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}} Holocaust denial is the act of denying the genocide of Jews in the Holocaust during World War II.<ref name="definition">Donald L Niewyk, The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust, Columbia University Press, 2000, p. 45: "The Holocaust is commonly defined as the murder of more than 5,000,000 Jews by the Germans in World War II."</ref> Holocaust denial includes any of the following claims: that Nazi Germany's Final Solution policy aimed only at deporting Jews from the Reich, and included no policy to exterminate Jews; that Nazi authorities did not use extermination camps and gas chambers to mass murder Jews; and that the actual number of Jews killed was significantly (typically an order of magnitude) lower than the historically accepted figure of 5 to 6 million.<ref>"How many Jews were murdered in the Holocaust? How do we know? Do we have their names?", The Holocaust Resource Center Faqs, Yad Vashem website. Accessed February 17, 2011. See also appropriate section of the Holocaust article for the death toll.</ref><ref name="Key elements">Key elements of Holocaust denial:

  • "Before discussing how Holocaust denial constitutes a conspiracy theory, and how the theory is distinctly American, it is important to understand what is meant by the term 'Holocaust denial'. Holocaust deniers, or 'revisionists', as they call themselves, question all three major points of definition of the Nazi Holocaust. First, they contend that, while mass murders of Jews did occur (although they dispute both the intentionality of such murders as well as the supposed deservedness of these killings), there was no official Nazi policy to murder Jews. Second, and perhaps most prominently, they contend that there were no homicidal gas chambers, particularly at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where mainstream historians believe over 1 million Jews were murdered, primarily in gas chambers. And third, Holocaust deniers contend that the death toll of European Jews during World War II was well below 6 million. Deniers float numbers anywhere between 300,000 and 1.5 million, as a general rule." Mathis, Andrew E. Holocaust Denial, a Definition, The Holocaust History Project, July 2, 2004. Retrieved December 18, 2006.
  • "In part III we directly address the three major foundations upon which Holocaust denial rests, including ... the claim that gas chambers and crematoria were used not for mass extermination but rather for delousing clothing and disposing of people who died of disease and overwork; ... the claim that the six million figure is an exaggeration by an order of magnitude—that about six hundred thousand, not six million, died at the hands of the Nazis; ... the claim that there was no intention on the part of the Nazis to exterminate European Jewry and that the Holocaust was nothing more than the unfortunate by-product of the vicissitudes of war." Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman. Denying History: who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and why Do They Say It?, University of California Press, 2000, ISBN 0-520-23469-3, p. 3.
  • "Holocaust Denial: Claims that the mass extermination of the Jews by the Nazis never happened; that the number of Jewish losses has been greatly exaggerated; that the Holocaust was not systematic nor a result of an official policy; or simply that the Holocaust never took place." What is Holocaust Denial, Yad Vashem website, 2004. Retrieved December 18, 2006.
  • "Among the untruths routinely promoted are the claims that no gas chambers existed at Auschwitz, that only 600,000 Jews were killed rather than six million, and that Hitler had no murderous intentions toward Jews or other groups persecuted by his government." Holocaust Denial, Anti-Defamation League, 2001. Retrieved June 28, 2007.</ref><ref name=Assertions>"The kinds of assertions made in Holocaust-denial material include the following:
  • Several hundred thousand rather than approximately six million Jews died during the war.
  • Scientific evidence proves that gas chambers could not have been used to kill large numbers of people.
  • The Nazi command had a policy of deporting Jews, not exterminating them.
  • Some deliberate killings of Jews did occur, but were carried out by the peoples of Eastern Europe rather than the Nazis.
  • Jews died in camps of various kinds, but did so as the result of hunger and disease (most died to the unavailability of food due to allied bombings). The Holocaust is a myth created by the Allies for propaganda purposes, and subsequently nurtured by the Jews for their own ends.
  • Errors and inconsistencies in survivors' testimonies point to their essential unreliability.
  • Alleged documentary evidence of the Holocaust, from photographs of concentration camp victims to Anne Frank’s diary, is fabricated.
  • The confessions of former Nazis to war crimes were extracted through torture." The nature of Holocaust denial: What is Holocaust denial?, JPR report No. 3, 2000. Retrieved December 18, 2006.</ref>

Scholars use the term "denial" to describe the views and methodology of Holocaust deniers in order to distinguish them from legitimate historical revisionists, who challenge orthodox interpretations of history using established historical methodologies.<ref name=terminology>Denial vs. "revisionism":

