Book Banning

An interesting post on the subject of book banning,

As someone who read history and politics at University College Swansea, I am aware of (and concerned by) works which deny (or greatly downplay) the horrors of the holocaust. Long before the rise of the internet, pamphlets such as “Did 6 Million Really Die?”, and “The Hoax of the 20th Century”, peddled the wholly erroneous and poisonous view that the Nazis had no plan to wipe out European jewry. However, since the birth of the World Wide Web books such as this (previously available in back street bookstores or via mail order only) can now be obtained with the click of a mouse. Indeed much of this material is freely available online.

In my view the best way to deal with such unhistorical rubbish is to shine the lense of truth on it, rather than ban such works. Whenever “literature” of this nature has been exposed to proper examination it has been revealed for the trash that it is, (see, for example the various court cases in which holocaust deniers have been proved to be peddlers of untruth).

Also, by banning an idea, one risks making it “sexy”, and one may (albeit unintentionally) help to foster the view that “the establishment” (whoever they may be) have something to hide. So no, book banning is not the answer.


9 thoughts on “Book Banning

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for commenting. You are right that there are terrible things going on in Burma. One could add to the list a number of other countries, including China. Its interesting that in countries where neo-Nazi parties (such as Germany and Austria) are banned, that these still rear their ugly heads by employing clever devices/rhetoric etc to get around the prohibition. One organisation is prohibited and another springs up, often with the same people! Whilst I understand why (given the horrendous history of both Germany and Austria) why denial of the holocaust is a crime (and why organisations which peddle such denial are banned), ultimately such bans don’t work.

  1. blindzanygirl

    I find this very interesting Kevin. We went to an Anne Frank Exhibition in Lincoln some years ago (forgive me if I have said this before) and afterwards went for a coffee in a tea shop. We were sitting at a table waiting for oyr coffee, and a man came up to ys, and sat down at our table. He had in his hands a book. He said that he had watched us go round the Exhibition and he wanted to enlighten us, saying that the Holocaust never happened. He had in his hand a book,which he tried to give to us. We refused it. He started an argument about it. But of coyrse we stuck to our guns.

    Also, once, I was giving a Lecture, in Lincoln, about the history of the Jews in Lincoln. I had written a book on it, and now, the Jewish Community wanted to hear me speak on it. It was a sad history. But whilst I was speaking, we got infiltrators, and also thubgs thrown at the hotel windows where I was lecturing. Some very rabid people were denying the Holocaust.

    I agree with you Kevin, in what you say. Banning books will not do any good. People will always find ways and means anyway. Better to know their arguments than not to jnow. It is a terrible situation that we are living in now, with Holocaust denial becoming fashionable.

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Your experiences are very interesting, Lorraine. I didn’t know that you had written a book about the history of the Jews in Lincoln, or that you had lectured on the topic. You have certainly led an eventful and an interesting life.

      I believe there is a book called “Ann Frank’s Diary, A Fraud”, which is sold by neo-Nazis and others who are antisemitic. Perhaps it was this book which the “gentleman” was trying to give to you. I haven’t read that particular book. I have, however looked at pamphlets of a similar nature.

      Its disgusting that people attacked the lecture venue in which you where delivering your presentation.

      I have only ever come across one person who tried to deny the holocaust, but a number of others who believe in conspiracy theories, including antisemitic ones.

      Apart from the strong argument in favour of freedom of speech, had the “gentleman” who accosted you in the coffee shop been arrested for doing so, one would only have created a martyr. Which is, in my view another good reason for not criminalising the purveying of such “literature”.

      As you know, the holocaust began with the murder and/or sterilisation of those who the Nazis deemed “life unworthy of life”, or “life unworthy of living”, (namely the disabled). Its interesting that whilst holocaust deniers attempt to deny the murder of Jews (or greatly downplay the numbers involved), they accept that the Action T4 Programme happened, (they couldn’t do otherwise as, unlike with “the Final Solution” Hitler actually signed an Order authorising the Action T4).

      Do you remember the title of the book on the Jews in Lincoln?

      Thanks again for your interesting and thoughful response to my post.

      Best, Kevin

      1. blindzanygirl

        Kevin, I think it was the book you mention that this man was trying to give to us.

        I could say amlot more, but am in total agreement with you. And yes, the getting rid of the disabled by Hitler. So many people do not truly realise this, I feel.

        Yes, my book was written as a result of research done for my degree in Theology. I did Holicaust Studies. Bit was way back in the 1990s. My husband and I started going to the Jewish Sabvath on a Saturday at Jews Court, the synagogue in Lincoln. They welcomed us warmly. We loved going there. We made friends with the President of the synagogue and his wife. We went to their home for a meal, and they said that of course in the past they would not even have been able to do that because we were not kosher. But we had such a warm and lovely friendship with them. I wrote the boik, which gave the history of the Jewish Communuty in Lincokn from Norman times to the then present day. It was our friends in the Community who put my book in Lincokn library. It may not be there now, though I do not know. It was only a fairly small book. When I gave the lecture, the Jews of London came to join us. There were protestors all over the place. Some broke into the hotel, and into our room where the lecture was taking place. Sadly, we do not have contact with them any more as we moved away. I then discovered, some years ago that I am technically Jewish myself as my great grandmother was Jewish, but she assimilated and hid it. Became Primitive Methodist. No wonder I felt drawn to our friends in Lincoln and to Jewish Studies.

      2. K Morris Poet Post author

        The circumstances surrounding you writing your book are fascinating, as is the fact that you are technically Jewish.

        I sometimes wonder how many members of the Nazi Party had Jewish members in their family tree. Of course the Nazis tried to weed out such people but, on the law of averages some individuals with Jews in their family tree must have remained undetected, maybe even some high ranking party members.

        Its wonderful that you where able to forge such close relationships within the Jewish community and I hope your book remains in Lincoln library.

        Best, Kevin

      3. blindzanygirl

        Thankyou Kevin. Yes, I believe what you say about there being Jews in the family trees.

        It’s funny – I was just talking to my husband about our conversation, and we remembered that my great grandmother did actually have all her boy chikdren circumcised. As my great grandfather was only a tenant farmer, he was not really really rich and, as you probably know, it was inly the rich who could, in thise days, afford circumcision if they wanted it done for reasons of hygiene, as was a bit of a fashion then. So, it had tobhave been done by the person appointed to do it by the synagigue. Itxseems that actually, my great grandmother dudvtake her youngest boy on Satyrdays tobthe synagigye in Grimsby all dressed up in hus best saikor suit. But no one really knew where she was going. But Uncle Jack, the little boy, told of itcwhen he grew up. Oh how I wish that my great grandmother was alive now. So many questions that I would live her to abswer 😊

      4. K Morris Poet Post author

        Its fascinating to read about your great grandmother, Lorraine and the experiences of her children. I take it from what you say that your great grandfather was not Jewish, so you had a mixed marriage, which is rather lovely as we are all human beings in the end, race and religion don’t matter (or at least they shouldn’t do so).


      5. blindzanygirl

        Thanks Kevin. My great grandfather was Primitive Methodist and my great grandmother jouned him in that in the end. He would have totally suppirted her in her Newushness, but in thise days many Jews wanted to assimilate, and had been advused by their own authirities to do so when coming to this country. My great grandfather was a lovely man, and they were very happy. I don’t know how much my grandmother knew about her mither being Jewish. The boys must have done, but they were also brought up strongly Primitive Methodist. I think it is a lovely story, but I feel sad that my great grandmother could not pratuce her Jewish faith openly.

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