Holocaust denial

a Holocaust denial is the claim that the genocide of Jews during World War II — usually referred to as the Holocaust[1] — did not occur in the manner and to the extent described by current scholarship.

Key elements of this claim are the explicit or implicit rejection of the following: that the Nazi government had a policy of deliberately targeting Jews and people of Jewish ancestry for extermination as a people; that between five and seven million Jews[1] were systematically killed by the Nazis and their allies; and that genocide was carried out at extermination camps using tools of mass murder such as gas chambers.[2][3] Many Holocaust deniers do not accept the term "denial" as an appropriate description of their point of view, and use the term Holocaust revisionism instead.[4] Scholars, however, prefer the term "denial" to differentiate Holocaust deniers from legitimate historical revisionists who use established historical methodologies.[5]

Most Holocaust denial claims imply, or openly state, that the Holocaust is a hoax arising out of a deliberate Jewish conspiracy to advance the interest of Jews at the expense of other peoples.[6] For this reason, Holocaust denial is generally considered to be an antisemitic[7] conspiracy theory.[8] The methodologies of Holocaust deniers are often criticized as based on a predetermined conclusion that ignores extensive historical evidence to the contrary.[9]

Terminology: Holocaust denial or Holocaust revisionism?

The term "holocaust denial" is often objected to by the people to whom it is applied, who typically prefer "revisionism" or "revisionist".[4] Scholars believe that term to be deliberately misleading, however.[5] While historical revisionism is the re-examination of accepted history, with an eye towards updating it with newly discovered, more accurate, or less-biased information, "deniers" seek evidence to support a preconceived theory, omitting substantial facts.[10] Historical revisionism is an academic approach that holds that a given slice of history, as it has been traditionally told, may not be entirely accurate, and should hence be revised accordingly. Historical revisionism in this sense is a well-accepted and mainstream part of history studies, and it is applied to the study of the Holocaust as new facts emerge and change our understanding of it. A very different process unfolds when someone proceeds from the premise that a major element of human history is simply inaccurate, and ignores or routinely minimizes evidence that conflicts with that premise. History done in this way is not revisionism, but denial.[11] Because the term "revisionist" has become associated with Holocaust deniers, Holocaust historians today generally avoid using it to describe themselves, though they continue to study and revise opinions on aspects of the Holocaust. In the words of historian Donald Niewyk of Southern Methodist University:

"With the main features of the Holocaust clearly visible to all but the willfully blind, historians have turned their attention to aspects of the story for which the evidence is incomplete or ambiguous. These are not minor matters by any means, but turn on such issues as Hitler's role in the event, Jewish responses to persecution, and reactions by onlookers both inside and outside Nazi-controlled Europe."[12]


Holocaust denial is sometimes referred to as "negationism", from the French term Le négationnisme. Negationists attempt to rewrite history by minimizing, denying or simply ignoring essential facts. According to Koenraad Elst
"Negationism means the denial of historical crimes against humanity. It is not a reinterpretation of known facts, but the denial of known facts. The term negationism has gained currency as the name of a movement to deny a specific crime against humanity, the Nazi genocide on the Jews in 1941-45, also known as the holocaust (Greek: fire sacrifice) or the Shoah (Hebrew: disaster). Negationism is mostly identified with the effort at re-writing history in such a way that the fact of the Holocaust is omitted."[13]

Claims

The Holocaust
Early elements
Racial policy Nazi eugenics Nuremberg Laws Forced euthanasia Concentration camps (list)
Jews
Jews in Nazi Germany, 1933 to 1939
Pogroms: Kristallnacht Bucharest Dorohoi Iaşi Kaunas Jedwabne Lww
Ghettos: Warsaw Łdź Lww Krakw Budapest Theresienstadt Kovno Wilno Łachwa
Einsatzgruppen: Babi Yar Rumbula Ponary Odessa
Final Solution: Wannsee Aktion Reinhard
Extermination camps: Auschwitz Bełżec Chełmno Majdanek Sobibr Treblinka Jasenovac
Resistance: Jewish partisans Ghetto uprisings (Warsaw)
End of World War II: Death marches Berihah Displaced persons
Other victims
Polish and Soviet Slavs (Poles) Serbs Roma Homosexuals
Responsible parties
Nazi Germany: Hitler Eichmann Heydrich Himmler SS Gestapo SA Collaborators Aftermath: Nuremberg TrialsReparations Agreement between Israel and West Germany Denazification
Lists
Survivors Victims Rescuers
Resources
The Destruction of the European Jews
Phases of the Holocaust
Functionalism vs. intentionalism
    [ e]


The three key claims of Holocaust deniers are:[2][3]
  • The Nazis had no official policy or intention of exterminating Jews.
  • Nazis did not use gas chambers to mass murder Jews.
  • The figure of 5-6 million Jewish deaths is a gross exaggeration, and the actual number is an order of magnitude lower.
Other claims include the following:
  • Stories of the Holocaust were a myth initially created by the Allies of World War II to demonize Germans.[3] Jews spread this myth as part of a grander plot intended to enable the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, and now to garner continuing support for the state of Israel.[14]
  • Documentary evidence of the Holocaust, from photographs to the diary of Anne Frank, is fabricated.[3]
  • Survivor testimonies are filled with errors and inconsistencies, and are thus unreliable.[3]
  • Nazi confessions of war crimes were extracted through torture.[3]
  • The Nazi treatment of Jews was no different from what the Allies did to their enemies in World War II.[15]

Examination and criticism of the claims

Holocaust denial is widely viewed as failing to adhere to rules for the treatment of evidence, principles that mainstream historians (as well as scholars in other fields) regard as basic to rational inquiry.[16] The prevailing — and indeed virtually unanimous — consensus of mainstream scholars is that the evidence given by survivors, eyewitnesses, and contemporary historical accounts is overwhelming; that this evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the Holocaust occurred; and that it occurred as these sources say it occurred.

The existence and nature of the Holocaust was well-documented by the extremely bureaucratic German government itself.[17] It was further witnessed by the Allied forces who entered Germany and its associated Axis states towards the end of World War II. Among the evidence produced was film and stills that showed the existence of prisoner camps, as well as the testimony of those freed when the camps were entered. The Holocaust was a massive undertaking that lasted for years and was implemented across several countries, with its own command and control infrastructure, a bureaucracy that left a large trail of documentation. Although Nazi officials made attempts to destroy evidence of the Holocaust when it became evident that their defeat was imminent, substantial documentation remained. After the Nazi defeat, many documents were recovered, including numerous reports written by the Nazis about the number of Jews killed, records of train shipments of Jews to the camps, orders for tons of cyanide and other poisons, and large numbers of photographs and films of the camps and their victims. Many thousands of not-yet-decomposed bodies were found in mass graves located near facilities that were indisputably concentration camps. Thousands of interviews with survivors, perpetrators, and bystanders added to the massive level of documentation that attended the Holocaust. Diaries written by German anti-Nazis, such as Friedrich Kellner, not only confirm that the crimes took place, but also show the extent to which the average German was aware of the crimes.

According to researchers Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman, there is a "convergence of evidence" that proves that the Holocaust happened. This evidence includes:
  1. Written documents—hundreds of thousands of letters, memos, blueprints, orders, bills, speeches, articles, memoirs, and confessions.
  2. Eyewitness testimony—accounts from survivors, Jewish Sonderkommandos (who were forced to help load bodies from the gas chambers into the crematoria in exchange for the promise of survival), SS guards, commandants, local townspeople, and even high-ranking Nazis who spoke openly about the mass murder of the Jews
  3. Photographs—including official military and press photographs, civilian photographs, secret photographs taken by survivors, aerial photographs, German and Allied film footage, unofficial photographs taken by the German military.
  4. The camps themselves—concentration camps, work camps, and extermination camps that still exist in varying degrees of originality and reconstruction
  5. Inferential evidence—population demographics, reconstructed from the pre-World War II era; if six million Jews were not killed, what happened to them all?[18]


Much of the controversy surrounding the claims of Holocaust deniers centers on the methods used to present arguments that the Holocaust allegedly never happened as commonly accepted. Numerous accounts have been given by Holocaust deniers (including evidence presented in court cases) of claimed "facts" and "evidence"; however, independent research has shown these claims to be based upon flawed research, biased statements, or even deliberately falsified evidence. Opponents of Holocaust denial have compiled detailed accounts of numerous instances where this evidence has been altered or manufactured (see Nizkor Project and David Irving). Evidence presented by Holocaust deniers has consistently failed to stand up to scrutiny in courts of law (see Fred A. Leuchter), further calling into question its veracity.

