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Copyright (c) 1998 - Ingrid A. Rimland

September 25, 1998

Good Morning from the Zundelsite:

If only I had more time - there is such amazingly good stuff around in these listserve or newsgroup strings! Her someone named "Slade" - pseudonym? - is giving his slant on how "evidence" about the Holocaust is fabricated out of necessity or by default.

I have missed the beginning of this string, but here speaks a Holocaust Enforcer:

"Logic is logic, like physics. It doesn't stand up straight for one person and bend for another."

Holocaust Skeptic:

Oh, no. Logic in the hands of Holocaust Survivors does anything at all, inclusive of standing on its head. Overwhelming force, intimidation, and political assassination does wonders for turning fantasy into truth. It is, as many have noted, more powerful than physics and more malleable than fact.

Now that you have admitted eyewitness testimony can indeed be flawed, let us discuss how flawed it may be. Have you seen the hundreds of thousands of pages of testimonials produced by the Church of Scientology for various court cases, telling how effective Scientology is?

No? Then you are missing something of an education about humanity. Consider the small amount of pressure the Church has available for influencing the members: their influence is nothing compared to the power of the Allies over the stalag fugitives.

When those people were released from the German POW and slave labor camps, they were bereft of livelihood. Their property and wealth was vanished in most cases, their relatives scattered to the winds. In a continent of refugees speaking a hundred tongues, each country with their own wounds to bind, the problems of yet another wandering camp veteran would not be an inspiration to excessive compassion.

But if the beggar can tell an interesting story about medical tortures suffered, of the flames leaping to the skies at night while the corpses writhed in the coals, of dead men pleading for mercy, of mountains of gold extracted by the gram from Jewish teeth, of skyscrapers built from shoes and Jewish children trained to assist in the atrocities, the beggar has suddenly a career of tale telling. Speaking engagements, like Anita Hill. Trial testimony before Important People and solemn deliberating judges. Book contract, perhaps.

Certainly better than starving. (...)

(E)ye-witness testimony is among the most fragile forms of evidence. It testifies to the resurrection of Jesus and Joseph Smith's golden tablets in the desert. Eye witnesses agree in sharp detail about alien abductions and voodoo curses. Psychic healing flourishes in the Philippines and saintly statues weep in South America; djini leap from the sands of Arabia and the oceans of the world are populated with sea monsters. In tents all across rural America, people are healed by the touch of ordinary preachers, and two generations ago, half the population of Europe suddenly turned into psychotic sadistic monsters bent on exterminating a race of very nice people because the wrong man attained an important government post in Germany.

In a word, eyewitness testimony is -- problematic. In many of the examples above, it runs directly counter to the laws of physics. It does not bear close inspection, and the believers get a little uptight when you point out to them that things don't work that way in the lab.

In fact, now that we are on the point, the same is true of many of the stories about the Holocaust. Doctors do not suddenly turn into raving, malicious idiots just because there is no oversight on the treatment of their patients. Fat does not run in rivers out of a fire hot enough to cremate bodies. Bodies do not burn brightly and create heat to burn other bodies. Diesel exhaust does not contain carbon monoxide. And bodies do not writhe in cremation fires.

But we are not permitted to question the Holocaust--it is not a matter of historical truth anymore, but a political truth. It is simply true whether it happened or not. We are not permitted to question that it might not have occurred--according to Lipstadt, we are operating by reason and logic only if we refuse utterly to question the truth of the Holocaust.

You can doubt the existence of the Creator, the event of Creation, and even the fact of your own existence, if such is your taste. But if you doubt the Holocaust, you flirt with the wrong end of a lethal weapon.


Thought for the Day:

"Some circumstancial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk."

(Henry David Thoreau)

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