Burying the Truth This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     “That never happened. It’s a myth, a hoax. You’ve been hearing these lies for so long you don’t even know what really happened.” This statement is blotted with blunt and persuasive possibilities. Imagine the speaker’s rhetoric was the denial of a pivotal and well-known event, like the Holocaust. It would appear absurd, ironically laughable. It may sound crazy, but some people are claiming just that. In an attempt to revise history, many have denied the reality of the Holocaust for their gain or out of bitter abhorrence; this is not only unjust but unacceptable.

Organizations have existed whose sole purpose is to challenge the reality of the Holocaust, including the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), which was founded in 1978. This group was composed of so-called professors, who in reality possessed no credibility, as well as writers without academic degrees. They spread their hateful anti-Semitic message in advertisements in college newspapers (and more recently on the Internet). Their main intent was to create a hateful undercurrent of propaganda against the Jewish people, to question the legitimacy of the killings of the Holocaust, to suggest that the event never occurred. After separating from its founder, the IHR canceled its ads and conference in 1996. Unfortunately, a recent and widely publicized event has shown that anti-Semitism and attempts to edit past events still exist, even today.

The most recent major media event was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling the Holocaust a “myth.” According to the BBC, Ahmadinejad stated, “If you [Europeans] committed this big crime, then why should the oppressed Palestine nation pay the price?” He made this extremist inquisition in an effort to remove the Jewish people from Israel and force them to establish their own territory. His belief is that the West should pay for their crimes.

Why would he voice such a slanted opinion? I think it is for the Iranian president’s own personal gain, like an older child watching a younger sibling, he wishes to hand off the burden. Similarly, Mr. Ahmadinejad called for Europe, the U.S., or Canada to set aside land for the Jewish state.

In reviewing the absurdity of these Holocaust denials, it’s easy to forget the countless reasons why they are so wrong. We cannot forget that lives were lost. The memories of the victims should be preserved. For the very same reasons we try not to forget deceased family members, we should remember the millions whose lives ended so brutally. If we choose not to remember, no one will. The Holocaust - 10 million deaths in total - could occur again if we forget and don’t work to stop senseless killing.

Denying the Holocaust is unjust, unacceptable, and worrisome because for all history, the perpetrators will be viewed with pity for being falsely accused of crimes. These people deserve no pity for what they did. If we attempt to rewrite history, we are cheating future generations of the truth. All of this reinforces why it’s so critical to document history as it happens and not to nullify or politicize atrocities.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Sunrise69Sunset said...
May 2, 2011 at 8:00 pm
Very well written! The way you write sends your point across. It clarifies it quickly and to the point. Your point is completely just and needed. No one in their right mind should dare forget or erase the holocaust. It's apart of society's history to show us how we can become and will become if we don't take heed of the insecurities and hatefulness of mankind.
SecretNonConformist said...
Jun. 13, 2010 at 7:50 am
Thank you for writing this! I'm glad someone would :)
YeseniaG said...
Apr. 11, 2009 at 3:34 pm
Good work. Your heart was definitely in the right place for this.
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