Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory

Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory

Paperback

By (author) Deborah E. Lipstadt

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  • Publisher: PLUME
  • Format: Paperback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 226mm x 23mm | 363g
  • Publication date: 28 July 1994
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0452272742
  • ISBN 13: 9780452272743
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 248,365

Product description

The denial of the Holocaust has no more credibility than the assertion that the earth is flat. Yet there are those who insist that the death of six million Jews and other persecuted people in Nazi concentration camps is nothing but a hoax perpetuated by a powerful Zionist conspiracy. In this first full-scale history of Holocaust denial, Deborah Lipstadt shows how - despite tens of thousands of living witnesses and vast amounts of documentary evidence - this irrational idea has not only continued to gain adherents but has become an internationally organized movement. Lipstadt argues that this chilling attack on the factual record not only threatens Jews but could dramatically alter the way that truth and meaning are transmitted from one generation to another.

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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)