| Fiction over fact|
|How it didn't happen|
“”A school of historians and polemicists has sprung up, which for political reasons is bent on denying the truth of the story of the Holocaust. Present day revisionists continue this tradition. They are the academic equivalent of the neo-Nazi thugs. […] Unfortunately, the fabrications of the "revisionists" have fallen on fertile ground in a Europe where the old lies of anti-Semitic propaganda and old forgeries are once again being circulated, and indeed were never wholly eradicated.
|—Stuart Hood and professor Haim Bresheeth, Introducing The Holocaust: A Graphic Guide|
- 1 Beginning with a note from Ike
- 2 Definitions and terminology
- 3 Evidence for the Holocaust
- 3.1 Nazi documents, speeches etc.
- 3.1.1 Hitler in 1922
- 3.1.2 Mein Kampf
- 3.1.3 Goebbels' diaries
- 3.1.4 Jäger report
- 3.1.5 Wannsee Conference
- 3.1.6 Himmler's 1942 report
- 3.1.7 Himmler's speeches in Posen
- 3.1.8 Odilo Globocnik's reports
- 3.1.9 Korherr report
- 3.1.10 Höfle Telegram
- 3.1.11 Other wartime documents
- 3.1.12 Kurt Gerstein
- 3.1.13 Gunnar Eklöf
- 3.1.14 "Sonderbehandlung" and other euphemisms
- 3.2 Testimonies
- 3.3 Allies' knowledge during the war
- 3.4 Swedish journalists: Valentin and Fredborg
- 3.5 Death toll and census data
- 3.6 Physical evidence
- 3.1 Nazi documents, speeches etc.
- 4 Denial tactics
- 4.1 Gas chamber denial
- 4.2 Corpse disposal and cremation
- 4.3 Camp questions
- 4.4 "Why didn't the Jews fight back?"
- 4.5 Nuremberg Trials and subsequent trials
- 4.6 Soap and lampshades: Holocaust-related myths prove that the Holocaust is a myth, right?
- 5 Revisionist tactics
- 6 Red herrings tactics
- 7 The Holocaust denial movement
- 8 Questions to ask a Holocaust denier
- 9 Appendices
- 10 See also
- 11 In popular culture
- 12 External links
- 13 Notes
- 14 References
Holocaust denial or Holocaust revisionism is the assertion that the Holocaust (often called the "Holohoax" by deniers) perpetrated by Nazi Germany, other Axis powers, and their collaborators in occupied Europe during the Second World War never happened (denial) or happened vastly differently from the "official" story (revision). Like most conspiracy theories, it takes many forms; however, the claims generally fall into three categories:
- The Nazi Holocaust was faked (Holocaust truther):
- TLDR: The evidence is lies.
- The Allies faked evidence for the Holocaust to gain the world's sympathy, and "history is written by the victors".
- The world-controlling Jews faked evidence for the Holocaust to gain the world's sympathy (see Holocaust profit controversy) and encourage Jewish migration to Eretz Israel.
- Surviving death camp witnesses are/were insane, liars, or shills. The Nuremberg testimonies were extracted via torture (and thus untrustworthy) or were otherwise faked.
- The Nazi Holocaust didn't happen (Holocaust denier):
- TLDR: The evidence is wrong.
- The Final Solution was not genocide, but merely the expulsion of all Jews from Germany. (Repeat for all other races.) As such, concentration camps were pre-emigration camps, gas chambers were delousing stations, etc.
- The Holocaust was not genocide, but merely a forced-labor program during wartime. As such, concentration camps were work camps, etc.
- Hitler actually protected European Jews.
- Other groups supposedly slaughtered by the Holocaust (such as Roma or homosexuals) were not included, and in fact helped the Germans enact it.
- The Nazi Holocaust wasn't that bad (Holocaust revisionist):
- TLDR: The evidence is weak.
- Reported death counts are overexaggerated, and the 6,000,000 dead Jews figure is especially wrong.
- Other groups supposedly included in the Holocaust (such as disabled persons) were not included in the Holocaust.
- Stalin killed more people in the Holodomor. (Possibly true, but so what?)
- The Allies killed civilians too (e.g., Bombing of Dresden). (Ditto)
Deniers who believe 1 (fake) tend to believe 2 (didn't happen) and 3 (not bad).[note 1] Deniers who believe 2 (didn't happen) tend to believe 3 (not bad). Moreover, People who believe 1 (faked) tend to be harder to discuss evidence with than 2 (didn't happen); the same for 2 (didn't happen) than 3 (not bad). It could thus be argued that there are different "layers" of holocaust denial. In order of increasing distance from reality: (3) it wasn't bad, (2) it didn't happen, and (1) it was faked.
Holocaust denial, as noted, has many variants. This article tries to briefly rebut the most common claims.
Beginning with a note from Ike
“”I saw my first horror camp [on 12 April 1945]. It was near the town of Gotha. I have never been able to describe my emotional reactions when I first came face to face with indisputable evidence of Nazi brutality and ruthless disregard of every shred of decency. Up to that time I had known about it only generally or through secondary sources. I am certain however, that I have never at any time experienced an equal sense of shock.
I visited every nook and cranny of the camp because I felt it my duty to be in a position from then on to testify at first hand about these things in case there ever grew up at home the belief or assumption that "the stories of Nazi brutality were just propaganda." Some members of the visiting party were unable to go through with the ordeal. I not only did so but as soon as I returned to Patton's headquarters that evening I sent communications to both Washington and London, urging the two governments to send instantly to Germany a random group of newspaper editors and representative groups from the national legislatures. I felt that the evidence should be immediately placed before the American and the British publics in a fashion that would leave no room for cynical doubt.
|—Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, 1948|
Definitions and terminology
Beyond that, the water gets muddy. As a straw-man argument, Holocaust deniers use academic discussion about the Holocaust's scope and purpose to cast doubt on the Holocaust itself. This does not address the Holocaust itself, instead choosing to focus on discord of the details.
Functionalism/intentionalism versus Holocaust denial
Today, scholars of history are divided between two interpretations of the Holocaust: functionalism versus intentionalism. Both functionalists and intentionalists agree that the Holocaust occurred, but functionalists disagree with the claim that the Holocaust was Hitler's intention from the beginning, either from the time of Mein Kampf, or upon his ascension to power, or even at the beginning of the war.
Intentionalists see the Holocaust as being primarily Hitler's idea, something he had planned even for years before coming to power. By contrast, functionalists see the Holocaust evolving bottom-up rather than being ordered from the top-down. That Hitler did not plan or order the Holocaust does not mean he escapes moral responsibility for it. He created the climate of extreme anti-Semitism that made it possible, created many of the policies which immediately contributed to it, provided the leadership that considered these measures both permissible and acceptable and failed to stop or prevent it.
For example, both intentionalists and functionalists agree that Hitler ordered deportation of Jews to Nazi-occupied Poland — but intentionalists believe that "deportation" was from the very beginning a codeword for extermination (see explanation of Nazi euphemisms below), while functionalists see "deportation" at the beginning as being quite literally that — a plan to deport Jews, with little thought as to what would happen to them when they arrived in Poland.
Functionalists see the Holocaust as a bureaucratic solution among low-level Nazi officials in Poland to handle all these incoming Jews, by killing most of them. Functionalists such as Ian Kershaw also point to the highly chaotic nature of the Nazi state, in which individuals vied with one another for power and Hitler's good favour (often the same thing). This process, referred to by historians (after Nazi civil servant Werner Willikins) as "working towards the Führer," aimed at satisfying Hitler's ever-increasing calls for "radicalism" in all matters of policy, naturally led various officials to propose more and more extreme solutions to the "Jewish question" (that there were multiple proposed solutions is evidenced by the term "the Final Solution").
Functionalists still believe that, even if Hitler did not directly start the Holocaust, he became aware of it while it was in progress and in all probability signed off on the proposal — in no way does functionalism absolve Hitler of moral responsibility or downplay the atrocities themselves. Unlike Holocaust denial, functionalism is an academically respectable position in the field of history.
Revisionism versus denial
Many Holocaust deniers describe themselves as "revisionists." Does that mean they are not deniers?
How do we define Holocaust denial?
Modern scholarship defines "The Holocaust" as:
- The murder of five to seven million Jews, plus about three million other victims — the number
- with gas chambers, as well as other methods — the method
The Free Dictionary defines "denial" as:
- A refusal to comply with or satisfy a request.
- A refusal to grant the truth of a statement or allegation; a contradiction.
- The act of disowning or disavowing; repudiation.
From this follows:
- The claim that significantly fewer than five to seven million Jews died is Holocaust denial, even while agreeing with modern scholarship upon the method.
- The claim that gas chambers were not used for mass executions is Holocaust denial, even while agreeing with modern scholarship upon the number.
Most self-proclaimed "Holocaust revisionists" disagree with established scholarship upon the number and the method. As such, they are clearly Holocaust deniers.
In fact, the term "Holocaust revisionism" does not carry any meaning separate from Holocaust denial. As History PhD student Tristan of Step Back History explains in his history of American hate groups:
Groups like the Institute for Historical Review have tried to deny the genocide of Jews and other groups in the Holocaust. They claim that the final solution was about deportation, that there were no extermination camps, or that the five-to-six million dead count is just exaggerated.
They are called "holocaust deniers" because revisionist history is something different. Revisionists try to upturn established histories using credible methodology. A holocaust denier — much like a climate change- or evolution denier — has a pre-determined conclusion, and ignores overwhelming evidence to the contrary.Most denialists claim some sort of vast Jewish conspiracy, designed to advance Jews at the expense of everyone else. I think I speak for many by saying that this entire movement is based on anti-semitic conspiracy theories.
Despite all this, there exists within the fringes of revisionism a group of persons who do not deny any of the established facts; but instead, strive for more clarity in the history — actual proponents of historical revisionism.
These revisionists, alienated by the cranks riddling their field, instead argue not whether or not the gassing took place, nor whether the millions were in fact killed, but simply that much of the history has been lost, and that the Holocaust was likely far worse than the histories currently state. In that sense, they seek to revise the accounts to a more accurate manner.
Chief among these revisionists is Franciszek Piper, manager of the historical department at Auschwitz. Piper's research, now accepted by Jewish historians, revised the reported death toll of Auschwitz from the previous four million killed, to roughly 1.5 million. However, his work does not dispute the overall number of Holocaust victims, and he concluded that his revision of the Auschwitz death toll covered the discrepancies that could actually be found.
And indeed, that might — in theory — be all the revisionism which evidence will ever guide us to undertake. That, however, is a conclusion which is a priori unacceptable to any genuine Holocaust denier, who would contend that "revisionism" can't be considered done (per definition) until the Holocaust is essentially demoted from one of history's most breathtakingly cruel and efficient genocides to some kind of minor inconvenience, if not an outright hoax. Franciszek Piper was no such denialist.
The term "Holocaust" itself
“”His eyes sparkling with faith and decision, he had proved that he could summon the holocaust.
|—LIFE Magazine, September 1939, discussing Hitler's impending war|
The Greek word holocaust means "burnt sacrifice" (holos + kaustos), a custom both in Judaism and Ancient Greek Religion.[note 3] The phrase was used in the Greek Bible and has long been used in the English language as a figure of speech. The term Holocaust was occasionally used for the Nazis' mass murders from the 1940s, but the term became firmly established through the 1978 television mini-series The Holocaust. Holocaust deniers might use the confusion around the term Holocaust to question whether it happened at all.
As said, the term The Holocaust was not universally used until the 1970s. But how does this call the facts of the Nazis' deliberate murder of 11 million people, including 6 million Jews, into question? What happened does not change simply because the most popular term to describe it changes.
The fact that our presently favored terminology for a historical event is newer than the event itself doesn't in any way call into question the historicity of the event - the Black Death wasn't known by that name until centuries after it swept through Europe, but it still happened. Historical events often do not receive their current names until many years, sometimes even centuries or millennia, after they occur.
