Holocaust: the facts

Discussion in 'theory, philosophy & history' started by danny la rouge, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    Eric Hobsbawn talked of “society's need for historians”, whom he called “the professional remembrancers of what their fellow-citizens wish to forget”. There are of course disagreements between historians. We are always learning more about every subject, we are always refining what we know, always seeking new understanding. This is healthy. But what historians who study with honesty learn is what information is available, how to determine reliability, how to cross-reference independent sources, and so on. In this way, a body of certain knowledge has been honed. In the field of genuine Holocaust research there are differences of opinion, but what is not in doubt is that the Holocaust happened. And though painful to acknowledge, harrowing to hold in ones gaze, and disturbing to think of as the actions of humans like us, we need skilled and honest historians to perform the function of society’s "remembrancers".

    But as well as honest endeavour there exists the pseudo-history of Holocaust denial, where history is distorted, where evidence is misrepresented, where misleading and false accounts are presented to the credulous or unwary.

    This thread aims to be a resource for credible work evidencing the Holocaust. Suggestions have come from board members.

    It has been created in time to observe Holocaust Memorial Day on the 27th January, and was prompted by a Holocaust denial apologist posting on these boards.


    Documentary films:

    The Nazis, a warning from history. (Laurence Rees, 1997, BBC)

    The Sorrow and the Pity (Marcel Ophuls, 1969)

    Auschwitz: The Nazis and 'The Final Solution'. (Laurence Rees and Catherine Tatge, 2005) (broadcast in the US as Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State)

    History Books:

    Peter Longerich, (2010), Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews. Oxford: University Press.

    Ian Kershaw, (2008) Hitler, the Germans and the Final Solution. Yale.

    Adam Tooze, (2006) The Wages of Destruction. Allen Lane. (“a very good argument for the holocaust being partially about economic instrumentalism on the part of the Nazis” - ViolentPanda)

    Karl Dietrich Bracher, (1980) The German Dictatorship, The Origins, Structure and Consequence of National Socialism. Harmondsworth. Penguin. (“how German anti-Semitism went from a minority pursuit to a socially-acceptable prejudice in less than 3 decades” - ViolentPanda)

    Norman Cohn, (2006), Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World Conspiracy and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Serif Publishing; 2nd ed. (“tracing the roots of the anti semitisms that culminated in the holocaust … shows explicitly how widespread and perfectly acceptable anti semitism once was. Real eye-opener. DotCommunist )

    Suzanne E. Evans, (2004), Forgotten Crimes: The Holocaust and people with disabilities. Ivan R Dee, Inc.

    On Holocaust denial -

    Michael Shermer & Alex Grobman, (2000), Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It? Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

    Robert Jan van Pelt, (2002), The Case for Auschwitz: Evidence from the Irving Trial. Indiana University Press.

    First-hand accounts:

    Jan Karski, (first published 1944) The Story of a Secret State: My Report to the World. (New edition published by Georgetown University Press, 2013).

    Filip Müller, (1979), Eyewitness Auschwitz - Three Years in the Gas Chambers.

    Primo Levi, (1959), If This Is A Man (memoir)

    Primo Levi, (1963), The Truce (memoir)

    Primo Levi, (1981), Moments of Reprieve (character studies of people the author met during his time in Auschwitz)

    Primo Levi, (1986), The Drowned and the Saved (essays)

    Primo Levi, (1975), The Periodic Table (autobiographical episodes)

    Primo Levi, (1982), If Not Now, When? (a novel)*

    Elie Wiesel, (1960), Night (semi-fictionalised memoir)*

    (*either works of fiction, or not wholly non-fiction).

    Reputable Blogs:

    Holocaust Controversies

    Reputable Websites:

    Holocaust Educational Trust - Latest News

    Academic Papers:

    Peter Longerich, The Wannsee Conference in the Development of the “Final Solution” http://www.ghwk.de/ghwk/engl/texts/wannsee-conference.pdf

    Newspaper Article on Holocaust denial:

    New online generation takes up Holocaust denial

    Thanks to JimW ViolentPanda littlebabyjesus Athos butchersapron chilango

    Previous thread about recommended reading on the Holocaust/Shoah: Holocaust/Shoah - recommended reading in history/theory

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2017
  2. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model every man and every woman is a star

    Martin gilbert's book the holocaust was a great influence on me when I was younger
    tim and danny la rouge like this.
  3. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    It's worth adding a definition of the Holocaust too:

    1. There was intentionality of genocide based primarily on race (but also on other characteristics the Nazis deemed undesirable).
    2. A highly technical, well-organised extermination program using gas chambers and crematoria was implemented.
    3. An estimated 5 - 6 million Jews were killed.

    (Based on the definition given by Michael Shermer).
    frogwoman and Beetlebum like this.
  4. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    Jean Améry At the mind's limits, account of Auschwitz, is available here

    In 1976, Améry wrote this, a couple of years before he killed himself:

    Levi did seek clarity, and I think he did want it, needed it. He did not achieve it either.
    danny la rouge likes this.
  5. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    Is that his 1986 book, The Holocaust: The Jewish Tragedy?

    (He also wrote:The Holocaust, Maps and Photographs (1978), Auschwitz and the Allies (1981), Atlas of the Holocaust (1982), Holocaust Journey: Travelling in Search of the Past (1997), and probably others).
    Pickman's model likes this.
  6. chilango

    chilango Neither Westminster nor Brussels....

  7. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model every man and every woman is a star

    1986 book
    Badgers and danny la rouge like this.
  8. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    I'm being really picky here, but If not now, when? isn't really about the Holocaust. It's about Jewish partisans. People should still read it, though.

