Iranian Intellectuals On Holocaust Conference

The February 15 issue of the New York Review of Books contains a letter by Gholam Reza Afkhami and over one hundred other Iranian intellectuals, writers, and artists, including Azar Nafisi, Marjane Satrapi, and Shahrnush Parsipur, contesting the Holocaust conference recently sponsored by the government of Iran:

We the undersigned Iranians,

Notwithstanding our diverse views on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict;

Considering that the Nazis’ coldly planned “Final Solution” and their ensuing campaign of genocide against Jews and other minorities during World War II constitute undeniable historical facts;

Deploring that the denial of these unspeakable crimes has become a propaganda tool that the Islamic Republic of Iran is using to further its own agendas;

Noting that the new brand of anti-Semitism prevalent in the Middle East today is rooted in European ideological doctrines of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and has no precedent in Iran’s history;

Emphasizing that this is not the first time that the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has resorted to the denial and distortion of historical facts;

Recalling that this government has refused to acknowledge, among other things, its mass execution of its own citizens in 1988, when thousands of political prisoners, previously sentenced to prison terms, were secretly executed because of their beliefs;

Strongly condemn the Holocaust Conference sponsored by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Tehran on December 11–12, 2006, and its attempt to falsify history;

Pay homage to the memory of the millions of Jewish and non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and express our empathy for the survivors of this immense tragedy as well as all other victims of crimes against humanity across the world.

You can view the letter and its signatories here.

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