On demonization

egarding the treatise calling for “open debate” on the Holocaust (Nov. 8), it is upsetting not that the Star agreed to run the advertisement, but that there are people who continue to try to rewrite history to absolve Germany and the National Socialist Party of responsibility for a program of organized mass murder.

To attempt to refute the various arguments put forth by Mr. Smith and those like him would require far too much time and space, so I’d just like to offer a few comments.

Jews were not deported to concentration camps merely because they posed a “security risk.” They were systematically segregated from the mass of German society because, in the view of the Nazis, they were racially impure and were the biological enemies of the German race.

The ultimate end of this line of thought was planned extermination, and planned extermination did take place, inside the concentration camps, by gas and by shooting. Extermination was not reserved for Jews—it was also generously extended to anyone who might pose a threat to the regime by providing alternate leadership. Thus Slavic intellectuals and political leaders were also killed.

Unlike the majority of Slavs, however, who might, in the Nazis’ view, provide a benefit to the Third Reich if properly harnessed, the Jews were so unclean and evil that they had to be eliminated altogether from areas under German authority. Heinrich Himmler, one of the most diligent when it came to carrying out Hitler’s dreams, explained to his SS officers that:

“We had the moral right, we had the duty … to destroy this people (Jews) … We have exterminated a bacterium because we do not want in the end to be infected by the bacterium and die of it. I will not see so much as a small area of infection appear here or gain a hold. Wherever it may form, we will cauterize it.”

While those who deny the truth of the Holocaust may only be misinformed, I suspect that the majority of them subscribe to a more sinster agenda. The simple truth is that the Holocaust happened; we will never know that numbers of victims, but the organized extermination programs at the hands of Hitler’s government are no myth.

It is bitterly ironic that Mr. Smith begs us not “demonize” the revisionists, pointing out that people who do are “preparing to do something simply awful to their opponents. Their logic is that you can do anything you want to a demon.”

Demonization is a tactic well known to the National Socialists and other racists and anti-Semites, who have used it to great advantage. The revisionists have at least learned something from the past.

Don McArthur

Graduate Student