On April 8, it was announced that Canada would soon be joining an illustrious club: the enlightened nations of the world that have elected to ban so-called Holocaust denial. Depending on how one interprets the law, there are currently 18 nations that either explicitly ban “Holocaust denial” (including Germany, Austria, France, Israel, Italy, Poland, Hungary, and Russia) or generically ban “denial of genocide” (Switzerland and Lichtenstein). Canada would then be the nineteenth nation in this honor roll of obsequiousness.
Canada’s action comes not long after the UN General Assembly approved a related resolution, A/76/L.30, on 22 January 2022, “condemning” such denial. (The resolution was passed “by consensus,” meaning that no actual affirmative votes were cast. Evidently no country had the courage to demand a rollcall vote.)
The text of Canada’s bill is apparently unavailable—it seems that it will be buried in a larger spending bill—but the UN resolution has some interesting remarks. It first defines the Holocaust as an event “which resulted in the murder of nearly 6 million Jews, 1.5 million of whom were children.” This is notable because it codifies in international law the infamous ‘6 million’ figure—a number which is doomed to eventual collapse, given the dearth of evidence. Also, I know of no source for the “1.5 million children,” but a lack of substantiation has never stopped our intrepid authorities in the past, and it surely won’t here.
The resolution goes on to describe what it means by Holocaust denial:
Holocaust denial refers to discourse and propaganda that deny the historical reality and the extent of the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis and their accomplices during the Second World War. … Holocaust denial refers specifically to any attempt to claim that the Holocaust did not take place, and may include publicly denying or calling into doubt the use of principal mechanisms of destruction (such as gas chambers, mass shooting, starvation, and torture) or the intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people.
As usual, such wording is a combination of ambiguity and meaninglessness. First, no revisionist claims that the Holocaust “did not take place”—if by this we are to understand that no one, no Jews, actually died. No revisionist calls into doubt that mass shootings of Jews occurred, nor that many Jews suffered from starvation and “torture.” They do, however, specifically challenge the idea that homicidal gas chambers were used to murder masses of people, and they do question the actual intentionality of Hitler and other leading National Socialists to literally kill the Jews.
This requires a bit of elaboration. On the first point, Zyklon-B (cyanide) chambers as instruments of mass murder face a large number of major technical problems, including (a) infeasibility of rapid, mass gassing; (b) personal danger to the alleged gassers; (c) inability to remove gas and Zyklon pellets after gassing; (d) inability to remove gas-soaked corpses; and (e) inability to dispose of masses of corpses in any reasonable time. Worse still are the so-called “diesel exhaust” gas chambers, which are alleged to have killed some 2 million Jews—twice the number of the infamous Zyklon chambers. (If this is news to you, you need to do some research.) These chambers allegedly relied on captured Russian diesel engines to produce fatal carbon monoxide gas. However, (a) diesels actually produce very little CO, far too little to kill masses of people in any reasonable time; (b) diesel engines cannot pump exhaust gas into sealed, “air-tight” rooms; and (c) the corpses at those alleged camps showed no sign of CO poisoning—namely, a pink or bright-red coloration of the skin. If the traditional advocates of the Holocaust were serious about defending their view, they would start by addressing these obvious questions. Instead, they ignore them, and retreat to legal remedies.
On the question of intentionality, the actual words of Hitler, Goebbels, and others matter. They often spoke of the Vernichtung (‘destruction’) or Ausrottung (‘rooting-out’) of Jews, but these terms do not require the mass-killing of the people in question. We know this because, first, the Germans used these very terms for years, decades, in public, long before anyone claims that a “Holocaust” had begun; clearly, they meant little more than ending Jewish dominance in society and driving most Jews out of the nation. Secondly, the Germans consistently used other language that explicitly called for deportation, evacuation, and mass removal of Jews—ethnic cleansing perhaps, but not mass murder. Thirdly, we have innumerable examples of other Western leaders, from Bush to Obama to Trump, who have similarly spoken publicly of “destroying” or “annihilating” their enemies (usually Arabs or Muslims) without implying mass murder. Tough talk has always played well for politicians, and the Germans were no different.
