To the Editor:
Timothy Ryback adeptly addresses the issue of preserving forensic evidence of the Holocaust, but he fails to characterize clearly the nature of Holocaust denial ("In the Fray," July 7).
Mr. Ryback says that deniers believe "millions of European Jews died" during World War II – differing from mainstream historians only in claiming that these millions perished from "malnutrition, exhaustion and disease," instead of poison gas. In fact, the vast majority of Holocaust deniers reduce the Jewish death toll to significantly less than a million.
More importantly, Holocaust denial is a "growth industry" not because of a "dearth of hard evidence" or the lack of a "smoking gun" attesting to the Nazi genocide, but because of the recent resurgence of global anti-Semitism, especially emanating from the Arab/Muslim world that has embraced Holocaust deniers.
That the motivation of every major Holocaust denier since World War II has been anti-Semitism becomes clear when one reads their literature and considers their beliefs. Deniers must explain away volumes of historical evidence, both forensic and testimonial; they do so, almost invariably, by claiming that Jews of those "controlled" by Jews – historians, the media, government officials – fabricate and misrepresent the evidence. The alleged Jewish motive? A desire to obtain global power, to defraud non-Jews of billions of dollars, to demoralize "Aryan" societies by imposing crushing guilt for a genocide that never occurred. Holocaust deniers may admit that individual Jews are not always privy to the conspiracy, but for their beliefs to remain internally consistent they almost always fall back on the centuries-old stereotype of the conspiratorial, greedy, gentile-hating Jew.
Abraham H. Foxman