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Are there really people who deny that the Holocaust, in which around six million Jews were deliberately murdered by the Nazis, never happened? If so, who are they, and why do they say it?

In Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It, authors Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman take an in-depth look at those who deny that the Holocaust -- called "The Holohoax" and other derogatory terms -- never happened, and provide profound insights into the deniers' psychology. While most authentic historians dismiss the deniers' claims about the Holocaust as antisemitic neo-Nazis who don't deserve a response, social scientist Michael Shermer and historian Alex Grobman have immersed themselves in the minds and culture of members of the Holocaust denial movement. The authors go much deeper than ever before not only in gaining and understanding of the motives of Holocaust deniers, but also in refuting the claims of the latter one by one. In the process, they show how we can be certain that the Holocaust happened as it did, and how we can confirm any historical event.

Shermer and Grobman investigate the free speech issues surrounding Holocaust denial and place them in the larger context of pseudohistory. They give an enthralling summary of the of the major personalities and organizations involved in Holocaust denial, revealing their personalities and motives. In their discussion of extremists, neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other fringe groups, the authors explore why people join such groups in the first place, examining the context in which Holocaust denial arises.

I've actually met some holocaust deniers in my time. Both from such interactions and in reading about that movement, including this book and several others, I've noticed several behavioral and psychological traits that stand out among them. First, there is a sort of emulation of the hyper-testosterone culture and psychology of the Nazis themselves that inspires those who embrace it to ridicule and even lash out in dangerous ways at any vestige of kindness, compassion, empathy, understanding, and true thoughtfulness among others. That is the sort of posture that often suckers adolescent males into getting involved in gangs that end up terrorizing people, a "looking for a fuehrer drive to find someone to look up to and emulate as some sort of superman. Second, they strongly tend to malignant narcissism, tuning out harm they inflict on others and practicing "blame the victim: attacks on real individual victims as well as victimized populations. Third, they lie a lot, both by omission and commission. I find all of that offensive as hell. Shermer and Grobman are much kinder than I would be to their subjects, or, at least, more civilized in their analyses and discussion of them. Their book would be an outstanding addition to the library of any social scientist, historian, or anyone else who really wants to learn about the horror of the Holocaust of the Jews, which burned an abyssal black hole in the heart of Europe that even now hasn't been healed, and the impact of that hellish phenomenon on all the history that has come after it.

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