By Lifting Bishop Richard Williamson’s Excommunication, Has Pope Benedict Just Signalled to the World that Catholicism, Holocaust Denialism, and Fascism Can Go Together?

Bishop Richard Williamson.

The Pope just recently lifted the excommunication on this vile anti-Semite and Holocaust denying crank.

What is the Pope signalling by lifting the excommunication on this psychologically and emotionally perverse man?

Is the Pope saying that he wants people like this within his church—that it’s okay to be an anti-Semite, a Holocaust denier—and a Catholic?

This is just plain gross:

Oh, and by the way, Bishop Williamson also thinks that 9-11 was a hoax, and that women should not wear pants or attend universities.

He also has a visceral disgust of homosexuality.

In short, he is a fascist, and the pope just told him (and the world) that fascism and Catholicism can go together.

Read more of Bishop Williamson’s ridiculous and vile views here, then ask yourself, What is the current Pope thinking?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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50 Responses to By Lifting Bishop Richard Williamson’s Excommunication, Has Pope Benedict Just Signalled to the World that Catholicism, Holocaust Denialism, and Fascism Can Go Together?

  1. Roland Feralo says:

    Permitting Catholic politicians who support abortion to remain in full communion with the church also signals to the rest of the world that an abortionistic mentality and Catholicism go together.

    The same puzzling connection can be inferred from any ecumenical function hosted by the Catholic Church and involving pagan religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and voodoo, such as the several gatherings at Assisi in the last two decades.

    I am sorry you are grossed out, but let me put this in perspective. Assuming you share the almost universal view that the Catholic Church acted egregiously and criminally during the period of the Inquisition, many Catholic scholars who have written on the subject would be just as grossed out at your uninformed and biased beliefs, which they would say is based on neither fact nor evidence.

  2. santitafarella says:


    Let’s be clear here: An Antisemite who is a denier of the Shoah is being admitted to communion within the Catholic Church. When the pope meets with representatives of another religion, such as Buddhism, he does not invite them to join him in communion.

    And I’d like to add that feminists who advocate that women should be allowed into the priesthood are excluded from communion, but this Antisemite is not.

    What does this say about the pope’s sense of proportion?

    There aren’t many things more gross and sinful for a human soul to do in the 21st century than to be dismissive of, and even deny, the largest and most thoroughly documented genocide of the 20th century.

    Don’t you agree?


  3. TMLutas says:

    They’re not idiots over at the Vatican.

    The plain fact is that Bishop Williamson is not currently under Church discipline in any real sense. If the SSPX does come back in union including Bishop Williamson, the Church may realistically require Bishop Williamson to shut up and spend his remaining days in contemplative prayer, performing small acts of charity for the good of his soul. I submit that this is the goal Pope Benedict is working for. I think that it is an entirely reasonable goal and I would support such an outcome.

    Catholic loons will always be with us but those who are in union can be reigned in. The recent case of Abp Milingo (who is loony in a very different way) comes to mind. The process will be similar with Bishop Williamson. If Bishop Williamson is let in with the SSPX faithful and kicked right back out as an individual if he refuses obedience in matters of Church discipline it essentially will rob him of his influence and that would be all to the good.

  4. Roland Feralo says:

    Santi, I agree largely with you. I saw the YouTube video for the first time here on your blog (thanks for posting it). My reactions to what he said on Swedish TV are as follows:

    1/ He didn’t deny the entire Holocaust. What he denied was that 6 million could have been killed by gassing. If I were the interviewer, I would have asked a follow-up question to determine whether he thinks that the 6 million could have died from other means, or whether the 300,000 he believes were gassed represent the total number of deaths. This point is not clear from the interview, but it’s critical to determining whether we can call him an anti-Semite. If he said, “Three hundred thousand died of gas, and 5.7 million died of starvation,” then he certainly isn’t denying the Holocaust.

    2/ There are quite a few things grosser and more sinful for a human soul to do in the 21st or any century. One of them comes to mind: for a person to wilfully vacuum to death the baby inside of her womb. I place this on equal par with killing of the Jews in Nazi Germany because the unborn baby is even more helpless than the Jew. Any politician, Jew or non-Jew, who supports this is as bad as Bishop Willliamson, who merely denies what we all know happened. His is a ‘sin’ of stuipidity, while the abortion is a sin of cold-blooded commission. Don’t you agree?

  5. santitafarella says:


    I would ask you to read Michael Shermer’s excellent book on Holocaust denial (which you can find at

    The idea that mass starvation (at the end of the war) resulted in the bulk of the 6 million deaths is not maintained by any credible historian that I am aware of, and the very notion that this is how most of the Jews died is a way of denying that there was a genocide policy in Nazi Germany.

    The Holocaust was, of course, a multifaceted phenomenon—and gassing played a large role in the Holocaust. Historians have thoroughly documented the use of Zyklon B, and the early adoption of mobile “gas vans” to speed up the extermination of the Jews, and the subsequent use of gas at Auschwitz etc.

    Williamson’s notion that the doors were not properly sealed is absolute nonsense. No serious historian casts any doubt upon the Nazis’ ability to secure the doors and dispose of the bodies after the event, either in the use of gas vans or at Auschwitz.

    Also, I think that Williamson does make clear in the above interview clip that he thinks that no more than 300,000 Jews died in the Holocaust.

    The interviewer, please keep in mind, is not just asking questions about the Holocaust out of the blue. Williamson has been teaching his priests and students these things for years, and he has a reputation for being a Holocaust denier, and a conspiracy crank.

    It’s not like the Vatican doesn’t know what kind of person is being let back into communion.

    As for abortion, I think that the moral equivelence argument that you make is based on your religious beliefs that the fetus is a child from conception, and I won’t quarrel with it. All forms of human degredation are to be resisted. I don’t share your view that a first trimester abortion is evil, but I do get quesy about late term abortions.

    But I do ask you to reconsider whether, in apparently backing the Vatican’s move to readmit this man to communion, that you are treating Holocaust denialism within the church as something of little importance. I would ask you to consider it, instead, a very grave sin, and sickness of the soul, that the current pope appears to be turning a blind eye to.

    Lastly, I resist your notion that Holocaust denial is just a form of honest “stupidity”—as if someone who is intelligent (like Williamson) can look at the evidence dispassionately, and simply draw a stupid conclusion. No. There are some conclusions that can only be arrived at by emotional sickness of the soul, and profound evil and prejudice and perversity lurking in the soul, and Holocaust denial is in that category.

    No intelligent, honest, and humane person living in the 21st century can be a Holocaust denier. If they are, it is a matter of willful ignorance.


  6. santitafarella says:

    TM Lutas:

    I’m not clear why the SSPX must be admitted en masse. Why would the SSPX WANT Williamson associated with them, and why would the Vatican want to include Williamson in its body as someone receiving communion and giving communion?

    Why is Antisemitism and Holocaust denial a matter of apparent indifference to whether one is able to receive communion and administer communion, but merely giving one’s opinion that women should be priests, or that priests should be allowed to marry, is not?

    In other words, why is expression of opinion on gender and marriage in the priesthood a matter of grave concern to the Vatican, but Holocaust denial is not?

    Isn’t this an absurd confusion of priorities?


  7. Roland Feralo says:

    Santi, all of your points are taken. All of them concerning Williamson are valid. Thank you.

    However, I guess we have found territory of a standoff. You see, I equate the killing of babies in the womb as an equally abhorrent sin– no, even *more* abhorrent– than Holocaust denial.

    For a person to say, “I am personally against abortion, but it’s okay for a few people to do it in private as long as they do it early,” is exactly the same as someone saying, “I personally am against the gassing of Jews, but if one or two people want to do it, that’s their choice.” If you heard that, nothing else coming out of the mouth of that person would matter, right? That’s how I feel about abortion. That’s how you need to feel about it, too. The fact that you might not speaks volumes! If you were as strongly against abortion as against the killing of Jews, your arguments against Williamson would be even more powerful, because then we could see that you were consistently pro-life. As it stands now, I see this odd disconnection between your two views that makes me doubt your veracity.

    It’s not simply a religious belief that the fetus is a baby. There is solid scientific evidence, such as the presence of measureable brain waves after only *two* weeks. So, what I was saying in my first post was that as we condemn Williamson for ignoring solid scientific evidence, let’s apply the same standard to those– I hope not you– who deny the presence of a baby. No mother says, “Oh, I’ve got a fetus inside of me,” she always says, “I have a baby.”

    You may have heard about the octuplets born here in California this week. I heard two commentators on the radio saying these two sentences in rapid succession: “She should have had selective abortions to reduce the number of fetuses.” “We hope for all the best as these babies fight for their lives.” Crazy.

    Jews aren’t the only humans who were treated barbarically. Unborn babies are, too. Every day and every night.

    Everything you insist the Pope and me and all Catholics do in this matter of Williamson can be said for every poor baby that was vacuumed to death today, tomorrow and every day until this terrible barbarism is ended. After that, I really don’t care if anybody denies that it ever happened, as long as the bloody brutality ceases.

    I’m only asking you to see the parallel and in the name of intellectual honesty, demand the same of the perpetrators of abortion as of the deniers of the perpetrators of the murders of Jews in the 20th century. Okay? Why wouldn’t you? Why couldn’t you?

    I have witnessed an abortion, from start to finish. I gotta tell you, it don’t matter if it happens in the first trimester or otherwise. It is goddamned murder, through and through.