Since the aim of Holocaust deniers is to prove that the Holocaust did not happen, there has been substantial debate on the right way to respond to deniers. Three schools of thought have evolved to deal with them.

First, many scholars worry that to debate Holocaust denial will legitimize it as a field of inquiry. This group thus refuses to recognize the veracity of denial scholarship.[19]

A second group of scholars, typified by historian Deborah Lipstadt, have tried to raise awareness of the methods and motivations of Holocaust denial, while trying not to legitimize the deniers themselves. Lipstadt explained her goals:
"We need not waste time or effort answering the deniers' contentions. It would be never-ending to respond to arguments posed by those who freely falsify findings, quote out of context and simply dismiss reams of testimony. Unlike true scholars, they have little, if any, respect for data or evidence. Their commitment is to an ideology and their 'findings' are shaped to support it."[20]


A third group, typified by the Nizkor Project, responds by confronting Holocaust denial head-on. They address the arguments and claims made by Holocaust denial groups by pointing out the errors of their evidence.[21]

History and development

Early examples

The first Holocaust deniers were the Nazis themselves. Historians have documented evidence that Heinrich Himmler instructed his camp commandants to destroy records, crematoria and other signs of mass extermination, as Germany's defeat became imminent and the Nazi leaders realized they would most likely be captured and brought to trial. Following the end of World War II, many of the former leaders of the SS left Germany and began using their propaganda skills to defend their actions (or, their critics contended, to rewrite history). Denial materials began to appear shortly after the war.[22]

Harry Elmer Barnes

Harry Elmer Barnes was at one time a mainstream historian with liberal credentials; he assumed a Holocaust-denial stance in the later years of his life. Between World War I and World War II, Barnes became well known as an anti-war writer and a leader in the historical revisionism movement. Following World War II, he became convinced that allegations made against Germany and Japan, including the holocaust, were wartime propaganda used to justify U.S. involvement in WWII.

Barnes' anti-war and mainstream historical revisionist writings are still held in high regard by some libertarians. Following the example of Barnes, a few other early libertarian writers also concerned with anti-war historical revisionism began to take a Holocaust-denial stance, including James J. Martin. Most libertarians, however—even those who otherwise hold Barnes' writings in high regard—reject his Holocaust denial.[23] Barnes' name has since been appropriated by some modern Holocaust deniers in an attempt to lend credibility to their cause, most notably Willis Carto.

The beginnings of the modern denial movement

Enlarge picture
The KKK: Nazi salute and Holocaust denial


A prominent early Holocaust denier was the American historian David Hoggan, whose 1961 book Der Erzwungene Krieg (The Forced War), though primarily concerned with the origins of World War II, also down-played or justified the effects of Nazi anti-Semitic measures in the pre-1939 period. Subsequently, Hoggan wrote one of the first books denying the Holocaust in 1969 entitled The Myth of the Six Million, which was published by the Noontide Press, a small Los Angeles publisher specializing in anti-Semitic literature.[24] Hoggan became one of the early stars of the Holocaust denial movement, because he had a number of university professorships.

The next denier was French historian Paul Rassinier who published The Drama of the European Jews in 1964. Rassinier was himself a concentration camp survivor (imprisoned in Buchenwald for his having helped French Jews escape the Nazis), and modern-day deniers continue to cite his works as scholarly research that questions the accepted facts of the Holocaust. Mainstream historians point out that since Buchenwald was not a mass extermination camp, it would have been impossible for him to witness any gassings. Critics argued that Rassinier did not cite evidence for his claims and ignored information that contradicted his assertions; he nevertheless remains influential in Holocaust denial circles for being one of the first deniers to propose that a vast Zionist/Allied/Soviet conspiracy faked the Holocaust, a theme that would be picked up in later years by other authors.[25]

The Holocaust denial movement further grew with the publication of Arthur Butz's The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The case against the presumed extermination of European Jewry in 1976. This book brought other similarly inclined individuals into the fold.[26] In December 1978 and January 1979, Robert Faurisson, a French professor of literature at the University of Lyon, published two letters in Le Monde claiming that the gas chambers used by the Nazis to exterminate the Jews did not exist. A colleague of Faurisson, Jean-Claude Pressac, who was initially a Holocaust denier like Faurisson, later became convinced of the Holocaust's evidence while investigating documents at Auschwitz in 1979. He published his conclusions along with much of the underlying evidence in his 1989 book, Auschwitz: Technique and operation of the gas chambers.[27]

Institute for Historical Review

In 1979 the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) was founded by Willis Carto as an organization dedicated to publicly challenging the "myth of the Holocaust." The IHR sought from the beginning to attempt to establish itself within the broad tradition of historical revisionism, by soliciting token supporters who were not from a neo-Nazi background such as James J. Martin and Samuel Edward Konkin III, and by promoting the writings of French socialist Paul Rassinier and American anti-war historian Harry Elmer Barnes to attempt to show that Holocaust denial had a broader base of support besides just neo-Nazis. The IHR brought most of Barnes' writings, which had been out of print since his death, back into print. However, most of IHR's supporters were neo-Nazis and anti-Semites. While IHR included articles on other topics and sold books by mainstream historians in its catalog, the majority of material published and distributed by IHR was devoted to questioning the facts surrounding the Holocaust.[28]

The IHR became one of the most important organizations devoted to Holocaust denial. In recent years the IHR underwent an internal power struggle which ousted Willis Carto. Under the subsequent leadership of Mark Weber, the IHR has taken on an even more explicit neo-Nazi orientation than it had under Carto. Carto went on to found the Barnes Review magazine after his ouster from IHR, a magazine which is also devoted to Holocaust denial.

In recent published articles, volunteer organizations monitoring hate groups have stated that Holocaust denial groups, such as the IHR, have been having difficulty finding supporters (and especially financial sponsors) in the United States. As a result, spokespersons for the IHR and other denial groups have been traveling to the Middle East in an attempt to forge closer ties with extremist groups there. IHR spokespersons have been reported to have met with persons suspected of involvement with terrorist groups.[29]

In an "About the IHR" statement on their website, the IHR states that "The Institute does not 'deny the Holocaust'."[30] The IHR journal, however, states:

"There is no dispute over the fact that large numbers of Jews were deported to concentration camps and ghettos, or that many Jews died or were killed during World War II. Revisionist scholars have presented evidence, which "exterminationists" have not been able to refute, showing that there was no German program to exterminate Europe's Jews, and that the estimate of six million Jewish wartime dead is an irresponsible exaggeration. The Holocaust — the alleged extermination of some six million Jews (most of them by gassing) — is a hoax and should be recognized as such by Christians and all informed, honest and truthful men everywhere."[31]


Commentators and historians have noted the misleading nature of statements by the IHR that they are not Holocaust deniers. Paul Rauber, a senior editor for the Sierra Club Magazine, writes that:
"The question [of whether the IHR denies the Holocaust] appears to turn on IHR's Humpty-Dumpty word game with the word Holocaust. According to Mark Weber, associate editor of the IHR's Journal of Historical Review [now Director of the IHR], "If by the 'Holocaust' you mean the political persecution of Jews, some scattered killings, if you mean a cruel thing that happened, no one denies that. But if one says that the 'Holocaust' means the systematic extermination of six to eight millions Jews in concentration camps, that's what we think there's not evidence for." That is, IHR doesn't deny that the Holocaust happened; they just deny that the word 'Holocaust' means what people customarily use it for."[32]


According to British historian of Germany Richard J. Evans:
"Like many individual Holocaust deniers, the Institute as a body denied that it was involved in Holocaust denial. It called this a 'smear' which was 'completely at variance with the facts' because 'revisionist scholars' such as Faurisson, Butz 'and bestselling British historian David Irving acknowledge that hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed and otherwise perished during the Second World War as a direct and indirect result of the harsh anti-Jewish policies of Germany and its allies'. But the concession that a relatively small number of Jews were killed was routinely used by Holocaust deniers to distract attention from the far more important fact of their refusal to admit that the figure ran into the millions, and that a large proportion of these victims were systematically murdered by gassing as well as by shooting."[33]

Bradley Smith and CODOH

In 1987, Bradley R. Smith founded a group called the "Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust". He is former media director of the "Institute for Historical Review" which is known to be a clearing house for Holocaust denial propaganda. In the United States, CODOH has repeatedly tried to place newspaper ads questioning whether the Holocaust happened, especially in college campus newspapers. These ads typically cause a stir on each campus, whether or not they are actually run in the campus newspaper. Some newspapers have accepted the ads, some have rejected them. No matter which decision the editors make, most papers run an editorial defending their decision either on free speech grounds or on the grounds that Smith's views are repugnant and rightfully kept out of the newspaper. During the early 1990s, CODOH's ad campaign attracted national controversy after many campus newspapers accepted the ads. This action became the subject of editorials in major newspapers such as The New York Times. Since 2000, CODOH's newspaper ad campaign has fallen into inactivity because most campus papers (with a few exceptions) reject the ads as a matter of course. Attempts to place the ads no longer generate the controversy they once did. Bradley Smith has more recently sought other avenues to promote Holocaust denial with little success. In June of 2007 the film "El Gran Tabu" ("The Great Taboo") by Bradley R. Smith has been presented ([1] on the festival "Corto Creativo 07" in Mexico.

