Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It

An Overview of a Movement

The SS guards took pleasure in telling us that we had no chance of coming out alive, a point they emphasized with particular relish by insisting that after the war the rest of the world would not believe what happened; there would be rumors, speculation, but no clear evidence, and people would conclude that evil on such a scale was just not possible.

—Terrence des Pres, The Survivor, 1976 I

When historians ask, "How can anyone deny the Holocaust?" and deniers respond, "We are not denying the Holocaust," it becomes obvious that the two groups are defining the Holocaust in different ways. What deniers are explicitly denying are three points found in most definitions of the Holocaust:

1. There was intentionality of genocide based primarily on race.

2. A highly technical, well-organized extermination program using gas chambers and crematoria was implemented.

3. An estimated five to six million Jews were killed.

Deniers do not deny that antisemitism was rampant in Nazi Germany or that Hitler and many of the Nazi leaders hated Jews. Nor do they deny that Jews were deported, that the property of Jews was confiscated, or that Jews were rounded up and forced into concentration camps where, in

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