    Thanks for your time. I appreciated the exchange of ideas. Take care.

  8. Anton Foljambe says:

    If you’d bothered to watch the interview, you would see that Bishop Williamson simply stated that, on the basis of the evidence available to him, he had come to a certain conclusion. That you do not agree with him does not necessarily make him a “crank”. Day after day, historians, teachers, students, and members of the public dissect historical information and ruminate over the rights and wrongs of different theories. It is outrageous that the slur of “anti-semitism” should be used to silence on this issue the informed debate that we would expect on any other issue. It’s even more outrageous that not thinking the way the government wants you to should be a criminal offence (“Holocaust denial” is a crime in many countries). Bishop Williamson should be congratulated for his courageous stand.

  9. santitafarella says:


    Now, now. The basic facts around the Holocaust have been so thoroughly documented by historians that for someone with reasonable intelligence to deny those facts, and the convergence of those facts, is evidence of gross anti-intellectual prejudice and emotional perversity.

    It is hardly fathomable the depth of psychological depravity to which one must sink to deny the Holocaust. Bishop Williamson is not a brave man to be “congratulated.” He is an emotionally distorted, callous, and dangerous man.

    All human beings are capable of being callous to the lives of those outside their families. And all human beings are capable of developing paranoid views of outsiders. Indeed, most of us experience these emotions to one degree or another.

    But it is precisely because we are capable of such tragic and dark (anti) emotions toward our fellow human beings that we must resist them wherever we can, and especially where there is no warrant for us to indulge them.

    Holocaust denial is precisely this kind of unwarranted callousness multiplied many times. It is conspiratorial paranoia and indifference to fellow human solidarity and feeling indulged to the highest degree—and without any empirical warrant whatsoever. It is an emotional perversity for precisely this reason. It gives people an “intellectual” excuse to feign “objectivity” even as they indulge their darkest human emotions: human callousness, cruelty, and conspiratorial paranoia. It is a form of human emotional agression, and a failure of love, masked by “aw shucks” rationalizations.

    Bishop Williamson is the type of man who can be happy in heaven, while believing that multitudes are in burning in hell. He is the type of man who can shrug at the genocide of the Jews, even as he enjoys his afternoon tea. This is the kind of emotional perversity and disconnection which is terrifying to contemplate, both in ourselves, in God, and in others, and is especially terrifying wherever it comes within range of political or social power.


  10. Anton Foljambe says:

    Santi, may I suggest that your response to my post is (like your original posting) so over the top that it undermines whatever argument you are trying to make. Dismissing people as “psychologically and emotionally perverse” because you don’t happen to agree with their conclusions is hardly rational debate.

    Sadly, this type of silly name-calling characterizes “debate” on this important historical issue.

    It may be that the “generally accepted” version of the Holocaust is true. It may be that the US government really was innocent of 9/11. It may be that one man acting alone really did kill President Kennedy. It may be that Princess Diana’s death was an accident. But until we investigate the evidence, and allow for dissenting opinions, we will never get any closer to the truth.

    Anyone investigating the death of President Kennedy, or Princess Diana, or even 9/11 may be considered brave, may be considered interesting, or may be considered a harmless nutcase, depending on your point of view, but there is no personal nastiness directed at these people. But mention the Holocaust, and one is suddenly a “vile anti-semite” and worse.

    My personal view is that the Nazi regime treated its Jewish citizens appallingly. Many Nazis forgot their humanity and the Christian values of the German nation. Traditionalist Catholics of an earlier generation (such as the last of the great Popes, Pius XII) condemned this persecution.

    But I am sure I am not alone in finding it disturbing that personal abuse and nastiness should be used to shut down debate, and introduce such a climate of fear that people are afraid to speak out, or to investigate the truth.

    No historical issue should be such a sacred cow that people are afraid to discuss it. No historical issue should be such a sacred cow that people can be ripped away from their families and incarcerated in prison for failing to follow the government’s line.

    Bishop Williamson is a Holy and just man who is defending Western Civilization against the secular-humanist agenda of the global powers. Long may he continue to do so.

  11. santitafarella says:


    I completely agree with you that: “No historical issue should be such a sacred cow that people can be ripped away from their families and incarcerated in prison for failing to follow the government’s line.”

    I would never advocate the censoring of speech or books, or jailing people for their sincerely held (or insincerely held) professions.

    And you are free to have whatever views you wish, however you have arrived at them.

    What I am saying is that if an intelligent person denies that the Holocaust occurred, it is not for want of compelling and diverse historical lines of evidence. It is because of emotional and psychological perversity. To be a Holocaust denier is not to be a dispassionate observer of historical truth, but a person posessed of an evil passion to deny the truth.

    It is, in other words, to assert a position that is utterly without WARRANT, and to do so out of a profound prejudice.

    I am all for historical debate. All I am saying is that reasonable people do not disagree about whether the Holocaust occurred, or what the existing evidence tells us. It is unreasonable people (driven by a passion—Antisemitism) that drive “debate” on this matter.

    Your Oswald analogy is not the proper one; the proper analogy to Holocaust denial is this: A person or group that denies the earth is round (and there are people who do this—they belong to the “Flat Earth Society” and attempt to make “dispassionate” and “scientific” arguments against a round earth, all the while actually motivated by a fundamentalist religious desire to read the Bible literally).

    Another proper analogy is “young earth creationism” (the denial that the earth is old and that plants and animals have changed over time).
    In this case also, “dispassionate” presentation of “rational arguments” masks a passion (defending the first eleven chapters of Genesis as being literally true).

    Like “flat earthism” and “young earth creationism,” Holocaust denial constitutes the rejection (or malicious distortion) of vast and multiple lines of evidence that converge upon a compelling and reasonable conclusion. In the case of the Holocaust, no reasonable person denies that 5-6 million Jews were systematically, and with genocidal intent on the part of the Nazi government, killed during World War II. The reason for this denial is based in an Antisemitic passion, not serious lines of evidence.

    Holocaust denial is thus precisely intellectually akin to “flat earthism” and “young earth creationism.”

    The lines of evidence that prove the Holocaust occurred require far more space than an entry here could possibly lay out. I would simply ask you to read Michael Shermer’s accessible book on the Holocaust and Holocaust denial (you can find it at Amazon).

    Lastly, there is nothing “holy” or “just” about a bishop who does not follow lines of evidence to their just and reasonable conclusions, and who callously dismisses as false the most thoroughly documented genocide in human history. The 5-6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust—everyone single one of them—cry out for justice and remembrance, and it is neither holy nor just to deny them this gesture of human compassion and dignity.

    Whatever motivates Holocaust deniers (besides Antisemitism), one thing is certain: It is not a passion for holiness, justice, or truth.


  12. Anton Foljambe says:

    Santi, your point seems to be that the veracity of the “accepted version” of the Holocaust is so well documented that one could only have a different view if one was trying to re-align the facts to fit a pre-conceived view. I believe you are sincere in this belief, and at face value it may appear a persuasive argument.

    However you forget that one man’s “overwhelming evidence” is another man’s “fabrication”. Here’s an example. To me, the evidence that communism was an evil and repugnant political system with no redeeming features what-so-ever is absolutely overwhelming. I can not begin to get my head around how someone could think otherwise. But the fact is that many people DO think otherwise. Are they “psychologically and emotionally perverse”? No, they just have a different opinion to me, and a different take on the same evidence.

    Likewise, you can not conceive of how someone could question the “accepted version” of the Holocaust, but the fact is that some people do. Telling them that you know better than them what their true motives are does seem a little arrogant.

    Regardless of the rights or wrongs of the matter, the abuse heaped on those who dare to stand out from the crowd on this issue does disturb me. I worry that rational argument has given way to emotion, which is exactly what happened in Nazi Germany.

  13. santitafarella says:


    You clearly stated my position in your last post (just above). I appreciate that you are reading my responses thoughtfully, and considering what I am saying. I am not trying to be a censor, or shut down debate, but trying to emphasize my belief that the mass of converging historical evidence for the Holocaust is so overwhelming that anyone who sees that evidence in any other way MUST (logically) be doing so from the vantage of a passion or prejudice (as opposed to reason).

    My argument, in part, derives from the existentialist Jean Paul Sartre’s little book on this subject called “Antisemite and Jew” (which you might find at Amazon). Sartre argues in that book that Antisemitism is a form of prejudice—a passion—which one adopts, and then makes all data about Jews fit that prejudice. Sartre’s distinction is between OPINION (something a person arrives at by dispassionate exploration, as at a jury trial) and PREJUDICE (something that a person arrives at A PRIORI—via passion—and cannot be swayed upon, no matter what new data arrives to the person’s attention).

    Intellectual integrity demands that we hold things as OPINIONS and stay open to “reality testing” (new data and inferences), while a PREJUDICE is an emotionally rigid and closed off position.

    I do not place belief in the Holocaust in the realm of prejudice (for me) precisely because I hold it as an opinion. Should a new set of compelling and converging pieces of data (or argument) ever emerge that overturns our existing understanding of the historical facts, of course I would change my opinion about the subject.

    But the status of the Holocaust (as an historical event) is simply overwhelming (in the same way that anthropology has established, by a convergence of data, that there existed a time when humans moved from a Bronze Age to an Iron Age, or when geologists put together a convergent series of pieces of data to draw the reasonable inference that dinosaurs and flowering plants did not share the planet at the same time).