James Keegstra


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In 1984, James Keegstra, a Canadian high-school teacher, was charged with denying the Holocaust and making anti-Semitic claims in his classroom as part of the course material. Keegstra and his lawyer, Doug Christie, argued that the section of the Criminal Code (now section 319{2}), is an infringement of the Charter of Rights (section 9{b}). The case was appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, where it was decided that the law he was convicted under did infringe on his freedom of expression, but it was a justified infringement. Keegstra was convicted, and fired from his job.[34]

The Zündel trials

Enlarge picture
Did Six Million Really Die? by Richard Harwood (also known as Richard Verrall). The Supreme Court of Canada found in 1992 that the book "misrepresented the work of historians, misquoted witnesses, fabricated evidence, and cited non-existent authorities."
''

Former Canadian resident Ernst Zündel operated a small-press publishing house called Samisdat Publishing, which published and distributed Holocaust-denial material such as Did Six Million Really Die? by Richard Harwood (a/k/a Richard Verrall - a British neo-Nazi leader). In 1985, he was tried and convicted under a "false news" law and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment by an Ontario court for "disseminating and publishing material denying the Holocaust." Zündel gained considerable notoriety after this conviction, and a number of free-speech activists stepped forward to defend his right to publish his opinion. His conviction was overturned in 1992 when the Supreme Court of Canada declared the "false news" law unconstitutional.[35]

Zündel has a Website, web-mastered by his wife Ingrid, which publicizes his viewpoints.[36] In January 2002, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal delivered a ruling in a complaint involving his website, in which it was found to be contravening the Canadian Human Rights Act. The court ordered Zündel to cease communicating hate messages. In February 2003, the American INS arrested him in Tennessee, USA, on an immigration violations matter, and few days later, Zündel was sent back to Canada, where he tried to gain refugee status. Zündel remained in prison until March 1, 2005, when he was deported to Germany and prosecuted for disseminating hate propaganda. On February 15 2007 Zündel was convicted on 14 counts of incitement under Germany's Volksverhetzung law, which bans the incitement of hatred against a minority of the population, and given the maximum sentence of five years in prison.[37]

Ken McVay and alt.revisionism

In the mid-1990s, the popularity of the Internet brought new international exposure to many organizations, including Holocaust deniers and other groups. A number of authority figures stated publicly that the Internet allowed hate groups to introduce their messages to a widespread audience, and it was feared that Holocaust denial would gain in popularity as a result. However, this was not the case, largely due to the efforts of Ken McVay and the participants in the Usenet newsgroup alt.revisionism.

McVay, a Canadian resident, was disturbed by the efforts of organizations like the Simon Wiesenthal Center to suppress the speech of the Holocaust deniers. On alt.revisionism he began a campaign of "truth, fact, and evidence," working with other participants on the newsgroup to uncover factual information about the Holocaust and counter the arguments of the deniers by proving them to be based upon misleading evidence, false statements, and outright lies. He founded the Nizkor Project to expose the activities of the Holocaust deniers, who responded to McVay with personal attacks and slander. McVay received a number of death threats, and the Nizkor Project soon became the number-one online foe of many Holocaust deniers.

Enlarge picture
Book cover: Denying The Holocaust.

David Irving and the Lipstadt libel case

In 1998, the British author[38] David Irving filed suit against American author Deborah Lipstadt and her publisher Penguin Books, claiming that Lipstadt had libeled him in her book Denying the Holocaust. The statements made by Lipstadt included the accusation that Irving deliberately twisted and misrepresented evidence to conform to his ideological viewpoint. Under English libel law, which seeks primarily to protect the reputation of an individual, Lipstadt and her publisher bore the full burden of demonstrating that they had not shown "reckless disregard" for the truth (as would be required in an American courtroom), and also that the statements made were either true or that there was sufficient reason to believe them so. In other words, under British law, Lipstadt and her publisher had to prove that Irving had denied the Holocaust, and that the Holocaust had, in fact, happened.[39]

Lipstadt and Penguin hired British lawyer Anthony Julius and Cambridge historian Richard J. Evans to present her case. Evans spent two years examining Irving's work, and presented evidence of Irving's misrepresentations, including evidence that Irving had knowingly used forged documents as source material. The judge in the case, Mr Justice Gray, was ultimately persuaded by the evidence presented by Evans and others, and delivered a long and decisive verdict in favor of Lipstadt that referred to Irving as a "Holocaust denier" and "right-wing pro-Nazi polemicist," and confirmed the accusations of Lipstadt and Evans.[40]

In 2006, Irving pleaded guilty to the charge of denying the Holocaust in Austria, where Holocaust denial is a crime and where an arrest warrant was issued based on speeches he made in 1989. Irving knew that the warrant had been issued and that he was banned from Austria, but chose to come to Austria anyway. After he was arrested, Irving claimed in his plea that he changed his opinions on the Holocaust, "I said that then based on my knowledge at the time, but by 1991 when I came across the Eichmann papers, I wasn't saying that anymore and I wouldn't say that now," Irving told the court. "The Nazis did murder millions of Jews." Upon hearing of Irving's sentence, Lipstadt said, "I am not happy when censorship wins, and I don't believe in winning battles via censorship… The way of fighting Holocaust deniers is with history and with truth."[41]

Recent developments and trends

In France, Holocaust denial has become more prominent in the 1990s as "negationism," though the movement has existed in ultra-left French politics since at least the sixties, led by figures such as Pierre Guillaume (who was involved in the bookshop La Vieille Taupe during the 1960s). Recently, elements of the extreme far left and extreme far right in France have begun to build on each others' negationist arguments, which often span beyond the Holocaust to cover a range of anti-Semitic views, incorporating Marxist critiques of "Jewish capitalists," attempts to tie the Holocaust to the Biblical massacre of the Canaanites, critiques of Zionism and other material fanning what has been called a "conspiratorial Judeo-phobia" designed to legitimize and "banalize" anti-Semitism.[42]

Recently the terms "Holocaust industry" and "Shoah business", have come into vogue among those who believe Jewish leaders use the Holocaust for financial and political gain. The term "Holocaust industry" was used as the title of a 2000 book by Norman Finkelstein, a Jew and the son of Holocaust survivors. Finkelstein fully accepts that the Holocaust occurred, but believes that its memory is being dishonestly exploited. However, his phrase has also been used by Holocaust deniers who believe the Holocaust was faked for the purpose of financial and political gain.

In Belgium in 2001, Roeland Raes, the ideologue and vice-president of one of the country's largest political parties, the Vlaams Belang (formerly named Vlaams Blok, Flemish Bloc), gave an interview on Dutch TV where he cast doubt over the number of Jews murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust. In the same interview he questioned the scale of the Nazis' use of gas chambers and the authenticity of Anne Frank's diary. In response to the media assault following the interview, Raes was forced to resign his position but vowed to remain active within the party.[43] Three years later, the Vlaams Blok was convicted of racism and chose to disband. Immediately afterwards, it legally reformed under the new name Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) with the same leaders and the same membership.[44]

Accusations of a Zionist conspiracy

Since 1960s, the Soviet Union promoted the allegation of secret ties between the Nazis and the Zionist leadership. The thesis of 1982 doctoral dissertation of Mahmoud Abbas, a co-founder of Fatah and one of the leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization, who earned his Ph.D. in history at the Moscow State Institute of Oriental Studies with Yevgeny Primakov being his thesis advisor, was "The Secret Connection between the Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement"[45][46] In his 1983 book The Other Face: The Secret Connection Between the Nazis and the Zionist Movement, based on the dissertation, Abbas wrote:

It seems that the interest of the Zionist movement, however, is to inflate this figure [of Holocaust deaths] so that their gains will be greater. This led them to emphasize this figure [six million] in order to gain the solidarity of international public opinion with Zionism. Many scholars have debated the figure of six million and reached stunning conclusions—fixing the number of Jewish victims at only a few hundred thousand."[47][48][49]


In his March, 2006 interview with Haaretz Abbas stated:

Insert the text of the quote here, without quotation marks.

