TEHRAN (AFP) – An Iranian government-sponsored body set up to probe the veracity of the Holocaust has challenged Europe to hand over documents about the mass slaughter of Jews in World War II.
Mohammad Ali Ramin, the head of the “World Holocaust Foundation” created after Iran’s controversial Holocaust conference last year, said Austria, Germany and Poland in particular should supply documents.
“They should hand over the proof for the dossier on the organized massacre of Jews in Europe during World War II to the independent international fact-finding committee affiliated to this foundation,” the IRNA state news agency quoted him as saying on Tuesday.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered the creation of the foundation after inviting a number of controversial revisionist Holocaust researchers to a conference in Tehran in December that caused an international outcry.
Ahmadinejad has repeatedly questioned the scale of the Holocaust, described the mass killing of six million Jews in World War II as a “myth” and also called for Israel to be “wiped from the map”.
The foreign researchers invited to the conference — some of whom have criminal records at home — gave papers claiming the Holocaust never happened on the scale assumed by the vast majority of historians.
Mainstream historians specialising in the Third Reich counter there is ample documentary proof that around six million Jews were killed by the Nazis in World War II although some estimates put the figure slightly higher or lower.
The UN General Assembly last month unanimously approved a US-proposed resolution condemning denial of the Holocaust, in a move diplomats said was directly aimed at Iran’s stance.