  • "This is the phenomenon of what has come to be known as 'revisionism', 'negationism', or 'Holocaust denial,' whose main characteristic is either an outright rejection of the very veracity of the Nazi genocide of the Jews, or at least a concerted attempt to minimize both its scale and importance.... It is just as crucial, however, to distinguish between the wholly objectionable politics of denial and the fully legitimate scholarly revision of previously accepted conventional interpretations of any historical event, including the Holocaust." Bartov, Omer. The Holocaust: Origins, Implementation and Aftermath, Routledge, pp.11–12. Bartov is John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History at the Watson Institute, and is regarded as one of the world's leading authorities on genocide ("Omer Bartov", The Watson Institute for International Studies).
  • "The two leading critical exposés of Holocaust denial in the United States were written by historians Deborah Lipstadt (1993) and Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman (2000). These scholars make a distinction between historical revisionism and denial. Revisionism, in their view, entails a refinement of existing knowledge about an historical event, not a denial of the event itself, that comes through the examination of new empirical evidence or a reexamination or reinterpretation of existing evidence. Legitimate historical revisionism acknowledges a 'certain body of irrefutable evidence' or a 'convergence of evidence' that suggest that an event—like the black plague, American slavery, or the Holocaust—did in fact occur (Lipstadt 1993:21; Shermer & Grobman 200:34). Denial, on the other hand, rejects the entire foundation of historical evidence...." Ronald J. Berger. Fathoming the Holocaust: A Social Problems Approach, Aldine Transaction, 2002, ISBN 0-202-30670-4, p. 154.
  • "At this time, in the mid-1970s, the specter of Holocaust Denial (masked as 'revisionism') had begun to raise its head in Australia...." Bartrop, Paul R. "A Little More Understanding: The Experience of a Holocaust Educator in Australia" in Samuel Totten, Steven Leonard Jacobs, Paul R Bartrop. Teaching about the Holocaust, Praeger/Greenwood, 2004, p. xix. ISBN 0-275-98232-7
  • "Pierre Vidal-Naquet urges that denial of the Holocaust should not be called 'revisionism' because 'to deny history is not to revise it'. Les Assassins de la Memoire. Un Eichmann de papier et autres essays sur le revisionisme (The Assassins of Memory—A Paper-Eichmann and Other Essays on Revisionism) 15 (1987)." Cited in Roth, Stephen J. "Denial of the Holocaust as an Issue of Law" in the Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, Volume 23, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1993, ISBN 0-7923-2581-8, p. 215.
  • "This essay describes, from a methodological perspective, some of the inherent flaws in the 'revisionist' approach to the history of the Holocaust. It is not intended as a polemic, nor does it attempt to ascribe motives. Rather, it seeks to explain the fundamental error in the 'revisionist' approach, as well as why that approach of necessity leaves no other choice. It concludes that 'revisionism' is a misnomer because the facts do not accord with the position it puts forward and, more importantly, its methodology reverses the appropriate approach to historical investigation.... 'Revisionism' is obliged to deviate from the standard methodology of historical pursuit, because it seeks to mold facts to fit a preconceived result; it denies events that have been objectively and empirically proved to have occurred; and because it works backward from the conclusion to the facts, thus necessitating the distortion and manipulation of those facts where they differ from the preordained conclusion (which they almost always do). In short, 'revisionism' denies something that demonstrably happened, through methodological dishonesty." McFee, Gordon. "Why 'Revisionism' Isn't", The Holocaust History Project, May 15, 1999. Retrieved December 22, 2006.
  • "Holocaust denial can be a particularly insidious form of antisemitism precisely because it often tries to disguise itself as something quite different: as genuine scholarly debate (in the pages, for example, of the innocuous-sounding Journal for Historical Review). Holocaust deniers often refer to themselves as 'revisionists', in an attempt to claim legitimacy for their activities. There are, of course, a great many scholars engaged in historical debates about the Holocaust whose work should not be confused with the output of the Holocaust deniers. Debate continues about such subjects as, for example, the extent and nature of ordinary Germans' involvement in and knowledge of the policy of genocide, and the timing of orders given for the extermination of the Jews. However, the valid endeavour of historical revisionism, which involves the re-interpretation of historical knowledge in the light of newly emerging evidence, is a very different task from that of claiming that the essential facts of the Holocaust, and the evidence for those facts, are fabrications." The nature of Holocaust denial: What is Holocaust denial?, JPR report No. 3, 2000. Retrieved May 16, 2007.
  • "The deniers' selection of the name revisionist to describe themselves is indicative of their basic strategy of deceit and distortion and of their attempt to portray themselves as legitimate historians engaged in the traditional practice of illuminating the past. For historians, in fact, the name revisionism has a resonance that is perfectly legitimate – it recalls the controversial historical school known as World War I 'revisionists', who argued that the Germans were unjustly held responsible for the war and that consequently the Versailles treaty was a politically misguided document based on a false premise. Thus the deniers link themselves to a specific historiographic tradition of reevaluating the past. Claiming the mantle of the World War I revisionists and denying they have any objective other than the dissemination of the truth constitute a tactical attempt to acquire an intellectual credibility that would otherwise elude them." Deborah Lipstadt. Denying the Holocaust – The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, Penguin, 1993, ISBN 0-452-27274-2, p. 25.

</ref> Holocaust deniers generally do not accept the term denial as an appropriate description of their activities, and use the term revisionism instead.<ref name="Revisionist">Refer to themselves as revisionists:

  • "The deniers' selection of the name revisionist to describe themselves is indicative of their basic strategy of deceit and distortion and of their attempt to portray themselves as legitimate historians engaged in the traditional practice of illuminating the past." Deborah Lipstadt. Denying the Holocaust—The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, Penguin, 1993, ISBN 0-452-27274-2, p. 25.
  • "Dressing themselves in pseudo-academic garb, they have adopted the term 'revisionism' in order to mask and legitimate their enterprise." Introduction: Denial as Anti-Semitism, "Holocaust Denial: An Online Guide to Exposing and Combating Anti-Semitic Propaganda", Anti-Defamation League, 2001. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
  • "Holocaust deniers often refer to themselves as 'revisionists', in an attempt to claim legitimacy for their activities. There are, of course, a great many scholars engaged in historical debates about the Holocaust whose work should not be confused with the output of the Holocaust deniers. Debate continues about such subjects as, for example, the extent and nature of ordinary Germans' involvement in and knowledge of the policy of genocide, and the timing of orders given for the extermination of the Jews. However, the valid endeavour of historical revisionism, which involves the re-interpretation of historical knowledge in the light of newly emerging evidence, is a very different task from that of claiming that the essential facts of the Holocaust, and the evidence for those facts, are fabrications." "The nature of Holocaust denial: What is Holocaust denial?", JPR report No. 3, 2000. Retrieved May 16, 2007.

</ref> The methodologies of Holocaust deniers are often based on a predetermined conclusion that ignores overwhelming historical evidence to the contrary.<ref name="predetermined">Predetermined conclusion:

  • "'Revisionism' is obliged to deviate from the standard methodology of historical pursuit because it seeks to mold facts to fit a preconceived result, it denies events that have been objectively and empirically proved to have occurred, and because it works backward from the conclusion to the facts, thus necessitating the distortion and manipulation of those facts where they differ from the preordained conclusion (which they almost always do). In short, 'revisionism' denies something that demonstrably happened, through methodological dishonesty." McFee, Gordon. "Why 'Revisionism' Isn't", The Holocaust History Project, May 15, 1999. Retrieved December 22, 2006.
  • Alan L. Berger, "Holocaust Denial: Tempest in a Teapot, or Storm on the Horizon?", in Zev Garber and Richard Libowitz (eds), Peace, in Deed: Essays in Honor of Harry James Cargas, Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1998, p. 154.</ref>

Most Holocaust denial claims imply, or openly state, that the Holocaust is a hoax arising out of a deliberate Jewish conspiracy to advance the interest of Jews at the expense of other peoples.<ref name="hoax">A hoax designed to advance the interests of Jews:

  • "The title of App's major work on the Holocaust, The Six Million Swindle, is informative because it implies on its very own the existence of a conspiracy of Jews to perpetrate a hoax against non-Jews for monetary gain." Mathis, Andrew E. Holocaust Denial, a Definition, The Holocaust History Project, July 2, 2004. Retrieved May 16, 2007.

