Talk:Holocaust denial

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Good articleHolocaust denial has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
June 6, 2004Featured article candidateNot promoted
October 11, 2004Featured article candidateNot promoted
December 27, 2006Good article nomineeListed
July 5, 2007Good article reassessmentKept
July 15, 2008Good article reassessmentKept
Current status: Good article

Views of the IHR[edit]

I removed some text from the article which User:Beyond My Ken restored, so I've brought it here for discussion. The main part of the material removed is:

One example of a Holocaust denialist's view that was published by the IHR is the transcript of the speech made by the Lutheran pastor Herman Otten at the Ninth IHR Conference (1989), in which he says

There is no dispute over the fact that large numbers of Jews were deported to concentration camps and ghettos, or that many Jews died or were killed during World War II. Revisionist scholars have presented evidence, which "exterminationists" have not been able to refute, showing that there was no German program to exterminate Europe's Jews, and that the estimate of six million Jewish wartime dead is an irresponsible exaggeration. The Holocaust – the alleged extermination of some six million Jews (most of them by gassing) – is a hoax and should be recognized as such by Christians and all informed, honest and truthful men everywhere.

The text was originally added years ago as being an example of the IHR's stated beliefs. It was later modified, in an apparent attempt to defend the IHR, to indicate that it was actually just the view of a single individual who stated it in a speech at the conference. As such, I don't think it's actually a strong presentation of the IHR's beliefs, and the article would be better off without it. Jayjg (talk) 16:41, 29 May 2018 (UTC)

Does anyone have any objection(s) to removing this material)? If so, can you say what it or they are? Jayjg (talk) 22:29, 4 June 2018 (UTC)

"Typically" vs. "Often"[edit]

User:Beyond My Ken reverted an edit I made which changed

Holocaust denial often includes the following claims: that Nazi Germany's Final Solution was aimed only at deporting Jews from the Reich, but that it did not include the extermination of Jews; that Nazi authorities did not use extermination camps and gas chambers to mass murder Jews; or that the actual number of Jews killed was significantly lower than the historically accepted figure of 5 to 6 million, typically around a tenth of that figure.


Holocaust denial typically includes the following claims: that Nazi Germany's Final Solution was aimed only at deporting Jews from the Reich, but that it did not include the extermination of Jews; that Nazi authorities did not use extermination camps and gas chambers to mass murder Jews; or that the actual number of Jews killed was significantly lower than the historically accepted figure of 5 to 6 million, often around a tenth of that figure.

In my view denial of these three elements is actually typical of Holocaust Denial claims, whereas stating the actual number was "a tenth" as much is actually unusual, as Holocaust deniers are loathe to admit any deaths at all. I therefore think "typically" more accurately describes the three points denied, rather than the number killed. Other views? Jayjg (talk) 16:53, 29 May 2018 (UTC)

My view: if you're making a stink about this, you've got more free time on your hands than is good for you. See WP:MOLEHILL. Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:26, 29 May 2018 (UTC)
That's possible. Given my reasoning above, do you have any objection to this change? Jayjg (talk) 13:32, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
If I didn;t have an objection, I wouldn;t have reverted your change. I believe it makes more sense in theoriginal. Beyond My Ken (talk) 13:44, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
Ok, I've explained my reasoning, but don't understand yours yet. Can you explain it? Jayjg (talk) 16:38, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
"Often" means that the listed criteria are in affect with frequency, wile "typically" means that it one was to select one at random, it's likely to be that case. "I often take walks by the river, typically at night." Beyond My Ken (talk) 00:25, 31 May 2018 (UTC)
Fair enough. There's still a problem with "often" though; the sources seem to indicate that these are, in fact, the "key" claims of Holocaust deniers, rather than just being "often included". At least, that's what the sources said when I first added this material (and sources) to the article many years ago. I propose changing the wording back to something which actually aligns with the sources, as it used to; something like "The key claims of Holocaust denial are:". Jayjg (talk) 16:45, 31 May 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Does anyone have any objection to the change I proposed in my previous post? If so, can you say what it or they are? Jayjg (talk) 22:28, 4 June 2018 (UTC)

