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Holocaust denial

Holocaust denial is the belief that the Nazi German government and its associates did not commit genocide against millions of Jews, gays, Poles, gypsies and the physically or mentally ill, as well as other groups during World War II. In denying the existence of the Holocaust entirely, it is generally regarded as the most extreme form of Holocaust revisionism.

Evidence of the existence of the Holocaust was documented by Allied forces who entered Germany and its associated Axis states towards the end of World War II. Among the evidence produced was film and stills of the existence of concentration camps, as well as the testimony of those freed when the camps were entered. As a result of the records produced, historians generally agree that Holocaust denial is contrary to the known facts of history.

The suggestion that the Holocaust did not exist is based on a number of premises:

  1. The film footage shown after the War was all specially manufactured as propaganda against the Nazis by the Allied forces;
  2. That the claims of what the Nazis supposedly did to the Jews were all intended to facilitate the Allies in their intention to enable the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine;
  3. That where crimes were committed, they were not centrally orchestrated and thus the Nazi leadership bore no responsibility for the implementation of such a policy.

Few historians accept these theses, stating that the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. Due to the extremely rapid collapse of the Nazi forces at the end of the war, attempts to destroy evidence in Germany were for the most part unsuccessful. After their defeat, many tons of documents were recovered, and many thousands of bodies were found not yet completely decomposed, in mass graves near many concentration camps. The physical evidence and the documentary proof included records of train shipments of Jews to the camps, orders for tons of cyanide and other poisons, and the remaining concentration camp structures. Interviews with survivors completed the picture. As a result, these extreme revisionist views are almost universally rejected by all historians.

These ideas, specificially number two, has gained much currency in several Arab countries and is a factor in the debates over Middle East policy, fueled by the allegation of United States bias towards Israel and against the Arab world. It has also played a role in the Balkans at the beginning of 1990s, where denial of the Ustasha genocide in Croatia has sparked fears of the Serbian population who rebelled against the new pro-independence government of Franjo Tudjman. In the 1990s, the growth of the Internet produced many conspiracy theory sites. Claims that the Holocaust did not exist, or did not exist on the scale claimed have been widely made on some conspiracy theory sites, many of whom have blamed Jewish conspiracies for a range of issues, including the attack on the World Trade Center.

The overwhelming number of academics and historians dismiss claims that the Holocaust was a fiction and argue that the evidence concerning the events was too widespread and well-documented to have been forged.

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