Another belief of deniers is the death of the millions Jews was caused by sickness and disease.{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}

  • "Jews are thus depicted as manipulative and powerful conspirators who have fabricated myths of their own suffering for their own ends. According to the Holocaust deniers, by forging evidence and mounting a massive propaganda effort, the Jews have established their lies as 'truth' and reaped enormous rewards from doing so: for example, in making financial claims on Germany and acquiring international support for Israel." The nature of Holocaust denial: What is Holocaust denial?, JPR report No. 3, 2000. Retrieved May 16, 2007.
  • "Why, we might ask the deniers, if the Holocaust did not happen would any group concoct such a horrific story? Because, some deniers claim, there was a conspiracy by Zionists to exaggerate the plight of Jews during the war in order to finance the state of Israel through war reparations." Michael Shermer & Alex Grobman. Denying History: who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and why Do They Say It?, University of California Press, 2000, ISBN 0-520-23469-3, p. 106.
  • "Since its inception ... the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a California-based Holocaust denial organization founded by Willis Carto of Liberty Lobby, has promoted the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jews fabricated tales of their own genocide to manipulate the sympathies of the non-Jewish world." Antisemitism and Racism Country Reports: United States, Stephen Roth Institute, 2000. Retrieved May 17, 2007.
  • "The central assertion for the deniers is that Jews are not victims but victimizers. They 'stole' billions in reparations, destroyed Germany's good name by spreading the 'myth' of the Holocaust, and won international sympathy because of what they claimed had been done to them. In the paramount miscarriage of injustice, they used the world's sympathy to 'displace' another people so that the state of Israel could be established. This contention relating to the establishment of Israel is a linchpin of their argument." Deborah Lipstadt. Denying the Holocaust – The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, Penguin, 1993, ISBN 0-452-27274-2, p. 27.
  • "They [Holocaust deniers] picture a vast shadowy conspiracy that controls and manipulates the institutions of education, culture, the media and government in order to disseminate a pernicious mythology. The purpose of this Holocaust mythology, they assert, is the inculcation of a sense of guilt in the white, Western Christian world. Those who can make others feel guilty have power over them and can make them do their bidding. This power is used to advance an international Jewish agenda centered in the Zionist enterprise of the State of Israel." Introduction: Denial as Anti-Semitism, "Holocaust Denial: An Online Guide to Exposing and Combating Anti-Semitic Propaganda", Anti-Defamation League, 2001. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
  • "Deniers argue that the manufactured guilt and shame over a mythological Holocaust led to Western, specifically United States, support for the establishment and sustenance of the Israeli state – a sustenance that costs the American taxpayer over three billion dollars per year. They assert that American taxpayers have been and continue to be swindled...." Introduction: Denial as Anti-Semitism, "Holocaust Denial: An Online Guide to Exposing and Combating Anti-Semitic Propaganda", Anti-Defamation League, 2001. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
  • "The stress on Holocaust revisionism underscored the new anti-Semitic agenda gaining ground within the Klan movement. Holocaust denial refurbished conspiratorial anti-Semitism. Who else but the Jews had the media power to hoodwink unsuspecting masses with one of the greatest hoaxes in history? And for what motive? To promote the claims of the illegitimate state of Israel by making non-Jews feel guilty, of course." Lawrence N. Powell, Troubled Memory: Anne Levy, the Holocaust, and David Duke's Louisiana, University of North Carolina Press, 2000, ISBN 0-8078-5374-7, p. 445.</ref> For this reason, Holocaust denial is generally considered to be an antisemitic<ref name="antisemitic">Antisemitic:
  • "Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include ... denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust)." Working Definition of Antisemitism PDF (33.8 KB), European Fundamental Rights Agency
  • "It would elevate their antisemitic ideology – which is what Holocaust denial is – to the level of responsible historiography – which it is not." Deborah Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust, ISBN 0-14-024157-4, p. 11.
  • "The denial of the Holocaust is among the most insidious forms of anti-Semitism...." Roth, Stephen J. "Denial of the Holocaust as an Issue of Law" in the Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, Volume 23, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1993, ISBN 0-7923-2581-8, p. 215.
  • "Holocaust denial can be a particularly insidious form of antisemitism precisely because it often tries to disguise itself as something quite different: as genuine scholarly debate (in the pages, for example, of the innocuous-sounding Journal for Historical Review)." "The nature of Holocaust denial: What is Holocaust denial?", JPR report No. 3, 2000. Retrieved May 16, 2007.
  • "This books treats several of the myths that have made antisemitism so lethal.... In addition to these historic myths, we also treat the new, maliciously manufactured myth of Holocaust denial, another groundless belief that is used to stir up Jew-hatred." Schweitzer, Frederick M. & Perry, Marvin. Anti-Semitism: myth and hate from antiquity to the present, Palgrave Macmillan, 2002, ISBN 0-312-16561-7, p. 3.
  • "One predictable strand of Arab Islamic antisemitism is Holocaust denial...." Schweitzer, Frederick M. & Perry, Marvin. Anti-Semitism: myth and hate from antiquity to the present, Palgrave Macmillan, 2002, ISBN 0-312-16561-7, p. 10.
  • "Anti-Semitism, in the form of Holocaust denial, had been experienced by just one teacher when working in a Catholic school with large numbers of Polish and Croatian students." Geoffrey Short, Carole Ann Reed. Issues in Holocaust Education, Ashgate Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0-7546-4211-9, p. 71.
