Holocaust denial persists to this day. This denial is not unique to the Holocaust. Followers of every ideology that led to genocides are in denial about them, but the Holocaust remains central because it is the best documented event in human history to this day.
It is the only crime of its scale that has been recorded in great detail even by the perpetrators. This did not deter the deniers - on the contrary, they create elaborate stories to "explain" how the Holocaust was "not all that bad", "merely a few hundred thousand victims" - as if that made it more acceptable - just before complaining that the Nazis "didn't finish the job".
I selected a small number of photos that capture some essential elements of the Holocaust - out of the tens of thousands of photos shot by Germans - Jews and non-Jews - the Nazis themselves, their former buddies from the USSR and the allies, after they discovered the Nazi death camps.
Deniers claim that these photos are "fake", which is ridiculous. I saw many of them as a child, long before Photoshop existed. Creating fake photos, back then, was manual labor, very hard to do and the fakes were of low quality, easily recognized as such. The idea of creating tens of thousands of fakes with those methods was technically impossible.
More than 12 million human beings were dehumanized and exterminated in the Holocaust. More than 6 million victims were Jews and that is undeniable, based on the demographics of the Jewish population of Europe, even taking into account the out-migrations.
Yes, the communist genocides were even worse - Stalin mass-murdered about 62 million people. This is the best estimate. The lowest estimate is 30 million, the highest 90 million. Prof. Rummel from the University of Hawaii spent most of his professional life researching democides and genocides. His book "Power Kills" should be universally required reading for all high school students. His data is available on his web site as well. Here is the index page for the Soviet genocide:
Explaining and affirming the Holocaust does not imply an attempt to downplay all the other genocides - quite the opposite. I've repeatedly written about the Holodomor, the Gulags, Mao's genocides, the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields and the Turkish genocide of the Armenians, which actually inspired the Nazis.
Because of the abundance of evidence, the Holocaust is the most powerful illustration of what a genocide really looks like. It is real. Human beings did this to other human beings!
The Nazis were anal-retentive bureaucrats and actually kept detailed records of their own misdeeds. - hand written ledgers in which they recorded every arrest, every property seized, every internment and execution. They did not manage to destroy all of those records, hence they provide verifiable historical evidence.
The Americans shot tens of thousands of photos on the orders of General Eisenhower, who is in one of the photos in this collection. He was so shocked and revolted by what he saw in those Nazi death camps that he wanted to record it in detail, so that there would be no denial - which he anticipated.
If you feel that denouncing the Holocaust somehow attacks your own personal political views, you should seriously reexamine those political views!
You should not feel all smug if you identify as "anti-fascist". Antifa is the exact equivalent of the Nazi SA. You cannot fight fascism by being a fascist. Marx & Engels were proto-Nazis - they hated Jews, Slaves, blacks and homosexuals and were German nationalists. One who sits in a glass house should not throw stones.
Never identify as the opposite of what you claim to hate. I'm not anti-fascist, I'm classical liberal. My values do not exist in opposition to fascism, they are defined within a coherent system of moral principles that have been proven to lead to decent, working, free societies.
I'm also not anti-racist, I'm simply not racist. Antiracists have fallen all too easily into the trap of just hating a different group of people. I retain the right to appreciate or judge anyone based on their actions and they values they hold, irrespective of their identity.
I keep hearing the argument that "the Holocaust is stuffed down our throats", which is simply a joke - most Americans and Europeans don't know anything about it, so clearly, they haven't heard enough.
They haven't heard about the Gulags, either. Or the Killing Fields of Cambodia, which Chomsky denied even 10 years after their discovery.
So if you think you've heard enough or "too much" about the Holocaust or the other genocides, pass on that knowledge, because there's not nearly enough awareness of what they really looked like!
I personally met people who lost family members to the Holocaust and other genocides. One friend saw her entire family being slaughtered by the Vietcong before her eyes, as a child - she's obviously still traumatized by that memory.
One famous accusation is that the Holocaust is being "exploited" by people with ulterior motives.
This is true, but not by those who actually care about Jews or those who defend Israel, as commonly claimed. Israel is a perfectly legitimate country. The creation of Israel was decided in 1925 by the League of Nations, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. So contrary to what all sorts of haters claim, there was no "need" for the Holocaust as "justification" for its creation. Without the Holocaust, Israel would have seen far more immigrants from Europe, to the great dismay of those haters who deny the Holocaust.
The people who exploit the Holocaust do not care about Jews and they may even hate them.
Take Jean (Hans) Ziegler, a Swiss communist who was friends with Castro, the Che, Gaddafi, Mugabe and Ahmadinejad. He also supports Hamas. He wrote a scathing attack against Israel that was so full of lies and so fake that even the UN didn't want to publish it, although he was an official "rapporteur". There is no question about the fact that Ziegler is antisemitic.