    Of course, we can always change our views about these things (should new data arise, or new and reasonable inferences from existing data should occur), but with the Holocaust (as with the age of the earth or the fact that the earth is round), NO SUCH DATA IS PRESENT TO MAKE US DOUBT WHAT PROFESSIONAL HISTORIANS BELIEVE TO BE THE CASE. Period.

    Only cranks and people motivated by their darkest prejudices and passions deny the Holocaust. Sometimes very eccentric views can, in the long run, overturn professional consensus, but the odds that this will ever happen with regard to the age of the earth or the Holocaust is vanishing low. The Holocaust denier’s position is, therefore, NOT WARRANTED AT THIS TIME, and is unreasonable (in the same way that it is unreasonable to deny the 4.5 billion year age of the earth, and declare that it is really only 10,000 years old and that all the earth’s geologic feature are a product of a Great Flood).

    As for your communism analogy, I’d ask you to refine it so that the comparison is actually equivelent. I agree with you that totalitarianism in any form (fascist, communist or theocratic) is a monsterous evil. But here’s the proper analogy: If a person sympathetic to communism were to downplay or deny what we KNOW about the atrocities of STALINISM, MAOISM, and the KHMIR ROUGE in Cambodia, or the extent of Armenian genocide in Turkey in the early 20th century, we would recognize immediately, not a rational argument, but one based upon the grossest passion and prejudice, and a capability in the soul of the one holding the position for extraordinary callousness and evil in the name of his preferred “higher cause.” The position would not just be held to be wrong, but to be a symptom of the holder’s inhumanity toward his fellow humans, and his unwillingness to process data in a fair and objective manner.

    A Hegelian of any stripe (one who thinks that human beings should be mown down for a higher cause) is functioning under a passion, and their reasoning about how many people died during Mao’s cultural revolution, or Stalin’s purges, or the extent of the gulag system in Siberia, is going to be distorted by an inhuman, psychologically distorted, and emotionally callous prejudice.

    No serious historian (not driven by prejudice) denies the horrific numbers, in the 20th century, of people starved and destroyed in Soviet Russia and Maoist China. The numbers are difficult to quantify precisely, but they are in the tens of millions. World War II saw the death of 55 million people. The same is true of the Holocaust. Six million Jews died, and historians have documented so many converging lines of evidence that lead us to this conclusion, and done so with such great carefulness, that it is (literally) the most thoroughly documented historical moment in human history. To deny it, or cast doubt upon it, is not just another expression of opinion, but a moral evil.


  14. Ellen P says:

    Santi _ I found your blog and am posting here because I felt this was, is a deeply troubling issue and there doesn’t seem to be nearly enough (outside the church itself) examination of it. I recently researched revisionists – those who are followers of Ernst Zundle – because a dear friend got willy-nilly caught up in it. That is he was to be the best man at the wedding of a revisionist who was recently outed and ousted from his fellowship at a major UK university.

    What I discovered and many don’t realize is that REVISIONISM is a growing phenomena – members are increasing exponentially. The revisionists all seem to believe in the tenants of the most popular conspiracy theories – as if once they believe one then they join the ban wagon for them all: 911, 77, Locherby, etc. Those who have any authority whatsoever, are invited to the annual conference hosted by Ahmadinejad to talk about their views. They also go on radio and TV programs that are geared toward the destruction of Israel. They all sound – word for word – like Williamson.

    I strongly suggest a film about Fred Leuchter – the “scientist” who researched the gas chambers for the defense of Ernst Zundle (Dr Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred Leuchter). An excellent insight into all the revisionist thinkers psychologies. This is how these (otherwise nobodies) get some starved for recognition. Unfortunately, there are many who are not critical thinkers and can not see that there is no science behind their beliefs; only antisemitism.

    My point: I was personally deeply distressed over the recent Gaza invasion – completely fed up with the policies of Israel. But, I also felt the timing of accepting this sorrowfully sick man, back into the folds of the church at this time, is terrifying. The anger in Europe over the Gaza is such, that people are listening to the words of Williamson and kind of wanting to believe them. The Pope gave Williamson credibility. And at this time in history — it’s like leaving a child with a book of matches in a fireworks factory. Oh and add a little world-wide depression… This is far too dangerous a time.

    I could say more – but am not going to better my case. Just watch for free on google-video the Dr Death film.

    Deeply troubled. EP

  15. santitafarella says:


    Thanks for the tip on the Leuchter film—I went to Amazon and purchased it.

    Like you, I’m concerned about Antisemitism and Holocaust-denial, especially among fundamentalist Muslims and some fundamentalist Christian sects. Muslims fundamentalists seem to have simply taken European Antisemitism and adopted it as their own. It’s a very troubling phenomenon—and very large—and difficult to emotionally absorb.


  16. Montsegur says:

    As I see, some of “commentators” here are themselves obsessed with “anti-Semitism” – in the sense that they are trying to see it almost everywhere. Numbers of people dead and killed in a military conflict are (and always will be) subject to discussion and scientific inquiry and the number of Jews who perished in the so-called “Holocaust” (so-called, for the term selected for it is simply horrible, as it used to apply to ANIMALS…) is no exception, no matter how many years in jail
    As a Pole I question numbers of Poles who lost their lives during WWII. Does this make me “anti-Polish”? I question the number of Germans fallen during the same war. Am I then a “German-hater” too? I question almost all numbers (especially the really big numbers) of people killed in all great wars… So what does it make of me: “anti-human”?…

    The person above who likes to boast her “knowledge” of the revisionist mind apparently never read anything written by a revisionist. Most certainly nothing written by Ernst Zűndel (also spelled Zundel) anyway, for she (or he?) constantly types the name as “Zundle”…

    And one more thing: revisionism is a much broader thing and applies to far greater variety of history than just to the so-called “Holocaust”. If you say for instance that Winston Churchill knew of an impeding Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour but decided not to warn F.D. Roosevelt against it, you might be called a “revisionist” in Great Britain but not necessarily so in the US…

    So it is just an obsession on the part of the “anti-revisionists” that they associate the term “revisionism” almost exclusively with the “Holocaust” and “anti-Semitism”…
    Yes, “anti-Semitism” also in quotation marks. It would be certainly much more useful to refer to “anti-Jewishness” rather for it is not “anti-Arabism”…


  17. santitafarella says:


    Thanks for correcting my spelling of Zundel’s name.

    As for the content of your post, you accuse me of indulging in a non sequitur. From your perspective, it does not follow that, if you call into question a number, that it means that your motivation is bad.

    I agree with you that non-sequiturs are bad, and are a form of faulty reasoning, but you have, in this case, provided a highly misleading “instance.”

    In this particular case there is no non sequitur, because it reasonably follows that a person who calls into question that approximately 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust is almost certainly motivated by something other than reason.



    If you make a claim, you must offer reasonable supports. Holocaust denialists do not make reasonable claims, nor do they offer reasonable supports for those claims. It is, like any pseudo-science or pseudo-history, based on non-sense and only adhered to by cranks.

    Holocaust denial is like young earth creationism, or flat earthism or moon-landing denialism. Doubting that the earth is old, or that it is not round, or that American astronauts never really landed on the moon, is not a sign of reasonableness or a proper respect for evidence, but the exact opposite.

    In the case of the Holocaust, there are few events in history better documented. It is not for want of evidence that an INTELLECTUALLY HONEST person doubts that the Holocaust happened, but a product of a conspiratorial, emotionally perverse, and profoundly prejudiced mind.


  18. PsiCop says:


    Holocaust denial is not solely about “questioning numbers.” Beyond a certain point, the numbers no longer matter. It’s often said that 6 or 7 million Jews were killed. Would it really change things all that much to discover that “only” 5 million were killed? Or 3 million? Or even 1 million? No. It remains a horrific atrocity.

    You can complain about the name “holocaust,” but unfortunately neither of us has control over that. The name is what it is, but no matter what it might be, is merely a label for the event. The name itself does not show whether or not it happened.

    You can also complain about the name “anti-Semitism,” but again, it is a name that has been used since the 19th century, and however accurate it may be, we are all stuck with it. But the same principle applies here too … that hatred for Jews is called “anti-Semitism” rather than “anti-Jewism” or something else more to your personal liking, in no way changes that it exists.

    If it’s just how the Holocaust and anti-Semitism are named that you object to, then your argument is not that they didn’t happen. It’s that you don’t like the names. I’m not sure who you could complain to about that, since no one person or group controls English-language usage. Maybe you should take it up with the folks at Webster’s or something?

    In any event, there is no more value in “engaging” Holocaust-deniers than there is in “engaging” flat-earthers.

  19. santitafarella says:


    I agree with some of what you say above, but I don’t share your view that the six million number can be substantially played with by a reasonable person. Historians have been very careful and painstaking in arriving at, and confirming, that number. If a low estimate is 5 million and a high estimate comes in at 7 million, nevertheless the general range and scope of the Holocaust is certainly not beyond these boundaries. If we know anything in history (and I believe that we do), then we know that the Holocaust occured, and that about 6 million Jews died.

    As for not engaging Holocaust deniers, I think that it all depends on your purpose. I don’t think that you can engage for the purpose of persuading one of anything (anymore than you can talk a young earth creationist out of that belief). Instead, one engages such a person for the purpose of REFUSING TO BE SILENT IN THE PRESENCE OF A GREAT EVIL.