Evidence for the Holocaust
“”Get it all on record now – get the films – get the witnesses – because somewhere down the track of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened.
|—not General Dwight D. Eisenhower|
“”I made the visit [to the Gotha concentration camp] deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to "propaganda."
|—actually General Dwight D. Eisenhower|
Deniers might use the one single proof gambit to confuse the opponent, and request very specific evidence, such as
- a written order by Hitler to exterminate the Jews
- an autopsy record concluding that a Jewish prisoner died from gassing
or some other remnants. However, though the Nazi government tried massively to hide evidence for mass murder by tearing down buildings and burning documents, plenty of the remains have survived.
Nazi documents, speeches etc.
This is just a sample of the wealth of documentary evidence from the Nazi government itself.
“”They claim that forgers created these and other documents — complete with complex internal reference markings, on typewriters that perfectly matched those used by the various German units said to have written the documents — and then planted thousands of these perfect forgeries in numerous different archival collections (in exactly the right file and in precisely the right sequence) all over Europe. Not only is such a scenario fantastically improbable, it fails to explain why these supposedly incredibly talented forgers did not succeed in producing the one piece of paper that deniers demand as 'proof' that genocide took place under the Third Reich — an order from Hitler authorising the destruction of the Jews.
Indeed a few counterfeit Nazi documents — notably The Hitler Diaries — have been exposed since the war. However, several of the documents mentioned here have been authenticated by forensics, or are accepted as genuine by Holocaust deniers such as David Irving.)
Hitler in 1922
In 1922, Hitler told a journalist that:
“”Once I really am in power, my first and foremost task will be the annihilation of the Jews. As soon as I have the power to do so, I will have gallows built in rows — at the Marienplatz in Munich, for example — as many as traffic allows. Then the Jews will be hanged indiscriminately, and they will remain hanging until they stink; they will hang there as long as the principles of hygiene permit. As soon as they have been untied, the next batch will be strung up, and so on down the line, until the last Jew in Munich has been exterminated. Other cities will follow suit, precisely in this fashion, until all Germany has been completely cleansed of Jews.
- — Adolf Hitler, 1922. (Josef Hell, "Aufzeichnung," 1922, ZS 640, p. 5, Institut fuer Zeitgeschichte.)
(Caveat #2: While some serious historians see this as evidence that Hitler had planned the Holocaust long before coming to power, other serious historians don't believe that any plan for the Holocaust existed so early, and see Hitler's words as simply an expression of his virulent anti-Semitism rather than a sign that he had any concrete plans at that date.)
In a speech to the Reichstag on 30 January 1939, he made his intentions clear with this quote, which was even used in the 1940 Nazi propaganda film "Der ewige Jude" (The Eternal Jew):
Hitler also gave The Obersalzberg Speech in August 1939, a week before the invasion of Poland, and expressed intentions of mass murdering the Polish population.
On 18 December 1941, Himmler asked Hitler, "What to do with the Jews of Russia?", to which Hitler replied, "als Partisanen auszurotten" ("exterminate them as partisans"). This remark is probably as close as historians will ever get to a definitive order from Hitler for the Holocaust.
“”If at the beginning of the war and during the war twelve or fifteen thousand of these Hebrew corrupters of the nation had been subjected to poison gas, such as had to be endured in the field by hundreds of thousands of our very best German workers of all classes and professions, then the sacrifice of millions at the front would not have been in vain.
|—Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf|
Many historians, including Ian Kershaw (one of the world's leading experts on both Hitler and Nazi Germany) have pointed out that several passages in Mein Kampf are of an undeniably genocidal nature. Among these passages, Hitler also overtly suggested that;
“”The nationalization of our masses will succeed only when, aside from all the positive struggle for the soul of our people, their international poisoners are exterminated.
|—Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf|
The suggestion that a future genocide was intended from day one by Hitler is also corroborated by excerpts from the first edition of Mein Kampf, in which Hitler emphasizes that the literal destruction of the "weak and sick" (terms meant by him to encapsulate his enemies, and not to objectively describe fragility) is, quote, "far more humane than their protection." while also having the intrinsic purpose of providing what he saw as the proper space and purity for the "strong".
German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels' extensive diary notes contains several references to the ongoing mass murder of the Jews. Example:
“”"The intellectual does not have the natural means of resisting the Jewish peril because his instincts have been badly blunted. Because of this fact the nations with a high standard of civilization are exposed to this peril first and foremost. In nature life always takes measures against parasites; in the life of nations that is not always the case. From this fact the Jewish peril actually stems. There is therefore no other recourse left for modern nations except to exterminate the Jew…" 
Considering David Irving had access to the entirety of Goebbels's diaries, using them as the basis for a book, he presumably accepts these accounts as true.
A report written in December 1941 by SS commander Karl Jäger, describing the killing of 137,346 people (mostly Jews) in the Baltic states. The literal descriptions in this document are unusual to the Nazis, who typically used euphemisms for mass killings (see below).
The report itself is 6 pages of dates, locations, and numbers. It begins:
Complete list of executions carried out in the EK 3 area up to 1 December 1941[.]
Security police duties in Lithuania taken over by Einsatzkommando 3 on 2 July 1941.
(The Wilna [Vilnius] area was taken over by EK 3 on 9 Aug. 1941, the Schaulen area on 2 Oct. 1941. Up until these dates EK 9 operated in Wilna and EK 2 in Schaulen.)
On my instructions and orders the following executions were conducted by Lithuanian partisans:
[....]Following the formation of a raiding squad under the command of SS-Obersturmführer Hamman and 8-10 reliable men from the Einsatzkommando, the following actions were conducted in cooperation with Lithuanian partisans:
Not everyone killed was a Jew -- but the vast majority were. For example, from 22.8.41 to 29.8.41, those killed included:
- In Algona: "Mentally sick: 269 men, 227 women, 48 children"
- In Panevezys: "1,312 Jews, 4,602 Jewesses, 1,609 Jewish children"
- In Kreis Rasainiai: "466 Jews, 440 Jewesses, 1,020 Jewish children"
- In Obeliai: "112 Jews, 627 Jewesses, 421 Jewish children"
- In Seduva: "230 Jews, 275 Jewesses, 159 Jewish children"
- In Zarasai: "767 Jews, 1,113 Jewesses, 1 Lith[uanian]. Comm[unist]., 687 Jewish children, 1 Russ[ian]. Comm[unist]. (f[emale].)"
- In Pasvalys: "402 Jews, 738 Jewesses, 209 Jewish children"
- In Kaisiadorys: "All Jews, Jewesses, and Jewish children" [1,911 people]
- In Prienai: "All Jews, Jewesses, and Jewish Children" [1,078 people]
- In Dagda and Kraslawa: "212 Jews, 4 Russ[ian]. POW's"
- In Joniskia: "47 Jews, 165 Jewesses, 143 Jewish children"
- In Wilkia: "76 Jews, 192 Jewesses, 134 Jewish children"
- In Kedainiai: "710 Jews, 767 Jewesses, 599 Jewish children"
- In Rumsiskis and Ziezmariai: "20 Jews, 567 Jewesses, 197 Jewish children"
- In Utena and Moletai: "582 Jews, 1,731 Jewesses, 1,469 Jewish children"
Today I can confirm that our objective, to solve the Jewish problem for Lithuania, has been achieved by EK 3. In Lithuania there are no more Jews, apart from Jewish workers and their families.
The distance between from the assembly point to the graves was on average 4 to 5 Km.I consider the Jewish action more or less terminated as far as Einsatzkommando 3 is concerned. Those working Jews and Jewesses still available are needed urgently and I can envisage that after the winter this workforce will be required even more urgently. I am of the view that the sterilization program of the male worker Jews should be started immediately so that reproduction is prevented. If despite sterilization a Jewess becomes pregnant she will be liquidated.
A conference on 20 January 1942, documented by the Wannsee Protocol (Protokoll is the German word for "minutes"). As most official Nazi record, the protocol uses euphemisms instead on literal orders to kill all Jews, however Adolf Eichmann provided demographic data estimating Jewish population in Europe to 11 million; consistent with the scholarship:
“”Under proper guidance, in the course of the final solution the Jews are to be allocated for appropriate labor in the East. Able-bodied Jews, separated according to sex, will be taken in large work columns to these areas for work on roads, in the course of which action doubtless a large portion will be eliminated by natural causes. The possible final remnant will, since it will undoubtedly consist of the most resistant portion, have to be treated accordingly, because it is the product of natural selection and would, if released, act as a the seed of a new Jewish revival (see the experience of history.)
Himmler's 1942 report
On 29 December 1942, Himmler presented Hitler with the Heldung an den Führer über Bandenbekämpfung ("Report to the Führer on fighting against gangs") Nr. 51. This report, which covered the period from August to November 1942, and which referred only to a part of the occupied Soviet area (southern Russia, Ukraine and the district of Bialystok); included the following numbers concerning persons imprisoned or executed:
- a) Established number of deaths after combat 1,337
- b) Prisoners executed immediately 737
- c) Prisoners executed after lengthy thorough interrogation 7,828
2. Gang helpers and suspects
- a) Arrested 16,553
- b) Executed 14,257
- c) Jews executed 363,211
This is one of the few Nazi records that explicitly mentioned the killing of Jews, without euphemisms.
Himmler's speeches in Posen
In 1943, Heinrich Himmler, leader of the SS, spoke openly about the extermination of the Jewish people, as well as the equivocation used to cover it up, during a speech to SS Officers in the Posen (Polish: Poznań) town hall. An audio recording, as well as a transcription of the original German, is available.
I also want to mention a very difficult subject before you here, completely openly.
It should be discussed amongst us, and yet, nevertheless, we will never speak about it in public.
Just as we did not hesitate on June 30 to carry out our duty, as ordered, and stand comrades who had failed against the wall and shoot them.
About which we have never spoken, and never will speak.
That was, thank God, a kind of tact natural to us, a foregone conclusion of that tact, that we have never conversed about it amongst ourselves, never spoken about it, everyone shuddered, and everyone was clear that the next time, he would do the same thing again, if it were commanded and necessary.
I am talking about the "Jewish evacuation": the extermination of the Jewish people.
It is one of those things that is easily said. "The Jewish people is being exterminated," every Party member will tell you, "perfectly clear, it's part of our plans, we're eliminating the Jews, exterminating them, ha!, a small matter."
And then along they all come, all the 80 million upright Germans, and each one has his decent Jew. They say: all the others are swine, but here is a first-class Jew.
And none of them has seen it, has endured it. Most of you will know what it means when 100 bodies lie together, when there are 500, or when there are 1000. And to have seen this through, and — with the exception of human weaknesses -- to have remained decent, has made us hard and is a page of glory never mentioned and never to be mentioned.
Because we know how difficult things would be, if today in every city during the bomb attacks, the burdens of war and the privations, we still had Jews as secret saboteurs, agitators and instigators. We would probably be at the same stage as 1916-17, if the Jews still resided in the body of the German people.
We have taken away the riches that they had, and I have given a strict order, which Obergruppenführer Pohl has carried out, we have delivered these riches completely to the Reich, to the State. We have taken nothing from them for ourselves. A few, who have offended against this, will be [judged] in accordance with an order, that I gave at the beginning: He who takes even one Mark of this is a dead man.
A number of SS men have offended against this order. There are not very many, and they will be dead men — WITHOUT MERCY! We have the moral right, we had the duty to our people to do it, to kill this people who wanted to kill us. But we do not have the right to enrich ourselves with even one fur, with one Mark, with one cigarette, with one watch, with anything. That we do not have. Because at the end of this, we don't want, because we exterminated the bacillus, to become sick and die from the same bacillus.I will never see it happen, that even one bit of putrefaction comes in contact with us, or takes root in us. On the contrary, where it might try to take root, we will burn it out together. But altogether we can say: We have carried out this most difficult task for the love of our people. And we have taken on no defect within us, in our soul, or in our character.
The National Archives explains why this speech was recorded: "The SS, for example, used recording equipment to obtain transcripts of Himmler's speeches. During the 1930s many of Himmler's speeches were taken down in shorthand by secretaries or SS aides who later typed texts from these shorthand notes. Then, beginning in 1940, efforts were made to replace the stenographers with sound recording equipment.
