The Insanity of Holocaust Denial

The Australian government wants to shut down the Holocaust denial web site, The Adelaide Institute. Of course the main effect of their efforts is to get more publicity for these folks.

I wouldn’t give them more publicity if it weren’t for the fact that the home page of the site illustrates just how bizarre the Holocaust denial argument is.

The top of the page repeats a familiar claim of deniers — that there are no holes in the roof of one of the gas chamber used at Auschwitz. Since eyewitness testimony clearly establishes that gas was pumped through holes in the roof to the gas chamber, the supposed lack of holes is, according to the deniers, proof that the building was never used as a gas chamber. Instead they claim, it was used for delousing of Jewish prisoners.

But the pictures of Auschwitz on the web site really says all you need to know. There on the right is Frederick Toben examining the roof that is now just a few feet off the ground.

Why is the roof just a few feet off the ground? Because in 1944 the Germans blew up the building.

That photo of Toben examining the roof asks visitors to believe that with the German war effort clearly a lost cause, and the Russian army quickly advancing on their position, that German officers nonetheless went to great pains to dismantle and destroy what was nothing more than a delousing chamber.

Given the circumstances, it is hardly surprising that the effort to dismantle the chamber (including, possibly, attempts to fill in the holes) — not to mention the subsequent explosion set off by the Nazis — has made it difficult to detect exactly where the holes were originally.

Unless you’re a Holocaust denier, that is, in which case the sort of reasoning that would be too outrageous even for an X-Files episode are routinely accepted as truth.

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