Witness Statement of Deborah E. Lipstadt: Electronic Edition, by Deborah E. Lipstadt

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Deniers' Current Objectives

93.At this point in time, given the sheer impossibility of winning broad acceptance of their views, deniers apparently are content to be thought of as a "point of view" or an "other side". The essential argument posed by CODOH in its advertisements and by other deniers is rooted in the following question: why should individuals espousing an "other side" or an "alternative point of view" be prevented from entering the debate on the Holocaust? To the historical novice, particularly one unfamiliar with material on the Holocaust or with conspiracy theories, this might sound like an entirely reasonable argument. What is wrong with letting all "views" be heard? What damage could be caused by letting another voice enter the conversation? Those who do traditional scholarship often find themselves on the defensive as they are perceived of by the general public and the media as being afraid of letting "alternative ideas" become part of the conversation about the history of the Holocaust.
94.There are a number of fundamental fallacies here. First of all, the notion that there are two sides to every issue is a reflection of the fuzzy thinking prevalent in the media and on many university campuses. The concept of "two sides to every issues" is, of course, a fallacy. Slavery existed in the United States until the end of the Civil War. Pearl Harbor was bombed. John F. Kennedy was assassinated. All these are matters of fact. One can debate the long term ramifications of slavery, whether President Roosevelt knew for a fact that Pearl Harbor was to be bombed, and who shot President Kennedy. But the facts themselves are beyond dispute.
95.The susceptibility of the public, including university students, to this notion of "two sides" is the legacy of sloppy academic thinking. Categorizing the deniers' claims as "another point of view" or an "alternative interpretation" is rooted in yet another fallacy: that the deniers' claims are based on historical data. In fact, theirs is not an iconoclastic rereading of history. It is an intentional misreading of the documentation. Yet another fallacy that the deniers would have the public believe, is that there exists a "debate" about whether there was a Holocaust itself. While there is much that is debated about the Holocaust, there is no debate over whether it actually happened or not. This is a non-existent "debate" in which only one side presents it as a debate: the deniers.
96.For the deniers to be right all of the following categories of witnesses must be wrong:
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accessed 11 March 2013