To the Editor:
Edward Alexander’s review of Deborah Lipstadt’s Denying the Holocaust [Books in Review, November 1993] will be of no slight interest to future cultural historians. He writes that the book deals with “the most highly publicized form of travesty to which the Holocaust has been made subject in our day,” but that is not correct. Lipstadt keeps to fringe figures who probably relish the publicity afforded them by their critics, and would otherwise remain in deserved obscurity. But she ignores others, including “the most highly publicized” apologist for Nazi crimes, namely, the author of the review, who [elsewhere] dismisse[d] the Holocaust with derision as an “exploded fiction”—and to make sure that no one mistakes his values, add[ed] that nothing more than “oppression” was suffered by (in the words of John Quincy Adams) “that hapless race of native Americans, which we are exterminating with such merciless and perfidious cruelty,” and by those who endured the pleasures of the Atlantic passage and slavery. On Mr. Alexander’s efforts to evade the meaning of what he wrote, once exposed, see the Nation, August 17, 1992 and February 15, 1993.
Lipstadt writes (in a letter to the New York Times, November 8, 1993) that “a comprehensive analysis of the deniers was necessary.” Perhaps, but she has been careful not to provide it.
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