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Holocaust denial / History / Auschwitz-Birkenau

Denial of the Holocaust and the genocide in Auschwitz

The concealment of the crime and removal of evidence by the perpetrators

Despite the fact that the tens of thousands of prisoners who survived Auschwitz were witnesses to the crimes committed there; despite the fact that they left behind thousands of depositions, accounts, and memoirs; despite the fact that considerable quantities of documents, photographs, and material objects remain from the campdespite all of this, there are people and organizations who deny that hundreds of thousands of people were murdered in this camp, that gas chambers operated there, or that the crematoria could burn several thousand corpses per day. In other words, they deny that Auschwitz was the scene of genocide.

Auschwitz is, in many ways, the main target of attacks by deniers, yet the denial of genocide, the existence of the gas chambers, and mass murder nevertheless extends to all the camps, the death camps, and, generally, the mass killing of the Jews.

The scale of this phenomena and its social harmfulness have been acknowledged in many countries as a threat to the social order and made punishable under the law. The legal procedures launched every so often against the deniers prove that the problem is real. It a problem not only for public prosecutors, but also a challenge for historians and educational institutions.

There is nothing new about denial of the crime of genocide or silence about genocide. From the beginning of the war, mainly for political reasons, the Nazis themselves did everything they could to keep international public opinion, and above all the Allied and neutral countries, but also the potential victims, in the dark about the extermination of people in the occupied countries.

Among themselves, however, the narrow circle of the Nazi ruling elite did not conceal these criminal acts.

Addressing high ranking officers in Pozna on October 4, 1943, Himmler, the head of the German police and the SS, said that Most of you here know what it means when 100 corpses lie next to each other, when 500 lie there. . .. This is an honor roll in our history which has never been and never will be put in writing (IMT translation).

What did the Nazis do to conceal the crime they had committed? What did they do so that this honor roll in our historyor roll of shamewould never be put in writing?

First: they limited the written record of their crime to a minimum;

Second: they falsified the record, to the degree that technical and organizations made its existence necessary;

Third: they destroyed the superfluous and the most incriminating part of the record, once it had served its purpose, in the final phase of the Third Reich. They destroyed not only documents. They also destroyed the mass killing apparatus and liquidated the witnesses.

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About the Holocaust Denial on Trial Project | Holocaust …

Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt is Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta.

Lipstadt was a historical consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and helped design the section of the Museum dedicated to the American Response to the Holocaust. On April 11, 2011, the 50th anniversary of the start of the Eichmann trial, Lipstadt gave a public address at the State Department on the impact of the trial.

She has held and currently holds a presidential appointment to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council (from Presidents Clinton and Obama) and was asked by President George W. Bush to represent the White House at the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

In addition to Denying the Holocaust andDenial: History on Trial, Lipstadt has authored several books.Her fifth book, Holocaust: An American Understanding, was recently released by Rutgers University Press.

Her previous book, The Eichmann Trial, (Schocken/Nextbook Series) commemoratesthe 50th anniversary of the Eichmann trial.Publishers Weekly,called it a penetrating and authoritative dissection of a landmark case and its aftereffects. The New York Times Book Review described Lipstadt as having done a great service by [ . . . ] recovering the event as a gripping legal drama, as well as a hinge moment in Israels history and in the worlds delayed awakening to the magnitude of the Holocaust. The Wall Street Journal described the book as a thoughtfully researched and clearly written account of the courtroom proceedings and of the debates spurred by the trial.

She has also published Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust(Free Press, 1986), which surveys what the American press wrote about the persecution of the Jews in the years 19331945.

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Holocaust | What is Holocaust denial? – Projet ALADIN

Holocaust denial is the belief that the Holocaust did not occur as it is described by mainstream historiography.

Key elements of this belief are the explicit or implicit rejection that, in the Holocaust:

In addition, most Holocaust denial implies, or openly states, that the current mainstream understanding of the Holocaust is the result of a deliberate Jewish conspiracy created to advance the interest of Jews at the expense of other nations.

Most historians and scholars reject Holocaust denial as “grounded in hatred, rather than any accepted standards of assertion, evidence, and truth” and a “pseudoscience” that “rejects the entire foundation of historical evidence,” instead motivated by an anti-Semitic ideology.

Some of the most prominent representatives of Holocaust deniers have been shown in court to have a pattern of falsifying historical documents (e.g. David Irving) or deliberately misrepresenting historical data (e.g. Ernst Zndel). This history of Holocaust deniers distorting, ignoring, or misusing historical records has led to almost universal condemnation of the techniques and conclusions of Holocaust denial, with organizations such as the American Historical Association, the largest society of historians in the United States, stating that Holocaust denial is “at best, a form of academic fraud.”

Similarly, Public Opinion Quarterly, summarizing the work on the subject done by a range of historians including Jaroff, Lipstadt, Riech, Ryback, Shapiro, Vidal-Naquet, Weimann, and Winn concludes “No reputable historian questions the reality of the Holocaust, and those promoting Holocaust denial are overwhelmingly anti-Semites and/or neo-Nazis.”

Many Holocaust deniers insist that they do not deny the Holocaust, preferring to be called “Holocaust revisionists”. They are nevertheless commonly labeled as “Holocaust deniers” to differentiate them from historical revisionists and because their goal is to deny the existence of the Holocaust, as it is commonly understood, rather than honestly using historical evidence and methodology to examine the event.

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Survivors speak at The Last Bookstore, despite online harassment – Jewish Journal

Despite online harassment by an alt-right provocateur, two Holocaust survivors told their stories of triumph over evil, as planned, to a standing-room-only crowd at The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 19.

The appearance by Robert Geminder and Gabriella Karin came 11 days after a person who writes under the name Johnny Benitez posted a Facebook link for the event with the tagline: Who wants to bet money this is another white guilt push. Lesson 1: white people are bad and its good theyre an ever increasing minority.

After the events organizer, Jennifer Brack, told Benitez he was not welcome, Benitez whose real name is Juan Cadavid, according to a report by the OC Weekly posted a video encouraging his followers to attend the event.

At the advice of the Anti-Defamation League, Brack hired a pair of armed guards and proceeded with the event, the third in a series called Lessons of the Past, survivor speaker engagements organized by Brack with the help of the American Society for Yad Vashem.

The audience of about 300 people, who sat on folding chairs and the floor, was attentive, respectful and engaged. And after Geminder and Karin spoke, a long line formed with well-wishers who praised their eloquence and courage.

People more than ever these days want to hear survivors, Karin told the Journal before she spoke. They want reassurance that people will go out and speak in spite of the threats.

Karin, 86, and Geminder, 82, are a couple. They began dating in 2015 after both had lost their spouses to illness years before. They briefly wondered how they should proceed with the speaking event after they learned about the harassment, but they never gave a second thought to pulling out.

Im not afraid, Karin said. Maybe because of what we went through, nothing makes me afraid.

Even so, she and Geminder were perturbed with the harassment, which came a week after white supremacists and neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville, Va. one of the largest such demonstrations in a decade, according to the ADL.

When we see a Nazi flag like we saw over the weekend in Charlottesville, it just tears us apart, Geminder said.

Both survivors tell their stories around the world, and neither has experienced any kind of harassment, online or otherwise, before the posts from Benitez.

At the event, as they have done hundreds of times before, the two carefully told the stories of their experiences and shared the lessons they have drawn from them.

