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German woman, 89, jailed for 14 months for Holocaust denial

BERLIN A German court has upheld two convictions of a well-known neo-Nazi for Holocaust denial and sentenced her to 14 months in prison.

Ursula Haverbeck, 89, was sentenced Tuesday by a district appeals court in Detmold for repeatedly denying the Holocaust, which is a crime in Germany.

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Haverbeck had appealed her 2016 conviction for writing to the Detmold mayor during the trial of an Auschwitz guard claiming the death camp was only a labor camp. In closing arguments at that trial she again denied the Holocaust, prompting another conviction.

Several courts have sentenced Haverbeck to prison sentences in the past, including a Berlin district court in October, but Haverbeck has remained free pending appeals.

The German news agency dpa reported Haverbecks lawyers would again appeal this latest conviction.

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A Brief History of Holocaust Denial – Jewish Virtual Library

This essay will attempt to provide a brief historical review of Holocaust denial. For an in-depth treatment of this question, the reader is referred to two major works on the subject: Lucy S. Dawidowicz,Historians and the Holocaust and Deborah Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. The material in the present essay draws heavily from these two excellent works. Here I am concerned with the historical background and origins of the movement. Primary attention will be given to Paul Rassinier, Harry Elmer Barnes and Austin J. App.

The very first Holocaust deniers were the Nazis themselves. As it became increasingly obvious that the war was not going well, Himmler instructed his camp commandants to destroy records, crematoria and other sign of mass destruction of human beings. He was especially adamant with regard to those Jews still alive who could testify regarding their experiences in the camps. In April, 1945, he signed an official order (which still exists in his own handwriting) that the camps would not be surrendered and that no prisoner “fall into the hands of the enemies alive.” Apparently Himmler knew that the “Final Solution” would be viewed as a moral outrage by the rest of the world.

Historian Kenneth Stern (1993:6) suggests that many top SS leaders left Germany at the end of the war and began immediately the process of using their propaganda skills to rewrite history. Shortly after the war, denial materials began to appear. One of the first was Friedrich Meinecke’s The German Catastrophe, (1950) in which he offered a brief defense for the German people by blaming industrialists, bureaucrats and the Pan-German League (an essentially antisemitic organization begun by von Schoerner in Vienna prior to young Adolf Hitler’s arrival there) for the outbreak of World War I and Hitler’s rise to power. Meinecke was openly antisemitic; nonetheless he was a respected historian.

There is a fairly clear historical development of contemporary Holocaust denial. Surprisingly, its roots extend far beyond the Holocaust itself and may be found in the work of historical revisionists in Europe, principally France, and in the United States who set out to absolve Germany of responsibility for World War I.

Paul Rassinier, formerly a “political” prisoner at Buchenwald, was one of the first European writers to come to the defense of the Nazi regime with regard to their “extermination” policy. In 1945, Rassinier was elected as a Socialist member of the French National Assembly, a position which he held for less than two years before resigning for health reasons. Shortly after the war he began reading reports of extermination in Nazi death camps by means of gas chambers and crematoria. His response was, essentially, “I was there and there were no gas chambers.” It should be remembered that he was confined to Buchenwald, the first major concentration camp created by the Hitler regime (1937) and that it was located in Germany. Buchenwald was not primarily a “death camp” and there were no gas chambers there. He was arrested and incarcerated in 1943. By that time the focus of the “Final Solution” had long since shifted to the Generalgouvernement of Poland. Rassinier used his own experience as a basis for denying the existence of gas chambers and mass extermination at other camps. Given his experience and his antisemitism, he embarked upon a writing career which, over the next 30 years, would place him at the center of Holocaust denial. In 1948 he published Le Passage de la Ligne, Crossing the Line, and, in 1950, The Holocaust Story and the Lie of Ulysses. In these early works he attempted to make two main arguments: first, while some atrocities were committed by the Germans, they have been greatly exaggerated and, second, that the Germans were not the perpetrators of these atrocities — the inmates who ran the camps instigated them. In 1964 he published The Drama of European Jewry, a work committed to debunking what he called “the genocide myth.” The major focus of this book was the denial of the gas chambers in the concentration camps, the denial of the widely accepted figure of 6 million Jews exterminated and the discounting of the testimony of the perpetrators following the war. These three have emerged in recent years as central tenets of Holocaust denial. While none of these arguments were new, Rassinier did introduce a new twist to Holocaust denial. Having argued that the genocidal extermination of 6 million Jews is a myth, he asks: Who perpetrated the myth, and for what purpose. His answer: the Zionists as part of a massive Jewish/Soviet/Allied conspiricay to “swindle” Germany out of billions of dollars in reparations. This is a theme which would later be taken up by Austin J. App and by the current crop of Holocaust deniers.

In 1977, the above works by Rassinier were re-published by the Noontide Press under the title, Debunking the Genocide Myth. The Noontide Press is the primary outlet for the Institute of Historical Review. Toward the end of his life he wrote two additional pieces, one on the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem (held in 1961) and one on the Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt. Both of these were translated by American historian, and admirer of Rassinier, Harry Elmer Barnes. These materials have been published by Steppingstones Publishing and are regularly advertised for sale by the Institute For Historical Review. Thus, the work of Rassinier takes its place in contemporary denial literature.

The claims of Rassinier can be easily refuted and have received full treatment by Deborah Lipstadt and other reputable historians. Briefly, however, Rassinier offers little evidence for most of his claims, he totally disregards any documentary evidence that would contradict his claims and attempts to explain away the testimony of survivors as”emotional” exaggeration and the testimony of accused war criminals as the result of “coercion.” For instance, he completely ignores Hitler’s stated agenda in Mein Kampf (1923) and his famous and oft-quoted speech of 1939 before the German Reichstag:

Similarly, he disregards the speeches of Himmler, such as the address given to the leaders of the SS in 1943:

Similarly, he disregards the Wansee Protocol which stands as clear evidence of an official Nazi policy of extermination.

