A report on the website of the Board of Deputies of British Jews reveals that Holocaust Obfuscation is gaining ground rapidly as a highly specific term for the phenomenon of ‘denying without denying’ in the context of the far right’s Double Genocide revisionism prevalent in post-Soviet Eastern Europe and especially the Baltics. The Board’s summary of a meeting held with the Lithuanian ambassador to London, HE Dr Oskaras Jusys noted that:
“Dr Edlin said, ‘This meeting was a chance to tackle some sensitive issues directly with the Lithuanian Ambassador. He recognised our concerns, especially regarding Obfuscation and antisemitism in Lithuania and assured us that his government is unflinching in its efforts to combat both phenomena.'”
The report, released today, also notes the common understanding of the term as used in the meeting:
“The Board’s delegation, which included Vice President Paul Edlin, Jon Benjamin, Chief Executive, Public Affairs Officer Jamie Slavin and International Division member Alex Faiman, also raised the issue of Holocaust Obfuscation, the equation of Nazi crimes during the Holocaust with those of the Soviets during the War. The Lithuanian Ambassador assured the delegation that this was not the position of the Lithuanian government and that in fact attempts to highlight Soviet crimes had been hijacked by a small circle of people with malign intentions.”
Presumably the discussion extended to asking the ambassador to convey to his government the question about whether Lithuania would now withdraw its support for the 2008 Prague Declaration and a host of similar declarations and resolutions intended for the European Union. Hopefully there was mention of the recent letter of protest handed to his excellency’s embassy on February 7th by MP Denis MacShane and others, who had been received by a low-level embassy employee despite announcing their intention to visit the previous week. The Holocaust Survivor community would be gratified to know that the issue of the still-not-closed kangaroo ‘war crimes’ investigations against aged Holocaust Survivors who resisted the Nazis would be dealt with urgently, even if it did emanate from a prosecution service ostensibly ‘hijacked by a small circle of people with malign intentions’, if indeed the ambassador would see that sad saga in the context of his powerful remark. It is widely believed that these ‘prosecutions’ were no more than attempts to construct a bogus paper trail of ‘equal investigations of Soviet war criminals’ in service to Double Genocide ideology, and in the absence of an iota of evidence against the Holocaust Survivors who have been brutally defamed by the highest echelons of Lithuanian society, most recently the Lithuanian Human Rights Association.
The term Holocaust Obfuscation was introduced by this website’s (then future) editor on 28 February 2008, at a talk and power point presentation at the Rothschild Foundation Europe Talk Series, entitled ‘The Holocaust Obfuscation Movement. An attempt to make Holocaust Denial respectable. The case of Lithuania’. He defined it further in a 2009 paper, ‘On Three Definitions: Genocide, Holocaust Denial, Holocaust Obfuscation’ (available here), published in a Peter Lang volume edited by Leonidas Donskis.
It is defined in that paper (p. 272) by Dovid Katz as follows:
“Holocaust Obfuscation is the systematic effort to relativize, minimize, obscure, confuse or eliminate the Holocaust, as a distinct historic entity in European history, without necessarily denying any of the documented murders. By the early twenty-ﬁrst century Holocaust Obfuscation evolved as a major trend of thought in some governmental, political, press, academic and other elite circles of some new-accession states in the east of the European Union. Its ideas have been packaged in a number of declarations and proposed laws aimed at eliciting compliance from Western nations and organizations of nations. The most frequent apparatus includes: inﬂation of the term genocide to encompass a variety of Soviet crimes; the claim that Nazi and Soviet crimes were inherently equivalent; thereby leaving the Holocaust as a conceptual ‘half’ in the replacement paradigm. At the local level, variants of the model have included claims of overwhelming Jewish complicity in communism; claims that the murder of the Jewish populations in Eastern Europe was a reaction to alleged Jewish communism; claims that the miniscule percentage of Jews who survived by escaping to Soviet-supported partisan groups in the forests are a priori guilty of ‘war crimes’ (hence they may be investigated with neither evidence nor charges). The Holocaust Obfuscation movement frequently harbors antisemitic and racist undertones.”