  • "Indeed, the task of organized antisemitism in the last decade of the century has been the establishment of Holocaust Revisionism – the denial that the Holocaust occurred." Stephen Trombley, "antisemitism", The Norton Dictionary of Modern Thought, W. W. Norton & Company, 1999, ISBN 0-393-04696-6, p. 40.
  • "After the Yom Kippur War an apparent reappearance of antisemitism in France troubled the tranquility of the community; there were several notorious terrorist attacks on synagogues, Holocaust revisionism appeared, and a new antisemitic political right tried to achieve respectability." Howard K. Wettstein, Diasporas and Exiles: Varieties of Jewish Identity, University of California Press, 2002, ISBN 0-520-22864-2, p. 169.
  • "Holocaust denial is a convenient polemical substitute for anti-semitism." Igounet, Valérie. "Holocaust denial is part of a strategy", Le Monde diplomatique, May 1998.
  • "Holocaust denial is a contemporary form of the classic anti-Semitic doctrine of the evil, manipulative and threatening world Jewish conspiracy." Introduction: Denial as Anti-Semitism, "Holocaust Denial: An Online Guide to Exposing and Combating Anti-Semitic Propaganda", Anti-Defamation League, 2001. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
  • "In a number of countries, in Europe as well as in the United States, the negation or gross minimization of the Nazi genocide of Jews has been the subject of books, essay and articles. Should their authors be protected by freedom of speech? The European answer has been in the negative: such writings are not only a perverse form of anti-semitism but also an aggression against the dead, their families, the survivors and society at large." Roger Errera, "Freedom of speech in Europe", in Georg Nolte, European and US Constitutionalism, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-521-85401-6, pp. 39–40.
  • "Particularly popular in Syria is Holocaust denial, another staple of Arab anti-Semitism that is sometimes coupled with overt sympathy for Nazi Germany." Efraim Karsh, Rethinking the Middle East, Routledge, 2003, ISBN 0-7146-5418-3, p. 104.
  • "Holocaust denial is a new form of anti-Semitism, but one that hinges on age-old motifs." Dinah Shelton, Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, Macmillan Reference, 2005, p. 45.
  • "The stress on Holocaust revisionism underscored the new anti-Semitic agenda gaining ground within the Klan movement. Holocaust denial refurbished conspiratorial anti-Semitism. Who else but the Jews had the media power to hoodwink unsuspecting masses with one of the greatest hoaxes in history? And for what motive? To promote the claims of the illegitimate state of Israel by making non-Jews feel guilty, of course." Lawrence N. Powell, Troubled Memory: Anne Levy, the Holocaust, and David Duke's Louisiana, University of North Carolina Press, 2000, ISBN 0-8078-5374-7, p. 445.
  • "Since its inception ... the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a California-based Holocaust denial organization founded by Willis Carto of Liberty Lobby, has promoted the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jews fabricated tales of their own genocide to manipulate the sympathies of the non-Jewish world." Antisemitism and Racism Country Reports: United States, Stephen Roth Institute, 2000. Retrieved May 17, 2007.
  • "The primary motivation for most deniers is anti-Semitism, and for them the Holocaust is an infuriatingly inconvenient fact of history. After all, the Holocaust has generally been recognized as one of the most terrible crimes that ever took place, and surely the very emblem of evil in the modern age. If that crime was a direct result of anti-Semitism taken to its logical end, then anti-Semitism itself, even when expressed in private conversation, is inevitably discredited among most people. What better way to rehabilitate anti-Semitism, make anti-Semitic arguments seem once again respectable in civilized discourse and even make it acceptable for governments to pursue anti-Semitic policies than by convincing the world that the great crime for which anti-Semitism was blamed simply never happened – indeed, that it was nothing more than a frame-up invented by the Jews, and propagated by them through their control of the media? What better way, in short, to make the world safe again for anti-Semitism than by denying the Holocaust?" Reich, Walter. "Erasing the Holocaust", The New York Times, July 11, 1993.
  • "There is now a creeping, nasty wave of anti-Semitism ... insinuating itself into our political thought and rhetoric.... The history of the Arab world ... is disfigured ... by a whole series of outmoded and discredited ideas, of which the notion that the Jews never suffered and that the Holocaust is an obfuscatory confection created by the elders of Zion is one that is acquiring too much, far too much, currency." Edward Said, "A Desolation, and They Called it Peace" in Those who forget the past, Ron Rosenbaum (ed), Random House 2004, p. 518.</ref> conspiracy theory,<ref name="conspiracy">Conspiracy theory:
  • "While appearing on the surface as a rather arcane pseudo-scholarly challenge to the well-established record of Nazi genocide during the Second World War, Holocaust denial serves as a powerful conspiracy theory uniting otherwise disparate fringe groups...." Introduction: Denial as Anti-Semitism, "Holocaust Denial: An Online Guide to Exposing and Combating Anti-Semitic Propaganda", Anti-Defamation League, 2001. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
  • "Before discussing how Holocaust denial constitutes a conspiracy theory, and how the theory is distinctly American, it is important to understand what is meant by the term 'Holocaust denial.'" Mathis, Andrew E. Holocaust Denial, a Definition, The Holocaust History Project, July 2, 2004. Retrieved December 18, 2006.
  • "Since its inception ... the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a California-based Holocaust denial organization founded by Willis Carto of Liberty Lobby, has promoted the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jews fabricated tales of their own genocide to manipulate the sympathies of the non-Jewish world." Antisemitism and Racism Country Reports: United States, Stephen Roth Institute, 2000. Retrieved May 17, 2007.

</ref> is frequently criticized, and is illegal in several countries.


