Debating The Holocaust

Zan Overall writes:

Dear Luke, Jay commented on your Feb. 23rd blog “I Interview a Holocaust Denier Outside the Oscars.” I was that “Denier.”
(I prefer the less loaded term “Revisionist.” …..Are you saying, “Wow!  A Denier denying he is a Denier!!??”)

Your exchange went:

“Jay emails: "Hey Luke! I was watching your interview with the revisionist outside of the Oscars and was thinking about why there isn’t ever a dialogue between holocaust revisionist/ deniers and actual survivors. Education is more effective, right? Like I think it was good how you talked to the guy, gave him a chance to express his views. That’s better then just shutting him down. I’ve been thinking about how my grandma survived Auschwitz and is still alive. How interesting would it be to do some sort of Documentary where we get these two different groups together for dialogue. It could be disastrous, or it could be enlightening. What do you think?"

Luke: “I suspect those who deny the Holocaust will not be open to what the survivors say.” (End of exchange)

Jay complimented you on giving me “a chance to express (my) views” on the Holocaust (or Holohoax, in the sense that, as many people believe, there was no Nazi program of extermination and certainly no executionary gas chambers.)
I second the compliment.

That remark of Jay’s was nice to hear: gentlemanly20and open minded, but it raises two questions I would like to put to Jay
and to you as well, Luke.

1: If you think I have the right to raise  questions in public about the accepted story of the Holocaust, do you approve of the laws in many European countries which imprison people for doing what I was doing?

2: Would you approve and support a law in the U.S.A. that would fine or imprison someone for doing what I did or a Revisionist scholar for writing on the subject?

(Background on the 2nd question: Federal “Hate Crime” legislation is being debated in Congress now and will probably pass.  I am sure it would put me in legal jeopardy were I to do again what I did on the 22nd……Our State Department has an Office of Global Anti-Semitism. It quotes and does not dispute a European Union entity’s “Working Definition of Anti-Semitism” which includes:
“Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g., gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during WW II (the Holocaust).” Google  U.S. State Department of Global Anti-Semitism to satisfy yourself that we are close to following Europe’s lead in our treatment of “Holocaust Deniers.”

I limited myself to two questions so I won’t ask: Would you visit me in prison and bring me some chicken soup?

Jay thought that dialogue on the Holocaust between revisionist/deniers and  survivors would be interesting, possibly enlightening. ( I don’t think Abe Foxman would agree.)

Luke, you replied: “I suspect those who deny the Holocaust will not be open to what the survivors say.”

Luke, you are 180 degrees off on that.  Holocaust Revisionists are eager to interact, dialogue and debate. We believe the
facts are on our side.

Unlike most Holocaust promoters and believers, we have looked at both sides.  Until a year ago I thought that Holocaust Denial was as low as you could go. That was until I looked at what the Revisionists had to say.

Luke, as to Revisionists not being “open to what the survivors say,” you have the roles reversed again.  It is the “survivors” and their supporters who are not “open to what the” Revisionists say.

Don’t you remember what happened when you introduced the elderly Jewish lady into the video?  She was a relative of concentration camp inmates, some of whom died and some of whom survived.

She would not talk to me, insulted me (I forgive her) and refused to take the material I offered her.

Jay is toying with the idea of dialogue between the two sides, seeking your imprimatur.  Luke, you did not jump at the idea.

There are some very well-informed Holocaust Revisionists who would be glad to debate an authority from the other side of the question.  Dennis Prager leaps to mind.  (The thought of that giant leaping is intriguing. I think of the pilot of the giant airliner who was bragging on its amenities and facilities, mentioning the bowling alley in the right wing.  He ended by saying “Now if I can just get this mother off the ground!”)

I wish you both would try to get some authority to agree to such a public debate. It would be educational for you. I believe you would find that no Jewish authority would agree.  It is much easier and less embarrassing for them to  continue to inveigh against and insult “Holocaust Deniers” from a safe distance.

LUKE SAYS: I do not agree with criminalizing denial of the Holocaust.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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