As Lipstadt observes, the primary link between these early revisionists and modern deniers was the U.S. historian, Harry Elmer Barnes,the first American historian to take up the theme of Holocaust denial. During World War I he was an outspoken, even vitriolic, supporter of the Allied effort. After the war, however, he became highly pro-German and seemed intent on defending the German people against any responsibility for the war. While he blamed France and Russia for starting the war, he stopped short, in his early work, of blaming the Jews, as Kaiser Wilhelm had done. Barnes early work was fairly respectable historical analysis despite the fact that his agenda was a clear denunciation of U.S. foreign policy during World War I. These themes appear strongly in his, The Genesis of the Great War, 1926, In Quest of Truth and Justice, 1928 and World Politics in Modern Civilization, 1930. His two-volume The History of Western Civilization was widely adopted at prestigious schools throughout the United States. It was not until the late 1950s that his analysis extended to the issue of atrocities against Jews. This shift in his agenda coincides with his discovery of French popular historian, Paul Rassinier, and the American revisionist, David Leslie Hoggan.

Hoggan’s dissertation at Harvard was a revisionist work in which he blamed Britain for World War II and presented Hitler as a victim of Allied manipulation. Throughout the work, Hitler is presented as conciliatory, reasonable and sincere in his attempts to avoid war. Barnes encouraged Hoggan to have the work published. After extensive re-writing, it was published, in Germany in 1961, under the title, The Forced War. The title reveals the thrust of the book — World War II was forced upon Hitler. An important concern of the book was to downplay Nazi atrocities against Jews.

As historian, Deborah Lipstadt, observes:

It was Barnes’ discovery of Rassinier that seems to have been the pivotal point in his thinking. He began by arguing that the atrocity stories were exaggerated and slowly worked his way to the conclusion that they were fabrications. Stopping short of denying the Holocaust, Barnes attempted to connect the “exaggerated” atrocities with German reparations to Israel. Following the earlier lead of Rassinier, Barnes attempted to leave the impression that the size of the reparations were determined by the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust when actually the size of the reparations wad determined by the estimated cost of resettling Jews from Germany and occupied territories to Israel.

Finally, Barnes attempted to raise doubts about the Holocaust in general by raising doubts regarding the existence of gas chambers as a means of extermination….The existence and implementation of gas chambers for extermination purposes is a matter of special concern to deniers since they symbolize more dramatically than anything else the rational, systematic and impersonal nature of the killing machine. Every Holocaust denier feels compelled to make this issue central the argument. Barnes’ contention was that the gas chambers were post-war inventions Surely Barnes was aware of the extensive testimony provided to the British as early as 1944 by Auschwitz escapee, Rudolph Vrba (see Martin Gilbert, Auschwitz And The Allies, 1981:190-198).

App’s major contribution to Holocaust denial lies in his codification of denial into eight fundamental tenets (The following are adapted from Deborah Lipstadt, 1994:99-100):

The above assertions stand as the fundamental tenets of contemporary Holocaust denial.

Holocaust denial is rooted in the isolationism and historical revision of the WWI, post-War, WWII and Cold War periods. By the mid to late 1960s, all the ingredients of contemporary Holocaust denial were in place. Some of this background does, in fact, represent legitimate historical revision. Other parts of it, however, depart from the academic standards of historical analysis and move clearly in the direction of politically and ideologically motivated historical denial. One overarching characteristic of all deniers, the one characteristic which binds them all together, is antisemitism. Regardless of the language used to clothe their attacks upon memory and truth, it is the language of hate and fear. Regardless of pretensions of scholarship and even underlying traces of real scholarship, deniers ultimately come to rely upon the least respectable of all strategies — stereotyping. The works of Rassinier, Barnes, Hoggan and App consistently fall back upon stereotypic images of the Jewish people which have been perpetuated for centuries and which show little sign of diminishing with the current crop of deniers.

Sources: The HolocaustShoah Page

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A Brief History of Holocaust Denial – Jewish Virtual Library

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How Holocaust Denial Works – snopes.com

The Holocaust happened.

It is a fact that some six million European Jews were systematically murdered by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1941 and 1945 ina state-sponsored program of genocide.

TheNational Socialists cameto power in partby convincing Germans that manyof the countrys problems werecaused byitsJewish minority, whom they labeled an inferior race and depicted as depraved and animal-like in anti-Semiticpropaganda. They named their planfor exterminating the Jews the Final Solution. Their implementation of a plan to exterminate the Jews the Final Solution, they called it has been well documented,startingwith the 3,000 tonsof confiscated of Third Reichpaperwork presented in evidence at the Nuremberg trials immediately afterthe war.

Yet, despiteuniversal agreement among historians aboutall of the above(No serious historian questions that the Holocaust took place, the American Historical Association affirmed in a 1991 statement), there exists a tinybut vocal group of naysayers conspiracy theorists, actually, given thatthey claimthat Jewish-controlled academic and media institutions invented the Holocaust whose mission it is to sow doubt that the genocide of European Jews ever happened. They are known (to everyone but themselves) as Holocaust deniers.

Here are some basic tenets of Holocaust denialism (viathe United States Holocaust Memorial Museum):

Holocaust denial describes attempts to negate the established facts of the Nazi genocide of European Jewry. Common denial assertions are: that the murder of six million Jews during World War II never occurred; that the Nazis had no official policy or intention to exterminate the Jews; and that the poison gas chambers in Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp never existed.

A newer trend is the distortion of the facts of the Holocaust. Common distortions include, for example, assertions that: the figure of six million Jewish deaths is an exaggeration; deaths in the concentration camps were the results of disease or starvation but not policy; and that the diary of Anne Frank is a forgery.

