d e n y i n g   t h e   h o l o c a u s t

What is solid and can claim our attention as good historical thinking, and what is not? Some historical writing can be so bad that it is like a three-dollar bill trying to make its way unnoticed through a bank. Art first it might seem ok, but then you realize that there is something fundamentally wrong with it. Sometimes there are built-in problems in historical writing, in the logic or reasoning, that should trigger warning lights and sirens in our heads. With some good intellectual tools, some brain wrenches and screwdrivers, you can spot a hussle and avoid making the mistake of exchanging any of your solid one and two dollar bills for bogus threes.

Understand that history is not just a bunch of conflicting opinions, all equal and valid. That may work with clothes, but not for hard-nosed thinking. No one in math says, "Hey, I think two plus two is four, and you think two plus two is seven. Everybody is entitled to his or her opinion!" There are patterns in bad historical thinking, and one way of getting a sense of what good History is, is to take a look at bad History. So, now is a good time to take a look at bad History to see what makes it so.

For our bad historical reasoning, we have picked examples from websites that deny the existence of the Holocaust or dramatically distort or transform it. We are not going to enter into an argument with the sites to prove there was a Holocaust. More scholarly and knowledgeable people have done that fully already. What interests us is the types of bad reasoning that are used to make a false case in the face of so much evidence and documentation.

The Holocaust is one of the most documented of historical events. To deny that it happened, or radically change the interpretation of the key events, requires the burying, ignoring, or distorting of a mountain of evidence. As skeptical learners, what we want to be able to identify is these patterns of distortion and bad historical thinking.

Before going to our analysis, read through the key questions that Holocaust denier sites raise and the countering arguments from websites offering information about the Holocaust.

          Below is a good source.