Iran marks Auschwitz Day with Holocaust cartoon contest

Iran marks Auschwitz Day with Holocaust cartoon contest


norman lebrecht

January 26, 2016

January 27, the anniversary of the Red Army’s liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, is widely commemorated as Holocaust Memorial Day, a moment to remember the victims of Hitler’s regime.

In Iran it is the occasion of the annual Holocaust Cartoon Contest, under the patronage of the nation’s ‘moderate’ president, Hassan Rouhani.

Let’s remember for a moment who we’re dealing with in Teheran.

holocaust cartoon


  • Eric Shanes says:

    I fully share your disgust at this, Norman, but what’s it got to do with classical music?

  • Peter says:

    I strongest condemn this dangerous nonsense. But decent journalism would give a more complete description.

    That contest was first held in 2006 as a direct consequence and (childish) reaction to a Danish newspaper publicizing Mohammed cartoons.

    Also is not at all “annual” but was only held once in 2006, and now, after the french satire magazine Charlie Hebdo had published – in my opinion quite drastic and disgusting – Mohammed cartoons again (and was confronted with Islamist terror) now the contest is held for the second time.

    It’s quite a different story than what you are “reporting” here, Mr. Lebrecht. As disgusting as the occasion is.

    • Mark says:

      There is no moral equivalency of any kind between Charlie Hebdo and the Iranians – a privately-owned magazine simply reaffirms the basic principle of freedom of expression, but the Iranians use Holocaust denial as an ideological tool in their quest to destroy Israel. Had anybody at Charlie Hebdo ever suggested or called for the killing Muslims ?

      • Peter says:

        And nobody in Iran called for the killing of Jews either. Some hardliners there say Israel is an illegal entity, but that’s something else.
        Despite a diaspora of Jews from Iran to Israel, for which there are many reasons, still thousands of them are living in Iran, a guaranteed minority representation in Irans parliament being only one sign while things are better for them in Israel obviously, “the Iranians” have lived with their Jewish brethren for over two thousand years relatively peacefully.

  • Peter says:

    Also while we can assume that nothing is done in Iran with at least the passive permission of the officials, the President has nothing directly to do with this shit, hosted by a newspaper.

    Actually Iran’s current “moderate” President Rohani had officially condemned his predecessor’s ugly Holocaust denial remarks after taking office in 2013.

    Why are you doing this?

    • Heath says:

      OMG Peter, I feel so much better after reading your two brilliant posts. Now I realize that this whole Iranian contest is really no big deal at all. It’s just the Holocaust, wasn’t worth reporting at all, and certainly nobody’s fault. I’m so glad that you reassured me, you’re my hero!

  • SImon Behrman says:

    He’s doing this because the racism and brutality of Israeli society is becoming ever more overt and shocking, and thus being a Zionist is becoming ever more embarrassing, to say the least. Digging up whatever disgusting quotes, events etc, from Israel’s enemies, such as this example in Iran, becomes a useful alibi for continuing to support Israel. It is also about trying to claim that Teheran is a greater threat than Tel Aviv, when Iran/Persia hasn’t invaded or started a war with another country for many centuries, whereas Israel was founded on a declaration of war and has been unable to break the habit ever since.

    I’m looking forward to all those liberals, who cry free speech in defence of Charlie Hebdo and others, rushing to quote Voltaire to justify this repulsive cartoon contest. But I won’t hold my breath.

    • Heath says:

      Simon, you are a hater! Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, and the most humane country that is forced to go to war (DEFENDING ITSELF). Do you have any idea the lengths Israel goes through to protect civilians? But Hamas and other groups repeatedly hide behind civilians, and “score points” every time a civilian is hit – they win the propaganda war. Let’s take two facts – Palestinians do everything possible to attack CIVILIANS. Israel does everything possible to defend itself against TERRORISTS, like people going after Israeli civilians with knives. Haven’t heard about the daily knife attacks for the last three months? Now you know. You’re nothing but an anti-Semite, and the worst kind. To post such thoughts on a post that speaks of of a country trampling on the memory of the Holocaust you are nothing but a sick hater. And I’m sure you get a good chuckle out of this Iranian contest.