Thedeniers arent known for their subtlety. I dont see any reason to be tasteful about Auschwitz, said author, anti-Semite, and Holocaust denier David Irving in 1991. He continued:

Its baloney, its a legend. Once we admit the fact that it was a brutal slave labor camp and large numbers of people did die, as large numbers of innocent people died elsewhere in the War, why believe the rest of the baloney?

I say quite tastelessly, in fact, that more women died on the back seat of Edward Kennedys car at Chappaquiddick than ever died in a gas chamber in Auschwitz.

At a 2006 conference of Holocaust deniers in Iran hosted byPresident Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the countrys former interior minister said, without irony, All the studies and research carried out so far have proven that there is no reason to believe that the Holocaust ever occurred and that it is only a tale.

Others at theconferenceadmitted the killings took place, but claimed the numbers were inflated:

Frederick Toben, an Australian who in 1999 served jail time in Germany for his Holocaust views, told the conference in no uncertain terms that the number of Jews killed in Nazi death camps an estimated 6 million is a myth.

The number of victims at the Auschwitz concentration camp could be about 2,007, Toben said. The railroad to the camp did not have enough capacity to transfer large numbers of Jews.

Dont mistake these for sincere historical quibbles. Theyare direct misstatements of the evidentiaryrecord a record whose existence, again, we owe in large partto the Nazis themselves.

Both propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and SS chief Heinrich Himmler, for example, admittedtherewas an official plan to exterminatethe Jewish population. The Jews have deserved the catastrophe that has now overtaken them, Goebbels wrote in his diary in 1942. Not much will remain of the Jews. On the whole it can be said that about 60 percent of them will have to be liquidated whereas only 40 percent can be used for forced labor.

Chillingly, Himmler said thisin a 1943 speech in Posen, Poland:

I refer now to the evacuation of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish people. This is one of those things that is easily said: the Jewish people are being exterminated, says every Party member, quite true, its part of our plans, the elimination of the Jews, extermination, were doing it.

No one left behindaledger sheettallying the precisenumber of Jews exterminated but that doesnt mean the figurecant be accurately estimatedbased on existing evidence such as census reports and other government records that survived Nazi efforts to destroy them at the end of the war:

No personnel were available or inclined to count Jewish deaths until the very end of World War II and the Nazi regime. Hence, total estimates are calculated only after the end of the war and are based on demographic loss data and the documents of the perpetrators. Though fragmentary, these sources provide essential figures from which to make calculations.

Some Holocaust deniers are self-styledhistorical revisionists meaning they present themselves as earnest re-interpreters of real historical data whose goal is simply to reveal the whole truth but its a misnomer.Scratch the surface of your typical Holocaust denier and you will find an anti-Semite. The notion, widespread among deniers, that Jews invented or exaggerated the Holocaust to further their own interestshearkens back to a centuries-old conspiracy theorypositing a secret cabal of wealthy Jewish bankers seeking absoluteworld domination.

The Holocaust is the device used as the pillar of Zionist imperialism, Zionist aggression, Zionist terror and Zionist murder, former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard David Duke has said(while dismissing the claim that the Nazis used gas chambers to kill Jews as a myth).

In 2013, Englands most infamous Holocaust denier, David Irving (quoted above saying more people died in Ted Kennedys car than at Auschwitz), was asked if it werent true that Jews run the world:

Irving, who strongly denies being anti-semitic, replies: Well sometimes people stand up and fight back.

He says Jews in America control all media, banks and that they dare not appoint any leading person in the White House to ministerial positions involving money without him being a Jew. Look where that got them in Germany in 1933. And they will not learn the lesson, they all think it wont happen again.

Then they ask why they are so hated.

Irving says he hears people say Jews are hated because they crucified Jesus Christ. I say if you walk into a pub in Wapping and ask people why they dont like the Jews they dont mention Jesus. They mention other reasons. Theyre worried about their mortgages and the banks thats the reason why the Jews get hated.

Its telling that Irving denies hating Jews while repeatedly observingthat Jews are hated, then blames them for it.

There is a relatively new form of Holocaust denialism dubbed soft denialism because its adherents dont deny the Holocaust outright but attempt to trivialize it instead whose rise seems to have followedthe same curve as thatof right-wing nationalist movements worldwide in recent years.

The most prevalentform of soft denialism revolves around the claimthat thepersecution of Jews in Nazi Germany is given preferential treatment overthe persecution of other minority groupsby the same regime. But this is a moral deflection. Its a factthat the Reich persecuted and killed millions of others in the name of Aryan superiorityRoma (gypsies), Serbs, Poles, individualswith disabilities, individualsperceived as homosexual, socialists, communists, and Jehovahs Witnesses, to name only some of the targeted minorities but this is no justification for eliding Hitlersdecades-long vendetta against the Jewish people in particular, a vendetta which very nearly ended in their complete eradication.

In January 2017, President Trump was roundly criticized for issuing a statement in the name of the perished on Holocaust Remembrance Day, held on the anniversary ofthe 1945 liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, that never once mentioned the Jewish victims of that tragedy:

January 27, 2017

Statement by the President on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.

Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest. As we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent.

In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my Presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good. Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world.

Harsh reactions to Trumps statement came from many quarters.

This is not a political issue, this is a matter of not just sensitivity, its a matter of historical fact, said Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League. Six million Jews were slaughtered along with millions of other people. But the Holocaust was about this singular focus on the annihilation of the Jewish people. Thats why we remember it. Thats why there is a day, a sad day like this past Friday, to reflect upon it.

The Nazis killed an astonishing number of people in monstrous ways and targeted certain groups Gypsies, the mentally challenged, and open homosexuals, among others, wrote conservative commentator John Podhoretz. But the Final Solution was aimed solely atthe Jews. The Holocaust was aboutthe Jews. To universalize it to all those who suffered is to scrub the Holocaust of its meaning.