Yet he wrote a book in which he claimed that he had seen "box cars full of Nazi gold" during the war, as the first step of a systematic attack on Swiss banks, which was his real goal - he had promised his buddy the "Che" that he would destroy the Swiss banks as "symbols of capitalism", based on an interview he had given to a Geneva paper. So Ziegler, the antisemite, exploited the Holocaust for his own political goals. He probably went to see the Holocaust denial "art" exhibit organized by his buddy Ahmadinejad.
One of the most frequent claims from deniers is the Holocaust was a "pretext for the creation of Israel" or worse, that the Nazis were somehow "financed" or "controlled" by the Rothschilds and that they intentionally sacrified a an allegedly "small number of Jews" to advance their project to create Israel. This claim is pure insanity!
The creation of Israel was decided by the League of Nations in 1922-1923, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Every single country that emerged from the Ottoman Empire was created during that time period. There is no difference between the creation of Turkey, Iran, Iraq etc. and the creation of Israel. All of them had historical roots, but no legal existence. Their borders were defined through the same process.
The only real opposition to the creation of Israel stemmed from Muslims who resented that a non-Islamic country should be created on what was considered an Islamic conquest.
The Holocaust most definitely did not "help" in the creation of Israel, on the contrary, it delayed the foundation of the country and massively reduced the number of potential immigrants. Without the Holocaust, it is quite likely that millions more Jews would have moved to Israel, which led to the alliance between the Nazis and Haj Amin Al Husseini, the Great Mufti of Jerusalem.
During the Nuremberg Trials that followed World War II, Dieter Wisliceny, a deputy of Adolph Eichmann, described the Mufti as one of Eichmann’s closest confidants: “The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry...and had been the permanent collaborator and advisor of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of the plan. According to my opinion, the Grand Mufti, who had been in Berlin since 1941, played a role in the decision of the German government to exterminate the European Jews. He had repeatedly suggested to the various authorities...the extermination of European Jewry. He was one of Eichmann’s best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures.” When Eichmann was captured and tried in Israel in 1961, Golda Meir called for Al Husseini to be tried, as well.
The Holocaust started well before the actual death camps were set up and Jews were arrested and mass-murdered. It started with the dehumanization, as Jews were fully integrated into German society after their emancipation in 1871:
Jews were not hated because they caused problems for Germans. They were highly successful and contributed to the German society by being entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, artists, writers, doctors and lawyers. This garnered them far more hatred from certain people than if they had stabbed Germans in the streets.
Some German scientists and doctors were envious of their more successul Jewish-German colleagues. More than half of all German doctors joined the Nazi party before 1933, a very worrying thought.
None of this hostility was noticeable in the general German society before the Nazis took over. Ethnic Germans and German Jews lived peacefully side by side. Just as I was told by friends from ex-Yugoslavia about the situation before their civil war - Serbs, Croations and Bosnians could live peacefully in the same street. The hatred was entirely stirred up by political forces which exploited a minority resentment.
The entire period up to and including the Holocaust must have been an absolute nightmare even for non-Jewish people in every country controlled by the Nazis, yet most people just let it happen. One of those who opposed it was Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran ministe who boldly spoke out against Hitler’s policies. He was exasperated by what he saw as "stupidity" in those who refused to fight the regime. Unfortunately, it was not stupidity. That would be too simple an explanation, as so many otherwise highly intelligent people went along with it.
We've just had an illustration of this during the Wuhan virus pandemic. The level of submission to totally meaningless policies by people who should know better is a good reminder that what happened in the days of the Nazis could perfectly happen today. The same principle is at work: unquestioning submission to "authority".
Jewish men forced to clean the pavement with small brushes before Nazi soldiers and German civilians.
It always starts with the demonization, then the public humiliation of the targeted group. This is an essential part for a successful genocide. As human beings - not suffering from psychopathy - we feel natural empathy for other human beings which is so strong that throughout history, most men were unable to kill enemy soldiers, face to face.
Evidence from historical battles shows that very few men were killed while the armies were facing each other. The immense majority of the battlefield victims had been killed by wounds to their backs. It was only when one side broke rank and ran away that their enemies started killing them, as the act of runnig away and showing their backs was dehumanizing.
That is why dehumanizing the enemy is so essential.
Very young Ukrainians (in cooperation with the Nazi SS) armed with clubs chase a Jewish woman through the streets of Lviv -- where at least 6,000 Jews were killed by militias and Nazi forces -- in mid-1941; Wikimedia Commons
Construction workers build the brick wall meant to block off the Jewish ghetto portion of Warsaw, Poland, 1940; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum via Wikimedia Commons
An unidentified boy raises his arms as German soldiers capture Polish Jews during the Warsaw ghetto uprising sometime between April 19 and May 16, 1943; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum via Wikimedia Commons
German soldiers arrest a Jewish man in Warsaw, Poland following the ghetto uprising that had recently occurred there, April 1943.
