Critique of “50
Reasons Why the Holocaust Didn’t Happen”In the forum post titled “50 Reasons Why the Holocaust Didn’t Happen,” the author, only identified as Ted, puts forth a list of reasons that individuals who are already convinced that the Holocaust is a myth can use to persuade others. It is found on a forum called The CODOH Revisionist Forum, a website that lends itself specifically as a safe space for Holocaust revisionists.
The post begins with a few sentences of introduction, briefly mentioning why it can be hard for many to give his point of view a chance. He goes on to criticize the media, comparing them to the church during the dark ages in the way that they can withhold information, with random and slightly irrelevant statements sprinkled throughout. He concludes the preface with the statement “No proof has even been given that 6 million were murdered,” and proceeds to go more in depth.
The rest of the article is arranged in a numbered list format. The reasons are listed unsystematically, each one being followed by explanations of varying length. Many of his reasons focus on criticizing the media for refusing to allow Holocaust revisionists to have a voice. Others try to prove the Holocaust either scientifically or fiscally impossible. He makes many statements that attempt to paint witnesses and historians as liars, and goes as far as to accuse many of having an agenda that would benefit from the falsification of an atrocity such as the Holocaust.
The article is void of a concluding paragraph, instead ending on a proof numbered 50, consisting of three unrelated and vague statements that offer nothing but confusion. Brown 2The posting as a whole is a vague and disorganized mess. Failure to proofread is obvious; there is no clear form of organization, it is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, and irrelevant ramblings are left in the middle of what could have been a strong statement.
The author manages to include a few decent rhetorical questions that can cause a feeling of doubt to arise in the reader, but the evidence included is rarely tacked on to these. When evidence is used it is often either false, from an unknown source lacking in credibility, or merely quoted and left unexplained. The author’s argument is presented in an unorganized and visually cluttered manner. Contradictory to the title reason five is skipped, reducing the list to only forty-nine author specified reasons.
The evidence is often listed in a fashion that betrays the numbering, with a shift in focus occurring multiple times within one section. For example, instead of expanding on the statement, “Reinhold Elstner burnt himself alive in protest against the holocaust lies,” that begins the concluding reason, we see an illogical shift in discussion topic to “German farmers are told to shut up if they find bones and try to arrange their burial” (Reason 50).
Many pieces of evidence appear on screen as if the formatting was ruined in a copy-paste mishap with unnecessary jumps to new lines appearing prior to the end of the quote. While not terrible, it can be slightly confusing for the reader when it appears that a new paragraph has been started, only to see that the quote continues on. This author makes similar mistakes when it comes to expanding upon his case, again including unnecessary jumps in spacing when simply starting a new sentence would be sufficient.
Vague statements, “Germans highly civilised and more so than the Brits and Yanks etc.,” (Reason 40) fragments, “Obliteration propaganda.,” (Reason 32) and run on sentences and comma splices “People can’t understand how so many eyewitnesses can lie, they have seen the television programmes,” (Reason 2) litter the posting. In addition, the Brown 3author occasionally goes on racist tirades that add little to his argument and can deter readers who may come looking for an unbiased argument.
For example, “Are Jewish lives worth more or something? And if we are westerners why should we give a damn? Are we too gentle to survive in a harsh world?” (Reason 20). The above coupled with the frequent spelling errors further add to the confusion that could be experienced by the reader, making it look more like a set of notes meant to be understood only by the author than an article intended for consumption. It even contains conventional errors in the title, with the failure to capitalize any word in it and the lack of an apostrophe for the word “didn’t.”
While the posting is filled with links and quotations, often they are either unreliable, false, or left without explanation. While it is rather easy for a reader to look up a name that is mentioned, attempting to establish credibility for sources within the piece could add weight to what one pulls from a source. Writings from individuals such as David Irving, a revisionist author, are linked without even formally identifying him in. Some quotes are even from individuals identified in ways as vaguely as “one guy on the BBC,” (Reason 6) and “From a letter from the British ministry of information,” (Reason 10).
In the author’s attempt to criticize the media, he claims that they have made repeated efforts to silence those critical of the Holocaust; however, not one specific example is listed. In his attempts to criticize accounts given at the Nuremberg trials, he claims that “It takes about 5 minutes of reading the Nuremberg documents to realise that the Holocaust is a hoax,” (Reason 8) but again, gives not one clear example. He continues to claim “Violation of Occam’s razor, again and again,” (Reason 12) an extremely vague statement that is expanded upon only by asking the reader to examine the counterargument of a book.
The author could have very easily added weight to his argument by citing at least one example, but he neglected to do so.Brown 4Due to the lack of concrete evidence used in the author’s attempts at making logical appeals, the strength of this posting is rooted in the author’s ability to manipulate the reader’s emotions.
In quoting a 1958 text from Tel Aviv, “If some know-it-all tries to expose you, the others will not listen to him and will condemn him, because by exposing you he is proving them guilty of stupidity, and the crowd will not forgive this,” (Reason 2) the author provides a statement that can make the readers feel somewhat guilty for their refusal to question what they have been taught.
Decent use of figurative language is employed to describe the media with the metaphor “The carrot and stick are there to make people obey” (Reason 26), which again can pull on people’s fear that they have overlooked something. His plays on fear and guilt do begin to get somewhat excessive at times, as his deliberate use of language becomes offensive. In using phrases such as “politically retarded,” (Reason 16) “The parallels with religious arguments should make intelligent people suspicious,” (Reason 34) and “Only an idiot would believe in stories such as lampshades of human skin,” (Reason 40) to describe those who disagree with him, the author may invoke an insecurity in some readers that can cause them to give his viewpoint a second chance.
Just as easily, however, it can cause readers to disregard the writings due to the offense that they may take. The author’s attempt to create a list of reasons that would help a fellow revisionist argue their case mostly for naught. While like-minded individuals can pull some rhetorical questions to get others thinking, there is little offered in way of credible argument material. It is organized in an unpleasant and confusing fashion that makes the posting almost unreadable.
The grammatical errors and failure to proofread suggest an apathy, or perhaps an intellectual incompetence, from the author that does not help his case. Individuals who are willing to look can surely find something to aid them in whatever they sought the posting for, but for a casual reader not Brown 5desperate for argument material, the posting is comically inarticulate and slightly frightening when the sincerity behind the writing is considered.
Words: 1375Brown 6Work CitedTed. “50 Reasons Why the Holocaust Didnt Happen.” The CODOH Revisionist Forum, 25 Aug. _____2004, https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t
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