Combating History’s Biggest Lie: Holocaust Denial In The Twenty-First Century
An Introduction to an Analysis of Holocaust Denial
Who were the first deniers of history’s greatest crime - Nazi Germany’s genocidal “Final Solution” against Europe’s Jews that snuffed out the lives of six million innocents including a generation of children.
The perpetrators of The Final Solution themselves!
On October 4, 1943, SS Chief Heinrich Himmler gave a speech in Poland explaining to a meeting of SS Major Generals: “We will never speak of it [the Final Solution] publicly . . . I mean the evacuation of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish race. The Jewish race is being exterminated—that is clear, it’s in our program– elimination of the Jews and we’re doing it, exterminating them . . . This is a page of glory in our history which has never been written and is never to be written.” In other words: lie, deny, destroy evidence, and falsify the record so that the truth will never be known.
As early as April 1945, the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, General Dwight D. Eisenhower anticipated that someday an attempt would be made to destroy or distort Holocaust history. When Allied troops found the victims of Nazi concentration camps, he ordered photographs to be taken to create a record that would debunk future conspiracies aimed at denying the truth about the Holocaust.
Since the end of World War II, Holocaust Deniers in Europe, North America, the Arab and Muslim world, and as far away as Japan, have sought to implement Himmler’s—and Hitler’s— command. A seemingly hopeless task, given that the Holocaust is perhaps the single most documented event in human history.
According to the philosopher George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” But in the twenty-first century, we are confronted with a much bigger nightmare: Not only forgetfulness but outright denial. And if lapses of memory lead to tragedy—deconstructing memory could lead to genocide or Armageddon. In our hi-tech age dominated by social media, falsehoods need not annihilate truth; all that’s required is for them to trivialize truth into irrelevance and oblivion. (See related SWC report on social media and Holocaust Denial at www.wiesenthal.com/holocaustdenialsocialmedia).
Deborah Lipstadt knows the danger first-hand. Holocaust Deniers around the globe rose up in support of the lawsuit in the United Kingdom by disgraced historian and Holocaust Denier David Irving, to destroy her career. It took tremendous internal fortitude for her to stand up for truth, with the outcome very much up in the air since UK’s libel laws lean towards the offended party. None the less Lipstadt and her team won a definitive victory in the year 2000, when Trial Judge Charles Gray demolished the lawsuit for libel brought against her:
“I have found . . . that Irving has for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence . . . for the same reasons he has portrayed Hitler in an unwarrantably favorable light...; that he is an active Holocaust Denier; that he is anti-Semitic Semitic and racist and that he associates with right wing extremists and promotes neo-Nazism.”
But unfortunately Judge Gray’s verdict did not end Irving’s shenanigans as Irving filed frivolous appeals—although unsuccessfully. Indeed, Holocaust Denial since the year 2000 has been on the march. This Report documents the frightening progress of history’s biggest lie in the twentieth-first century—and what we must do to reverse its course.