Though initial efforts were not very successful, by late 1942 the technique had been perfected and nearly all the extant typed and printed texts of Himmler speeches dating from 1943 and 1944 were derived from recordings made while Himmler was speaking. Goebbels also found speech recordings useful. After delivering an address, he could leisurely listen to the recording and make the changes that he felt would heighten the speech's propaganda effect. Then the propaganda ministry would issue a press release containing the edited text, or parts of it, which German newspapers would publish as if they were presenting the text of the original speech.
Though the recordings were chiefly just useful tools, Himmler, Goebbels, and other prominent Nazis were careful not to destroy the original discs. The Nazis' interest in preserving oral records matched their prodigious efforts to save written records of their rise to power and days of glory. The leaders of the Third Reich were convinced that they were participating in events of great historical magnitude, and, because of the importance they attached to the spoken word, it must have seemed obvious to them that the recordings should be preserved."
2 days later, Himmler said:
We came to the question: what to with the women and children? I decided to find a clear solution here as well. I did not consider myself justified to exterminate the men — that is, to kill them or have them killed — and allow the avengers of our sons and grandsons in the form of their children to grow up. The difficult decision had to be taken to make this people disappear from the earth. For the organisation which had to execute this task, it was the most difficult which we had ever had. But it was accomplished, and without — I believe I can say — our men and their leaders suffering any mental or spiritual damage.
Odilo Globocnik's reports
The reports describe Aktion Reinhard, with special mentioning of confiscated immobile and mobile property.
Written in March 1943, by Dr. Richard Korherr of the SS. Describes that 2.5 million European Jews have been "evacuated" to "special treatment" (German: Evakuierung, Sonderbehandlung), and estimates that European Jewish population had declined by 1.5 million by emigration, uprisings and harsh living conditions in ghettos and camps, totalling a decline of 4 million European Jews (out of more than 10 million).
The Höfle Telegram is in two parts and was sent on January 11, 1943 by SS Sturmbannführer Hermann Höfle. The first part was sent to Adolf Eichmann, and the second part to SS Obersturmbannführer Franz Heim. The document was discovered in England in 2000 among declassified World War II documents. It was originally decrypted from an intercepted Enigma Machine transmission, though its significance was not understood during the war. The telegram confirms the Korherr Report that 1,274,166 Jews were subject to Sonderbehandlung (special treatment) under Operation Reinhard by the end of 1942.
Other wartime documents
There is an abundance of documents from the concentration camps by guards and leaders describing the details of the death camps and even "death vans".
SS officer Kurt Gerstein witnessed mass murders in Bełżec and Treblinka during 1942 and told foreigners, among them Swedish diplomat Göran von Otter, and officials of the Vatican, about what he had seen. He wrote a report in 1945. Gerstein's stories are unreliable but are significant as an early testimony from the Holocaust.
Gunnar Eklöf (1922-91) was a Swedish Waffen-SS volunteer in the Nordland Division. The 2014 book Hitlers svenska SS-soldater ("Hitler's Swedish SS Soldiers") by Bosse Schön describes his career extensively. During his 1943 furlough back home in Sweden, he bragged about murdering Jews on the Eastern front. His scandalous behaviour and his stories from the mass murders were noticed by the press and the police (which is confirmed by archives); however, he never faced investigation or trial.
"Sonderbehandlung" and other euphemisms
As mentioned before, mass executions were rarely described literally (the Jäger Report being a notable exception). The Nazi documents used euphemisms instead; more than twenty different euphemisms were in frequent use, such as Umsiedlung (resettlement) and Endlösung (Final Solution).
Perhaps the most infamous one was Sonderbehandlung ("Special treatment"). Revisionists might claim that Sonderbehandlung meant delousing and disinfection (e.g., denier Carlo Mattogno), introduced in the Nazi camps in Poland.
However, Sonderbehandlung was an established term for killing, confirmed by police documents from 1939, and reports from Action T4, a program for killing people with disabilities. Adolf Eichmann testified that Sonderbehandlung meant "killing."
The truth of the Holocaust has been supported by many thousands of oral and written testimonies by several groups, including but not limited to (a few references are given to provide a general picture):
- Concentration camp prisoners (including but not limited to Jews, Poles, Roma and Sinti, homosexuals, and political opponents).. Sonderkommandos (prisoners recruited for corpse disposal) witnessed the extermination campaign directly.
- Auschwitz guards.
- Railroad crews, civil servants, commanders and other off-site soldiers and civilians.
- Allied soldiers from various countries.
- Humanitarian expeditions from various countries.
- Secret wiretaps were made of German prisoners of war, where they freely discussed the war, including extermination of Jews. These recordings were transcribed and edited by Sönke Neitzel and Harald Welzer in the book Soldaten: Protokolle vom Kämpfen, Töten und Sterben
Prisoners, Sonderkommandos and Kapos
The guards intentionally tried to keep the extermination campaign secret from prisoners. Those who arrived at the eastern camps were either killed on arrival, or kept at a labour section, separate from the gas chambers.
Sonderkommandos were the only prisoners allowed to see anything of the mass murders. Still, Sonderkommandos were regularly killed and replaced by new prisoners, so very few of them survived the war.
Diary of Anne Frank
The Diary of Anne Frank is one of many written testimonies from Holocaust victims. Deniers such as Robert Faurisson have claimed that the text was forged, but the Dutch government has conducted a forensic investigation confirming the book's authenticity. The Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam has issued a press release entitled Ten questions on the authenticity of the diary of Anne Frank, refuting many of the claims against the diary.
The diary, the one that was originally published, was indeed edited; this was because it was the private diary of a girl going through puberty, and records things ranging from masturbation and homosexuality to various arguments amongst family members. Obviously, her father Otto Frank didn't want all of his daughter's (and family's) personal moments open to the public. This provides avenues of attacks from two different sets of crazies. The first, the aforementioned deniers who will latch on to any alteration being "proof" of a coverup, and when the unedited version became published, the moral guardians who didn't want kids learning about the little man in the boat.
Claims to dissenting testimonies
Holocaust deniers have made some really lame efforts to find a "second opinion".
Paul Rassinier (1906-67) — a French journalist, called "the father of Holocaust revisionism." Rassinier participated in the French Resistance and was therefore imprisoned at Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora. He claimed that the Nazi government had no plan for extermination of Jews and that the death toll was not more than roughly a million.
Richard Baer (1911-63) — the commander of Auschwitz I. After the war, he lived undercover in Hamburg, until he was seized in 1960 following the arrest of Adolf Eichmann. He refused to testify and died in detention in 1963. Deniers might claim that the government killed Baer behind locked doors because his refusal to testify against Eichmann. This is, of course, a hypothesis without the support and does not in any way qualify Baer as a dissenting witness. If Baer had something to tell the world, why didn't he make use of his 15 years as a fugitive?
Red Cross reports: The Red Cross famously visited Theresienstadt in the present-day Czech Republic, and reported relatively good conditions among the inmates. After the war, they could show that the Nazis had deceived the observers. Among the false evidence given to the Red Cross was the Nazi-staged propaganda film Theresienstadt: Ein Dokumentarfilm aus dem jüdischen Siedlungsgebiet (Terezin: A Documentary Film from the Jewish Settlement Area), also known as Der Führer Schenkt Den Juden Eine Stadt (The Führer Gives the Jews a City), supposedly showing the humane environment the Jews lived in.
Allies' knowledge during the war
On December 17, 1942, British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden read the Joint Declaration by Members of the United Nations on behalf of the Allies, where he condemned the ongoing mass murder of Jews.
Swedish journalists: Valentin and Fredborg
Swedish journalist and historian Hugo Valentin wrote in newspaper Göteborgs Handels- och Sjöfartstidning (GHT) during 1942, about an ongoing extermination of Jews. In October, he wrote that at least 700,000 Jews had been murdered in Poland. Many other Swedish newspapers quoted Valentin's articles.
Though neutral, the Swedish government was under pressure from Nazi Germany, at least until 1943. On behalf of Germany, the Swedish government censored anti-German propaganda and obstructed GHT at several occasions.
Arvid Fredborg was a Swedish correspondent in Berlin from 1941 and 1943. His 1943 book Behind the Steel Wall estimates that 2 million Jews and 1 million Poles had been executed.
Death toll and census data
As mentioned before, Holocaust deniers claim that the Jewish death toll in the Holocaust is significantly less than the 5.7 million claimed by current scholarship. The exact number claimed varies — the IHR claims 300,000, while David Irving has raised his claim to 4 million, though he may have raised it to avoid a harsh prison sentence when on trial in Austria.
According to censuses, there were about six million more Jews in Europe in early 1942 (as the Holocaust began) than there were at the German surrender in 1945. The Wannsee Protocol from 1942 said that there were 11 million Jews in Europe, of which roughly 6 million were living in German-controlled territories (as the Third Reich was at its peak by 1942). Where did they go?
World Almanac gambit
Some deniers, such as the IHR, refer to World Almanac statistics which claim that there was no decline in the global number of Jews during the war. However, the Almanac data for Jews until 1948 were old estimates. The fresh estimate for 1948 shows a decline of 4.4 million. Updated estimates for 1949 show a total decline of 5.3 million.
Where did the Jews go?
Holocaust deniers claim that millions of Jews in the Nazi camps in Poland either were "deported to the east" or had survived captivity. In the end, they would have moved to foreign countries, with Palestine (including the areas that would form Israel), the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union mentioned. Some of them might have disguised as non-Jews. Several Jews did indeed escape Axis territory during the war (such as 7,800 Danish Jews who fled to Sweden), but these are not included in scholarship's death toll.
The Korherr report provides statistics on Jewish emigration from Axis territories from 1933 until 1943, differing from "evacuation" (transport to Nazi camps in Poland). As much of this emigration took place before the war, the numbers are insufficient to explain the disappearance of the 11 million Jews mentioned in the 1942 Wannsee Protocol.
Israel had no more than 590,000 inhabitants at its foundation in 1947, including non-Jews (Arabs, Druze etc.), Jews who arrived before 1939, and Jewish immigrants from non-Axis territories. The Jewish immigration to the United States around World War II was in a lesser order of magnitude. The United States upheld a harsh immigration policy throughout the war, preventing Jewish refugees from arriving. Soviet censuses are more uncertain, but could hardly hide millions of immigrants. Also, deniers have yet to suggest a Jewish migration path from the Nazi camps in Poland, across the Eastern Front (one of the deadliest fronts in history) into the Soviet Union.
Scholars are aware that a large number of Jews (together with several civilian non-Jews) from the western Soviet Union did migrate eastwards before the German troops invaded the land and started rounding up Jews and opponents. However, this does not help revisionists explain what happened to Jews outside of the Soviet Union.
There is a $4,000 reward for anyone who can provide names of Jews who were transited from death camps in Poland to the Soviet Union.
Not quite six million Jews
According to current scholarship, around 5,700,000 Jews were killed in the Holocaust. Revisionists may point out that this number is less than six million — either claiming a revisionist success, or criticizing the well-known number of six million killed Jews. However:
- Six million is a correct approximation of 5.7 million, fully according to mathematical and statistical conventions. Since no exact number is available, the approximation must be at some level.
- When Roma, non-Jewish Poles and other victims of mass murder are included, still not counting civilian deaths outside the Holocaust scheme, the death toll is well above six million. Indeed, it is approximately doubled.
- In many jurisdictions, even six would be considered mass murder (not to say even the lowest death tolls estimated by Holocaust deniers), so what is the issue here exactly?
Discrepancies in per-camp death toll estimates
Western historians have different estimates for the exact death toll for each individual camp. Deniers might claim that this makes established history self-contradicting, which is untrue given that the commonly cited figures are derived primarily from demographical evidence (specifically pre-war and post-war population comparisons) and not from a sum of all of the individual camps.
The Auschwitz gambit
Similarly, some Holocaust deniers have claimed that "revisionist" research has corrected the official death toll of Auschwitz from 4 million to 1.1 million. The number of 4 million originated with the first Soviet publications about the Holocaust. It has been used by the Auschwitz museum until the 1980s, in then-communist Poland, which exaggerated enemy atrocities for propaganda purposes. Western scholars have never claimed that 4 million people died at Auschwitz. Compare this with the controversy on the bombing of Dresden.
