Society & Culture - Posted by Futurity-Jenny Leonard on Thursday, April 23, 2009 16:48 - 1 Comment
No denying: Holocaust facts in five tongues
EMORY (US)—Holocaust Denial on Trial (HDOT.org), a Web site founded by Emory University professor Deborah Lipstadt to combat Holocaust denial, has relaunched in four new languages: Arabic, Farsi, Russian, and Turkish. The translations are designed to spread the site’s messages to areas where Holocaust denial goes the most unchallenged.
“This project significantly expands the reach of HDOT.org in regions of the world where a significant amount of Holocaust denial is happening,” says Lipstadt.
The site was founded following the well-publicized David Irving v. Penguin UK and Deborah Lipstadt libel trial that ended in her favor in 2000. Holocaust denier Irving sued Lipstadt and her publisher for calling him a denier who knowingly twists and distorts the truth of the Holocaust. A British judge found Irving to be an active Holocaust denier whose writings on the topic included both anti-Semitic and racist elements.
Despite the success of the Irving trial, online Holocaust denial has increased significantly in the past few years, says Lipstadt. “Deniers are attacking the entire history of the Holocaust piece by piece,” she says. “Our site puts basic, easily accessible information into the hands of people encountering sophisticated content designed to confuse them.”
In addition to translations, the site has added more than 30 myth/fact sheets that list claims made by deniers and provide historical evidence rebuffing the claims.
The site also features a new podcast series, available through Emory’s iTunes University. The series includes podcasts with noted historians, scholars, religious thinkers, and others. The podcasts form the core of new lesson plans being produced for advanced high school and college courses designed to help educators and the public approach the social, historical, political, and ideological issues that emerge in the study of Holocaust denial.
“As so much of the strategy that deniers employ involves spreading their falsehoods on the Internet, we worked with Professor Lipstadt to have scholarly, authoritative resources available in podcasts. Some of the most respected experts on denial on the Internet are interviewed,” says Alan Cattier, Emory’s director of Academic Technology Services.
The launch was made possible by grants from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, and other funders. The Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture helped fund the podcast series. HDOT.org is made possible by significant grants from Angelica Berrie and the Russell Berrie Foundation, Gralla Family Philanthropic Fund, Yvette and Larry Gralla, Fern E. and William J. Lowenberg Fund, Leo Melamed Foundation, Mozel Charitable Trust, Joshua & Nirit Resnick Foundation, Sandler Family Philanthropic Fund, and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.
Emory University news: www.emory.edu/home/news
iTunesU: The Ethical Challenge of Holocaust Denial (Speech given by Lipstadt about the trial and holocaust denial)
Deborah Lipstadt’s Blog