'Soft-core' Holocaust denial denounced

 

OUTRIGHT DENIAL of the Holocaust is being replaced by “soft-core deniers” and the trivialisation of the murder of six million Jews, leading historian Prof Deborah Lipstadt told a Dublin audience yesterday.

Prof Lipstadt won a celebrated case against the historian David Irving in 2000, when she successfully defended claims that he was a Holocaust denier.

She said people who describe the treatment of the Palestinians, black people under apartheid or the deaths of one million Irish people in the Famine as a holocaust trivialised the Famine or misunderstood the nature of what had happened in the gas chambers.

“Not speaking as a Jew but as a historian, many of these things that happened are dreadful, but it is a sloppy use of the word,” she said.

Prof Lipstadt was the key speaker yesterday in Trinity College at a three-day seminar on teaching the Holocaust for teachers which is run by the Herzog Centre in TCD and the Holocaust Education Trust Ireland.

Among those attending were the Czech ambassador, Tomas Kafka, and two Holocaust survivors living in Ireland, Tomi Reichental and Suzy Diamond.

Prof Lipstadt, whose latest book is about the trial of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann, said the legacy of his trial in Israel in 1961 was that victims of his crimes had been heard.

“You cannot have a war crimes trial that does not include the voice of the first person singular of the victims. The rights of victims are now paramount,” she said.