Symposia on holocaust denial

Individuals from the Syrian and Iranian governments, as well as the Palestinian political group Hamas have recently published Holocaust denial statements.[50] Denials of the Holocaust have been regularly promoted by various Arab leaders and in various media throughout the Middle East.[51] In August 2002 the Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-up, an Arab League think-tank whose Chairman, Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahayan, served as Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, promoted a Holocaust denial symposium in Abu Dhabi.[52] Hamas leaders have also promoted Holocaust denial; Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi held that the Holocaust never occurred, that Zionists were behind the action of Nazis, and that Zionists funded Nazism. A press release by Hamas in April 2000 decried "the so-called Holocaust, which is an alleged and invented story with no basis"[53] Holocaust denial has also been resisted by prominent intellectual figures in the Arab world; in 2001, an outcry led by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, Lebanese writer Elias Khoury and others brought about the cancellation of a conference the negationist Institute for Historical Review had planned to hold in Beirut.[54]

Iran and President Ahmadinejad

Holocaust denial is relatively new to the Middle East, as Kenneth Jacobson, assistant national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in an interview with Haaretz: "Adopting the theories of Holocaust denial of Western scholars is a relatively new phenomenon in the Muslim world. The accepted attitude had been to say that whereas it was true the Holocaust had taken place, the Palestinians should not have to pay the price. A look at Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's statements shows that he has mixed the two approaches."[55]

In a December 2005 speech, Ahmadinejad said that the Holocaust was a fairy tale that had been promoted to protect Israel, ramping up his rhetoric and triggering a fresh wave of international denunciation. He said,
They have fabricated a legend under the name Massacre of the Jews, and they hold it higher than God himself, religion itself and the prophets themselves...(The West) deals very severely with those who deny this myth but does not do anything to those who deny God, religion, and the prophets.
He also called for Israel to be relocated to Germany, or Austria, arguing it was these nations that persecuted the Jews, so they ought to bear the responsibility, not Palestinians forsaking their land to form a nation of Israel. He also suggested relocating Israeli Jews to the United States.[56]

The remarks immediately provoked a blaze of international controversy as well as swift condemnation from government officials in Israel, Europe, and the United States. All six political parties in the German parliament signed a joint resolution condemning this Holocaust denial.[57]

Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal described Ahmadinejad's comments as "courageous" and stated that "...Muslim people will defend Iran because it voices what they have in their hearts, in particular the Palestinian people."[58] In the United States, the Muslim Public Affairs Council condemned Ahmadinejad's remarks.[59]

On April 24 2006, Ahmadinejad demanded a free evaluation of the real extent of the Holocaust "in order to find the ultimate truth."

In a May 30, 2006 interview with Der Spiegel, Ahmadinejad again questioned the Holocaust several times, insisting there were "two opinions" on it. When asked if the Holocaust was a myth, he responded "I will only accept something as truth if I am actually convinced of it".[60]

Some of Ahmadinejad's supporters even propose an alternative genocide. Based on the story reported in the Book of Esther, Iranian author and Holocaust denier Nasser Pourpirar claims that Purim was the original Holocaust during which Jews exterminated all the original people of what is now Iran and Iraq. He further claims that pre-15th century AD Iranian history is a Jewish fabrication to cover up that genocide in 6th century BC.

On December 11, 2006, the "International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust" opened, to widespread condemnation.[61] The conference, called for by and held at the behest of Ahmadinejad,[62] was widely described as a "Holocaust denial conference" or a "meeting of Holocaust deniers",[63] though Iran insisted it was not a Holocaust denial conference.[64] A few months before it opened, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi stated: "The Holocaust is not a sacred issue that one can't touch. I have visited the Nazi camps in Eastern Europe. I think it is exaggerated."[65] However Ali Akbar Velayati, the representative of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei, when asked in an interview "do you think the holocaust ever happened?" answered "Yes it did."[66] The same view was echoed by Javad Zarif, Iran's representative to the United Nations, on February 13, 2007, when he said "the Genocide of the Jews did happen, and it should not happen again."[67]

Public reactions

A number of public figures and scholars have spoken out against Holocaust denial. Dr. William Shulman, director of the Holocaust Research Center, described the denial "…as if these people [in the Holocaust] were killed twice",[68] a sentiment echoed by literary theorist Jean Baudrillard, who argued that "Forgetting the extermination is part of the extermination itself."[69] In 2006, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said: "Remembering is a necessary rebuke to those who say the Holocaust never happened or has been exaggerated. Holocaust denial is the work of bigots; we must reject their false claims whenever, wherever and by whomever they are made."[70] Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel calls the Holocaust "the most documented tragedy in recorded history. Never before has a tragedy elicited so much witness from the killers, from the victims and even from the bystanders—millions of pieces here in the museum what you have, all other museums, archives in the thousands, in the millions."[71] He made a similar statement on a special edition of the The Oprah Winfrey Show after his final trip to Auschwitz, along with host Oprah Winfrey.

In January 2007 the United Nations General Assembly condemned "without reservation any denial of the Holocaust", though Iran disassociated itself from the resolution.[72]

Laws against Holocaust denial

Holocaust denial is explicitly or implicitly illegal in 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Switzerland. Italy and the Netherlands have recently considered legislation but rejected such proposals in 2007 and 2006 respectively. Slovakia criminalized Holocaust denial in late 2001 but repealed the legislation in May 2005.

Many countries also have broader laws against libel or inciting racial hatred, as do a number of countries that do not specifically have laws against Holocaust denial, such as Canada and the United Kingdom. The Council of Europe's 2003 Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cyber Crime, concerning the criminalisation of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems includes an article 6 titled Denial, gross minimisation, approval or justification of genocide or crimes against humanity, though this does not have the status of law.

Of the countries that ban Holocaust denial, a number (Austria, Germany and Romania) were among the perpetrators of the Holocaust, and many of these also ban other elements associated with Nazism, such as Nazi symbols. Additionally, scholars have pointed out that countries that specifically ban Holocaust denial generally have legal systems that limit speech in other ways, such as banning hate speech. In the words of D. Guttenplan, this is a split between the "common law countries of the US, England and Wales, and former British colonies from the civil law countries of continental Europe and Scotland. In civil law countries the law is generally more proscriptive. Also under the civil law regime the judge acts more as an inquisitor, gathering and presenting evidence as well as interpreting it".[73]

Many Holocaust deniers claim their work should be protected by a universal right to free speech, and see these laws as a confirmation of their own beliefs, arguing that truth does not need to be legally enforced. However, the argument that laws punishing holocaust denial are incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights have been rejected by institutions of the Council of Europe (the European Commission of Human Rights,[74] the European Court of Human Rights[75]) and also by the United Nations Human Rights Committee.[76]

Some people who do not deny that the Holocaust occurred nevertheless oppose such restrictions of free speech, including, despite her legal battle with David Irving, Deborah Lipstadt. In fact, most historians oppose such laws, including Raul Hillberg, Richard Evans and Pierre Vidal-Naquet. Other prominent opponents of the laws are Timothy Garton Ash,[77] Christopher Hitchens, Peter Singer,[78] and Noam Chomsky. An uproar resulted when Serge Thion used one of Chomsky's essays without explicit permission as a foreword to a book of Holocaust denial essays (see Faurisson affair).

