We don’t have accent marks in English. None of those little slashing lines peppering French — the accents aigu and grave. None of those rumbling double-dot umlauts found in German.
Thus people could almost be forgiven for mispronouncing “Holocaust denial” by stressing the first word: “Holocaust denial.”
That rolls off Republican tongues. Pronounced that way, the Illinois Republican Party can muster indignation that perennial candidate Arthur Jones is an admitted anti-Semite as revealed in the Sun-Times by my colleagues Lynn Sweet and Frank Main. Jones is a man who denies the Holocaust, and yet is on his way to becoming the Republican nominee for the 3rd Congressional District since he is running unopposed.
If only refusing to acknowledge unpleasant facts were limited to anti-Semites blind to the historical end product of their hatred. To those who, perhaps through a lingering vestige of humanity, flinch at seeing their philosophy put into practice, squeezing their eyes shut to what is actually the best-documented atrocity in history, thanks to those meticulous Germans.
But denial is a big tent. Lots of room in there.
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