Holocaust Denial Literature
Holocaust Denial Literature
Holocaust denial literature is based on the premise that the treatment of Jews and members of other ethnic and social groups by the Nazi regime during World War II has been misrepresented by historians, journalists, and governments. Authors of Holocaust denial literature first contended that the wartime killings were implemented without Adolf Hitler's knowledge by the lesser officers of the SS who ran the concentration camps. These authors ultimately have come to maintain that there were no systematic killings at all and that the gas chambers in Nazi concentration camps were used only for delousing clothing, not killing human beings. As anti-Israel sentiment grew within certain political factions, the denial movement embraced the theory of a world-wide Jewish conspiracy to gain sympathy for Zionist ideals by propagating a Holocaust "story." In the 1970s and 1980s Holocaust denial gained public attention with the trial in France of Robert Faurisson, a University of Lyons professor who was prosecuted under French law for his Holocaust denial writings; the establishment in 1980 of the Journal of Historical Review, the periodical of the Institute of Historical Review, a group of revisionists who claimed to be legitimate historians; and the publication, beginning in 1987, of Holocaust denial advertisements in major American university newspapers. The latter engendered controversy when critics denounced the decision to run the advertisements as little more than insensitive attempts to falsify history. Newspaper editors countered that their actions were governed by the principle of freedom of expression rather than historical accuracy. Freedom of expression was also invoked in the case of Robert Faurisson when Noam Chomsky, a noted American linguistic theorist, argued that Faurisson and all scholars have the right to research and publish without fear of persecution. The debate continues over what place, if any, Holocaust denial literature has in universities and libraries.
App, Austin J.
The Six Million Swindle: Blackmailing the German People for Hard Marks with Fabricated Corpses 1974
Butz, Arthur R.
The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry 1976
The "Problem of the Gas Chambers," or "The Rumor of Auschwitz" 1979
Memoire en defense contre ceux qui m 'accusent de falsifier l'histoire: la question des chambres d gaz 1980
A Prominent False Witness: Elie Wiesel 1990
Friedrich, Christof [pseudonym of Ernst Zundel] and Thomson, Eric
The Hitler We Loved and Why 1980
Grimstad, William N.
The Six Million Reconsidered: Is the Nazi Holocaust Story a Zionist Propaganda Ploy? 1979
Harwood, Richard [pseudonym of Richard Verrall]
Did Six Million Really Die? The Truth at Last 1974
Hoggan, David L.
The Myth of the Six Million 1969
Hitler's War 1977
Journal of Historical Review 1980—
The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth. An Engineering Report on the Alleged Execution Gas Chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, Poland 1988
The Drama of the European Jews 1975
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SOURCE: "The Holocaust Denial: a Study in Propaganda Technique," in Neo-Fascism in Europe, Luciano Cheles, Ronnie Ferguson, Michalina Vaughan, eds., Longman Group Limited, 1991, pp. 120-46.
[In the following essay, Eatwell analyzes propaganda techniques used in Holocaust denial literature]
The Holocaust of Jews during the Second World War is part of modern collective memory. Images of the emaciated living, of rag-doll heaps of the dead, of gas chambers and ferocious SS guards, are vivid not just for survivors. Popular media, such as film and television, provide constant reminders of the twentieth century's potential for bestiality. Yet, during the 1970s and 1980s there was a notable growth of articles, pamphlets and books seeking to deny that there was a systematic Nazi policy of genocide. Such views might be considered the historical or political equivalent of the 'scientific' belief that the moon is made of green cheese. However, four opening points about the growth of this Holocaust-denial literature illustrate the dangers of dismissing its potential impact, especially at a time when there are signs that anti-Semitism may be reviving, and criticisms of Israel growing.
Firstly, such propaganda should not be seen solely within the context of the limited circulations achieved by most contemporary Fascist publications. Laws banning the publication...
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Robert Faurisson And Noam Chomsky
SOURCE: "On Faurisson and Chomsky," in Assassins of Memory, translated by Jeffrey Mehlman, Columbia University Press, 1992, pp. 65-73.
[In the following essay, Vidal-Naquet impugns the motives of Robert Faurisson and Noam Chomsky in defending the authors of Holocaust denial literature.]
Pursuing his crusade—whose theme may be summarized as follows: the gas chambers did not exist because they can not have existed; they can not have existed because they should not have existed; or better still: they did not exist because they did not exist—Robert Faurisson has just published a new book [Memoire en défense].
This work is neither more nor less mendacious and dishonest than the preceding ones. I am not at the disposal of R. Faurisson, who, moreover, has not devoted a single line to attempting to respond to my dismantling of his lies in a text that he clearly is familiar with if we may judge from certain editorial details (such as the rectification of all too obvious cases of falsification). If every time a "revisionist" trotted out a new fable it were necessary to respond, all the forests of Canada would not suffice. I shall simply observe the following point: Faurisson's book is centered on the diary of the SS physician J. P. Kremer, a text I dealt with at length, showing that not once in the diary do the "special actions" in...
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Holocaust Denial Literature In America
Deborah E. Lipstadt
SOURCE: "The Evolution of American Holocaust Revisionism," in Remembering for the Future: Working Papers and Addenda, Vol. III, edited by Yehuda Bauer and others, Pergamon Press, 1989, pp. 2579-93.
[Lipstadt is an American historian and educator whose writings focus on modern Jewish history. In the following essay, she traces the evolution of American Holocaust revisionism.]