Holocaust denial sections
Intro  Terminology and etymology  Background: staking a claim on post-war Holocaust historiography  History and development of Holocaust denial after World War II  Recent developments and trends  Reactions to Holocaust denial  Examination of claims  Laws against Holocaust denial  Focus on Allied war crimes in Holocaust denial literature  Other genocide denials  Notable Holocaust deniers  See also  Notes  References  External links  

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}} Holocaust denial is the act of denying the genocide of Jews in the Holocaust during World War II.<ref name="definition">Donald L Niewyk, The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust, Columbia University Press, 2000, p. 45: "The Holocaust is commonly defined as the murder of more than 5,000,000 Jews by the Germans in World War II."</ref> Holocaust denial includes any of the following claims: that Nazi Germany's Final Solution policy aimed only at deporting Jews from the Reich, and included no policy to exterminate Jews; that Nazi authorities did not use extermination camps and gas chambers to mass murder Jews; and that the actual number of Jews killed was significantly (typically an order of magnitude) lower than the historically accepted figure of 5 to 6 million.<ref>"How many Jews were murdered in the Holocaust? How do we know? Do we have their names?", The Holocaust Resource Center Faqs, Yad Vashem website. Accessed February 17, 2011. See also appropriate section of the Holocaust article for the death toll.</ref><ref name="Key elements">Key elements of Holocaust denial:

  • "Before discussing how Holocaust denial constitutes a conspiracy theory, and how the theory is distinctly American, it is important to understand what is meant by the term 'Holocaust denial'. Holocaust deniers, or 'revisionists', as they call themselves, question all three major points of definition of the Nazi Holocaust. First, they contend that, while mass murders of Jews did occur (although they dispute both the intentionality of such murders as well as the supposed deservedness of these killings), there was no official Nazi policy to murder Jews. Second, and perhaps most prominently, they contend that there were no homicidal gas chambers, particularly at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where mainstream historians believe over 1 million Jews were murdered, primarily in gas chambers. And third, Holocaust deniers contend that the death toll of European Jews during World War II was well below 6 million. Deniers float numbers anywhere between 300,000 and 1.5 million, as a general rule." Mathis, Andrew E. Holocaust Denial, a Definition, The Holocaust History Project, July 2, 2004. Retrieved December 18, 2006.
  • "In part III we directly address the three major foundations upon which Holocaust denial rests, including ... the claim that gas chambers and crematoria were used not for mass extermination but rather for delousing clothing and disposing of people who died of disease and overwork; ... the claim that the six million figure is an exaggeration by an order of magnitude—that about six hundred thousand, not six million, died at the hands of the Nazis; ... the claim that there was no intention on the part of the Nazis to exterminate European Jewry and that the Holocaust was nothing more than the unfortunate by-product of the vicissitudes of war." Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman. Denying History: who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and why Do They Say It?, University of California Press, 2000, ISBN 0-520-23469-3, p. 3.
  • "Holocaust Denial: Claims that the mass extermination of the Jews by the Nazis never happened; that the number of Jewish losses has been greatly exaggerated; that the Holocaust was not systematic nor a result of an official policy; or simply that the Holocaust never took place." What is Holocaust Denial, Yad Vashem website, 2004. Retrieved December 18, 2006.
  • "Among the untruths routinely promoted are the claims that no gas chambers existed at Auschwitz, that only 600,000 Jews were killed rather than six million, and that Hitler had no murderous intentions toward Jews or other groups persecuted by his government." Holocaust Denial, Anti-Defamation League, 2001. Retrieved June 28, 2007.</ref><ref name=Assertions>"The kinds of assertions made in Holocaust-denial material include the following:
  • Several hundred thousand rather than approximately six million Jews died during the war.
  • Scientific evidence proves that gas chambers could not have been used to kill large numbers of people.
  • The Nazi command had a policy of deporting Jews, not exterminating them.
  • Some deliberate killings of Jews did occur, but were carried out by the peoples of Eastern Europe rather than the Nazis.
  • Jews died in camps of various kinds, but did so as the result of hunger and disease (most died to the unavailability of food due to allied bombings). The Holocaust is a myth created by the Allies for propaganda purposes, and subsequently nurtured by the Jews for their own ends.
  • Errors and inconsistencies in survivors' testimonies point to their essential unreliability.
  • Alleged documentary evidence of the Holocaust, from photographs of concentration camp victims to Anne Frank’s diary, is fabricated.
  • The confessions of former Nazis to war crimes were extracted through torture." The nature of Holocaust denial: What is Holocaust denial?, JPR report No. 3, 2000. Retrieved December 18, 2006.</ref>

Scholars use the term "denial" to describe the views and methodology of Holocaust deniers in order to distinguish them from legitimate historical revisionists, who challenge orthodox interpretations of history using established historical methodologies.<ref name=terminology>Denial vs. "revisionism":