"Key claims" is a definitive declaratve statement and would need to be specifically sourced. Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:07, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
I've been wanting to nail their beliefs with bullet-points and references: "Holocaust deniers believe:".
"Typically" and "often" are weasel words. Raquel Baranow (talk) 23:03, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
Baloney. Are you planning on banning all adverbs? Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:06, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
Really? Read WP:WEASEL, why don't we nail what they believe with bullet-points? Raquel Baranow (talk) 00:31, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Yes, thank you, I know what WEASEL says. I also know that "often" and "typically", like "frequently", do not fit the definition. Things are not always absolute, and if they are not, it's perfectly acceptable to point out their general attributes, as opposed to what they must always be. This is especially true when it comes to human opinions, ideologies, beliefs, faiths, etc. Throw out the adverbs, and we have no way of being as precise as we possibly can. Anti-semitism or holocaust denial aren't always one thing: different believers express different views, as is not unusual in humans. If we try to pigeon-hole the complexity of these ideologies instead of describing it as accurately as we can, we do a disservice to our readers. Beyond My Ken (talk) 01:23, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Here's how the sources used in the article describe the three claims/points

  • "Holocaust deniers, or 'revisionists', as they call themselves, question all three major points of definition of the Nazi Holocaust..."
  • "In part III we directly address the three major foundations upon which Holocaust denial rests..."
  • "Holocaust Denial: Claims that..."
  • "Among the untruths routinely promoted are the claims that..."

So two sources refer to the three as "major", one uses no adjective, and one says they are "routinely promoted". Other sources that could be used:

  • "In general, Holocaust denial consists of four central points: minimization of numbers killed, denial of use of gassing, denial of the systematic nature of the genocide, and claims that the evidence was fabricated, above all after the war." Mark M. Hull, Vera Moynes. Masquerade: Treason, the Holocaust, and an Irish Impostor, University of Oklahoma Press, 2017, p. 181. ISBN 9780806158365
  • "According to the deniers, the Nazis did not murder six million Jews, the notion of homicidal gas chambers is a myth, and any deaths of Jews that did occur under the Nazis were the result of wartime privations, not of systematic persecution and state-organised mass murder." Deborah Lipstadt. "Denying the Holocaust", History, BBC website. Last updated 2011-02-17

There seems to be general agreement that Holocaust denial consists (at least) of minimization of the numbers killed, denial of homicidal gas chambers, and denial of an intentional plan to exterminate Jews. What phrase summarizes that? "Main claims"? "Key claims"? "Fundamental claims"? Something else? Whatever we use, it should be better than "often includes", a phrase which fails to indicate that these three claims are fundamental to Holocaust denial. Jayjg (talk) 17:21, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

It is not that simple. Look at Ewa Kurek, who some have accused of denial, e.g. "Silberklang had a similarly unsparing verdict on Kurek’s work. “She doesn’t deny that Nazi Germany wanted to kill the Jews and that Jews were killed. She’s not a Holocaust denier in that sense,” he said. “But she distorts things so radically and so egregiously that she’s basically in the realm of Holocaust denial, or at least extreme distortion.”"[14] or David Icke who some allege to be such due to his claims that "reptilians" run things behind the scenes (though as far as I can tell he has not denied what happened, the question is of who is responsible e.g. "the guy behind the guy").[15]. I would go with often, not typical.Icewhiz (talk) 18:36, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
While I agree that individuals might make various specific claims, in order to avoid original research, we have to use sources that actually summarize what the key/major/typical/fundamental claims are. And in particular, regarding people like Icke, we really shouldn't be considering such edge cases at all; Icke's views regarding extraterrestrial shapeshifting reptiles mating with humans are sui generis, and tell us nothing about the phenomenon of Holocaust Denial. Jayjg (talk) 19:01, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

Given the sources that summarize this, I propose changing "It often includes the following claims:" to "The primary claims of Holocaust Denial are:". Any objections? Jayjg (talk) 22:25, 14 June 2018 (UTC)

