German YouTubers Heart Ahmadinejad

For many years now, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been speaking to Germany: in a long letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in two interviews with the German weekly Der Spiegel, and in passing remarks in numerous speeches and press conferences. He has been speaking to Germany in terms that Americans might fail to recognize, but that will be extremely familiar to his intended audience: namely, in the classical terms of German revisionism. Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial is just one side of this revisionism. The other side consists of the suggestion that Germany itself was somehow a victim of the Second World War, or at least of "unjust" post-war arrangements, and that the victorious Allied powers -- first and foremost the United States -- are the real "oppressors."

While suppressing the most overt Holocaust denial from his speech to the UN Conference on Racism in Geneva, Ahmadinejad gave ample space to this second classical theme of post-WWII revisionism. Speaking of the two world wars, he said: "If one had learned something from the occupations and horror of those wars, then there would have been a ray of hope for the future. But the victorious powers declared themselves to be the conquerors of the world, while ignoring or treading upon the rights of other nations by the imposition of oppressive laws and international arrangements."

Below is a partial translation of the comments to an extract from Ahmadinejad's speech that was posted on YouTube with a German voice-over. The extract was originally broadcast on Germany's Phoenix TV and was followed by a Phoenix report on the protests against the speech. Although only a partial translation, I have not made a point of selecting the anti-Semitic entries. Anti-Semitism is rampant in the discussion, as too is anti-Americanism. At least at the outset, the approval for Ahmadinejad was overwhelming and critics were few and far between. The ratio would change somewhat after the German journalist Henryk Broder drew attention to the forum in a post titled "A Lunatic is Never Alone" on the popular "pro-American," "pro-Israel" Achse des Gutens (Axis of Good) blog. I have given the last word in my translation to two of the critical voices.

The ample evidence of Holocaust denial among the YouTube comments is particularly notable in the German context. As an apparent "joke," one commenter calls himself "Holoshoa." Another refers nonchalantly to the "Holohoax." A third points to an online collection of denial videos: "for those who want to know more about the alleged [angeblichen] Holocaust." "Matters are very simple," the commenter adds, "Whoever claims things that are impossible is lying!" (The last comment is not included below.) Holocaust denial is in fact illegal in Germany. The German neo-Nazi Horst Mahler has already been convicted twice this year for denial-related crimes. He faces nearly 11 years in prison as a result of the two convictions. The enthusiasm for denial in the anonymous YouTube forum suggests what some researchers, in any case, have long suspected: that Germany's criminalization of the public expression of Holocaust denial has only served to push the embarrassing phenomenon into the private sphere.

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KraftTakt

Good that Ahmadinejad throws a spanner in the Jews' works! It is also interesting that the reporter mentions that it was Jewish groups that interrupted the speech. They can get away with anything.

KraftTakt

The concept of racism was invented by the Jew Trotsky as a means of combat for the Communists. If you pay attention, it's also very striking that racism is always a matter of the oppression of Jews and Blacks. Here too you see how the African bushmen present their "folklore" [the Phoenix report includes scenes of an African dance group]. But, of course, you don't see any European folk dance groups (...).

(...)

VMTV

Ahmadinejad tells it like it is.

However, I find that in the Middle East there are no good guys.

The Muslims and the Jews are both religious fanatics that are stuck in the Middle Ages.

(...)

funrunkel

All the ziocrats have first to get off their high horses.

holoshoa

Thank you, Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad!

Alex from the Central Council of Germans in Hannover

["Central Council of Germans" is a play on the Central Council of Jews of Germany, a semi-official institution that is a magnet for anti-Semitic resentments in Germany.]

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DosensuPPe90

Ahmadinejad is absolutely right!!!

All he is doing is telling the truth!

funrunkel

Ach ma die Nedschad [Ahmadinejad] is a populist, he's right, but his domestic policies display certain structural deficits. He should establish a free [freiheitliches] caliphate. Otherwise, I like him. He has a totally different perspective: also on the Holo-hoax(...)

Praetorianer1985

Yet again, typical. They hold a summit against racism. But as soon as someone attacks their holy cow Israel, they don't want to hear anything.

Down with the Zionists!

Down with the NWO [New World Order]!