Geminder was born in Wroclaw, Poland, in 1935. He saw as many as 14,000 Jews massacred at the cemetery in Stanislawow but managed to survive, he said, by pure luck. He and his brother, mother and stepfather were in Warsaw when the Warsaw Uprising was quelled. The Nazis put them in a cattle car on a train headed to the Auschwitz concentration camp, but the family was able to escape through an opening in the roof of the car within a hundred yards of the camp.

Karin was born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, in 1930, and spent the Holocaust in hiding, successfully sheltered by her mothers underground contacts and the help of a righteous gentile named Karol Blanar.

Neither survivor mentioned Benitezs harassment at the bookstore event.

I dont want to make anyone else aware of the negatives, Geminder said. I want to focus on the positives.

Meanwhile, as Geminder and Karin were speaking, Benitez was at a Laguna Beach event he organized called America First! Electric Vigil for the Victims of Illegals and Refugees, according to his posts on Facebook.

Benitez, whose recent web exploits included posting a manipulated photo that made it appear the Jewish mayor of Laguna Beach was wearing a Nazi uniform, has long been on the radar of Joanna Mendelson, senior investigative researcher at the ADLs Center on Extremism.

Benitez does not have a history of violence, but some of his known associates, who include skinheads and antigovernment extremists, do, she said.

In the video Benitez posted about the survivors event, a framed photograph of various guns is visible in the background as he talks about how the L.A.-based Simon Wiesenthal Center is involved in a Jewish conspiracy to use the Holocaust to antagonize white people.

Why is it so concurrent that the anti-white narrative and the anti-Trump narrative is so closely tied to these events that push the Holocaust and white privilege and white guilt? he says in the video, which he streamed live simultaneously on Facebook and the social media site Periscope.

Mendelson, who has followed Benitezs rising profile within the alt-right, said he has a fixation with Jews that borders on Holocaust denial. After he posted the video, in which he holds up an iPad with Bracks Facebook profile on it, the ADL encouraged her to take basic precautions such as contacting law enforcement.

Although no direct threats of violence were made against the organizer, we still wanted to make sure that law enforcement were in the loop and to help safeguard this gathering, Mendelson said. It is a sad state of affairs when individuals who have been traumatized by the Holocaust are in some ways revictimized by anti-Semitic and hateful racist thought leaders.

Contacted via Facebook Messenger, Benitez told the Journal he wanted his followers to observe and report the narrative from the bookstore event. He said he first learned about the event through a Facebook ad.

Asked if he denied the Holocaust or questioned its magnitude, Benitez was evasive.

I dont address the holocaust. I view any attempt to lure people into discussions about it to be Red Herrings, he wrote, not acknowledging the fact that he brought the Holocaust history event to the attention of his nearly 2,000 Facebook friends and followers.

At The Last Bookstore, during the question-and-answer period, audience members wanted to know how Geminder and Karin felt about the recent events in Charlottesville, where swastikas were abundant and men yelling Sieg Heil marched in front of a synagogue.

It was a nightmare for us, Geminder said. I can imagine how every one of you must have felt. Imagine a hundredfold how survivors felt during this. When we came to America, we never expected to see that again. Never, never, never.

Even with the recent news events, both Geminder, a retired electrical engineer and part-time math teacher, and Karin, an artist and former fashion designer, said they are avowed optimists.

Karin recounted for the audience the moment after World War II when she decided she would move on from the trauma of the Holocaust to have a full and active life. She was standing on the platform of a train station in her native Bratislava, now the capital of Slovakia, as emaciated Jewish refugees streamed into the city.

I decided to myself, Hitler did not get my body; he will not get my soul. I will smile. I will be happy, she told the audience. And I am.

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Denial  Comments Closed

How Do Other Nations Memorialize Their Past Atrocities? – HuffPost

The United States is once again grappling with what to do about public symbols of the Confederacy as they become rallying points for white supremacists.

The debate intensified this month after a woman was killed and dozens were injured in Charlottesville, Virginia, during a white supremacist demonstration against the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen.Robert E. Lee. City councils and universities have since moved to take downseveral controversial monuments, while demonstrators have toppled others.

Although the debate over Confederate statues is uniquely American, the broader question of how a nation should memorialize painful or divisive parts of its past is an issue that numerous countries still struggle to address. Some have chosen to outright remove monuments or notorious buildings, while others have recontextualized them or built new ones in their place. Whatever the outcome, the process is often contentious.

Most countries have been pretty reluctant or just dont know how to commemorate periods of shame or national crimes perpetrated in the national name. No country is very good at it, and we havent been very good at it, either, said James E. Young, a professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who has consulted for governments on how to memorialize their pasts.

In Europe, many post-Soviet states have chosen to take down the statues of Josef Stalin and Vladimir Lenin that dotted their cities under communist rule. Ukraine, for instance, has removed over a thousandLenin statues following the ouster of its pro-Russia president in 2014.

But some former communist states have instead decided to move their Soviet-era monuments somewhere else or alter them to connote new meaning. Hungary keeps many of its communist-era statues in a memorial park, a move Taiwan also favoredfor statues of its former leader Chiang Kai-shek.

In other cases, citizens have taken it upon themselves to respond. In 1991, a young Czech artist in Prague painteda Soviet World War II-era tank monument entirely pink. The artist was arrested for vandalism, but members of Parliament repainted the tank to protest his detention.

In countries like Italy and Spain, where brick-and-mortar remnants of fascist rule are still standing, architectural works and even human remains have been a source of debate. Spanish Parliament passed a nonbindingvote in May urging the removal of former dictator Francisco Francos body from a public tomb something that has yet to occur.

France, meanwhile, bans any monument to its Nazi-collaborating Vichy government, and as of 2013,every street name featuring Vichy leader Philippe Ptain had been changed.

Nowhere in Europe, however, has had to confront its past crimes on the same scale as Germany. The countrys reckoning for World War II and the Holocaust has led to the preservation of some sites, such as Auschwitz, while most other symbols of Nazi rule were systematically destroyed or banned. It is currently illegal for Germans to display any symbols associated with Nazism or Adolf Hitler, with a few exceptions for artistic purposes. Holocaust denial, too, is a prosecutable offense.

Along with the removal of monuments to the Third Reich, Germany has also built memorials and museums that commemorate the victims of Nazism. Seeking to counteract the grandiose monuments the Nazis built, some of the memorials have taken on more experimental forms.

The city of Hamburg erected the Monument Against Fascism in 1986, consisting of a 39-foot pillar upon which citizens were invited to engrave their names in solidarity. When a portion of the pillar was filled up with signatures, that section was lowered into the ground, bringing an unmarked section down and starting the process again until eventually the whole pillar was completely gone. The work took seven years and ended with the erection of a plaque commemorating the monument that stated,In the end it is only we ourselves who can stand up against injustice.

Germany has also created federally funded projects to atone for its past. In the mid-1990s, the country held competitions to design a memorial for the 6 million Jewish people killed by the Nazis. It sparked a fierce debate as artists and politicians argued over how it was possible to properly memorialize the Holocaust.

One of the artist submissions for the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe even proposed that Germany destroy Berlins famous Brandenburg Gate and sprinkle the dust over the monument site, then cover the area with granite plates. The concept aimed to memorialize the void left by the Holocaust with another absence.

The design ultimately chosen, created by architect Peter Eisenman, opened in 2005 and features thousands of concrete, tomb-like slabs rising from the ground on an uneven plane.

Meanwhile, across Canada, there are small monuments that focus on healing and understanding of Canadas Holocaust, whichripped 150,000 indigenous children from their families and placed them in residential schools under the guise of education.

The policy which the U.S. also pursued began in the 19th century and continued in some form until the last school was finally closed in 1996. The children died from malnutrition and other horrific conditions, and generations were traumatized by the institutions legacy of sexual and physical abuse.