European Union

There is a strong push to criminalize denying the Holocaust in the EU. On 15 July 1996 the EU adopted the Joint action/96/443/JHA concerning action to combat racism and xenophobia which prohibits public denial of the crimes defined in Article 6 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal appended to the London Agreement of 8 April 1945, insofar as it includes behaviour which is contemptuous of, or degrading to, a group of persons defined by reference to colour, race, religion or national or ethnic origin.[79][80] During the German presidency there was an attempt to extend this ban.[81] This was blocked by Britain and the Nordic countries.[82] As a result the EU has not prohibited Holocaust denial outright, although a maximum term of three years in jail is optionally available to all member nations for "denying or grossly trivializing crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes."[83][84]

Other genocide denials

Main article: Genocide denial


Other acts of genocide have met similar attempts to deny and minimize, most notably the Armenian Genocide, which is denied by the Turkish Government, but also the Rwanda genocide and the Srebrenica genocide. Gregory H. Stanton, formerly of the US State Department and the founder of Genocide Watch, lists denial as the final stage of a genocide development: "Denial is the eighth stage that always follows a genocide. It is among the surest indicators of further genocidal massacres. The perpetrators of genocide dig up the mass graves, burn the bodies, try to cover up the evidence and intimidate the witnesses. They deny that they committed any crimes, and often blame what happened on the victims."[85]

Notable Holocaust deniers

See also

Notes

1. ^ Donald L Niewyk, The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust, Columbia University Press, 2000, p.45: "The Holocaust is commonly defined as the murder of more than 5,000,000 Jews by the Germans in World War II." Estimates by scholars range from 5.1 million to 7 million. See the appropriate section of the Holocaust article.
2. ^ Key elements of Holocaust denial:
  • "Before discussing how Holocaust denial constitutes a conspiracy theory, and how the theory is distinctly American, it is important to understand what is meant by the term "Holocaust denial." Holocaust deniers, or "revisionists," as they call themselves, question all three major points of definition of the Nazi Holocaust. First, they contend that, while mass murders of Jews did occur (although they dispute both the intentionality of such murders as well as the supposed deservedness of these killings), there was no official Nazi policy to murder Jews. Second, and perhaps most prominently, they contend that there were no homicidal gas chambers, particularly at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where mainstream historians believe over 1 million Jews were murdered, primarily in gas chambers. And third, Holocaust deniers contend that the death toll of European Jews during World War II was well below 6 million. Deniers float numbers anywhere between 300,000 and 1.5 million, as a general rule." Mathis, Andrew E. Holocaust Denial, a Definition, The Holocaust History Project, July 2, 2004. Retrieved December 18, 2006.
  • "In part III we directly address the three major foundations upon which Holocaust denial rests, including... the claim that gas chambers and crematoria were used not for mass extermination but rather for delousing clothing and disposing of people who died of disease and overwork; ... the claim that the six million figure is an exaggeration by an order of magnitude - that about six hundred thousand, not six million, died at the hands of the Nazis; ... the claim that there was no intention on the part of the Nazis to exterminate European Jewry and that the Holocaust was nothing more than the unfortunate by-produce of the vicissitudes of war." Michael Shermer & Alex Grobman. Denying History: : who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and why Do They Say It?, University of California Press, 2000, ISBN 0520234693, p. 3.
  • "Holocaust Denial: Claims that the mass extermination of the Jews by the Nazis never happened; that the number of Jewish losses has been greatly exaggerated; that the Holocaust was not systematic nor a result of an official policy; or simply that the Holocaust never took place." What is Holocaust Denial, Yad Vashem website, 2004. Retrieved December 18, 2006.
  • "Among the untruths routinely promoted are the claims that no gas chambers existed at Auschwitz, that only 600,000 Jews were killed rather than six million, and that Hitler had no murderous intentions toward Jews or other groups persecuted by his government." Holocaust Denial, Anti-Defamation League, 2001. Retrieved June 28, 2007.
    3. ^ "The kinds of assertions made in Holocaust-denial material include the following:
  • Several hundred thousand rather than approximately six million Jews died during the war.
  • Scientific evidence proves that gas chambers could not have been used to kill large numbers of people.
  • The Nazi command had a policy of deporting Jews, not exterminating them.
  • Some deliberate killings of Jews did occur, but were carried out by the peoples of Eastern Europe rather than the Nazis.
  • Jews died in camps of various kinds, but did so as the result of hunger and disease. The Holocaust is a myth created by the Allies for propaganda purposes, and subsequently nurtured by the Jews for their own ends.
  • Errors and inconsistencies in survivors’ testimonies point to their essential unreliability.
  • Alleged documentary evidence of the Holocaust, from photographs of concentration camp victims to Anne Frank’s diary, is fabricated.
  • The confessions of former Nazis to war crimes were extracted through torture." The nature of Holocaust denial: What is Holocaust denial?, JPR report #3, 2000. Retrieved December 18, 2006.
    4. ^ Refer to themselves as revisionists:
    • "Holocaust deniers often refer to themselves as ‘revisionists’, in an attempt to claim legitimacy for their activities." (The nature of Holocaust denial: What is Holocaust denial?, JPR report #3, 2000. Retrieved May 16, 2007)
    • "The deniers' selection of the name revisionist to describe themselves is indicative of their basic strategy of deceit and distortion and of their attempt to portray themselves as legitimate historians engaged in the traditional practice of illuminating the past." Deborah Lipstadt. Denying the Holocaust -- The Growing Assault onTruth and Memory, Penguin, 1993, ISBN 0-452-27274-2, p. 25.
    • "Dressing themselves in pseudo-academic garb, they have adopted the term "revisionism" in order to mask and legitimate their enterprise." Introduction: Denial as Anti-Semitism, "Holocaust Denial: An Online Guide to Exposing and Combating Anti-Semitic Propaganda", Anti-Defamation League, 2001. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
    • "Holocaust deniers often refer to themselves as ‘revisionists’, in an attempt to claim legitimacy for their activities." The nature of Holocaust denial: What is Holocaust denial?, JPR report #3, 2000. Retrieved May 16, 2007.
      5. ^ Denial vs. "revisionism":
    • "This is the phenomenon of what has come to be known as 'revisionism', 'negationism', or 'Holocaust denial,' whose main characteristic is either an outright rejection of the very veracity of the Nazi genocide of the Jews, or at least a concerted attempt to minimize both its scale and importance... It is just as crucial, however, to distinguish between the wholly objectionable politics of denial and the fully legitimate scholarly revision of previously accepted conventional interpretations of any historical event, including the Holocaust." Bartov, Omer. The Holocaust: Origins, Implementation and Aftermath, Routledge, pp.11-12. Bartov is John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History at the Watson Institute, and is regarded as one of the world's leading authorities on genocide ("Omer Bartov", The Watson Institute for International Studies).
    • "The two leading critical exposés of Holocaust denial in the United States were written by historians Deborah Lipstadt (1993) and Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman (2000). These scholars make a distinction between historical revisionism and denial. Revisionism, in their view, entails a refinement of existing knowledge about an historical event, not a denial of the event itself, that comes through the examination of new empirical evidence or a reexamination or reinterpretation of existing evidence. Legitimate historical revisionism acknowledges a "certain body of irrefutable evidence" or a "convergence of evidence" that suggest that an event - like the black plague, American slavery, or the Holocaust - did in fact occur (Lipstadt 1993:21; Shermer & Grobman 200:34). Denial, on the other hand, rejects the entire foundation of historical evidence..." Ronald J. Berger. Fathoming the Holocaust: A Social Problems Approach, Aldine Transaction, 2002, ISBN 0202306704, p. 154.
    • "At this time, in the mid-1970s, the specter of Holocaust Denial (masked as "revisionism") had begun to raise its head in Australia..." Bartrop, Paul R. "A Little More Understanding: The Experience of a Holocaust Educator in Australia" in Samuel Totten, Steven Leonard Jacobs, Paul R Bartrop. Teaching about the Holocaust, Praeger/Greenwood, 2004, p. xix. ISBN 0275982327
    • "Pierre Vidal-Naquet urges that denial of the Holocaust should not be called 'revisionism' because 'to deny history is not to revise it'. Les Assassins de la Memoire. Un Eichmann de papier et autres essays sur le revisionisme (The Assassins of Memory - A Paper-Eichmann and Other Essays on Revisionism) 15 (1987)." Cited in Roth, Stephen J. "Denial of the Holocaust as an Issue of Law" in the Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, Volume 23, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1993, ISBN 0792325818, p. 215.
    • "This essay describes, from a methodological perspective, some of the inherent flaws in the "revisionist" approach to the history of the Holocaust. It is not intended as a polemic, nor does it attempt to ascribe motives. Rather, it seeks to explain the fundamental error in the "revisionist" approach, as well as why that approach of necessity leaves no other choice. It concludes that "revisionism" is a misnomer because the facts do not accord with the position it puts forward and, more importantly, its methodology reverses the appropriate approach to historical investigation... "Revisionism" is obliged to deviate from the standard methodology of historical pursuit because it seeks to mold facts to fit a preconceived result, it denies events that have been objectively and empirically proved to have occurred, and because it works backward from the conclusion to the facts, thus necessitating the distortion and manipulation of those facts where they differ from the preordained conclusion (which they almost always do). In short, "revisionism" denies something that demonstrably happened, through methodological dishonesty." McFee, Gordon. "Why 'Revisionism' Isn't", The Holocaust History Project, May 15, 1999. Retrieved December 22, 2006.
    • "Crucial to understanding and combating Holocaust denial is a clear distinction between denial and revisionism. One of the more insidious and dangerous aspects of contemporary Holocaust denial, a la Arthur Butz, Bradley Smith and Greg Raven, is the fact that they attempt to present their work as reputable scholarship under the guise of 'historical revisionism.' The term 'revisionist' permeates their publications as descriptive of their motives, orientation and methodology. In fact, Holocaust denial is in no sense 'revisionism,' it is denial... Contemporary Holocaust deniers are not revisionists — not even neo-revisionists. They are Deniers. Their motivations stem from their neo-nazi political goals and their rampant antisemitism." Austin, Ben S. "Deniers in Revisionists Clothing", The Holocaust\Shoah Page, Middle Tennessee State University. Retrieved March 29, 2007.
    • "Holocaust denial can be a particularly insidious form of antisemitism precisely because it often tries to disguise itself as something quite different: as genuine scholarly debate (in the pages, for example, of the innocuous-sounding Journal for Historical Review). Holocaust deniers often refer to themselves as ‘revisionists’, in an attempt to claim legitimacy for their activities. There are, of course, a great many scholars engaged in historical debates about the Holocaust whose work should not be confused with the output of the Holocaust deniers. Debate continues about such subjects as, for example, the extent and nature of ordinary Germans’ involvement in and knowledge of the policy of genocide, and the timing of orders given for the extermination of the Jews. However, the valid endeavour of historical revisionism, which involves the re-interpretation of historical knowledge in the light of newly emerging evidence, is a very different task from that of claiming that the essential facts of the Holocaust, and the evidence for those facts, are fabrications." The nature of Holocaust denial: What is Holocaust denial?, JPR report #3, 2000. Retrieved May 16, 2007.
    • "The deniers' selection of the name revisionist to describe themselves is indicative of their basic strategy of deceit and distortion and of their attempt to portray themselves as legitimate historians engaged in the traditional practice of illuminating the past. For historians, in fact, the name revisionism has a resonance that is perfectly legitimate -- it recalls the controversial historical school known as World War I "revisionists," who argued that the Germans were unjustly held responsible for the war and that consequently the Versailles treaty was a politically misguided document based on a false premise. Thus the deniers link themselves to a specific historiographic tradition of reevaluating the past. Claiming the mantle of the World War I revisionists and denying they have any objective other than the dissemination of the truth constitute a tactical attempt to acquire an intellectual credibility that would otherwise elude them." Deborah Lipstadt. Denying the Holocaust -- The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, Penguin, 1993, ISBN 0-452-27274-2, p. 25.

