Monday, December 11, 2006

Holocaust Conference

A few days ago, Iranians have announced that they are going to hold a conference where
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!


e said...

I am not offended by the conference. I think it will just help expose Iran as the antisemitic and racist country it currently is and raise awareness to how dangerous Iran is to global security.
By the way, no respected researcher was invited showing yet again that it was not a search for truth but about advancing a political agenda.

Rene w/o web said...

As many times before during this life I agree with you. Some of my details below.

There is no way to prove that the value of a human being (e.g. 'me') is higher than a grain of sand in its relationship to the universe (all that is), nor that the value of one specific human is higher than others.
From a universal perspective that is the way it is. Of course to me as a person this is different.
I think in this I (like my human companions on Earth) can learn from the universe to not kill Jews or hate Iranians, but instead let them be and have their evolution. Why should I first be afraid and hate Russians, then Arabs and maybe in 20 years Chinese, because some people fascinated by wealth and power say so?
Let alone Jews or Iranians. Why may I (and we humans all) not be in awe about the Jews for their talents and love the Iranian people for the evolution they are in (just like any other people)? Do I personally know a Jew or an Iranian that is out there to get me in a bad way? Did I ever live in Tel Aviv or Tehran?

And about the 6 million: Let´s designate quota per european country to restore the number of Jews that was there before the 2nd world war. These 6 million were killed by Europeans (fact) and not by Arabs who supposedly want to kill them (fear).

Iran and Nukes: Let Iran have their nuclear plants and nuclear weapons until they decide to do away with them again, maybe after a glorious example of the USA, France and UK dismantling all their nuclear plants and weapons.

Anonymous said...


I have relatives who were killed in the Holocaust, as well as living relatives who managed to survive it.

I just wanted to say that I still wholeheartedly agree with what you have said here.

I think enough time has passed for the Holocaust to be 'deshrined', and for Holocaust-denail laws to be revoked in place of (if necessary) plain old anti-hate-speech laws, which, if they really work, should fuction just fine against anti-Semitism anyway, as they should against anti-immigrant hate, and anti-Muslim hate.

If a given 'researcher' is actually promoting hatred in his or her 'account' or 'questioning' of the Holocaust, then its hate, and there are laws to deal with it.

If, on the other hand, they're just trying to understand and debate what really happened during the Nazi era... or if they're just trying to promote crackpot conspriacy theories they really believe... let them do so (so long as its not incitment to hatred/violence)!

All that enshrining the Holocaust as an unquestionable and 'historically unique' symbol of 'evil' does, is provide fuel to the fire of those, such as Ahmadinejad who, (if he actually believes a word he says) insist on tossing out historical fact along with opposing political narratives just to further their own narrow agendas.

It makes me uncomfortable that there are acutally specfic laws against the denial of any one particular historical narrative, and especially so considering it it the historical narrative of my relatives. In this current day and age, as 'grand' narratives fracture, and everyone is empowered by technology to express their own opinion - no matter how wacky - such laws no longer help maintain order, but rather make the situation worse.


homeyra said...

First let me inform the readers that Naj is fine and she has not disappeared on us! No proper connexion for her these days.
This Holocaust conference is so much loaded that it is a very tricky area to step on. I can't but agree with these last 2 comments, and with Jordan's view to "deshrine".

Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

Great post my dear Naj

“… 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.”

That’s Karl Popper’s definition of scientific rationality: and I subscribe to it.

It’s true that rightwing Zionist thugs (be they Jewish, Protestant or even Muslim such as Mohammad Dahlan) have cynically used the “never again” motto to justify the crimes against humanity they’ve committed in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq: this doesn’t mean that denying the massacres of World War II Europe will somehow “weaken” Bushmert’s arguments in today’s Middle-East.

Beyond Dimonah, Merkavas and Tomahawk missiles, faulty parallelisms and twisted logic are the most dangerous weapons in the Neocon/Zionist arsenal.

The fact they’ve spread to Iranian-Islamist and German-Negationist groups constitutes a serious case of proliferation that must be checked hic et nunc: not by censoring the Teheran conference or jailing some obscure British historian like David Irving (that’s insane!), but by refuting their arguments with rational counter-arguments.

That’s the Humanist, civilized way: this is what differentiates us from totalitarian ideologies based on racist doctrines (The Talmud, Gobineau, Mein Kampf) or mind-control (Das Kapital, The Wahhabi Shariaa, Fox News).

Anonymous said...

hello you all

I cannot sign in to post on my blog!

I will have fast connection in a couple of days, I hope. But right now, in an internet cafe, with slow connection, on leather armchair, spanish music playing in the back ground, smell of fresh coffee my husband is ordering coming from behind me. And a calm and healthy traffic rolllong in front of the window at which I am siting so content.

I shall see Homie tomorrow.

And then will see people from the knowledge diffusion to organize my talk. So far, the only stressful event has been dealing with the oh so sloppy british Airways.

Oh I must sa this, for those Iranian readers of my blog. As we passed the custons and entered the exit area, the "Ey Iran" music started playing live. At that tme, my husband and I were the only ones in the corridor, and somehow I felt I was stepping to the rhythm of "Ey Iran, Ey MArze por gohar, ..."

Hi, Iran, Hi the precious land ...

I love this little chaotic place ... everyone is so polite and so friendly, and helpful too. Life is not rushed.
ths is NOT a fascist state, how dare anyone calls it that ...

I shall write properly tomorrow. Promiss.