The roots of American Holocaust revisionism can be found in the work of an influential group of progressive American historians who were deeply disturbed by American involvement in World War I. Some of these historians were highly respected scholars who probably never dreamt that their historiographic approach and arguments would be utilized by a small but prolific group of individuals—most of whom are neither historians nor people of respected standing in the scholarly world—to place history on trial and to revise the truth.
In the aftermath of World War I a school of revisionist historians including prominent and respected figures such as Sidney B. Fay and Charles Beard sought to exonerate Germany from sole responsibility for the war. They were particularly distressed by the Allied use of German guilt in order to impose a severe peace and to extract what they considered to be unfair punishment. As a result in part of their attacks, criticism of the...
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Library Access To Holocaust Denial Literature
SOURCE: "Revisionist History in the Library: To Facilitate Access or Not to Facilitate Access?" in Canadian Library Journal, Vol. 48, No. 4, October, 1991, pp. 319-24.
[In the following essay, Katz addresses the major questions that have been raised over the acquisition and dissemination of Holocaust denial literature in Canadian libraries.]
In her very provocative article, "Lies about the Holocaust," (1980) Lucy Dawidowicz describes the concept of "historical revision" (the practice of "reinterpreting the past") as a necessary part of the historian's job. Herself an eminent historian of the Jewish Holocaust, Dawidowicz makes the observation that "every historical subject has undergone revision as each new generation rewrites the history of the past in the light of its own perspectives and values."
New information and the discovery of hitherto unknown documents or artifacts can change entirely the generally accepted picture of a particular event, era, person, or civilization—even if that picture has lasted for centuries. Consider the Trojan War, dinosaurs, the Etruscans and William Shakespeare. Public officials, national leaders, and celebrities are notorious for witholding information about their personal and professional lives which is eventually "unearthed" by historians when the luminaries in question have departed this life.
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The Authenticity Of Anne Frank's Diary
SOURCE: "Attacks on the Authenticity of the Diary," in The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition, edited by David Barnouw and Gerrold van der Stroom, translated by Arnold J. Pomerans and B. M. Mooyaart-Doubleday, Viking, 1989, pp. 84-101.
[In the following essay, Barnouw answers Holocaust revisionists who deny the authenticity of Anne Frank's diary.]
The earliest attacks on the authenticity of Anne Frank's diary we could discover in print come in two articles published in November 1957 in the Swedish paper Fria Ord under the heading of "Judisk Psyke—En studie kring Anne Frank och Meyer Levin [Jewish Psyche—A Study Around Anne Frank and Meyer Levin]." Their author was Harald Nielsen, a Danish literary critic. Basing himself on a brief factual report in De Telegraaf of April 11, 1957, Nielsen alleged that the diary owed its final form to Meyer Levin. In support of this opinion, he produced such spurious arguments as the claim that Anne and Peter were not Jewish names. He went on to delve into the Jewish background of Meyer Levin's writing. He concluded his articles with the comment that Levin's reminiscences, published in 1951 in a book entitled In Search, had the advantage of undisputed authenticity.
In March 1958 the Norwegian paper Folg og Land, the organ of the former SS Viking Division, referred to Meyer...
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David Irving And The "Normalization" Of Hitler
SOURCE: "Hitler and the Genesis of the 'Final Solution': An Assessment of David Irving's Theses," in Yad Vashem Studies, Vol. XIII, 1979, pp. 73-125.
[Broszat was a German historian and a respected authority on the Holocaust. Director of the Munich-based Institute for Contemporary History for seventeen years, he argued that the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews was not fully formed before World War IL Rather, he believed the strategy of extermination evolved during the war years in response to the pressures of the conflict. In the following essay, Broszat offers an assessment of David Irving's book Hitler's War.]
The English Edition of David Irving's Hitler book [Hitler's War], published in the spring of 1977, two years after the expurgated German edition, has created a furore both in England and elsewhere. The British author, who gained a reputation as an enfant terrible with earlier publications on contemporary history, has propounded a thesis which is embarrassing even to some of his friends and admirers.
Hitler, according to Irving, had pursued the aim of making Germany and Europe judenfrei, that is, clear of Jews; he had not, however, desired the mass murder of the Jews and had not ordered it; this had been instigated by Himmler, Heydrich and individual chiefs of the civilian and security police in the East....
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Bercuson, David, and Wertheimer, Douglas. A Trust Betrayed: The Keegstra Affair. Toronto: Doubleday Canada Limited, 1985, 241 p.
Focuses on the trial of Jim Keegstra, a Canadian teacher accused of using anti-Semitic and revisionist books and tracts in his classroom.
Bolton, Judith. "Holocaust Revisionism: Editing the Past." Congress Monthly 59, No. 5 (July-August 1992): 9-12.
Briefly discusses the impact of Holocaust denial on historical study, and concludes: "Rather than resist it by reinventing, rearranging, or downgrading it, the Holocaust must be acknowledged as well as anchored with ethical and moral imperatives."
Braham, Randolph L. "Historical Revisionism and the New Right." In Remembering for the Future, Working Papers and Addenda, Vol. II: The Impact of the Holocaust on the Contemporary World, pp. 2093-2103. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1989.
Examines the preponderance of Holocaust deniers in ultra-rightist political groups.
Butovsky, Avriel. "Radical Round Up: The Holocaust on Trial in Canada." Patterns of Prejudice 19, No. 3 (July 1985): 34-6.
Briefly discusses the trial of Ernst Zundel, a German immigrant in Canada who was convicted under Canada's anti-hate-mongering laws for his Holocaust denial writings.
Davies, Alan. "A Tale of Two Trials: Antisemitism in Canada 1985."...
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