The Journal of Genocide Research Featured Still Another Minimization of the Holocaust
Response to a review of two books on the Holocaust and why the Jews were singled out for extermination by Amos Goldberg, Helmut Walser Smith, Simone Gigliotti, Marc Buggein, and Alan Confino, in “Book Forum,” Journal of Genocide Research (2016).1 The two books reviewed are by Alan Confino, Foundational Pasts: The Holocaust as Historical Understanding, 2012, and A World Without Jews: The Nazi Imagination from Persecution to Genocide, 2014.2
The Journal of Genocide Research came under scrutiny in two research studies of readers who are genocide professionals (N=67) and a smaller number of students of Holocaust and Genocide courses (N=39), together N=106. These studies evoked considerable controversy. The present review essay is in response to a subsequent multi-author review in the book forum of the Journal of Genocide Research of two books on the Holocaust, in which both the review essay and the books under discussion are shown to be strong minimizations of the significance of the Holocaust: The thesis advanced is that the extermination of the Jews was not a product of ancient antisemitism-hatred of Jews, but a function of the Nazi vision of creating a new world.
Keywords: minimization of the Holocaust, antisemitism, denials of genocide, integrity of genocide studies, laws against incitement of violence, Wannsee Conference, Final Solution
Amos Goldberg, Helmut Walser Smith, Simone Gigliotti, Marc Buggein, and Alan Confino, review in “Book Forum,” Journal of Genocide Research 18, no. 1 (2016): 101–131.
Alan Confino, Foundational Pasts: The Holocaust as Historical Understanding (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012); and idem, A World Without Jews: The Nazi Imagination from Persecution to Genocide (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014).
Israel W. Charny, “Holocaust Minimization, Anti-Israel Themes and Antisemitism: Bias at the Journal of Genocide Research (JGR),” Journal for the Study of Antisemitism 7, no.1 (2016), http://jsantisemitism.org/images/journals/articles/Holocaust-Minimization-Anti-Israel-&-Antisemitism-at-JGR.pdf. Reprinted on the website of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem: http://ihgjlm.com/articles/Holocaust-Minimization-Anti-Israel-&-Antisemitism-at-JGR.pdf. Regrettably, the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism is no longer available online. However, note that the articles cited have been reprinted and are available on the website of the Institute of the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem, www.ihgjlm.com.
Idem, “A Further Study of Bias in Articles in the Journal of Genocide Research (JGR),” Journal for the Study of Antisemitism 7, no 2 (2016), http://jsantisemitism.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/JGR-Suppl-Study-121216.pdf. Reprinted on the website of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide, http://www.ihgjlm.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/JGR-Suppl-Study-121216.pdf.
Ljiljana Radonić, “The Holocaust/Genocide Template in Eastern Europe,” Journal of Genocide Research 20, no. 4 (2018), whole issue.
Raz Segal, “Beyond Holocaust Studies: Rethinking the Holocaust in Hungary,” Journal of Genocide Research 16, no.1 (2014): 1–23.
In 2014 JGR published one of the articles included in my original study of bias in the journal. This article called for “new paths to rethink ‘the Holocaust’ [note author’s single quotes around Holocaust] in Hungary” and emphasized the connections between anti-Jewish policies and the persecution of other groups in an overall “exclusionary campaign against the treatment of other minorities” (Segal, “Beyond Holocaust Studies,” 1n5). Now in the Special Issue, István Rév writes decisively about the cooperation of Horthy’s Hungarian government with the German policy directed specifically—as we well know—against the 400,000 and more Jews who were deported to Auschwitz. Rév quotes an official Hungarian government welcome of the German troops who, together with experts led by Eichmann, arrived to implement the Final Solution, obviously against the Jews as such, and also quotes an unpublished manuscript from Budapest that says explicitly, “the guarantee of success [referring to the deportation of the Jews—IWC] could not be but with the collaboration of the Hungarian authorities. With the help of the entire Hungarian civil service, around 51,000 people and the active participation of close to 200,000 civilians . . . accomplished the deportation.” Eichmann is quoted as saying, “We would never have managed so well without them”—referring to the Hungarians of course (István Rév, “Liberty Square, Budapest: How Hungary Won the Second World War,” Journal of Genocide Research 20, no. 4 (2018): 607–623, quotations from 615).
Israel W. Charny, “Holocaust ‘Minimized’,” Jerusalem Post Magazine, June 17, 2016. The letter can be seen on the website of our Institute at http://www.ihgjlm.com/2016/06/26/genocide-scholars-who-minimize-the-holocaust-and-some-who-are-coming-to-town/.
