Simon Wiesenthal said the history of mankind is a history of crimes. No crime in the annals of history has been as well documented -- by the perpetrators, bystanders, interveners and victims -- as Nazi Germany's Final Solution, the state-sponsored genocide that systematically murdered 6 million European Jews. Against this backdrop, along with the proliferation of Holocaust museums, memorials, books and films, how do we account for the growing phenomenon of Holocaust revisionism and denial? Let's look briefly at the breadth and depth of this crime against memory and decency:
- Speaking in an interview on the Mega TV network, Nikolaos Michaloliakos -- head of the neo-Nazi "Golden Dawn" party, winner of 21 seats in the new Greek Parliament -- declares: "There were no ovens. This is a lie. I believe that it is a lie," said Michaloliakos. "There were no gas chambers either."
- In Germany, where a Stern magazine poll shows that 21 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds do not know that Auschwitz was a Nazi death camp and nearly a third are unaware that it is located in Poland, Nobel Literature Laureate Günter Grass -- a teenage SS member who's now reverted to form -- draws applause for condemning Israel's genocidal plot against Iran (!) while retrospectively positioning his own generation's "willing executioners" as innocent victims of the Second World War.
- In Hungary, Márton Gyöngyösi, Hungarian MP and leader in the far-right Jobbik party, during an interview with the London Jewish Chronicle, asked whether Jews "have the right to talk about what happened during the Second World War," given Israel's "Nazi system." When asked about the 400,000 Hungarian Jews deported to Auschwitz, Gyöngyösi exploded: "Me, should I say sorry for this when 70 years later, I am still reminded on the hour, every hour about it? Let's get over it, for Christ's sake," adding, "It has become a fantastic business to jiggle around with the numbers" of dead Jews. As for Holocaust survivors seeking restitution for their families' stolen property, he retorted, "This money-searching is playing with fire in Hungary."
- In Lithuania, where more than 93 percent of the country's Jewish citizens were murdered during the Holocaust, former Foreign Minister Vygaudas Ušackas, categorized the Nazi occupation of Lithuania, with which many Lithuanians collaborated, as "a respite from the Communists while the Nazis were in control." This year, on Lithuanian Independence Day, 300 neo-Nazis marched through the Center of Kaunas. They were addressed by five Parliament members, including three belonging to Lithuania's ruling Homeland Union party.
- Iran's Mullahtocracy continues to make Holocaust Denial-and-Inversion (the Holocaust didn't happen and Israelis are today's Nazis) the centerpiece of their soon-to-be-nuclear regime's "wipe Israel from the map" statecraft. So far, no western democracy -- not Germany, where Holocaust denial is illegal, not France, Great Britain, nor even the United States -- has deigned to challenge Tehran's pre-genocidal bigotry at the U.N. or any other international venue.
Historian Dr. Harold Brackman contributed to this essay.