Whether in America or Germany, talk of Holocaust seems to upset some folks -- though probably less, we can guess, than the people on whom such acts were perpetrated.
The quote below is from an anonymous Amazon.com reader review of John Carey's (in my opinion and that of many others, excellent) The Intellectuals and the Masses: Pride and Prejudice Among the Literary Intelligentsia, 1880-1939, which the writer calls "a hatchet job."
When I adjudicated secondary-school debating competitions, there was always one dependable red flag that signalled a crumbling argument: the comparison with Hitler. Hitler was the teenager's favourite: if you could infect your opponent's argument with just a touch of Hitlerism, the crowd was instantly on your side and your opponent now had to climb a mountain of odium to win them back.The following quote from a book review in The Canadian Journal of History (December 1, 2001) provides a better than average starting point for exploring why so many people reach for their revolvers -- or simply stop listening -- when they hear the word Nazi.
More than ever, it is apparent that certain myths about Nazism will never fully disappear. If for no other reason, Nazism serves as a useful foil, a way of gauging good and evil in the world. The things we tend to dislike in modern society we usually presume reigned triumphant in Nazism. In fact, what we suppose Nazism must surely have been about often tells us as much about contemporary societies as about the past purportedly under review.The book purportedly under review is Hitler's Priestess: Savitri Devi, the Hindu-Aryan Myth and Neo-Nazism by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, whom the reviewer, Richard Steigmann-Gall (author of The Holy Reich Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945), goes to some lengths to make appear a fool.
A fool Goodrick-Clarke is not. He heads the Centre for Western Esotericism in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Wales, Lampeter (see Wikipedia entry). His book, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology: The Ariosophists of Austria and Germany, 1890-1935, is widely judged by his peers to be one of the small handful of credible books on the subject.
Contrast the above review clip with this one:
Although the gas chamber mythos has been the center-piece of ongoing Establishment efforts to diabolize the Third Reich, there has been a parallel attempt to remove that epoch from objective consideration by casting it in a less homicidal but more bizarrely demoniacal light. Linking National Socialism to occultism has served several purposes: making the Hitler period look spooky, or at least a bit "kooky"; alienating people of traditional religious outlook, and not least, cashing in on the lucrative bookselling fad of recent years sometimes called the "occult explosion."The opening gambit about "the gas chamber mythos" should be a tipoff that the publication in which this appeared -- The Journal of Historical Review -- is among a growing number of books and web sites dedicated to questioning whether the Holocaust ever took place.
Exhibit: Holocaust Denial
It is the goal of Castle Hill Publishers to scientifically investigate historical events, particularly those of the 20th century, without limitations imposed by dogmas or axioms.
The caption for the photo below (from The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum) reads: "Corpses of Auschwitz prisoners in block 11 of the main camp... as discovered by Soviet war crimes investigators."
[NOTE: Apologies for the confusion with the above image. For the correct image, see here. For an explanation, see here.]
Holocaust deniers might argue that, from such a picture, we have no definitive way of knowing whether these people are perhaps not merely napping. It is left as an exercise for the reader to ponder this perplexing question. Clicking here may help.
"President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush tour the
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C."
White House photo by Paul Morse [reduced]
savitri devi, the hindu-aryan myth and neo-nazism
the unlikely story of how America slipped the surly bonds of earth & came to
believe in signs & portents that would make the middle ages blush
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New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)
Monday, November 28