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Denying History. Essay

1228 words - 5 pages

DENYING HISTORYAN ANALYSIS OF:DENYING HISTORY: WHO SAYS THE HOLOCAUST NEVER HAPPENED AND WHY DO THEY SAY IT?AUTHORS: MICHAEL SHERMER & ALEX GROBMANOne of the reasons that I have chosen the book Denying History: Who says the Holocaust never happened and why do they say it? was based on the fact that I wanted to find out who could deny something so horrible in history. How, in the society that we live in, could these people convince others that something in history that is as well documented as the Holocaust never happened. My journey into this mind baffling reasoning was intensified with each page that I read of this book, as I read deeper my fear for our society as we know it today increased.Holocaust deniers make these basic claims. The first principle is that there were never any gas chambers used for murdering Jews; second, six million Jews were never murdered; and third, there was no master plan adopted by Adolph Hitler to exterminate world Jewry. Many deniers want to have others believe that the Holocaust was fabricated by the Jews and that it is all a lie. They want others to believe it never happened.The deniers support these principles in several ways. First, by not "denying" the existence of gas chambers and crematoria's, but by explaining that the gas chambers were used for delousing clothing and bedding and that the crematoria's were used to dispose of the bodies of the Jews in the concentration camps that had died from disease and starvation. The main causes for death of the Jews were disease and starvation according to the deniers. They go as far as saying that these two causes of death were primarily caused by the Allied destruction of the German supply lines and resources towards the end of the war. Second, that anywhere from 300,000 to two million Jews died or were killed in the ghettos and concentration camps; a very small percentage of these numbers were actually "murdered". Third, the deniers' claims that there was no "Final Solution" are explained this way, that in the early successes of the war the Nazis were conquering more Jews than they could deport. Because of later defeats the Nazis had to concentrate the Jews in ghettos and camps.The authors start their book by explaining what history is and what revisionism is to history. Going into great detail they explain both the theory of what history is and how historians use evidence to record or revise history. They also demonstrate that anyone can believe in anything because of ideology.The question that kept coming into my mind as I was reading the first chapter of this book was "How could the Holocaust deniers get such a big following and how could we allow this to happen and why have I not heard much of this before?" Shermer and Grobman explain it well; they dedicate a chapter to the issue of free speech in the United States. As a United States citizen I agree that free speech is our right; the First Amendment protects that right. It is a duty to uphold that right as a...

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