According to the 1965 book General Psychologus by pseudonym Alexander Scronn, the Red Cross estimated the death toll to be 230,000 to 270,000. This figure has never been verified. Further, in 1975 Red Cross delegate Françoise Perret attested that the organization never published information of the sort and that a similar claim made by Richard Verrall, attributing a figure of 300,000 victims to official Red Cross documents, was a fraud.
The document in question is from the Red Cross International Tracing Service, an organization created during the war to track missing persons. The 300,000 number specifically (per the ITS itself) does NOT include the vast majority of those murdered in the camps, but rather those for whom the ITS was able to issue a death certificate at the request of family members.  The ITS has never compiled a count of all those who died in the camps.
The preserved camps contain plenty of physical evidence for mass murder: remnants of human bodies (piles of ashes, bones, hair, etc.), belongings (clothes, prosthetics, bags, etc.) and equipment (gas chambers, etc.). Some of this material has undergone forensic examination.
It's the shoes, stupid!
Experienced Holocaust deniers might bring up technical details, such as the chemical properties of Zyklon B, the size of cremation ovens, or soap recipes.
A novice skeptic might be deceived that all these details are true and that they support the denier's arguments. Look closer and you'll see easily that they don't.
Among the public, there is some confusion about what happened, and what did not happen, during the Holocaust. Even academics argue about some details. Holocaust deniers try to use these spots of uncertainty to disprove the whole event.
Gas chamber denial
In the eastern camps, gas chambers were the primary murder weapon. As said before, denial of gassing is a cornerstone of Holocaust denial, and deniers have many claims to disprove the use of gas chambers. They might claim:
- Lack of Nazi documents on gas chambers (see above)
- Lack of testimonies about gassing (see above)
- That gas chambers were only used for delousing (see below)
- Lack of forensic examinations supporting the use of gas chambers (see below)
- Hydrogen cyanide (in the form of Zyklon B) being useless for extermination (see below)
- Hydrogen cyanide being dangerously explosive (see below)
- The lack of Prussian Blue on gas chamber walls
- Gas chambers being difficult to ventilate (see below)
- Gas chambers were not useful for execution at all (contradicted by use in the United States)
Zyklon B was the trademark of a solid substance (wood or soil) impregnated with hydrogen cyanide (HCN), which easily vaporizes at normal temperature.
As deniers point out, Zyklon B was purposed as a delousing agent, and much of the Zyklon B sent to the camps was indeed used for delousing. This does still not disprove the fact that it was also used for killing people. The concrete in a gas chamber at the extermination camp at Majdanek that the Nazis did not successfully destroy shows evidence of the use of cyanide through a strong blue coloring of door from a reaction between iron and cyanide fumes.
HCN is explosive in large concentrations, and deniers might say that this contradicts testimonies that guard smoked cigarettes in gas chambers between gassings. However, 300 parts per million of HCN in air kills a human within minutes, but the minimal concentration for an explosion is 56,000 ppm. These figures are even supported by Nazi documents.
Forensic examinations on gas chambers, crematoria etc.
Some gas chambers remain (Majdanek), some have been rebuilt (Auschwitz) and others were destroyed (Treblinka, Sobibór).
Holocaust deniers might claim that there is no forensic proof of gassings. During R v. Zündel in 1985, Raul Hilberg, well-renowned Holocaust scholar, and author of The Destruction of the European Jews, was unable to mention any scientific report proving gassings. Though Hilberg mentioned that there were plenty of Nazi documents describing the Holocaust, this apparent absence of scientific proof has caught some revisionists' attention.
However, since the trial, at least two scientific reports on the gas chambers have been published:
- Jean-Claude Pressac (1944 — 2003) — a French pharmacist who used to be a Holocaust denier, who in 1979 undertook a forensic examination of the Auschwitz gas chambers. The result? He was shocked by the overwhelming evidence. In 1989 he published a book that confirmed the established view that the gas chambers were functional, killing between 631,000 and 711,000 prisoners.
- Deborah Lipstadt's book Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth & Memory won the UK libel case Irving v. Penguin Books and Lipstadt. The case contained forensic examination for the use of gas chambers.
One of the usual such claims involves the reconstructed gas chambers built by the Polish government after the Second World War at Auschwitz as a memorial to the victims. The Nazis destroyed the original gas chambers where mass murders were committed, and the simulated gas chambers at Auschwitz have never had Zyklon-B deployed in them. Holocaust deniers frequently exploit such confusion. At Majdanek, which the Nazis did not successfully destroy, evidence of the use of Zyklon-B appears in the bluing of the concrete. Hydrogen cyanide reacts with iron compounds to form the pigment Prussian blue, a strong and very stable dye.
The Leuchter Report
Holocaust denialists often point to the
Armleuchter[note 4] Leuchter Report as 'evidence' that the gas chambers were not gas chambers. The Leuchter report found that significantly fewer cyanide traces were found in the gas chambers than in the delousing chambers, and concluded that this somehow proves that the gas chambers never contained HCN. This conclusion is based on incorrect assumptions about the concentrations of HCN needed to kill lice and to kill humans. In delousing clothes, concentrations of up to 16,000 ppm are sometimes used, and exposure time can be up to 72 hours; while 300 ppm will kill people in 15 minutes or so. Not only were the concentrations themselves higher, but the length of contact was much greater. Thus, the walls of the delousing facility should have a much greater concentration of detectable cyanide today, which is what the original Leuchter report and the Polish report both confirm. The main problem with Leuchter's original report is a flaw in the major premise: that cyanide traces should be found in the homicidal gas chambers at a comparable rate as found in the delousing chambers. This is completely backward to reality, and it plays on a misunderstanding that people have about HCN. The average person would believe that it would take as much, if not more, HCN to kill a person than to kill a lice or flea. However, this is not the case. In fact, a much lower concentration of HCN is needed to kill any warm-blooded animal as opposed to cold-blooded. The team found significant HCN residue in delousing facility samples, while next to none in alleged "gas chamber" samples. If the gas chambers were used for something other than murder, no as in zero cyanide should have been found there. Not even the smallest trace amount. The fact that Leuchter did find trace amounts of cyanide in the gas chamber walls confirms, contrary to the Leuchter's report's conclusions, that they were, in fact, gas chambers.
Much of Leuchter's claims are refuted in Errol Morris' 1999 documentary Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.
"Hitler didn't gas 6 million Jews!"
According to scholarship, the Axis powers killed more than a million Jews through methods other than gassing. Many of them died in the Soviet Union and other Eastern territories, at the hands of Einsatzgruppen and other paramilitary forces. These events are less known to the public than the Nazi camps in Poland, and they are still subject to research.
Deniers might point out that many laymen falsely claim that six million Jews were gassed, but that has never been claimed by scholars. Though the Jewish death toll of gas chambers is far below the total six million, it still does not contradict the mass gassings.
Corpse disposal and cremation
Deniers might have objections against the capacity of corpse disposal and cremation. This is, by part, a consequence of miscalculation. Considering Auschwitz-Birkenau, the first crematory ovens were indeed overburdened, and additional ovens were constructed. The officers had to resort to burning corpses in pits.
Another objection deniers have put forth is that the amount of fuel necessary to cremate that many bodies would have been impractical. In 2000, David Irving sued an author in British high court for libel, for calling him a "Hitler partisan" who manipulated the historical record to deny the reality of the Holocaust. At the widely publicized trial, the prosecuting attorney claimed that it would take mountains of coke to burn all the bodies. An expert witness for the defense countered by showing German patents, issued before the war, for a mass crematorium that could be run almost entirely off the body fat of the corpses disposed in it.
One common objection revisionists hold, is due in part to two facets of the crematoria which were found in Auschwitz. The first of these facets is the curious structure of the crematorium smokestack. They will often argue that it is fake because it is not directly connected to the ovens by any visible means. However, historical data from Topf and Sons (makers of the crematoria) proves that the design used in Auschwitz (and other camps) was one where the exhaust gasses from the retorts were fed down through the floor and outside to a free-standing chimney.
The second objection in regards to the ovens themselves is more arguing semantics. They often note that the designs used in the camps, in particular, Auschwitz, were not crematoriums as might be defined by modern standards; but instead were based off of a large-scale hospital incinerator design which Topf and Sons created prior to the war for industrial uses. In this, they are marginally correct that the crematoriums are in truth incinerators, but this does not remove from the discussion that the use of either would have the same results. Historians note that it is easier, both in explaining what Germany was doing during the Holocaust, as well as teaching younger people, to simply call the ovens crematoriums; as stating anything else would only confuse people.
Deniers ask what happened to the ashes of the cremated corpses; the volume corresponds to a full shoebox for each body. The officers at Auschwitz and other camps had many opportunities to dump it — in rivers, on farm fields (as a good fertilizer, yummy.) and in marshes, so ash disposal was not a problem. Much of it rained from the smokestacks. It was also used to grit icy road and paths around Auschwitz II (Birkenau), recalled Yehuda Bacon at the 1961 Adolf Eichmann trial, who had been 14 years old when he was sent to Auschwitz in December 1943.
"Auschwitz chimney not connected to anything"
Of all the arguments against the Holocaust, this is the worst. One of the crematoria at Auschwitz features a smokestack which doesn't appear attached to the furnaces themselves and thus appears fake. Problem is, the plans for the crematoria show that the crematoria in question used an under floor system to remove smoke and fumes, and featured a "free standing" chimney, which was connected underground to the furnaces.
Detention in Deutschland, death in Poland
Old Germany, within the borders of the Weimar Republic and annexed Austria, contained several detention camps (Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Mauthausen, etc.) set up before the war. Dachau was the first, set up in 1933 for political prisoners. Though some gassings and other executions took place there, for correctional and experimental purposes, they were not built for mass murder. Later, the Nazis built extermination camps; "camp" is, however, a misnomer, as the only residents were the guards, and prisoners were usually killed on arrival.
Most extermination camps were built in the territory that used to be Poland; Auschwitz and Chelmno were located in Ostgebiete (provinces which had been transferred from Germany to Poland in 1918, and re-annexed into Germany in 1939) or the eastern General Government (Treblinka, Sobibór, Majdanek, Bełżec), in essence, a colony run by a German military junta, planned to be annexed and settled by Germany. For the occupation, the Nazis abolished the name Poland. In this article, the camps in present-day Poland are described as "Nazi camps in Poland" to emphasize this difference, and avoid the presupposition that many of these were extermination camps. Some camps were also set up in Czechoslovakia and conquered parts of the Soviet Union.
It should be noted that none of the best-known camps were extermination camps. This is because the well-known camps are the ones that people survived. The name Auschwitz is more known than Birkenau (or Auschwitz II); the extermination department of the Auschwitz complex. Also, many parts of the Warsaw Pact (due to their own problems with collaboration and anti-Semitism) tried to erase the history of these extermination camps. However, this does not in any way disprove the existence of real extermination camps, such as Treblinka, Bełżec, and Sobibór.
Camp amenities: Auschwitz swimming pool, orchestras
Auschwitz I, a detention area within the enormous Auschwitz complex, contained a firefighting water reservoir, later rebuilt into a swimming pool. Revisionists might insinuate that the presence of a swimming pool is a sign of good living conditions for the prisoners. However, the pool, as most other recreational facilities, were restricted to guards, kapos, and privileged prisoners. The vast majority of the prisoners arriving at Birkenau (Auschwitz II) never got close to the swimming pool.
Other Holocaust deniers have presented survivor testimonies about orchestras, theatres, and cinemas in Auschwitz and other camps. Just like the swimming pool, these amenities were a privilege for few prisoners. It is hard to argue that privileges granted to inmate collaborators disprove the existence of the Holocaust (or the prisons themselves)!
"Why didn't the Jews fight back?"
Holocaust deniers and other laymen might raise confusion about the claim that the Jews did not fight back when sent to certain death.
