Ron Unz has a very long and very interesting article about Holocaust Denial where he concludes:
Any conclusions I have drawn are obviously preliminary ones, and the weight others should attach to these must absolutely reflect my strictly amateur status. However, as an outsider exploring this contentious topic I think it far more likely than not that the standard Holocaust narrative is at least substantially false, and quite possibly, almost entirely so.
The arguments he looks at are unsettling and if you look through the comments, you’ll see a large number of deniers saying various iterations of “if you just read such-and-such evidence it will prove that the Holocaust didn’t happen.”
The “proof” offered is all sorts of stuff: the gas chambers at Auschwitz were recreated after the war, there’s no way mathematically that the Germans could have killed that many people, there’s no evidence of mass graves, there’s no giant piles of ash and bones from the crematoriums, Anne Frank’s diary is partially or whole faked as part is written in a type of pen that wasn’t invented until after the end of the war, etc. etc.
IF any of that were true, it would be very damning, but what the people espousing it don’t seem to have considered is: how does any individual person prove that this is actually evidence and not some nut on the internet spouting nonsense? The problem with history is that it must almost entirely be taken on faith. We’re relying on someone else to tell thus-and-such happened. We have to believe them because we personally don’t have the ability to confirm it.
I can’t examine Anne Frank’s diary. I can’t go to Auschwitz and tell if the gas chambers are fake. I can’t dig up the field at Treblinka and tell what the ash content of the soil is. A Holocaust denier can say they have any sort of proof and there’s equal claims of proof on the other side to contradict it. How is that proof?
The only thing I think there’s any evidence for is that the six million figure is incorrect. The evidence for that is that the death toll of Auschwitz was revised from 4 to 1.1 million and nobody seemed to care in terms of the total numbers of the Holocaust.
Unz says he hasn’t done a lot of research on the topic yet but following one of his links I came upon a mention of Prisoners of Fear by Ella Lingens-Reiner, a survivor of Birkenau-Auschwitz. This book is interesting of several reason. 1) It was published in 1948. Unz mentions the argument that few historical or journalistic works mentioned the Holocaust and the gas chambers etc. until 1960s when memories were fading. 2) She talks about the gas chambers and mass executions of the Jews which would seem to gainsay the claims that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz. 3) Lingens-Reiner was an ethnic German not a Jew. Maybe she made the whole thing up but anti-Semitic deniers at least can’t claim she did it out of malignant Jewishness.
But the book also sheds light on why it might be so hard for people to grasp and except the idea of the Nazis’ use of concentration camps and mass exterminations of various peoples: The concentration camps make absolutely no sense at all.
The situation that Lingens-Reiner describes is simply insane. The prisoners lived in wretched conditions, they froze to death, they starved to death, they were beaten, executed, worked to death. So if the Nazis didn’t care if anyone lived… why did they try to keep the prisoners alive? Lingens-Reiner was a doctor. She worked in the hospital at Birkenau. Why was there a hospital at all? With a war going on, why waste man power, food, medicine, supplies on people that you were going to kill anyway? She talks about SS doctors working to nurse patients back to health only to send them to the gas chamber a few weeks later. She mentions a gypsy camp where all but a few prisoners were “liquidated” because they weren’t in good enough shape to work, and all the doctors in charge of their care were punished for not keeping them healthy enough.
If it didn’t matter that anyone lived, or if they were going to be executed anyway, why bother? Why not kill everyone from the get go and be done with it?
There’s one odd detail that she mentions that really stuck out though. One of the objections to the Holocaust is why are there no records given the sort of bureaucrats the Germans tended to be? Lingen-Reiner recounts that gassed Jews would have a “S.B.” added to their files to indicate they’d gotten “special treatment” but “whenever inspections from Berlin were expected the camp office worked at high pressure, sometimes through the night, to remove all those index-cards from the files.” Why would they do that? If Berlin was fine with exterminating Jews, why hide it? If they weren’t fine, why keep the records in the first place?
The contradictions and lunacy of this behavior make it hard to understand and hard to accept. It simply does not make sense and does not on a huge scale. To be true, the entire Nazi party was not just homicidal but stupid and deranged because they threw away valuable war resources on millions prisoners they only planned to murder.
There is one thing, however, which points towards there being something wrong with the accepted Holocaust story. Anyone who dares to question the narrative has to be destroyed. Even the non-kooky Holocaust deniers, the ones who are more measured in their dissent, are to be expelled from society. A lot of people have a lot of silly, bizarre, or counterfactual notions but they don’t get disemployed and have their names and reputations destroyed. Now why does that need to happen?