    6. ^ A hoax designed to advance the interests of Jews:
    • "The title of App's major work on the Holocaust, The Six Million Swindle, is informative because it implies on its very own the existence of a conspiracy of Jews to perpetrate a hoax against non-Jews for monetary gain." Mathis, Andrew E. Holocaust Denial, a Definition, The Holocaust History Project, July 2, 2004. Retrieved May 16, 2007.
    • "Jews are thus depicted as manipulative and powerful conspirators who have fabricated myths of their own suffering for their own ends. According to the Holocaust deniers, by forging evidence and mounting a massive propaganda effort, the Jews have established their lies as ‘truth’ and reaped enormous rewards from doing so: for example, in making financial claims on Germany and acquiring international support for Israel." The nature of Holocaust denial: What is Holocaust denial?, JPR report #3, 2000. Retrieved May 16, 2007.
    • "Why, we might ask the deniers, if the Holocaust did not happen would any group concoct such a horrific story? Because, some deniers claim, there was a conspiracy by Zionists to exaggerate the plight of Jews during the war in order to finance the state of Israel through war reparations." Michael Shermer & Alex Grobman. Denying History: : who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and why Do They Say It?, University of California Press, 2000, ISBN 0520234693, p. 106.
    • "Since its inception in 1979, the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a California-based Holocaust denial organization founded by Willis Carto of Liberty Lobby, has promoted the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jews fabricated tales of their own genocide to manipulate the sympathies of the non-Jewish world." Antisemitism and Racism Country Reports: United States, Stephen Roth Institute, 2000. Retrieved May 17, 2007.
    • "The central assertion for the deniers is that Jews are not victims but victimizers. They 'stole' billions in reparations, destroyed Germany's good name by spreading the 'myth' of the Holocaust, and won international sympathy because of what they claimed had been done to them. In the paramount miscarriage of injustice, they used the world's sympathy to 'displace' another people so that the state of Israel could be established. This contention relating to the establishment of Israel is a linchpin of their argument." Deborah Lipstadt. Denying the Holocaust -- The Growing Assault onTruth and Memory, Penguin, 1993, ISBN 0-452-27274-2, p. 27.
    • "They [Holocaust deniers] picture a vast shadowy conspiracy that controls and manipulates the institutions of education, culture, the media and government in order to disseminate a pernicious mythology. The purpose of this Holocaust mythology, they assert, is the inculcation of a sense of guilt in the white, Western Christian world. Those who can make others feel guilty have power over them and can make them do their bidding. This power is used to advance an international Jewish agenda centered in the Zionist enterprise of the State of Israel." Introduction: Denial as Anti-Semitism, "Holocaust Denial: An Online Guide to Exposing and Combating Anti-Semitic Propaganda", Anti-Defamation League, 2001. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
    • "Deniers argue that the manufactured guilt and shame over a mythological Holocaust led to Western, specifically United States, support for the establishment and sustenance of the Israeli state — a sustenance that costs the American taxpayer over three billion dollars per year. They assert that American taxpayers have been and continue to be swindled..." Introduction: Denial as Anti-Semitism, "Holocaust Denial: An Online Guide to Exposing and Combating Anti-Semitic Propaganda", Anti-Defamation League, 2001. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
    • "The stress on Holocaust revisionism underscored the new anti-Semitic agenda gaining ground within the Klan movement. Holocaust denial refurbished conspiratorial anti-Semitism. Who else but the Jews had the media power to hoodwink unsuspecting masses with one of the greatest hoaxes in history? And for what motive? To promote the claims of the illegitimate state of Israel by making non-Jews feel guilty, of course." Lawrence N. Powell, Troubled Memory: Anne Levy, the Holocaust, and David Duke's Louisiana, University of North Carolina Press, 2000, ISBN 0807853747, p. 445.
      7. ^ Antisemitic:
    • "Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust)." Working Definition of Antisemitism. EUMC. Contemporary examples of antisemitism
    • "It would elevate their antisemitic ideology — which is what Holocaust denial is — to the level of responsible historiography — which it is not." Deborah Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust, ISBN 0-14-024157-4, p. 11.
    • "The denial of the Holocaust is among the most insidious forms of anti-Semitism..." Roth, Stephen J. "Denial of the Holocaust as an Issue of Law" in the Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, Volume 23, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1993, ISBN 0792325818, p. 215.
    • "Contemporary Holocaust deniers are not revisionists — not even neo-revisionists. They are Deniers. Their motivations stem from their neo-nazi political goals and their rampant antisemitism." Austin, Ben S. "Deniers in Revisionists Clothing", The Holocaust\Shoah Page, Middle Tennessee State University. Retrieved March 29, 2007.
    • "Holocaust denial can be a particularly insidious form of antisemitism precisely because it often tries to disguise itself as something quite different: as genuine scholarly debate (in the pages, for example, of the innocuous-sounding Journal for Historical Review)." The nature of Holocaust denial: What is Holocaust denial?, JPR report #3, 2000. Retrieved May 16, 2007.
    • "This books treats several of the myths that have made antisemitism so lethal... In addition to these historic myths, we also treat the new, maliciously manufactured myth of Holocaust denial, another groundless belief that is used to stir up Jew-hatred." Schweitzer, Frederick M. & Perry, Marvin. Anti-Semitism: myth and hate from antiquity to the present, Palgrave Macmillan, 2002, ISBN 0312165617, p. 3.
    • "One predictable strand of Arab Islamic antisemitism is Holocaust denial..." Schweitzer, Frederick M. & Perry, Marvin. Anti-Semitism: myth and hate from antiquity to the present, Palgrave Macmillan, 2002, ISBN 0312165617, p. 10.
    • "Anti-Semitism, in the form of Holocaust denial, had been experienced by just one teacher when working in a Catholic school with large numbers of Polish and Croatian students." Geoffrey Short, Carole Ann Reed. Issues in Holocaust Education, Ashgate Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0754642119, p. 71.
    • "Indeed, the task of organized antisemitism in the last decade of the century has been the establishment of Holocaust Revisionism - the denial that the Holocaust occurred." Stephen Trombley, "antisemitism", The Norton Dictionary of Modern Thought, W. W. Norton & Company, 1999, ISBN 0393046966, p. 40.
    • "After the Yom Kippur War an apparent reappearance of antisemitism in France troubled the tranquility of the community; there were several notorious terrorist attacks on synagogues, Holocaust revisionism appeared, and a new antisemitic political right tried to achieve respectability." Howard K. Wettstein, Diasporas and Exiles: Varieties of Jewish Identity, University of California Press, 2002, ISBN 0520228642, p. 169.
    • "Holocaust denial is a contemporary form of the classic anti-Semitic doctrine of the evil, manipulative and threatening world Jewish conspiracy." Introduction: Denial as Anti-Semitism, "Holocaust Denial: An Online Guide to Exposing and Combating Anti-Semitic Propaganda", Anti-Defamation League, 2001. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
    • "In a number of countries, in Europe as well as in the United States, the negation or gross minimization of the Nazi genocide of Jews has been the subject of books, essay and articles. Should their authors be protected by freedom of speech? The European answer has been in the negative: such writings are not only a perverse form of anti-semitism but also an aggression against the dead, their families, the survivors and society at large." Roger Errera, "Freedom of speech in Europe", in Georg Nolte, European and US Constitutionalism, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 0521854016, pp. 39-40.
    • "Particularly popular in Syria is Holocaust denial, another staple of Arab anti-Semitism that is sometimes coupled with overt sympathy for Nazi Germany." Efraim Karsh, Rethinking the Middle East, Routledge, 2003, ISBN 0714654183, p. 104.
    • "Holocaust denial is a new form of anti-Semitism, but one that hinges on age-old motifs." Dinah Shelton, Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, Macmillan Reference, 2005, p. 45.
    • "The stress on Holocaust revisionism underscored the new anti-Semitic agenda gaining ground within the Klan movement. Holocaust denial refurbished conspiratorial anti-Semitism. Who else but the Jews had the media power to hoodwink unsuspecting masses with one of the greatest hoaxes in history? And for what motive? To promote the claims of the illegitimate state of Israel by making non-Jews feel guilty, of course." Lawrence N. Powell, Troubled Memory: Anne Levy, the Holocaust, and David Duke's Louisiana, University of North Carolina Press, 2000, ISBN 0807853747, p. 445.
    • "Since its inception in 1979, the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a California-based Holocaust denial organization founded by Willis Carto of Liberty Lobby, has promoted the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jews fabricated tales of their own genocide to manipulate the sympathies of the non-Jewish world." Antisemitism and Racism Country Reports: United States, Stephen Roth Institute, 2000. Retrieved May 17, 2007.
    • "There is now a creeping, nasty wave of anti-Semitism ... insinuating itself into our political thought and rhetoric ... The history of the Arab world ... is disfigured ... by a whole series of outmoded and discredited ideas, of which the notion that the Jews never suffered and that the Holocaust is an obfuscatory confection created by the elders of Zion is one that is acquiring too much, far too much, currency." Edward Said, "A Desolation, and They Called it Peace" in Those who forget the past, Ron Rosenbaum (ed), Random House 2004, p. 518.
      8. ^ Conspiracy theory:
    • "While appearing on the surface as a rather arcane pseudo-scholarly challenge to the well-established record of Nazi genocide during the Second World War, Holocaust denial serves as a powerful conspiracy theory uniting otherwise disparate fringe groups..." Introduction: Denial as Anti-Semitism, "Holocaust Denial: An Online Guide to Exposing and Combating Anti-Semitic Propaganda", Anti-Defamation League, 2001. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
    • "Before discussing how Holocaust denial constitutes a conspiracy theory, and how the theory is distinctly American, it is important to understand what is meant by the term 'Holocaust denial.'" Mathis, Andrew E. Holocaust Denial, a Definition, The Holocaust History Project, July 2, 2004. Retrieved December 18, 2006.
    • "Since its inception in 1979, the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a California-based Holocaust denial organization founded by Willis Carto of Liberty Lobby, has promoted the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jews fabricated tales of their own genocide to manipulate the sympathies of the non-Jewish world." Antisemitism and Racism Country Reports: United States, Stephen Roth Institute, 2000. Retrieved May 17, 2007.