Recent Canadian initiatives have focused less on building memorials and more on removing monuments or tributes to notorious or polarizing historic figures. In June, Prime Minister Justin Trudeaurenamed the Langevin Block, whichhouses his office. The buildings namesake was Sir Hector-Louis Langevin, one of the architects of the residential school system. The city of Calgary also renamed the Langevin Bridge this year.

In Mexico, sites honoring controversial figures from the countrys past have also become targets for removal or public ire. In 1981, President Jos Lpez Portillo installed a statue of Spanish conquistador Hernn Corts, who carries a brutal colonial legacy, in Mexico City. It lasted a year before the subsequent presidential administration took it down.

A statue of Mexicos former dictator Porfirio Daz,unveiled in 2015, also drew protests, with demonstrators at the ceremony chanting that it would come down. It is still currently standing.

Mexico has also built monuments for its national tragedies. One such site is a memorial in Mexico City for the hundreds of student demonstrators killed by government forces during the Tlatelolco Massacre in 1968, when police and armed forces opened fire on the crowd.

Another, unofficial, monument stands on Mexico Citys Paseo de la Reforma to honor the 43 missing student activists who are presumed dead after they disappeared following an attack by police in 2014.

One of the closest and most recent analogues for the U.S. push to remove Confederate statues took place in South Africa,where a student movement rose up against memorials to historical figures who promoted forced racial segregation.

A groundswell of resistance to colonial and apartheid-era monuments began in 2015, when a student at the University of Cape Town flung a bucket of excrement on a prominent statue of Cecil John Rhodes, a 19th-century imperialist who paved the way for the countrys apartheid system.

South Africas student movement against Rhodes and other colonial figures grew in size and spread to other campuses. The demonstrations eventually prompted the university to remove the Rhodes statue and forced the government to propose a plan to createcommon parks that situated the statues in a context that discussed the countrys history.

South Africas Arts and Culture Department told HuffPost South Africa on Friday that it would comment in early September on that projects progress.

The different approaches to memorializing atrocities and painful national histories show that the U.S. could address its Confederate monuments in various ways. But its possible the country will remain stuck in this debate for some time.

So far, action on Confederate statues and other controversial memorials has been piecemeal and conducted mainly at the local level, given the huge obstacles to a systematic and coherent national process of dealing with them. President Donald Trump has repeatedly opposed the removal of statues and used the issue to rile up his base.

Trump has lamented thehistory and culture of our great country being ripped apart as Confederate statues come down. He reiterated his opposition to their removal during a campaign-style rally in Phoenix on Tuesday. Polls show that the public is also splitover what to do with the statues, with a majority wanting the figures to remain in place.

But the continuous rise and fall of memorials across the world also shows that regardless of their history, monuments are not as permanent as they may seem.

Monuments are never really perpetual or built for perpetuity, theyre built to last as long as the generation that built them, Young said.

They come into being as a cultural production, theyre received, their meanings change and when time is up, they go away, he added. Just like any other human production.

Andree Lau contributed to this report from HuffPost Canada, Marc Davies contributed from HuffPost South Africa, Alexandre Boudet contributed from Le Huffington Post, Sebastian Christ contributed from HuffPost Germany, Alejandro Angeles contributed from HuffPost Mexico.

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Denial  Comments Closed

Trump official once called defender of Holocaust deniers a ‘national treasure’ – The Times of Israel

WASHINGTON The person US President Donald Trump chose to lead federal family-planning programs once referred to a defender of Holocaust deniers as a national treasure.

Teresa Manning, Trumps pick for deputy assistant secretary for population affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services is known for her history as a fierce anti-abortion activist and former lobbyist with the National Right to Life Committee.

She also has a history defending and praising Joe Sobran, a former columnist and editor for the conservative magazine National Review until its then editor William Buckley fired him for writings he considered contextually anti-Semitic.

Mother Jones was first to report Mannings history with Sobran, who died in 2010.

Joseph Sobran (Wike Media)

During a January 2003 event promoting her book Back to The Drawing Board: The Future of the Pro-Life Movement, Manning introduced Sobran, who was a speaker, and said of him: He has been called the finest columnist of his generation as well as a national treasure. I wholeheartedly agree with both statements.

In fact, it was Pat Buchanan, who himself has doubted the death toll of the Holocaust and who the Anti-Defamation League has called an unrepentant bigot, who was responsible for the former quote.

During the years between Sobrans unceremonious 1993 departure from the National Review and Mannings introduction, he repeatedly defended an organization that denies the Holocaust while also churning out his own writings containing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

Through columns and speeches, Sobran has spoken fondly of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), an organization best known for publishing articles and books denying the Holocaust and that scholars consider one of the leading vehicles for the international Holocaust denial movement.

Teresa Manning (Screenshot/YouTube)

The Southern Poverty Law Center refers to the IHR as a pseudo-academic organization that claims to seek truth and accuracy in history, but whose real purpose is to promote Holocaust denial and defend Nazism.

Indeed, one article published in the think-tanks magazine referred to Kristallnacht as quite extraordinary.

The author, Ingrid Weckert, said it was a radical aberration from the normal pattern of daily life. The outburst was not in keeping with either the official National Socialist Jewish policy nor with the general German attitude towards the Jews. The Germans were no more anti-Semitic than any other people.

Holocaust denier David Irving (photo credit: public domain via wikipedia)

Furthermore, at its conferences, the IHR has hosted the prominent British Holocaust-denier David Irving.

The director of the IHR, Mark Weber, took issue with the characterization of the organization as denying the Holocaust, telling the Times of Israel that was not accurate.

He pointed to a passage of its mission statement, which says the group does not deny the Holocaust and has no position on any specific event or chapter of history, except to promote greater awareness and understanding, and to encourage more objective investigation.

Articles and reviews posted on the IHR website, and presentations given at IHR meetings and conferences, represent a wide range of views, it goes on. Each writer is responsible for what he or she writes or says. Accordingly, the IHR does not necessarily agree with the content or outlook of posted or distributed items.

Sobran, in defending this organization and its magazine The Journal for Historical Review, once wrote that, Charges that the IHR is anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi are belied by the Journals calm and reasonable tone, in contrast to the shrillness and violence of its enemies. And I do mean enemies.

He went on, Jewish groups, especially Zionist organizations, are forever reviling the IHR and trying to interfere with its activities.

In other writings, Sobran has not quite explicitly denied the Holocaust, but has said that questioning facts surrounding that historical event was not anti-Semitic.

Why on earth is it anti-Jewish to conclude from the evidence that the standard numbers of Jews murdered are inaccurate, or that the Hitler regime, bad as it was in many ways, was not infact, intent on extermination? he asked.

Sobrans commentary provoked strong response from leading Holocaust historian and anti-Semitic expert Deborah Lipstadt, who took exception with The New York Times obituary for Sobran saying he took a skeptical line on the Holocaust.

Deborah Lipstadt (Emory University)

Mr. Sobran may not have been an unequivocal denier, she said, but he gave support and comfort to the worst of them.

Additionally, Sobran had in the past blamed US policies, particularly regarding its anti-terrorism measures after the September 11 attacks, as being dictated by the Jewish-Zionist powers that be in the United States.

What began as a war on terror is morphing into a war to crush Israels enemies. And naturally so, he said. The 9/11 attacks would never have occurred except for the US Governments Middle East policies, which are pretty much dictated by the Jewish-Zionist powers that be in the United Staes. The Zionists boast privately of their power, but they dont want the gentiles talking about it. Readers of Orwell will recognize the principle of Doublethink.

