The BBC’s channel 2 aired “Confronting Holocaust Denial” Tuesday night in Great Britain, a personal documentary about the current state of denial by son of survivors David Baddiel. Baddiel begins with the Allies suppressing the fact of Jewish extermination for strategic reasons, moves on to the upsurge in Holocaust denial in the 1970s and then what he perceives as an anti-Semitic backlash following NBC television’s miniseries the Holocaust viewed in America by 120 million people in 1978 and subsequently shown in Europe. He devotes some time to the Holocaust denial case against German-Canadian Holocaust revisionist Ernst Zündel (1939-2017) and David Irving’s libel suit against Deborah Lipstadt in the UK.
Following two interviews with Lipstadt, Baddiel travels to Vilnius and looks at controversy surrounding the removal of the plaque commemorating Jonas Noreika by Vilnius mayor Remigijus Šimašius. Trying to understand the Lithuanian nationalist position, he visits Kęstutis Mackevičius, the son of a murdered partisan, who claims Noreika was not a Nazi collaborator and only wanted to free his country. Baddiel examines the documents more carefully, including authentic documents posted by Noreika’s granddaughter Silvia Foti which clearly show he was involved in the extermination of Jews and the theft of their property in Lithuania. Baddiel concludes Lithuanians might be afraid they won’t have any heroes at all if they exclude collaborators, and that Lithuanian lionization of perpetrators is a response to Soviet distortions of history.
The documentary was filmed before nationalists replaced the plaque with their own version and only shows flowers and candles at the impromptu shrine Lithuanian nationalists set up outside the library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences where the plaque hung formerly.
More information about the film is available here.