    9. ^

References

About Holocaust denial

  • Richard J. Evans, "In Defense of History", New York: Norton, 1999
  • Richard J. Evans, Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the David Irving Trial, Basic Books, 2002 (ISBN 0-465-02153-0). As well as the story of the Irving case, this is an excellent case study on historical research.
  • Charles Gray, The Irving Judgment, Penguin, 2000 (ISBN 0-14-029899-1). Actual text of the judgment in the Irving case.
  • Deborah Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, Plume (The Penguin Group), 1994. Debunking Holocaust revisionism.
  • Donald L. Niewyk, ed. "The Holocaust: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation", D.C. Heath and Company, 1992.
  • Robert Jan van Pelt, The Case for Auschwitz: Evidence from the Irving Trial. ISBN 0-253-34016-0
  • Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman, "Denying History Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why do they Say it?" University of California Press ISBN 0-520-23469-3
  • Michael Shermer, "Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of our Time", Freeman, New York 1997
  • Michael Shermer, “Holocaust Revisionism Update: David Cole Recants/David Irving Says Churchill Knew About Pearl Harbor.” Skeptic 6, no. 1 (1998): 23-25
  • Mr. Death, a documentary by Errol Morris.
  • "Syrian Holocaust Denial" by Mohammad Daoud, Syria Times September 6, 2000, retrieved November 8, 2005
  • "Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial in the Iranian Media" MEMRI Special Dispatch Series no 855, January 28, 2005, retrieved November 8, 2005
  • "Palestinian Holocaust Denial" Reuven Paz, Peacewatch 21 April 2000, retrieved November 8, 2005
  • Abbot A., "Holocaust Denial Research Disclaimed", Nature, 368, 1994
  • John C. Zimmerman, "Holocaust denial: demographics, testimonies, and ideologies" Lanham, Md., University Press of America, 2000
  • John C. Zimmerman, “Holocaust Denial.” Los Angeles Times, 16 January 2000, M4
  • Jean Claude Pressac: "Les carences et incohérences du Rapport Leuchter" «Jour J., la lettre télégraphique juive», 12 decembre 1988
  • Jean Claude Pressac, "Auschwitz: Technique and operation of the gas chambers", The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, New York 1989
  • Jean Claude Pressac "Les Crématoires d’Auschwitz: La Machinerie Du Meurtre De Masse", CNRS editions, Paris 1993
  • Pierre Vidal-Naquet, "Les assassins de la mémoire", La Découverte, Paris 1987
  • Pierre Vidal-Naquet, "Qui sont les assassins de la mémoire?
in Réflexions sur le génocide. Les juifs, la mémoire et le présent", tome III. La Découverte 1995.
  • Brigitte Bailer-Galanda, Wilhelm Lasek, "Amoklauf gegen die Wirklichkeit. NS-Verbrechen und revisionistische Geschichtsschreibung".Wien, 1992
  • George Wellers, "A propos du «Rapport Leuchter» et les chambres à gaz d’Auschwitz", "Le Monde Juif", 134, 1989
  • Till Bastian, "Auschwitz und die «Auschwitz-Lüge»". Massenmord und Geschichtsfälschung", Beck’sche Reihe München, 1994
  • Francesco Germinario, "Estranei alla democrazia. Negazionismo e antisemitismo nella destra radicale italiana" BFS Editore, Pisa 2001
  • Francesco Rotondi,"Luna di miele ad Auschwitz. Riflessioni sul negazionismo della Shoah", Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane, Napoli, 2005
  • Flores M., Storia, Verità e Giustizia, Mondadori, Milano 2001
  • Valentina Pisanty, "L’irritante questione delle camere a gas. Logica del negazionismo", Bompiani, Milano 1998
  • Ted Gottfried, "Deniers of the Holocaust: Who They Are, What They Do, Why They Do It", Brookfield Conn Twenty-First Century Books, 2001
  • Henry Rousso, "Le dossier Lyon III: le rapport sur le racisme et le négationnisme à l’université Jean-Moulin", Paris, 2004
  • Nadine Fresco "Les redresseurs de morts. Chambres à gaz: la bonne nouvelle. Comment on révise l'histoire", "Les Temps Modernes", 407, juin 1980
  • Nadine Fresco, "The Denial of the Dead On the Faurisson Affair" 1981
  • Georges Bensoussan "Négationnisme et antisionnisme: récurrences et convergences des discours du rejet", "Revue d'histoire de la Shoah", 166, mai-août 1999. Centre de documentation juive contemporaine 1999
  • Valérie Igounet, "Dossier «Les terroirs de l'extrême-droite»:
Un négationnisme stratégique",Le Monde diplomatique (mai 1998)
  • Pierre Bridonneau, "Oui, il faut parler des négationnistes", Éditions du Cerf 1997
  • Yehuda Bauer “A Past that Will Not Go Away.” In The Holocaust and History: The Known, the Unknown, the Disputed, and the Reexamined. Ed. Michael Berenbaum and Abraham J. Peck. Bloomington: Published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by Indiana University Press, 1998, 12-22
  • Alan L. Berger, “Holocaust Denial: Tempest in a Teapot, or Storm on the Horizon?” In Peace, in Deed: Essays in Honor of Harry James Cargas. Ed. Zev Garber and Richard Libowitz. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1998, 31-45.
  • Joseph Dan, “Four Ways of Holocaust Denial.” In Bruch und Kontinuität: Jüdisches Denken in der europäischen Geistesgeschichte. Ed. Eveline Goodman-Thau and Michael Daxner. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1995, 39-46
  • Patrick Finney “Ethics, Historical Relativism and Holocaust Denial.” Rethinking History 2 (1998): 359-369.
  • Jan Markiewicz, WOJCIECH Gubala, JERZY Labedz, "A Study of the Cyanide Compounds Content in the Walls of the Gas Chambers in the Former Auschwitz & Birkenau Concentration Camps", Z Zagadnien Sqdowych, XXX, 1994
  • Patrick finney, “Ethics, Historical Relativism and Holocaust Denial.” Rethinking History 2 (1998): 359-369.
  • Wayne Klein, “Truth’s Turning: History and the Holocaust.” In Postmodernism and the Holocaust. Ed. Alan Milchman and Alan Rosenberg. Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi, 1998, 53-83
  • Jonathan Petropoulos, “Holocaust Denial: A Generational Typology.” In Lessons and Legacies III: Memory, Memorialization, and Denial. Ed. Peter Hayes. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1999
  • Werner Wegner: "Keine Massenvergasungen in Auschwitz? Zur Kritik des Leuchter-Gutachtens", in: Die Schatten der Vergangenheit. Impulse zur Historisierung der Vergangenheit, hg. v. Uwe Backes, Eckhard Jesse und Rainer Zitelmann, Propyläen Verlag, Berlin 1990, S. 450 – 476, ISBN 3-549-07407-7
  • Jürgen Zarusky: "Leugnung des Holocaust. Die antisemitische Strategie nach Auschwitz. Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Schriften Aktuell – Amtliches Mitteilungsblatt". Jahrestagung 9./10. Nov.1999, Marburg. Auch als Internet-Veröffentlichung (pdf-Dokument) erhältlich.
  • Martin Finkenberger/Horst Junginger (Hrsg.): "Im Dienste der Lügen. Herbert Grabert (1901–1978) und seine Verlage". Aschaffenburg: Alibri-Verl., 2004. ISBN 3-932710-76-2.
  • Thomas Wandres: "Die Strafbarkeit des Auschwitz-Leugnens". Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-428-10055-7