No objection to changing it. Raquel Baranow (talk) 23:12, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
I object to "primary" which is a judgment or evaluation which cannot be made in Wikipedia's voice without a source to specifically support it. Beyond My Ken (talk) 00:14, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
BMK, what do you think of "major"? It's the same word one of the sources used. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 12:29, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
MPants, I believe there are actually two sources that use "major". That said, BMK, I don't think we need a source to specifically use the term "primary" before we can use it; we're allowed to summarize what various sources say in slightly different ways. I don't see any of the sources using the term "often", but that's what's currently in the article. The sources use various terms: "major", "routinely promoted", "in general". Two of the sources do not use any modifier, stating "these are the claims", so a strong argument could be made to simply state "Holocaust deniers claim that: ..." Perhaps that's the best wording of all; it's simple and accurate, captures the most important elements, and doesn't preclude the fact that some of them make additional claims (e.g. that Anne Frank's diary was forged). Jayjg (talk) 16:50, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
Given the reasoning directly above, does anyone object to the wording "Holocaust deniers claim that: ..."? Jayjg (talk) 19:53, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm okay with it. Although, to be fair, I'm also okay with "Holocaust deniers should be beaten for claiming that:..." but I can see where that might not work for this project. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 19:58, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
"The primary claims of..." ➜ "The chief claims of Holocaust Denial are..." No assertion of primariness, major/minor judgment, etc. Mathglot (talk) 21:12, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
How is "chief" different from "primary" or "major" or "key"? Jayjg (talk) 21:15, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
It's not. The best suggestion in my opinion is "Holocaust deniers claim that...". Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:07, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

One response in Canada to denier Monika Schaefer[edit]

Interesting but also surprising: A civil liberties group is urging the Canadian government to end the "unjust and immoral" imprisonment of Monika Schaefer, a German-Canadian woman on trial in Germany for publishing videos denying the Holocaust.

The Ontario Civil Liberties Association says it's concerned about Canada's apparent unwillingness to come to the aid of Schaefer, who it describes as a Canadian "political prisoner" who was charged under a German criminal law that does not exist in Canada and is contrary to international law. Peter K Burian (talk) 12:31, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

I note that there is no article Ontario Civil Liberties Association. At first I thought that CBC made a mistake and they meant an Ontario branch of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association but that is not the case and the CCLA does not seem to have anything to do with this. It is a separate and much less notable group: . My first thought was that maybe it was a far right front organisation doing a bit of astroturfing but I have not found anything to support that. Another interesting point is that there seems to be a genuine dispute over the actual facts in this case, not just over the rights and wrongs of the facts. OCLA seem to be arguing that the videos were made and uploaded in Canada (where this is presumably legal and not in Germany's jurisdiction) but others are saying that the videos were made and uploaded in Germany (where this is illegal and where German law does have jurisdiction).
While this is interesting, I'm not sure it is worthy of inclusion in the article as the coverage of Schaefer is already quite bulky. I don't like the "Recent developments" section anyway. It seems like a bit of a dumping ground for news stories many of which are far from recent. --DanielRigal (talk) 17:15, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
Take a look at the OCLA advisory board [16], where you'll find a Truther Girls vlogger (great for when you want to infiltrate the Illuminati and check out their civil liberites status), political non-entities and also-rans, non-notable professors and the editor of a literary magazine. Look at their executive staff [17] and you'll find another non-entity non-lawyer as the executive director, and a dietician as treasurer. As far as I can tell they don't even have any lawyers on staff -- a ridiculous state of affairs for a civil liberties organization. This entire organization is, essentially, a non-entity. Check the Google search results here No decisions about this article should be based on the actions of this barely-existent non-notable group. Beyond My Ken (talk) 01:14, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
Incidentally, they don't look right-wingish to me at all. If anything they're out there with the lunatic fringe of the far-left. Beyond My Ken (talk) 01:21, 20 July 2018 (UTC)