    Another by Primo Levi, The Mirror Maker, a collection of short stories and articles written for a newspaper.
    danny la rouge likes this.
  9. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I have read: If This Is A Man, The Truce, Moments of Reprieve, and If Not Now, When. I found Primo Levi's writing quite compelling.

    Another book that may be of interest:

    The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz, Denis Avey with Rob Broomby

    My father arrived at Bergen Belsen shortly after it had been liberated, the local population were still claiming they knew nothing about it, despite fertiliser made from the remains being spread on their land, the regular arrivals of new prisoners and general running of a camp of many tens of thousands of inmates. I visited Belsen, my son has visited Auschwitz. Holocaust deniers are fruitloops, they are dangerous in that they can lead the feeble minded astray.
    ddraig, Mab, dylanredefined and 5 others like this.
  10. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    I haven't read it. JimW recommended it. I'm sure for good reason.
    Pickman's model likes this.
  11. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    Sorry, ignore me. Read it people.
    danny la rouge likes this.
  12. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    I did swither over including fiction or semi-fictionalised accounts. But I decided they have their place if taken along with other accounts.
  13. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    Good call, too. If not now, when? actually introduced me to something I had not known about at all before reading it.

    I take back my nitpick. Wrong call.
    danny la rouge likes this.
  14. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist slowtime

    A docu on the Treblinka survivors

    Treblinka 2 was not a concentration camp, it was straight off the trains, through 'proccesing' then straight to the gas chambers then the mass burials carried out by jews who were considered useful labour. These men are not liars.
    Mation and danny la rouge like this.
  15. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    John Hershey's The Wall is an excellent introduction to the Warsaw Ghetto for young adults. (Though a novel, it was based on journalistic research).
    littlebabyjesus likes this.
  16. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    Auschwitz: The Nazis and 'The Final Solution'. (Laurence Rees and Catherine Tatge, 2005) is currently available on Netflix in the UK.
  17. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    To labour Levi a bit more, I can't recommend him strongly enough. He is compelling, imo, because he is clear and simple and to the point. All the things I want in a writer, and we are lucky (if that's the right word in the circumstances) to have his books. He's a set text in Italian schools nowadays. Shame he isn't here.
    Grump, Mab, crossthebreeze and 3 others like this.
  18. Lurdan

    Lurdan old wave

    My apologies if what I'm about to say is unhelpful or stupid but I'm afraid my nose wrinkles a bit about the word 'evidence'. This isn't a 'debate' between two 'points of view' which can both produce 'evidence', no matter how many shitheads and cunts wish to pretend otherwise.

    There are some good books about the euthanasia programme - some listed at the bottom of this page although I can't recall which one I found very useful. Lifton's book 'The Nazi Doctor's' is not the most recent but is online at archive.org.

    Pierre Vidal-Naquet's writings about revisionism are online in English and French (along with other tests) at Documentary Resources on the Nazi Genocide and its Denial
    danny la rouge likes this.
  19. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    That is my fault Danny, was one of the books I'd re-read and recommended on that basis not as specifically dealing with the Holocaust.
    danny la rouge likes this.
  20. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    I didn't intend that meaning to be taken, mainly as I don't consider sinister, distorted untruths to be "evidence".

    However, I've nonetheless changed the thread title.
  21. DaveCinzano


    Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland by Christopher Browning, who illustrates the bigger picture of deliberate racial extermination by shining a light on the smaller but no less organised acts of mass murder which together comprised part of the genocide. Perhaps most importantly, he shows how much of the killing was done not by ruthless far-right fanatics, but by ‘ordinary men’, and that there were factors at play which could easily be replicated. And he explains his sources, and he explains his working.
    Mab, CNT36 and danny la rouge like this.
  22. SheilaNaGig

    SheilaNaGig Struggling and striving

    Can we also add Jewish literature that's not necessarily or immediately about the holocaust? I found some of it incredibly important for providing context and comprehension.

    Chaim Potok's books. The Chosen, etc.

    In My Father's Court by Isaac Bashevis Singer (and his other books too)

    Kaddish for an Unborn Child by Imre Kertész
    danny la rouge likes this.
  23. Sprocket.

    Sprocket. Jive Miguel, he’s in from Bogotá..

    Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account by Dr. Miklos Nyiszli. (1946)
    ISBN 978-0141392219.

    Dramatised as the films, The Grey Zone by Tim Blake Nelson. (2001)
    Son of Saul by Laszlo Nemes. (2015)
    Mab and danny la rouge like this.
  24. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    Curious why the film Shoah isn't listed. It's 9 hours long and mainly witness testimony. I haven't seen it yet but would like to know if there's a reason it's not been included.
    Did watch his the Last of The Unjust, which was fascinating, difficult and complex.
  25. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model every man and every woman is a star

    This way for the gas, ladies and gentlemen by tadeusz borowski
  26. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    Because I haven't seen it, and it hadn't been suggested to me. But that's what the thread's for: recommendations I missed.
    chilango and bimble like this.
  27. chilango

    chilango Neither Westminster nor Brussels....

    I was going to post that, along with The Cattle Truck by Jorge Semprun.

    Neither are strictly meeting the OP, being semi-fictionalised accounts by surviving political prisoners of the camps, but as powerful, accessible stories they're well worth a read imo.
    danny la rouge likes this.
  28. chilango

    chilango Neither Westminster nor Brussels....

    On a similar note, I'd also (cautiously) recommend Conspiracy as an "easier" way in to some of the context.
    danny la rouge likes this.
  29. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    As long as we're clear what role they play, and flag them as semi-fictional that's fine. But I wouldn't want the list to be too heavy on that sort of work.
    chilango likes this.
  30. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    Didn't the same film maker do a separate one on the uprising at Sobibor? Years since I saw it but also a great work.
    Pickman's model likes this.

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