This spontaneous common initiative deserves notice all the more that it is rare to see Iranian intellectuals including political and human rights activists to find common ground and solidarity for a common cause. However the excesses of the current Islamic Regime in Iran and its leaders have shed a dark shadow of suspicion and animosity towards Iranians worldwide ever since Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has clearly stated that he wished to see the “State of Israel Be Wiped off the Map” and has held an international conference including western revisionist historians, Ku-Klux Klan members and racist delegations to Tehran to examine the veracity of the Holocaust that cost the lives of 6 million Jews, Gypsies, mentally retarded or political outcasts from all over Europe’s Nazi occupied territories during WWII.
The Nazi crimes were clearly established after the War in Europe more than 60 years ago at the Nuremberg Trial by an international and independent court of justice. The Nuremberg trials initiated a movement for the prompt establishment of a permanent international criminal court, eventually leading over fifty years later to the adoption of the Statute of the International Criminal Court.
The Conclusions of the Nuremberg trials served to help draft:
The Geneva Convention on the Laws and Customs of War, 1949; its supplementary protocols, 1977.
All of which were clearly recognized by World Nations including Iran and its successive governments and regimes that were to abide to these conclusions and participate along with all members of the United Nations to the global awareness of these crimes and actions that led to the advent of a Second World War.
If the Conclusions of the Nuremberg Trials and the drafts above did not put an end to military conflicts or crimes of equally horrifying nature during the 20 th century, it did nevertheless lead to a global awareness of the dangers of ideologies that promote genocide of a race or people in any form or manner. Even at the height of tensions during the Cold War, Super Powers of the time be it the United States or the Soviet Union could not simply ignore the above drafts without risking to threaten global security and stability.
In addition the term genocide and its characteristics were clearly defined so as to allow recourse to international law and justice if ever a nation or people were indeed threatened by similar crimes. Recent examples in the aftermath of the Cold War such as Rwanda or Serbia have been reminiscent of crimes of genocidal nature that continue to be subject to international investigations as has been the case for ex-Yugoslavia through the La Hague International Tribunal. Some countries such as Turkey continue to deny any responsibility in the massacre of the Armenians under the Ottoman rule which continues to plague Turkeys chances in entering the European Union as a full member and partner.
However the scale of crimes committed by Nazi Germany and the nearly scientific procedure of eliminating the Jewish population was supported by the ideology that was at the source of the Nazi Party’s creation and rise to Power in the person of Adolf Hitler and ironically through democratic elections in a country that would soon see all its politically legitimate and democratic institutions replaced by a totalitarian structure of government where all opposition was eliminated either politically or physically.
Before the Nuremberg Trials the true nature and extent of crimes committed in the Nazi Concentration Camps were not revealed in all its horrific magnitude to the World or even to the German population. From this perspective the Nazi crime record remains unique in the annals of history even if nothing can justify other crimes of a similar nature in the decades that followed WWII or in our present times. The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict for that matter cannot either be solved by ignoring this past reality nor can the sufferings and unjust treatment of all concerned be put into a balance as if one crime should justify the other.
By claiming that the Holocaust was a Myth the current President of Iran has also spoken in the name of his compatriots on an issue that was neither mentioned in his electoral campaign nor suggested in the political agenda on which he campaigned in order to become president of a nation, where 70 % of the population was not even born at the time of the Revolution and aspires to change and Freedom.
The result however has been disastrous not only for the Iranian Jewish minority but also for the Iranian nation as a whole in that it has created a psychological environment where political opportunism and economic ambitions of the regime can thrive upon the same nationalistic and ideological arguments that in the past, in Nazi Germany in particular, have proved determinant in the advent of racial mindsets and bellicose behavior which far from solving issues such as unemployment or economic and social depression have served only as arguments to justify the current regime’s own shortcomings and totalitarian system of government.
In this context it is all the more encouraging to see that not only the Iranians in Iran removed their support to President Ahmadinejad at the last elections but also to see that the Iranian Intelligentsia in the Diaspora has become much more outspoken and unambiguous in condemning the Holocaust Denials and historical revisionisms that have been supported by the current regime and its henchmen.
Thanks to Human Rights Activist Ladan Boroumand and Sister Roya a statement has circulated this month clearly underlining their condemnation of the Tehran Holocaust Conference and expressing their homage and empathy for the victims and survivors of the Nazi extermination machine as well as all similar cases of crimes against humanity. Amongst the 100 signatories many are known faces in the community such as film directors, writers, actors, journalists or intellectuals others being unknown activists or simple citizens concerned by the return of dangerous ideologies that in the past have proved fatal.
It should be noted that the Iranian signatories of the draft had the credit of doing so before the UN Resolution was even voted proving if needed of that when issues of Human Rights and dignity are concerned the Iranian Diaspora and its best representatives can unite and transcend political, religious or ideological differences in the name of universal humanistic principles.
May this constructive and necessary approach continue in the future.
About Darius KADIVAR is a Freelance Journalist, Film Historian, and Media Consultant. He can be joined at firstname.lastname@example.org