There are those who deny that the Nazis killed people in extermination camps during the Second World War. I have no respect for these fools. The notion that the historical records have somehow been falsified to suggest a grand lie is patently ludicrous. Far too many people have disappeared to be accounted for by other means. One might as well say that World War Two never happened and that all the men and women who claim to have been involved in it are lying.
The reason for the title of this piece is that I don’t believe that the “Holocaust” happened. I have two objections. The first is petty, the second I think not so.
The world has not been consumed by biblical fires. There are more people alive to day than ever before. The word holocaust when written with a capital H (according to my Oxford dictionary) refers specifically to the killing of Jews during the war. I don’t like the use of the word in this way. My reasons go beyond the mere linguistic, however.
Say the word “H/holocaust” to most people these days, and they will think of the Nazi attempt to kill all the Jews in the Third Reich. They may make reference to the six million who were killed. It is important that we remember this attempted genocide, and it is good that people know about it. The world is less likely to repeat mistakes it remembers. We will also have a better understanding of the world today, notably Israeli attitudes to politics. My objection, is that we remember the six million, and forget the eleven million.
The Nazis killed Jews, yes, but they also killed anyone else they didn’t like. They killed Slavs, Ukranians, Gypsies, homosexuals, mentally ill people and others they considered to be genetically unsound, Norwegian school teachers who refused to teach Nazi doctrine in schools, and they killed all political opponents of their foul regime. They killed eleven million people, not six. We should remember the eleven million.
In case you think that this makes me seem anti-Semitic, think again. I think that there is, thank goodness, little danger that we will forget the fact that six million Jews were killed. I have met quite a few people who didn’t know about all the others. My fear is that we will forget the others, and they deserve better than that.
I see no glory in victimhood. Murdered people are not saints for having been murdered. They are just dead. The living can make political gains from the dead, however, so let us get it right, let us remember the whole truth. The word “Holocaust” distracts us from the whole truth. It suggests in a cunning way that six million only were killed, or that only the six million matter. When the allies liberated the extermination camps, all doubts the soldiers had about how just the war was, vanished. When they saw the piles of emaciated bodies, they didn’t need to know the identity of the dead to know that a monstrous barbarism had been allowed to flourish. No one set of people owns the suffering of the Nazi death camps, for many peoples were victims, and many peoples allowed the camps to exist. Humanity shamed itself.