  • "This is the phenomenon of what has come to be known as 'revisionism', 'negationism', or 'Holocaust denial,' whose main characteristic is either an outright rejection of the very veracity of the Nazi genocide of the Jews, or at least a concerted attempt to minimize both its scale and importance.... It is just as crucial, however, to distinguish between the wholly objectionable politics of denial and the fully legitimate scholarly revision of previously accepted conventional interpretations of any historical event, including the Holocaust." Bartov, Omer. The Holocaust: Origins, Implementation and Aftermath, Routledge, pp.11–12. Bartov is John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History at the Watson Institute, and is regarded as one of the world's leading authorities on genocide ("Omer Bartov", The Watson Institute for International Studies).
  • "The two leading critical exposés of Holocaust denial in the United States were written by historians Deborah Lipstadt (1993) and Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman (2000). These scholars make a distinction between historical revisionism and denial. Revisionism, in their view, entails a refinement of existing knowledge about an historical event, not a denial of the event itself, that comes through the examination of new empirical evidence or a reexamination or reinterpretation of existing evidence. Legitimate historical revisionism acknowledges a 'certain body of irrefutable evidence' or a 'convergence of evidence' that suggest that an event—like the black plague, American slavery, or the Holocaust—did in fact occur (Lipstadt 1993:21; Shermer & Grobman 200:34). Denial, on the other hand, rejects the entire foundation of historical evidence...." Ronald J. Berger. Fathoming the Holocaust: A Social Problems Approach, Aldine Transaction, 2002, ISBN 0-202-30670-4, p. 154.
  • "At this time, in the mid-1970s, the specter of Holocaust Denial (masked as 'revisionism') had begun to raise its head in Australia...." Bartrop, Paul R. "A Little More Understanding: The Experience of a Holocaust Educator in Australia" in Samuel Totten, Steven Leonard Jacobs, Paul R Bartrop. Teaching about the Holocaust, Praeger/Greenwood, 2004, p. xix. ISBN 0-275-98232-7
  • "Pierre Vidal-Naquet urges that denial of the Holocaust should not be called 'revisionism' because 'to deny history is not to revise it'. Les Assassins de la Memoire. Un Eichmann de papier et autres essays sur le revisionisme (The Assassins of Memory—A Paper-Eichmann and Other Essays on Revisionism) 15 (1987)." Cited in Roth, Stephen J. "Denial of the Holocaust as an Issue of Law" in the Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, Volume 23, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1993, ISBN 0-7923-2581-8, p. 215.
  • "This essay describes, from a methodological perspective, some of the inherent flaws in the 'revisionist' approach to the history of the Holocaust. It is not intended as a polemic, nor does it attempt to ascribe motives. Rather, it seeks to explain the fundamental error in the 'revisionist' approach, as well as why that approach of necessity leaves no other choice. It concludes that 'revisionism' is a misnomer because the facts do not accord with the position it puts forward and, more importantly, its methodology reverses the appropriate approach to historical investigation.... 'Revisionism' is obliged to deviate from the standard methodology of historical pursuit, because it seeks to mold facts to fit a preconceived result; it denies events that have been objectively and empirically proved to have occurred; and because it works backward from the conclusion to the facts, thus necessitating the distortion and manipulation of those facts where they differ from the preordained conclusion (which they almost always do). In short, 'revisionism' denies something that demonstrably happened, through methodological dishonesty." McFee, Gordon. "Why 'Revisionism' Isn't", The Holocaust History Project, May 15, 1999. Retrieved December 22, 2006.
  • "Holocaust denial can be a particularly insidious form of antisemitism precisely because it often tries to disguise itself as something quite different: as genuine scholarly debate (in the pages, for example, of the innocuous-sounding Journal for Historical Review). Holocaust deniers often refer to themselves as 'revisionists', in an attempt to claim legitimacy for their activities. There are, of course, a great many scholars engaged in historical debates about the Holocaust whose work should not be confused with the output of the Holocaust deniers. Debate continues about such subjects as, for example, the extent and nature of ordinary Germans' involvement in and knowledge of the policy of genocide, and the timing of orders given for the extermination of the Jews. However, the valid endeavour of historical revisionism, which involves the re-interpretation of historical knowledge in the light of newly emerging evidence, is a very different task from that of claiming that the essential facts of the Holocaust, and the evidence for those facts, are fabrications." The nature of Holocaust denial: What is Holocaust denial?, JPR report No. 3, 2000. Retrieved May 16, 2007.
  • "The deniers' selection of the name revisionist to describe themselves is indicative of their basic strategy of deceit and distortion and of their attempt to portray themselves as legitimate historians engaged in the traditional practice of illuminating the past. For historians, in fact, the name revisionism has a resonance that is perfectly legitimate – it recalls the controversial historical school known as World War I 'revisionists', who argued that the Germans were unjustly held responsible for the war and that consequently the Versailles treaty was a politically misguided document based on a false premise. Thus the deniers link themselves to a specific historiographic tradition of reevaluating the past. Claiming the mantle of the World War I revisionists and denying they have any objective other than the dissemination of the truth constitute a tactical attempt to acquire an intellectual credibility that would otherwise elude them." Deborah Lipstadt. Denying the Holocaust – The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, Penguin, 1993, ISBN 0-452-27274-2, p. 25.

</ref> Holocaust deniers generally do not accept the term denial as an appropriate description of their activities, and use the term revisionism instead.<ref name="Revisionist">Refer to themselves as revisionists:

  • "The deniers' selection of the name revisionist to describe themselves is indicative of their basic strategy of deceit and distortion and of their attempt to portray themselves as legitimate historians engaged in the traditional practice of illuminating the past." Deborah Lipstadt. Denying the Holocaust—The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, Penguin, 1993, ISBN 0-452-27274-2, p. 25.
  • "Dressing themselves in pseudo-academic garb, they have adopted the term 'revisionism' in order to mask and legitimate their enterprise." Introduction: Denial as Anti-Semitism, "Holocaust Denial: An Online Guide to Exposing and Combating Anti-Semitic Propaganda", Anti-Defamation League, 2001. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
  • "Holocaust deniers often refer to themselves as 'revisionists', in an attempt to claim legitimacy for their activities. There are, of course, a great many scholars engaged in historical debates about the Holocaust whose work should not be confused with the output of the Holocaust deniers. Debate continues about such subjects as, for example, the extent and nature of ordinary Germans' involvement in and knowledge of the policy of genocide, and the timing of orders given for the extermination of the Jews. However, the valid endeavour of historical revisionism, which involves the re-interpretation of historical knowledge in the light of newly emerging evidence, is a very different task from that of claiming that the essential facts of the Holocaust, and the evidence for those facts, are fabrications." "The nature of Holocaust denial: What is Holocaust denial?", JPR report No. 3, 2000. Retrieved May 16, 2007.

</ref> The methodologies of Holocaust deniers are often based on a predetermined conclusion that ignores overwhelming historical evidence to the contrary.<ref name="predetermined">Predetermined conclusion:

  • "'Revisionism' is obliged to deviate from the standard methodology of historical pursuit because it seeks to mold facts to fit a preconceived result, it denies events that have been objectively and empirically proved to have occurred, and because it works backward from the conclusion to the facts, thus necessitating the distortion and manipulation of those facts where they differ from the preordained conclusion (which they almost always do). In short, 'revisionism' denies something that demonstrably happened, through methodological dishonesty." McFee, Gordon. "Why 'Revisionism' Isn't", The Holocaust History Project, May 15, 1999. Retrieved December 22, 2006.
  • Alan L. Berger, "Holocaust Denial: Tempest in a Teapot, or Storm on the Horizon?", in Zev Garber and Richard Libowitz (eds), Peace, in Deed: Essays in Honor of Harry James Cargas, Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1998, p. 154.</ref>

Most Holocaust denial claims imply, or openly state, that the Holocaust is a hoax arising out of a deliberate Jewish conspiracy to advance the interest of Jews at the expense of other peoples.<ref name="hoax">A hoax designed to advance the interests of Jews:

  • "The title of App's major work on the Holocaust, The Six Million Swindle, is informative because it implies on its very own the existence of a conspiracy of Jews to perpetrate a hoax against non-Jews for monetary gain." Mathis, Andrew E. Holocaust Denial, a Definition, The Holocaust History Project, July 2, 2004. Retrieved May 16, 2007.