    Holocaust denial is not a benign phenomenon—like flat earthism—and where it occurs it needs to be addressed and pushed back against.

    Shermer’s book refuting Holocaust denial, point by point, is a good example.


  20. PsiCop says:

    santitafarella, I do not personally think the numbers are seriously in question. What I was trying to say is that the occasional claim of Holocaust-deniers, that they’re merely questioning numbers, is just a pretense. It’s not even a good one, and here’s why:

    Even if some hypothetical discovery made it absolutely clear that, say, “only” 1 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, while that would definitely force folks to stop saying that c. 6 million died in the Holocaust, it would NOT change the fact that the Holocaust happened, nor would that reduction of numbers make it anything other than a horrific atrocity.

    As for what to do about Holocaust-deniers, there is nothing to be gained by arguing rationally, reasonably with people who are motivated by hatred and/or religion. All it does is allow them to continue to cloak their hatred behind a veil of Holocaust-denial pretense. People like that need to be marginalized … laughed at … called names … castigated … given absolutely no voice to their views, no opportunity to express their hatred. Trying to “engage” them does none of these things; it only tells them that their notions are worthy of discussion, when in fact, they are not.

  21. Montsegur says:

    I do not need to contact any “folks” from Websters to be able to point out sometning that we all are well aware of: if someone is anti-Jewish, we call it “anti-Jewish”. If someone hates Jews, we say that he “hates Jews”. If one claims that 6 Million Jews perished in the “H….st”, then we simply say it was “Jews” and not “Semites”…
    I understand that the term “anti-Semitism” (whoever invented it) was created to denote views hostile towards Jews. But it was when that “anti-Semitism” was almost exclusively limited to Europe and wherever else Europeans lived (and Jews among them). But in just few decades our “monopoly” over that anti-Jewishness has been definitely broken. There is far more enmity towards those people among Muslims now (undoubtedly being the result of existence and policies of Israel) and especially among Arabs, who are not any lesser Semites than the Jews… If you go to the website of ADL, you will even see (on the left hand side) a link to examples of “Arab anti-Semitism” and this is just so stupid… Can an Arab be an “anti-Semite”? Or can I, as a Pole, be “anti-Slavonic”? Nonsense, pure and simple… No reason to stick to old meanings of words if their meaning is constantly changing. Otherwise a “villain” would still mean only a “villager” or “country-dweller” and absolutely nothing more… And especially it is true when the term (anti-Semite”) is indiscriminately used, overused and abused by being – in a “wholesale” manner – hurled almost at anyone who either expresses any criticism of Israel or of such or other aspects of the US foreign policies or simply asks (publicly of course) whether it was really so that 6 Million Jews had perished in WWII… One can be called an “anti-Semite” for almost unlimited number of reasons – or simply pretexts…

    As to the number of Jews killed/murdered/dead in WWII, I have substantial doubts, precisely as I have in regard to any big number of people killed in any great war.
    But for starters, please explain it to me, how it is possible to know almost exactly the number of people killed if one does not even have equally exact numbers of those people living before the outbreak of the war? In Poland, as it is estimated on the basis of pre-war censuses, there were “between 3 Million and over 4 Million” Jews living there. Everyone can see that a theoretical risk of error is between 0 and “over 1 Million”. And the Jews of Poland did not constitute even 50% of the total number of Jews in Europe. And please remember that something different was meant under the term “Jew” in a census (where the question asked was not race but religion) and something else was understood as “Jew” by the Nazis. Their scope was race, not religion. How would you count people who were Jews by birth but converted to Roman Catholicism or were atheists? Would you refer to them as “Jews” or “Poles”? And what if / like in the city of Chorzów (German name Kőnigshűtte), where before the war there were two registered Jewish communities: Polish-Jewish and German-Jewish? So who were they: Jews, Poles or Germans? How were they to be counted? It is estimated that in pre-war Poland “between 1 Million and 2 Million” Germans were living in various locations, predominantly in the North-West and in Upper Silesia. “Between 1 Million and 2 Million”… Another example of “exactness” is it not? So how are they counted – those of them who lost their lives during that war: as Poles or as Germans? Well, it appears that it solely depends on WHO counts them…

    But first and foremost please explain to me how it is possible to question the numbers of Jews living before the WWII or even to deny them but is considered almost criminal to question the resulting (from those numbers!) the number of those killed? How come that a number of those killed is “unquestionable” while the numbers from which it is taken can be questioned? And by asking all these questions I am not implying, that the “six Million” number is impossible. It would be pure nonsense to assume that it could not be possible. After all if we DO NOT KNOW how many Jews lived before he war, so HOW could we know that 6 Million COULD NOT have died?

    Someone says that intentions behind “H…st” denial can only be evil? Oh, really? Intentions behind any revision and verification might be far more diverse than one thinks. Someone might be aiming at debunking the whole thing, but have you not thought that someone else might simply want to get to the truth?

    I suppose, like Józef Mackiewicz, one of Poland’s greatest political writers of the XX century, that the best method is always the one of comparisons. Here is one, my own very small example:

    Every morning between, let us say, 6 and 8 a.m. millions of people in one country get into their cars, start engines and drive off. In that mass of people many do it in order to get to work. Others go to schools or unis. Many ladies go shopping. Retirees go to their clubs or to see a doctor. Others have just started their holidays, so they take the opportunity to go for vacations. And so on. Among those millions there are some however, who drive off, because they have either just committed crimes and seek to disappear from crime scenes, while others are about to kill or to rob someone…

    Translated to our “h…stic example”, it shows that many of the “anti-revisionists” are trying to suggest that all “motorists” are just a dirty and lousy bunch of criminals… I do not consider it to be even remotely resembling anything of truthfulness and objectivity…

    And it is especially striking since many of those “anti-revisionists” are otherwise very open to diversity and even publicly encourage everyone to ENJOY it. Why is it then, that when it comes to topics like this one, they all behave irrationally, emotionally, indeed even hysterically? Just as if they have just taken drugs that obscure mind and deprive one of his/her capability of logical reasoning? I wonder why…

    Someone here mentioned certain Mr Shermer. If you go here you will find (on the top right) a video of a TV show “Donahue” from 1994, in which he participated. Have a close look which sort of “objective treatment” the two revisionists receive, how Mr Shermer himself is trying to imply that if anyone questions anything of the “H…st” story, then he must have obviously only evil intentions and so on. Pay attention to that obviously fraudulent “caller” who claimed to have been a German woman to witness Nazi atrocities. And pay attention to the whole atmosphere of the “show” (yes, in that instance a very fitting term…), where the “Moderator” himself behaved (especially towards the end) like a “street fighter” trying not to give his GUESTS (yes they were his guests!) any fair go but instead wanted to set the audience on them as one would set dogs…

    And then tell me how you feel about this sort of “media-coverage” of the issue in a society that is boasting its “openness”, its “democracy”, “liberalism”, “freedom of speech”, “freedom of opinion” and “tolerance”…


  22. Doc Raven says:

    If Bishop Williamson attends confession, as I am sure he does regularly, and he confesses his sins we are not going to know about it.

    These are the conditions for re-admission to full communion with the Church: admit your wrongs, confess your sins, do penance and amend your life.

    No amount of political intimidation can alter these conditions of which Christ decides. Many who we condemn on earth may ask for forgiveness before they die and we have nothing to say about it. Such is the nature of Reconciliation/Penance.

  23. PsiCop says:


    Your sanctimonious outrage over the term “anti-Semitic” is noted, but dismissed. No one here is in any position to correct it, even if it should be corrected. As I said, the label is separate from the entity. Hatred of Jews exists and is wrong, no matter what label one places on it.

    As for questioning numbers, I repeat: The claimed concern for numbers is a smokescreen and a pretense. I will again repeat what you have so far ignored: The numbers specifically do not matter. A large number of deaths is a large number of deaths, period, and therefore an atrocity. Whether the number is 6 million, or 1 million, or even “just” 100,000 or perhaps even less … it does not matter. An atrocity is an atrocity is an atrocity.

    Your sanctimonious outrage over Shermer’s conduct on the Donahue show is likewise noted but also dismissed. The whole idea of being on a show like that is to be confrontational. That’s how Donahue got ratings. It’s infotainment. To reach a conclusion about the Holocaust based on one example of infotainment treatment of it, is irrational and silly.

    So far, Montsegur, you have presented nothing rational on the matter. You have used only diversionary fallacies (e.g. the straw man of “concern for numbers”), and various other appeals to emotion (such as your personal dislike of Shermer’s treatment of Holocaust-deniers on the Donahue show). None of this is impressive; moreover, collectively it confirms — rather than refutes — the idea that Holocaust-denial is motivated by hatred rather than reason.

  24. Montsegur says:

    Regarding the term „anti-Semitism” I am not offering any „sanctimonious outrage” but point to an absurdity of the term in the modern era. And I have no doubt whatsoever that the term is sooner or later going to be replaced with something much better fitting. I am, on the other hand, much closer to a “sanctimonious outrage” over the term “Holocaust” – for reasons I have given previously. As far as the number of deaths is concerned, I am as far outraged, as it is the fact of questioning a particular number that is being made responsible for a label of “denier” for a revisionist as well as it is officially being given as a reason for prosecution (prosecutors in Germany have already started their dirty work against bishop Williamson).

