Friday, May 16, 2008

Holocaust denial in Toronto

The Toronto District School Board has pulled a book from its high school reading list because it referred to the slaughter of Armenians by the Young Turks during and shortly after WWI as a "genocide." Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide, by Barbara Coloroso, has been replaced with works by two genocide-deniers, Bernard Lewis (of "clash of civilizations" fame) and Guenter Lewy, who have apparently been deemed more acceptable to the Council of Turkish Canadians.

Some back-and-forth on an article by Lewy may be found here. Given that no order for the Final Solution signed by Adolf Hitler has ever surfaced, would he apply a similar methodology to an examination of the subsequent Holocaust? How would he explain away Hitler's infamous remark: "Wer redet heute noch von der Vernichtung der Armenier?" ("Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?")

As for Lewis, he was found guilty by a French court of genocide-denial in 1995, and subsequently continued to prevaricate, in a manner that casts his qualifications as an historian into some doubt. Further, we have this: "The historian Gerard Chaliand wrote to Lewis to express his dismay that Lewis had signed the letter [to the US Congress, asking them not to pass a resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide --DD]. Lewis' main concern came through clearly in his reply. And guess what? It wasn't historical accuracy. 'The only sure result of the resolution,' Lewis wrote to Chaliand, 'would be the disruption of US-Turkish relations.'" A serviceable rogue, this Bernard Lewis.

In the meantime, one awaits, if not with pleasurable anticipation, the decision of the Toronto District School Board to add Did Six Million Really Die? to its list of reading materials for students interested in genocide. In his German prison cell, Ernst Zündel is smiling.

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