‘Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour’. Romans 13:7
This verse came into my mind as I watched the 2016 historical drama film ‘Denial’. Based on Holocaust Historian, Prof. Deborah Lipstadt’s book, entitled ‘History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier’, the film is a dramatised version of the ‘Irving v Penguin Books Ltd & Deborah Lipstadt’s’ case. David Irving, an English writer of military and political history, filed a libel case against Lipstadt, disputing her depiction of him as a ‘Holocaust Denier’ who manipulated and misrepresented historical evidence to make his case. In April 2000, High Court Judge Mr. Justice Charles Gray, found in favour of the defendants.
Holocaust denial is a pernicious assault on the dignity, and memory, of those who were murdered in their millions during the second world war. By denigrating the survivors and the validity of their experience, Holocaust deniers violate the Apostle Paul’s admonition, in his letter to the church in Rome, to show respect and honour to those who deserve it.
As someone who has read many memoirs of people who survived the nihilsm of the concentration camps, and having visited Auschwitz/Birkenau and other concentration camps myself, the historical record, and the weight of personal testimony, is clear and consistent. It behoves all of us to remember the horrors of the Shoah and to be on our guard against antisemitism, racism and discrimination of any kind. After all, we are all made in the image of God/imago Dei and are therefore called to love and respect one another; hatred has no place.
Holocaust Survivor, Psychiatrist, Founder of Logotherapy and author of ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’, gives his perspective on Holocaust denial in this short clip (Source: uploaded to Vimeo by Mary Cimiluca);