6 million is the official count of Jews murdered through the deliberate actions of the nazi government during the German Third Reich.
With a policy of direct execution, the use of ghettos in which Jews were starved to death, and the mass transport of Jews to concentration camps, the German government aimed to destroy the Jewish race.
During the course of world war 2, the concentration camp became the major means for enacting the policy of extermination. On arrival at the camps, women, children, the disabled and ill, and the elderly were suffocated in gas chambers or shot to death. The remaining group were enslaved as forced labour until they died through ill health, starvation, shooting, torture, medical experimention or final suffocation in gas chambers.
These events have become known as the Holocaust. Holocaust denial is about denying the reality of these terrible facts.
Holocaust deniers claim that the figure of 6 million deaths is a lie, promoted by Jews in the years following the second world war, as justification for establishing the state of Israel.
Photograph: The yellow Star of David identifies these children as Jews – they are Emanual and Avram Rosenthal who were murdered at Majdanek concentration camp.
Holocaust deniers (e.g. David Irving in the UK, Ernst Zundel in the US), have attempted to create a revisionist history by denying the reality of the concentration camps and the consequences for Jews of the Nazi "Final Solution".
Revisionist history contradicts the vast body of testimony from survivors and soldiers who liberated the camps. There are diaries from German soldiers, and photographic, film and written records from the Nazi government.
For a comprehensive listing of holocaust museums, go to Global Directory of Holocaust Museums.
Jews were not the only victims of the camps – any person or group who resisted nazi Germany were liable to torture, execution or extermination. Groups other than Jews were systematically murdered – these include gypsies, gays and the disabled.
A camp for women was established at Ravensbrück, which became a site of medical experiment. Many women sent there, in common with the fate of women at other camps, were systematically worked to death, experiencing rape and torture, with thousands of executions both by shots to the back of the neck and by gas.
Photograph: The Womens Monument in Amsterdam – memorial to women who died in Ravensbrück Concentration Camp. For more information about Ravensbrück, go to the Ravensbrück Women’s Concentration Camp Memorial web site.
Photograph: Soldier survivors return to the Netherlands – photo from the Dutch Resistance Museum.
Denial on the Internet
It is not difficult to find examples on the Internet of denial-based thinking. We’re not going to dignify them here by providing links.
If you chose to visit these web sites, try going via the Nizkor site. Nizkor provides useful and interesting insights about some of the major personalities engaged in spreading disinformation and detailed evidence against them.
Holocaust information on the Internet
There are many excellent web sites that continue to preserve the history of the Holocaust from revision by Nazi and Fascist sympathisers.
- The count … Six million Jews …
- The Jewish Virtual Library: Holocaust Denial
- The Nizkor Project
- The Holocaust History Project
- Sinti and Roma Victims of the Nazi Era
- Lesbians and Gays
- Disabled People