Neo-Nazism is a modern movement, primarily seeking to preserve and finally accomplish the failed goals and ideologies of Nazi Germany. Their groups are characterized by upholding the values of white supremacy, white nationalism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and what is known as the Holocaust denial. To better understand the roots of today’s neo-Nazism, it’s integral to discuss what foundations remain today. Experts believe that the Holocaust denial, in particular, continue to fuel the beliefs of Nazism – denying the event means believing in its cause, and the mere concept of belief is enough to strengthen its reformation.
The Holocaust denial is the claim that the six million Jews were not purposely and methodically exterminated, as ordered by the official policy by Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. This concept became a more prominent composition of neo-Nazism in the 1970s, but the denial has long existed as a sentiment among neo-Nazis. After this, the concept was systematically adapted into a theory, based on a bibliographical canon. There are two types of people in the context of the denial: the hard deniers, and the soft deniers. The hard deniers claim that the estimated six million Jews murdered were never actually killed, and that the Holocaust is a hoax. The soft deniers, on the other hand, claim that while forms of atrocities actually happened, there was no systematic plan made to obliterate the Jews. They attribute that the high death rate reported among the Jews and other victims are due to World War II itself, which included disease and starvation, sometimes even attributing to atrocities inflicted by the Allies on the German people.
It is important to note that the Holocaust denial is not in a position based on facts and poses no historical support. The denier is often motivated by political interest, and in most cases, a right-wing racist ideology we now call as neo-Nazism. The memory of the Holocaust, widely known around the world as the epitome of evil, is regarded by neo-Nazis as a major threat to the dissemination of their doctrines. Major theorists of the Holocaust denial, hailing themselves as “revisionists”, move forward as overtly sympathetic towards the views of Hitler. However, most neo-Nazis believe in the Holocaust denial as their final hope, helping them rehabilitate their political ideology in the eyes of the public. One of the ways to do this is through publications, such as the renowned Did Six Million Really Die? By Richard Verrall and The Hoax of the Twentieth Century by Arthur Butz.
Auschwitz, in more ways than one, has been the main target of attacks by deniers. They continue to stand by the idea that the Holocaust isn’t real, even in the midst of the existence of the gas chambers, accounts of mass murders extending to all camps, as well as the death camps. The scale of this phenomena is regarded by many countries as a threat to social order, made punishable by law. Legal procedures happen every so often against the deniers, and this only goes to prove that the problem is real. This problem, however, transcends beyond public prosecutors, as it also poses a challenge to reputable historians and educational institutions.
Another important source of the Holocaust denial is the historical hawser of anti-Semitism, now apparent in recurrent inventions contained in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Holocaust revisionists assert that the survivors of the Holocaust lied about their experiences. The Allied forces who liberated the camps exaggerated the accounts, films and photos containing the atrocities, and even evidence from the Nazis themselves were falsified. They also point out that the Nazi documents were forced, and any confessions made in court by the accused were products of coercion.
Unfortunately, there is nothing new about the denial of the crime against Jewish genocide. From the beginning of World War II, the Nazis themselves exerted all effort to keep away from international public eye, mostly motivated by political reasons. Among themselves, however, the Nazi ruling elite did not conceal the criminal acts. Himmler in October 1943 addressed high ranking officers in a speech:
Most of you here know what it means when 100 corpses lie next to each other, when 500 lie there. . .. This is an honor roll in our history which has never been and never will be put in writing.
In an effort to conceal the crimes, however, they first limited the written record of their crime. They falsified records, to the extent that organizations and technical aspects made the crimes necessary. Lastly, they destroyed the most essential and incriminating part of the record as soon as it served the purpose during the final phase of the Third Reich. Documents are not the only ones that fell into this process; mass killing apparatuses were also destroyed.
Such acts gave path to what is now known as neo-Nazism. And those who still believe in Hitler’s ideologies are empowered by the Holocaust denial, believing that everything is justifiable, even their racism.