The entrance to the Auschwitz concentration camp, circa 1945; Stanislaw Mucha/German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons
Jewish women and children just after their arrival at the Auschwitz concentration camp; STF/AFP/Getty Images
Nazi guards round up arriving prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp's unloading ramp, circa May/June 1944; Lili Jacob/Yad Vashem via Wikimedia Commons
Prisoners in the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen, Germany, 1938; National Archives
Disabled children of the sort executed in the tens of thousands under the Nazis' largely eugenics-inspired Aktion T4 involuntary euthanasia program, at Schönbrunn Psychiatric Hospital, 1934; Friedrich Franz Bauer/German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons
The total number of victims of the T4 program, mostly people deemed to be "incurably ill" and mentally or physically handicapped, is estimated to have been between 275'000 and 300'000.
Starving inmate of Camp Gusen, Austria, 1945; National Archives
By far not all the genocide victims were imprisoned at concentration camps. Hundreds of thousands were summarily executed. Most victims in Ukraine were shot to death and buried in mass graves.
A member of a German paramilitary death squad prepares to shoot a Jewish man next to a mass grave in the Ukraine. When the photograph was found in a soldier's scrapbook, the handwritten caption read "The Last Jew in Vinnitsa."
General Dwight Eisenhower (center, wearing officer's cap) and other high-ranking U.S. Army officers view the bodies of prisoners who were killed during the evacuation of Ohrdruf, while on a tour of the newly liberated concentration camp in April 1945; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum/Nation
Concentration Camps: "Piles of dead prisoners"
German doctor Fritz Klein stands amid the corpses of prisoners in one of the mass graves at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp soon after its liberation by British troops in April 1945; National Archives via Wikimedia Commons
Prisoners of the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp's Boelcke barracks killed during a bombing raid, April 1945.James E. Myers, U.S. Army/National Archives
Piles of Dead From Dachau
Piles of Dead From Bergen Belsen
It defies the imagine, but these images leave no doubt about what happened to these people - perfectly normal, good people: they were starved to death to the point where they were only skin and bones before being murdered.
A pile of human bones and skulls lies on the grounds of the Majdanek concentration camp soon after its liberation by Russian troops in 1944; AFP/Getty Images
Wedding rings forcibly removed from prisoners and confiscated by the Nazis, May 1945; U.S. Army/National Archives
Eyeglasses of prisoners killed at the Auschwitz concentration camp, circa 1945; German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons
Clothes that once belonged to prisoners of the Dachau concentration camp, recently liberated by U.S. troops, April 1945. U.S. Army/National Archives
Victims' bones lie in the crematoriums of the Buchenwald concentration camp upon the arrival of U.S. troops in April 1945; U.S. Army/National Archives
Upon the liberation of Buchenwald, a man holds a noose formerly used at the concentration camp, April 1945; ERIC SCHWAB/AFP/Getty Images
I'm not sure why this man was so fascinated by that little piece of rope, considering that pile of bones before him.
A young man sits on an overturned stool next to a burnt body inside the Thekla concentration subcamp outside Leipzig, Germany soon after its liberation by U.S. forces in April 1945; ERIC SCHWAB/AFP/Getty Images
Tens of thousands of prisoners were saved by the allies. Many were in really bad shape, extremely ill, weak and almost starved to death. Some died shortly after their liberation, others needed months to recover physically. All of them were scarred for life.
Child survivors of the Auschwitz concentration camp soon after its liberation by Soviet forces in January 1945; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum/Belarusian State Archive of Documentary Film and Photography via Wikimedia Commons
Imagine the inhumanity, the monumental horror of putting women and children such as these behind barbed wires, in prison clothes.
Prisoners of the Dachau concentration camp cheer the approaching U.S. troops, April 1945; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum via Wikimedia Commons
Some of the 2,141 prisoners just freed from their train, bound for an extermination camp, by U.S. soldiers near Madgeburg, Germany on April 13, 1945; U.S. Army via Wikimedia Commons
Crowds watch as British soldiers set fire to the last remaining hut at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp soon after its liberation in April 1945; Bert Hardy, British Army/Imperial War Museum via Wikimedia Commons
Prisoners of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp cheerfully collect bread rations upon their liberation by British forces in April 1945; Sergeant H. Oakes, British Army/Imperial War Museum via Wikimedia Commons
These women must have gone through hell. The knowledge that they were finally free and had something to eat gave them a little joy. Why anyone would ever have wanted to do them harm is incomprehensible.
