Combating Holocaust denial
June brought a change from our usual scientific skepticism with an insightful talk from history teacher Duane Galle on refuting Holocaust revisionism. Following a detailed discussion of historical and contemporary antisemitism and denialism, Duane broke the undeniable proof of the atrocities of the Holocaust into categories and thoroughly examined the cogency of documents, testimonies, and archaeological evidence.
The documentary evidence of the Holocaust included contemporary Jewish and Nazi writings, and transcripts from war crimes trials. Reports from conferences coordinating operations and transcripts of Nazi speeches attest to its brutality, while photographs, diaries, and survivor video testimonies substantiate the enormity of the trauma experienced by the European Jewish community.
Archaeological evidence provides not only proof of the murders but also an insight into the psychology behind their proceedings. Evidence in this category includes remains of camps and the mass graves of Eastern Europe.
Duane concluded his talk with an outline of denialist motives and revisionist tactics, as well as a discussion of the issues of modern culture that shape perspectives of the Holocaust, including fashion retailers capitalising on concentration camp imagery and popular media that reinforces antisemitic attitudes.
Additional Resources and Reading:
About the speaker:
History teacher, Banora Point High School
Originally from Sydney, Duane has been a high school history teacher in Northern NSW for over 15 years. In 2013 he won a Gandel Philanthropy Holocaust Education scholarship for Australian Teachers, and travelled to Israel for 3 weeks to study Holocaust Education through Yad Vashem (the World Holocaust Memorial Centre). Since his return, Duane has worked to promote Holocaust education throughout Australia with a focus on combating Holocaust denial and the resurgence of modern antisemitism.