    I agree with you that atrocity is and remains an atrocity no matter which numbers of victims are at stake. If I was not responding to your statement before, it was only and exclusively because I was responding to arguments made by several people at the same time. However:

    I see a REAL difference between a criminal, who kills 200 000 people and a one who kills e.g. 10 000 000 people…
    The main reason for which I devoted so much of my previous comments to the issue of numbers was, that someone else in this Forum has made a categorical statement that “there is no warrant for doubting the n umber”. As I have shown above, there is such a warrant. I could go on and on giving one example after another to illustrate it even better. I will limit myself to just one in this instance in this comment:

    Dresden was bombed by the Allies during the night and morning of 13 and 14 February 1945. Many people had lost their lives there. But – astonishingly – there are different numbers of those killed given in literature: from “35 thousand” (especially the British seem to “love” this number, as it is the lowest one and they have been chiefly responsible for that crime…), through “135 thousand” (David Irving – also a Brit, but “semi-revisionist”…), “220 thousand” (German police who were the only ones actually counting the dead – and the number does not seem to be entirely a propaganda number, since Goebbels strictly forbade the use of it…) up to “around half a Million” (there were hundreds of thousands of refugees in Dresden at that time – most notably from Silesia. What a luck, that my mother did not escape – at least that she did not try to escape through Dresden…).
    Why are there so many different numbers? Here is the point:

    It would seem that counting THOUSANDS of bodies IN ONE CITY after just ONE NIGHT of air-raids was INCOMPARABLY EASIER than to “count” presumed MILLIONS all over Nazi –occupied EUROPE (i.e. in an area comprising MILLIONS OF SQUARE MILES) who perished not just in one single night – but WITHIN YEARS…

    This alone illustrates that attributing only and exclusively hostile and insincere intentions to revisionists is as “just” and “correct” as thinking of motorists only in the most derogatory terms in general just because some of motorists commit crimes…

    If the so-called “infotainment” was just one example of very un-informative propaganda, “enriched” by a fraud, one could really pass it in silence. It would take probably quite a few veeeeryyyy long comments to illustrate the problem of mockery of justice in our societies when it comes to debating the “H…st” issue. And I think you are perfectly well aware of this. Especially so that it is you in this Forum who expressed himself in the following way:

    “People like that need to be marginalized … laughed at … called names … castigated … given absolutely no voice to their views, no opportunity to express their hatred.”

    The problem is that this is precisely what I myself know from Communist-ruled Poland, where I was myself treated in the same way and in the end put in jail for a few months (1981-1982) for having published a material on the Soviet war crime at Katyn…
    Yes, I see a close affinity between your argument just quoted and the infamous Commie attitudes. This was what they were doing and now tell me: where are they now?

    One really does not to argue too much about it. It is just enough to say that this type of official attitude towards revisionists had in fact produced an adverse effect: MORE people are getting interested in revisionism nowadays and more are actively getting involved in it. To the extent that some of their more enlightened opponents have observed – and namely many, many times – that this kind of treatment only makes revisionists and deniers more popular as they are victimized. Take the legendary Jewish intellectual, Noam Chomsky, who does not hide his anti-revisionist stance from anybody – but who steadfastly defends their right to express their views publicly and to engage in scientific debates. The same you would see in the case of Norman Finkelstein and other (whether Jews or not…).

    You are constantly limiting yourself to implying the worst sort of attitudes in the revisionist arguments, but for now you have not even pointed to at least one example that would prove your point. I am referring to concrete facts and situations to illustrate my point. But it is you, who do not present proofs, circumstantial evidence or comparisons, but somehow – like the Commies whom I have to come to know – are charging others with this kind of behaviour…And like them, you claim to have “dismissed” their claims by – not offering anything real. Indeed, history has the notion of repeating itself…


  25. PsiCop says:

    Montsegur, you said: “Yes, I see a close affinity between your argument just quoted and the infamous Commie attitudes.”

    Just one difference: I never advocated JAILING anyone. For the record, going to the effort of jailing someone for their views, is the OPPOSITE of “marginalizing” them. It actually grants them attention. Negative attention to be sure, but attention nonetheless.

    I’m advocating doing NOTHING which even remotely suggests that Holocaust-deniers have anything to say worth hearing. Jailing them for what they say, would clearly imply that they have been heard. What they need, instead, is to get the message that no one cares what they say. At best they’re laughable dolts … that’s the only reaction they should get.

    In any event, you’re accusing me of wanting to do something to people that I never actually advocated. This accusation is a fallacy of association and is just as illogical as anything else you’ve said.

    When you decide to stop relying on fallacies and emotionalism, let me know. As I said to you before, your sanctimonious outrage is noted, but dismissed.

  26. Montsegur says:

    One more thing: I wrote above that a single “infotainment” (like that one by Donahue in 1994) “enriched by a fraud, could be easy to pass in silence. Basically yes.
    But perhaps we should not do it so quickly after all…

    Imagine for a moment, that someone in the Iranian TV tries a similar game of “infotainment” with a “Holocaust” – “confirmer”… And that an expert is hired for a similar conduct like that one by Mr Shermer… And that a similarly fraudulent caller intervenes to “testify” the “lack” of crimes being attributed to Nazis by the “confirmer”.

    Would you, PsiCop, voice a similarly approving opinion on such an “infotainment”?

    And how would our media (and their owners) react? As if nothing happened?
    You probably do not believe it yourself…Or do you?


  27. PsiCop says:

    Montsegur, you asked,

    “Would you, PsiCop, voice a similarly approving opinion on such an “infotainment”?”

    In response, I ask you instead: What part of “infotainment is meaningless” did you not understand, the first time I said it?

    Again you are acting as though outrage on television — whether staged or not — means anything. It doesn’t. The Holocaust happened or it didn’t, quite aside from anything anyone says or does on Donahue or on Iranian television.

    It’s irrelevant.

  28. Montsegur says:

    The infamous Commie attitudes INCLUDED jailing, but were not limited to it. Ignoring, silencing, passing in silence, effort to avoid a debate etc were in their “arsenal” just as well. After all, not everyone was jailed there…

    Yuo are advocating some of their methods – true that not all of them (thank God at least for that! Nice to know it, PsiCop!).

    But it does not change the fact, that na effort to avoid a debate will not succeed forever. Science and common sense always, sooner or later, pravail and a scientific enquiry will no longer be a risky thing, also not in the case of the “H…st”…


  29. Montsegur says:

    Infotainment is – or at least can be – positive, if it brings KNOWLEDGE and gives a guest a chance to speak. If it does not – and more specifically – if it icludes a FRAUD – it is a cheap and disgusting propaganda, especially if negative emotions are deliberately being generated – as Donahue did. It is not meaningless: it is MEANINGFULL, when one is trying hard to make someone hated…

    And why do you thing that a FRAUD is “meaningless”? Do you approve frauds? (I hope not…).

    Yes, in a way, that “show” (rather a “fraudulent circus”, I should say…) is meaningless in one and only one respect: it proves nothing and it also DISPROVES nothing and nobody…

    As such it is not only meaningless: it is also WORTHLESS…


  30. Anton Foljambe says:

    PsiCop, I note that you don’t want “Holocaust deniers” jailed, but your reasons are interesting. You don’t support jailing of these people simply because it might draw attention to them. You don’t actually seem to have any problem with the morality of locking people up in a prison cell because they “think different”.

  31. santitafarella says:

    I see some things in the last couple of posts that I want to respond to.

    First, the comments section here is obviously not a place to adequately present positive evidence that the Holocaust occurred (any more than it would be a place to present positive evidence that evolution has occurred).

    As with the theory of evolution and the antique age of the earth, in which trained biologists and geologists have written libraries of compelling evidence that the earth is old and plants and animals have changed over time, so it is with the Holocaust, in which serious historians, trained in the methods of historiography, have written books on the Holocaust, and documented its occurance.

    Professional historians also have professional journals devoted to Holocaust studies, and these can be read.

    The problem is that Holocaust deniers and “doubters,” like their creationist analogs, do not read the books or journals of professionally trained scientists and historians on the issue at hand, or take seriously the consensus judgment of these professionals.

    If you are not professionally trained in science or historiography, and you rely on creationist literature or Holocaust-denial literature for your opinions, and do not read the mainstream scientists or historians, or give their opinions on these matters a high degree of weight, then what can I possibly say here to persuade you?

    Answer: nothing.

    The Holocaust denier is akin to the person who is sick taking advice from a health food store employee, and ignoring the opinion of a trained doctor, concerning an ailment.

    It is simply not a rational opinion to hold that the Holocaust did not occur. No serious historian teaching at any Western university, or specializing in this subject, takes Holocaust denial seriously. Period.

    The philosopher Bertrand Russell once said that one who is not an expert in a discipline should give great weight to a general consensus among experts, and to not do so is fundamentally irrational. When historians debate the Holocaust they discuss it as having occurred within the range of 5-7 million people having died.


  32. aunty dawkins says:

    Santi. It is totally irrational to deny the Holocaust it is a well documented historical fact. However it is arguably equally irrational to present the Darwinian world view as opposed to the intelligent design or creationist view as similarly proven. Darwin provides a widely accepted explanation for the origin of life but it is not faultless or proved beyond dispute, it remains a theory, a persuasive one granted but opponents of it cannot be compared to Holocaust deniers!

  33. santitafarella says:

    Aunty Dawkins:

    Like you, I agree that it is utterly irrational to deny the Holocaust. But you are not characterizing what I have asserted with regard to creationism properly.