The UN resolution continues with some specifics on the definition of denial:
[D]istortion and/or denial of the Holocaust refers, inter alia, to:
(a) Intentional efforts to excuse or minimize the impact of the Holocaust or its principal elements, including collaborators and allies of Nazi Germany,
(b) Gross minimization of the number of the victims of the Holocaust in contradiction to reliable sources,
(c) Attempts to blame the Jews for causing their own genocide,
(d) Statements that cast the Holocaust as a positive historical event,
(e) Attempts to blur the responsibility for the establishment of concentration and death camps devised and operated by Nazi Germany by putting blame on other nations or ethnic groups.
Four of these points—“excuse or minimize impact,” “blame the Jews,” “cast the Holocaust in positive light,” and “attempts to blur responsibility”—are all but irrelevant to serious revisionism. Serious revisionists, including Germar Rudolf, Carlo Mattogno, and Jurgen Graf, among others, virtually never discuss such things. They focus on far more pragmatic matters: the infeasibility of the mass gassing schemes, the lack of corpses or other physical evidence, the absence of photographic or documentary evidence showing mass murder, and the many logical inconsistencies of witnesses and survivors. But our fine Holocaust traditionalists never raise these troublesome issues, because they know that they have no reply.
Of the five points, only (b), “gross minimization of the number of victims,” is relevant—in other words, the questioning of the “6 million.” But what counts as “gross minimization”? Does ‘5 million’ count? If so, noted (and deceased) orthodox researcher Raul Hilberg would be quickly tarred with the “anti-Semite” label; the fact that he hasn’t suggests otherwise. What about ‘4 million’? If so, then early researcher Gerald Reitlinger is in for trouble; he long advocated around 4.2 million Jewish deaths. Does ‘3 million’ count? Or ‘2 million’? Or will we “know it when we see it”? For the record, serious revisionists today estimate that around 500,000 Jews died in total at the hands of the Nazis—most of these due to typhus contracted in the various camps, many in assorted shootings at the Eastern front, and virtually none in “homicidal gas chambers.”
So what, exactly, does the UN want from the world? As we read in the text, the UN
Rejects and condemns without any reservation any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part;
Urges all Member States to reject without any reservation any denial or distortion of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part, or any activities to this end;
Commends those Member States which have actively engaged in preserving those sites that served as Nazi death camps, concentration camps, forced labour camps, killing sites and prisons during the Holocaust…
Urges Member States to develop educational programmes that will inculcate future generations with the lessons of the Holocaust in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide…
Urges Member States and social media companies [!] to take active measures to combat antisemitism and Holocaust denial or distortion by means of information and communications technologies, and to facilitate reporting of such content;
Requests the United Nations outreach programme on the Holocaust as well as all relevant United Nations specialized agencies to continue to develop and implement programmes aimed at countering Holocaust denial and distortion…
Of course, if we wish to designate the loss of some 500,000 Jews as a “holocaust,” then we are welcome to do so. But we had best get our facts and arguments straight. To resort to legal prohibitions is tantamount to admitting defeat.
None of these points were lost on a Jewish Boston Globe columnist, Jeff Jacoby. He was motivated to write a short op-ed entitled “It’s a mistake to ban Holocaust denial” (24 April). He quotes Canada’s public safety minister, Marco Mendicino: “There is no place for antisemitism and Holocaust denial in Canada.” Despite agreeing with this view, and despite “despising” Holocaust deniers, Jacoby opposes the pending law. And he explains why—though not before displaying an embarrassing ignorance and an appalling shallowness.
