Irving And The War

David Irving denies that any Jews were gassed at Auschwitz. This is a model of how to tell the strict truth and yet be a damned liar. The Jews were gassed, not indeed at Auschwitz but at Birkenau a few miles away. I’m sure it made all the difference to them.

Denying that the Holocaust happened is a criminal offence in most countries of Continental Europe. Opinions are divided about whether this is a good thing or not; the American woman who beat David Irving in a British court was unhappy about his being jailed in Austria. Well, the Holocaust did happen; but it is not the only thing that happened during the Second World War. We have seen people abused as anti-Semitic for having recalled that the Nazis murdered several millions of non-Jews in the camps as well; in fact Hitler’s evil dream involved the total extermination of the Slavs, to be conducted over a century or two.

Yet not only Jews but also some gentiles often talk as if the Nazis were evil solely because they perpetrated the Holocaust. In other words, the whole war has shrunk to a kind of passepartout around the Holocaust. That Jews should feel that way is entirely understandable, as it is the central reality of their own recent history; and yet were it to be imposed on the gentile world with the aid of anti-anti-Semitism, it would be no less a denial of history than Irving’s wretched prevarications. Let us therefore beware of the “extended concept of Holocaust denial”, whereby it becomes an offence not only to assert that the Holocaust never happened but also to note that many other things happened as well.

Would there still have been a Third Reich, and a war that killed at least 50 million people, in a parallel universe in which Jews did not exist? Certainly, if there were still Bolsheviks in this universe there would have been such a war; for the Nazis hated the Jews because they identified them with the Bolsheviks, rather than the other way round.

One of the things everyone thinks they know is that President Ahmadinejad denied the Holocaust. Hearing that accusation, they assume that he was claiming that the Holocaust never happened, which is not necessarily the case. The stock phrase of “Holocaust denial” can easily cover people who – like most Muslims – agree that it occurred but do not consider that it justified the creation of the state of Israel on someone else’s land. This denies the second position a hearing, precisely as it is intended to.

Leave a Reply