Jailing of Holocaust-Deniers in Europe Dealt Blow to Denial Movement in 2006, Report Finds

News Release
December 28, 2006

The prosecution and imprisonment of prominent Holocaust-deniers in Europe dealt a serious blow to the Holocaust-denial movement in 2006, according to this year’s annual report on Holocaust-denial activity around the world.

The year-end report, Holocaust Denial: A Global Survey – 2006, is published by The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, which is based in Washington, D.C. The report’s co-authors are Holocaust scholars Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the Wyman Institute, and Dr. Alex Grobman, coauthor of the book Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It?

(For the complete text of the new report, please visit www.WymanInstitute.org)

Although “some civil libertarians decried the use of laws prohibiting Holocaust-denial,” the report noted, “there was a noticeable decline in denial activity following the jailing of the movement’s best-known figure, David Irving, in Austria, and the prosecution of prominent activists Ernst Zundel and Germar Rudolf in Germany.” The report added that the release of Irving from prison in December 2006, after serving only one-third of his three year sentence, “is likely to reinvigorate the denial movement in the year ahead.”

The report found that in the Middle East, “Holocaust-denial continued to enjoy official sponsorship” by many governments, including Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Iran’s Holocaust-denial conference, in December, resulted in substantial news media attention for the deniers, including appearances by David Duke on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” and Mark Weber of the Institute for Historical Review on Sean Hannity’s radio show. Iran’s plan to create a Holocaust-denying “research institute” will provide “a significance financial boost for the denial movement,” the report stated.

The report also warned that the deniers could receive an additional boost from the creation of the new English-language divison of the Qatari government-funded Al Jazeera television network, since in the past, Al Jazeera has broadcast remarks by Holocaust-deniers.