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Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory
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Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  717 ratings  ·  65 reviews
The denial of the Holocaust has no more credibility than the assertion that the earth is flat. Yet there are those who insist that the death of six million Jews in Nazi concentration camps is nothing but a hoax perpetrated by a powerful Zionist conspiracy.

Forty years ago, such notions were the province of pseudohistorians who argued that Hitler never meant to kill the Jew
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 1st 1994 by Plume (first published 1993)
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4.06  · 
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 ·  717 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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Paul Bryant
Jan 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Just seen the film of the trial of the book (Denial) and it was pretty good. A word of explanation for anyone who doesn’t know – Deborah Lipstadt's excellent book trashes the Hitler-loving anti-Semitic David Irving. It was published in 1993, and in 1996 Irving sued Penguin Books and the author for libel. It was a huge case and this is the film of the events surrounding the court proceedings, all of which is fascinating. There is a problem with making such a film though – it bites off way m
Denying the Holocaust is a thorough exploration of the rise and development Holocaust denial. Lipstadt's book examines the evolution of Holocaust denial from its immediate post-war origins to the rise of a modern denial "movement", along with an examination of the most famous and influential deniers and their claims. This is a fascinating story, which begins with early instances of Holocaust denial as espoused by historians such as Harry Elmer Barnes and Austin J. App, to the development of enti ...more
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jessica Tandy
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Ian Buruma

Deborah Lipstadt prefaces her exploration of Holocaust deniers with an important explanation of why she went ahead with the book, despite her reluctance to engage with deniers on any level. She had been asked to appear on several TV programs with Holocaust deniers, which she adamantly refused to do, knowing that there's nothing the deniers desire more than to be put on the same playing field with established historians, experts, and people telling the truth. If the deniers can portray their clai
Ira Therebel
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Several months ago I have stumbled upon the biggest White Nationalism site in the internet. One of their agendas besides wanting to separate "white nations" from people of other races is the denial of Holocaust and claiming that it is all a conspiracy by the evil Jews who apparently control the world. I have heard about deniers before but never really got in touch with them. From that day I have visited this site almost on a daily basis trying to understand their reasoning and even tried to part ...more
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first became aware some years ago that there are people who do not believe the Holocaust happened and ever since I have been meaning to read this book. It is fascinating and frightening reading and will make most people reconsider their stance on free speech. The author has a low key style of writing which makes what she has to say all the more impressive. It would be so easy to rant about people who seem to ignore facts in their attempts to rewrite history.

Holocaust denial it seems has been a
Jan 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: history
One of the interesting points Liptadt makes in this book is not so much the nature of Holocaust denial itself, but the inability of the media and public to distinguish between a debatable issue and one that lies beyond the parameters of reasoned discussion. This deficiency has worsened since the book first appeared in the early nineties.

The book is partly a history of the denial movement and the five or six men who got it going.. The pattern of denial Liptstadt traces shows the increasing sophi
Laila Kanon
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-non-fiction
Will reread

I would have read this faster if I didn't keep flipping back and forth to the notes.

I read this book because I was curious as to what on earth that there are actually people and/or movement that actually believe that the Holocaust is a hoax! You must be kidding right? Apparently not. It seems to me that some people when they truly believe in a lie, they eventually believe their own lie and they think it's paramount that other people also believe in such lie. Meh, not for me. I rathe
This was the first book to read on the syllabus of my Political Theory class on the Ideologies of the Holocaust. It was fascinating, frustrating, and insightful. I do think it's a little dated (being published in 1993) but Lipstadt's critical voice is still relevant today.