In fact, there were Jewish revolts with approximately 100 resistance groups in various ghettos. The most famous ghetto uprising was the Warsaw ghetto uprising where many Jews of that city decided to die fighting rather than be sent to the death camps. The camps in Sobibór and Treblinka both had uprisings that resulted in hundreds killed. Others escaped from Kruszyna, Minsk-Mazowiecki, and Janowska where they joined partisan units which fought against the Nazis. Even in Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Jews resisted but were, ultimately, all executed.
Nuremberg Trials and subsequent trials
The Nuremberg trials and their subsequent followups represent a popular piece of evidence in support of the Holocaust. However, even if the trials had never taken place, the facts of the Holocaust would still remain. These claims do not disprove the Holocaust. On the contrary, the trials unearthed massive evidence for it.
"We knew nothing"
When the facts of the Holocaust were presented to the defendants of the Nuremberg Trials, as well as other German and Axis citizens, many of them replied "davon haben wir nichts gewusst", translated to "about that, we knew nothing". This statement might be read as if the common man was ignorant of the Holocaust until 1945. Holocaust deniers might exploit this perceived ignorance, to argue that evidence and testimonies have been fabricated.
The phrase davon haben wir nichts gewusst implies that the speaker knew that something was going on (davon is roughly translated "about that"), so the translation We knew nothing is incomplete.
In fact, the extermination campaign was known outside Germany as early as 1942. Whether the common man did believe the news or did bother about it, is another question.
Many thousands of German officers and guards were stationed at the camps in Poland and were suspected of carrying out or ordering the Holocaust (Franz Suchomel, Hans Stark). Many were sent to trial, and some of them confessed or testified about mass murder.
Holocaust deniers claim that these testimonies were given out of torture. Indeed, many Nazis were mistreated during the Allied occupation. But several German veterans have testified about mass murder decades after the occupation.
Moreover, Holocaust deniers might claim that the Nuremberg trials coerced the defendants to make false statements about what happened to the Jews. This is contradicted by the fact that most defendants who were found guilty for detention and extermination (Göring, Jodl, etc) were hanged, while the defendants not involved with the Jews (Dönitz, von Papen, Hess etc.) got away with prison, or acquittal.
Holocaust deniers might claim that the Nuremberg trials were unfair. These claims do not disprove the Holocaust even if the trials were unfair. The purpose of a trial is to evaluate the defendants' guilt, not to decide whether the crime has happened.
One complaint is that the judges were recruited from Allied countries, enemies of Nazi Germany — and that the defendants could not expect a fair trial from their erstwhile enemies, and should be tried by peers from their own countries. This request is absurd — if a defendant could refuse a judge belonging to an enemy country, no one who committed a crime abroad or on international territory, or espionage or terrorism against a government, could ever be brought to justice. There is another good reason why the judges were not German — the German Reich had ceased to exist in May, 1945, and could therefore not provide any certified judges. West and East Germany were not founded until 1949. And if there are reasons for Allied judges to be biased against the defendants, the argument could be used that German judges would be biased for them.
Moreover, West German courts (with German judges) have held subsequent trials, such as the Frankfurt trials.
The Primary Nuremberg Trials, were held in 1946 against 24 top-ranked German officers, politicians, and industrialists.
In the subsequent Nuremberg trials, from 1946 to 1949, the United States held trials against low- and medium-rank German officers, bureaucrats and industrialists. There was indeed some political pressure on the courts. However, the American military wanted the judges to be softer on the defendants, because the Cold War had begun, and the United States needed the Germans on their side against the Soviet Union. This dilemma (which is described by the feature film Judgment in Nuremberg), contradicts the Holocaust deniers' story.
The Einsatzgruppen trial was the 9th of the 12 subsequent trials. There were 24 SS officers, known as Einsatzkommandos, who were tried. The Einsatzkommandos were ordered to operate behind the front lines in Eastern Europe with their units and to murder partisans, Roma, disabled persons, political leaders, Slavs, and others. The Einsatzkommando's own documents were used as evidence in the trials, documents which showed that their units murdered more than 1 million people between 1941-1943.
The Auschwitz Trials were held in Kraków in 1947, by Polish authorities, against SS members involved in the Holocaust. Though Poland was a dictatorship and a satellite state of the Soviet Union at the time and there are reasonable complaints about the rule of law, Holocaust deniers tend not to have objections about this trial; partly because it is largely unknown in the West.
The Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials (also known as the "second Auschwitz trials") took place from 1963 to 1965. Judges and defending lawyers were appointed by the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). Some defendants were imprisoned for life, some were sent to time-limited sentences, and others were acquitted. The Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials were largely open to the public.
The last Holocaust trials, probably definitely, were held in the 2010s, with prosecutors and judges working for the reunited Federal Republic of Germany.
Not once during any of these trials going on for more than 60 years, has any of the defendants (or their lawyers) used a complete denial defense; a statement that the alleged crime did not happen at all. In contrast, the mostly used defense strategy has been superior orders defense; which is technically an admission, or a confession. The "superior orders strategy" is so strongly associated with these trials that it is now called the Nuremberg defense.
The Holocaust gave birth to many rumors about atrocities. Some of these turned out to be true while others were false. Examples include allegations that the Nazis manufactured soap and lampshades out of their victims' remains on an industrial scale. The fact that these allegations have been disproved is supposed to imply that revisionists have been successful changing the minds of historians and that the main facts of the Holocaust are also in question. However, it has no relevance to the big picture of the Holocaust.
Recipes of soap made from human corpses have been found in Holocaust documents, and possibly some experimental production was done. However, according to The Nizkor Project (an Internet project documenting and refuting Holocaust denial), serious historians of the Holocaust never believed the Nazis mass-produced soap from the corpses of Jews, so it was never a case of historians changing their minds to begin with.
In any event, soap is manufactured from fats, and the emaciated victims of the Holocaust and the mistreatment of Soviet POWs (other 'candidates' for such treatment due to sheer numbers and frequently murdered) would rarely have had the sufficient fats for processing into soap. Nazi Germany had copious sources of fats from livestock butchered for meat.
Revisionists do not deny the deportation of Jews from all of Europe and the detention in camps in Poland (which was semi-annexed by Greater Germany and abolished in name). They have several explanation models to motivate the Nazi deportation of Jews. None of them are bulletproof.
Deportation to Madagascar
Auschwitz, Sobibor, and other international concentration camps were located in Greater Germany. So — if the Nazis intend to expel the Jews out of Greater Germany, why did they take the effort to ship Jews into Greater Germany from distant occupied countries such as Norway, France and Greece (which were ruled by puppet governments and were not going to be annexed)? In other words: if the policy was to get Jews out, why bring them in?
The Nazis used several euphemisms for killing; one was "deportation", according to the Nazi policy to cleanse Germany from Jews. The Nazis indeed had ideas of a Jewish homeland on Madagascar. Madagascar was under Vichy French control (but practically isolated from Germany) until 1942, when it was occupied by the Allies.
Some revisionists claim that Jews were rounded up for forced labor. This does not explain why small children and elderly people were deported, separated from their families. Since Poles and other Slavic peoples were used for forced labor, abducting more of these people would have been more economical than transporting Jews from distant occupied countries, such as Norway, France, and Greece.
Some revisionists, such as the IHR, claim that the internment of Jews was motivated since they posed a security risk. However, while most Jews were deported to Poland, Nazis did not routinely deport resistance fighters or non-Jewish civilians from occupied nations. In any case, this explanation is no good for the deportation of children as young as five, and old people in their eighties.
Slaughter of millions vs genocide
Some Holocaust deniers use this fact in the reasoning "the Jews were not exterminated, therefore, it was not a real genocide." The simplest response is that the UN's definition of genocide does not require the successful implementation of a plan. Why? Because killing every single member of a given race is nearly impossible. Some people can pass as other races, like many Jews did. Some members of every race will be dispersed all over the world. Some would hide, bunkered, for decades. There wouldn't be a single successful genocide in human history if perfection was required — and this would make the word "genocide" meaningless.
Moreover, even if the Holocaust wasn't a genocide, it was still an atrocious loss of human life that deserves condemnation.
Red herrings tactics
Laws against Holocaust denial
Denial of crimes against humanity is outlawed in thirteen European countries and Israel. In the Netherlands, courts have ruled that genocide denial is hate speech, and therefore implicitly illegal. While these laws are an affront to free speech and a terrifying precedent, deniers who claim that these laws are part of the conspiracy ignore that:
- These laws are much younger than Holocaust denial itself. Most of them were made in the late 1980s or 1990s, as a counter-measure against the rise of white supremacism in a European generation which had no experience of the war. During most of post-war history — more than 40 years — Holocaust denial has been legal in all countries of the world. It was only in 1990 that the French government enacted the Gayssot Law, which declares questioning the scale or existence of any crimes against humanity a crime. This was the first European statute explicitly outlawing denial of the Holocaust.
- Most of these laws outlaw denial of all crimes against humanity, not limited to the ones committed by the Axis of World War II, but also explicitly (as in Poland, Slovakia, or the Czech Republic) or implicitly including crimes by Communist regimes, and other crimes often emphasized by Holocaust deniers. Only in Romania is the law limited to Holocaust denial. The Israeli law is the only one of these laws actually mentioning Jews.
- Currently, there are 179 countries, and several autonomous territories, without any law or judicial precedent against Holocaust denial. This list includes all of North and South America, Africa, Oceania, Asia (except Israel; as if any Holocaust denier would want to go there in the first place) and 37 of the 50 countries in Europe. On July 8 1986, the Israeli parliament passed a law criminalizing denial of the Holocaust. In 2007, The European Union approved legislation that makes Holocaust denial a crime punishable by jail time. The laws against Holocaust denial do not even cover the areas affected by the Holocaust; genocide denial is legal in the former Yugoslav states, Greece and several other countries where the Nazis abducted Jews during the war.
- The number of countries banning genocide denial has been largely constant since the 1990s. Spain repealed their law against genocide denial in 2007. Parliaments in United Kingdom and Sweden have rejected proposals for such laws. The European Parliament has also rejected a directive to criminalize genocide denial. Canada's Supreme Court sentenced James Keegstra in R. v. Keegstra in 1990 for hate speech not limited to Holocaust denial, but in R. v. Zundel in 1992 they acquitted Zündel and declared Holocaust denial to be protected by the Canadian Constitution. The only recent law against genocide denial was made in Hungary in 2010. Previously, the trivialization of the Holocaust was illegal. The new law prohibits "denial of genocide committed by Communist or Nazi system," with no special mentioning of the Holocaust or Jews.
- Deniers may claim that these laws are a product of Jewish influence. In that case, how come that Holocaust denial is legal in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Russia, which have significant Jewish populations, but is illegal in Poland, Romania and Lithuania, where hardly any Jews live today (and how come so few Jews live there)?[note 5]
Holocaust compared to other atrocities
The Holocaust is not the largest mass murder in history. Deniers might, in a ruse of whataboutism, compare British and American atrocities (bombing of Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki etc) to Nazi atrocities, but the millions of Axis civilian victims are still an order of magnitude more than the civilians killed by the Western allies.
- Holocaust deniers might claim that the Allied bombing of Dresden killed around 250,000 people, though the death toll was only 20,000-25,000 people—lower in fact than the death toll of the bombing of Hamburg in 1943.
- The Allied bombings and detentions were never censored or denied.
- Revisionists might point out that Allied leaders were never tried or sentenced for war crimes. However, no defendant in Nuremberg was tried or sentenced only for war crimes.
- Though Japanese-American prison camps were shameful, this is a completely different case from the Holocaust because Japanese American prisoners did not suffer mass extermination, starvation, epidemics or forced labor, nor were they stripped of their citizenship.
- The IHR compares the Nazis' Nuremberg Laws to the Jim Crow laws or other segregation laws in some states of the USA at the same time. This has no relevance, and the Nazis were much, much worse. Jews were stripped of their citizenship, and violation usually led to a death sentence.
- Just as in the case of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union invaded neutral countries, used forced labor and murdered civilians. But that does not disprove the Holocaust.
