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    What is Holocaust Denial?

    What is Holocaust Denial?

    “Holocaust deniers” refute well-established facts about the Holocaust. They assert that the murder of approximately six million Jews during World War II never occurred and that the Germans are victims of a Zionist plot to extort vast sums of money from them on the basis of a hoax. Under the rallying cry “Sink the Battleship Auschwitz!”—created by Holocaust denier David Irving—they attempt to discredit the existence of the poison gas chambers in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, which stands as the symbolic core of the Holocaust and an icon for Jewish suffering.

    The goal of Holocaust deniers in the West is political. They seek to rehabilitate Nazism and fascism in general and Adolf Hitler in particular and to promote antisemitism and, at times, anti-Israel sentiment. In the Arab and Muslim world, Holocaust denial seems to be driven primarily by the goal of undermining what is perceived to be a powerful justification for Israel’s existence.

    Although the number of active Holocaust-denier authors is small, they have been able to attract attention that is grossly disproportionate to their numbers and level of scholarship. Holocaust deniers spread falsehoods and misinformation that may appear reasonable to the uninformed reader. Often, they claim the mantle of free speech, asserting the need for “continued research” into a “complex” and “misrepresented” history; yet, their methods are never truly historically supportable. Rather than relying on artifactual and documentary evidence to create their hypotheses, deniers place authority in personal opinion and belief.

    Our Debunking Holocaust Denial pages concisely analyze each of the denier’s arguments and debunk them with high-quality scholarship. Our Trial Materials pages from Professor Deborah E. Lipstadt’s legal battle with Holocaust denier David Irving provide a wealth of detailed information. Finally, our For Researchers portal provides scholars access to text files of the trial documents for further research and creation of data visualizations of the trial.

    Debunking Holocaust Denial

    Browse through the library of documents of concise scholarly answers to a number of common claims made by Holocaust deniers.

    Trial Materials

    Browse through the trial archive that includes the trial transcripts, witness reports, judgement, and appeal documents.

    For Researchers

    Access TEI files of the trial materials and learn about how to use tools like Voyant and Timeline.js to create visualizations of HDOT resources.