Participants will consider documentary, pictorial, physical and demographic evidence in what Iranian officials depict as an academic investigation to establish the Holocaust's authenticity and whether the reported number of victims was exaggerated. Organisers say it will include submissions for and against. It will also focus on the plight of the Palestinians.
According to Moohammadi, a foriegn office spokesman "the aim is to scientifically study the Holocaust and listen to both sides before reaching a conclusion." This issue has a crucial role regarding the west's policies towards the countries of the Middle East, especially the Palestinians. Iran isn't against or for. We weren't involved in this event so we can be a neutral judge. It is important for us to know the answer so that we can process our stances to issues in this region. If we conclude that the Holocaust happened, we will admit it but we are still going to ask why Palestinians have to pay." He said it would not be a forum for anti-semites or neo-Nazis, and rabbis would attend. "Our policy doesn't mean we want to defend the crimes of Hitler."
(source the Guardian)
Now, personally for me, the historical fact that a country as sophisticated as Germany (in every sense of development) engaged in systematic execution of human beings is far more important than how many people died as a result. After all, the number of fatalities of the WWII was well above 20 million (yes those numbers are disputed too, as some believe it was well over 27 million dead) and the Russians surely paid the heaviest price (was that the moral price for stallinism?). As such, the killing of Jews is an inexcusable deed of the history.
But, why fuss over numbers? Perhaps a study would reveal that it was actually 11 million Jews who died and not only 6 million. Does the death of 6 million make such a crime even worse? I think to intentionally kill people is a saturated evil, 6 or 6 million, to me personally, is the same.
Now one might argue, that the killing of 6 people does not justify the establishment of a state, but the killing of 6 million does. Yes true. But, if a group of people, say Jewish, come to the realization that they need a state in which they can defend themselves, how are they to go about gaining support? Well, they would dig up the history and from the records, tehy would scientifically establish the number of people who were lost due to their statelessness. So far so good. But, shouldn't they be willing to let everyone look at the data, reproduce the statistics and say, yes this study is valid and yes let's double up the funding and the support?
So why do people get offended when the numbers come under question? And why is any skeptic who cannot work out the math is branded as holocaust denier?
Let Ahmadinejad have his conference. And let all those peopel whose lectures are cancelled in the North American universities, to present their data. In the meantime, we can shake our heads that they are doubting our 6million figures, and can wait for them to deliver proper science, and if they did not, then we have the chance to refute them with our more solid methodology.
(okey typo correction can wait till tomorrow) the computere's battery hungry!