Manning did not respond to a request for comment.

The article has been updated to include response from Mark Weber, the director of the Institute for Historical Review.

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Trump Appointee Praised Writer Who Defended Holocaust Deniers – Forward

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A pro-life activist whom President Trump appointed to run the Department of Health and Human Services family planning programs once praised a controversial writer who repeatedly defended Holocaust deniers and was once fired for writing columns that his own editor called anti-Semitic.

Teresa Manning, a new deputy assistant secretary at HHS, edited a book of pro-life essays in 2003, and moderated a panel discussion in Washington that year to promote it, Mother Jones magazine recounted on Monday. In her remarks, she praised Joseph Sobran, who was also speaking and had contributed to the book, saying that Sobran has been called the finest columnist of his generation as well as a national treasure. I wholeheartedly agree with both statements.

However, Manning could have been aware that a few months prior, Sobran had spoken at the annual conference of the Institute for Historical Review, a prominent Holocaust denial organization. In his remarks to the IHR, Sobran claimed that The only discernible duty of Jews, it seems, is to look out for Israel. He said that he was not himself a Holocaust denier, but, he asked, Why on earth is it anti-Jewish to conclude from the evidence that the standard numbers of Jews murdered are inaccurate, or that the Hitler regime, bad as it was in many ways, was not, in fact, intent on racial extermination?

Because of this, The American Conservative magazine co-founded by Pat Buchanan withdrew an offer for Sobran to write a column.

Sobrans extreme views should not have been a surprise to Manning or anyone else: In 1993, he was fired by National Review, the most prominent right-wing magazine of its time, for writing articles that editor William F. Buckley called contextually anti-Semitic.

Contact Aiden Pink at pink@forward.com or on Twitter, @aidenpink.

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EFF warns blocking neo-Nazi sites may threaten free speech – Engadget

The Daily Stormer has long espoused racist, anti-feminist and antisemitic views, including Holocaust denial. GoDaddy only elected to drop its name registry recently, however, after it published an offensive article about Heather Heyer, who was killed during violent protests at Charlottesville. The site then shifted to Google’s hosting service, which also quickly banned it. Both companies said the site violated their terms of service by inciting violence.

In its criticism of those companies, the EFF said a “telling quote” about the situation came when Cloudfare — a service used by Stormer not for hosting, but to protect it against DDoS attacks — also dropped it. “Literally, I woke up in a bad mood and decided that someone shouldn’t be allowed on the internet,” Cloudflare’s CEO said.

The EFF acknowledged that the “situation is deeply fraught” legally and otherwise. “All fair-minded people must stand against the hateful violence and aggression that seems to be growing across our country,” the EFF wrote. “But we must also recognize that on the Internet, any tactic used now to silence neo-Nazis will soon be used against others, including people whose opinions we agree with.”

We must also recognize that on the Internet, any tactic used now to silence neo-Nazis will soon be used against others, including people whose opinions we agree with

Like the EFF, the ACLU often stands up for hate groups that no one else will defend, but its own members have criticized its defense of Charlottesville protesters. “I am deeply disturbed by the ACLU’s decision to oppose local officials in Virginia who sought not to prevent the recent Charlottesville rally but to locate it in a place that would make it easier to keep all in attendance safe,” wrote one anonymous ACLU member.

Despite the EFF’s first amendment critiques, the list of businesses that have shut out The Daily Stormer and other fascist, white supremacist and neo-Nazi sites from funding and promotion is getting large. Mastercard, Visa, American Express and PayPal have cut off payments, and music services including Spotify, Google and Deezer have vowed to remove music from hate-espousing bands.

All of those businesses operate internationally, but the EFF’s argument is based on the US First Amendment rules. Those allow just about any speech, as long as it doesn’t present a “clear and present danger.” However hate speech laws are much tougher in countries like France, Austria, Germany and Canada — Holocaust denial, for instance, is illegal in 14 nations.

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How the American right co-opted the idea of free speech – Quartz

The denial of first amendment rightsled to the political violence that we saw yesterday. That was how Jason Kessler, who organized last weekends far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, explained the actions of an extremist who rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one of them. Like many on the far right, Kessler was claiming that displays of hate needed to be protected as free speechor else.

The US constitutions first amendment protects free speech much more strongly than in most democraciesa German-style law against holocaust denial would never stand in the US, for exampleand Americans support the right to say offensive things more strongly than other nations, a Pew survey found last year. But for a long time, free speech was a core concern of the left in America, not the right.

When the National Review [a leading conservative magazine] was first published in the 1950s, the vast majority of articles addressing free speech and the first amendment were critical of free expression and its proponents, says Wayne Batchis, a professor at the University of Delaware and author of The Rights First Amendment: The Politics of Free Speech & the Return of Conservative Libertarianism. Today, review of its contents reveals the precise opposite.

What prompted the shift, Batchis says, was the rise of a concept that quickly became a favorite target of the right: political correctness. As Moira Weigel wrote in The Guardian last year, the concept rose to fame in the late 1980s. After existing in leftist circles as a humorous label for excessive liberal orthodoxy, it was co-opted by the right and framed as a form of limitation of free speech.

In 1990, New York Times reporter Richard Bernstein (paywall) used political correctness to refer to what he perceived as a growing intolerance on university campuses for views that diverged from mainstream liberalism. In a span of only a few months, stories about political correctness (some even deeming it a form of fascism) became commonplace in columns and on magazine covers. Before the 1990s, Weigel reports, the term was hardly ever used in the media; in 1992, it was used 6,000 times.

The idea became a centerpiece of right-wing theory, eventually leading to the popularity of the Tea Party and the election of a president, Donald Trump, who made the shunning of political correctness a political trademark.

But fighting political correctness wasnt the only thing that encouraged conservatives to embrace free speech. Money was also an incentive. Over the past decade the party has increasingly opposed any form of campaign-finance regulation, arguing that political donations are a form of free speech. Its reward came in the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United, which allowed companies and trade unions to give unlimited donations to political causes. Liberals commonly oppose this view on the grounds, Batchis says, that spending money should not be treated as a form of speech.

In the event, both Republicans and Democrats have benefited from that ruling. Indeed, in last years election, Hillary Clinton raised $218 million from super PACS, the fundraising organizations that sprang up in the wake of Citizens Unitednearly three times as much as Donald Trump. During the primaries, though, the candidates for the Republican nomination collectively raised close to $400 million (paywall) from super PACs.

Conservatives have supported freedom of speech more consistently than liberals, even when its speech that goes against their views, according to Batchis. My research does suggest that even on hot-button issues like patriotism and traditional morality, many on the right have moved in a more speech-protective direction, he says. By contrast, progressives have been more likely to advocate constraints, particularly on speech that was seen as harmful to racial minorities and women, he says.

Still, there are exceptions to this rule on both sides. Many liberals still hold to the ACLU-style civil libertarian tradition even in the face of hate speech, says Batchis, while moralistic conservatives have advocated limitations on free speech such a ban on flag burning.

In the wake of Charlottesville, the California branch of the American Civil Liberties Union declared that the First Amendment does not protect people who incite or engage in violence. If white supremacists march into our towns armed to the teeth and with the intent to harm people, they are not engaging in protected free speech. And indeed, direct threats arent protected (pdf, pp. 3-4) by the first amendment. But to count as a threat, speech has to incite imminent lawless action, in the words of a 1969 Supreme Court ruling; merely advocating violence is allowed. That is why neo-Nazis are allowed to march, and to cast themselves as free-speech champions.

