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Denial of the Holocaust is woven into the very fabric of mass murder. Heinrich Himmler, in his infamous speech to his henchmen at Poznan on October 4, 1943, extolled their extermination of the Jews in these terms: "This is a page of glory in our history never mentioned and never to be mentioned." Secrecy and obfuscation were necessary components of the process, and latter-day denial may be seen as symbolically repeating the crime. The French Historian Pierre Vidal-Naquet has thus aptly called Holocaust deniers the assassins of memory.
In conjunction with our 2011 lecture series "Alternative Narratives or Denial," CHGS is facilitating a reading discussion group focused on seminal works on the topic of Holocaust and genocide denial.
The group will be reading and discussing excerpts from Denying the Holocaust by Deborah Lipstadt (Tuesday, January 11), From Empathy and Denial: Arab Responses to the Holocaust by Meir Litvak and Esther Webman (Tuesday, February 15) and Remembrance and Denial: The Case of the Armenian Genocide edited by Richard G. Hovannisian, as well as articles from the Armenian Reporter (Tuesday, March 22).
The first excerpts are Chapters 3, 7 and 10 from Denying the Holocaust and are posted on the CHGS Reading Discussion Group Blog. Entire copies of the book are available at Wilson Library, most metro-area libraries, and bookstores.
The first discussion group will meet on Tuesday, January 11 at 12:00 p.m. in room 710 Social Sciences Building on the University of Minnesota's west bank. Reservations are required and can be made via email at CHGS@umn.edu (please put RDG in the subject line and include your name, phone and email address in the body of the message) or by phone at 612-624-0256.