The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Notes on a Discourse Analysis
of Selected Zündelsite Materials
(Part 13 of 13)


In assessing the materials, I have treated the three documents "Did Six Million Really Die?, "66 Questions and Answers on the Holocaust", and "Jewish Soap" as a conceptual framework which is used to establish a particular perspective on the nature of the Holocaust, the duplicity of Jews, and the victimization of Germans. Such a perspective provides a body of shared information and attitudes which inform the interpretation of the later passages.

Several recurrent devices are employed within many of the passages, including, (a) the use of epithets such as Jewish Lobby, Holocaust Lobby, Zionist Lobby, and Israeli Lobby to single out Jews as a special group, (b) the use of what have been called scare quotes (quotation marks around a particular term which is in fact not treated as a quotation) to express the writer's disbelief in some particular event or attitude ("victims", "Holocaust", "forgery", etc.); (c) the use of stipulation without warrant in place of argument, (d) the use of syntactic and discourse devices such as agentless passives, topic continuity, anaphoric assignment, and pragmatic principles to lead the reader to construct a negative complex of attributes associated with Jews.

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The writers employ a variety of rhetorical strategies to advance their positions. One of the commonest is a four-step targeting strategy in which the authors (a) single out Jews as an Identifiable group, (b) attribute to Jews as a group a series of negative characteristics (criminals, evil manipulators, extortionists, assassins, etc.), (c) claim to be exposing the facts of (b), and finally, (d) on the basis of such "exposure", invite the reader to target Jews as an identifiable group and attribute to them negative, criminal, etc. characteristics. In executing the targeting strategy, the writers typically heap abuse upon both Jews and also those others who, the writers claim, are controlled by Jews.

Another common strategy is one of inversion, in which a particular expression with its commonly held meaning is inverted, such that its meaning changes to its opposite. This strategy is frequently found in instances in which victims of the Holocaust are labelled with scare quotes ("victims", "survivors", etc.), and then are portrayed as aggressors, while the original aggressors become the victims.

Another strategy, the alibi strategy, involves the equivocal use of words, wherein important terms and expressions are given a special, often restrictive definition in one location and then are used subsequently and without notice in a different, often broader, meaning. This device is used with words like "Holocaust", "survivor", and "Zionists" to support logically untenable and misleading conclusions.

Also frequently used is the code strategy, which employs the use of metaphor and establishes a series of expressions laden with negative associations in order to construct a network of interrelated and often interchangeable terms. Thus, terms such as Jewish (or Zionist or Israeli) Holocaust Lobby are found in association with expressions like parasite, unscrupulous, noisy, whining, etc., creating a complex entity with negative attributes.

The metonymy strategy is one in which the attributes of a particular instance are projected upon the superordinate category. This is especially striking in the "Jewish Soap" text. Thus, when some particular attributes are associated with a particular instance, those attributes are then inferentially projected to the superordinate set containing that metonym.

Anti-Semitism is found laced throughout the passages. The warrants offered by the writers for their anti-Semitic position are typically those which play upon highly negative stereotyping. Included among those are: (a) Jews are not victims, but victimizers of Germans and others, (b) Jews as a group are deliberately attempting to undermine (some vague and unspecified notion of) "Western civilization culture/etc.", (c) Jews do not know their proper social position; they meddle and interfere in their betters' business, (d) Jews are unscrupulous and avaricious in their striving for financial gain and for political and economic power, (e) the Holocaust is a Jewish propaganda activity and never really took place, (f) Jews as an identifiable group engage in massive criminal activity, (g) non-Jewish peoples and cultures must fight against all Jewish

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activities and (h) the real victims of WW II were the Nazis, who had reasonable, rational, and civilized policies toward Jews and other minorities.

These analyses lead to the conclusion that the writers of the passages have in numerous instances singled out Jews as a special, identifiable group. Moreover this group is asserted to possess highly negative and criminal attributes as a group, thereby targeting the group for, e.g., hatred, revulsion, contempt, and loathing. In some passages, overt threats of violence are uttered toward Jews as a group.

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