Seventy years ago today, the massed armies of the Third Reich poured across the Polish border, marking the official start of World War II. It would require nearly six years, millions of deaths, and the combined might of the Soviet Union, United States, Great Britain, and numerous other nations to bring the war to an end, with Hitler utterly defeated. I mark this occasion because of my interest in World War II history, the Holocaust, Holocaust denial, and because my heritage is Polish through my father’s side. Another thing that needs to be understood about September 1, 1939 is that it marked the date when the Holocaust kicked into high gear, because the invasion of Poland placed vast new tracts of land under Hitler’s control, and these tracts of land had large numbers of Jews, whom he hated. The repression and killing began virtually immediately and escalated even further after Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. Up until the war, the progressive repression, elimination of rights, exploitation, expulsion, and killing of Jews had been building relatively slowly, but war led to an exponential increase in the intensity of Hitler’s violence against the Jews. The war allowed repression to turn exterminationist.
The reason I bring this up is that the other day I saw the absolute dumbest example of Holocaust denial I’ve ever seen. Believe me, I’ve been in some of the deepest, darkest depths of Holocaust denial discussion boards, right in the heart of some of the nastiest, vilest, most despicable white power rangers, and I can’t recall anything this ignorant of history and brain dead at the same time. It’s also a perfect example of crank magnetism, in that he’s someone who’s very well known around ScienceBlogs for his creationist proclivities and is known to show up to troll the comments of several blogs when the topic of evolution comes up. His sheer crankitude surpasses that of even many anti-vaccine zealots that I encounter. (Hmmm. I wonder if he’s into anti-vaccine quackery and “alternative medicine,” too.)
Oh, god, the stupid so burns:
Reading about Larry Fafarman and his comments on Inglourious Basterds, I can only wonder if he is a graduate of a school in Sedalia, Missouri. The lack of critical thinking attributes could then be explained. (and yes, it is a terrible thing to generalize about a whole school district because of a few total outliers. But when the outliers are the ones running things, one has to wonder.)