    What I assert as comparatively irrational to HOLOCAUST DENIAL is YOUNG EARTH CREATIONISM.

    Young earth creationism makes two chief claims, and both of them are demonstrably false, and tend (like Holocaust denial) to be promoted by cranks.

    They are that the earth is young (10,000 years old) and that plants and animals have not changed over time.

    What scientists KNOW is that the earth is, in fact, 4.5 billion years old, and that the plants and animals on earth have been different at different epochs, and that they have changed into different forms over the course of millions of years.

    If you stepped into a time machine, and went back 60 million years ago, you would find no flowering plants on the earth, and you would find no humans, hyenas, monkeys, or bears. Period. You would find dinosaurs.

    Scientists know this with as high a degree of certainty as historians know that the Holocaust occurred. All the available evidence, reasonably interpreted, converges upon this fact.

    And those who deny the available evidence tend to be motivated, not by a serious consideration of evidence, or a proper respect for reason or the scientific disciplines of science, but by religiously motivated prejudice.

    Thus the analogy between Holocaust denial and young earth creationism is an apt one.


  34. “In short, he is a fascist, and the pope just told him (and the world) that fascism and Catholicism can go together.”


    The Pope just did what the Pope just did – he lifted the sentence given for an action (consecrating bishops without mandate of the Holy See) in order to hopefully reconcile a million or so Catholics who are on the fringe of membership in the Catholic Church.

    This man’s looney opinions are HIS looney, lame opinions. It is not for them that folks attend Mass at SSPX chapels. These looney, insane, wrong-headed opinions are his… They are not the foundational theology or reason one who goes to an SSPX chapel goes to an SSPX chapel.

    The Pope did no such thing as you assert – that is to say, tacitly endorse this man’s bat-poop crazy opinions. He started the process to reconcile 1,000,000 folks world-wide. It is very unfortunate that one of the bishops that works with this group is borderline senile (and by some reports, dying of terminal cancer)… But what the Pope did was make efforts to reconcile some from the fold who were estranged.

    Would you rather see them in the Catholic Church as a part of the mainstream, or prefer 1,000,000 folks to be be out there in the cold looking to this insane man for spiritual succor and guidance?

    The conclusion drawn, that lifting an excommunication is a tacit endorsement of crank opinions, is faulty.

  35. santitafarella says:

    A Simple Sinner:

    Why can’t the pope work with these “1 million” folks worldwide who are pre-Vatican 2 sentimentalist, even as he prevents individual anti-semites and holocaust deniers from returning to communion?

    The Vatican excludes individual priests from communion all the time who do not tow the line on a variety of opinions (such as whether priests should be allowed to marry, or whether the priesthood should be open to women).

    Why is such a heart-evil sin as hating Jews and denying a pivotal moment of their collective experience (the Shoah) something that one can do—and still be a Catholic?


  36. Montsegur says:


    So far I was not addressing comments to you directly. This one therefore is first and foremost for you (for others of course as well).

    I do not know who is reading what (exactly). I believe most adherents to revisionism do not read works by non/anti – revisionists and conversely – adherents to non(or anti)-revisionism do not read works by revisionists. For instance: how many here ever readt the book by Robert Faurisson? Or the report by Germar Rudolf? Perhaps nobody. I also did not, by the way.

    There is however a gross difference: non(and anti) – revisionists speak to us from the radio, TV, from newspapers, and of course from the internet. They have their book published and those like “Niagara” flood bookstores and public and uni libraries. Not so with the books by revisionists…

    I am of course not a historian myself. To try to discuss details of the “H…st” with me is a bit like discussing astronomy with a plumber… And I sense that exactly the same thing one could say about every single one of all of us here, including yourself “Santi”…

    I can point to books written by scholars like Martin Gilbert or Raul Hilberg (especially the latter’s “magnum opus” called “The Destruction of European Jews” as a source of reference. And many other books and articles, whose titles escape my memory. Here I would like to mention also a journal, which most of you probably never had in hand: namely “Zeszyty Oświęcimskie” (which translated into English would sound probably like “Auschwitz Fascicles” or “Auschwitz Journals”). These have been edited by the Museum in Auschwitz (i.e. the Museum in the concentration camp of Auschwitz) for dozens and dozens of years. How do you think, “Santi”, who publishes there? “Men from the street” like you or me? Or perhaps bricklayers or milkmen? No, the authorship consists exclusively of historians, mainly of those who SPECIALIZE in the “Shoah” and Nazi Policies in occupied Poland. They have always been BAs, PhDs or professors. No-one of them a revisionist, this you can safely take for granted. The “Journals” have always been written as professionals would write them. And what have I come to know from there? Among others that well over 4 Million people perished in that one place alone. Mind you: professors, doctors, masters etc were writing this.

    I believed them. And I believed – FIRMLY believed – everything those “mainstream” authors were producing. Not only those writing for the “Zeszyty Oświęcimskie” of course. I believed in the SIX MILLION like one would in the Gospels… I believed in the FOUR MILLION from Auschwitz ALONE. I believed that a gas chamber was operating in EVERY Nazi concentration camp. That those chambers were working “the clock round”. I believed in SOAP made of humans (even that the said soap was used widely by the soldiers of the Wehrmacht – yes I was truly debasing myself blindly believing all that stuff!). I believed that in Buchenwald LAMPSHADES were made of human skin and even COVERS for photo-albums…
    Yes, such thing were published. I believed all this.

    And why should I have not believed, tell me? After all, everything nicely and neatly fitted into the MAINSTREAM:

    It was written by MAINSTREAM authors and published in books edited by MAINSTREAM publishers or MAINSTREAM scientific institutions; or in articles printed in the MAINSTREAM newspapers, which in their turn were directed by people far more MAINSTREAM than you or me… – in fact more MAINSTREAM then anybody else, to put it bluntly…

    And tell me now: where “are” the lampshades? Where “is” that soap? (well , the Wehrmacht were using them and on the day of capitulation there were roughly around 2 Million German soldiers. So where are the 2 Million pieces of soap? Have the Wehrmacht-soldiers and the Waffen SS eaten all that soap the night before going to captivity?). Where are the albums of human skin? Why are there only few (six) places where gas chambers are believed to have been in operation – instead of the “initial” 22 or so? Why is there such an inconsistency in the way the non-revisionists interpret the use of gas-chambers? Why is it that some maintain they were working 24 hours a day or at least few hours, while on the other hand Dr Fransiszek Piper, the director of the Museum in Auschwitz says they were operating only 20-30 minutes a day? Andy why are there so few and incomprehensive scientific examinations of the camps? Compare this with the exactness, comprehensive character and NUMBER of examinations of the Shroud of Turin… And that shroud has a size that is only a tiny fraction of the size of just one gas-chamber in Auschwitz…

    Why am I asking all these questions? No, not to teach anyone a lesson of the “H…st”, no…

    I am asking you if you (or just anyone!) could really wonder if it happens that after all that flood of contradictory (and sometime simply fake) information – all from the NON-REVISIONISTS – someone CAN really stop believing EVEN in the WHOLE story? Is it really so astonishing? So amazing? So unbelievable? So “Fascist” or so “Nazi” or so “anti-Semitic”?

    So can you tell me – with your “Hand on your heart” – that such people deserve not the right to express and discuss their view openly but instead only the “right” to be publicly abused in the way zou have done it with the text above – for I presume you penned it yourself? (Did you?)

    For starters tell me ,”Santi”, WHAT actually is it supposed to be?
    A “news”? An “article”? A “feuilleton”? A “story”? Perhaps a piece of “objective journalism”? Or simply a work of journalistic “artistry”? Or – like in so many other examples of writing – is it simply a result of “thought-provoking” introduction, aimed at drawing public interest? If the latter is the case – tell me why you are using such a worn-out cliché of “Fascists” or “cranks”, “vile” etc when any doubt or simply belief is expressed that does not fit the MAINSTREAM view? Why is it written according to the “scheme” that the more base it is the “better”?

    I will ask you directly: would you have the courage (equal to the “courage” you have just shown in regard to one defenseless bishop…) to re-write your introduction in the way showing the “Fascists” and “vile cranks” as those who are now campaigning against that bishop, even calling for his imprisonment? (everyone knows that “Fascist cranks” liked their opponents imprisoned as well…).

    You asked someone else recently why one can be committing a sin of hating Jews and denying the “Shoah” to be a Catholic.
    First and foremost: you have not cited any proof that the man hates Jews or anyone else. You simply ASSUMED that if one has doubts about the “Shoah”, then he MUST hate Jews… This is your ONLY “proof”…

    As for the “Shoah” itself, as an event in history, it has nothing to do with religion. Not fo Catholics at least… One is admitted int the church (or excommunicated from it) on the ground of his beliefs in matters RELIGIOUS, not matters HISTORICAL…


  37. santitafarella says:


    You have generated a complete straw man.

    There are three large claims made by Holocaust deniers, and all three of them are demonstrably false. They are these: (1) 5-7 million Jews did not die in the Holocaust; (2) gas was not used in the murder of Jews; and (3) the Nazi govt. under Adolf Hitler had no institutional policy of genocide directed toward Jews.

    The reason that “mainstream” historians are unified in their rejection of Holocaust denial is because, as professional historians, they have been trained in historiography, and what constitutes reasonable evidence, and the convergence of lines of evidence upon a reasonable conclusion, and thus entertain no serious doubts concerning the THREE broad outlines of the Holocaust (as I have described it above).