Polish prisoners of the Dachau concentration camp toast their U.S. liberators circa April/May 1945; Arland Musser/National Archives via Wikimedia Commons
SS commander Heinrich Himmler inspects the Dachau concentration camp, 1936; Friedrich Franz Bauer/German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons
Hitler never visited a concentration camp. He left that to Himmler. The entire Nazi leadership knew exactly what they were doing. This was no "accident". The entire horror required enormous resources and was planned in great detail, with the participation of hundreds of thousands of people. While not all knew the full extent of what was happening, they still knew that a colossal injustice was being committed.
Circa 1936, a Romani woman speaks with a German police officer (center) and infamous Nazi doctor Robert Ritter (right), German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons
An estimated 500,000 Romani were murdered during the Holocaust alongside the Jews.
U.S. Army soldiers prepare to summarily execute SS guards of the newly liberated Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945; Arland B. Musser/National Archives via Wikimedia Commons
British liberators of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp force Nazi officials to exhume and properly bury the bodies of approximately 100 political prisoners killed there, October 1945; AFP/Getty Images
British troops force SS camp guards to load the corpses of prisoners onto trucks for burial during the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945; Sergeant Midgley, British Army/Imperial War Museum via Wikimedia Commons
Female guards of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp soon after their capture by British soldiers in April 1945; AFP/Getty Images
German SS women remove bodies of their victims from trucks in the concentration camp at Belsen
A Russian survivor of the Buchenwald concentration camp identifies for the liberating U.S. troops a former camp guard accused of brutally beating prisoners, June 1945; U.S. Army via Wikimedia Commons
A young German woman reacts with horror as she walks by some of the approximately 800 prisoners murdered by SS guards near Namering, Germany, and laid there so that townspeople could view the work of their Nazi leaders, May 1945; National Archives
German civilians, under direction of U.S. medical officers, are made to walk past a group of 30 Jewish women starved to death by SS troops so that they may bear witness, in Czechoslovakia, 1945; National Archives
All but one of the 22 Nazi leaders prosecuted during the Nuremberg war crimes trials, October 1946; AFP/Getty Images
Nazi leaders Hermann Göring (left) and Rudolf Hess -- both, at various points, the deputies of Adolf Hitler -- sit in the defendants' box during the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals, 1946; STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
No prosecution can ever bring the victims back to life. No punishment will ever be adequate. The desire for revenge is inevitable, but to make them suffer what they inflicted on others will only end up degrading those who participate in the revenge.
The execution of the guilty is a required act of closure for the survivors, but the immense majority of the perpetrators escaped unscathed. Just as the immense majority of the perpetrators of all genocides and war crimes. Thinking about this horrendous injustice leads nowhere except to madness.
The absolute horror or the "experiments" by Dr. Mengele, Dr. Ritter and others of their ilk could fill volumes. The idea of using human beings in experiments by infecting them with illnesses and much worse is simply inconceivable for anyone with even minimal empathy. Only complete psychopaths could do such things.
Their evil was rivaled by, maybe even surpassed by Shirō Ishii in Japan, who was never condemned for his crimes, as the allies granted him immunity from prosecution in exchange for his medical "studies".
The fact that all these regimes - the Nazis, the Japanese Empire, the USSR, Mao's China etc. - gave power and virtually unlimited resources to such absolute psychopaths is the best illustration for the fact that one should never, ever allow any government to gain that much power. Governments should always be small and tightly controlled by normal people. The greater the power concentration, the greater the chance that it will be taken over by psychopaths.
Unfortunately, the evil behind the Holocaust and the other genocides did not disappear. Genocide denial is practiced by those who want to start new ones!
Here are some undercover recordings of Antifa members who talk about putting Trump supporters into Gulags and guillotining "the rich":
I wish we could force every modern Antifa/BLM/Bernie supporter or anyone else who thinks of mass-murdering their their political opponents to look at the bodies of the people murdered by communists as they did with Germans after WWII.
What's been happening over the last 2 years, with the pandemic lockdowns, forced "vaccines", limitation of free speech etc. is extremely worrying in terms of loss of individual liberty and the expansion of fascist government over-reach and it showed that people let themselves be manipulated into hating fellow human beings because they were told to.
Biden's speech on September 1, 2022, in which he dehumanized half the US population before a blood red backdrop while talking about "uniting the country" was far too reminiscent of Goebbles' method of accusing the opponents of the Nazis of doing exactly that which the Nazis themselves were doing.
If you don't want to see another genocide, educate your fellow citzens about what happened during the 20th century!
Those who wish to resort to political violence now should realize that the most fervent supporters of all the collectivist ideologies that committed genocides always ended up on the chopping block themselves, like Robbespierre, the Mensheviks, the members of the SA, Trotsky and the Che.
It was all real and far worse than anything you've seen in movies or documentaries.
Updated 21 August 2022
Updated 3 September 2022