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Witness Statement of Deborah E. Lipstadt: Electronic Edition, by Deborah E. LipstadtTable of Contents
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Denial's impact on Holocaust historiography
106.Polls have shown that the public in the United States, as well as in various Western European countries, have not responded to the deniers. In fact, in the United States there are apparently more people who believe that Elvis Presley is alive than who believe the Holocaust did not happen. Why then my concern? The real danger of Holocaust denial is one that looms in the future. This is one of the main reasons that I wrote this book. When the time comes and there are no survivors, liberators, or witnesses alive to tell their story, the deniers will find their path easier to tread. As long as there are those alive who can speak in the first person singular about this event, e.g. this is my story, this is what happened to me, the deniers face a serious obstacle. Most people find it hard to believe that all these survivors are purposefully lying. But when the survivors are no longer alive this obstacle will have been removed. Then, when no one can say "this is the story of me, my parents, siblings, cousins, and friends," it will be easier for deniers to portray the survivors as willful liars.
107.Until then deniers will aim to capture the minds of those who have little or, at best, a hazy knowledge of these evils. In countries such as the United States, where there exist grave lacunae in knowledge of history, the general public is extremely susceptible to this form of obfuscation.