chapter  11
12 Pages

Holocaust denial in Iran

Ahmadinejad, the 2006 Holocaust conference and international law
ByPaul Behrens

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been in office as president of Iran for barely four months, when he made headlines with statements not uncommon in denialist discourse. In December 2005, he was quoted as saying he did not believe that 6 million Jews had died at the hands of the Nazis, 1 and that the killing of the Jews had been a ‘myth’. 2 In the following year, a ‘Holocaust cartoon contest’ took place in Tehran. 3 Then, in December 2006, a conference was hosted in Tehran under the title ‘Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision’. 4 The event, based on an initiative by Ahmadinejad, 5 was attended by 67 participants from 30 countries, including David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, 6 Robert Faurisson, a former French academic who had previously spoken of the ‘myth of the gas chambers’ and had been found guilty in France of denial of crimes against humanity, 7 and Frederick Toben, sentenced by a German court after he had denied that gas chambers for human beings had been in operation in Auschwitz. 8