Holocaust Denial as an International Movement

Holocaust Denial as an International Movement

Holocaust Denial as an International Movement

Holocaust Denial as an International Movement

Synopsis

Atkins traces the history, causes, and spread of holocaust denial, illustrating how rational thinkers can come under the sway of fringe ideas.

Excerpt

Holocaust denial may have started in Europe after World War II but now in the early twenty-first century, it has become an international movement. It has spread from Europe throughout the world with Holocaust deniers active in almost every country. Several books appeared in the late 1980s and early 1990s that traced the state of Holocaust denial in that era. Deborah Lipstadt’s Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory appeared in 1993, and it made a major impact in the study of Holocaust denial. Gill Seidel’s Holocaust Denial: Antisemitism, Racism and the New Right (1986) and Kenneth S. Stern’s Holocaust Denial (1993) were two others that made major contributions to the understanding of the Holocaust denial movement. It has been more than a decade since these books appeared, and there has been no attempt to bring the Holocaust denial movement up-to-date. The importance of an update is in keeping with Stern’s conclusion in 2001.

Holocaust denial, in fact, may be the single most potent ideological force tying
together a variety of extremists from around the globe—including old Nazis,
neo-Nazis, anti-Israeli Arab governments, American black separatists and
others.

My intent in writing this book is to trace the state of the international Holocaust denial movement in the early 2000s with appropriate attention to the development of Holocaust denial in the past.

Holocaust denial has been stimulated by three factors: a desire to rehabilitate Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime so that it would be possible to reestablish a neo-Nazi state, a renewal of the ancient scourge of antisemitism, and a way of denying the legitimacy of the state of Israel. Each of these factors has its own partisans, but sometimes there has been crossover when these partisans found out they share the same goals. Few neo-Nazis have any love for . . .

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