SSC professor aims to debunk myths about Holocaust in book
By Jack Butterworth
Monday, April 19, 2004
PEABODY — Salem State College History Professor Christopher Mauriello had a warning for those attending the Holocaust Center Boston North’s annual Holocaust commemoration ceremony Sunday afternoon, especially the 14 local survivors of the persecution and murder of 6 million Jews that occurred from 1933-1945, which he called “one of the most important moments in history.”
Mauriello, who has a book in progress called “Nazi Myths,” said the Holocaust is undergoing in-depth study by historians — not the revisionists who deny the Holocaust ever happened, whom he dismissed with a wave of his hand — but by researchers whose findings may force the survivors and their families to let go of some of the feelings and memories they carry.
“There is anxiety about this,” he admitted, “but historians have to insist on accuracy in place of myths and misconceptions.” He said his talk and the myths he plans to bring forward are based on “consensus among historians” — in fact, he has asked German historians to review a draft of his book for accuracy.
He offered four popular myths about the Holocaust, which he has heard from students taking his course on the subject over the past seven years: Adolf Hitler and the Nazis invented anti-Semitism and brainwashed Germany with anti-Semitic propaganda; Hitler and the Nazis were dominated by the notion of a Master Race; Hitler’s evil imagination created the blueprint for the Holocaust; the Holocaust was run by a ruthless, technocratic, centralized Nazi regime.