In this video, a group of Gymnasium students from Slovakia attend a discussion about the Holocaust, inside a former synagogue in a Slovak town, Bardejov.
One of the students challenges Holocaust Survivor Eva Mosnakova.
Listen to what she said.
Eva Mosnakova is b.1929 in Brno, Czechoslovakia. She says she and siblings survived the Holocaust by being hid in a basement by a sympathetic family.
If you google her name, she's all over the place as a Holocaust Survivor, and relishes the attention. She gave a TED Talk as a Holocaust Survivor in Bratislava in 2017. (It tends to be the case that older people like to talk about their lives and the past they knew, and the Holocaust gives lots of older people lots of chances to do so.)
Here is the video, with English subtitles:
Summary and Analysis
"Holocaust Debate Game Theory"
We observe several common roles in public social interactions involving critical inquiry into the Holocaust. I believe we can analyze these in Game Theory terms. Role 2 is played by two individuals in this video; the roles are what is important, not the individuals. Am I missing any roles or any important things about these roles?
Role 1: The Skeptic/Revisionist/Denier.
Role 2: The Orthodoxy Enforcer.
Role 3: The Survivor (or other Witness).
Each proposed "role" analyzed in turn using this video as a reference point:
(Role 1.) The Skeptic (or the Revisionist). The red-shirted lad, who identifies himself as Adam, presents key Revisionist arguments pretty well. He was born ca.2000. Depending on when exactly this video was recorded (see below), it could plausibly be 1998 to 2002. He also doesn't back down. He makes a mistake to immediately identify himself as a supporter of a certain political party, because the Holocaust Survivor uses that as a weapon to rhetorically bash him. Adam the Holocaust Dissident says openly that he worries about being prosecuted for Holocaust Denial for the comments he was making in this Q&A.
(Also note that all the students in the audience including Adam are from the right-side of the intelligence bell curve, as they are Gymnasium students, which is a university-track form of "high school;" in the usual European system non-university-bound teenagers attend other forms of "high school.")
One of the natural constituencies for Role 1 is the young man in his late teens and maybe early 20s, and beyond. Those willing to question anything and look into things will always be attracted to historical truth, but to actually play Role 1 in a social setting including a public and filmed one, takes courage if not foolishness given one risks prison or other punishments in many countries, including Slovakia.
The counter-strategy when a person like this pops up playing Role 1 is the dual strategy used by Role 2 and Role 3 players, a "Good Cop, Bad Cop" routine which I'll explain below.
(Role 2.) The Orthodoxy Enforcer. The role of the two Slovak men on the panel who initially field the question. One, in tan overcoat, comes off to me as a school authority. The other is thinner with glasses, maybe a teacher.
The silver-haired tan overcoat man says: "What do you mean when you say you have a different opinion on the Holocaust?" then "Oh, so you think the Holocaust didn't happen?" and then getting even worse with, "What would be good enough proof, to you, that the concentration camps existed?" (Adam replied, "If the lady says she saw with her own eyes that they were gassing people, or, for example, if you can show me one functional scheme that shows how the gas chambers would really work."
Tan Overcoat Silver-Haired Man shifts to other forms of proof: "Have you ever visited Auschwitz-Birkenau? It's close to our border." (Adam replies, "Yes, Osviencim." The man berates him for using the Polish term and says it must be called Auschwitz because it was a German death camp, not Polish.) "You saw nothing at Auschwitz that convinced you?"
Next he passes the mic to Thin Glasses Man, who flanks the Holocaust Survivor on the other side. Thin Glasses Man says, "I'd also pose a question to you. All those bodies that were pictured. What was that, according to you?" The red-shirted teenager Adam responds with reasonable points. Thin Man responds: "Did you see how skinny those people were?" Adam again responds reasonably. The Thin Man's third coherent point of argument is Adam should talk to his grandparents (possibly even great-grandparents, given Adam's age) who lived through the war because they really know what happened.
What are the motivations of the people who willingly embrace Role 2? Others are not necessarily Holocaust Zealots or even people who think much about it (Thin Glasses Man has seemingly never asked himself the most basic questions, why would there be starved bodies if they were all being gassed?) but end up by circumstance in Role 2.
(Role 3.) The Survivor. For her part in this game, Eva Mosnakova does well. Few could play the role better. If you watch the video you'll see the way she chooses to handle this three-person game. She does not attack him, but because of the roles played by her allied players in Role 2, she is able to play Good Cop, and takes pity on him for being misguided and falling for cheap lies of extremists and Deniers.
This has been a role with plenty of volunteers and opportunists filling its ranks for decades. There are not many now left and by 2030 there will be very, very few left. It's possible the inevitable victory of Holocaust Revisionism comes necessarily only after Role 3 in this "game" can no longer be played for lack of eligible people.
Time of recording: The video must have been recorded sometime between 2016 and 2019. Its upload date on this Youtube copy with English subtitles is dated November 2019 but a reference is made to "The People's Party - Our Slovakia." This party was formally organized in 2010 but only rose to prominence and national awareness with the populist wave across Europe of 2015-16 when it began to get impressive vote totals. (It retains its strength as of this writing. It mirrored the German AfD's political ascent and holding power of the same time.) I discount that this video could be from the early 2010s because the lad would not have referenced an obscure party in such a setting, but a known, breakthrough party which everyone present would know. This points entirely to post-2015.
Update: I believe the first reference to this event was one day after Holocaust Day in January 2019. If the time of recording was Holocaust Day 2019 (Jan. 27), Adam was born likely in 2001-2002. Holocaust Revisionism remains