Apr. 7, 2009
Holocaust Web Site Launches Non-English Versions
HDOT.org translated into Arabic, Farsi, Russian and Turkish
Holocaust Denial on Trial (HDOT.org), a Web site founded by Emory University professor Deborah Lipstadt to teach about the dangers of Holocaust denial and demonstrate how deniers distort historical evidence of the Holocaust, is re-launching in four new languages: Arabic, Farsi, Russian and Turkish. These translations are designed to spread the original site's messages to areas where Holocaust denial goes the most unchallenged.
HDOT.org was founded following the well-known David Irving v. Penguin UK and Deborah Lipstadt libel trial. Holocaust denier Irving sued Lipstadt and her publisher for calling him a denier who knowingly twists and distorts the truth of the Holocaust. A British judge found Irving to be an active Holocaust denier whose writings on the topic included both anti-Semitic and racist elements.
Despite the success of the Irving trial, online Holocaust denial has increased significantly in the past few years, says Lipstadt. "Deniers are attacking the entire history of the Holocaust piece by piece," she says. "Our site puts basic, easily accessible information into the hands of people encountering sophisticated content designed to confuse them."
At each of the new sites, visitors will be greeted by a complete parallel home page, site navigation and content in their language of choice. They will be able to search the site's database in the new languages as well.
"This project significantly expands the reach of HDOT.org in regions of the world where a significant amount of Holocaust denial is happening," says Lipstadt.
In addition, HDOT.org has added significantly to its offering of more than 30 Myth/Fact sheets, available in all five languages. These Myth/Fact sheets address Holocaust denial head-on by listing various claims made about the Holocaust by deniers and providing the historical evidence that shows them to be false. Over the past two years, the Myth/Fact sheets have been HDOT.org's most popular destination.
HDOT creates new podcast series
In conjunction with this launch, HDOT also announces the creation of a new podcast series, available through Emory's iTunes University.
The series includes podcasts featuring such figures as Lipstadt, renowned Holocaust historian Saul Friedlander and professor Ken Waltzer, who uncovered fraud in a recent and highly publicized Holocaust memoir. The series also includes interviews with Michael Shermer, a professional skeptic and author of "Denying History," and Father John Pawlikowski, a veteran of Catholic-Jewish interfaith dialogue, speaking about recent events.
"As so much of the strategy that deniers employ involves spreading their falsehoods on the Internet, we worked with Professor Lipstadt to have scholarly, authoritative resources available in podcasts. Some of the most respected experts on denial on the Internet are interviewed," says Alan Cattier, Emory's director of Academic Technology Services.
The podcasts will form the core of several new lesson plans being produced for advanced high school and college courses that will help educators and the public approach the complex of social, historical, political and ideological issues that emerge in the study of Holocaust denial.
The launch was made possible by grants from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties and other funders. The Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture helped fund the podcast series. HDOT.org is made possible by significant grants from Angelica Berrie and the Russell Berrie Foundation, Gralla Family Philanthropic Fund, Yvette and Larry Gralla, Fern E. and William J. Lowenberg Fund, Leo Melamed Foundation, Mozel Charitable Trust, Joshua & Nirit Resnick Foundation, Sandler Family Philanthropic Fund and The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.
Emory is working to raise an endowment to permanently fund HDOT.org. To date, almost $500,000 in endowment has been raised for the project, which seeks additional support to ensure that the Web site is a permanent force in Holocaust education worldwide.