I have recently attempted to argue that the ‘results’ of the Holocaust didn’t end in 1945 (“The European Holocaust didn’t end”, Arutz Sheva, April 16, 2015). One reader took exception to that premise. His comments are worth a second look because they help us understand the focus of today’s Holocaust denial.
The reader said, “I wish this [essay] had not been written. It cheapens the word "holocaust". Holocaust exists where government-level forces hunt down Jews to kill them”. He also pointed out that, since 1945, we “haven't seen a government-run murder factory churning out corpses and ashes”. The decline in Europe’s Jewish population has, he argued, other roots.
He’s partly correct. But he overlooks the importance of ‘Holocaust results’.
I believe that when we talk about the Holocaust, we speak of more than the state and its killing apparatus.
The Holocaust is not just about a state-run killing machine. It’s about results. It’s about total destruction.
I would suggest that the Holocaust has at least three elements: the state’s role, its killing machinery and the results. I believe that each of these areas is a legitimate part of the definition of ‘Holocaust’. In fact, I have come to believe that ‘results’ may be the most important of the three—because of modern Holocaust denial.
How important are ‘results’ to establishing 1933-1945 as a ‘Holocaust’? Consider the question: if the Nazis had used the very same state-run apparatus but had—through some miracle—managed to kill only a very tiny fraction of the Jews of Europe, would we call that period a Holocaust? I don’t think so.
It’s the total killed—63 per cent of Europe’s Jews (6 million Jews)—that makes the Nazi effort a Holocaust. It’s the result that horrifies us.
The Holocaust and the period since are related. Between 1933-1945, Europe lost 63 per cent of its Jews [9.5 million to 3.5 million]. Between 1945-2014, Europe has lost another 60 per cent of its Jews [3.5 million to 1.4 million]. If the goal of the Holocaust was the complete destruction of the Jews, that annihilation process continues unabated.
That’s what I meant by ‘the Holocaust didn’t end’. The process of wiping out the Jewish presence in Europe continues.
A second criticism from the same reader was that the process of Jews leaving Europe since 1945 isn’t the same as the process that removed Jews from Europe between 1933-45. Of course, he’s correct. The process is different. But the key point of the Holocaust is not process. It’s the end result—the destruction it causes. When there are no Jews left in Europe, people will marvel at the destruction, not the process.
This focus on results isn’t just an academic exercise. It’s part of today’s Holocaust denial movement.
We saw this a few days ago. Palestine Media Watch (PMW) has reported that Palestinian Authority (PA) Holocaust denial doesn’t focus on the Nazi killing machine or the Nazi state apparatus to run that machine. It focuses on Holocaust results (Tova Dvorin, “PA: Only 1-2 Million Jews Died During the Holocaust”, Arutz Sheva, April 19, 2015).
In an opinion essay written for the official PA newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, the PA denigrated the Holocaust by arguing that, "The supporters of the Zionist movement have exaggerated the number of victims, claiming that it amounts to 6 million, whereas others, unbiased researchers, have estimated that there were between one and two million Jewish victims" (ibid). This argument focuses on the result of the Holocaust. It does so for a reason: to demonize Jews.
What’s the demonization? The essay argues that the Jews (‘Zionists’) exaggerated the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust in order to “blackmail the European states financially and politically to make them [European nations] support the Zionist colonialist project" (ibid).
This attack against Jews and Israel doesn’t focus on Germany’s state-organized ‘Final Solution’ for Jews. It doesn’t focus on the Nazi killing-machine used to murder Jews. It focuses only on the results of the Holocaust—the number of Jews killed.
I don’t know about you, but if the enemies of the Jews are going to use Holocaust results to attack us, I’ll fight back. I will use Holocaust ‘results’ to remind everyone that the Holocaust didn’t end. The Jews of Europe are still being wiped out.
Yes, the process is different. The process is slower. But the results are the same: wiping out the Jews.
Finally, there’s a link between Holocaust results and today’s deniers. It’s a link made explicit by our enemies: it’s not just Nazis of old who aimed to exterminate us. Hamas has the same goal (Robert Spencer, “Hamas imam to Jews: ‘We will totally exterminate you’”, jihadwatch, July 30, 2014).
The Holocaust is still with us.