Menachem Z. Rosensaft

Like flat earthers, Holocaust deniers simply refuse to acknowledge reality. On being shown pictures taken from a satellite that showed the earth as a sphere, Samuel Shenton, the head of the Flat Earth Society, reportedly said, “It’s easy to see how a photograph like that could fool the untrained eye.” In a similar vein, British Bishop Richard Williamson, the renegade Roman Catholic cleric whose excommunication was recently lifted by Pope Benedict XVI, declared on Swedish television that, “I believe that the historical evidence is largely against, is hugely against six million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler . . . . I believe there were no gas chambers.” Williamson went on to say that he thought that “between two to three hundred thousand Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps but none of them by gas chambers.” To the likes of Shenton and Williamson, facts and evidence do not matter.

While the flat-earthers are, on the whole, benign kooks, Holocaust deniers are dangerous, generally combining their efforts to defend and whitewash Hitler, Nazism and the Third Reich with an obsessive, more often than not virulent anti-Semitism. In addition to his denial of the Holocaust, Williamson has endorsed the authenticity of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the notorious Russian Czarist forgery that purports to depict a Jewish conspiracy to rule the world, and has written publicly of “the false messianic vocation of Jewish world-dominion, to prepare the Anti-Christ’s throne in Jerusalem.”