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Sarah Dowse

Holocaust denial comes in many guises. One is the comfortable belief that European nationals were ignorant of the slaughter of their fellow Jewish citizens, and would have been appalled had they known. Daniel Goldhagen’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust has been the most controversial challenge to this so far, but it is not alone. Abraham Biderman, survivor of Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen, whose memoir The World of My Past had difficulty finding a publisher here but went on to win awards, is reluctant to exaggerate about the Poles. Nevertheless he writes, ‘With hindsight, however, it seems to me that the majority of them were happy to see the Jews destroyed.’

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