There is no subject in history more stark and serious than the Holocaust. According to some, during World War II, Nazi Germany put millions of people -- most of them Jewish -- into concentration camps and slated them for extermination. It is only right that schools teach our children about this grim event. But it is also right that schools teach that it may never have occurred.
There is a self-admittedly significant group of vocal individuals who argue vehemently that the Holocaust is nothing more than a fabrication by certain groups, meant to demonize innocent Nazis and bring sympathy to their supposed victims. They point out that it would have been very difficult to murder all of the Jews in Europe, and that Hitler would have had to be crazy to even think of trying it.
These "Holocaust revisionists" point out that the testimony of tens of thousands of "survivors" of the Nazi camps is purely anecdotal and therefore not compelling. They note that historians do not agree on the number of people who died in the Holocaust, and if historians cannot agree on the details of their theory, the whole theory must be called into question. Revisionists also gain some measure of legitimacy from the fact that some countries fear their view of history so much that they have made it illegal to even discuss.
But, some ask, why should our children be exposed to doubt about such an important subject? True, legitimate historians believe that the Holocaust occurred, but our children deserve the chance to weigh the evidence and make up their own minds instead of leaving such an important subject to the "experts." But how can young ones do that when the "fact" of the Holocaust is taught as an accepted historical truth, without giving equal weight to all of the questions and objections that revisionists have brought to the table?
Let's look at an example to illustrate this point. I think we all agree that creationism and critiques of evolution need to be part of every child's public-school education. Well, Holocaust revisionism has just as much right to be heard in our schools as creationism! Consider these similarities. Creationism and Holocaust revisionism are both:
There are also significant gaps in records of what happened to people during World War II. Historians might, for example, have evidence that a certain person lived in Poland, and evidence that this same person died in a concentration camp, but unless there are specific records of the route that person took to get to the camp, how can it be proven that he was sent there? It is agreed that mass graves were found, as were the remains of large ovens, and that there are thousands of photographs that seem to verify elements of the Holocaust theory, but really is this gargantuan mountain of evidence enough for us to conclude that the Holocaust happened with enough certainty to tell our children about it? Of course not.
It is a tragedy that our children are not allowed to see both sides of this argument, just as many schools shelter them from anti-evolution ideas. And even more tragic, what kind of a world would it be where children are brought up to believe that they are only a few bits of DNA different from animals and that something as awful as the Holocaust happened? Wouldn't you rather your children knew they are special, unique bits of creation, and that the world is and always has been, by and large, a safe, happy place? I know I would!