The lack of a direct statement about the suffering of the Jewish people during the Holocaust was an unfortunate omission, said Fred Brown, a spokesperson for the Republican Jewish Coalition. History unambiguously shows the purpose of the Nazis final solution was the extermination of the Jews of Europe. We hope, going forward, he conveys those feelings when speaking about the Holocaust.

The White Housedismissed thecriticisms, claiming they simply didnt want to leave any of the victims out. Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered, said spokesperson Hope Hicks.

If the Trump administration wont listen to their critics, they ought toat least take note of who applauded them for their Holocaust statement the openly anti-Semitic alt-rightleaderRichard Spencer, for one, who hailed what he termed President Trumps de-Judification of the Holocaust in a blog post titled Because Hitler.

[T]he kvetching came quickly (yes, he used the Yiddish word) after Trumps statement was released, noted Spencer, and he was having none of it:

Trumps statement on Holocaust Memorial Day is, on the surface, utterly defensible within the current moral paradigm: Hitler is depicted as quintessential evil, with modern society revolving around this dark center. But when viewed from the perspective of Jewish activists, Trumps statement becomes outrageous, as it dethrones Jews from a special position in the universe.

It seems unlikelythat dethroning Jews was precisely what the Trump administration had in mind when they said their intent wasinclusiveness. That President Trumps Holocaust statement elicited such a response froman avowed white supremacist ought to give him pause before it comes time to issue the next one.

Got a tip or a rumor? Contact us here.

Ben-Amots, Zach. The Rise of Soft Holocaust Denial. The Tower. October 2016.

Dimsdale, Joel E., ed. Survivors, Victims, and Perpetrators: Essays on the Nazi Holocaust. Milton Park, Oxfordshire: Taylor & Francis, 1980. ISBN 9780891163510 (p. 310).

Duiker, William J. and Jackson J Spielvogel. The Essential World History. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2016. ISBN 9781305856486 (p. 702).

Isenstadt, Alex. Jewish Republicans Chide Trump on Holocaust Statement. Politico. 29 January 2017.

Phillip, Abby. Facing Criticism, Trump Administration Has No Regrets About Leaving Out Jews in Holocaust Statement. The Washington Post. 29 January 2017.

Spencer, Richard. Because Hitler AltRight.com. 29 January 2017.

Usborne, Simon. David Irving The Hate that Dare Not Speak Its Name. Independent. 30 August 2013.

The Holocaust History Project. Auschwitz The Death Camp. 26 April 2009.

Perspectives on History. American Historical Association Statement on Holocaust Denial. December 1991.

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Holocaust Encyclopedia. Accessed 14 April 2017.

WhiteHouse.gov. Statement by the President on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. 27 January 2017.

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How Holocaust Denial Works – snopes.com

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Double standard on Holocaust denial – Opinion – Jerusalem Post

Donald Trump welcomes Mahmoud Abbas to White House in Washington , May 3, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A French political leader who referred sympathetically to a prominent Holocaust denier has been forced to resign in disgrace.

But a Palestinian political leader who referred sympathetically to the same Holocaust denier was welcomed at the White House this week. Why the double standard? Jean-Francois Jalkh, leader of Frances National Front party, resigned in disgrace on April 28 after it was revealed that in a 2000 interview he said it was impossible for the Nazis to have carried out mass murder with poison gas. As his source, Jalkh cited the convicted Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson, whom he described as trustworthy.

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has referred to Faurisson in similar terms, in a bizarre and disturbing book that Abbas wrote in 1983 called The Other Side: The Secret Relations Between Nazism and the Leadership of the Zionist Movement.

The central thesis of the book, which Abbas wrote as his doctoral dissertation at Moscow University, is that David Ben-Gurion and other Zionist leaders collaborated with Hitler and wanted the Nazis to kill Jews, because having more victims meant greater rights and stronger privilege to join the negotiating table for dividing the spoils of war once it was over.

The real number of Jews murdered by the Nazis was much lower than six million and might well have been below one million, Abbas wrote. 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.

One of the alleged authorities whom Abbas cited was the same Holocaust denier at the center of the recent controversy in France. In a scientific study published by the French professor Robert Faurisson, he challenges the existence of gas chambers which served the purpose of killing living Jews, Abbas wrote. He claims that the gas chambers were only used to burn corpses, out of fear of spreading plagues and viruses. It would not take a great effort in order to prove and document this aspect of the truth.

Not only has Abbas never disavowed what he wrote in his book, he has reaffirmed it. In a January 21, 2013 interview with the Lebanese television station Al-Mayadeen, Abbas was asked about his Holocaust writings. I challenge anyone to deny the relationship between Zionism and Nazism before World War II, Abbas responded, adding that he has 70 more books that I still havent published that supposedly would prove his claims.

Back in 2003, there were rumors that Abbas might visit Israel. Writing in The Jerusalem Post, Isaac Herzog (then a member of Knesset from the Labor Party, today leader of its successor, the Zionist Union) called for any such visit to include a public apology and correction by Abbas for his 1983 Holocaust book. Abbass intolerable accusation against Jewish and Zionist leaders needed to be explicitly retracted, Herzog insisted.

Herzogs point is equally relevant today. The hope of achieving genuine peace rests on the willingness of the PA leadership to sincerely reject the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hatred of the past. Every time a PA official or media outlet denies, minimizes, or distorts the Holocaust (including comparisons of Israel to the Nazis), they are stoking the old flames of hatred that were supposed to have been extinguished with the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993.

In France, the National Fronts Jean-Francois Jalkh was compelled to resign because the force of public opinion made it clear that he had crossed a line. Civilized society does not tolerate Holocaust deniers. It should not tolerate Abbass version of Holocaust denial, either.The author is founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies and author or editor of 16 books about the Holocaust and Jewish history.

