Mark Zuckerberg’s decision not to ban Holocaust deniers from Facebook or delete their posts is typical of the way in which allowing for the questioning of the Holcoaust’s very occurence has become a contemporary benchmark for “democratic tolerance” and even of ”intellectual freedom”.
Directly in its wake, the Holocaust was seen as the supreme instance of moral and criminal violation in the history of humankind; so much so that the adjucators of the Nuremberg war crime trials were often at a loss as to how to apply the law to a crime without precedent and for which no actual law as yet existed.
But that was then. Few today even know what the crimes were. Those who do are dying off and those who are coming could care less. The statistics of Americans who have never heard of Auschwitz or even know of the Holocaust are staggering.
According to National Public Radio, citing a recent survey conducted by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany: “41 percent of Americans and 66 percent of millennials don’t know what Auschwitz was… 41 percent of millennials believe that 2 million or fewer Jews died in the Holocaust (it was 6 million)… 22 percent of millennials say they haven’t even heard of the Holocaust.”
Those numbers grow daily.
An immense body of evidence for what occurred in the Holocaust exists in the form of taped survivor testimony, transcripts from war crime trials, footage of the death camps themselves, and an incredible array of historical studies and books. Yet such proof, evidentally, is not enough.
“Proof” carries weight only among those concerned with justice. But in the world we find ourselves in the very word “Justice” has become a contaminated distortion. Look at the spreading campaign, even among some Jews, to delegitimize Israel. History does not belong to a supreme council of human truth who preside over such matters. Proof derives its substance from the existence of a framework for Truth and in which Justice rests upon a dependable, recognizable and most of all, understandable consensus of ethicality.
But where do you see that at work in the world today? Truth is mocked and manipulated at the highest levels of global politics and culture, abetted by a growing plague of popular indifference and by sheer ignorance among the young.
How, with all our projects, museums, educational resources. this failure has transpired would require a hundred articles, a thousand discussions. But it is safe to say that humanity’s failure to derive and find application for the lessons of the Holocaust, the rush to post-modernize and Disnify what had actually happened – the unspeakable horrors of the European-wide, state-sponsored mass murder of six million Jewish men, women and children–into kitsch Hollywood films and comic books, museums and shameless academic theoretical wheelspinning has done its work.
Rather than to politically implement the lessons to be learned from the Holocaust at the highest levels of political and cultural pespective, instead these cosmetic gestures helped to relegate to irrelevance and indifference history’s most inconceivable crime.
Permitting Zuckerberg to get away with his egregious abetting of this process will only accelerate the creation of the kind of world in which the Holocaust proves nothing, means nothing, because no one is listening.