The Internet is a wonderful source of information, but everyone can choose what information they want. Take for example the video that appears below, which was uploaded to YouTube this month. It gives a platform to an American high school student, who, as she would have it, discovered the "truth" about the Holocaust – that there was no systematic extermination of the Jews, who instead died of hunger and typhus due to Allied bombing raids. Claims that there were gas chambers are a blatant lie, and in fact, she says, the Nazi regime made efforts to save the lives of Jews during World War II.
The girl, identified as Jazzy, is a high school student from Southern California, and in the video clip, she appears as neither a polished spokesperson nor a rabble rouser. She came to her research from a different direction entirely. She had heard that the White House under President Barack Obama had plans to implant radio-frequency identification chips, RFIDs, in American citizens. The rumor was exposed as totally erroneous, but in pursuing it, Jazzy claimed to discover an even more sinister conspiracy – the "Holohoax," as they say on the Internet.
The video interview and the research project on which it was based were posted on Martin Hill's LibertyFight.com blog. Hill is a fervently religious libertarian American whose many interests include the conspiracy behind the attack on the World Trade Center, the fascism of the traffic police, the Catholic Church and the Freemasons. He has also shown a particular interest in Zionism. At the beginning of May, he reported that Israel was trying to take over the water supply of Texas.
Hill has noted that Jazzy's video clip, which has attracted 20,000 viewers, garnered unusual attention, and as a result, he will be posting another interview with her shortly.
Up to this point, Jazzy's shocking "discovery" about the Holocaust is totally marginal. It is no more than a grainy clip featuring a shy girl mumbling Holocaust denial with the level of confidence of a student trying to remember what she was taught in her last geography lesson. But her homework, which Jazzy says she got an "A" on, includes references – every teacher's dream. These allow us to track the path she took in her research into the anti-Semitic depths of the Internet. Nonetheless, it should be noted, anyone looking for vast underground wellsprings of anti-Semitism that will in the future flood the Internet will be disappointed.
Jazzy found the claim that Nazi SS Commander Ernst Kaltenbrunner invited the International Red Cross to the concentration camps out of concern for the lives of the Jews on the website of the Institute for Historical Review, a longtime Holocaust denial organization, established in 1978 by David McCalden, an alumnus of the British fascist right, and Willis Carto, a neo-Nazi. The group has issued publications and pamphlets in print, but in recent years, has focused on its website. The group published Richard Verall's book "Did Six Million Really Die?" which is available on the site and also provides information about how Jews got U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to support gay marriage.
In her video, Jazzy also claims there is no proof that Jews were gassed to death, perhaps the most well-known claim of Holocaust deniers. She says not a single body was found with signs of being gassed (and, incidentally, that the bodies of Jews were burned by the Nazis in an effort to eradicate typhus). That information comes from BibleBelievers.org.au, the website of an Australian church devoted to the second coming of Jesus, which has links to other corners of the Internet featuring a range of conspiracy-theory reports and research. Most of the websites deal with conspiracy theories, and at least one tracks earthquakes for those awaiting the end of the world.
Finally, there's Jazzy's bizarre claim that the number of Jews in the world did not decline as a result of the war. This one is linked to a Holocaust-denial blog and an article, believe it or not, called "Fun Facts – The Holohoax for Dummies." Oneof the fun facts is that Anne Frank's diary was written with a ballpoint pen – which was only invented after World War II.
Perusing these websites may be unsettling, but it still doesn't prompt concern about anti-Semitism going viral. On the contrary, it evokes a sense of pity. These organizations and the texts they produce are so off the wall that more than anything they seem to be cries for help. Hill warns that Facebook is owned by Jews and is blocking links to his website.
What is difficult to accept here is the case of an innocent high school girl whose only offense, it seems, is not having been taught to distinguish between good and bad information on the Internet. The truth is out there, and it's available at the click of a mouse. Someone just has to teach you what's worth clicking.
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