Thomas Napers wrote this on my last article:
"Either you’re the dumbest person I know or a masochist, probably both. There is no reason to spend any time trying to educate a Holocaust denialist. I mean, it’s not like there is a convincing argument that will change their opinion. The more time you waste the more enjoyment they get out of their anti-Semitism."
It's a fair point.
I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person and whether or not I'm a masochist is none of anyone's damn business. ;)
So, why? Maybe it will help if I explain. In the end it doesn't really matter, I'll continue to write what I want, read it or not. If I help someone with what I write, good. If not, so what? We all write about our interests, what interests you may not interest me.
So, personal history first then we'll talk about why.
First of all, let me get this out of the way. I have no personal connection to anyone who died during the Holocaust. My heritage is Irish-Catholic though I no longer attend church. I'm not religious though I have no issues with people that are. I really don't care, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Wiccan, whatever. Issues of "My God is bigger than your God" hold no meaning with me, I've come to the opinion that if God exists he/she/it is looking at us wondering WTF happened and maybe dinosaurs weren't so bad after all.
My passion, however, is history. I remember pulling out my older brother and sister's world history books and reading them at the tender age of 11. I read William Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" at the age of 12. My reading habits branched out, I became a fantasy junkie after reading "The Hobbit" at around 7 or 8. So, from a rather early age I read both, usually switching off from fantasy to history and back again. At the University of Oklahoma I majored in Journalism but I took so many history courses that my exasperated advisor made me double major in History. So, for what it's worth, I have a dual major in History and Journalism . My current job has nothing to do with either major so I'm officially an educated idiot.
This brings us back around to history. My interest continued after graduation, eventually focusing on European history. I enjoy military history (ironic for a liberal, I know) so I read a lot about European military history. Reading about WW II naturally led into studying about the Holocaust. I read Yitzak Arad's book on the Operation Reinhard Camp's back at the university and read Saul Friedlander's "Years of Extermination" some time after that. I read Christopher Browning's book "Origins of the Final Solution" at about the same time. I watched Laurence Rees' documentary on Auschwitz on Netflix and read the companion book on it . It spurred my interest so I started looking around on-line to learn more. It was during this time that I first read about Holocaust denial.
It popped up while I was reading some general article on the Holocaust. It surprised me, I had no idea such a thing existed. I started reading more about it, visiting certain sites, blogs and forums. The implications floored me, was it possible that everything I knew was wrong? Was it all a hoax? So, I examined many of the claims.
It soon struck me how.....off...... it was. Jews deported to the USSR? In the middle of a war, one of the most vicious in history? Really? I knew what the Germans did in the USSR. I also knew there was not a chance in hell any military wanted millions of refugees wandering around behind their lines or using up valuable transportation in the middle of an offensive. The timing was also off, I knew when the major deportations took place, during the times of the most vicious fighting. I also knew that by the time of the Hungarian Jews deportation took place there was no longer a German "East" to send them to. So, what happened to them? No denier had the answer, never mind babbling about Madagascar or a few French Jews found by the Red Army . The technical issues were a wash for me, I'm not a chemist or an engineer but there were those who were that refuted those claims. The antisemitic attitudes of the deniers I saw on-line disgusted me. I'm anti-racist by nature, their attitudes immediately made them suspect to me. To top it off many of them were conspiracy theorists of the worst kind, attributing all of this to some nebulous shadow Jews. They included in their number 9-11 "truthers" whose arguments were already refuted. I dropped them in disgust and moved on, to me it seemed like pissing on the memory of the dead.
In the Summer of 2014 I went looking on-line to figure out if something I saw on my TV guide was the same special I watched before. I ran across something called Furtherglory, a blog ran by a woman named Gen Baugher. Upon reading it I saw that she was a Holocaust denier but unlike other deniers she permitted comments on her blog (the denier blogs I saw up to then didn't allow it or required you to join their little group). I left a snarky comment (shocking, I know ;D) and left it at that. She needed to approve my comment before it showed up, I thought there was not a chance in hell but she did. This started my rather long association with her blog, I met many a denier, some famous in their field, some not. They called me a Hasbara troll, a Jew, on and on. I found I enjoyed the give and take of it. To counter their arguments I found Nizkor, PHDN and Holocaust Controversies. I started reading more about the Holocaust and shoring up my knowledge. I started commenting on Holocaust Controversies, they invited me to join the Skeptics Forum, giving me access to knowledge that I didn't know existed. That eventually led me here.
So, why? Well, it helps me use the practical knowledge I gained over the years. It counterbalances the lies I see, I hope this helps those who stumble into this without the background I possessed to help see past the glitter. I mentioned denial feels like pissing on the memory of the dead, that disgust also spurs this to some degree.
A part of me does it for them..........
Let me show you a family picture:
The above is a picture of the Epstein Family, the picture is from December, 1941. The Epstein Family faced tragedy before, the Soviets arrested Haim Espstein when they occupied the Baltic states in 1940. They sent him to the Gulag, they arrested him because he was the president of a bank. His "Jewishness" didn't save him, so much for the Judeo-Bolshevik brotherhood. What deniers don't tell you is that Jews and gentiles suffered equally under Soviet rule. In any case, Haim died a few months after this picture was taken, as far as we know he died without learning of his family's fate.
So, what happened? This event took place on December 15th, 1941. The victims were Jews from the Liepaja Ghetto, the location is the Skeda Beach in Latvia. The murderers were not actually Germans, they were Latvians supervised by Germans. In the Baltics the Germans mostly used proxies to do their dirty work for them, also by this time many of the German killers suffered from psychological problems. The solution was to make non-Germans do the killing, offering them rewards and plying them with insane amounts of alcohol.
I won't show you anymore, it's upsetting. For those who want to know more I will put a link in the comment section. Suffice it to say the family died on that beach, it took a couple of viewings before I saw the little girl, hiding her face. That picture haunts me a little, it helps to know that it was a long time ago and nothing could have saved them. The killers made them face the ocean, maybe in a way that comforted them, the last thing they saw was the ocean. A bullet beats starvation or dying in a gas chamber. I suppose that helps.
I know what some of the reaction will be. Stone-Eater will berate me for posting all this Nazi shit while bringing up that the U.S. murdered a billion people in the intervening years. Tom will call me "Jewey" Kelly and bring up that the Khazars bombed Dresden, roasting a million Germans alive and cooking marshmallows over the remains. Pardero will wonder why I hang out with bullies and denigrate the Germans. Doug will post pointless comments and MEFOBILLS will bore me by talking about concentration camp money.
That's all fine, bring it. I know my country did shitty things, Germans suffered and that there are always weird anomalies in any human enterprise. Maybe someone will post something like Thomas. That's fine, I make no apologies for who I am and what interests me. If it helps I have outside interests. The weather will soon warm up (,hopefully sometime soon) so there will time spent with wife and family outdoors. Football will come in the Fall, I talked the wife into getting the NFL Sunday Ticket. I read other history besides the Holocaust, I bought a history of the USSR that I plan to read at some point. The new Avengers and Deadpool movies drop soon, looking forward to getting my geek on. I will post on those things as time goes by.
In any case, for those of you who made it through, I hope this helps explain me. Alternate titles included "Confessions of a Holocaust Denier Denier" and "How I Lost My Marbles" but I decided on something short and to the point.
Here is the link: