I consider myself a sceptical
revisionist. Indeed, at the risk of falling into the No
True Scotsman fallacy, I would say that true
revisionism is scepticism.
So what do I mean
by scepticism? I mean the application of critical
thinking. Examine everything, suspend judgement,
accept only what is proved to your satisfaction to
have been objectively demonstrated, and even then
accept a balance of probability based on the evidence.
Do not believe anything absolutely. Be
prepared to change your position and admit you were
mistaken if the evidence justifies it. Reject any
personal attacks and concentrate only on the issue.
2+2=4, even if Hitler, Stalin or Osama bin Laden says
One of my favourite YouTube videos concerns Critical Thinking. The author of this video has, as far as I am aware, never expressed any view on the Holocaust, and so much the better, since we are interested only in his methodology.
How do we apply the advice of this video to the Holocaust?
We must want to pinpoint and minimise biasing influence from upbringing and culture, to seek out and be guided by knowledge and evidence that fits with reality, even if it refutes our cherished beliefs. Indeed, when we think critically beliefs tend not to be cherished, but held on the understanding that if they are shown to be unfounded, a change of position is the most appropriate response.
The Holocaust has
become a cherished belief that we are very resistant
to questioning. I speak from experience: 10 years ago
I took it for granted as much as anyone; submitting it
to critical thinking was a slow process. I now think
it very unlikely that the conventional narrative of
extermination in gas chambers is correct. I find the
Revisionist position of harsh camps, disease, hard
labour, malnutrition, exposure, deprivation and deportation better argued and
Scepticism does not mean an indiscriminate rejection of ideas, as some mistakenly believe. It refers to doubting and suspending our judgement about claims with which we are presented, so that we do not simply accept claims which may be unjustified, but first take the time to understand them, examining the reasoning and possible assumptions and biases behind them.
Don't just accept
Holocaust claims of gas chambers, a policy of
deliberate extermination and an immutable total of six
million on authority, but ask to see the evidence.
What assumptions are made? Are the proponents subject
to bias arising from their political or ethnic
background? (You should ask the same questions of
their opponents. In both cases this will help you
understand motive and to explain and discount emotion.
The historical facts, of course, are not influenced by
the emotions of either side.)
Reasoning should be based in sound consistent logic, not on emotions and social pressure.
Which of these is
most people's attachment to the Holocaust story based
on? What social pressures are you under to accept the
official version of the Holocaust? Question it and you
face social ostracism and maybe loss of your job. No
mainstream media and no teacher at any level dare
do anything other than uncritically regurgitate the approved storyline and in most of
Continental Europe people are jailed for several years
or subjected to heavy financial penalties for
questioning it. What kind of truth needs defences like
The truth of factual claims is not determined by the emotion that accompanies them
Holocaust narratives seek to manipulate your emotions
and thereby suppress your critical faculties? No one
disputes that Ann Frank suffered a horrible death. But
what is the relevance of her death from typhus to
claims of gas chambers and extermination? Did you
indeed know that she died from typhus, or have you
been allowed to innocently assume she was gassed?
...or by the fact they may be believed by certain social groups.
white supremacists are naturally drawn to a
revisionist view of the Holocaust. This is then used
to imply that anyone who questions any aspect of the
orthodox version of events must be a "Holocaust
Denier" and fall into this category. It is a vicious
circle: an electric fence is created which prevents,
or at least dissuades, someone of a more liberal
outlook and the public in general from any kind of
critical investigation. The issue becomes one of pure
This can in no way
affect the factual, historical issue of what happened
during the Second World War. As it happens,
revisionists come from across the political spectrum.
The first person to seriously examine and question the
orthodox story of the camps, Paul Rassinier, was a
French Socialist who had been imprisoned in Buchenwald
and Dora for his Resistance activity, suffered badly
there and returned a 100% invalid. David Cole is an atheist, Jewish neo-conservative and Zionist.
Josef Ginsburg was a Romanian
Jew who had been deported. Roger Garaudy was a Catholic and a
Communist. Bradley Smith is a tolerant, non-racist
American libertarian whose previous wife was Jewish and
his present wife Mexican. Friedrich Berg and
Frederick Toben, on the other hand, are self-avowed
Hitlerites, but a Hitler who, they think, did not
perpetrate the atrocities he is accused of. The
present writer is British, in the bottom left
(liberal) quarter of the political compass,
and usually votes Liberal Democrat or Green.
One of the biggest barriers to critical thinking is an unwillingness to see complex issues in anything other than black and white terms. If one sees only two options, when more exist, this constitutes a false dichotomy... If we think in false dichotomies we will draw false conclusions.
Issues don't come
much more black and white than the Holocaust as it is
conventionally presented. You believe it all, lock,
stock and barrel, or you are a Holocaust Denier. But
“Did the Holocaust happen?” is a meaningless question.
The valid question is “What actually happened in the
set of events that have come to be referred to as the
Holocaust?” along with “What level of probability can
we attach to our conclusions?”
We may also misrepresent others by wrongly assuming that if they don't hold attitude X they must hold attitude Y.
understand how anyone could deny the Holocaust. The only explanation I could conceive of was that they were bovver-booted skinheads from Combat 18 who denied the self-evident because of their racist prejudices, which is, of course precisely the image the Holocaust Industry has put great effort into promoting. But
when I summoned the intellectual curiosity to look for
the answer, I was astonished to find that they
did not deny the deportations, the exploitation and
the deaths.They even reproduced those horrific
photographs of emaciated corpses at Belsen in
support of their position. What they questioned
was the extent, the cause and the intent: specifically
the use of gas chambers and intent to exterminate. I
did not at that point accept their position, but I
realised that it was quite different from what it had
been represented to me as.
The issue is
anything but black and white. The mainstream story has
itself been heavily revised. In the 1940s and 1950s we
were told that there were gas chambers in camps all
over Germany. Now they are said to have existed only
in Poland. The numbers of deaths claimed for
individual camps has shrunk, but the 6 million never
The critical thinker can handle uncertainty, preferring to be aware of their own areas of ignorance, and they can wait for valid evidence and evidence-based answers... It [critical thinking] moves us away from rash conclusions, mystification and unwillingness to question received wisdom, authority and tradition.
The relevance is