H&WC Section Rules

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
David Thompson
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H&WC Section Rules

Post by David Thompson » 05 Jul 2004 19:40


These expanded rules applies to all sections of the forum but the examples focus on the H&WC section, hence the title.

I. Policy and Purpose

The policy and general purpose of the forum is to provide for an exchange of views and facts on the topic, and to allow discussion of the different points of view. The viewpoints expressed by contributors to this forum are so divergent that general agreement on almost any aspect of the holocaust is unlikely and disagreement will be the rule.

Under these circumstances, in my opinion the best policy is to provide as many facts on the issue as possible, allow the contributors to state their point of view in a civil manner, and let the readers make up their own minds. To promote these purposes, there are rules:

II. Rules of the forum

When this forum was established in its present form on 9 Mar 2002, its creator posted these rules at viewtopic.php?p=5#5 :
* No insults are tolerated (that includes serious national and religious insults)
* No Holocaust denial is tolerated (note that this also applies to events such as the mass murders of Armenians during WWI and the interwar famine in the Ukraine)
* No racism is tolerated
* No glorifying of nazism/fascism or those dictatorships, or other totalitarian dictatorships, is tolerated
* Keep the message on topic
* When quoting from a book or site, please provide info on the source (and a link if it is a website)
* Using your real name as username, or at least signing your posts with your real first name is appreciated
* Enter at least your real continent as location in your profile
* Posting in the forum using more than one account is not tolerated
* Using anonymous proxies to access the forum is not tolerated

In answer to a question on the consequences of breaking one or more of these rules, Marcus Wendel responded:
Yes, you will be warned if you violate the guidelines and if you continue violating them you will be banned. I have the final say and when someone is banned I post a note about it in the forum. Everyone is free to comment on the decision but I have not so far changed my mind about a banning (it is such a definitive decision so I tend to give it a lot of thought before I resort to that).

A. Civility

The first rule of the forum is: "No insults are tolerated (that includes serious national and religious insults)." Personal remarks in posts are strongly discouraged, and personal insults are forbidden here.

There has been a lot of stimulating information exchanged on this forum, and some excellent discussions of controversial points. With few exceptions, the participants are thoughtful, serious people. If you find an argument is flawed, point out the flaws and the evidence to the contrary, and leave it at that. There is no need to resort to insults which do not prove your point. If you disagree with a contributor, please use your energy to show why his argument is mistaken. This will improve both the tone and quality of our discussions.

National and religious insults are forbidden by this first rule of the forum, and the third rule of the forum prohibits racist remarks and slang expressions for ethnic, national, religious or racial groups. Posts containing insulting generalizations about nationalities, ethnic groups, societies or religious groups and practices are not permitted here. This includes remarks about collective responsibility.

Nonconforming posts are subject to deletion without warning. Serious breaches of these rules are punishable by banning the poster.

If any reader feels that an offensive remark has been directed at him or at some national, racial, ethnic or religious group, and I have somehow missed it, please send me a PM directing my attention to the statement.

B. Holocaust Denial

Holocaust denial is not permitted by the second rule of this forum. The policy, and the reasons for it, may be seen at:
A note on denial

The essential aspects of the holocaust are well-known. They have been established through more than fifty years of court proceedings in a large number of countries. The evidence consists of eyewitness testimony from victims and bystanders, the confessions and admissions of perpetrators, photographs, an abundance of documents, physical evidence, forensic studies and judicial findings.

Legitimate questions may be raised about the veracity of individual witnesses or their motives, or isolated items of evidence, or matters of interpretation of policy, etc. These questions do not affect the fact that millions of persons were deliberately murdered, nor does it alter the cumulative and overwhelming evidence of who committed the murders.

The rules of this forum regarding holocaust denial also apply, for example, to the mass murders of Armenians during WWI, and the interwar famine in the Ukraine. It is permissible to question whether these and similar events were the result of a deliberate government policy, and legitimate questions may be raised about the veracity of individual witnesses or their motives, individual items of evidence, or matters of interpretation of policy, but it is not permissible to deny that the events occurred.

Nonconforming posts are subject to deletion without warning. Serious breaches of these rules are punishable by banning the poster.

C. Glorification of dictatorships

The fourth rule of the forum is "No glorifying of nazism/fascism or those dictatorships, or other totalitarian dictatorships, is tolerated." This should be self-explanatory.

Noncomplying posts are subject to deletion without warning.

D. Topicality

The fifth rule of the forum is: "Keep the message on topic." There are two aspects to this rule. The first involves topics which may be discussed in this section of the forum. The second involves staying on topic when posting to a thread.

Permissible subjects for this section of the forum are the holocaust and twentieth century war crimes. If a thread isn't discussing something related to those subjects, it's off-topic.

Although there are occasionally exceptions, the forum management tries to keep a thread on a single topic. This makes it easier for readers to follow, and for researchers to subsequently locate, the discussions. If a poster would like to see further discussion of off-topic matters, please raise the subject in a pre-existing thread on that topic or, if there are no pre-existing threads, on a separate thread.

Non-complying posts are subject to deletion after warning.

E. Questions, Claims and Proof

1. Questions

In the research sections of the forum, we ask the posters to be reasonably well-prepared, and not ask others for information which they could easily get for themselves. The purpose of these sections of the forum is to provide a place where historical matters can be intelligently discussed. It is not a research service.

Noncomplying posts are subject to deletion after warning.

