Saturday, February 28, 2009

Denying the Holocaust

Some facts about the history of the twentieth century are clear to everybody: one of these is that millions of innocent men, women, and children died in the event which we usually call "the Holocaust" or Shoah. Yet, despite the manifest documentation about the Holocaust, there are Holocaust deniers, or those who insist that it never happened.

Recently, the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, Prof. Joseph Ratzinger, took strong measures against an employee of his church who made remarks which seemed to deny the existence of the Holocaust. Ratzinger, also known as Benedict XVI, would not allow any statements which compromise the historically documented facts. The employee disciplined by Ratzinger, Richard Williamson, is facing stronger measures from different national governments in Europe, who classify Holocaust denial as fraud punishable by law.

This is in contrast to the government of Iran, which promotes Holocaust denial. The current president of Iran, members of its government, and professors appointed to its universities persistently spread the notion that there simply was no Holocaust - that it never happened. Such a view can be accepted only by those who have left all rational thought behind. Yet it remains the officially stated position of the Iranian government.