What the Holocaust Debate is Really About
by Terrell E. Arnold on 14 Mar 2009 4 Comments

The recent attempted defrocking of a Catholic Bishop on a charge of “Holocaust denial” brings to the fore once again the need to review the history of World War II in a properly detached fashion. A horrible truth is that more than 55 million people died in that war and the overwhelming majority of them were not Jews. That is the holocaust we must all remember.

In addition to those deaths, World War II caused the virtual destruction of Western Europe, and gave newborn communism, the invention of Jewish politicians in Russia, its chance to prove it did not work. The victory went to the best and most determined killers, and various victims tell their stories in their own ways. That is a dubious privilege of all those who suffered greatly. It gave no one the right to a story that cannot be examined in the pursuit of truth and honest scholarship

Yet, examining the official story of the Holocaust is a crime in Germany. It is not a crime in the United States as such, but one historian, Ernst Zundel, married to an American citizen, was summarily picked up in the United States, sent to Canada and imprisoned without conviction of any crime. He was then bundled up and sent to Germany, but moved covertly, not through normal legal processes of extradition. 

In Germany Zundel has been tried in a German court and imprisoned, but he has not been allowed to present arguments in his own defense, and in fact his attorney has been imprisoned for attempting to enter such defenses in the court record. Zundel shares this fate with two others who have been sent to Germany from other European countries, and a move is now afoot to make Holocaust denial a crime throughout the European Community. If that is accomplished, the European Community will have prohibited any scholar to examine any part of the official Holocaust story. To do so will result in imprisonment with a trial in which the defendant can submit no evidence of the history explored and the findings made, regardless of how factually demonstrable they may be

Much of the controversy stems from the fact that some elements of the story have simply been proven false. For example, the gruesome tale of human skin having been used to make leather was dropped after it proved impossible to provide any evidence. It is also reasonably clear that there were no gas furnaces for extermination at Auschwitz, and that part of the story has been dropped. General George S. Patton, then in charge of occupied Germany, disbelieved several aspects of the story and may have been killed because of his outspoken comments. Disturbing stories have emerged that confessions at Nuremberg were obtained by torture. The Red Cross, which had access to the camps in question, has been circumspect in its comments, but has yet to bless the official version of the Holocaust

The numbers really need to be reexamined: The six million figure commonly used in the official story first appeared as the number of displaced Jews in 1919, before Hitler came along, and before the carnage of World War II. The plaques at Auschwitz tell an evolving story. As reported by observers, the first plaque at Auschwitz said 4 million dead. That was replaced by one that said 3 million dead. That was replaced by a plaque that said 2 million dead. The plaque now reads 1 million dead. Those changes reduce the number of victims at all reported sites to less than 3 million. Serious scholarly research obviously is needed to confirm the number, if that indeed is possible. [See Endnote]

The problem with the debate as pursued is that it does not honour the dead. Over fifty million innocent people died in this carnage. Concentration camps in Germany, Poland, the Ukraine and elsewhere do credit to neither the Hitler government in Germany nor the Stalin government in Russia, or their numerous local collaborators. US and Allied carpet bombing of German cities such as Dresden deserve equal opprobrium. Millions of young men and women in uniform died or were wounded in those engagements, and many parts of the story have yet to be accurately chronicled

The history of Jewish migration to Palestine needs to be understood to have a complete picture of what happened to Jews at the end of World War II. Many were bundled by occupying authorities into former concentration camps and other facilities, some taken by expelling German residents. Then many Jews were “offered” the take- it-or-leave-it chance to migrate to Palestine. 

There is no question that, as chronicled by Jewish writers, the official Holocaust story has been used and abused by the Zionists to justify their establishment of a Jewish national home in already fully occupied Palestine. The story has been used continuously ever since World War II to justify or thwart criticism of their continuing confiscation of Palestinian lands and their systematic killing, imprisonment, harassment and confinement of the Palestinian people. Even a prominent Jewish historian, Ilan Pappe, has described this entire process as ethnic cleansing that in international law is a war crime

It has become increasingly clear that doubts about the official Holocaust story will not go away and, in fact, are growing. The reactions are perhaps a worst case version of “Methinks thou dost protest too much,” generated in part by the fact that the official version of the Holocaust is the only story in human history that cannot be examined. Very questionable “hate crime” laws are being pursued in Europe, Canada and the United States in a primary effort to quash discussion of the Holocaust and to hush criticism of Israeli behaviour in Palestine. 

The matter has reached a point where the truth must out to stop the destructive behaviour of concealment. Key elements of the story are inescapably true. Many Jews and many more other people were picked up and confined to stifle dissent or outright rebellion against the Nazi cause. Those travesties were mirrored in Russia and neighbouring states as Stalin tried to suppress resistance to the emergent system of communism. Many of the would-be victims took what they could and left, enduring unimaginable hardships that brought them to remote places such as Shanghai, and eventually to the United States. 

Both history and humanity will be better served by an open, honest examination of all events of World War II and its aftermath. The lessons we should all take from that gruesome history are badly distorted by singular focus on the story of a group of people who represent only a minority of the victims. No one wants to deny the cruel realities of that experience. Yet, as aptly expressed by the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but no one is entitled to his own facts.” 

End Note:-
For solid background on the diminishing death count at Auschwitz, readers should read “Auschwitz:  The Final Count” by Michael Collins Piper at

Terrell E. Arnold is author of the recently published, A World Less Safe, available on Amazon. He is a retired Senior Foreign Service Officer of the US Department of State whose overseas service included tours in Egypt, India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Brazil. His immediate pre-retirement positions were as Chairman of the Department of International Studies of the National War College and as Deputy Director of the State Office of Counter Terrorism and Emergency Planning. He will welcome comment at wecanstopit@charter.net 

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