By Holocaust deniers

External links

Examples of websites denying the Holocaust or parts thereof

Reports on and criticisms of Holocaust denial

Audio testimony of Holocaust survivors

Holocaust denial as state policy

Many historians and commentators criticise the claims of Holocaust denial. These arguments are twofold: criticisms of the investigatory and analytic methods of Holocaust deniers, and criticisms of their claims regarding the Holocaust.
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Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction of an ethnic, religious or national group. While precise definition varies among genocide scholars, the legal definition is found in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
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Historical Jewish languages
Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, others
Liturgical languages:
Hebrew and Aramaic
Predominant spoken languages:
The vernacular language of the home nation in the Diaspora, significantly including English, Hebrew, Yiddish, and
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Allied powers:
 Soviet Union
 United States
 United Kingdom
 China
 France
...et al. Axis powers:
 Germany
 Japan
 Italy
...et al.
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Scientific consensus is the collective judgment, position, and opinion of the community of scientists in a particular field of science at a particular time. Scientific consensus is not, by itself, a scientific argument, and is not part of the scientific method; however, the content
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The National Socialist German Workers Party (German: , or NSDAP, originally known as the DAP (this changed in 1920) and commonly known as the
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Historical Jewish languages
Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, others
Liturgical languages:
Hebrew and Aramaic
Predominant spoken languages:
The vernacular language of the home nation in the Diaspora, significantly including English, Hebrew, Yiddish, and
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Extermination camps were one type of facility that Nazi Germany built during World War II for the systematic killing of millions of people in what has become known as the Holocaust.
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Mass murder (massacre) is the act of murdering a large number of people, typically at the same time or over a relatively short period of time. Mass murder may be committed by individuals or organizations.
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A gas chamber is an apparatus for killing, consisting of a sealed chamber into which a poisonous or asphyxiant gas is introduced. The most commonly used poisonous agent is hydrogen cyanide; carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide have also been used.
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Historical revisionism is the attempt to change commonly held ideas about the past. In its legitimate form (see historical revisionism) it is the reexamination of historical facts, with an eye towards updating historical narratives with newly discovered, more accurate, or less
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Historical revisionism has both a legitimate academic use and a pejorative meaning.

Within the academic field of history, historical revisionism is the critical reexamination of historical facts, with an eye towards rewriting histories with newly discovered
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Methodology is defined as
  1. "the analysis of the principles of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline" or
  2. "the development of methods, to be applied within a discipline"
  3. "a particular procedure or set of procedures". [1].

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hoax is an attempt to trick an audience into believing that something false is real. There is often some material object (e.g., snake oil) involved which is actually a forgery; however, it is possible to perpetrate a hoax by making only true statements using unfamiliar wording or
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a

Antisemitism (alternatively spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism) is discrimination, hostility or prejudice directed at Jews.
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A conspiracy theory usually attributes the ultimate cause of an event or chain of events (usually political, social, pop cultural or historical events), or the concealment of such causes from public knowledge, to a secret, and often deceptive plot by a covert alliance of powerful
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Historical revisionism has both a legitimate academic use and a pejorative meaning.

Within the academic field of history, historical revisionism is the critical reexamination of historical facts, with an eye towards rewriting histories with newly discovered
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Southern Methodist University (commonly SMU) is a nationally recognized, private, coeducational university in University Park, Texas (an enclave of Dallas). Founded in 1911 by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, SMU currently operates campuses in Dallas, Plano, and Taos,
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Historical revisionism is the attempt to change commonly held ideas about the past. In its legitimate form (see historical revisionism) it is the reexamination of historical facts, with an eye towards updating historical narratives with newly discovered, more accurate, or less
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Koenraad Elst is a Belgian writer and orientalist (without institutional affiliation). He has authored fifteen books on topics related to Hinduism, Indian history, and Indian politics.
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The racial policy of Nazi Germany refers to the policies and laws implemented by Nazi Germany, asserting the superiority of the so-called "Aryan race" and based on a specific racist doctrine which claimed scientific legitimacy.
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Nazi eugenics pertains to Nazi Germany's race based social policies that placed the improvement of the race through eugenics at the center of their concerns and targeted those humans they identified as "life unworthy of life" (German Lebensunwertes Leben
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The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 were denaturalization laws passed in Nazi Germany. They used a pseudoscientific basis for racial discrimination against Jews. People with 4 German grandparents (white circles on the chart) were of "German blood", while people were classified as Jews if
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Action T4 (German: Aktion T4) was a program in Nazi Germany officially between 1939 and 1941, during which the regime of Adolf Hitler systematically killed between 75,000 to 250,000 people with intellectual or physical disabilities.
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concentration camps (Konzentrationslager, abbreviated KZ or KL) throughout the territories it controlled. In these camps, millions of prisoners were killed through mistreatment, disease, starvation, and overwork, or were executed as unfit for labor.
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Extermination camps are marked with pink, while major concentration camps of other types are marked with blue.

Camp Name Country (today) Camp Type In use Est. prisoners Est.
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World War II in known as one of the most tragic periods in the Jewish history.

In Nazi-occupied Europe

Main article: The Holocaust

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Kristallnacht, also known as Reichskristallnacht, Pogromnacht, Crystal Night and the Night of Broken Glass, was a pogrom[1] against Jews throughout Germany and parts of Austria on November 9–November 10, 1938.
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