Jan 042012

Clemens Heni, Ph.D., Berlin, scholar and author, former Post-Doc at Yale (09/2009-08/2009)

We are facing two big antisemitic movements today: first the Iranian threat against Israel and the Jews in particular, Muslim or Islamic antisemitism in general. Second we are facing a distortion of history, especially in Eastern Europe, Europe as a whole, and  America and the Western world alike: trivialization or soft-core denial of the Holocaust.

Last year I spoke at the third International Conference on Antisemitism at the University of West Bohemia in the city of Plzen, Czech Republic, about secondary antisemitism and soft-core denial of the Holocaust. I would like to continue this analysis. One of my examples was German philosopher Martin Heidegger who in 1949 compared “gas chambers” with “motorized agriculture.“ I call this the universalization of the Holocaust and the denial of the unprecedented crimes of the Shoah, a “soft-core Holocaust denial” (in contrast to hard-core Neo-Nazi or Iranian, Muslim and Arab style Holocaust denial).[ii] Did anyone hear about the “Kaunas declaration of rewriting history by trivializing the Holocaust”? Probably not. Such a declaration does not exist. Lithuanian politicians, scholars and activists are a bit more tricky, or sophisticated. They convinced a number of people from around the world by hosting them during nice “remembrance” events in Lithuania, by organizing symposia, conferences, declarations, working groups etc. to join them in trivializing the Holocaust by framing this process as  a study of totally “equal” totalitarian regimes, or, as it has been called for short by critics, “red equals brown.”[iii]

The most recent attempt to distort history and to trivialize the Holocaust is the Prague Declaration. Huge efforts, particularly by Lithuanian politicians, activists and scholars and their Western friends have been made to promote this form of “secondary antisemitism”, a rejection of remembrance of the Shoah AS unprecedented crimes against humanity.

Source: the blog of Clemens Heni. Read the whole article here: The Prague Declaration, Holocaust Obfuscation and Antisemitism

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