Thursday, January 19, 2006

Respectful Insolence (a.k.a. "Orac Knows"): The loon running Iran

"Orac" is the pseudonym of a blogger who has spent several years in the trenches combatting Holocaust deniers in that corner of the cyberuniverse known as alt.revisionism. His blog contains several essays on denial, including one of today's date on "the loon running Iran" which has generated some discussion amongst his readers. Orac observes:
Respectful Insolence (a.k.a. "Orac Knows"): The loon running Iran

[...] here we go with typical Holocaust denial paranoia. Naturally, it's all the "Jews'" fault; it's all a Jewish conspiracy, and Ahmadinejad is representing himself as the "brave" seeker of truth pitted against nefarious forces that don't want him to find the "truth." Anyone want to make a bet that about what this "conference" will end up concluding? Gee, you don't think they'll conclude that the Holocaust was exaggerated and the extermination of European Jewry was not the intent of Hitler and the Nazis, do you? If you have any doubts, this interview on state-controlled Iranian television should lay them to doubt, an interview in which the Institute for Historical Review, the granddaddy of Holocaust denial organizations, is cited as a credible source, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is treated as truth, and lots of denier canards are trotted out as fact, should lay them to rest.


These supposed "experts" are also spouting the most basic, easily debunked denier canards out there, ones I've debunked again and again on alt.revisionism and whose detailed rebuttals can be found through a perfunctory perusal of The Holocaust History Project and Nizkor.


The bottom line is that the President of Iran is an anti-Semite and racist of the worst variety, and that's what's behind his Holocaust denial. Even worse, his mind appears to have been consumed by the Hitler zombie, a rare combination. Trying to have it both ways, he denies that Hitler attempted to exterminate European Jewry, yet he still finds the Nazis a convenient evil to use to demonize Israel with by comparing its treatment of the Palestinians with the "aggressions and massacres" of Israel. Never mind that, whatever excesses the Israelis may have committed in dealing with the Palestinians, they aren't even on the same planet when compared to what the Nazis did to their enemies.


Edward Ott said...

the thing i have found upsetting about how the holcaust is often portrayed is that everyone always goes on and on about the Jews forgetting about the Millions of other people who were also massacred by the Nazis.
Over half of the european population of Roma were wiped out by the nazis as well.

Deborah Lipstadt said...

I think there is a fundamental historical difference between the treatment of the Roma and Sinti and the treatment of the Jews. While Edward is correct that many [we do not have a precise number] were wiped out in gas chambers and by other means of mass destruction, there were also Roma who were treated well - comparatively -- by the Germans. Some were even allowed to join the German army. It depend whether, by German standards [absurd and pseudo-scientific as they were] they considered you "pureblood" Roma or not.

BTW, I do not mean to engage in comparative pain. If I were Roma and my relatives had been killed by the Germans, it would not matter to me if the persecution of the Jews and the Roma were precisely the same. My pain would just be immense.

However, when we are discussing matters from a historical perspective these distinctions are quite important.