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

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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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German woman, 89, jailed for 14 months for Holocaust denial

BERLIN A German court has upheld two convictions of a well-known neo-Nazi for Holocaust denial and sentenced her to 14 months in prison. Ursula Haverbeck, 89, was sentenced Tuesday by a district appeals court in Detmold for repeatedly denying the Holocaust, which is a crime in Germany. Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Edition by email and never miss our top storiesFree Sign Up Haverbeck had appealed her 2016 conviction for writing to the Detmold mayor during the trial of an Auschwitz guard claiming the death camp was only a labor camp. In closing arguments at that trial she again denied the Holocaust, prompting another conviction. Several courts have sentenced Haverbeck to prison sentences in the past, including a Berlin district court in October, but Haverbeck has remained free pending appeals. The German news agency dpa reported Haverbecks lawyers would again appeal this latest conviction.

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A Brief History of Holocaust Denial – Jewish Virtual Library

This essay will attempt to provide a brief historical review of Holocaust denial. For an in-depth treatment of this question, the reader is referred to two major works on the subject: Lucy S. Dawidowicz,Historians and the Holocaust and Deborah Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. The material in the present essay draws heavily from these two excellent works. Here I am concerned with the historical background and origins of the movement. Primary attention will be given to Paul Rassinier, Harry Elmer Barnes and Austin J. App. The very first Holocaust deniers were the Nazis themselves. As it became increasingly obvious that the war was not going well, Himmler instructed his camp commandants to destroy records, crematoria and other sign of mass destruction of human beings. He was especially adamant with regard to those Jews still alive who could testify regarding their experiences in the camps. In April, 1945, he signed an official order (which still exists in his own handwriting) that the camps would not be surrendered and that no prisoner “fall into the hands of the enemies alive.” Apparently Himmler knew that the “Final Solution” would be viewed as a moral outrage by the rest of the world. Historian Kenneth Stern (1993:6) suggests that many top SS leaders left Germany at the end of the war and began immediately the process of using their propaganda skills to rewrite history. Shortly after the war, denial materials began to appear. One of the first was Friedrich Meinecke’s The German Catastrophe, (1950) in which he offered a brief defense for the German people by blaming industrialists, bureaucrats and the Pan-German League (an essentially antisemitic organization begun by von Schoerner in Vienna prior to young Adolf Hitler’s arrival there) for the outbreak of World War I and Hitler’s rise to power. Meinecke was openly antisemitic; nonetheless he was a respected historian. There is a fairly clear historical development of contemporary Holocaust denial. Surprisingly, its roots extend far beyond the Holocaust itself and may be found in the work of historical revisionists in Europe, principally France, and in the United States who set out to absolve Germany of responsibility for World War I. Paul Rassinier, formerly a “political” prisoner at Buchenwald, was one of the first European writers to come to the defense of the Nazi regime with regard to their “extermination” policy. In 1945, Rassinier was elected as a Socialist member of the French National Assembly, a position which he held for less than two years before resigning for health reasons. Shortly after the war he began reading reports of extermination in Nazi death camps by means of gas chambers and crematoria. His response was, essentially, “I was there and there were no gas chambers.” It should be remembered that he was confined to Buchenwald, the first major concentration camp created by the Hitler regime (1937) and that it was located in Germany. Buchenwald was not primarily a “death camp” and there were no gas chambers there. He was arrested and incarcerated in 1943. By that time the focus of the “Final Solution” had long since shifted to the Generalgouvernement of Poland. Rassinier used his own experience as a basis for denying the existence of gas chambers and mass extermination at other camps. Given his experience and his antisemitism, he embarked upon a writing career which, over the next 30 years, would place him at the center of Holocaust denial. In 1948 he published Le Passage de la Ligne, Crossing the Line, and, in 1950, The Holocaust Story and the Lie of Ulysses. In these early works he attempted to make two main arguments: first, while some atrocities were committed by the Germans, they have been greatly exaggerated and, second, that the Germans were not the perpetrators of these atrocities — the inmates who ran the camps instigated them. In 1964 he published The Drama of European Jewry, a work committed to debunking what he called “the genocide myth.” The major focus of this book was the denial of the gas chambers in the concentration camps, the denial of the widely accepted figure of 6 million Jews exterminated and the discounting of the testimony of the perpetrators following the war. These three have emerged in recent years as central tenets of Holocaust denial. While none of these arguments were new, Rassinier did introduce a new twist to Holocaust denial. Having argued that the genocidal extermination of 6 million Jews is a myth, he asks: Who perpetrated the myth, and for what purpose. His answer: the Zionists as part of a massive Jewish/Soviet/Allied conspiricay to “swindle” Germany out of billions of dollars in reparations. This is a theme which would later be taken up by Austin J. App and by the current crop of Holocaust deniers. In 1977, the above works by Rassinier were re-published by the Noontide Press under the title, Debunking the Genocide Myth. The Noontide Press is the primary outlet for the Institute of Historical Review. Toward the end of his life he wrote two additional pieces, one on the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem (held in 1961) and one on the Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt. Both of these were translated by American historian, and admirer of Rassinier, Harry Elmer Barnes. These materials have been published by Steppingstones Publishing and are regularly advertised for sale by the Institute For Historical Review. Thus, the work of Rassinier takes its place in contemporary denial literature. The claims of Rassinier can be easily refuted and have received full treatment by Deborah Lipstadt and other reputable historians. Briefly, however, Rassinier offers little evidence for most of his claims, he totally disregards any documentary evidence that would contradict his claims and attempts to explain away the testimony of survivors as”emotional” exaggeration and the testimony of accused war criminals as the result of “coercion.” For instance, he completely ignores Hitler’s stated agenda in Mein Kampf (1923) and his famous and oft-quoted speech of 1939 before the German Reichstag: Similarly, he disregards the speeches of Himmler, such as the address given to the leaders of the SS in 1943: Similarly, he disregards the Wansee Protocol which stands as clear evidence of an official Nazi policy of extermination. As Lipstadt observes, the primary link between these early revisionists and modern deniers was the U.S. historian, Harry Elmer Barnes,the first American historian to take up the theme of Holocaust denial. During World War I he was an outspoken, even vitriolic, supporter of the Allied effort. After the war, however, he became highly pro-German and seemed intent on defending the German people against any responsibility for the war. While he blamed France and Russia for starting the war, he stopped short, in his early work, of blaming the Jews, as Kaiser Wilhelm had done. Barnes early work was fairly respectable historical analysis despite the fact that his agenda was a clear denunciation of U.S. foreign policy during World War I. These themes appear strongly in his, The Genesis of the Great War, 1926, In Quest of Truth and Justice, 1928 and World Politics in Modern Civilization, 1930. His two-volume The History of Western Civilization was widely adopted at prestigious schools throughout the United States. It was not until the late 1950s that his analysis extended to the issue of atrocities against Jews. This shift in his agenda coincides with his discovery of French popular historian, Paul Rassinier, and the American revisionist, David Leslie Hoggan. Hoggan’s dissertation at Harvard was a revisionist work in which he blamed Britain for World War II and presented Hitler as a victim of Allied manipulation. Throughout the work, Hitler is presented as conciliatory, reasonable and sincere in his attempts to avoid war. Barnes encouraged Hoggan to have the work published. After extensive re-writing, it was published, in Germany in 1961, under the title, The Forced War. The title reveals the thrust of the book — World War II was forced upon Hitler. An important concern of the book was to downplay Nazi atrocities against Jews. As historian, Deborah Lipstadt, observes: It was Barnes’ discovery of Rassinier that seems to have been the pivotal point in his thinking. He began by arguing that the atrocity stories were exaggerated and slowly worked his way to the conclusion that they were fabrications. Stopping short of denying the Holocaust, Barnes attempted to connect the “exaggerated” atrocities with German reparations to Israel. Following the earlier lead of Rassinier, Barnes attempted to leave the impression that the size of the reparations were determined by the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust when actually the size of the reparations wad determined by the estimated cost of resettling Jews from Germany and occupied territories to Israel. Finally, Barnes attempted to raise doubts about the Holocaust in general by raising doubts regarding the existence of gas chambers as a means of extermination….The existence and implementation of gas chambers for extermination purposes is a matter of special concern to deniers since they symbolize more dramatically than anything else the rational, systematic and impersonal nature of the killing machine. Every Holocaust denier feels compelled to make this issue central the argument. Barnes’ contention was that the gas chambers were post-war inventions Surely Barnes was aware of the extensive testimony provided to the British as early as 1944 by Auschwitz escapee, Rudolph Vrba (see Martin Gilbert, Auschwitz And The Allies, 1981:190-198). App’s major contribution to Holocaust denial lies in his codification of denial into eight fundamental tenets (The following are adapted from Deborah Lipstadt, 1994:99-100): The above assertions stand as the fundamental tenets of contemporary Holocaust denial. Holocaust denial is rooted in the isolationism and historical revision of the WWI, post-War, WWII and Cold War periods. By the mid to late 1960s, all the ingredients of contemporary Holocaust denial were in place. Some of this background does, in fact, represent legitimate historical revision. Other parts of it, however, depart from the academic standards of historical analysis and move clearly in the direction of politically and ideologically motivated historical denial. One overarching characteristic of all deniers, the one characteristic which binds them all together, is antisemitism. Regardless of the language used to clothe their attacks upon memory and truth, it is the language of hate and fear. Regardless of pretensions of scholarship and even underlying traces of real scholarship, deniers ultimately come to rely upon the least respectable of all strategies — stereotyping. The works of Rassinier, Barnes, Hoggan and App consistently fall back upon stereotypic images of the Jewish people which have been perpetuated for centuries and which show little sign of diminishing with the current crop of deniers. Sources: The HolocaustShoah Page

