the concept of Holocaust denial, and takes a look at the main themes of this perspective by paying careful attention to the arguments put forward by some of its proponents. Then in the second half of the paper, the author presents points that argue otherwise.
Holocaust denial is, at its base, the view that the Holocaust never happened. This perspective takes various forms, but it essentially argues that the events that transpired in Germany from 1933 to 1945 under Nazi rule did not happen as it is often depicted. Typical of this view is the downplaying of the atrocities acted upon the European Jews, as well as the toning down of the role played by the upper echelons of the Nazi government on the death of European Jewry. In his book, The Holocaust, Peter Neville brings out the following points regarding the emergence of intellectuals and analysts specializing on Holocaust denial:
Among such analysts, the outright denial of the Holocaust has been accompanied either by attempts to play down the horror of the Holocaust by saying, for example, that the number of Jews that were killed has been exaggerated, or by a so-called ‘relativist’ approach, whereby the Holocaust is regarded as being no worse than such Allied ‘atrocities’ as the bombing of the German city of Dresden in 1945 (1999, p.69).
It is interesting to note that among the points that he raised, Neville mentions the denier’s approach that seeks to reduce the enormity of the Holocaust by placing it side-by-side with other war atrocities, thus having the effect of making it appear relatively small, or at least comparable with other war crimes. At the outset, it can be seen that this argument is weak, once it is borne in mind that the Nazi atrocities directed at the Jews were not simple crimes springing from the war, but racially motivated acts that can be understood independent of the war campaign. This point will be discussed further as the paper progresses. Nevertheless, the point being