    You can throw up a puff of blue pipe smoke of all these purported exagerations that you have detected in mainstream literature, but if you deny the three basic CORE claims made about the Holocaust (that 5-7 million died, that gas was used on Jews to expedite the killing of them, and that the Nazis had an institutional policy of genocide) then you are simply a fool and conspiratorial crank, and motivated by something other than reason (that is, Antisemitism). Period.

    I say this because I assume that you are at least of average intelligence. If you were mentally deficient, and could not read or follow reasonable arguments, well then (of course) you might be persuaded by faulty reasoning.

    But I don’t think that you have that excuse.

    If you discount mainstream historiography on this issue it is because you fundamentally misunderstand what constitutes evidence, and the convergence of evidence upon a reasonable conclusion, and do so willfully and foolishly.

    And if you do not have a high regard for expert opinion on an important issue, and do not give it substantial weight, then you are fundamentally an irrational person.

    It is simply not reasonable to doubt the consensus opinion of experts on this, especially when it is as strong as it is.

    The only reason to doubt it is if you have a conspiratorial view of historiography as a profession, in which case you are nuts. There is no evidence that historians are motivated by anything other than an inquiry into the truth of historical matters.

    By believing in Holocaust denial you are defaming the integrity of professional historians literally everywhere, and especially those who specialize in Holocaust study.

    You are, in this sense, no different from a young earth creationist, rejecting expert opinion in a subject you have no formal training in because you have some hunches and see inconsistencies in some of the things you’ve read.

    Lastly, I would like to put in a word for those who survived the Holocaust, and who bore witness to its horrors, and lived to tell their piece of the story. To be a Holocaust denier is to discount the testimony of the survivors. It is not just irrational to reject the basic picture that emerges from this collective testimony, but it is also a repugnant gesture.

    It entails, for example, believing that the diary of Anne Frank is a forgery.

    The basic outlines of the Holocaust narrative can be pieced together from survivor literature alone. If you nitpick the inconsistencies within these testimonies (in an attempt to discredit the overwhelming collective testimony of what generally happened) and simply don’t believe the survivors, it is because you are motivated by bad faith toward Jews as such. This is one reason I say that Holocaust denial is obviously accompanied by Antisemitism.

    It is no different from a white southern racist discounting the testimony of Frederick Douglas describing what it was like to experience slavery.

    It takes a uniquely perverse soul to treat one’s fellow human beings with such disgusting suspicion and dismissive contempt.


  38. Anton Foljambe says:

    “The only reason to doubt it is if ….you are nuts”. Wow, that’s a really reasoned response to the specific points raised by Montsegur, none of which you address.

    In an earlier post you said that you would change your opinion on the Holocaust if “mainstream” opinion also changed its view, based on new evidence. Well, how do you expect “mainstream” opinion to change if everyone who raises new evidence is automatically dismissed as “nuts”, a “fascist”, “an anti-semite” etc.? It’s a catch-22 situation.

    I have not researched this issue, and have no in-depth knowledge of the facts involved. Personally, I feel it’s irrelevant whether the Nazis killed six million or six thousand. It is still a crime, and still a stain on the Nazi regime.

    But I detest hypocrisy, and it’s hypocrisy that I see when people like yourselves, Santi and PsiCop, personally abuse and question the mental state of people who try to research this matter, when you don’t abuse and vilify those who research other matters of historical debate. No-one who questions the “official” version of 9/11 is called a “fascist” or an “American-hater”. No-one who alleges that the Soviets killed President Kennedy is vilified as promoting hatred of Russians. The awful way that debate is shut down on this one issue simply plays into the hands of genuine anti-Semites.

  39. santitafarella says:


    I share your detestation of hypocrisy, and I am often capable of it (and frequently see it in myself on many levels), but in this instance I think that you have unfairly labeled my Holocaust denial resistance as “hypocritical.”

    In other words, I fail to see how questioning the basic saneness of Holocaust deniers constitutes hypocricy.

    I think, for example, that people who believe that extraterrestrials have visited New Mexico, and people who are young earth creationists, and people who believe that the earth is flat, and people who think that American astronauts have never really walked on the moon, are all basically out of touch with reality in a SERIOUS way, and are, in colloquial terms (if not clinical terms) NUTS.

    I also think that Holocaust denial, in terms of intellectual seriousness, is on the EXACT same level as these other forms of conspiratorial nuttiness.

    The reason that I do not engage Montsegur’s specific doubts and assertions concerning the Holocaust is because he could dispel them (as can anyone) by simply delving into the subject with intellectual seriousness, and reading the vast literature on the subject, written by professional mainstream historians. The serious academic literature on this subject is voluminous and is widely and readily available. He chooses not to read it. You, in turn, have said the same thing: “I have not researched this issue.”

    Well, I have researched the subject with a great deal of carefulness. I know what the mainstream historians say about the Holocaust and why they say it, and I know what the denialists say and why they say it.

    There’s no hard call here (unless you are an emotionally unbalanced Antisemite). The Holocaust happened. If we know anything in history, we know this (just as it is the case that if we know anything about geology, we know that the earth is 4.5 billion years old and not 10,000 years old).

    If you, or anybody else, reading the posts here, can be persuaded to doubt that the Holocaust occurred because of something that Montsegur says here, then I cannot help you. You deserve one another. But if you want to know what actually happened to the Jews during World War II, you turn to the standard books written by professional historians (such as Michael Shermer or Daniel Goldhagen or Deborah Dwork) and read them. You don’t turn to conspiracy websites, or crank journals written by Antisemites with dubious (or no) formal degrees in historiography.

    This is the case as well for science. Many people get their “information” about geology and biology from young earth creationist books and websites. They don’t read, or take seriously, the books written by those who actually work as scientists at the world’s best universities, and write books for the best, and most academically rigorous, publishers. It is the exact same issue here: people who are persuaded by websites or magazines or books produced by cranks and promoting junk science or junk history deserve to be taken in by the stupidity presented in those venues—and frequently are.

    I do hope that you are not one of them, Anton.

    But this is the point: When people make outlandish claims (such as claiming that the Holocaust didn’t happen, or that the geologists have universally mistook the age of the earth, and it is really only 10,000 years old) it is your responsibility, before believing such claims, to go and read what professionally trained historians and scientists say about the issue. And it is your responsibility to find not just any old historian or scientist’s book on the subject, but ones actually written by experts who work at the best universities. If you take knowledge and reason seriously, you will read what the smartest, most highly trained and respected experts in a field say about something and give that opinion a great deal of weight and serious consideration. In the case of the Holocaust (as is the case in geology with regard to the 4.5 billion year age of the earth), there is NO PROFESSIONAL CONTROVERSY with regard to the range of Jewish deaths (5-7 million). There is no professional controversy with regard to the use of gas by the Nazis. And there is no professional controversy concerning the Nazi government’s genocidal intentions toward the Jews. Period.

    If you value rationality you will start there.


  40. Montsegur says:

    To Anton Foljambe:

    You are perfectly right: how can the „mainstream” change their opinion if anyone with a different one – or with any evidence is dismissed as „Fascist”, „anti-Semite”, „crank” etc.. De facto this is exactly this point where one could stick the same word to such people which they so much love to stick to others: “DENIERS” for they deny whatever detail and evidence is not fitting their preconceived opinions.

    Quite frankly I like debates. But they lose their sense when the “other party” instead of any genuine argument has only a set of insults and insinuations as a response – repeated endlessly in the same sets of words – and tries to attribute all sorts of negative and perverse motivations to the person like dismissive contempt and then has the insolence to suggest she knows my intentions better than I do… This is simply crazy and while I never mind debating someone’s views and arguments, I am not going to engage in debating craziness and hostility.

    I could dismiss all that she wrote just above easily. I could quote more numbers and facts – but what for?

    If everything was so clear and obvious with the “official” story of the so called “Holocaust”, nobody would doubt anything. As nobody doubts the existence of the Moon…


  41. aunty dawkins says:

    Ok I accept the differentiation between those who rationally challenge the Darwinian paradigm as a faith in itself (whom I might count myself as one) and those ‘cranks’ who have an agenda behind their irrational ‘young creationist’ standpoint. This aberation is in itself less damaging than those who deny the Holocaust but maybe you disagree there too?
    As for the Holocaust have you any theories as to why the Nazis were so vehemently anti-semitic as to propose and carry out such a horrific ‘final solution’? Anti Semitism was not a new phenomenum, What made the Nazis take it so far? Why was the total obliteration of a religion/people seen as necessary. Historians have proposed ideas ,I find it incomprehensible on such a scale, what motivated them. surely it wasn’t only the twisted mind of Hitler?

  42. santitafarella says:

    Aunty Dawkins:

    In terms of a perversity of soul, Holocaust denial says something far darker about a person than young earth creationism.

    Young earth creationism is incorrect about the age of the earth and the fixity of species, but it is not an inhumane way of perceiving the world. It is not psychologically souless.

    Contrast this with Holocaust denial. You have to be someone who trolls around the darkest parts of the internet to be a Holocaust denier, visiting (for example) Neo-Nazi and Free-Masonry/Illuminati style conspiracy websites, or receiving, via the mail, crank literature written by Antisemites.

