Synopses & Reviews
"Whether you have never had an interest in the Holocaust, or have always been passionately interested in it, or are sick and tired of hearing about it, you won't be able to stop reading this great, gripping story."and#151;Jared Diamond, winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Guns, Germs, and Steel
"Shermer and Grobman destroy the Big Lie that the Holocaust never occurred, relentlessly confronting outrageous claims with ghastly, irrefutable facts. Denying History is all the more remarkable for its evenhandedness in the face of the Big Lie's perversity. . . . By any measure, an engrossing and important book."and#151;Daniel J. Kevles, author of In the Name of Eugenics
"Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman provide the necessary ammunition to confront one of the basest phenomena in today's academic world: the attempt to deny obvious historical facts surrounding one of the greatest tragedies of our timeand#151;the Holocaust. They show how any historical fact is verified and proven, and they deal with the specifics of the deniers' falsifications. In so doing they are filling a vacuumand#151;the need of people who are not experts on the Holocaust, and who have no easy access to the wealth of documentation about it, to answer those who, usually motivated by pro-Nazi sympathies and antisemitism, deny or corrupt facts."and#151;Yehuda Bauer, author of The Holocaust in Historical Perspective and Rethinking the Holocaust
"An excellent and timely book that not only maps the unseemly quagmire inhabited by Holocaust deniers and other pseudohistorians, but also equips the user with the critical tools and historical information that, in distinguishing acknowledged fact from insidious fabrication, recovers the road to a civic dominion of common sense and common decency."and#151;Robert Jan van Pelt, co-author of Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present
"Like cancer, HIV, and influenza, Holocaust denial is a drain on human resources, energy, and creativity. Yet for the health of the society and the well-being of the individual citizen the maladies must be confronted, their spread halted, and their sources identified and neutralized. Shermer and Grobman have given us a splendid study of the voices and sponsors of Holocaust denial."and#151;Franklin H. Littell, author of Hyping the Holocaust
Denying History takes a bold and in-depth look at those who say the Holocaust never happened and explores the motivations behind such claims. While most commentators have dismissed the Holocaust deniers as antisemitic neo-Nazi thugs who do not deserve a response, historians Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman have immersed themselves in the minds and culture of these Holocaust "revisionists." They have conducted personal interviews with the deniers, read their literature, monitored their Web sites, attended their conferences, engaged them in debate, and even traveled around Europe to conduct research at the Nazi extermination camps. Uncovering a complex social movement, the authors go much deeper than ever before in not only trying to understand the motives of the Holocaust deniers, but also refuting their points one by one. In the process, they show how we can be certain that the Holocaust happened and, for that matter, how we can confirm any historical event.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 287-304) and index.
About the Author
Michael Shermer is the founder and publisher of Skeptic magazine, Director of the Skeptics Society, Adjunct Professor of the History of Science at Occidental College, and host of the Skeptics Lecture Series at Caltech. He is also the host of a national TV show called Exploring the Unknown (Fox Network) and the author of Why People Believe Weird Things (1997), and How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science (1999). Alex Grobman is President of the Institute for Contemporary Jewish Life; editor of Genocide: Critical Issues of the Holocaoust(1983), as well as In Defense of the Survivors: The Letters and Documents of Oscar A. Mintzer, AJDC Legal Advisor, Germany, 1945-46 (1999); and author of Rekindling the Flame: American Jewish Chaplains and the Survivors of European Jewry, 1944-1948 (1992) and Out of the Depths of Despair: Rabbi Nathan Baruch and the Vaad Hatzala in Post-War Europe (forthcoming, 2002)
Table of Contents
Foreword by Arthur Hertzberg
Introduction. Who Speaks For The Past?
History and Pseudohistory
PART I. FREE SPEECH AND HISTORY
1. Giving the Devil His Due
The Free Speech Issue
2. The Noble Dream
How We Know Anything in History Happened
PART II. INSIDE THE DENIAL MOVEMENT
3. Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened?
An Inside Look at the Personalities and Organizations
4. Why They Say the Holocaust Never Happened
The Ideological Agenda
5. How Deniers Distort History
Flaws, Fallacies, and Failings in the Deniersand#237; Arguments
PART III. ARGUMENTS AND REFUTATIONS
6. The Crooked Timber of Auschwitz
How Concentration Camps Became Death Camps
7. "For God's Sakeand#151;Terrible."
The Scope and Scale of the Holocaust
8. The Evil of Banality
The Protocols of National Socialism
PART IV. TRUTH AND HISTORY
9. The Rape of History
In Search of a True and Meaningful Past