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December 27, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust Denial  Comments Closed

How Holocaust Denial Works – snopes.com

The Holocaust happened. It is a fact that some six million European Jews were systematically murdered by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1941 and 1945 ina state-sponsored program of genocide. TheNational Socialists cameto power in partby convincing Germans that manyof the countrys problems werecaused byitsJewish minority, whom they labeled an inferior race and depicted as depraved and animal-like in anti-Semiticpropaganda. They named their planfor exterminating the Jews the Final Solution. Their implementation of a plan to exterminate the Jews the Final Solution, they called it has been well documented,startingwith the 3,000 tonsof confiscated of Third Reichpaperwork presented in evidence at the Nuremberg trials immediately afterthe war. Yet, despiteuniversal agreement among historians aboutall of the above(No serious historian questions that the Holocaust took place, the American Historical Association affirmed in a 1991 statement), there exists a tinybut vocal group of naysayers conspiracy theorists, actually, given thatthey claimthat Jewish-controlled academic and media institutions invented the Holocaust whose mission it is to sow doubt that the genocide of European Jews ever happened. They are known (to everyone but themselves) as Holocaust deniers. Here are some basic tenets of Holocaust denialism (viathe United States Holocaust Memorial Museum): Holocaust denial describes attempts to negate the established facts of the Nazi genocide of European Jewry. Common denial assertions are: that the murder of six million Jews during World War II never occurred; that the Nazis had no official policy or intention to exterminate the Jews; and that the poison gas chambers in Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp never existed. A newer trend is the distortion of the facts of the Holocaust. Common distortions include, for example, assertions that: the figure of six million Jewish deaths is an exaggeration; deaths in the concentration camps were the results of disease or starvation but not policy; and that the diary of Anne Frank is a forgery. Thedeniers arent known for their subtlety. I dont see any reason to be tasteful about Auschwitz, said author, anti-Semite, and Holocaust denier David Irving in 1991. He continued: Its baloney, its a legend. Once we admit the fact that it was a brutal slave labor camp and large numbers of people did die, as large numbers of innocent people died elsewhere in the War, why believe the rest of the baloney? I say quite tastelessly, in fact, that more women died on the back seat of Edward Kennedys car at Chappaquiddick than ever died in a gas chamber in Auschwitz. At a 2006 conference of Holocaust deniers in Iran hosted byPresident Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the countrys former interior minister said, without irony, All the studies and research carried out so far have proven that there is no reason to believe that the Holocaust ever occurred and that it is only a tale. Others at theconferenceadmitted the killings took place, but claimed the numbers were inflated: Frederick Toben, an Australian who in 1999 served jail time in Germany for his Holocaust views, told the conference in no uncertain terms that the number of Jews killed in Nazi death camps an estimated 6 million is a myth. The number of victims at the Auschwitz concentration camp could be about 2,007, Toben said. The railroad to the camp did not have enough capacity to transfer large numbers of Jews. Dont mistake these for sincere historical quibbles. Theyare direct misstatements of the evidentiaryrecord a record whose existence, again, we owe in large partto the Nazis themselves. Both propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and SS chief Heinrich Himmler, for example, admittedtherewas an official plan to exterminatethe Jewish population. The Jews have deserved the catastrophe that has now overtaken them, Goebbels wrote in his diary in 1942. Not much will remain of the Jews. On the whole it can be said that about 60 percent of them will have to be liquidated whereas only 40 percent can be used for forced labor. Chillingly, Himmler said thisin a 1943 speech in Posen, Poland: I refer now to the evacuation of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish people. This is one of those things that is easily said: the Jewish people are being exterminated, says every Party member, quite true, its part of our plans, the elimination of the Jews, extermination, were doing it. No one left behindaledger sheettallying the precisenumber of Jews exterminated but that doesnt mean the figurecant be accurately estimatedbased on existing evidence such as census reports and other government records that survived Nazi efforts to destroy them at the end of the war: No personnel were available or inclined to count Jewish deaths until the very end of World War II and the Nazi regime. Hence, total estimates are calculated only after the end of the war and are based on demographic loss data and the documents of the perpetrators. Though fragmentary, these sources provide essential figures from which to make calculations. Some Holocaust deniers are self-styledhistorical revisionists meaning they present themselves as earnest re-interpreters of real historical data whose goal is simply to reveal the whole truth but its a misnomer.Scratch the surface of your typical Holocaust denier and you will find an anti-Semite. The notion, widespread among deniers, that Jews invented or exaggerated the Holocaust to further their own interestshearkens back to a centuries-old conspiracy theorypositing a secret cabal of wealthy Jewish bankers seeking absoluteworld domination. The Holocaust is the device used as the pillar of Zionist imperialism, Zionist aggression, Zionist terror and Zionist murder, former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard David Duke has said(while dismissing the claim that the Nazis used gas chambers to kill Jews as a myth). In 2013, Englands most infamous Holocaust denier, David Irving (quoted above saying more people died in Ted Kennedys car than at Auschwitz), was asked if it werent true that Jews run the world: Irving, who strongly denies being