Holocaust Denial

‘Get it all on record now – get the films – get the witnesses -because somewhere down
the road of history some bastard will get up 
and say that this never happened’
~General Eisenhower

Eisenhower issued an order that American units in the area were to visit the camp. He also issued a call to the press back home. A group of prominent journalists, led by the dean of American publishers, Joseph Pulitzer, came to see the concentration camps. Pulitzer initially had “a suspicious frame of mind,” he wrote. He expected to find that many of “the terrible reports” printed in the United States were “exaggerations and largely propaganda.” But they were understatements, he reported.

January 27 has been designated by the United Nations as the annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust:

1. Condemns without any reservation any denial of the Holocaust.
2. Urges all Member States unreservedly to reject any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event,
either in full or in part, or any activities to this end.

Holocaust denial is rooted in the isolationism and historical revision of the WWI, post-War, WWII and Cold War periods. By the mid to late 1960s, all the ingredients of contemporary Holocaust denial were in place. Historical revisions were politically and ideologically motivated to re-enforce denial. One overarching characteristic of all deniers, the one characteristic which binds them all together, is antisemitism. Regardless of the language used to clothe their attacks upon memory and truth, it is the language of hate and fear. Regardless of pretensions of scholarship and even underlying traces of real scholarship, deniers ultimately come to rely upon the least respectable of all strategies — stereotyping. Stereotypic images of the Jewish people which have been perpetuated for centuries and which show little sign of diminishing with the current crop of deniers.

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Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority, did his doctorate dissertation on “Holocaust Denial”.

Mahmoud Abbas entered graduate studies at the Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, where he earned a Candidate of Sciences degree (the Soviet equivalent of a PhD).
The theme of his doctoral dissertation was “The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism”.

After Yasser Arafat’s death, Mahmoud Abbas  was endorsed by Fatah’s Revolutionary Council and became their  leader.

Yasser Arafat was the cousin of Haj Amin el-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, and  a general in Hitler’s army. The Mufti hand picked Arafat, and Arafat was proceeded by Abbas,  perpetuating the Nazi ideology.
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A Holocaust-Denier as Prime Minister of “Palestine”?
Dr. Rafael Medoff
March, 2003

While European Union officials praised Yasir Arafat’s decision to appoint his first-ever prime minister, historians of the Holocaust winced at the news that a leading candidate for the job is the author of a book denying that the Nazis murdered six million Jews.

The candidate is Mahmoud Abbas (also known as Abu Mazen), Arafat’s second in command, and his book, published (in Arabic) in 1983, is titled ‘The Other Side: The Secret Relations Between Nazism and the Leadership of the Zionist Movement.’ It was originally his doctoral dissertation, completed at Moscow Oriental College, in the Soviet Union.

According to a translation of the text provided by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Abbas’s book repeatedly attempts to cast doubt on the fact that the Nazis slaughtered six million Jews. He writes: “Following the war, word was spread that six million Jews were amongst the victims and that a war of extermination was aimed primarily at the Jews … The truth is that no one can either confirm or deny this figure. In other words, it is possible that the number of Jewish victims reached six million, but at the same time it is possible that the figure is much smaller–below one million.” Abbas denies that the gas chambers were used to murder Jews, quoting a “scientific study” to that effect by French Holocaust-denier Robert Faurisson.

Abbas then asserts: “The historian and author, Raoul Hilberg, thinks that the figure does not exceed 890,000.” This is, of course, utterly false. Professor Hilberg, a distinguished historian and author of the classic study ‘The Destruction of the European Jews’, has never said or written any such thing.

Abbas believes the number six million is the product of a Zionist conspiracy: “It seems that the interest of the Zionist movement, however, is to inflate this figure so that their gains will be greater,” he writes. “This led them to emphasize this figure [six million] in order to gain the solidarity of international public opinion with Zionism. Many scholars have debated the figure of six million and reached stunning conclusions–fixing the number of Jewish victims at only a few hundred thousand.” Another falsehood. In fact, no serious scholar proposes such a figure.

After reducing the magnitude of the Nazi slaughter so that it no longer seems to have been a full-scale Holocaust, Abbas seeks to absolve the Nazis by blaming the Zionist leadership for whatever killings did take place. According to Abbas, “a partnership was established between Hitler’s Nazis and the leadership of the Zionist movement … [the Zionists gave] permission to every racist in the world, led by Hitler and the Nazis, to treat Jews as they wish, so long as it guarantees immigration to Palestine.” In addition to encouraging the persecution of Jews so they would emigrate to the Holy Land, the Zionist leaders actually *wanted* Jews to be murdered, because –in Abbas’s words–“having more victims meant greater rights and stronger privilege to join the negotiation table for dividing the spoils of war once it was over. However, since Zionism was not a fighting partner–suffering victims in a battle–it had no escape but to offer up human beings, under any name, to raise the number of victims, which they could then boast of at the moment of accounting.”

Perhaps sentiments of this sort were common within Abbas’s circle of graduate students in the Soviet Union in the 1970s. But in the Free World, such propaganda has never been accepted as serious scholarship.