      • Mark says:

        Thank you, Heath, you are absolutely right !

      • Joel V. says:

        Well… some people might call people who bomb down hospitals and kindergartens and Gaza back to the Stone Age as “terrorists”. It kind of depends on the point of view. People should have right for self-defense. Of course a knife attack is wrong, but so is shooting dozens of civilians (such as women) at check points. I had some pro-Israel friends who moved to Israel as charity workers but returned back as pro-Palestine simply being too shocked and disappointed on what they had seen there.

        • Mark says:

          Your friends are impressionable fools. People are never shot at checkpoints, unless they try to attack the soldiers. And if you want to blame somebody for the bombings of hospitals and schools, blame Hamas for using them as a shield. When was the last time Israel had to bomb the West Bank ?

      • Simon Behrman says:

        I’m afraid that a series of assertions, even when put in caps, does not make them true. The Office of the Special Prosecutor of the ICC has stated that there is good evidence that Israel committed international crimes in the attack on the Mavi Marmara. The Goldstone Report commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council, also condemned Israel for committing war crimes, including the targeting of children, in Gaza. Hamas has accepted that report, even though it is strongly critical of them too, whereas Israel continues to reject it outright. Israel has been in violation of UN resolutions regarding its illegal occupation for almost half a century, which is also a serious war crime. We have had hysteria from Israel about Iran possibly building a nuclear bomb, whereas Israel has been an undeclared nuclear power since the 1970s. Incidentally, Israel’s nuclear weapons project was made possible by an alliance with the apartheid government of John Forster, who had been a leading member of the South African Nazi movement during WWII.

        In the last couple of weeks even the US Ambassador to Israel and the Secretary-General of the UN have felt compelled to condemn Israel’s war crimes.

        You can scream anti-Semitism, but it won’t wash. Nothing that I have said is in anyway anti-Semitic. I certainly don’t hate my family (well, most of them!), myself or my children (well, that half of them that is Jewish). I would, and I have, campaigned against assorted anti-Semites. And many other Jews, such as Goldstone and the current US Ambassador have also condemned Israel’s crimes. Zionism is simply a form of Jewish fundamentalism. To hate Zionism and the Israeli state is no more to hate Judaism, than to hate Wahhabism and the Saudi monarchy is to hate Islam.

        • Heath says:

          I’m afraid you’re wrong about everything you say. And stincking wrong. You’ve been taken in by the propaganda Simon Behrman. Can you name a single Palestinian leader before Yasser Arafat? No? I didn’t think so. That’s because as we enlightened people know, there is no such thing as a Palestinian people. The whole idea came into being with Arafat, an Egyptian. The so-called Palestinian people were even offered what they wanted a number of times, but they always turn it down in favor of destroying Israel as a whole. And we get acts of terror on a daily basis committed against innocent Israeli civilians. Zionism, by the way, is the right of the Jewish People to have their own homeland in their Biblical home. I am a proud Zionist because there is the existence of the State of Israel. Enough said.

          • Peter says:

            And you have the chuzpe to call other people haters! Shame on you. Your words qualify you as lower than low.
            It doens’t matter how you categorize a group of humans who populated a countryside before it was occupied by another group of humans. It also doesn’t matter how fancy the mythological story you carry on your guns and in your mouths is, if you collectively hallucinate about your ancestors being told by the Holy Spaghettimonster itself that you are entitled to free lunch in any Italian restaurant or not.
            We in the human race have all the same human rights at birth, no matter how much that goes against your sociopathic and racist indoctrination since your mother pushed you out of her whomb.