He first informs us that Holocaust “deniers” (never defined) are “contemptible antisemites and brazen liars,” overflowing with “Jew-hatred” and seeking to “rehabilitate the reputation of Hitler.” They attempt to refute “the most comprehensively documented crime in history” by insisting that it “never occurred.” Such people deserve “all the obloquy and contempt” that one can muster, he says. To call such claims unjustified and unwarranted is an understatement of the first order; the reliance here on ad hominem attacks is a sure sign of an impending vapidity of argumentation.
Still, Jacoby opposes anti-denial laws on two grounds. First, such laws run afoul of the spirit of the First Amendment (free speech and press). More broadly, he rightly notes that “it’s dangerous to empower the state to punish ideas.” Indeed, “any government that can criminalize Holocaust denial this week can criminalize other opinions next week.” Left unspoken, though, is a key point: How is it that in Canada, a 1% minority of Canadian Jews are able to push through a law that specifically benefits them? One would think that, in Canada, a 1% Jewish minority would have, say, half the clout of the 2% minority of American Jews. But clearly not. Canadian Jews are about to prevail yet again.
Jacoby’s second reason for opposing such laws is that, as I noted above, they amount to “intellectual surrender.” He quotes Holocaust scion Deborah Lipstadt to the effect that such laws imply that one is unable to construct a rational argument in defense of the traditional view. And this, in fact, is true. Just look at any traditionalist account of the Holocaust, even by the most learned academician. Look at any commentary on Holocaust denial. None will address the basic issues that I cited above. None will mention a single recent revisionist book, or a single active researcher, such as Rudolf, Mattogno, or Graf. None will examine or refute a single relevant revisionist argument. None will provide a breakdown, by cause, of the infamous “6 million” deaths. These are telling facts.
For his part, Jacoby obviously has no answer. All he can do is make flat and baseless assertions: “never was a genocide more meticulously recorded by its perpetrators … or more comprehensively described by scholars and survivors”; “an immense ocean of evidence attests to the horror of the Holocaust.” Unwisely, he attempts to use General Eisenhower’s “visual evidence … of starvation, cruelty, and bestiality” to defend his point. But this fails; as he likely is unaware, Eisenhower’s 550-page postwar memoir, Crusade in Europe (1948), has not a single reference to any Holocaust, gas chambers, or Auschwitz. A single paragraph in the book (p. 439) states only that the Jews “had been beaten, starved, and tortured.” One finds absolutely no mention of mass murder, extermination, gassing, crematoria, or the like. Eisenhower is hardly a good witness for the defense. (For what it’s worth, neither Churchill’s nor De Gaulle’s postwar memoirs had any mention of Auschwitz, gas chambers, or extermination either. Ike was no anomaly.)
But does all this really matter? What’s the big deal about the Holocaust? some may say. In fact, it is hugely important. The Holocaust is the lynchpin of Jewish power. It is the raison d’etre of the state of Israel. It is the number one guilt-tool used against Whites everywhere. And it is the embodiment of Jewish narcissism. When that story crumbles, the whole Judeocratic edifice may well fall, too. We should never underestimate the power of Holocaust revisionism; the Jews certainly don’t.
A final thought: I’m happy to hear that Jeff Jacoby believes in free speech. It’s too bad that he doesn’t have equally strong feelings about openness and honesty, about the many problems with the Holocaust story, and about a global Jewish Lobby that is able to pass laws, ban books, and impose a cancel culture on anyone that it doesn’t like. Now, that would be an op-ed worth reading.
Thomas Dalton, PhD, has authored or edited several books and articles on politics, history, and religion, with a special focus on National Socialism in Germany. His works include a new translation series of Mein Kampf, and the books Eternal Strangers (2020), The Jewish Hand in the World Wars (2019), and Debating the Holocaust (4th ed, 2020). Most recently he has edited a new edition of Rosenberg’s classic work Myth of the 20th Century and a new book of political cartoons, Pan-Judah!. All these are available at www.clemensandblair.com. See also his personal website www.thomasdaltonphd.com.