Thursday, February 09, 2017

On the semi-deniers. A discussion thread.

Faurisson's old maxim, "no holes, no Holocaust", seems not to have impressed the likes of David Irving, David Cole and Mark Weber, who, although denying the gassings in the Auschwitz crematoria (though possibly accepting some in the Bunkers), nevertheless seem to have come to accept the gassings in the Aktion Reinhardt camps, the shootings as well as "millions" of Jewish deaths. Irving and Weber, in particular, seem to have softened their previous stances.

In other words, we have the dogmatic "no holes, no Holocaust" school of denial, and the more wobbly "no holes, some Holocaust" group.

Now, to be honest, while this latter position might seem to be superficially more "reasonable" compared to the hardcore deniers, I don't find it to be coherent. If you think that the Auschwitz crematoria gassings are a gigantic hoax you have to agree that the victim and bystander witnesses lied on a grand scale, the perpetrator witnesses were coerced on a grand scale. And since the Bunkers cannot account for all the missing Jews, they still have the missing Jews problem. So the crematoria denial basically implies a huge conspiracy, and once you accept this conspiracy, why would you accept the AR camps evidence, which might have been forged by the conspiracy as well?

This is sort of similar to the dilemma that Butz posed to Mattogno and Graf in regard to the Hungarian Jews: Butz denies the full-scale Hungarian deportations as such, while M&G don't. M&G's position is superficially more reasonable, but, as Butz pointed out, if they assume that these Jews arrived in Auschwitz, they have no way of accounting for their whereabouts.

But that aside, how should we call this group? They're still deniers. Yet there is a clear need to distinguish between them and the more dogmatic loonies like Faurisson and Mattogno. Semi-deniers? Weak deniers?



Jonathan Harrison said...

Denier-of-convenience versus denier-of-conviction.

Denier-of-convenience = tactical denials done with the aim of furthering an agenda that is external to the denial itself, such as self-publicity, pseudo-intellectual jerking off or to promote antisemitism.

Denier-of-conviction = visceral fixation on an absolutist belief, essentially a pseudo-religious position.

I don't like "semi denial" or "soft denial" because it focuses on content whereas I am interested in motivation. In addition the verb "deny" is an absolute and trying to modify it seems to be contrary to the English language.

"The Holocaust" is also a totality that is more than a sum of its events. "Deny the Holocaust" is an act that seeks to deny some underlying truth about the validity of Jewish suffering and victimhood, not just deny events. It's about denying Jews recognition as humans.

Nicholas Terry said...

What to call them depends on the situation. Neither Cole nor Weber has contributed anything to 'revisionism' for decades, but their old articles and videos are still touted, spammed and cited. One could call them Auschwitz deniers, but the fact that they accept everything else, more or less, is far more irritating to the true believers in denial than their waffling around Auschwitz is really of concern to the wider world.

Gilles Karmasyn said...

Inconsistent derniers...?

Nathan said...

Prof. Lipstadt is recently advancing the term "soft core Denier". She used this term to refer to Bannon/Trump/Spicer's ommision of Jews in the WH statement on Holocaust memorial day and Spicer's defense of it.

Sergey Romanov said...

Well, our deniers may be soft and squishy but are much more hardcore than *that*...

Denying History said...

Irvings position and possibly Webers (I'm honestly not sure how Weber view the Holocaust) pretty much stole their position from Meyers. Though Irving argues for a lower death toll [300,000] and makes up for the drop at Auschwitz by exaggerating Reinhardt by maybe 1 to 1.1 million.(depending on AR's death toll)

J Kelly said...

Cole's old video is still hanging around, I've seen some references to it.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

>>>Prof. Lipstadt is recently advancing the term "soft core Denier".

She's been using the term "soft-core" for at least eleven years, but she didn't invent it; she appropriated it, changed its original meaning, and uses it to describe a whole host of things.

Gerry Gable seems to have coined the term "soft core" denier to describe David Irving pre-Leuchter Report. Gill Seidel relies heavily on Gable's Searchlight magazine in her 1986 book The Holocaust Denial in which she compares "The 'hard' variant of the 'revisionist' Lie" with "The 'soft' variant: the contribution of David Irving".

Gable was interviewed by Kenneth Stern for his 1993 book Holocaust Denial. Stern wrote that Irving was "converted to hard-core Holocaust denial by Fred Leuchter" and quotes Gable describing pre-Leuchter-Irving as the "soft-core" promoter of Holocaust denial for nearly four decades.

Seidel's and Stern's book were cited by RJ Evans in his report for the trial: "Gill Seidel, the author of a highly critical account of Holocaust denial, concluded firmly in 1986 that 'David Irving makes a very decisive contribution to the "soft revisionist" literature on the Second World War. His sober writing contains nothing of the vulgar racism which permeates the pamphlets of McLaughlin and Harwood. He does not deny the Holocaust.' Within a short space of time, however, all this was to change, and Irving was to move from 'soft-core' to 'hard-core' Holocaust denial, to quote the words of another observer of the self-styled 'revisionist' scene [ie Stern]."

In her 2006 book about the trial, Lipstadt claimed that Mel Gibson "engaged in what I considered 'soft core' denial" [p.299].

In 2007 [1], 2011 [2], and 2015 [3] she said "soft-core denial" was saying things like "the genocide of the Palestinians", or comparing the IDF/Israel with the nazis. She'd obviously downgraded the significance of such analogies, back in 2004 they were the "height of Holocaust denial" [@ 5:10].

Also in 2007 [1], she said Jimmy Carter was indulging in "soft-core denial" just for not having featured the Holocaust in his very brief "Historical Chronology" of "Developments in the Middle East" [which covers 3906 years and features tales about Abraham, Moses, and Jesus]. She also implied the Muslim Council of Britain were practising "soft-core denial" by refusing to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day "unless equal time is given to anti-Muslim prejudice".

In 1991 she called "Ernst Nolte a "crypto denier":


Dass Prussian said...

These 'fence sitters' are an enigma to me. At least with fully blown deniers we can generally guess what makes them tick. But these chin-scratching types who are forever putting forward both sides of the argument in a "ooh look at me and how impartial I am" sorta way seriously need medical help!

I tried to confront David Cole on his face book page in respect of his relatively contradictory ( in comparison with AR) Auschwitz views but he ended up blocking me. ( Mind you, I probably went about in the wrong way, by demanding a free copy of his book and occasionally drifting into an immature abstract style of piss taking!)

Jonathan Harrison said...

The term "soft Revisionist" was used by Richard A Melanson in Revisionism Subdued? Robert James Maddox and the Origins of the Cold War, Political Science Reviewer, Fall 1977.