Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Serbia, Russia condemn Iran for Holocaust deniers' conference

By The Associated Press

Serbia and Russia on Wednesday join international calls condemning an gathering of Holocaust deniers hosted and sponsored by the Iranian government in Tehran.

Serbia called the conference a "damaging and pseudo-scientific" event.

The Balkan country's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the two-day conference that began Tuesday in Tehran is an "attempt to deny undeniable facts about the tragedy of the Jewish people during World War II."

Participants at the gathering, supported by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have questioned the Holocaust's death toll of 6 million or if it took place at all.

Serbia's government considers the gathering a "damaging and pseudo-scientific manifestation that cannot contribute to dialogue between cultures and religions," it said.

During the Nazi occupation of Serbia and other parts of the then Yugoslav Kingdom, tens of thousands of Jews died. Less than half of Serbia's 30,000-strong Jewish community before World War II survived the Holocaust. Many later moved to Israel or to the West.

Meanwhile, Russia's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday criticized Iran for hosting a conference of Holocaust deniers, saying Moscow opposed "the concealment of the truth about the monstrous crimes of the Nazis."

In a statement posted on the ministry's Web site, spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said Russia had condemned Tehran and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the past for threatening Israel and denying the systematic killing of 6 million Jews by the Nazis during World War II.
Full article

This conference wouldn't be such a bad thing if it led to something constructive: the end of Holocaust denying in Iran. It appears that ignorance regarding the Shoa is rife among young Iranians, even highly educated ones, although far less so in the older generations. But I guess hoping for a positive result is much like wishing upon a star...


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