In most Western countries, Holocaust-deniers have been treated as pariahs. In Canada and many European countries, Holocaust-denial is a criminal offense. In New Zealand, Canterbury University recently issued an apology for having accepting a master’s thesis denying the Holocaust, while the French Minister of Education revoked a doctoral degree that was awarded to a Holocaust-denier by the University of Nantes. A Polish university professor who denied the Holocaust was suspended from his position. The Japanese publisher Bungei Shunju shut down one of its magazines for printing an article denying the Holocaust.

International pressure compelled Croatian president Franjo Tudjman to publicly retract statements in his book doubting that the Holocaust had taken place. Austrian Freedom Party leader Jorg Haider was ostracized by the international community for his remarks praising members of the SS, as was French politician Jean Marie Le Pen, for questioning the existence of the gas chambers and belittling the significance of the Holocaust. A recent poll found 64% of Americans believe world leaders should likewise refuse to meet with Abbas.

Yet some in the media have treated Abbas with kid gloves, to say the least. The official BCC News Profile of Abbas reports: “A highly intellectual man, Abbas studied law in Egypt before doing a Ph.D. in Moscow. He is the author of several books.” The New York Times recently characterized Abbas as “a lawyer and historian … He holds a doctorate in history from the Moscow Oriental College; his topic was Zionism.” Neither the BBC nor the Times have offered any further explanation as to the contents of Abbas’s writings.

Bestowing the title “historian” upon Mahmoud Abbas awards his writings a stature they do not deserve, and deals a grievous insult to every genuine historian.

If Abbas is elevated to the post of prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, not only the media but the entire international community will be confronted with the question of whether Abbas deserves to be treated any differently from Tudjman, Haider, and Le Pen.

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What Was The Holocaust?
In 1933, the Jewish population of Europe stood at over nine million. Most European Jews lived in countries that Nazi Germany would occupy or influence during World War II. By 1945, the Germans and their collaborators killed nearly two out of every three European Jews as part of the “Final Solution,” the Nazi policy to murder the Jews of Europe. Although Jews, whom the Nazis deemed a priority danger to Germany, were the primary victims of Nazi racism, other victims included some 200,000 Roma (Gypsies). At least 200,000 mentally or physically disabled patients, mainly Germans, living in institutional settings, were murdered in the so-called Euthanasia Program.

As Nazi tyranny spread across Europe, the Germans and their collaborators persecuted and murdered millions of other people. Between two and three million Soviet prisoners of war were murdered or died of starvation, disease, neglect, or maltreatment. The Germans targeted the non-Jewish Polish intelligentsia for killing, and deported millions of Polish and Soviet civilians for forced labor in Germany or in occupied Poland, where these individuals worked and often died under deplorable conditions. From the earliest years of the Nazi regime, German authorities persecuted homosexuals and others whose behavior did not match prescribed social norms. German police officials targeted thousands of political opponents (including Communists, Socialists, and trade unionists) and religious dissidents (such as Jehovah’s Witnesses). Many of these individuals died as a result of incarceration and maltreatment.

Administration of the “Final Solution”
In the early years of the Nazi regime, the National Socialist government established concentration camps to detain real and imagined political and ideological opponents. Increasingly in the years before the outbreak of war, SS and police officials incarcerated Jews, Roma, and other victims of ethnic and racial hatred in these camps. To concentrate and monitor the Jewish population as well as to facilitate later deportation of the Jews, the Germans and their collaborators created ghettos, transit camps, and forced-labor camps for Jews during the war years. The German authorities also established numerous forced-labor camps, both in the so-called Greater German Reich and in German-occupied territory, for non-Jews whose labor the Germans sought to exploit.

Following the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units) and, later, militarized battalions of Order Police officials, moved behind German lines to carry out mass-murder operations against Jews, Roma, and Soviet state and Communist Party officials. German SS and police units, supported by units of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS, murdered more than a million Jewish men, women, and children, and hundreds of thousands of others. Between 1941 and 1944, Nazi German authorities deported millions of Jews from Germany, from occupied territories, and from the countries of many of its Axis allies to ghettos and to killing centers, often called extermination camps, where they were murdered in specially developed gassing facilities.

The End of The Holocaust
In the final months of the war, SS guards moved camp inmates by train or on forced marches, often called “death marches,” in an attempt to prevent the Allied liberation of large numbers of prisoners. As Allied forces moved across Europe in a series of offensives against Germany, they began to encounter and liberate concentration camp prisoners, as well as prisoners en route by forced march from one camp to another. The marches continued until May 7, 1945, the day the German armed forces surrendered unconditionally to the Allies. For the western Allies, World War II officially ended in Europe on the next day, May 8 (V-E Day), while Soviet forces announced their “Victory Day” on May 9, 1945.

In the aftermath of the Holocaust, many of the survivors found shelter in displaced persons (DP) camps administered by the Allied powers. Between 1948 and 1951, almost 700,000 Jews emigrated to Israel, including 136,000 Jewish displaced persons from Europe. Other Jewish DPs emigrated to the United States and other nations. The last DP camp closed in 1957. The crimes committed during the Holocaust devastated most European Jewish communities and eliminated hundreds of Jewish communities in occupied eastern Europe entirely.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “The Holocaust.” Holocaust Encyclopedia.

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