Continue reading here:
How the American right co-opted the idea of free speech – Quartz

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August 18, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Denial  Comments Closed

Holocaust denial / History / Auschwitz-Birkenau

Denial of the Holocaust and the genocide in Auschwitz The concealment of the crime and removal of evidence by the perpetrators Despite the fact that the tens of thousands of prisoners who survived Auschwitz were witnesses to the crimes committed there; despite the fact that they left behind thousands of depositions, accounts, and memoirs; despite the fact that considerable quantities of documents, photographs, and material objects remain from the campdespite all of this, there are people and organizations who deny that hundreds of thousands of people were murdered in this camp, that gas chambers operated there, or that the crematoria could burn several thousand corpses per day. In other words, they deny that Auschwitz was the scene of genocide. Auschwitz is, in many ways, the main target of attacks by deniers, yet the denial of genocide, the existence of the gas chambers, and mass murder nevertheless extends to all the camps, the death camps, and, generally, the mass killing of the Jews. The scale of this phenomena and its social harmfulness have been acknowledged in many countries as a threat to the social order and made punishable under the law. The legal procedures launched every so often against the deniers prove that the problem is real. It a problem not only for public prosecutors, but also a challenge for historians and educational institutions. There is nothing new about denial of the crime of genocide or silence about genocide. From the beginning of the war, mainly for political reasons, the Nazis themselves did everything they could to keep international public opinion, and above all the Allied and neutral countries, but also the potential victims, in the dark about the extermination of people in the occupied countries. Among themselves, however, the narrow circle of the Nazi ruling elite did not conceal these criminal acts. Addressing high ranking officers in Pozna on October 4, 1943, Himmler, the head of the German police and the SS, said that Most of you here know what it means when 100 corpses lie next to each other, when 500 lie there. . .. This is an honor roll in our history which has never been and never will be put in writing (IMT translation). What did the Nazis do to conceal the crime they had committed? What did they do so that this honor roll in our historyor roll of shamewould never be put in writing? First: they limited the written record of their crime to a minimum; Second: they falsified the record, to the degree that technical and organizations made its existence necessary; Third: they destroyed the superfluous and the most incriminating part of the record, once it had served its purpose, in the final phase of the Third Reich. They destroyed not only documents. They also destroyed the mass killing apparatus and liquidated the witnesses.

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About the Holocaust Denial on Trial Project | Holocaust …

Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt is Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta. Lipstadt was a historical consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and helped design the section of the Museum dedicated to the American Response to the Holocaust. On April 11, 2011, the 50th anniversary of the start of the Eichmann trial, Lipstadt gave a public address at the State Department on the impact of the trial. She has held and currently holds a presidential appointment to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council (from Presidents Clinton and Obama) and was asked by President George W. Bush to represent the White House at the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. In addition to Denying the Holocaust andDenial: History on Trial, Lipstadt has authored several books.Her fifth book, Holocaust: An American Understanding, was recently released by Rutgers University Press. Her previous book, The Eichmann Trial, (Schocken/Nextbook Series) commemoratesthe 50th anniversary of the Eichmann trial.Publishers Weekly,called it a penetrating and authoritative dissection of a landmark case and its aftereffects. The New York Times Book Review described Lipstadt as having done a great service by [ . . . ] recovering the event as a gripping legal drama, as well as a hinge moment in Israels history and in the worlds delayed awakening to the magnitude of the Holocaust. The Wall Street Journal described the book as a thoughtfully researched and clearly written account of the courtroom proceedings and of the debates spurred by the trial. She has also published Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust(Free Press, 1986), which surveys what the American press wrote about the persecution of the Jews in the years 19331945.

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Holocaust | What is Holocaust denial? – Projet ALADIN

Holocaust denial is the belief that the Holocaust did not occur as it is described by mainstream historiography. Key elements of this belief are the explicit or implicit rejection that, in the Holocaust: In addition, most Holocaust denial implies, or openly states, that the current mainstream understanding of the Holocaust is the result of a deliberate Jewish conspiracy created to advance the interest of Jews at the expense of other nations. Most historians and scholars reject Holocaust denial as “grounded in hatred, rather than any accepted standards of assertion, evidence, and truth” and a “pseudoscience” that “rejects the entire foundation of historical evidence,” instead motivated by an anti-Semitic ideology. Some of the most prominent representatives of Holocaust deniers have been shown in court to have a pattern of falsifying historical documents (e.g. David Irving) or deliberately misrepresenting historical data (e.g. Ernst Zndel). This history of Holocaust deniers distorting, ignoring, or misusing historical records has led to almost universal condemnation of the techniques and conclusions of Holocaust denial, with organizations such as the American Historical Association, the largest society of historians in the United States, stating that Holocaust denial is “at best, a form of academic fraud.” Similarly, Public Opinion Quarterly, summarizing the work on the subject done by a range of historians including Jaroff, Lipstadt, Riech, Ryback, Shapiro, Vidal-Naquet, Weimann, and Winn concludes “No reputable historian questions the reality of the Holocaust, and those promoting Holocaust denial are overwhelmingly anti-Semites and/or neo-Nazis.” Many Holocaust deniers insist that they do not deny the Holocaust, preferring to be called “Holocaust revisionists”. They are nevertheless commonly labeled as “Holocaust deniers” to differentiate them from historical revisionists and because their goal is to deny the existence of the Holocaust, as it is commonly understood, rather than honestly using historical evidence and methodology to examine the event.

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November 27, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Denial  Comments Closed

Survivors speak at The Last Bookstore, despite online harassment – Jewish Journal