          • Peter says:

            Zionism is a racist ideology. It has much in common with other such ideologies, e.g. the Nazi ideology of the supremacist arian race. It is what it is, and the Shoah doesn’t justify it a bit, two wrongs do not make one good.

        • Heath says:

          It’s “chutzpah” Peter, “chutzpah.” So much for trying to be a Jew, lol. Zionism is a positive ideology. Read above comment for what it means (you have a pretty thick head!). Nobody is saying that anyone should die. The only point being made is that a mythical people should not have their own land. Point #2, you could try all day long to justify terrorism, Palestinians mounting knife attacks against innocent civilians, shooting rockets into Israel etc. But there is never an excuse. Point #3, if you were being attacked would you not defend yourself? If rockets were being shot into your country? I think we see the sadness of the person you are that you began a racist conversation on Holocaust Remembrance Day. That really says everything.

          • Max Grimm says:

            Heath, not all of us are native English speakers. In German it is “Chuzpe”, based on the Yiddish ‘chùtzpe’ and not the Hebrew ‘chuzpà’.

  • Mick says:

    Quite apart from the outrageous comments of “simon berman” (might as well call himself (barak) hussein mohammed or whatever), I think, in the light of what’s happening in the world today, we need the Iranians as a counterweight to the Sunni terrorists nurtured by Saudi Arabia and its offshot IS, which are (currently) the worst enemy of mankind, with the filthy stream of “asylum seekers” sent to Europe being their latest gimmick. As far as mr. Bermann, why don’t you go live in Iran or fight for IS instead of lurking on this blog and raising your head only each time Israel is being mentioned? Your stay there is bound to be rather short, which will probably serve you just right.

  • Simon Behrman says:

    So the reply of the Zionists here is just more abuse and groundless assertions, which again proves my point about being fundamentalists. I may be ‘stincking wrong’ (sic), but you are either unable or unwilling to offer anything thing to debunk my points about the Goldstone Commission, the ICC report, the UN resolutions etc. You don’t actually address any of the issues I raised. So, no point in carrying on this discussion.

    For god’s sake, ‘Mick’, you’re not even able to spell my name correctly in spite of it appearing just a little ways up the page here. Are you drunk, stupid, or just so angry that you can’t see straight?

  • Heath says:

    You want something to debunk your assertion about the Goldstone Report Simon Berman? Here it is: The Goldstone Report was taken back! Yes, really. Goldstone himself said that it was full of factual errors, and rescinded it. Don’t believe me? Do your research man. Check online. UN’s resolutions? The UN’s anti-Israel bias is the oldest news in the book. Read about it too. You don’t have a leg to walk on old Simon. As I said above, we have reached a truly sad day when people such as yourself dare to conduct racist discussions on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

    • Simon Behrman says:

      ‘Heath’ why do you keep using the epithet ‘racist’ against people, just because they disagree with you? To be racist is to denigrate a group based on actual or implied racial, ethnic criteria. But the only people doing that here are the Zionists – labelling all Palestinians as terrorists, saying they don’t exist as a people, ‘filthy stream of asylum seekers’ etc. Neither I nor anyone here has denigrated Jews as this or that, denied their existence as a people, or attempted to impute innate characteristics to them as a group.

      The Goldstone report was not rescinded. Only Goldstone himself later resiled from the claim that Israel deliberately targeted civilians, although he stood by ever other allegation of war crimes made in the report. However, every other member of the commission continues to maintain that all the charges made by the commission are valid.

      As to the UN, are you suggesting that the UN is some anti-Israel conspiracy when it was the body responsible for drawing up the plans for Israeli statehood in the first place? Moreover, UNSC Resolution 242 which declares the occupation to be illegal was passed unanimously by the Security Council. Are you saying that everyone on the council at the time was anti-Israel, including the USA, UK, Canada, Denmark etc?

      Rather than lazily checking things online, as you suggest, perhaps you should read more deeply, in books, legal sources etc.