anti-semitic, replies: Well sometimes people stand up and fight back. He says Jews in America control all media, banks and that they dare not appoint any leading person in the White House to ministerial positions involving money without him being a Jew. Look where that got them in Germany in 1933. And they will not learn the lesson, they all think it wont happen again. Then they ask why they are so hated. Irving says he hears people say Jews are hated because they crucified Jesus Christ. I say if you walk into a pub in Wapping and ask people why they dont like the Jews they dont mention Jesus. They mention other reasons. Theyre worried about their mortgages and the banks thats the reason why the Jews get hated. Its telling that Irving denies hating Jews while repeatedly observingthat Jews are hated, then blames them for it. There is a relatively new form of Holocaust denialism dubbed soft denialism because its adherents dont deny the Holocaust outright but attempt to trivialize it instead whose rise seems to have followedthe same curve as thatof right-wing nationalist movements worldwide in recent years. The most prevalentform of soft denialism revolves around the claimthat thepersecution of Jews in Nazi Germany is given preferential treatment overthe persecution of other minority groupsby the same regime. But this is a moral deflection. Its a factthat the Reich persecuted and killed millions of others in the name of Aryan superiorityRoma (gypsies), Serbs, Poles, individualswith disabilities, individualsperceived as homosexual, socialists, communists, and Jehovahs Witnesses, to name only some of the targeted minorities but this is no justification for eliding Hitlersdecades-long vendetta against the Jewish people in particular, a vendetta which very nearly ended in their complete eradication. In January 2017, President Trump was roundly criticized for issuing a statement in the name of the perished on Holocaust Remembrance Day, held on the anniversary ofthe 1945 liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, that never once mentioned the Jewish victims of that tragedy: January 27, 2017 Statement by the President on International Holocaust Remembrance Day It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror. Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest. As we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent. In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my Presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good. Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world. Harsh reactions to Trumps statement came from many quarters. This is not a political issue, this is a matter of not just sensitivity, its a matter of historical fact, said Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League. Six million Jews were slaughtered along with millions of other people. But the Holocaust was about this singular focus on the annihilation of the Jewish people. Thats why we remember it. Thats why there is a day, a sad day like this past Friday, to reflect upon it. The Nazis killed an astonishing number of people in monstrous ways and targeted certain groups Gypsies, the mentally challenged, and open homosexuals, among others, wrote conservative commentator John Podhoretz. But the Final Solution was aimed solely atthe Jews. The Holocaust was aboutthe Jews. To universalize it to all those who suffered is to scrub the Holocaust of its meaning. The lack of a direct statement about the suffering of the Jewish people during the Holocaust was an unfortunate omission, said Fred Brown, a spokesperson for the Republican Jewish Coalition. History unambiguously shows the purpose of the Nazis final solution was the extermination of the Jews of Europe. We hope, going forward, he conveys those feelings when speaking about the Holocaust. The White Housedismissed thecriticisms, claiming they simply didnt want to leave any of the victims out. Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered, said spokesperson Hope Hicks. If the Trump administration wont listen to their critics, they ought toat least take note of who applauded them for their Holocaust statement the openly anti-Semitic alt-rightleaderRichard Spencer, for one, who hailed what he termed President Trumps de-Judification of the Holocaust in a blog post titled Because Hitler. [T]he kvetching came quickly (yes, he used the Yiddish word) after Trumps statement was released, noted Spencer, and he was having none of it: Trumps statement on Holocaust Memorial Day is, on the surface, utterly defensible within the current moral paradigm: Hitler is depicted as quintessential evil, with modern society revolving around this dark center. But when viewed from the perspective of Jewish activists, Trumps statement becomes outrageous, as it dethrones Jews from a special position in the universe. It seems unlikelythat dethroning Jews was precisely what the Trump administration had in mind when they said their intent wasinclusiveness. That President Trumps Holocaust statement elicited such a response froman avowed white supremacist ought to give him pause before it comes time to issue the next one. Got a tip or a rumor? Contact us here. Ben-Amots, Zach. The Rise of Soft Holocaust Denial. The Tower. October 2016. Dimsdale, Joel E., ed. Survivors, Victims, and Perpetrators: Essays on the Nazi Holocaust. Milton Park, Oxfordshire: Taylor & Francis, 1980. ISBN 9780891163510 (p. 310). Duiker, William J. and Jackson J Spielvogel. The Essential World History. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2016. ISBN 9781305856486 (p. 702). Isenstadt, Alex. Jewish Republicans Chide Trump on Holocaust Statement. Politico. 29 January 2017. Phillip, Abby. Facing Criticism, Trump Administration Has No Regrets About Leaving Out Jews in Holocaust Statement. The Washington Post. 29 January 2017. Spencer, Richard. Because Hitler AltRight.com. 29 January 2017. Usborne, Simon. David Irving The Hate that Dare Not Speak Its Name. Independent. 30 August 2013. The Holocaust History Project. Auschwitz The Death Camp. 26 April 2009. Perspectives on History. American Historical Association Statement on Holocaust Denial. December 1991. U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Holocaust Encyclopedia. Accessed 14 April 2017. WhiteHouse.gov. Statement by the President on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. 27 January 2017.