- Israel's armed forces have killed some tens of thousands of people since 1948. This number is dwarfed by the Holocaust's death toll. The IHR also compares the Nuremberg Laws to present-day laws of Israel. Most of these claims are lies, and they are all irrelevant.
- Based on the aftermath of these and other atrocities (the Armenian genocide, Rwandan genocide, etc.) Holocaust deniers might claim that the Holocaust gets too much attention. Holocaust deniers are welcome to commemorate these other atrocities, and be attentive to deniers.
What about white genocide?
Many holocaust deniers are also believers in the idea of an ongoing modern white genocide. Some Holocaust deniers will raise the question "What about the ongoing white genocide through immigration? If the Holocaust was so bad, why don't you fight against white genocide?" However, this is just a red herring and a distraction tactic. The existence (or not) of the Holocaust is independent of the existence (or not) of modern white genocide. This tactic is an attempt to DARV those who believe in the Holocaust and put them on the defensive.
Claimed bias against Holocaust denial
Holocaust deniers might claim that governments and (Jewish) mass media use the Holocaust as propaganda, and oppress "revisionist" views. First, this is irrelevant. Second, the Holocaust deniers also have had their endorsements. Iran held a conference dedicated to Holocaust denial, and deniers have spread their word in many countries through books, radio, and the Internet.
The Jewish agenda
Holocaust deniers might claim that the global Jewish community "declared war" on Germany in 1933, according to a headline in the London Daily Express on March 24, 1933, saying "Judea Declares War on Germany," describing a proposed Jewish boycott of German goods. That was not a literal war.
Holocaust deniers might assert the existence of a "Holocaust industry", claiming that the Holocaust was made up to "blackmail" Western governments and German corporations for economic compensation. This is irrelevant. Reparations have been paid to survivors, not to people who were killed.
Holocaust deniers might also complain about survivors' profiteering on books and lectures. This, too, is irrelevant, and many high-ranked Nazis earned royalties from books after the war — maybe the Nazi game all along was to kill a few million and make a killing in lecture fees? In all seriousness, the use of the Holocaust by any group for political capital (or gain of any sort) has no bearing whatever on its historical importance, nor should it in any way affect the general understanding of the events.
General conspiracy theory/pseudo-history components
Holocaust deniers might point out that many other people in history have falsely confessed crimes after torture or other pressure (such as witchcraft). However, the Holocaust is backed by technical evidence. Also, not a single one of the thousands of guards and officers has withdrawn their confessions, or provided a dissenting confession.
Holocaust deniers frequently repeat the cliché that victors write history. On a literal plane, this is false. Dönitz, Speer, and other high-ranked Nazis, wrote and published their memoirs. Re-telling the events of the war is a strong tradition in Germany.
Some history books might tell that Jews were deported to concentration camps, without mentioning the gas chambers or the death toll. Some do not use the term "Holocaust." However, a book is nothing more than the words of its author. If a textbook omits the Holocaust, we should go ask the author why. The most probable answer would be "lack of space."
Martin Glynn's "Holocaust" article from 1919
Martin H. Glynn, former Governor of New York State, wrote an article in October 1919 to encourage American Jews to send humanitarian aid to starving European Jews in the wake of World War I and the Spanish flu.
By coincidence, Glynn counted "six million" European Jews, and used the word "holocaust" (see above) to describe the threatening famine. This has led to some interesting interpretations.
The American Hebrew on 31 October 1919 published a propaganda article under the headline "The Crucifixion of Jews Must Stop!" In the article, it was claimed that during the world war because of epidemics, starvation and "holocaust", six million Jews might have succumbed. Later everything turned out to be war propaganda.
Other Holocaust deniers have used this article to "prove" that the idea of staging the murder of six million Jews originated from at least 1919. This idea has several issues:
- Besides the phrases six million and holocaust, the article has nothing in common with the Holocaust which we know from World War II — although deniers might falsely claim it to mention murder, Germany or the war.
- Deniers claim that the article originated as a speech. This statement is not backed by evidence, nor does it matter.
- Deniers still have to explain exactly what this article proves. Was the claimed plan to stage a genocide already worked out in 1919? Was the "staged" holocaust just an a posteriori carbon copy of Mr. Glynn's article?
The Holocaust denial movement
Nearly all Holocaust deniers seem to belong, or be affiliated to, any of these four groups:
- White supremacists and the far right, including but not limited to neo-Nazis.
- Authoritarian pro-Palestine activists who oppose the very existence of Israel (Holocaust-denier arguments related to Israel are addressed in Red herrings in Holocaust denial). These folks can be divided into two sub-categories: militant Islamists, and far left political activists.
- Anti-Semites in general.
- General conspiracy theorists, iconoclasts, or curmudgeons who don't necessarily pursue such denialism based on any political motives. In this category can be found some astonishing examples from either left-wing or libertarian politics: James J. Martin, Paul Rassinier, Harry Elmer Barnes, L.A. Rollins, Samuel Edward Konkin III, and Laird Wilcox. Except for Rassinier and Barnes, they are better known for other things and only incidentally linked to Holocaust denial, but neo-Nazis and anti-Semites like to use them as cover by promoting their names and work to show that denial spans the political spectrum. It doesn't; these are freak occurrences. This category could also include Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky; while neither of them denies the Holocaust, Finkelstein rails against what he sees as the "Holocaust industry", while Chomsky makes a point of defending deniers on free speech grounds.
Aims and techniques of deniers
This is manifested in some of the aims of Holocaust denial:
- Making National Socialism an acceptable political alternative again.
- Questioning the United Nations' decision to claim land for Israel in 1948, or any recognition of the state of Israel.
- Using the story of a "staged" Holocaust as part of an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.
Holocaust deniers almost never base their agenda on an alternate hypothesis. Finding "their story" can be very difficult. The bulk of their arguments contains many miscellaneous loose statements that question the credibility of the Holocaust. This article aims to provide universal proof but mainly deals with replying to deniers' objections.
Some famous Holocaust deniers described in brief. See each entry for a case study.
- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — Former President of Iran. Hosted a 2006 conference, the "International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust," at which the panel of speakers included among others David Duke and Robert Faurisson. Ahmadinejad is proud of his achievement: “That was a taboo topic that no one in the West allowed to be heard,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech, according to the Iranian Fars News Agency, "We put it forward at the global level. That broke the spine of the Western capitalist regime."
- Sultan bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan — United Arab Emirates politician. Promoted a Holocaust denial symposium in Abu Dhabi in 2002.
- Steven Anderson — Pastor of the Faithful World Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona. Producer of the "documentary" video Marching to Zion in which he rants about the "blasphemous teachings of the Talmud and Kabbalah" and "scriptural evidence that the Jews are no longer God's chosen people." According to the ADL, he "has a history of anti-Semitism through his sermons and a series of YouTube videos.". On one of his videos, in which he denies the Holocaust, he openly says, "Frankly, I don't believe that the official version of the Holocaust is true, whatsoever."  
- Harry Elmer Barnes — Originally, a mainstream writer and historian. After World War II, a marginal crank who brought his marginalization on himself because he insisted that all accusations against Germany and Japan were fabricated wartime propaganda. Revered and frequently name-dropped by today's Holocaust denial movement but their politics are likely far from Barnes' which were more along the lines of "I didn't leave liberalism, liberalism left me."
- David Brandt Berg ("Moses David") — Founder of the Children of God cult. He peppered many of his group's tracts with anti-Semitic rants and occasional denials of the Holocaust, such as, "You hear all about Hitler & how he was supposed to have killed 6 million Jews! — Well, they've never been able to prove yet that he even killed 60,000!"
- Arthur Butz — Professor of electrical engineering at Northwestern University; author of the 1976 book The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry. Accused of getting another professor removed from the department for incorporating the Holocaust into his lecture on ethics in engineering.
- Willis Carto — Founder of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) in 1979, the main Holocaust denial group in the United States. Founder of the Barnes Review, a "historical revisionist" magazine that mostly runs articles questioning the Holocaust but covers it up with other articles on serious historical topics. Previously founded the wingnut Liberty Lobby in 1955.
- Francis E. Dec — Disbarred lawyer turned pamphleteer known for vehement and often incoherent screeds of a delusional and paranoid nature. In one of his pamphlets, dated Spring 1984, he insisted that during World War II, the Jews lived in luxury while the concentration camps were run by both the Jews and the Nazis in order to exterminate Polish and Slavic people.
- David Dees — Former Sesame Street illustrator turned conspiracy theorist. His Photoshopped creations have been heavily used by like-minded conspiracy believers, and these include a number of which include references to Holocaust revision.   
- David Duke — Neo-Nazi and former-Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, well-known and despised in the United States. Notably came disturbingly close to being elected Governor of Louisiana in 1990.
- Robert Faurisson — French writer, prosecuted for defamation in 1979 after writing letters to Le Monde claiming there were no gas chambers. The author of a 1991 booklet claiming the Diary of Anne Frank is a forgery.
- Bobby Fischer — American world chess champion. Despite his openly anti-Semitic remarks and denial of the Holocaust from the 1980s until his death, he reportedly was on good terms with Jewish chess players. Fischer's mother and possibly his biological father were Jewish.
- Ursula Haverbeck — German writer, convicted in Germany.
- Michael Hoffman — American writer and editor of the journal Revisionist History. Claims that he is being persecuted by anti-German Jewish "racists."
- David Irving — A "historian and a neutral observer" who believes that the Jews asked for it.
- Milton L. Kapner a.k.a. Brother Nathanael Kapner — Born to Jewish parents, he converted to Russian Orthodox Christianity and joined a monastery. While he often wears the trappings of a monk, he no longer is one, and his actions have been denounced by the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Runs the "Brother Nathanael Foundation" (a tax-deductible 501(c)3 Non-Profit), and a website called "Real Jew News" where he has a page listing "Holocaust Hype Articles". He has also made a number of YouTube videos promoting his views.
- Charles Wing Krafft — Pop artist noted for his "disasterware" (Delft plates depicting violent disasters or fascist themes) and funerary memorial porcelain artworks crafted from human remains, who was outed as an anti-Semite and holocaust denier. On a July 28, 2012, podcast on The White Network, a site that officially hosts the program "Whites Talking To Whites About White Interests", he openly stated, "I believe the Holocaust is a myth." In an e-mail to writer Jen Graves of The Stranger, regarding his thoughts on the Holocaust, he stated,
“”"I don't doubt that Hitler's regime killed a lot of Jews in WWII, but I don't believe they were ever frog marched into homicidal gas chambers and dispatched. I think between 700,000-1.2 million Jews died of disease, starvation, overwork, reprisals for partisan attacks, allied bombing, and natural causes during the war."
- Fred Leuchter — Consultant to the lucrative capital punishment industry in the U.S. and manufacturer of electric chairs. In 1988, he was hired by Ernst Zündel to investigate whether the gas chambers in Nazi concentration camps could have been used for mass extermination. Leuchter claims he concluded they could not have been and published The Leuchter Report: An Engineering Report on the Alleged Execution Chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Majdanek Poland. Fred Leuchter has no scientific background to have made such a claim. He was the subject of the 1999 Errol Morris documentary Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.
- Texe Marrs — Christian writer and conspiracy theorist. On his website he sells his own recordings entitled The Holocaust Controversy and the Falsification of History, and Holocaust Dogma Unmasked — A Grim Global Conspiracy Mocking Reality and Capitalizing on Death is Outed by Brave Truthtellers. He also peddles Victor Thorn's book The Holocaust Hoax Exposed: Debunking the 20th Century’s Biggest Lie, and Brian Alois Clèrauba's book A Greater "Miracle" Than The Lost Ten Tribes Discovered...—The Dead "Six Million" Uncovered...!, as well as the anti-Semitic screeds The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, and Martin Luther's On the Jews and Their Lies.
- Eustace Mullins — Anti-Semitic writer and (until his recent demise) contributing editor to Barnes Review.
- Revilo P. Oliver — His original claim to fame was as a JFK assassination conspiracy theorist. Kicked out of the John Birch Society for public anti-Semitic statements, went on to neo-Nazi activities in his later years.
