Some Home Truths For So-called "Revisionists"

© Tom Rogers, April 2017 (except the video, which is © Nordland.TV).

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I am sympathetic to National Socialism and when I have engaged with the subject of the Holocaust, I have found myself taking a mildly revisionist position: that is to say, revisionism in the proper sense of the term. I am not a denier of historical facts. The Nazis did persecute Jews (and other groups), and Jews (and other groups) suffered greatly. This was done under circumstances that are different to those of today and we should be cautious about condemning what happened without understanding the conditions of the time. Nevertheless, from a present standpoint, I have no hesitation in stating that what happened was wrong. I believe the broad narrative of the Holocaust to be true: Jews were put in camps, they suffered, and what happened to them was the responsibility of Germany, irrespective of whether deaths were planned or not.

I regard these notions as the ABC of moral responsibility. If I am involved as the driver in a car crash in which people are hurt, I must take some degree of responsibility for the situation, whether it was my fault or not. That is the way our society works, on the basis of personal responsibility and accountability. The Nuremberg Trials were juridically and ethically questionable, but in one sense they were very much in the Western tradition: the German military officers and state officials were being held personal accountable for the mass deaths (howsoever caused) of people in the care and custody of the Nazi state. They could have no complaints about that principle. If you want to take people prisoner, you can take the responsibility that goes with it.

People who deny the above historical facts and moral precepts are not revisionists, they are denialists. Although such people may broadly share my political views and some of my ideas, I disown them. Equally, Jews and Jewish interest groups that seek to talk-up and exaggerate the Holocaust and the suffering of Jews are also denialists, and just as bad as the aforementioned group. I am not afraid to criticise them either. Both groups are in the same camp. They have no interest in what really happened, they just want to use of the suffering of others to advance an agenda.

Recently I viewed the following video, which shows a press conference by the German Nationalist, Horst Mahler:

The video was posted up on YouTube by Alison Chabloz. This is the woman who is being prosecuted for making songs that ridicule the Holocaust and the Jewish community. Like Mahler, she purports to be a Nationalist.

In what follows, and in the absence of any countervailing evidence, I am going to adopt the working assumption that the people I am referring to are acting out of genuine motivations and are not working for the enemy or some part of the police or state apparatus. I adopt this as my working assumption because there is actually no need to bother with any consideration of whether they are spies. The Law of Parsimony applies to detective work as much as engineering. The law couldn't frame Al Capone for murder or racketeering, so they got him for tax evasion. It was enough to put him out of action. Likewise, I really don't know for sure that these people are actually our enemy, but why bother going to the effort of proving it? It's enough that they are advocating ineffective and stupid political strategies. That realisation should be all that is needed for genuine people in Nationalism to laugh them off the stage. Beyond that, whether they are spies or whatever else is quite beside the point.

As to the video, I post it here for context. My interest is not in Mahler specifically, but in the political strategy that he and people like him pursue, which seems to centre around:

- Holocaust denial (rather than historical revisionism - I make a distinction);
- neo-Nazi aesthetics; and,
- telling the "truth" about a range of obscure and esoteric matters that are only of interest to a tiny number of people.

In Britain, this approach to things is represented by the London Forum, led by Jez Turner, in which Alison Chabloz also seems to be involved.

Basically, Mahler and people like him assert that the Holocaust is a myth in the sense that it is fictitious.

Obviously I oppose his imprisonment. That goes without saying. It is outrageous and in my view should be viewed as a form of judicial internment. Over-sentencing for technical offences allows the German authorities to keep potential dissidents out of society on a pretext that the ordinary public will find sympathetic ("Nazis", etc.). No doubt this is coming to Britain too.

My issue with Mahler, Chabloz, Jez Turner and people in that milieu is primarily methodological. I do not believe theirs is the best way to put forward the Nationalist case. You assault your enemy at its weakest point, not at its strongest. The system's Achilles' heel is the ballot box.

One of the problems with people like Turner, Chabloz and Mahler (though I'm not necessarily suggesting these people specifically have this trait, just people like them) is that they do not like debate and discussion and struggle emotionally when confronted with people who have different views to theirs. (A similar trait is seen among left-wing people). The usual reaction of this type is to remove you from the discussion. They particularly become upset and distressed whenever anybody suggests that preaching to the public about the Holocaust might not be the best political strategy for Nationalists, or when it is suggested that withdrawing from the electoral process might not have been the cleverest decision.

