Human Rights Studies Stands in Solidarity with Davis Jewish Community in Face of Hate Incident
Holocaust denial and distortion is a threat to human rights
- A recent hate incident highlights need to redouble efforts at Holocaust and Genocide education. Confronting denial is a shared responsibility.
UC Davis Human Rights Studies stands in solidarity with the Davis Jewish community in the face of a recent hate incident and ugly episode of Holocaust denial. We are committed to a campus where all are welcomed and safe and where civil discourse based on facts and evidence are practiced widely and truth matters.
One of those truths is that the Holocaust — the genocide of the Jews of Europe by Nazi Germany and its allies — happened. Across the period 1941-1945 six million Jews were systematically murdered through mass execution, being worked to death in labor camps, being gassed in gas chambers or mobile vans, or starvation.
At UC Davis HMR we take the denial of the Holocaust or any genocide seriously – even if that act of denial was perpetrated by cowards with poor grammar and even worse artistic skills as took place on Sunday. We encourage university leadership and local law enforcement to do so as well. Holocaust denial points to even deeper social pathologies of hate and the potential for violence.
Despite the low-tech display of Antisemitism and Holocaust denial on display in this incident, the real problem is online. According to a recent UN Report, History under attack: Holocaust denial and distortion on social media, 50% of all Holocaust related content on Telegram is denialist, with Facebook at 10% and Twitter at %15.
A key human rights principle is that the burden to prove a genocide happened or stand against denial must not fall on the shoulders of genocide survivors and their descendants. Rather it is the responsibility of society as a whole. At UC Davis HMR we seek to meet that burden through our research and teaching. Over the last decade hundreds of students have taken courses like Human Rights Studies 161 Genocide and we encourage all to enroll in the History of the Holocaust.
Below are a few resources on genocide denial:
Holocaust Denial and Distortion – US Holocaust Memorial Museum
Ellen Germain, Special envoy for Holocaust Issues, US Department of State (2022) – Why Confronting Holocaust Denial Matters