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Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory Hardcover – 6 Aug 1993

4.0 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: The Free Press; 1st Edition edition (6 Aug. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0029192358
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029192351
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.3 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,084,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


Strong medicine... An antidote to the moral and intellectual virus that has spread from the crackpot fringe to the very heart of public discourse in the media, the courts and the world's universities. (Los Angeles Times)

Important and impassioned... it illuminates with skill and clarity, not only the peculiarly disturbing world of the Holocaust deniers, but also the methods they have used to distort history, the motives that have driven them to do so, and the vulnerabilities of our educational systems, our culture, and ourselves that have made so many in our society ready to listen to them. (New York Times Book Review) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

DEBORAH LIPSTADT is an American historian, best known as author of the books "Denying the Holocaust," "History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier," and "The Eichmann Trial." Lipstadt was a consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and she was appointed by Bill Clinton to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, serving two terms. She is currently the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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By Bacchus TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was the start of a cause celebre because David Irving chose to sue Deborah Lipstadt and her publisher for libel regarding comments made about him in the book. I remain a little surprised at this because in fact, there is not much about David Irving in the book and what Lipstadt wrote about him was already in the public domain.

Through reading about the trial, I discovered that Denying the Holocaust was out of print at the time and had it not been for the Irving's litigation would possibly have remained so.

I had for a long time been aware that some people deny that 6 million Jews died during the Holocaust but until I started reading about the subject, the very existence of concentration camps and the overtly anti-Semitic policies of the Nazi state were sufficient to mark it out for me as a particularly nasty episode in history, with or without the huge death toll. Even if the Holocaust deniers are right about gas chambers (and I have no reason to think they are), the moral opprobrium over the Nazis remains insurmountable.

In Denying the Holocaust, Lipstadt traces the development of denial literature from crude pamphlets to pseudo-scholastic publications that give the impression of having been considered by serious academic historians. In fact, Lipstadt says that the literature is littered with obfuscation, distortion, misquotation and mistranslation designed to cast doubt on what you would read in most history books on this subject.

The provenance of the literature was shown to have emanated from writers who were very much in league with Far right political parties rather than from academics who were pursuing any kind of objective truth about the subject.
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Format: Paperback
I went into this text with preconceptions, having studied at length the reasons behind and story of the Holocaust. It struck me that the Author's purpose was to seek out those eccentric individuals who have made (in some cases a fairly lucrative) living out of denying the holocaust. I must give Lipstadt her due. She points out that the denial of the Holocaust is not and cannot be based on reason. The deniers rely on the ignorance of their readers and highly selective use of evidence to bolster their rather tenuous case.
Why then, am I only giving three stars? The answer lies in what I perceive as an almost manic intolerance of any deviation from her accepted version of the Holocaust. Lipstadt claims that there are many issues that 'Holocaust experts' debate - then seems to limit them to those which start from the assumption six million died, even when this is a highly tendentious figure. Some literature suggests that not all Nazis were as vehemently in favour of the Holocaust as Hitler. Does this lack of unanimity warrant a mention? I think not. There is a disturbing intolerant streak which characterises much of the writing and which vitiates what would otherwise have been a very powerful work. The blanket adoption of extreme restrictions on freedom of speech which Lipstadt seems to advocate is the thin end of a very disturbing wedge, and readers should remember this.
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Format: School & Library Binding Verified Purchase
This is an excellent, much needed book, which combats what is described as a moral and intellectual virus being used to attack the extremely well documented, factual record of the Holocaust in which over six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis.
The book is extremely well written with both compassion and authority. It illustrates that despite the irrefutable evidence and clinical accuracy in which the Holocaust was meticulously documented and in which the genocide of the European Jews was pursued, there are still sources who would dispute that the Holocaust ever occurred or that it has been greatly exaggerated. An attitude which appears to increase in parallel with the present day's rising anti-Semitism.
It is made very clear in this book that very few historical events are as well documented as the Holocaust, yet few if any of these other events are questioned. Indeed, despite other genocides and slaughters having occurred throughout history, (with none having been as well documented as that of the Jews), none receive the denial and hostility afforded the Jewish Holocaust.
On page 22 the book cites a seeming "contradiction" where it outlines many instances where even the Nazi perpetrators of the Holocaust actually admitted the crimes that they committed, whilst a growing group who were not even present at the time claim that the perpetrators were innocent.
The book citing neo-Nazis who once argued that the Holocaust, however horrible, was justified now content that the entire event was a hoax. The latter being more expedient to furthering their cause, where the book alleges attempts are made to "rehabilitate the persecutors and demonise the victims".
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Format: Paperback
As a former Kindertransportee I participate in Holocaust Education projects. As a psychotherapist I work with first, second and third generation Holocaust survivors. Yet until I read this book I was only aware of the need for Holocaust Education to combat general ignorance and reluctance to know about what happened. Lipstadt makes it very clear that growth of Holocaust revisionism and denial goes far beyond ignorance to threaten the very roots of reason and democracy and attacks the foundations of enlightened human culture.
She defines the difference between history, a rational discipline aiming to uncover and understand events, and revisionism (which she insists is denial), an irrational ideology based on and propagated by the creation of falsifications and distortion of facts. She demonstrates unequivocally how this ideology is based on a master-race philosophy and vitriolic hatred of Jews, Communists, etc. as inferior and conspiring against the master-race. Her account of the development of 'revisionism ' in response to WWI and the main characters that revived and extended it after WWII illustrates deniers' projection into 'the Jews' of their own disowned elements resulting in paranoid fear of them.
So powerful is the appeal of their irrational ideology that the deniers believe their own fabrications and live in a 'wonderland of mythology'. Jews, as the embodiment of moral values and truth, present a threat to their 'wonderland' and must be anihilated to 'purify' the master-race. Furthermore, the powerful appeal of mythology is a part of human make-up. Holocaust revisionists and deniers trade on this to sow the seeds of doubt with their perverted propaganda and make converts to their irrational fabrications.
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