23 July 2007

Denmark: Grant to Holocaust denier

From a Seattle reader (thanks, Les!) comes a head's-up on grants made to a Holocaust denier in Denmark.

History On Trial is a blog by Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University (Atlanta, GA) and and author of History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving [Ecco 2005].

Her recent posting:

Denmark, according to the Danish paper Information,it turns out has given a substantial grant to a Holocaust denier who called the Diary of Anne Frank a forgery, contended that the gas chambers never existed and argued that the number of Jews who died in the Holocaust has been greatly exaggerated.

While that grant may well be attributed to a bureaucratic snafu, it's the response of the government official from the agency making the grant that's shocking. When the story broke the Arts Council said that it does not deal in censorship and "it is not our job to judge [people's] opinions."

Lipstadt's category for this posting is "Politically correct idiocy."

Among the comments made by the blog's readers: "I wonder if Denmark would fund a grant to study the opinion that the Earth was flat, the sun rotates around the Earth and 2+2=5."

The article in Haaretz said the grant was for studies by Erik Haaest on the involvement of Danes in Hitler's SS. The grants were made in 2004 and 2006 and totaled 100,000 Danish krone from the Danish Arts Council, a government-funded body.

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