It is argued by these people that elections don't change anything or don't make any difference (that is actually what they say). I could point to the Labour election victories of 1945 and 1997, Brexit, Trump, even the BNP during the Noughties - all these things involved voting and made a difference. I could go on and on with the examples. The assertion is demonstrably untrue. A five-year-old could demolish it.

The point about electoral politics is that it does make a difference when it is pursued in the right way.

Yes, when it is pursued in the wrong way, it doesn't make a difference. For instance, if you think people will vote for white nationalism per se, you won't get anywhere, but then in that scenario, you would be using elections in the wrong way, and therefore you would be attempting to prove your point on a disingenuous premise.

The alternative offered to us by the Turners, Chablozes, Mahlers, Richard Edmondses, and others of this world, is to discuss the Holocaust - something that happened more than 70 years ago. Why? I think the onus here is on them to explain and justify this, not me. Mainstream electoral politics is a proven method and has worked for Nationalists, both here in Britain and also abroad - but only when it has been pursued in the right way. When it has been pursued in the wrong way, the method has failed.

So far, I have not gone beyond simple common-sense that everybody should know. It is difficult to understand why proposed methods that have been shown to fail, time and again, should continue to occupy time and resources. This is not, I think, just a case of faulty reasoning, it is matter of common-sense. An unkind person would question whether these people are acting in good faith. As it is, to my dismay, they seem to be attracting a lot of support. I'm afraid I can't be encouraged by this. It's a depressing sight to see and tells me that we are in a bad way, not just as a Movement but as a people.

The public, looking in, will wonder why Nationalists seem so determined to offend Jews and others over events that are widely-perceived to be among the most diabolical and tragic of the 20th. century. Yes, questions could be asked about the Holocaust from a scientific, historical and archaeological point-of-view, and some of them - I hope, if I find the time - will be asked on this website, but I wasn't there and nor was Jez Turner or Alison Chabloz, and we're not experts. As it is, it's just become a very sad motif that lots of people are careful about discussing, due to the emotion and sensitivity that surrounds it. Why even go there?

And this brings me to another point. There is also a political danger inherent in challenging historical events in which we lack expertise. Some of the wider Holocaust narrative is true. Masses of people really were sent to camps because they fitted into a certain category (mostly Jews, but also others such as homosexuals and political dissidents). It may be that conditions in these camps were more humane than is thought - perhaps a little like one of today's open prisons or one of the old psychiatric hospitals. But there was also forced labour and it is admitted that there were instances of gassing in the East by combat units. The issue, then, is more about exactly how these people died and the level of intentionality involved in the Nazi hierarchy, as well as the degree to which the mass deaths were planned or just an outcome of war.

So we could paint a realistic picture, in which the reality of the mass deaths is unclear and the analysis is about weighing the nuances. This used to be how the Holocaust was discussed at the scholarly level, until the deniers of history - both Jews and also neo-Nazis - got in on the act and started distorting things for their own agendas. The two main schools of thought were intentionalism (the Holocaust was caused by Nazis) and functionalism (the Holocaust was brought about by Nazis). Nowadays the field has narrowed into an argument between intentionalists, but the debate was once wider and healthier. Both sides, the intentionalists and functionalists, agreed that the broader narrative of the Holocaust was correct, so it was unhappy news either way. Even if it turns out that the mass deaths were not planned (i.e. functionalism), we're still in an unhappy position. We're still conceding that very many were encamped because they were Jewish (or had some other characteristic) and that very many of these people died, and given that this was the result of Nazi policy in the first place, it's still genocide by the accepted definition. It's still totally unacceptable by today's standards and must be condemned. All you're left with is: "Well, they didn't mean to kill them." That's not a good argument. It was the Nazi state that encamped them in the first place and thus the Nazis must take responsibility, fairly or not. That is the only acceptable position for anybody with something remotely equating to a moral compass.

And even if the neo-Nazi denialists are right about the Holocaust, why do they assume that the public reaction will be positive towards nationalism? Surely it's more likely that the average person will just think: "Oh, well, at least those poor people didn't suffer as much as we thought." The sympathy will still be there, because the National Socialist regime did mistreat people by today's standards and this is proven.