- Ahmed Rami — Moroccan-Swedish writer, and founder of Radio Islam. Sentenced by a Swedish court in 1990 to six months in prison for hate speech rising from the material including, but not limited to, Holocaust denial. Has co-written a Holocaust denial book, Tabubelagda tankar (Tabooed Thoughts), with Swedish Neo-Nazi leader Björn Björkqvist.
- Roeland Raes is a Belgian politician, a former senator and vice president of the Vlaams Blok party. He was convicted of negationism of the Belgian Holocaust denial law in 2010.
- George Lincoln Rockwell — US Navy veteran of both World War II and the Korean War, and one-time commercial illustrator, advertising agent, magazine publisher, and sign painter, later founder of the American Nazi Party (later known as National Socialist White People's Party), which was one of the first US organizations to promote Holocaust revisionism and denial as part of its ideology. (It splintered off into numerous groups after his 1967 murder by a purged party member.) An outspoken white supremacist and anti-Semite, he was quoted in an April 1966 interview in Playboy:
“”"I don't believe for one minute that any 6,000,000 Jews were exterminated by Hitler. It never happened." … "I emphatically deny that there is any valid proof that innocent Jews were systematically murdered by the Nazis. The photographs you've seen that have been passed off as pictures of dead Jews have been identified as pictures of the corpses of German civilians — mostly women and children and refugees who were killed in the one-night Allied bombing of Dresden, which slaughtered 350,000 innocent people."
- Germar Rudolf — German student who released a poorly researched report while interning at the Max Planck institute claiming that samples taken from gas chamber walls showed no more cyanide evidence than random farmhouses. He ignored the basic chemistry of cyanide by not discriminating against iron-based cyanide compounds. The study was subsequently falsified, and Rudolf was fired and imprisoned. Rudolf has since gone on to other impressive feats such as denying 9/11.
- Bradley Smith — A crank who has spent the last 25 years trying to place advertisements in newspapers calling for an "open debate" on whether the Holocaust happened. He seems to crave the controversy that results and chants the mantra of "free speech" a lot. He is especially fond of trying to place these ads in student newspapers on college campuses, which usually results in free publicity for him and his pet cause whether or not the ads are accepted for publication.
- David Stein a.k.a. David Cole — Leader of Republican Party Animals, a Hollywood-based conservative political group. In 2013, he was exposed as being "David Cole," a Holocaust revisionist who made a splash in the media in the 1990s.
- Paul Topete — Lead vocalist of the "Patriot" rock band Poker Face. On the band's on-line forum, Topete, using the handle "Pokerkid", has made a number of anti-Semitic statements, including the following (reproduced verbatim):
“”"I am always amazaed at how many roads lead back to one of the largest if not THEE [sic] largest scam ever played on humanity… Yes that [sic] right… the HOLOHAUX aka holocaust. 1985 and 1988 Ernst Zundel DESTROYED the Myth known as the cult of holohauzianity. In a canadien [sic] court of law, Ernst zundel took on the biggest frauds in the SHOAH Industry, and showed them to be the frauds that they were. Names like Raoul Hilberg and Vrba. And several other parasites known to infest this worldly sham. Wake up people, You are being played for fools for you LACK KNOWLEDGE."
- Hal Turner — White supremacist, shortwave and internet talk show host, and FBI informant, now convicted felon. Quoting him directly:
“”"Jews love to complain about the 'Holocaust.' Let me tell you, there was no Holocaust in World War 2 — but rest assured, there most certainly IS GOING TO BE a holocaust. I look forward to participating with zeal."
- Richard Williamson — British Roman Catholic Bishop and former member of the Catholic Traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, was fined by the German government for denying the Holocaust on Swedish TV while on German soil.  During the interview, he stated, "I believe that the historical evidence is strongly against, is hugely against six million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler." and "I think that 200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, but none of them in gas chambers."
- Shaun Patrick Winkler — American White Supremacist and failed Sheriff candidate for Bonner County, Idaho who attempted to build an "Aryan compound" to replace the now defunct Aryan Nations Church. In an interview, he was quoted as saying, "The bad, evil, rotten Jew is behind a lot of things. We look at the media, we look at society in general. We look at even our public school systems. They paint this pretty little portrait for Jews, how they were such victims of the Holocaust or, as I like to refer to it, the ‘Holo-Hoax.’ We … deny that 6 million died."
- Francis Parker Yockey — An American Hitler admirer who wrote an unreadable post-World War II tome called Imperium under the pen-name "Ulick Varange," a book which you can't make heads or tails of but vaguely has something to do with advocating European unification around a program of "total politics."
- Ernst Zündel — German writer and neo-Nazi who, through his Canadian publishing company (he lived in Canada 1958-2000) and his website, has been a prolific promoter of Holocaust denial through. Was prosecuted in Germany and sentenced to five years in prison in 2007 for violating Germany's law against inciting hatred. Released in 2010, but seems to have been relatively inactive since.
Questions to ask a Holocaust denier
- Did the Nazis exterminate Romani, gays, and political opponents?
- If so, the gas chambers and crematories were functional, despite Holocaust deniers' "proof" that they were useless.
- If not, these groups of people were also part of the conspiracy. How large can a conspiracy become?
- Temporarily set aside your objections to my evidence for the Holocaust. Other comparable mass killings have about the same amount of supporting evidence. If you can deny the Holocaust, then can't you also deny other mass violence — such as [select the most applicable] the Great Leap Forward, the Holodomor, or the Atlantic Slave Trade, the decimation of native populations of the Americas?
- If one can deny the Holocaust, one of the most well-documented events in history, can one not deny practically anything and make history itself meaningless?
- [If they are religious] Scholars agree that there is far better evidence for the Holocaust than [pivotal religious event]. Why put any faith in [event] but deny the Holocaust? Given how important [event] is to [religion], isn't there even more reason to think that historians and scholars would lie about [event] than about the Holocaust?
- If you were a Jew, would you kill 6 million of your own just to get sympathy?
- Documents showing evidence of personal culpability of Nazi leaders and ranking subordinates were discovered in huge numbers after the defeat of Nazi Germany. Such documents included architectural plans for the camps, engineering drafts, test results, accounting ledgers, railroad timetables, payroll records, commendations, orders, deportation lists, and death counts. The victorious Allies could not have forged so many documents so quickly, and Nazis who may have claimed that their signatures on incriminating documents were forgeries did not claim that the documents themselves were forgeries. If these incriminating documents were generated by the Nazis, then why would they create such evidence that would surely lead to their imprisonment or execution as war criminals?
- Have you seriously considered the possibility that you may, in fact, have lost your fucking marbles and you just don't know it yet?
- Himmler on the execution of Jews
- List of countries where Holocaust denial is legal
- Red herrings in Holocaust denial
- Holocaust envy
- International Jewish conspiracy
- Nizkor Project
- White extinction scenario
- Anna Rosmus, who exposed a few instances of Holocaust denial
- Potemkin village for Theresienstadt
- Gilad Atzmon — has been accused of denialism, but he denies this
In popular culture
A critically-acclaimed 2016 theatrical film, Denial, told the story of Deborah Lipstadt's legal defense againt a libel suit brought by holocaust denier David Irving. The film was written by David Hare and Deborah Lipstadt, and directed by Mick Jackson. It was nominated in the year's BAFTA awards as outstanding British film, but lost to I, Daniel Blake.
- Holocaust deniers category on Wikipedia
- Holocaust denial at The Skeptic's Dictionary
- Rewriting History: Holocaust Revisionism Today, published by HOPE not Hate (PDF)
- Holocaust Denial on Trial: Using History to Confront Distortions
- /r/AskHistorians: Monday Methods: Holocaust Denial and how to combat it
- /r/holocaust -- a Holocaust denial subreddit, to see the kinds of tactics used
- RationalWiki on Holocaust Denial, The Right Stuff (Archive)
- Is there any factual basis for Holocaust denial?, on The Straight Dope
- There are very few people who think the Holocaust was a Zionist fake and that it didn't happen and that it was a good thing. We hope.
- The wording has changed, but this one is the most concise.
- Translated in the King James Bible as "burnt offering". The difference between a holocaust sacrifice and other sacrifices in Greek religion or Temple Judaism was that the sacrificed animal was entirely burnt, rather than simply slaughtered with most of the animal used for food.
- German-language pun of the name of this "report". "Armleuchter" means something like "bonehead" in German.
- There is a reasonable case against making all genocide denial a crime. The Holocaust is well researched and it can easily be argued that deniers are either wilfully ignorant or liars. Other genocides are less well known, i.e. it is much more difficult for historians to estimate the death toll in the massacres of Native Americans, as Native Americans left no record of births and deaths or of causes of death. What proportion of deaths were intentional killings and what proportions were the results of infectious diseases introduced unintentionally? When denying or trivializing a case of genocide is a criminal offense, people who want to keep within the law become reluctant to discuss it, and this can hinder an impartial analysis.
- Haim Bresheeth Centre for Media Studies, School of Arts, SOAS, University of London
- Introducing The Holocaust: A Graphic Guide, Icon Books, 2013, ISBN: 978-184831-514-3, page 160-161
- Holocaust denier jailed, The Guardian
- Eisenhower, Dwight D. Crusade in Europe. Doubleday, 1948
- See the Wikipedia article on The_Holocaust.
- denial The Free Dictionary.
- Tristan, Kelly Patreon: Step Back
- YouTube: What is the Alt Right? A History of American Hate Groups, Step Back History
- Fixing The Numbers At Auschwitz by Dan Stets (May 07, 1992) Chicago Tribune.
- The actual issue of LIFE, from Google books.
- Eisenhower, on Holocaust Denial by Loren Collins (Jun 14, 2009).
- Quotes: Holocaust/Concentration Camps Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home
- Letter, DDE to George C. Marshall, 4/15/45 [The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower, The War Years IV, doc #2418]
- Denying the Holocaust By Deborah Lipstadt (2011-02-17) BBC.
- Josef Hell, "Aufzeichnung," 1922, ZS 640, p. 5, Institute fuer Zeitgeschichte. English ranslation at The Nizkor Project: My first and foremost task…
- Hitler Speaks to the Reichstag on the Jewish Question: Selected Extracts from Adolf Hitler's The Jewish Question speech, delivered before the Reichstag in Berlin, Germany - January 30, 1939 Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team
- Ending of the film The Eternal Jew, including Hitler's The Jewish Question speech
- Rethinking the Holocaust by Yehuda Bauer (2000). Yale University Press. ISBN 0300082568.
- Shofar FTP Archive File
- als — ausrotten
- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Volume Two — A Reckoning, Chapter XV: The Right of Emergency Defense, p. 984, quoted in The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry, 1932-1945
- Ian Kershaw, Hitler 1889-1936 Hubris (2000), W. W. Norton & Company, p.258. ISBN 0393320359.
- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Volume One — A Reckoning, Chapter XII: The First Period of Development of the National Socialist German Workers' Party
- A. Hitler. Mein Kampf (Munich: Franz Eher Nachfolger, 1930), pg 478
- Joseph Goebbels' Diaries: Excerpts, 1942-43, Part 2 of 2: May 13, 1943 (pp. 376-377) The Nizkor Project
- Joseph Goebbels' Diaries: Excerpts, 1942-43, Part 1 of 2 The Nizkor Project
- English translation of the Jäger report A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust (Florida Center for Instructional Technology).
- See the Wikipedia article on Wannsee Conference.
- Literature of the Holocaust: The Wansee [sic Protocol]
- IMDb listing for The Wannsee Conference
- IMDb listing for Conspiracy
- Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals. Washington, U.S Govt. Print. Off., 1949-1953, Vol. XIII, p. 269-272.
- Heinrich Himmler's Speech at Poznan (Posen) (Archive.org from March 11, 2013)
- Himmler's 1943 Poznan Speech to SS on Extermination of Jews YouTube (audio only)
- Captured German Sound Recordings United States National Archives
- IfZ, MA 309 (=NA, T 175, R 85), pp. 0152-0200), printed in: Smith/Peterson (eds.), Himmler, Geheimreden, p. 169.
