[Marxism] Holocaust 'revisionist' carnival in Iran
lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Dec 11 12:01:51 MST 2006
NY Times, December 11, 2006
Holocaust Deniers and Skeptics Gather in Iran
By NAZILA FATHI
TEHRAN, Dec. 11 Holocaust deniers and skeptics from around the world
gathered at a government-sponsored conference here today to discuss their
theories about whether six million Jews were indeed killed by the Nazis
during World War II and whether gas chambers existed.
In a speech opening the two-day conference, Rasoul Mousavi, head of the
Iranian Foreign Ministrys Institute for Political and International
Studies, which organized the event, said it was an opportunity for scholars
to discuss the subject away from Western taboos and the restriction
imposed on them in Europe.
The foreign ministry had said that 67 foreign researchers from 30 countries
were scheduled to take part. Among those speaking today are David Duke, the
American white-supremacist politician and former Ku Klux Klan leader, and
Georges Thiel, a French writer who has been prosecuted in France over his
denials of the Holocaust.
Mr. Dukes remarks late this afternoon are expected to assert that no gas
chambers or extermination camps were actually built during the war, on the
ground that killing Jews that way would have been much too bothersome and
expensive when the Nazis could have used much simpler methods, according to
an advance summary of his speech published by the institute.
Depicting Jews as the overwhelming victims of the Holocaust gave the moral
high ground to the Allies as victors of the war, and allowed Jews to
establish a state on the occupied land of Palestine, Mr. Dukes paper
says, according to the summary.
One of the first scheduled speakers, Robert Faurisson of France, also
called the Holocaust a myth created to justify the occupation of Palestine.
The conference is being held at the behest of Irans president, Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad, who likewise called the Holocaust a myth last year, and
repeated a well-known slogan from the early days of the 1979 revolution in
Iran, Israel must be wiped off the map. He has spoken several times since
then about a need to establish whether the Holocaust actually happened.
Most of the speakers at the conference today praised Mr. Ahmadinejads
Bendikt Frings, 48, a psychologist from Germany, said he believed Mr.
Ahmadinejad was an honest direct man, and said he had come to the
conference to thank him for what he had initiated.
We are forbidden to have such a conference in Germany, he said. All my
childhood, we waited for something like this.
Toben Feredrick, from Australia, said Mr. Ahmadinejad has opened an issue
which is morally and intellectually crippling the Western society.
People are imprisoned in Germany for denying the Holocaust, he added.
Mr. Feredrick said he was jailed for six months in 1999 because of his
ideas, and that a court in Germany has ordered him arrested if he speaks
out publicly again denying that the Holocaust took place.
Other Western revisionists presented what they called new facts about the
Holocaust at the conference, which also attracted attendees from some
ultra-Orthodox Jews belonging to anti-Zioinst sects that reject the state
of Israel. One participant wearing the traditional long black coat and hat
of such groups wore a badge saying: A Jew, not a Zionist.
It was not entirely clear how the lineup of speakers at the conference was
set. The Institutes website had invited scholars and researchers to submit
papers in advance for consideration, but revealed little about how they
were evaluated. The Iranian foreign ministry also provided little
information about participants, saying that it feared they would be
prosecuted by their home countries.
The conference included an exhibition today of various photos, posters and
other material meant to contradict the accepted version of events, that the
Nazis murdered millions of Jews and other undesirables in death camps
during the war. New captions in Persian on some familiar photos of corpses
at the camps argued that they were victims of typhus, not the German state.
Anti-Zionist literature, including a 2004 book by the American author
Michael Collins Piper, about Zionist influence in America, was offered for
sale to visitors at the conference. So, apparently, was a video recording
of 12 Holocaust survivors telling their stories, suggesting that the views
represented at the conference may not have been entirely one-sided.
The conference prompted outrage in the West. The German government summoned
the Iranian charge daffaires in Berlin to complain. The French Foreign
Minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, warned that the conference would be
strongly condemned if it propagated claims denying the Holocaust.
Iran also organized an exhibition last summer of cartoons about the
Holocaust, which outraged Jews inside Iran and out.
Iranian Jewish leaders reacted angrily to Mr. Ahmadinejads
Holocaust-denying comments last year, issuing a statement saying that his
words were spreading fear among Jews in Iran.
We consider the Holocaust as a fact and a disgrace for humanity, Haround
Yashayai, a leading voice among Iranian Jews, said today. We cannot say
that such a conference cannot be held here. We have condemned similar
events in the past, and see no reason to condemn it again.
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