Denying the Holocaust

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9780029192351: Denying the Holocaust

For years, those who claimed that the death of six million Jews in Nazi concentration camps was nothing but a hoax perpetrated by a powerful Zionist conspiracy, were treated as harmless cranks. But over the past decade, they have begun to gain a hearing in respectable arenas. In this text, a social and intellectual history of Holocaust denial, Lipstadt shows how, despite thousands of living witnesses and vast amounts of documentary evidence, this idea has become an international movement, with organized chapters, "independent" research centres and official publications that promote a "revisionist" view of recent history.

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About the Author:

Deborah E. Lipstadt is Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. She is the author of History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving (a National Jewish Book Award winner); Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory; and Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust, 1933–1945. She lives in Atlanta.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A forceful analysis of attempts to deny the Nazi Holocaust. Lipstadt (Religion/Emory University; Beyond Belief, 1985--not reviewed) traces the history of Holocaust revisionism and contends that it can no longer be ignored, showing how Holocaust-deniers, once dismissed as a lunatic fringe, have been growing in numbers and influence during the past 20 years. Citing groups like the Institute for Historical Review, publications like The Spotlight, politicians like David Duke, and academicians like Leonard Jeffries, Lipstadt presents numerous examples of attempts to prove that the extermination of six million Jews is a hoax; that only a few thousand Jews died in the camps from disease; that the Allied bombings of German cities were worse than any Nazi offense; and that the ``true victims'' of WW II were the German people. These distortions of recorded history, argues the author, threaten to undermine our Western rationalist tradition and to legitimize the politicization of history. To Lipstadt, the common thread among Holocaust deniers is a ``purely anti-Semitic diatribe'' portraying Jews as victimizers. Self-declared scholars like Arthur R. Butz (whose credentials are in electronics) claim that Jews used the world's sympathy after the war to ``displace'' another people, establish the nation of Israel, and ``steal'' billions in reparations from their German and Western ``cash cows.'' Lipstadt argues vehemently against giving revisionists a forum in the name of free speech or freedom of the press, and she details the efforts of California revisionist Bradley Smith, who pushed a ``Holocaust was a hoax'' campaign in college newspapers throughout the US. Lipstadt contends that ``the responses to Holocaust denial by both students and faculty graphically demonstrate the susceptibility of an educated and privileged segment to the kind of reasoning that creates a hospitable climate for the rewriting of history.'' An important, well-documented study that deserves attention. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Lipstadt, Deborah E.
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