Ahmadinejad Renews Holocaust Denial

The hard-line Iranian president is at it again

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, is at it again.
The man who insists the Holocaust never happened opened a U.N. conference on racism by accusing Israel of being racist and again denying that the Jewish population of Europe was virtually wiped out by Hitler. Iran's president got a stormy reaction. A demonstrator heaved what appeared to be a tomato at him but missed. Others shouted: “Racist! Racist!” Delegates from all 23 European Union nations stood up and walked out.

Ahmadinejad, who seems to be obsessed with this subject, accused Israel of being a “cruel and oppressive racist regime.” He said Israel was created “on the pretext of Jewish suffering.”
Pretext indeed! Only a bigot would deny that six-million Jews were systematically put to death by the Nazis in World War II. I visited some of the death camps in 1949 and several times after that. I saw the immense piles of women's hair still smelling from the killing gas, Zyklon B. I saw the chambers where men, women and children were put to death by this horrible gas. I saw the ovens where the bodies were burned after the hair was shaved from the women's heads. I saw the piles of shoes in one barracks building at Auschwitz, including many baby shoes. I put my fingers in the ashes of human remains.
The Nazis were efficient. They had hair shipped back to Germany to make mattresses. They extracted gold fillings and crowns from the teeth of corpses to sell the precious metal or use it for other purposes. When Allied troops advanced swiftly in the last days of the war, the Nazis had to leave in a hurry and, thus, some of the evidence of their crimes was left behind.
As I hear Ahmadinejad rave about the Holocaust never having happened, I marvel at the man's effrontery. I fantasize about taking him on a tour of the death camps, including the ones I've seen -- Auschwitz, Birkenau and Dachau -- and asking him: do you think this is all a fraud? This little baby's shoe, one of hundreds of thousands, do you think this is a fake?
It is ironic that the Iranian leader's speech comes on the very day that the Holocaust is being remembered in Israel and throughout the world. To the nation that grew out of the ashes of the Holocaust, to claim it never happened is just weird. Ahmadinejad ignored the demonstrators who shouted “Racist!” at him. He denounced the United States, Europe and Israel. The British ambassador said: “Such outrageous anti-Semitic remarks should have no place in a UN anti-racism forum.” The French ambassador declared: “it's a pity that Mr. Ahmadinejad is trying to take this conference hostage.”
In Israel, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that, while Israel commemorates 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis, “in Switzerland, the guest of honor is a racist and a Holocaust denier who doesn't conceal his intention to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.”
In Geneva, Actor Jon Voight, an Israel supporter, said: “The fox is in charge of the hen house here. This is supposed to be about human rights, but hidden under that banner is anti-Semitism.”
Researchers at Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust museum, have just released evidence of the many small killing fields, where hundreds of Jews were slaughtered throughout Europe. These massacres were not as large as the major death factories at Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and other camps. But probably 1.5 million died in these smaller killing fields.
Ahmadinejad's obsession with Jews is sick. The nations of the world should be working together to stamp out genocide wherever it occursand to bring peace between Palestinians and Israelis. Instead, the UN and some officials who claim to be human rights advocates tolerate the antics of the world's leading anti-Semite and let him poison the air of international discourse.

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