, even those which are both tragic and previously firmly believed to exactitude as well?  

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