It amazes me that there are people in academia and journalism who spend their time and efforts in studying and convincing other people that the Holocaust didn't occur, or rather, that the Holocaust was a hoax.
Aug 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, holocaust
This is an excellent expose of the universities that give voice to the Holocaust-deniers based on arguments of "free speech." We must start with the proposition that freedom of speech cannot be abridged, but the U.S. Constitution does not require me to listen, nor does it require the university to provide a forum for the exercise of that free speech. Second, these same universities expel scientists who do research in intelligent design, they try to limit the free speech of those who have the rel ...more
Daniel A.
I originally picked up Deborah E. Lipstadt's Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory in 1993, shortly after it came out, when the college newspaper at my alma mater when I was attending published one of the Committee on Open Debate on the Holocaust's notorious antisemitic Holocaust-denial advertisements. But I never got around to actually reading Denying the Holocaust until this year, after the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States; particularly in lig ...more
Dan DalMonte
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
In this book, historian Deborah Lipstadt describes a growing movement to defend the idea that the Holocaust never happened, or that it was not as severe as it is purported to be (for instance, some deniers claim that what the Allies did to the Germans is as bad as the Holocaust, or that it is impossible to kill six million Jews because it was mathematically impossible to do so given the number of Jews that existed prior to the Holocaust). This is a fringe movement that utterly lacks credibility. ...more
May 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Historians, history students, deniers
Recommended to Michael by: Serendipity
Deborah Lipstadt is an amazing woman, who has taken on a thankless task - that of explaining to the public why historians don't need to give "equal time" to the "other side" of the discussion about the Holocaust. Put simply, it is because deniers of the Holocaust aren't engaging in history, they are distorting it, and any direct answer to their charges in turn legitimizes their lies. This book elaborates that answer in great detail, by demonstrating the fallacies of denial and exposing its true ...more
Wendelle So
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: great
read for Holocaust Memorial Day. It is powerful, searing, rigorous.

"Unable to make the distinction between genuine historiography and the deniers' purely ideological exercise, those who see the issue in this light are important assets in the deniers' attempts to spread their claims.
This is precisely the deniers' goal: They aim to confuse the matter by making it appear as if they are engaged in a genuine scholarly effort when, of course, they are not.
The attempt to deny t he Holocaust enlists a b
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In June 2002 I was in Atlanta for the American Library Association's Annual Conference and chose to attend a presentation by this author on a Libel Suit she had been involved, with Holocaust Denier David Irving, in Britain. At the time, I was quite surprised by the fact there were people who still believed the Holocaust did not happen and wanted to know more. In this book, Irving is mentioned maybe about a dozen or so times. Based on what she did say about him, he decided to bring a Libel Suit a ...more
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nk
Excellent. Anyone who is even contemplating whether the Holocaust happened of not need only read Lipstadt's refutation and they'll soon see reason.

Not only does she debunk the claims of deniers through its recent history, Lipstadt also takes into account whether the rights to free speech are impeded by the 'no-platforming' of Holocaust deniers. In today's debates this is very relevant with fascists taking many guises to sell their mandates onto campuses.

"We will remain ever vigilant so that the
Jun 02, 2013 rated it liked it
This was a difficult book to rate. The prose is wonderful, it is brilliantly researched and written, and the work is forceful and will be incredibly useful in discourse with the growing Holocaust denial community. On the other hand, it focuses in too deeply on a few authors and makes some of it too involved in the various claims made by deniers generations ago. At the same time, it was written twenty years ago and the discourse and place of denial has changed quite a bit, and the author of the b ...more
Sarah Holz
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: holocaust-lit
Just shy of twenty-five years from its original publication, Denying the Holocaust is arguably (and disturbingly) more relevant now than ever. If you need further proof of the quality of Lipstadt’s excellent and rational research when you’re done with her book, the ugly crop of attack manifestos that rear their ugly heads when one tries to search for this title even on our lovely Goodreads will demonstrate that she’s hit the deniers where it hurts and that her work (and ours) is hardly over.
People are stupid. Sometimes you don't realize how stupid, though in a free culture, you can quickly realize how stupid.

At times a little dry, Lipstadt's book discusses the history of Holocaust Denial as well as the tactics that such deniers use. She also illustrates the difference between the right to say anything and the fact that no one needs to publish it.
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This makes me so mad. I just wish I could find these people and smack the stupidity and racism out of them. Sadly I don't think that would work and instead we need to be tireless in our efforts to stop this infiltration of what I will now call 'fake history'.
[Name Redacted]
Sep 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely essential.
George McCombe
When ‘Denying the Holocaust’ was published in 1992, some criticised Professor Deborah Lipstadt's decision to write it. It did, her critics argued, give a great deal of coverage to a fringe group that was best left in obscurity. In the introduction, she challenges this perspective, contending that while it is inappropriate to enter into debate with Holocaust Deniers and thereby lend a legitimacy to their position, it is no longer appropriate or possible to simply ignore them. They are too dangero ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that you pick up and immediately grabs your attention and gets you going.  I was infuriated from the very beginning of the book - not with Dr. Lipstadt but with the fact that there are these “deniers” out there who have gone and continue to go to great lengths to revise history and white-wash the German responsibility for World War II and for the Holocaust in particular.

