A Jewish comedian wants to understand why Holocaust denial exists
British comedian David Baddiel describes himself as a “Jewish Atheist” and a “10 out of 10 atheist.” He has been a Labour voter and a big fan of the rock band Genesis and of David Bowie. But there is one thing he cannot understand and that is why Holocaust denial will not go away.
In a new documentary he has written and is starring in, Holocaust Denial: A History with David Baddiel for BBC Two, he will try to discover why by talking to academics and historians. It’s because David Baddiel knows very little about WWII political history that he will listen to those who supposedly do. Sound familiar? Oh, we’ve seen all this before.
“Why does a desire to deny the events of the Holocaust even exist? Why is it growing?” he asks and continues:
“I’ve always had a dark fascination with Holocaust denial. The fact that since it happened (indeed whilst it was happening) forces have tried to undermine one of the most well-documented truths of history [actually it is not well-documented at all; this ubiquitous statement has become more like a canard used to undermine revisionism -ed] seems to me a key battleground in the fight between truth and lies, a battle made more complex by the emergence of new technology, a post-truth world and, more insidious, ‘soft core’ forms of denial.
“As the last survivors, including those in my own family, begin to pass away, and with them, living memory of The Holocaust, I’m grateful to the BBC for allowing me to explore this complex subject, in all its difficulty and darkness.”
Baddiel “will broach taboos and find himself in often uncomfortable situations.” He will ask “What does a desire to deny the events of the Holocaust tell us about anti-Semitism? Is there a version of Holocaust Denial that is becoming respectable? And how can we best counter these ideas?”
Notice there is not a single suggestion that it could be happening because of a failure of the 75-year-old Holocaust narrative to withstand honest scrutiny and the free exchange of ideas, largely due to the growth of the world-wide web. This wonderful invention has given the average person access to vastly more information from an immensity of sources. Of course, the BBC would have us believe this immensity of sources are mainly untrustworthy (post-truth), but Internet users have found out differently. It was networks like the BBC that in the past kept us in the dark about whatever they didn’t want us to know, or else put their own spin on it.
But in Baddiel’s documentary it will be anti-Semitism (“the oldest hatred”) or because the Internet spreads so many “conspiracy theories” and “fake news” stories that we now live in a “post-truth world.”
With this advance buildup, we don’t think it will be worth watching.