If you have a question, please let the readers know what steps you have taken to answer it when you post the inquiry. This will eliminate misunderstandings and give responding posters a better idea of your familiarity with the subject

There are several excellent resources which should be consulted before posting a question. One of them is the massive collection of previous forum posts and threads. At the top of the thread index page of many of the research sections of the forum, there are a series of announcements and research "stickies" which may be helpful. In addition, the forum has an excellent search engine of its own at:


These FAQ announcements contain links to many topics which have frequently been discussed here in the H&WC section.

German and European Axis war crimes FAQs
Japanese War Crimes
Allied war crimes FAQs
The Laws of War

If a reader finds that there are pre-existing threads on the subject, we ask the readers to post there rather than start a new one. This makes it easier for subsequent readers to find and discuss the information they seek, rather than have to look through many different threads.

For off-site searches, the engine of choice is the Google advanced search page, which can be found at:


2. Claims and Proof

The sixth rule of the forum is: "When quoting from a book or site, please provide info on the source (and a link if it is a website)."

If a poster raises a question about the events, other posters may answer the question with evidence. If a poster stops asking questions and begins to express a point of view, he then becomes an advocate for that viewpoint. When a person becomes an advocate, he has the burden of providing evidence for his point of view. If he has no evidence, or doesn't provide it when asked, it is reasonable for the reader to conclude that his opinion or viewpoint is uninformed and may fairly be discounted or rejected.

Undocumented claims undercut the research purposes of this section of the forum. Consequently, it is required that proof be posted along with a claim. The main reason is that proof, evidence, facts, etc. improve the quality of discussions and information. A second reason is that inflammatory, groundless posts and threads attack, and do not promote, the scholarly purpose of this section of the forum. For more on this subject, see the announcement at viewtopic.php?p=990676#990676

This requirement applies to each specific claim. In the past, some posters have attempted to evade the proof requirement by resort to the following tactics, none of which are acceptable here:

A general reference to a website, or a book without page references; citations or links to racist websites; generalized citations to book reviews; and citations to unsourced, secondary articles or opinions.

Noncomplying posts are subject to deletion after warning.

3. Opinions

Since the purpose of this section of the forum is to exchange information and hold informed discussions about historical problems, posts which express unsolicited opinions without supporting facts and sources do not promote the purposes of the forum. Consequently, such posts are subject to deletion after a warning to the poster.

The same reasoning applies to opinion threads.

F. Miscellaneous

1. Discussions

The research sections of the forum are meant for persons who are fairly well-informed on the topics being discussed, and our discussions are not directed at the lowest common denominator of readership. Rural customs of discourse, such as feigned ignorance, pettifogging, playing at peek-a-boo, fact-free repartee, redundant and uninformative posts, and/or "stonewalling" denials of facts well-known to most informed persons, are strongly disfavored here.

The object of the research sections of the forum is to exchange information, not to engage in dim wrangling as a form of diversion. Our readers are intelligent people, who have already taken the time to inform themselves on the topic under discussion and don't have a lot of time to waste playing games. Shrill and highly polemical posts are also strongly disfavored.

2. Low forms of speech

We have intelligent readers here, so low forms of speech are unwelcome. We're trying to move past the lavatory wall stage in discussing historical problems. Noncomplying posts are subject to deletion after warning, and in extreme cases, to deletion with no warning at all.

3. Atrocity photographs

Atrocity photographs are not specifically covered in the forum rules. The policy here is, if the photos are "graphic," the contributor should post a link to the photographs, rather than the photographs themselves, so that the other viewers have a choice as to whether or not to take a look.

That leaves us with the question of what is "graphic." This is apparently discretionary with the moderator/host. Here's my view on it:

I don't care who is supposed to have committed the atrocities in the photographs. Whether the subject matter is Nazi, communist, ethnic, regional, racial, religious or any other type of atrocity, links and descriptions should be posted for the following classes of photographs and illustrations:

(a) Mutilated persons, alive or dead;

(b) Severed body parts, insufficient in themselves to constitute a person; and

(c) Dead persons who are not only dead, but who clearly appear to be the worse for wear.

There are specialty sites which cater to necro-voyeurs, but this isn't one of them. In case of doubt, ask first via private message.

Noncomplying posts will be deleted without warning.

4. Copyrights

The forum will not tolerate the use of either the posting mechanism or the private messenger system to violate existing copyright laws. Members who repeatedly post copyrighted material without proper attribution or otherwise use the forum to knowingly circumvent copyright laws, will be banned.


Helpful Tip: You can reference an individual post by clicking (or double-clicking) on the little file icon which appears on the "header" line. In a second or so the url to that specific post will appear, which you can then copy and paste to your post. There's a screen shot of the process at viewtopic.php?p=1629173#p1629173

Helpful Tip: When the Third Reich Forum became the Axis History forum, all of the old articles referenced before that time got out-of-date url addresses. The old links look like this: "Dresden Photos" at:


You can access any of the old articles referenced in links by changing the "www.thirdreichforum.com" element of the url address to "forum.axishistory.com", so that the link reads


Helpful Tip: To see cyrillic (Russian, Bulgarian etc.) characters correctly on a Windows IE browser:

While using the browser, Click "View" for dropdown menu, and check "Autoselect."
Click "View" again, and on the dropdown menu, click "More."
On the "More" dropdown menu, click "Cyrillic (Windows)."
Return to the internet site to view the text correctly.

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