Their methods initially were very rudimentary and poor in that they produced pamphlets that had limi
Millie V
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Deborah Lipstadt does an excellent job of exploring the origins of Holocaust denial and shows the main ingredient to be anti-Semitism. The hatred of Holocaust deniers gives rise to their mind boggling mental gymnastics and conspiracy theories. Ten years ago, I would never have thought that the fragility of truth and facts would manifest itself in the American mainstream via politics, but it has and it is disturbing.
David Lowther
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deborah Lipstadt, for years the sworn enemy of Holocaust deniers, achieved even greater fame recently with the release of the film Denial (which was very good). The film tells the course of a libel trial against Lipstadt brought by the historian David Irving. The book that Irving attacked is this one; Denying the Holocaust:The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory.

I knew of David Irving before I read this book and I'd heard of Holocaust deniers. But the extent of this vilest of historical distorti
Jeni Enjaian
I really wanted to like this book and, at first, I did. I even highlighted a few lines for the first time in a Kindle book. I found tremendous resonance, again at first, with Lipstadt's description of the denial techniques used to deny the Holocaust and the things said about the Armenian Genocide. Many of the techniques mimic each other to a great degree.

As the book continued, however, I noticed Lipstadt's understandable bias against the deniers. That being said, as a historian, such blatant bia
Jul 06, 2010 rated it liked it
There was a lot of good info in here, but Lipstadt falls into the trap repeatedly throughout the book of making ad hominem attacks against all Holocaust deniers, a claim which, ironically enough, she constantly accuses the very same deniers of doing. Yes, a lot (and maybe even most) Holocaust deniers are white supremacists who hate Jews, but that doesn't mean this discussion can't be engaged with an academic tone and intellectual honesty. She compares Holocaust deniers to Flat Earthers, which is ...more
Daniel Stern
Oct 05, 2016 rated it liked it
A well-argued and passionately felt examination of the growth of Holocaust denial. This is in no respects a history of the Holocaust nor a refutation of the "arguments" of those who seek to deny it ever happened. Instead it seeks to trace the growth of Holocause denial and the way it has spread through its use of half-truths, distortions, outright lies and plain ignorance from half-baked theorist to half-baked theorist, each eagerly grasping at straws in support of their crackpot ideas and firml ...more
Brad Rousse
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
A good primer on the history, tactics and implications of Holocaust denial. The book is a good read if you would like to understand more about this conspiracy theory, but Lipstadt's understandable closeness to the topic does give me pause. I am concerned about her argument of ignoring deniers; while I can't stand them as much as Lipstadt (albeit more for falsifying history) there is danger of letting them continue to expand unchecked. A great summation of a growing trend in conspiratorial though ...more
Bogdan Micu
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Extremely useful for understanding some of the major debates of our time. The book examines in detail the stratagems used by Holocaust deniers to infiltrate mainstream discourse, and to be considered the "other" side; there is also an eerie similarity with antivaxxers, climate change deniers, and creationists. The success of these groups shows "the fragility of truth, reason, memory, and history", and that "it is naive to believe that the light of day can dispel lies, especially when they play o ...more
Dan Hennessy
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the definitive book on the subject by the professor who was sued by denier David Irving and won her case. There is now a film, "Denial," based on Lipstadt's book "History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier". It dramatises the Irving v Penguin Books Ltd case, in which Lipstadt, a Holocaust scholar, was sued by Holocaust denier David Irving for libel.

Lipstadt is passionate and, as a historian, well-documented in her rebuke of denial as a legitimate form of "revisionism." A
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Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies (1993), Tam Institute for Jewish Studies and the Department of Religion. Lipstadt was an historical consultant to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and helped design the section of the Museum dedicated to the American Response to the Holocaust.

At Emory she created the Institute for Jewish Studies and wa
“Despite its veneer of impartial scholarship, Butz’s book is replete with the same expressions of traditional anti-Semitism, philo-Germanism and conspiracy theory as the Holocaust denial pamphlets printed by the most scurrilous neo-Nazi groups.

-- Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, page 126”
“There is a psychological dimension to the deniers’ and minimizers’ objectives: The general public tends to accord victims of genocide a certain moral authority. If you devictimize a people you strip them of their moral authority, and if you can in turn claim to be a victim, as the Poles and Austrians often try to do, that moral authority is conferred on or restored to you.

-- Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, pages 7-8”
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