    No fundamentally decent, humane, or rational person can be a Holocaust denier. There is no warrant(intellectually) for denying the basic facts of the Holocaust (5-7 million Jews dead; the use of gas; the genocidal intent of the Nazis)—and yet there are people who go out of their way to do so.

    There is no reason—none whatsoever—for giving the crank literature on Holocaust denial greater weight than the measured and sane conclusions of mainstream historians working at the world’s best universities.

    And yet there are people who do.

    In short, there are people HIGHLY MOTIVATED to deny to a particular people (the Jews) a pivotal moment of their history.

    Just as we would say that there is something psychologically perverse and racist in a person who denied or downplayed the extent and severity of the slave trade during the 18th and 19th century, so we must not put on blinders concerning Holocaust denial, and simply pretend that it is just another intellectual position that a reasonable person, looking dispassionately at the evidence, might simply arrive at.

    Echoing the old Frank Sinatra song, Holocaust denial and Antisemitism go together “like a horse and carriage.”

    Let’s not pretend that Holocaust denial is something that it’s not. It’s not a dispassion. It’s a prejudice. And it comes from the very darkest parts of the human psyche.


  43. santitafarella says:

    Aunty Dawkins:

    As for your question, whence Antisemitism in the first place, this is one of those psychologically bottomless questions that is difficult to speak about.

    Historically, of course, there has been a long history in Europe of Christian Antisemitism (think, for example, of Martin Luther’s gross and obnoxious tract, “On the Jews and Their Lies,” in which he calls on 16th century Protestants to burn down Jewish synagogues in Germany). And then there is Hitler’s toxic admixture of traditional Christian prejudice and paranoia toward Jews with Social Darwinism.

    The historian Richard Weikart’s book on early 20th century Social Darwinism in Germany can be found at Amazon, and is a very sobering read.

    Another book attempting to account for the horrors of the Holocaust (that I recommend) is by the sociologist, Zygmunt Bauman. The book’s title is: “Modernity and the Holocaust.”

    A book that I recommend that thoroughly and painstakingly documents the extent and horror of Auscwhitz is by two academic historians, Deborah Dwork and Robert Jan Van Pelt. It’s titled simply: “Auschwitz.” It’s published by a serious academic press (Norton). In other words, it’s the kind of book that Montsegur DISCOUNTS, preferring to give greater credence and weight to fringe writers without academic credentials associated with Nazi and Germanophile websites devoted to “good ol’ days” nostalgia for 1930s Germany.

    Think about what a sick, irrational person you have to be to marry yourself, intellectually, to such a satyr, and dismiss academic historiography as the product of a vast conspiracy of intellectuals to conceal the truth, and mislead the public, about the nature and scope of the Holocaust.


  44. santitafarella says:

    Montsegur and Anton:

    Montsegur wrote: “If everything was so clear and obvious with the ‘official’ story of the so called ‘Holocaust’, nobody would doubt anything.”

    This is FALSE. People doubt things all the time without good rational grounds for doing so. Lots of people doubt that the earth is 4.5 billion years old. It is ridiculous and irrational for them to do this, but they do. Others, like yourself, doubt that the Holocaust happened.

    You doubt, in other words, the universal conclusion of professional historians teaching at the world’s best universities, and writing for professional, peer-reviewed journals.

    You have no formal training in historiography, but because certain things just don’t make much sense to you (such as how historians arrive at reasonable historical estimates in the first place), you conclude (irrationally) that they must not, therefore, have sound methods for arriving at the Holocaust numbers that they have.

    But this is a completely irrational thing for a lay person like yourself to do with regard to a formal discipline like historiography.

    Expert opinion counts here, and you are not giving it its proper weight.

    To not give the universal opinion of experts in historiography its proper weight with regard to historical questions is fundamentally irrational. It must, necessarily, lead to yet another irrational idea: that there is a “conspiracy” afoot to decieve the public.

    In short, you are showing, by not taking seriously the discipline of historiography, and the opinions of experts in that discipline, a totally foolish and childish attitude toward knowledge, and how we arrive at knowledge.

    Your Holocaust denial position is akin to not trusting the universal opinion of the medical profession that vitamin pill taking is not effective in the prevention of cancer. You have to be fundamentally irrational to discount medical opinion and believe, instead, the claims of a vitamin website run by a non-physician.


  45. aunty dawkins says:

    Thanks for the recommendations. I have to concur with your conclusion that holocaust denial seems to codone anti semitic sentiments and is one good reason for further study. I personally, as you will have gathered, have no doubts about the historic fact of the holocaust and think it important that the historic significance of those events is not forgotten or trivialised.
    However what really fascinates me and will spur me to research more is not the fact or detailed reconstruction of those events, even though their horror needs to be recognised, but the psyche behind the perpetrators of these acts. I don’t think the traditional explanations for the Nazi ‘final solution’ actually give a credible causation for the unimaginable extremeism of the holocaust. The very fact of Jewishness rather than what the Jews supposedly did to Germany must be the ‘crime’. Hitler’s own pshychosis is evident in his speeches against Jews but is that propaganda in itself sufficient explanation for the extreme manifestation of anti semitism seen under the Nazis? Have you any opinions that you have come across in your research or thinking? It seems to me to be the most important question to which academics and experts in the field should address since the Nazi pshyche is alive and well today it would seem not least through the deniers.

  46. santitafarella says:

    Aunty Dawkins:

    A few more books for reflection on the psychology of the fascist:

    “The Authoritarian Spectre,” by Robert Altemeyer. Altemeyer is a social psychologist at the University of Toronto. The book as a whole is excellent, and goes right to the questions that you are raising. There is a chapter in particular on how people read Holocaust denial literature. He actually conducted research on this, and it is quite fascinating.

    “Faces of the Enemy: Reflections of the Hostile Imagination,” by Sam Keen. Keen was, when he wrote this book, a contributing editor to Psychology Today. The book pretty thoroughly addresses the “psychology of enmity”—and has lots of interesting discussions of propaganda posters etc.

    “The Weimar Republic Sourcebook” (edited by Anton Kaes et. al.). For my money, this book explains how the psychology of enmity could have become so toxic in Germany in the 1930s, and how somebody like Hitler could rise to power. The book consists of source documents from the period of the Weimar Republic, and many of its resonances are uncomfortably familiar.


  47. Montsegur says:

    Santita Farella

    Regarding mz alleged “H…st denial”: I wonder whether a person with journalistic ambitions cannot distinguish between DENIAL and DOUBT? And can she also not see a difference between doubting the WHOLE storz and doubting some ASPECTS of it?

    I am asking for I have been quite specific about this in my comments…

    Is this the way you have gathered your “historical knowledge”? For if it is, perhaps you rather should refrain from “teaching” anyone historiography…

    As for your constant inclinations of verbal abuse:
    I was living for 32 years in a relatively close proximity of the camps in Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Birkenau. And of course I have seen all the facilities there. My distant relative died in Auschwitz during the war. So you have picked the wrong person for your truly childish and impish spite…

    And this is really my last comment here.


  48. santitafarella says:


    As for the distant relative of yours who died at Auschwitz, all the more shame on you for treating the history of Auschwitz with so little serious care, disregarding the opinions of trained historians, and treating their hard work in historiography with unwarranted suspicion and scorn.

    I have not heard you say one positive thing about the role and importance of academically trained historians, and the crucial nature of their work, or the integrity with which they practice their chosen profession.


  49. Montsegur says:

    Did not want to put this comment here. And I would not, as I promised. But you asked for it. Not with your comment, but WITH WHAT YOU HAVE DONE with it. It was longer, was it not? You wrote that a fact that I have lived close to Auschwitz (approx. 1 hour drive) does not mean I know much about it. Well, at least I have seen there everything one can see in that Konzentrationslager (KL), starting from the time when I was 14…

    After a while you decided to cut that part.

    Typical. For someone who had never seen any KL himself…

  50. santitafarella says:


    You say above that you merely doubt that some aspects of the Holocaust occurred, but do not deny the general outlines of Holocaust history (as mainstream historians present it), is that correct?

    In other words, you accept these three things:

    —5-7 million Jews died in the Holocaust
    —gas was used to facilitate the deaths of a substantial portion of those who died
    —the Nazi government had a concerted policy of genocide toward Jews

    From my vantage, to doubt ANY of the three things above is as irrational and foolish as to doubt that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, or that Americans walked on the moon. THERE IS NO WARRANT—NONE—FOR DOUBTING THE BASIC OUTLINES OF THE STORY. The documentary, photographic, physical and testimonial evidence is simply overwhelming. The time and meticulousness that professional historians have given, over the past 50 years, to documenting these three facts is so thorough, and so painstaking, that one must add irrationality upon irrationality to attribute to them a CONSPIRACY to mislead the public about this.

    And there have been for many years, and continue to be, professionally refereed, peer reviewed, historical journals devoted to HOLOCAUST STUDIES. To suggest that the large historical outlines of the Holocaust are in any way, shape, or form a source of legitimate doubt for any intelligent, rational person is simply DELUSIONAL.

    And so if your “doubts” reside on peripheral matters (such as whether or not there was ever a lampshade made of human skin that the Allies recovered at the end of WWII), well, so what? A lot of historians, professional ones, doubt that kind of detail. They do not doubt, nor is there any warrant for them to doubt, the broad outlines of the Holocaust’s actual occurrance.

    I’d just like you to be clear: Do you doubt any of the three general facts that all professional historians accept concerning the Holocaust?

    It’s not a hard question.


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