Another belief of deniers is the death of the millions Jews was caused by sickness and disease.{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}

  • "Jews are thus depicted as manipulative and powerful conspirators who have fabricated myths of their own suffering for their own ends. According to the Holocaust deniers, by forging evidence and mounting a massive propaganda effort, the Jews have established their lies as 'truth' and reaped enormous rewards from doing so: for example, in making financial claims on Germany and acquiring international support for Israel." The nature of Holocaust denial: What is Holocaust denial?, JPR report No. 3, 2000. Retrieved May 16, 2007.
  • "Why, we might ask the deniers, if the Holocaust did not happen would any group concoct such a horrific story? Because, some deniers claim, there was a conspiracy by Zionists to exaggerate the plight of Jews during the war in order to finance the state of Israel through war reparations." Michael Shermer & Alex Grobman. Denying History: who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and why Do They Say It?, University of California Press, 2000, ISBN 0-520-23469-3, p. 106.
  • "Since its inception ... the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a California-based Holocaust denial organization founded by Willis Carto of Liberty Lobby, has promoted the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jews fabricated tales of their own genocide to manipulate the sympathies of the non-Jewish world." Antisemitism and Racism Country Reports: United States, Stephen Roth Institute, 2000. Retrieved May 17, 2007.
  • "The central assertion for the deniers is that Jews are not victims but victimizers. They 'stole' billions in reparations, destroyed Germany's good name by spreading the 'myth' of the Holocaust, and won international sympathy because of what they claimed had been done to them. In the paramount miscarriage of injustice, they used the world's sympathy to 'displace' another people so that the state of Israel could be established. This contention relating to the establishment of Israel is a linchpin of their argument." Deborah Lipstadt. Denying the Holocaust – The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, Penguin, 1993, ISBN 0-452-27274-2, p. 27.
  • "They [Holocaust deniers] picture a vast shadowy conspiracy that controls and manipulates the institutions of education, culture, the media and government in order to disseminate a pernicious mythology. The purpose of this Holocaust mythology, they assert, is the inculcation of a sense of guilt in the white, Western Christian world. Those who can make others feel guilty have power over them and can make them do their bidding. This power is used to advance an international Jewish agenda centered in the Zionist enterprise of the State of Israel." Introduction: Denial as Anti-Semitism, "Holocaust Denial: An Online Guide to Exposing and Combating Anti-Semitic Propaganda", Anti-Defamation League, 2001. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
  • "Deniers argue that the manufactured guilt and shame over a mythological Holocaust led to Western, specifically United States, support for the establishment and sustenance of the Israeli state – a sustenance that costs the American taxpayer over three billion dollars per year. They assert that American taxpayers have been and continue to be swindled...." Introduction: Denial as Anti-Semitism, "Holocaust Denial: An Online Guide to Exposing and Combating Anti-Semitic Propaganda", Anti-Defamation League, 2001. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
  • "The stress on Holocaust revisionism underscored the new anti-Semitic agenda gaining ground within the Klan movement. Holocaust denial refurbished conspiratorial anti-Semitism. Who else but the Jews had the media power to hoodwink unsuspecting masses with one of the greatest hoaxes in history? And for what motive? To promote the claims of the illegitimate state of Israel by making non-Jews feel guilty, of course." Lawrence N. Powell, Troubled Memory: Anne Levy, the Holocaust, and David Duke's Louisiana, University of North Carolina Press, 2000, ISBN 0-8078-5374-7, p. 445.</ref> For this reason, Holocaust denial is generally considered to be an antisemitic<ref name="antisemitic">Antisemitic:
  • "Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include ... denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust)." Working Definition of Antisemitism PDF (33.8 KB), European Fundamental Rights Agency
  • "It would elevate their antisemitic ideology – which is what Holocaust denial is – to the level of responsible historiography – which it is not." Deborah Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust, ISBN 0-14-024157-4, p. 11.
  • "The denial of the Holocaust is among the most insidious forms of anti-Semitism...." Roth, Stephen J. "Denial of the Holocaust as an Issue of Law" in the Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, Volume 23, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1993, ISBN 0-7923-2581-8, p. 215.
  • "Holocaust denial can be a particularly insidious form of antisemitism precisely because it often tries to disguise itself as something quite different: as genuine scholarly debate (in the pages, for example, of the innocuous-sounding Journal for Historical Review)." "The nature of Holocaust denial: What is Holocaust denial?", JPR report No. 3, 2000. Retrieved May 16, 2007.
  • "This books treats several of the myths that have made antisemitism so lethal.... In addition to these historic myths, we also treat the new, maliciously manufactured myth of Holocaust denial, another groundless belief that is used to stir up Jew-hatred." Schweitzer, Frederick M. & Perry, Marvin. Anti-Semitism: myth and hate from antiquity to the present, Palgrave Macmillan, 2002, ISBN 0-312-16561-7, p. 3.
  • "One predictable strand of Arab Islamic antisemitism is Holocaust denial...." Schweitzer, Frederick M. & Perry, Marvin. Anti-Semitism: myth and hate from antiquity to the present, Palgrave Macmillan, 2002, ISBN 0-312-16561-7, p. 10.
  • "Anti-Semitism, in the form of Holocaust denial, had been experienced by just one teacher when working in a Catholic school with large numbers of Polish and Croatian students." Geoffrey Short, Carole Ann Reed. Issues in Holocaust Education, Ashgate Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0-7546-4211-9, p. 71.
  • "Indeed, the task of organized antisemitism in the last decade of the century has been the establishment of Holocaust Revisionism – the denial that the Holocaust occurred." Stephen Trombley, "antisemitism", The Norton Dictionary of Modern Thought, W. W. Norton & Company, 1999, ISBN 0-393-04696-6, p. 40.
