February 8, 2006
UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM DENOUNCES CONTINUING HOLOCAUST DENIAL IN IRAN
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, America’s national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, having previously expressed outrage at the remarks made by Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad denying the Holocaust and calling for Israel’s destruction, condemns the continued outpouring of antisemitism and Holocaust denial from Iranian officials.
In a speech on December 14, 2005, Iranian President Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust “a myth.” In October 2005 he said Israel is “a disgraceful blot” that should be “wiped off the map.”
On January 15, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi called for an “academic conference” to examine the “scientific evidence” for the Holocaust. “If held, the conference will serve as nothing more than an international platform for Holocaust denial, another form of antisemitism,” said Fred S. Zeidman, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council Chairman.
On February 6, Iran’s largest daily newspaper, Hamshahri, announced it would hold a contest for cartoons about the Holocaust in response to the publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad originally published in a Danish newspaper.
“This is yet another example of deep-seated antisemitism that deserves worldwide condemnation,” Mr. Zeidman said.
Situated among our national monuments to freedom, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is both a memorial to the past and a living reminder of the moral obligations of individuals and societies. The Museum fulfills its mission through a public/private partnership in which federal support guarantees the institution’s permanence and hundreds of thousands of donors nationwide make possible its educational activities and global outreach. More than 23 million people – including more than 7 million schoolchildren – have visited the Museum since it opened in 1993, and through its Web site, traveling exhibitions and educational programs, the Museum reaches millions more every year. For more information, visit www.ushmm.org.