The perils of ignoring Holocaust history

Editor’s Note: Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot professor of modern Jewish and Holocaust studies at Emory University, is the author of “History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving.” She was the target of a British libel lawsuit by Irving, a historian she said had become a spokesman for Holocaust denial. Lipstadt won the case in April 2000. The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers.

Story highlights

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Deborah Lipstadt calls Livingstone linking Hitler to Zionism "ludicrous"

London mayor's attempt to twist history indicative of an effort to stir "disgust by association," she says

CNN  — 

Hitler was a Zionist.

Pardon me?

Until recently anyone who uttered such a statement would have been deemed mad. This past week, however, Ken Livingstone, former mayor of London and a member of Parliament, did just that, saying “Hitler was supporting Zionism” while surrounded by reporters and cameras. So far, he seems unwilling to plead insanity or to apologize for his remarks.