This isn’t the first time I’ve written about this topic. Some crazy conspiracy theories actually make me laugh.
Take the Apollo Moon Landing Hoax hoax. One conspiracy theorist once said, “You know the photos are faked because you can’t see stars in the background.” The reason you can’t see stars in the background is because stars are hundreds of millions of light years away, and are so dim that they can’t show up on film, dummy.
Then there’s our intrepid Canadian Green Party leader, Elizabeth May, who stood up in the House of Commons and said “The American government was actually behind the 911 terror attacks.” I don’t have room to rebut this although there are truckloads of evidence to prove Islamic terrorists planned and carried out the 911 terrorist attacks.
But something actually appeared on the Pipestone Flyer’s website this week made me feel sick to my stomach: a story ran about a former Green Party candidate who ran for election three times in Alberta for that party and is on trial in Germany for Holocaust denial. Monika Schaefer made videos that said the World War II genocide against Jews, Slavs, communists and others, never happened.
As with the Apollo situation, there is plenty of evidence to prove beyond any doubt six million Jews and other victims were slaughtered by Nazi Germany with the help or indifference of Germany’s allies.
To begin with, when American forces began to free certain parts of occupied Europe in 1945, General Dwight Eisenhower, after he saw the horrors at the first camp liberated by U.S. forces, Ohrdruf, a slave labour camp, he decided he must personally visit the camp. Eisenhower said he saw corpses of murdered civilians stacked 20 to 30 high, and ordered films shot of everything “to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda.’” If you have a strong stomach, you can Google search for the films and watch them.
Also, some holocaust deniers claim there’s no record of the six million Jewish victims of Nazi atrocities ever existing, which is wrong. The existence of Jewish citizens of certain European countries before 1939 is proven beyond a doubt by official voter registration, tax or population records. These people existed before the Holocaust began. However, no other record of these people or their fates can be found after the war. So where did they go?
During Israel’s efforts to track down and bring to justice Nazi war criminals in the later half of the 20th Century, a certain Adolf Eichmann, a vital organizer of the Holocaust, was tracked down and kidnapped by Israeli secret service agents and put on trial beginning April 11, 1961 during which he confirmed many times the planning and execution of the Holocaust. He never apologized or showed the slightest remorse.
As an aside, some Holocaust deniers laughingly make a claim that there were only 4 million Jews exterminated by Nazi Germany, or perhaps two million, not six million which is a ridiculous claim. Even if the number was 100,000, it would be a crime against humanity of the first order.
But I doubt Holocaust denial, like Apollo Moon landing and 911 conspiracy, will ever go away. The people who claim to believe in this lunacy, I think, are acutely aware of how Holocaust denial inflicts harm on those they obviously hate, including Jews.
Stu Salkeld is editor of The Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the paper.