Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorating the victims of the horrific crimes committed by the Nazis and their supporters. This is a day to hear powerful stories from Holocaust survivors, liberators and witnesses; a day to recommit to the fight against antisemitism, including efforts to root out Holocaust denial; and a day for the world to educate itself about all issues related to the Holocaust and genocide.
“The Holocaust, the systematic murder of approximately six million Jews and several million others by the Nazis, is one of history’s most painstakingly examined and well-documented genocides.
“Nevertheless, in the decades since World War II, a small group of antisemites has repeatedly attempted to cast doubt on the facts of the Holocaust concerning Jewish victims. They claim that Jews fabricated evidence of their genocide to gain sympathy, extract reparations from Germany and facilitate the alleged illegal acquisition of Palestinian land to create Israel.
“This phenomenon, known as Holocaust denial, is founded on stereotypes of Jewish greed, scheming, and the belief that Jews can somehow force massive institutions — governments, Hollywood, the media, academia — to promote an epic lie. In the United States, until the early 2000s, Holocaust denial was dominated by the extremist right, including white supremacists, who had a vested interest in absolving Hitler from having committed one of the most monstrous crimes the world has ever known. Today, Holocaust denial in the U.S. has moved far beyond its original fringe circles on the extremist right to become a phenomenon across the ideological spectrum.
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