Holocaust Denial Literature

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Editor: Jennifer Gariepy
Date: 1995
From: Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism(Vol. 58. )
Publisher: Gale
Document Type: Topic overview
Length: 544 words

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Holocaust denial literature is based on the premise that the treatment of Jews and members of other ethnic and social groups by the Nazi regime during World War II has been misrepresented by historians, journalists, and governments. Authors of Holocaust denial literature first contended that the wartime killings were implemented without Adolf Hitler's knowledge by the lesser officers of the SS who ran the concentration camps. These authors ultimately have come to maintain that there were no systematic killings at all and that the gas chambers in Nazi concentration camps were used only for delousing clothing, not killing human beings. As anti-Israel sentiment grew within certain political factions, the denial movement embraced the theory of a world-wide Jewish conspiracy to gain sympathy for Zionist ideals by propagating a Holocaust “story.” In the 1970s and 1980s Holocaust denial gained public attention with the trial in France of Robert Faurisson, a University of Lyons professor who was prosecuted under French law for his Holocaust denial writings; the establishment in 1980 of the Journal of Historical Review, the periodical of the Institute of Historical Review, a group of revisionists who claimed to be legitimate historians; and the publication, beginning in 1987, of Holocaust denial advertisements in major American university newspapers. The latter engendered controversy when critics denounced the decision to run the advertisements as little more than insensitive attempts to falsify history. Newspaper editors countered that their actions were governed by the principle of freedom of expression rather than historical accuracy. Freedom of expression was also invoked in the case of Robert Faurisson when Noam Chomsky, a noted American linguistic theorist, argued that Faurisson and all scholars have the right to research and publish without fear of persecution. The debate continues over what place, if any, Holocaust denial literature has in universities and libraries.

Representative Works

App, Austin J.

  • The Six Million Swindle: Blackmailing the German People for Hard Marks with Fabricated Corpses 1974

Butz, Arthur R.

  • The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry 1976

Faurisson, Robert

  • The “Problem of the Gas Chambers,” or “The Rumor of Auschwitz” 1979
  • Memoire en defense contre ceux qui m'accusent de falsifier l'histoire: la question des chambres à gaz 1980
  • A Prominent False Witness: Elie Wiesel 1990

Friedrich, Christof [pseudonym of Ernst Zundel] and Thomson, Eric

  • The Hitler We Loved and Why 1980

Grimstad, William N.

  • The Six Million Reconsidered: Is the Nazi Holocaust Story a Zionist Propaganda Ploy? 1979

Harwood, Richard [pseudonym of Richard Verrall]

  • Did Six Million Really Die? The Truth at Last 1974

Hoggan, David L.

  • The Myth of the Six Million 1969

Irving, David

  • Hitler's War 1977

  • Journal of Historical Review 1980—

Leuchter, Fred

  • The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth. An Engineering Report on the Alleged Execution Gas Chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, Poland 1988

Rassinier, Paul

  • The Drama of the European Jews 1975
  • Debunking the Genocide Myth 1978 [Reprinted as The Holocaust Story and the Lies of Ulysses]
  • The Real Eichmann Trial, or, the Incorrigible Victors 1979

Roques, Henri

  • The “Confessions” of Kurt Gerstein 1989

Smith, Bradley R.

  • Confessions of a Holocaust Revisionist 1988

  • The Spotlight 1975—
  • Worldwide Growth and Impact of “Holocaust” Revisionism: A Handbook of Revisionist Views and the Controversy Today 1985

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Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|CMDIBK567811581