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Holocaust Denying Asshats I

Image result for holocaust museum

The history section of Yahoo!Answers has been overrun by holocaust deniers. Once in awhile I rise to their bait, but I've tried to limit those occasions. 

A recent example: some genius asked, "Was Hitler really that bad?" Below this, his graf of explanation for the question starts thus: "Sure he supposedly killed 6 million jews (the number keeps going up) but...." you get the idea so I'll stop there!

I'll also reproduce my answer here, because it's easier than writing something new for today, and because these holocaust-denying asshats often say crap like the bit in that parenthesis.

Yes. That monosyllable answers your headline question adequately. As to the other stuff, I'll comment on the number 6 million and your statement that the number "keeps going up." It doesn't. Scholarly consensus had formed at 6 million by about the mid seventies and has stayed there. 

You are discussing a large and complicated historical event taking place over a lot of terrain, so it isn't surprising that the consensus number took as long as it did to gel.  What is important is that it hasn't "gone" anywhere since the mid 1970s. It has stayed at 6 million. Why? Well, perhaps for the same reason that the consensus number for the average distance between earth and moon stays at 384 million meters. Although it took the human race awhile to figure that out, once it was figured out, the number has stayed the same because the reality has.

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I alluded to the mid 1970s there because I had in mind Lucy Dawidowicz' book on the subject, THE WAR AGAINST THE JEWS (1975). She offers the precise figure of 5,933,900. The rounding-up was natural. The figure of 6 million had remained canonical among non-asshats ever since.

Yes, there is also some talk of an "11 million" in some circles. That is employed by scholars who include the mass murder of certain non-Jews under the broad heading "Holocaust." The death of 6 million Jews is then included in that broader figure -- it isn't evidence that "the number keeps going up." Saying so is just a wilful confusion of two different numbers.

And yes, before Dawidowicz' publication date there was some uncertainty over how many millions were involved.  For example, in THE DESTRUCTION OF THE EUROPEAN JEWS (1961) Raul Hilberg gives the figure was 5.1 million. Arendt repeats that number in her book on the Eichmann trial. But this simply confirms the earth-to-moon analogy in my Yahoo answer.

Thanks for listening!  I expect to say something more about this sort of asshattery tomorrow.



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