Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory

Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory


By (author) Deborah E. Lipstadt

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 234mm x 23mm | 318g
  • Publication date: 2 March 1995
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0140241574
  • ISBN 13: 9780140241570
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Illustrations note: index

Product description

Everyone is familiar with the haunting and powerful images of death in the Nazi concentration camps, especially with films such as "Schindler's List". Yet there is a growing faction that denies that these events ever took place. This book investigates this trend in holocaust denial.

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Editorial 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. (Kirkus Reviews)

Table of contents

Canaries in the mine - Holocaust denial and the limited power of reason; the antecedents - history, conspiracy, and fantasy; in the shadow of World War 2 - denial's first steps; the first stirrings of denial in America; Austin J. App - the world of immoral equivalencies; denial - a tool of the radical right; entering the mainstream - the case of Arthur Butz; the Institute for Historical Review; the gas chamber controversy; the battle for the campus; watching on the Rhine - the future course of Holocaust denial. Appendix: twisting the truth - Zyklon-B, the gas chambers, and the "Diary of Anne Frank".