Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies and associated faculty in the History Department, recently published an opinion piece in The Washington Post with co-author Norman Eisen (Brookings). Titled “Denying the Holocaust threatens democracy. So does denying the election results,” the article compares Holocaust denial to the anti-democratic rejection of the results of the 2020 U.S. election, most prominently by Donald J. Trump. Read an excerpt from the piece below along with the full article.
“And there are lessons that can be learned from the active campaign to combat Holocaust denial.
“The first is that we must attack Trump’s big lie before it takes further hold. For years, some — ourselves included — viewed Holocaust denial as a fringe phenomenon and chose not to refute it. Then we found it creeping more and more into mainstream discourse, where we were forced to tackle it after it had spread. It’s too late by that point, though.
“We cannot make that mistake here. We must refute the falsehoods that the president is purveying, which tens of millions of Americans believe, according to opinion polls. And we need to do it now, before it takes further hold, instead of just dismissing the problem. These lies won’t change the outcome of the election. But they don’t just undermine the legitimacy of the new administration — they serve as an illiberal rallying cry in future election cycles and erode the faith that undergirds our democracy.“