August 05, 2007

Wiesenthal Centre to Danish Prime Minister: Withdraw State Award To Holocaust Denier

Received by email:
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has urged Denmark's Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, to void a monetary award by the Ministry of Culture's Arts Council (Kunst Raadet) to Erik Haaest, known as the "Holocaust Sceptic".

In his protest to PM Rasmussen, Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, wrote in part: "Haaest reportedly received this prize for his work on 'The Danish Friekorps on the Eastern Front 1941 1965', hardly a symbol of Danish National pride", adding, "Haaest's citations from Holocaust denial literature go back to the 1959 volume of the Journal of Historical Review published by theinstitute of the same name, frequented by neo-Nazis worldwide."

Dr. Samuels cited the culture section of DR Nyheder, which, under a photoof the gas chamber states, "Erik Haaest questions existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz KZ in Poland". Another publication reportsHaaest as declaring Anne Frank's diary "a swindle".

The Wiesenthal Centre's protest declared, "your government's award to Haaest violated the commitments of Denmark to the European Commission and to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. This act legitimizes (...) Holocaust denial, incitement to antisemitism and is an offence to Holocaust survivors and to the families of all victims of Nazism. Our Centre urges you to immediately withdraw this outrageous award, to investigate its circumstances and publicly dismiss those responsible."

"Silence would only be construed by hate mongers as a seal of approval", Dr. Samuels concluded.
For further information, please contact Shimon Samuels at +33.609.77.01.58