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Double standard on Holocaust denial – Opinion – Jerusalem Post

Donald Trump welcomes Mahmoud Abbas to White House in Washington , May 3, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS) A French political leader who referred sympathetically to a prominent Holocaust denier has been forced to resign in disgrace. But a Palestinian political leader who referred sympathetically to the same Holocaust denier was welcomed at the White House this week. Why the double standard? Jean-Francois Jalkh, leader of Frances National Front party, resigned in disgrace on April 28 after it was revealed that in a 2000 interview he said it was impossible for the Nazis to have carried out mass murder with poison gas. As his source, Jalkh cited the convicted Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson, whom he described as trustworthy. Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has referred to Faurisson in similar terms, in a bizarre and disturbing book that Abbas wrote in 1983 called The Other Side: The Secret Relations Between Nazism and the Leadership of the Zionist Movement. The central thesis of the book, which Abbas wrote as his doctoral dissertation at Moscow University, is that David Ben-Gurion and other Zionist leaders collaborated with Hitler and wanted the Nazis to kill Jews, because having more victims meant greater rights and stronger privilege to join the negotiating table for dividing the spoils of war once it was over. The real number of Jews murdered by the Nazis was much lower than six million and might well have been below one million, Abbas wrote. 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. One of the alleged authorities whom Abbas cited was the same Holocaust denier at the center of the recent controversy in France. In a scientific study published by the French professor Robert Faurisson, he challenges the existence of gas chambers which served the purpose of killing living Jews, Abbas wrote. He claims that the gas chambers were only used to burn corpses, out of fear of spreading plagues and viruses. It would not take a great effort in order to prove and document this aspect of the truth. Not only has Abbas never disavowed what he wrote in his book, he has reaffirmed it. In a January 21, 2013 interview with the Lebanese television station Al-Mayadeen, Abbas was asked about his Holocaust writings. I challenge anyone to deny the relationship between Zionism and Nazism before World War II, Abbas responded, adding that he has 70 more books that I still havent published that supposedly would prove his claims. Back in 2003, there were rumors that Abbas might visit Israel. Writing in The Jerusalem Post, Isaac Herzog (then a member of Knesset from the Labor Party, today leader of its successor, the Zionist Union) called for any such visit to include a public apology and correction by Abbas for his 1983 Holocaust book. Abbass intolerable accusation against Jewish and Zionist leaders needed to be explicitly retracted, Herzog insisted. Herzogs point is equally relevant today. The hope of achieving genuine peace rests on the willingness of the PA leadership to sincerely reject the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hatred of the past. Every time a PA official or media outlet denies, minimizes, or distorts the Holocaust (including comparisons of Israel to the Nazis), they are stoking the old flames of hatred that were supposed to have been extinguished with the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993. In France, the National Fronts Jean-Francois Jalkh was compelled to resign because the force of public opinion made it clear that he had crossed a line. Civilized society does not tolerate Holocaust deniers. It should not tolerate Abbass version of Holocaust denial, either.The author is founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies and author or editor of 16 books about the Holocaust and Jewish history. Share on facebook

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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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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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