Despite online harassment by an alt-right provocateur, two Holocaust survivors told their stories of triumph over evil, as planned, to a standing-room-only crowd at The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 19. The appearance by Robert Geminder and Gabriella Karin came 11 days after a person who writes under the name Johnny Benitez posted a Facebook link for the event with the tagline: Who wants to bet money this is another white guilt push. Lesson 1: white people are bad and its good theyre an ever increasing minority. After the events organizer, Jennifer Brack, told Benitez he was not welcome, Benitez whose real name is Juan Cadavid, according to a report by the OC Weekly posted a video encouraging his followers to attend the event. At the advice of the Anti-Defamation League, Brack hired a pair of armed guards and proceeded with the event, the third in a series called Lessons of the Past, survivor speaker engagements organized by Brack with the help of the American Society for Yad Vashem. The audience of about 300 people, who sat on folding chairs and the floor, was attentive, respectful and engaged. And after Geminder and Karin spoke, a long line formed with well-wishers who praised their eloquence and courage. People more than ever these days want to hear survivors, Karin told the Journal before she spoke. They want reassurance that people will go out and speak in spite of the threats. Karin, 86, and Geminder, 82, are a couple. They began dating in 2015 after both had lost their spouses to illness years before. They briefly wondered how they should proceed with the speaking event after they learned about the harassment, but they never gave a second thought to pulling out. Im not afraid, Karin said. Maybe because of what we went through, nothing makes me afraid. Even so, she and Geminder were perturbed with the harassment, which came a week after white supremacists and neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville, Va. one of the largest such demonstrations in a decade, according to the ADL. When we see a Nazi flag like we saw over the weekend in Charlottesville, it just tears us apart, Geminder said. Both survivors tell their stories around the world, and neither has experienced any kind of harassment, online or otherwise, before the posts from Benitez. At the event, as they have done hundreds of times before, the two carefully told the stories of their experiences and shared the lessons they have drawn from them. Geminder was born in Wroclaw, Poland, in 1935. He saw as many as 14,000 Jews massacred at the cemetery in Stanislawow but managed to survive, he said, by pure luck. He and his brother, mother and stepfather were in Warsaw when the Warsaw Uprising was quelled. The Nazis put them in a cattle car on a train headed to the Auschwitz concentration camp, but the family was able to escape through an opening in the roof of the car within a hundred yards of the camp. Karin was born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, in 1930, and spent the Holocaust in hiding, successfully sheltered by her mothers underground contacts and the help of a righteous gentile named Karol Blanar. Neither survivor mentioned Benitezs harassment at the bookstore event. I dont want to make anyone else aware of the negatives, Geminder said. I want to focus on the positives. Meanwhile, as Geminder and Karin were speaking, Benitez was at a Laguna Beach event he organized called America First! Electric Vigil for the Victims of Illegals and Refugees, according to his posts on Facebook. Benitez, whose recent web exploits included posting a manipulated photo that made it appear the Jewish mayor of Laguna Beach was wearing a Nazi uniform, has long been on the radar of Joanna Mendelson, senior investigative researcher at the ADLs Center on Extremism. Benitez does not have a history of violence, but some of his known associates, who include skinheads and antigovernment extremists, do, she said. In the video Benitez posted about the survivors event, a framed photograph of various guns is visible in the background as he talks about how the L.A.-based Simon Wiesenthal Center is involved in a Jewish conspiracy to use the Holocaust to antagonize white people. Why is it so concurrent that the anti-white narrative and the anti-Trump narrative is so closely tied to these events that push the Holocaust and white privilege and white guilt? he says in the video, which he streamed live simultaneously on Facebook and the social media site Periscope. Mendelson, who has followed Benitezs rising profile within the alt-right, said he has a fixation with Jews that borders on Holocaust denial. After he posted the video, in which he holds up an iPad with Bracks Facebook profile on it, the ADL encouraged her to take basic precautions such as contacting law enforcement. Although no direct threats of violence were made against the organizer, we still wanted to make sure that law enforcement were in the loop and to help safeguard this gathering, Mendelson said. It is a sad state of affairs when individuals who have been traumatized by the Holocaust are in some ways revictimized by anti-Semitic and hateful racist thought leaders. Contacted via Facebook Messenger, Benitez told the Journal he wanted his followers to observe and report the narrative from the bookstore event. He said he first learned about the event through a Facebook ad. Asked if he denied the Holocaust or questioned its magnitude, Benitez was evasive. I dont address the holocaust. I view any attempt to lure people into discussions about it to be Red Herrings, he wrote, not acknowledging the fact that he brought the Holocaust history event to the attention of his nearly 2,000 Facebook friends and followers. At The Last Bookstore, during the question-and-answer period, audience members wanted to know how Geminder and Karin felt about the recent events in Charlottesville, where swastikas were abundant and men yelling Sieg Heil marched in front of a synagogue. It was a nightmare for us, Geminder said. I can imagine how every one of you must have felt. Imagine a hundredfold how survivors felt during this. When we came to America, we never expected to see that again. Never, never, never. Even with the recent news events, both Geminder, a retired electrical engineer and part-time math teacher, and Karin, an artist and former fashion designer, said they are avowed optimists. Karin recounted for the audience the moment after World War II when she decided she would move on from the trauma of the Holocaust to have a full and active life. She was standing on the platform of a train station in her native Bratislava, now the capital of Slovakia, as emaciated Jewish refugees streamed into the city. I decided to myself, Hitler did not get my body; he will not get my soul. I will smile. I will be happy, she told the audience. And I am.

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Denial  Comments Closed

How Do Other Nations Memorialize Their Past Atrocities? – HuffPost

The United States is once again grappling with what to do about public symbols of the Confederacy as they become rallying points for white supremacists. The debate intensified this month after a woman was killed and dozens were injured in Charlottesville, Virginia, during a white supremacist demonstration against the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen.Robert E. Lee. City councils and universities have since moved to take downseveral controversial monuments, while demonstrators have toppled others. Although the debate over Confederate statues is uniquely American, the broader question of how a nation should memorialize painful or divisive parts of its past is an issue that numerous countries still struggle to address. Some have chosen to outright remove monuments or notorious buildings, while others have recontextualized them or built new ones in their place. Whatever the outcome, the process is often contentious. Most countries have been pretty reluctant or just dont know how to commemorate periods of shame or national crimes perpetrated in the national name. No country is very good at it, and we havent been very good at it, either, said James E. Young, a professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who has consulted for governments on how to memorialize their pasts. In Europe, many post-Soviet states have chosen to take down the statues of Josef Stalin and Vladimir Lenin that dotted their cities under communist rule. Ukraine, for instance, has removed over a thousandLenin statues following the ouster of its pro-Russia president in 2014. But some former communist states have instead decided to move their Soviet-era monuments somewhere else or alter them to connote new meaning. Hungary keeps many of its communist-era statues in a memorial park, a move Taiwan also favoredfor statues of its former leader Chiang Kai-shek. In other cases, citizens have taken it upon themselves to respond. In 1991, a young Czech artist in Prague painteda Soviet World War II-era tank monument entirely pink. The artist was arrested for vandalism, but members of Parliament repainted the tank to protest his detention. In countries like Italy and Spain, where brick-and-mortar remnants of fascist rule are still standing, architectural works and even human remains have been a source of debate. Spanish Parliament passed a nonbindingvote in May urging the removal of former dictator Francisco Francos body from a public tomb something that has yet to occur. France, meanwhile, bans any monument to its Nazi-collaborating Vichy government, and as of 2013,every street name featuring Vichy leader Philippe Ptain had been changed. Nowhere in Europe, however, has had to confront its past crimes on the same scale as Germany. The countrys reckoning for World War II and the Holocaust has led to the preservation of some sites, such as Auschwitz, while most other symbols of Nazi rule were systematically destroyed or banned. It is currently illegal for Germans to display any symbols associated with Nazism or Adolf Hitler, with a few exceptions for artistic purposes. Holocaust denial, too, is a prosecutable offense. Along with the removal of monuments to the Third Reich, Germany has also built memorials and museums that commemorate the victims of Nazism. Seeking to counteract the grandiose monuments the Nazis built, some of the memorials have taken on more experimental forms. The city of Hamburg erected the Monument Against Fascism in 1986, consisting of a 39-foot pillar upon which citizens were invited to engrave their names in solidarity. When a portion of the pillar was filled up with signatures, that section was lowered into the ground, bringing an unmarked section down and starting the process again until eventually the whole pillar was completely gone. The work took seven years and ended with the erection of a plaque commemorating the monument that stated,In the end it is only we ourselves who can stand up against injustice. Germany has also created federally funded projects to atone for its past. In the mid-1990s, the country held competitions to design a memorial for the 6 million Jewish people killed by the Nazis. It sparked a fierce debate as artists and politicians argued over how it was possible to properly memorialize the Holocaust. One of the artist submissions for the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe even proposed that Germany destroy Berlins famous Brandenburg Gate and sprinkle the dust over the monument site, then cover the area with granite plates. The concept aimed to memorialize the void left by the Holocaust with another absence. The design ultimately chosen, created by architect Peter Eisenman, opened in 2005 and features thousands of concrete, tomb-like slabs rising from the ground on an uneven plane. Meanwhile, across Canada, there are small monuments that focus on healing and understanding of Canadas Holocaust, whichripped 150,000 indigenous children from their families and placed them in residential schools under the guise of education. The policy which the U.S. also pursued began in the 19th century and continued in some form until the last school was finally closed in 1996. The children died from malnutrition and other horrific conditions, and generations were traumatized by the institutions legacy of sexual and physical abuse. Recent Canadian initiatives have focused less on building memorials and more on removing monuments or tributes to notorious or polarizing historic figures. In June, Prime Minister Justin Trudeaurenamed the Langevin Block, whichhouses his office. The buildings namesake was Sir Hector-Louis Langevin, one of the architects of the residential school system. The city of Calgary also renamed the Langevin Bridge this year. In Mexico, sites honoring controversial figures from the countrys past have also become targets for removal or public ire. In 1981, President Jos Lpez Portillo installed a statue of Spanish conquistador Hernn Corts, who carries a brutal colonial legacy, in Mexico City. It lasted a year before the subsequent presidential administration took it down. A statue of Mexicos former dictator Porfirio Daz,unveiled in 2015, also drew protests, with demonstrators at the ceremony chanting that it would come down. It is still currently standing. Mexico has also built monuments for its national tragedies. One such site is a memorial in Mexico City for the hundreds of student demonstrators killed by government forces during the Tlatelolco Massacre in 1968, when police and armed forces opened fire on the crowd. Another, unofficial, monument stands on Mexico Citys Paseo de la Reforma to honor the 43 missing student activists who are presumed dead after they disappeared following an attack by police in 2014. One of the closest and most recent analogues for the U.S. push to remove Confederate statues took place in South Africa,where a student movement rose up against memorials to historical figures who promoted forced racial segregation. A groundswell of resistance to colonial and apartheid-era monuments began in 2015, when a student at the University of Cape Town flung a bucket of excrement on a prominent statue of Cecil John Rhodes, a 19th-century imperialist who paved the way for the countrys apartheid system. South Africas student movement against Rhodes and other colonial figures grew in size and spread to other campuses. The demonstrations eventually prompted the university to remove the Rhodes statue and forced the government to propose a plan to createcommon parks that situated the statues in a context that discussed the countrys history. South Africas Arts and Culture Department told HuffPost South Africa on Friday that it would comment in early September on that projects progress. The different approaches to memorializing atrocities and painful national histories show that the U.S. could address its Confederate monuments in various ways. But its possible the country will remain stuck in this debate for some time. So far, action on Confederate statues and other controversial memorials has been piecemeal and conducted mainly at the local level, given the huge obstacles to a systematic and coherent national process of dealing with them. President Donald Trump has repeatedly opposed the removal of statues and used the issue to rile up his base. Trump has lamented thehistory and culture of our great country being ripped apart as Confederate statues come down. He reiterated his opposition to their removal during a campaign-style rally in Phoenix on Tuesday. Polls show that the public is also splitover what to do with the statues, with a majority wanting the figures to remain in place. But the continuous rise and fall of memorials across the world also shows that regardless of their history, monuments are not as permanent as they may seem. Monuments are never really perpetual or built for perpetuity, theyre built to last as long as the generation that built them, Young said. They come into being as a cultural production, theyre received, their meanings change and when time is up, they go away, he added. Just like any other human production. Andree Lau contributed to this report from HuffPost Canada, Marc Davies contributed from HuffPost South Africa, Alexandre Boudet contributed from Le Huffington Post, Sebastian Christ contributed from HuffPost Germany, Alejandro Angeles contributed from HuffPost Mexico. The Morning Email Wake up to the day’s most important news.

