HAMMONTON - Shining light on Holocaust denial and how to prevent it were the focuses of a talk on Sept. 21 at Stockton University Kramer Hall. The talk was presented by Rebekah Sabo.
She is a Stockton University student who is currently finishing up her bachelor’s degree in English literature and education, all while beginning her graduate courses in the university’s master’s program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
“I have always had an interest in the Holocaust, but a few courses in community college helped to deepen my interest,” said Sabo. Besides leading her into Holocaust and Genocide studies, Sabo’s interest also led her to STAND, a student-led movement to stop mass atrocities.
Sabo and other members of her STAND chapter began giving talks on genocide at the university’s Manheim campus and after receiving interest from different groups, they have been branching out from there. Sabo’s presentation focused specifically on Holocaust denial.
There are two types of Holocaust deniers.
The first type are the anti-Semitic organizations, the typical image that comes to mind when we think of Holocaust denial, said Sabo. These neo-Nazi groups explicitly deny the Holocaust happened and use violent means to enforce their point of view. They focus on passing their belief of white supremacy down through their families, making sure that the belief carries on to the next generation.
“There are a large number of these groups in New Jersey, specifically South Jersey,” said Sabo, much to the surprise of everyone in the room.
The second type of Holocaust deniers are the revisionists, Sabo said. Revisionists do not deny that the Holocaust happened, but rather that the facts are distorted and that not nearly as many people died as claimed.
Revisionists attempt to use a “scholarly approach” in order to make their claims sound legitimate. They believe that their views are simply a means of reevaluating the past. “In a way, they are more dangerous than those who opening deny the Holocaust happened because they manipulate information,” said Sabo.
She said that revisionists manipulate information so well that a classmate of hers in the Holocaust and Genocide studies program used one of their websites as a source without realizing anything was amiss.
“There are ways to prevent Holocaust denial though,” said Sabo. First, education on the Holocaust and Holocaust denial is essential. Next, raise awareness of the Holocaust and Holocaust denial. Lastly, provide a positive impact on future generations by making them aware of the Holocaust.
For more information on Stockton University’s Holocaust and Genocide Studies program, please visit www.stockton.edu. For more information on STAND, please visit www.standnow.org.