I would like to expand on it here:
Hektor wrote:1. I believe that the Holocaust is true.
2. I do not believe the Holocaust is true.
3. I do believe that the Holocaust is untrue.
3 is different from 2. No. 2 only requires that the evidence was either absent or not convincing. 3 means, you looked at the evidence, including the circumstantial one and became convinced that people are actually disseminate untruth or are lying.
I would also propose an important difference within group 1. Call it (1a.) and (1b.):
- (1a.) I believe that the Holocaust is true because this is the consensus view (I have not investigated the question).
- (1b.) I believe that the Holocaust is true because I have investigated it and concluded so, based on evidence.
Convenient Labels for Personal Position on the Holocaust
- 1. (a and b) Holocaust Believers
- --- (1a.) Passive Believers
- --- (1b.) Convinced Believers
- 2. Holocaust Skeptics
- 3. Holocaust 'Deniers' or Opponents
Thoughts on where certain types of people fit in this framework
- Most Revisionists will be (3), but a minority will be (2); there are a lot of revisionists who believe the Holocaust Story began as a kind of giant misunderstanding (Samuel Crowell) not motivated by malice; there are plenty who believe that substantial parts of the orthodox narrative are true, just not other parts. These kinds of things are characteristic of (2). Crowell even referred to himself as a "moderate revisionist," but I am pretty sure he fit properly in the (3) category that Hektor proposes. I would also note that DenierBud's One Third of the Holocaust largely used appeals to (2). He would present some crazy eyewitness tale, examine it a few minutes in his dry narration, find original source books and show them on screen, and then pronounce, "[x] is just not convincing." This is not the same as saying "The Holocaust definitely did not occur." DenierBud was personally a (3) but generally used (2) arguments. Making direct (3) arguments is a lot harder all around.
- On the Evolution of a Revisionist: All committed Revisionists generally start as (1a)'ers; I have never heard of one who was born and raised as a (2) or (3). Perhaps Paul Rassinier counts as a 'lifelong' skeptic and then Holocaust opponent, as he actually lived in the camps, of course, and was probably always at least a (2). By circa 1961, from his telling, he was a (3). The process of discovery, of moving from (1a.) to (2) to (3), is an intellectual adventure for all of us who have undergone it. It is also often difficult. When we go through this process, we are emerging from a kind of subtle religious cult (Holocaustism), and removing oneself from any religious cult is, frankly, hard.
- A surprising number of actual Nazi sympathizers or "Neo-Nazis" will be (1a.), others (2) and some (3). There is, surprisingly to some anti-revisionists, not a direct connection between politics and Holocaust belief. I have come across "far-right nationalists" who do not really question the Holocaust. Bradley Smith was more on the libertarian-left.
- Then there is the class of Holocaust Pushers (or 'Enforcers'), largely Jewish. I can only wonder which category these people are. They could really be any of them (at heart), from (1a.) to (1b.) to (2) to even (3). It would be the height of cynicism if they were (3); if they know it is all a lie but they still push the Holocaust for personal or political gain.
- The most likely personality-type to become a Revisionist, to go from (1a.) to (2) and especially all the way to (3), is the independent-minded, libertarian, fearless truth-seeker type (Jewish dissident libertarian Murray Rothbard was a Revisionist); many people simply cannot make the transition from (1a.) to (3) any more than a religious person can stop believing in God. Some, in non-Western countries not subject to Holocaust conditioning, may start at something more like (2) (i.e., have heard something about the Holocaust but don't know too much; are open to more info). Non-Westerners can probably more easily transition to (3), upon reading Revisionist works, I would guess.
- The cases of Ex-Revisionist Holocaust Believers, people who had become (3)'s but who now say they have fallen back into (2) or even all the way to (1b.): We all know these cases have occurred. In some of them, the person is most likely just lying; he/she was at (3) and is still at (3), but for personal or financial reasons from now on will say otherwise. In at least some cases, though, it is going to be a genuine 'reversion' to belief in the Holocaust. The strange case of Eric Hunt comes to mind. I believe David Irving started as a (2) all along, became a (3), then back to a (2) and has floated in a hazy intermediate zone for many years; he is now somewhere around (2) but dips his toes regularly in (1b.) (the mysterious gas-shacks at Auschwitz that only he knows about). Perhaps it's (partly or fully) for show. It's hard to know.
- Personal/Inner Belief vs. Outward Display: The paragraph directly above and its final two lines ("Perhaps it's (partly or fully) for show") raises the key question of the entire Holocaust Dilemma as it stands today: There may be more (3)s than ever, in the privacy of their own minds, but very few indeed will reveal themselves to be (3)s in polite company. Some may 'reveal' themselves to be (2)s, but even here far fewer will reveal themselves to be Holocaust Skeptics than actually are skeptics in the privacy of their own minds. While this is understandable in Germany and other countries which legally enforce belief in the Holocaust, the same thing exists in the First-Amendment-protected United States.
- How do people move from (1a.) to (2)? From (2) to (3)? I don't know. I suspect there is not much Revisionist activism that can be done to move people from (1a.) -- uncritical, unexamined, consensus-based Holocaust Belief -- to (2) healthy Holocaust Skepticism. A seed of doubt is all that can be done. The seed of doubt may linger or it may die. Revisionist activism may be more useful in moving people from (2) to (3), the process of personal, mental Holocaust Liberation (or "Holocaust Detox" as CODOH-Forum member K0nsl once aptly termed it). In general, (2) does tend to lead to (3) with time; it's hard for me to imagine a decades-long (2) who never transitions to (3), and this is why Holocaust Enforcers seek to penalize even any venturing into (2). Can someone jump immediately from (1a.) or (1b.) to (3)? I think this is impossible. They would reject whatever is presented, if an attempt to bring them to (3) all at once is made; perhaps we have all had some experience similar to this.