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Denial  Comments Closed

Trump official once called defender of Holocaust deniers a ‘national treasure’ – The Times of Israel

WASHINGTON The person US President Donald Trump chose to lead federal family-planning programs once referred to a defender of Holocaust deniers as a national treasure. Teresa Manning, Trumps pick for deputy assistant secretary for population affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services is known for her history as a fierce anti-abortion activist and former lobbyist with the National Right to Life Committee. She also has a history defending and praising Joe Sobran, a former columnist and editor for the conservative magazine National Review until its then editor William Buckley fired him for writings he considered contextually anti-Semitic. Mother Jones was first to report Mannings history with Sobran, who died in 2010. Joseph Sobran (Wike Media) During a January 2003 event promoting her book Back to The Drawing Board: The Future of the Pro-Life Movement, Manning introduced Sobran, who was a speaker, and said of him: He has been called the finest columnist of his generation as well as a national treasure. I wholeheartedly agree with both statements. In fact, it was Pat Buchanan, who himself has doubted the death toll of the Holocaust and who the Anti-Defamation League has called an unrepentant bigot, who was responsible for the former quote. During the years between Sobrans unceremonious 1993 departure from the National Review and Mannings introduction, he repeatedly defended an organization that denies the Holocaust while also churning out his own writings containing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Through columns and speeches, Sobran has spoken fondly of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), an organization best known for publishing articles and books denying the Holocaust and that scholars consider one of the leading vehicles for the international Holocaust denial movement. Teresa Manning (Screenshot/YouTube) The Southern Poverty Law Center refers to the IHR as a pseudo-academic organization that claims to seek truth and accuracy in history, but whose real purpose is to promote Holocaust denial and defend Nazism. Indeed, one article published in the think-tanks magazine referred to Kristallnacht as quite extraordinary. The author, Ingrid Weckert, said it was a radical aberration from the normal pattern of daily life. The outburst was not in keeping with either the official National Socialist Jewish policy nor with the general German attitude towards the Jews. The Germans were no more anti-Semitic than any other people. Holocaust denier David Irving (photo credit: public domain via wikipedia) Furthermore, at its conferences, the IHR has hosted the prominent British Holocaust-denier David Irving. The director of the IHR, Mark Weber, took issue with the characterization of the organization as denying the Holocaust, telling the Times of Israel that was not accurate. He pointed to a passage of its mission statement, which says the group does not deny the Holocaust and has no position on any specific event or chapter of history, except to promote greater awareness and understanding, and to encourage more objective investigation. Articles and reviews posted on the IHR website, and presentations given at IHR meetings and conferences, represent a wide range of views, it goes on. Each writer is responsible for what he or she writes or says. Accordingly, the IHR does not necessarily agree with the content or outlook of posted or distributed items. Sobran, in defending this organization and its magazine The Journal for Historical Review, once wrote that, Charges that the IHR is anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi are belied by the Journals calm and reasonable tone, in contrast to the shrillness and violence of its enemies. And I do mean enemies. He went on, Jewish groups, especially Zionist organizations, are forever reviling the IHR and trying to interfere with its activities. In other writings, Sobran has not quite explicitly denied the Holocaust, but has said that questioning facts surrounding that historical event was not anti-Semitic. Why on earth is it anti-Jewish to conclude from the evidence that the standard numbers of Jews murdered are inaccurate, or that the Hitler regime, bad as it was in many ways, was not infact, intent on extermination? he asked. Sobrans commentary provoked strong response from leading Holocaust historian and anti-Semitic expert Deborah Lipstadt, who took exception with The New York Times obituary for Sobran saying he took a skeptical line on the Holocaust. Deborah Lipstadt (Emory University) Mr. Sobran may not have been an unequivocal denier, she said, but he gave support and comfort to the worst of them. Additionally, Sobran had in the past blamed US policies, particularly regarding its anti-terrorism measures after the September 11 attacks, as being dictated by the Jewish-Zionist powers that be in the United States. What began as a war on terror is morphing into a war to crush Israels enemies. And naturally so, he said. The 9/11 attacks would never have occurred except for the US Governments Middle East policies, which are pretty much dictated by the Jewish-Zionist powers that be in the United Staes. The Zionists boast privately of their power, but they dont want the gentiles talking about it. Readers of Orwell will recognize the principle of Doublethink. Manning did not respond to a request for comment. The article has been updated to include response from Mark Weber, the director of the Institute for Historical Review.