Amos Goldberg, Thomas J. Kehoe, A. Dirk Moses, Raz Segal, and Martin Shaw, “Israel Charny’s Attack on the Journal of Genocide Research and Its Authors: A Response,” Genocide Studies and Prevention 10, no. 2 (2016), article 4, http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/gsp/vol10/iss2/4. Reprinted on the website of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem: http://www.ihgjlm.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Response-to-Charny-s-Attack-on-the-Journal-of-Genocide-Research.pdf.
Israel W. Charny, “A Reply to JGR Prejudices that Wannsee Wasn’t about the Jews, Zionism is Intrinsically Genocidal, and More,” Journal for the Study of Antisemitism 8, no. 1 (2016), http://jsantisemitism.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Rejoinder-JGR-121216.pdf. Reprinted on the website of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem: http://www.ihgjlm.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Rejoinder-JGR-121216.pdf.
Gerhard Wolf, “The Wannsee Conference in 1942 and the National Socialist Living Space Dystopia,” Journal of Genocide Research 17, no. 2 (2015): 153–175 (quotations that follow are from p. 153).
Allan J. Lichtman, The Case for Impeachment (London: William Collins, 2017), 180.
Michael Berenbaum, A Mosaic of Victims: Non-Jews Persecuted and Murdered by the Nazis (New York: NYU Press, 1992); idem, “The Holocaust, Non-Jewish Victims,” in Encyclopedia of Genocide, ed. Israel W. Charny (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 1999), 324–327.
“How many thousands of documents of the suffering of Jews as Jews are there? I will cite one that I have recently completed reading and which again tore my heart out. It is an account of Treblinka by one of its so few survivors.” Ya’acov Viernik, A Year in Treblinka [Hebrew], ed. Ido Rotem (Tel Aviv: Dror Israel, 2011).
Daniel Goldhagen (1996) has been soundly criticized by many scholars including myself for his overemphasis on antisemitism as virtually the only causal source of the Holocaust, but clearly his basic emphasis on antisemitism as a major cause cannot be disputed rationally.
Manfred Gerstenfeld, The War of a Million Cuts: The Struggle Against the Deligitimization of Israel and the Jews and the Growth of New Anti-Semitism (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2016).
Richard Hovannisian, “Denial of the Armenian Genocide in Comparison with Holocaust Denial,” in Remembrance and Denial, ed. Richard Hovannisian (Detroit: Wayne State University, 1999), 201–236.
Deborah Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory (New York: Free Press, 1993).
Charny, Israel W. “Templates for Gross Denials of a Known Genocide: A Manual,” in Encyclopedia of Genocide (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio Publishers, 1999), 168. These templates were developed in a dialogue with Vartan Gregorian, then president of the New York Public Library, and were also based on joint research with Marjorie Housepian-Dobkin, author of the classic article, “The Unremembered Genocide,” published in Commentary 42, no. 3 (1966): 55–60.
Israel W. Charny, “A Classification of Denials of the Holocaust and Other Genocides,” Journal of Genocide Research 5, no. 1 (2003): 11–34. Reprinted in Samuel Totten and Paul R. Bartrop, eds. The Genocide Studies Reader (New York: Routledge, 2009), 517–537.
Idem, “A Classification of Denials of the Holocaust and Other Genocides—Updated 2012.” Originally published in Genocide Prevention Now web magazine, which is no longer available. Reprinted on the website of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem: http://www.ihgjlm.com/a-classification-of-denials-of-the-holocaust-and-other-genocides-updated-2012/.
Idem, “A Classification of Denials” , 31.
Idem, “A Classification of Denials” .
Michael J. Bazyler, “Holocaust Denial Laws and Other Legislation Criminalizing Promotion of Nazism,” Genocide Prevention Now (GPN) 9 (2016). Reprinted on the website of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem, http://www.ihgjlm.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Holocaust-Denial-Laws.pdf. See also Jacqueline Lechtholz-Zey, “The Laws Banning Holocaust Denial,” Genocide Prevention Now (GPN) 9 (2012). Reprinted on the website of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem, http://www.ihgjlm.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Laws_Banning_Holocaust_Denial.pdf.
Israel W. Charny, “Legislating about Genocide Denial.” Politique Internationale, supplement no. 147: special issue: A Hundred Years Ago . . . The Armenian Genocide (2015): 29–46 (page numbering for English texts).
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