  • "After the Yom Kippur War an apparent reappearance of antisemitism in France troubled the tranquility of the community; there were several notorious terrorist attacks on synagogues, Holocaust revisionism appeared, and a new antisemitic political right tried to achieve respectability." Howard K. Wettstein, Diasporas and Exiles: Varieties of Jewish Identity, University of California Press, 2002, ISBN 0-520-22864-2, p. 169.
  • "Holocaust denial is a convenient polemical substitute for anti-semitism." Igounet, Valérie. "Holocaust denial is part of a strategy", Le Monde diplomatique, May 1998.
  • "Holocaust denial is a contemporary form of the classic anti-Semitic doctrine of the evil, manipulative and threatening world Jewish conspiracy." Introduction: Denial as Anti-Semitism, "Holocaust Denial: An Online Guide to Exposing and Combating Anti-Semitic Propaganda", Anti-Defamation League, 2001. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
  • "In a number of countries, in Europe as well as in the United States, the negation or gross minimization of the Nazi genocide of Jews has been the subject of books, essay and articles. Should their authors be protected by freedom of speech? The European answer has been in the negative: such writings are not only a perverse form of anti-semitism but also an aggression against the dead, their families, the survivors and society at large." Roger Errera, "Freedom of speech in Europe", in Georg Nolte, European and US Constitutionalism, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-521-85401-6, pp. 39–40.
  • "Particularly popular in Syria is Holocaust denial, another staple of Arab anti-Semitism that is sometimes coupled with overt sympathy for Nazi Germany." Efraim Karsh, Rethinking the Middle East, Routledge, 2003, ISBN 0-7146-5418-3, p. 104.
  • "Holocaust denial is a new form of anti-Semitism, but one that hinges on age-old motifs." Dinah Shelton, Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, Macmillan Reference, 2005, p. 45.
  • "The stress on Holocaust revisionism underscored the new anti-Semitic agenda gaining ground within the Klan movement. Holocaust denial refurbished conspiratorial anti-Semitism. Who else but the Jews had the media power to hoodwink unsuspecting masses with one of the greatest hoaxes in history? And for what motive? To promote the claims of the illegitimate state of Israel by making non-Jews feel guilty, of course." Lawrence N. Powell, Troubled Memory: Anne Levy, the Holocaust, and David Duke's Louisiana, University of North Carolina Press, 2000, ISBN 0-8078-5374-7, p. 445.
  • "Since its inception ... the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a California-based Holocaust denial organization founded by Willis Carto of Liberty Lobby, has promoted the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jews fabricated tales of their own genocide to manipulate the sympathies of the non-Jewish world." Antisemitism and Racism Country Reports: United States, Stephen Roth Institute, 2000. Retrieved May 17, 2007.
  • "The primary motivation for most deniers is anti-Semitism, and for them the Holocaust is an infuriatingly inconvenient fact of history. After all, the Holocaust has generally been recognized as one of the most terrible crimes that ever took place, and surely the very emblem of evil in the modern age. If that crime was a direct result of anti-Semitism taken to its logical end, then anti-Semitism itself, even when expressed in private conversation, is inevitably discredited among most people. What better way to rehabilitate anti-Semitism, make anti-Semitic arguments seem once again respectable in civilized discourse and even make it acceptable for governments to pursue anti-Semitic policies than by convincing the world that the great crime for which anti-Semitism was blamed simply never happened – indeed, that it was nothing more than a frame-up invented by the Jews, and propagated by them through their control of the media? What better way, in short, to make the world safe again for anti-Semitism than by denying the Holocaust?" Reich, Walter. "Erasing the Holocaust", The New York Times, July 11, 1993.
  • "There is now a creeping, nasty wave of anti-Semitism ... insinuating itself into our political thought and rhetoric.... The history of the Arab world ... is disfigured ... by a whole series of outmoded and discredited ideas, of which the notion that the Jews never suffered and that the Holocaust is an obfuscatory confection created by the elders of Zion is one that is acquiring too much, far too much, currency." Edward Said, "A Desolation, and They Called it Peace" in Those who forget the past, Ron Rosenbaum (ed), Random House 2004, p. 518.</ref> conspiracy theory,<ref name="conspiracy">Conspiracy theory:
  • "While appearing on the surface as a rather arcane pseudo-scholarly challenge to the well-established record of Nazi genocide during the Second World War, Holocaust denial serves as a powerful conspiracy theory uniting otherwise disparate fringe groups...." Introduction: Denial as Anti-Semitism, "Holocaust Denial: An Online Guide to Exposing and Combating Anti-Semitic Propaganda", Anti-Defamation League, 2001. Retrieved June 12, 2007.
  • "Before discussing how Holocaust denial constitutes a conspiracy theory, and how the theory is distinctly American, it is important to understand what is meant by the term 'Holocaust denial.'" Mathis, Andrew E. Holocaust Denial, a Definition, The Holocaust History Project, July 2, 2004. Retrieved December 18, 2006.
  • "Since its inception ... the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a California-based Holocaust denial organization founded by Willis Carto of Liberty Lobby, has promoted the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jews fabricated tales of their own genocide to manipulate the sympathies of the non-Jewish world." Antisemitism and Racism Country Reports: United States, Stephen Roth Institute, 2000. Retrieved May 17, 2007.

</ref> is frequently criticized, and is illegal in several countries.


Holocaust denial sections
Intro  Terminology and etymology  Background: staking a claim on post-war Holocaust historiography  History and development of Holocaust denial after World War II  Recent developments and trends  Reactions to Holocaust denial  Examination of claims  Laws against Holocaust denial  Focus on Allied war crimes in Holocaust denial literature  Other genocide denials  Notable Holocaust deniers  See also  Notes  References  External links  

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