- Odilo Globocnik: The Worst Man in the World" Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team
- The Korherr Report (translated to English) Axis History Forum
- TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 501-PS: Report by Untersturmfuehrer Becker on the Operation of Gas Vans, May 16 1942 (Archive.org from September 1, 2011).
- Nazi Euphemisms by Laurie Schaefer.
- Mattogno's special treatment of evidence Friday, March 31, 2006. Holocaust Controversies.
- See the Wikipedia article on Sonderbehandlung.
- Irving v. Lipstadt: Holocaust Denial and the 2000 Libel Trial in the U.K. Holocaust Denial on Trial: Using History to Confront Distortions (Emory University)
- Yale University Library: Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies
- Felix Tuszynski: Prisoner number: 64464
- Interview with an Auschwitz Guard: 'I Do Not Feel Like a Criminal' Interview Conducted by Felix Bohr, Cordula Meyer and Klaus Wiegrefe
- Liberation of Nazi Camps Holocaust Encyclopedia
- Soldaten: Protokolle vom Kämpfen, Töten und Sterben by Sönke Neitzel and Harald Welzer (2011). S. Fischer. ISBN 3100894340.
- An Authenticated Edition of Anne Frank's Diary by Herbert Mitgang (June 8, 1989) New York Times.
- Ten questions on the authenticity of the diary of Anne Frank Anne Frank Museum
- The Neverending Campaign to Ban 'Slaughterhouse Five' by Betsy Morais (Aug 12, 2011) The Atlantic. "…the Culpeper County, Virginia school system announced it would ban the 50th Anniversary 'Definitive Edition' of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl after receiving complaints about its sexual content and homosexual themes."
- Other Holocaust deniers may claim that a concentration camp prisoner denying the Holocaust would have special credibility. However, Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora were labor camps in Germany proper, and not used for mass extermination as the Nazi camps in Poland were, so Rassinier was not witness to the exterminations. Given that he was imprisoned far from where the bulk of the killings took place, Rassinier would have less first-hand information about what happened to the Jews than people who lived in freedom in German-controlled territory.
- The Capture and Death of Richard Baer by J.Bellinger (The Website of Carlos Whitlock Porter)
- Famous Red Cross Visit to Theresienstadt Theresienstadt History (Archive.org from November 22, 2012)
- See the Wikipedia article on Theresienstadt (film).
- A surviving fragment of the film
- Explore the Central Motivations for Holocaust Denial by Hannah Bigham (2009). Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team.
- Wannsee Protocol: January 20, 1942; Translation The Nizkor Project
- The Nizkor Project's reply to IHR's question 15 ("How many Jews were in areas that came to be controlled by the Germans before the war?")
- Deceit & Misrepresentation: The Techniques of Holocaust Denial, The World Almanac Gambit The Nizkor Project
- Nizkor reply to IHR question 17 ("How many Jews fled to deep within the Soviet Union?")
- Nizkor reply to IHR question 16 ("If the Jews of Europe were not exterminated by the Nazis, what happened to them?")
- People & Events: Breckinridge Long (1881-1958) PBS: American Experience
- Challenge to Supporters of the Revisionist Transit Camp Theory (July 02, 2011) Holocaust Controversies
- What is the Holocaust?
- Jewish Population of Europe in 1945, according to the US Holocaust Museum
- FAQ about the Holocaust, as answered by Yad Vashem's Holocaust Resource Center
- The Holocaust Resource Center: FAQs Yad Vashem: The World Holocaust Research Center
- Deceit & Misrepresentation: The Techniques of Holocaust Denial. The Auschwitz Gambit: The Four Million Variant by Brian Harmon. The Nizkor Project
- Six Million Did Die: The Truth Shall Prevail by Arthur Suzman & Denis Diamond (1978). South African Jewish Board of Deputies, p. 10. ISBN 062003128X.
- Der Suchdienst des IKRK und das Sonderstandesamt Arolsen: Wie Auschwitzleugner richtige Zahlen in einen falschen Zusammenhang stellen Holocaust-Referenz: Argumente gegen Auschwitzleugner
- Artifacts and photos - The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (Archive.org from December 8, 2012)
- Remember.org: Auschwitz/Birkenau, Shoes (Archive.org from February 6, 2005)
- Nizkor reply to IHR question 28 ("For what purpose was, and is, this gas manufactured? ")
- Państwowe Muzeum na Majdanku: Galeria (Archive.org from May 20, 2015)
- Nizkor reply to IHR's question 32 ("Hoss said in his confession that his men would smoke cigarettes as they pulled the dead Jews out of the gas chambers ten minutes after gassing. Isn't Zyklon-B explosive?") The Nizkor Project
- No scientific proof Jews exterminated: witness firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pressac sur Leuchter Pratique de l’histoire et dévoiements négationnistes
- The Leuchter Reports: Critical Edition by Fred A. Leucter, Robert Faurisson & Germar Rudolf (October 2015) Castle Hill Publishers.
- Disparities in Hydrocyanic Compound Levels The Nizkor Project
- Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. (1999) Archive.org copy of the film with Italian subtitles
- What is the Holocaust by Bullets? 1941-1944 Yahad-In Unum
- Reply to IHR's question 44 ("Given a 100% duty cycle of all the crematoria in all the camps in German-controlled territory, what is the maximum number of corpses it would have been possible to incinerate during the entire period such crematoria were in operation?") The Nizkor Project
- Sonder: An Interview with Sonderkommando Member Henryk Mandelbaum by Jan Południak, Oświęcim, 2008, ISBN 978-83-921567-3-4.
- Trial of Adolf Eichmann trial. 7 June 1961. Session 68 (part 5 of 9). Testimony of Yehuda Bacon (Bakon). The Nizkor Project
- Crematorium chimney in Auschwitz main camp not connected to anything (March 2, 2014) furtherglory blog at Wordrpess
- Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers by Jean-Claude Pressac, page 108. The Holocaust Project.
- Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers by Jean-Claude Pressac, page 488. The Holocaust Historiography Project.
- Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers by Jean-Claude Pressac, page 244. The Holocaust Historiography Project.
- Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers by Jean-Claude Pressac, page 91. The Holocaust Historiography Project.
- Pressac on Kremas 1 to 3 at Auschwitz by Peter Myers (February 9, 2009; update April 30, 2009).
- The Van Pelt Report: Electronic Edition, by Robert Jan van Pelt Holocaust Denial on Trial: Holocaust Denial on Trial: Using History to Confront Distortions
- Holocaust Survivors who Tell the Truth YouTube: SatoshiBatista's channel
- Jewish Uprisings in Ghettos and Camps, 1941–1944 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Map: Jewish armed resistance in ghettos and camps, 1941-1944 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- 'We knew nothing about this', an article on Peter Longerich, author of the book Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews (September 8, 2006) Times Higher Education
- Reply to IHR's question 20 ("Is there any evidence that it was American, British, French, and Soviet policy to torture German prisoners in order to exact confessions before the trials at Nuremberg and elsewhere? ") The Nizkor Project
- What the last Nuremberg prosecutor alive wants the world to know. At 97, Ben Ferencz is the last Nuremberg prosecutor alive and he has a far-reaching message for today's world by Leslie Stahl (May 7, 2017) CBS News.
- Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Volume IV: "The Einsatzgruppen Case", "The RuSHA Case" (October 1946-April 1949) Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office.
- The Nizkor Project
- Deceit & Misrepresentation, The Techniques of Holocaust Denial: The Soap Allegations The Nizkor Project
- Response to IHR question 9 ("Why did the Germans intern Jews in concentration camps?") The Nizkor Project
- Office of the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide (OSAPG): Analysis Framework United Nations
- Holocaust Denial Timeline United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Hungary criminalises holocaust denial (22 February 2010) The Independent.
- So let's ignore millions of people dying! Yay!
- Have You Ever Seen The Vacant Mouth Breather Look On a Leftist When You Ask "Why Do You Cry About the Holohoax, Yet Cheer Extermination of Whites by Diversity? Why the Double Standard?" /r/National Socialism (Reddit).
- Deceit & Misrepresentation, The Techniques of Holocaust Denial: Appendix 4. The World War I "Holocaust" Claim The Nizkor Project
- Six million Jews Archived copy of Metapedia article from 30 March 2015
- Deceit & Misrepresentation, The Techniques of Holocaust Denial: The World War I "Holocaust" Claim by Jamie McCarthy and Ken McVay. The Nizkor Project.
- Arab League to participate in Holocaust-denial symposium August 28, 2002 Likoed Nederland.
- YouTube: "Marching to Zion" Full Movie with subtitles
- ADL Deeply Troubled at Upcoming Documentary Film Denigrating Jews and Judaism November 24, 2014 Anti-Defamation League
- Anti-Semitic Pastor Steve Anderson Promotes Holocaust Denial June 1, 2015 Anti-Defamation League
- Did the Holocaust Really Happen? Steven Anderson on YouTube
- Berg and Anti-Semitism - Compiled by researchers for exFamily.org
- Xfamily.org; Berg: The Holocaust hoax
- He still teaches, students still squirm by Gabi P. Remz (November 30, 2011) New Voices: News and Views of Campus Jews.
- Dec "fan" page includes copies of his pamphlets and a history of the man
- Copy of Dec's disbarment in New York State
- No, seriously, he really wrote that.
- ADL.org - David Dees: Conspiratorial Artist
- How a Sesame Street Illustrator Became the Truther Scene's Golden Boy
- One of Dees' "Truth Does Not Fear Investigation" works
- A Dees work supporting Holocaust revisionists
- Ursula Haverbeck (87), Idol der Holocaust-Leugner, muss wegen Volksverhetzung 10 Monate ins Gefängnis. Der Richter nach dem bizarren Auftritt der betagten Rechtsradikalen: "Bei Ihnen ist Hopfen und Malz verloren" by Stephanie Lamprecht (12.11.15, 12:15 Uhr) Hamburger Morgenpost.
- See the Wikipedia article on Nathanael Kapner.
- Statement from the Chancery of the ROCOR Synod of Bishops 19 July 2013 Pravmir.com: Orthodox Christianity and the World
- We let Charles Krafft fool us: Revelations about the artist's Nazi leanings were shocking. More shocking still was how long it took to out him by Samuel Sattin (March 11, 2013) Salon.
- Charles Krafft Is a White Nationalist Who Believes the Holocaust Is a Deliberately Exaggerated Myth: What Will Happen to One of the Northwest's Preeminent Artists—Whose Nazi Imagery Has Always Been Considered Ironic—Now That His Views Are Not a Secret? by Jen Graves (February 13, 2013) The Stranger.
- Oud-senator Roeland Raes schuldig aan negationisme (15/09/2010 om 11:12) De Standaard.
- Chemistry is not the science: Rudolf, Rhetoric & Reduction by Richard J. Green and Jamie McCarthy (Archive.org copy from March 11, 20130)
- Hollywood conservative unmasked as notorious Holocaust revisionist: Republican Party Animals operator David Stein says he is really David Cole, and that he still holds controversial views by Rory Carroll (3 May 2013 17.15 EDT) The Guardian.
- Hutaree Militia Was a Fan of Anti-Government Band Poker Face April 9, 2010. Anti-Defamation League
- Hal Turner in His Own Words January 17, 2008. Anti-Defamation League
- British bishop fined 10,000 euros for partial Holocaust denial by Chuck Penfold (April 16, 2010) Deutsche Welle.
- Seminary sacks 'Holocaust bishop': An ultra-traditionalist British bishop who denies the Holocaust has been removed from his post as the head of a Roman Catholic seminary in Argentina 9 February 2009. BBC
- Profile: Richard Williamson. British bishop's controversial views extend beyond the Holocaust to the September 11 attacks, Freemasons and women by Peter Walker (25 February 2009 04.09 EST) The Guardian.
- New ‘Aryan’ Compound in Idaho to be Sold Off in January by Bill Morlin (November 29, 2012) Southern Poverty Law Center.
- Neo-Nazi Builds North Idaho Compound to Replace Defunct Aryan Nations by Bill Morlin (November 11, 2012) Southern Poverty Law Center.