Holocaust denial claims the Holocaust never happened, that it wasn’t documented, and that it was not propagated by the Nazis against the Jews.
Holocaust denial is a criminal offence that is a penalty and can end in prison time in Israel, France, Germany, Austria, Spain and Belgium. In Israel however there is a special law that prohibits the actual denial of the Holocaust.
Holocaust denial may divide into two forms: “radical Holocaust denial,” a complete nullification of the idea that the Holocaust occurred and “moderate Holocaust denial” that claims it had occurred but lessens its atrocities by claiming it isn’t a unique crime and similar to other genocides committed against ethnic groups or minorities.
Holocaust denial often develops in Neo-Nazi groups, antisemitic organizations and Islamist groups.
There are many shocking arguments which deny the existence of the Jewish genocide during the Second World War, some of which are:
1. Some assume that the six million total of Jews that died is exaggerated.
2. Claim that the Nazis didn’t use gas chambers as mass murder weapons.
3. The movies presenting the murder and the devastation of the war were Ally propaganda.
4. Claims the evidence for the Holocaust is fake.
5. Argues that it was the Americans who commuted crimes against the Jews in order to enable the establishment of the State of Israel.
6. Argues that the Holocaust was invented by the Zionists in order to justify the establishment of the state of Israel and to dispossess the Palestinians from their rights and land.
7. Another claim was that Adolf Hitler, the Nazi party or the main leadership back then in Germany didn’t order to kill Jews or to commit crimes among them, therefore the Nazis don’t hold any responsibility for the policy towards the Jews, and that the Holocaust was a reasonable reaction for the Jewish people acts.
Although the Holocaust is an historical event that was documented and proven David Irving and the Lipstadt libel case is a known example for Holocaust denial. Lipstadt criticized Irving, a British writer and a historian, for misrepresenting evidences to justify his conclusions, therefore denying the Holocaust. Irving sued Debra Lipstadt and her publisher “Penguin Books” for their statements in Lipstadt book “Denying the Holocaust”. The court was convinced by Lipstadts’ arguments and condemned Irving. In 2006 Irving was convicted in Austria and was sentenced to 3 years in prison. In his trial Irving said he was mistaken and that he changed his opinion, he was convinced that the Nazis committed genocide against Jews. The movie “Denial” is based on Debra Lipstadts book and the trial.
Many countries conducted laws that prohibit the denial of the Holocaust, the European Union spurs more countries to conducts similar laws, The UN condemns every expression of Holocaust denial and declared the 27th January as the international Holocaust Memorial Day. The internet and easiness of publishing information had led to the growing popularity of Holocaust denial through the web. ISCA, Israeli students combating antisemitism, works daily to reduce the amount of Holocaust denial expression online.
Image: Kosher Delight
By: Yael Soffer