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Denial  Comments Closed

Trump Appointee Praised Writer Who Defended Holocaust Deniers – Forward

C-SPAN A pro-life activist whom President Trump appointed to run the Department of Health and Human Services family planning programs once praised a controversial writer who repeatedly defended Holocaust deniers and was once fired for writing columns that his own editor called anti-Semitic. Teresa Manning, a new deputy assistant secretary at HHS, edited a book of pro-life essays in 2003, and moderated a panel discussion in Washington that year to promote it, Mother Jones magazine recounted on Monday. In her remarks, she praised Joseph Sobran, who was also speaking and had contributed to the book, saying that Sobran has been called the finest columnist of his generation as well as a national treasure. I wholeheartedly agree with both statements. However, Manning could have been aware that a few months prior, Sobran had spoken at the annual conference of the Institute for Historical Review, a prominent Holocaust denial organization. In his remarks to the IHR, Sobran claimed that The only discernible duty of Jews, it seems, is to look out for Israel. He said that he was not himself a Holocaust denier, but, he asked, Why on earth is it anti-Jewish to conclude from the evidence that the standard numbers of Jews murdered are inaccurate, or that the Hitler regime, bad as it was in many ways, was not, in fact, intent on racial extermination? Because of this, The American Conservative magazine co-founded by Pat Buchanan withdrew an offer for Sobran to write a column. Sobrans extreme views should not have been a surprise to Manning or anyone else: In 1993, he was fired by National Review, the most prominent right-wing magazine of its time, for writing articles that editor William F. Buckley called contextually anti-Semitic. Contact Aiden Pink at pink@forward.com or on Twitter, @aidenpink.

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Denial  Comments Closed

EFF warns blocking neo-Nazi sites may threaten free speech – Engadget

The Daily Stormer has long espoused racist, anti-feminist and antisemitic views, including Holocaust denial. GoDaddy only elected to drop its name registry recently, however, after it published an offensive article about Heather Heyer, who was killed during violent protests at Charlottesville. The site then shifted to Google’s hosting service, which also quickly banned it. Both companies said the site violated their terms of service by inciting violence. In its criticism of those companies, the EFF said a “telling quote” about the situation came when Cloudfare — a service used by Stormer not for hosting, but to protect it against DDoS attacks — also dropped it. “Literally, I woke up in a bad mood and decided that someone shouldn’t be allowed on the internet,” Cloudflare’s CEO said. The EFF acknowledged that the “situation is deeply fraught” legally and otherwise. “All fair-minded people must stand against the hateful violence and aggression that seems to be growing across our country,” the EFF wrote. “But we must also recognize that on the Internet, any tactic used now to silence neo-Nazis will soon be used against others, including people whose opinions we agree with.” We must also recognize that on the Internet, any tactic used now to silence neo-Nazis will soon be used against others, including people whose opinions we agree with Like the EFF, the ACLU often stands up for hate groups that no one else will defend, but its own members have criticized its defense of Charlottesville protesters. “I am deeply disturbed by the ACLU’s decision to oppose local officials in Virginia who sought not to prevent the recent Charlottesville rally but to locate it in a place that would make it easier to keep all in attendance safe,” wrote one anonymous ACLU member. Despite the EFF’s first amendment critiques, the list of businesses that have shut out The Daily Stormer and other fascist, white supremacist and neo-Nazi sites from funding and promotion is getting large. Mastercard, Visa, American Express and PayPal have cut off payments, and music services including Spotify, Google and Deezer have vowed to remove music from hate-espousing bands. All of those businesses operate internationally, but the EFF’s argument is based on the US First Amendment rules. Those allow just about any speech, as long as it doesn’t present a “clear and present danger.” However hate speech laws are much tougher in countries like France, Austria, Germany and Canada — Holocaust denial, for instance, is illegal in 14 nations.

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August 18, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Denial  Comments Closed

How the American right co-opted the idea of free speech – Quartz

The denial of first amendment rightsled to the political violence that we saw yesterday. That was how Jason Kessler, who organized last weekends far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, explained the actions of an extremist who rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one of them. Like many on the far right, Kessler was claiming that displays of hate needed to be protected as free speechor else. The US constitutions first amendment protects free speech much more strongly than in most democraciesa German-style law against holocaust denial would never stand in the US, for exampleand Americans support the right to say offensive things more strongly than other nations, a Pew survey found last year. But for a long time, free speech was a core concern of the left in America, not the right. When the National Review [a leading conservative magazine] was first published in the 1950s, the vast majority of articles addressing free speech and the first amendment were critical of free expression and its proponents, says Wayne Batchis, a professor at the University of Delaware and author of The Rights First Amendment: The Politics of Free Speech & the Return of Conservative Libertarianism. Today, review of its contents reveals the precise opposite. What prompted the shift, Batchis says, was the rise of a concept that quickly became a favorite target of the right: political correctness. As Moira Weigel wrote in The Guardian last year, the concept rose to fame in the late 1980s. After existing in leftist circles as a humorous label for excessive liberal orthodoxy, it was co-opted by the right and framed as a form of limitation of free speech. In 1990, New York Times reporter Richard Bernstein (paywall) used political correctness to refer to what he perceived as a growing intolerance on university campuses for views that diverged from mainstream liberalism. In a span of only a few months, stories about political correctness (some even deeming it a form of fascism) became commonplace in columns and on magazine covers. Before the 1990s, Weigel reports, the term was hardly ever used in the media; in 1992, it was used 6,000 times. The idea became a centerpiece of right-wing theory, eventually leading to the popularity of the Tea Party and the election of a president, Donald Trump, who made the shunning of political correctness a political trademark. But fighting political correctness wasnt the only thing that encouraged conservatives to embrace free speech. Money was also an incentive. Over the past decade the party has increasingly opposed any form of campaign-finance regulation, arguing that political donations are a form of free speech. Its reward came in the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United, which allowed companies and trade unions to give unlimited donations to political causes. Liberals commonly oppose this view on the grounds, Batchis says, that spending money should not be treated as a form of speech. In the event, both Republicans and Democrats have benefited from that ruling. Indeed, in last years election, Hillary Clinton raised $218 million from super PACS, the fundraising organizations that sprang up in the wake of Citizens Unitednearly three times as much as Donald Trump. During the primaries, though, the candidates for the Republican nomination collectively raised close to $400 million (paywall) from super PACs. Conservatives have supported freedom of speech more consistently than liberals, even when its speech that goes against their views, according to Batchis. My research does suggest that even on hot-button issues like patriotism and traditional morality, many on the right have moved in a more speech-protective direction, he says. By contrast, progressives have been more likely to advocate constraints, particularly on speech that was seen as harmful to racial minorities and women, he says. Still, there are exceptions to this rule on both sides. Many liberals still hold to the ACLU-style civil libertarian tradition even in the face of hate speech, says Batchis, while moralistic conservatives have advocated limitations on free speech such a ban on flag burning. In the wake of Charlottesville, the California branch of the American Civil Liberties Union declared that the First Amendment does not protect people who incite or engage in violence. If white supremacists march into our towns armed to the teeth and with the intent to harm people, they are not engaging in protected free speech. And indeed, direct threats arent protected (pdf, pp. 3-4) by the first amendment. But to count as a threat, speech has to incite imminent lawless action, in the words of a 1969 Supreme Court ruling; merely advocating violence is allowed. That is why neo-Nazis are allowed to march, and to cast themselves as free-speech champions.

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August 18, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Denial  Comments Closed


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