What Do We Mean Both Sides of the Holocaust?

PLEASE NOTE: TRIGGER WARNING: THE HOLOCAUST AND GENOCIDE AND ANTI-LGBTQ THOUGHTS ARE DISCUSSED IN THIS POST

Several weeks ago, I took my youngest child (13) to downtown Dallas and stumbled on the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum. So we made an impulse decision, and we went to the museum. I am very aware that there has been a lot of discussion in the news about “teaching both sides” of the Holocaust. At the time, I was also listening to The Assignment by Liza Weimer and she was hearing snippets of that as well.

The first thing that stood out to me in the museum is just the mountains of primary resources we have regarding the Holocaust. A primary resource is an original document or object that takes place in the specific time period and is a gold standard of resource in part because it’s not someone’s interpretation of an interpretation of events, but a document of a time and a place as it happened. There is a ton of documentation about the atrocities of the Holocaust in part because the Nazis themselves were in fact incredibly proud of their tactics and documented it. There are newsreels of large crowds doing the Heil Hitler salute. There are written laws. Letters. And photos. So many photos. There is so much primary documentation that it is impossible to deny that the Holocaust happened. Make no mistake, I understand that many do try to deny this, but seeing the abundance of primary resources it’s hard to understand how they could even try.