This past Friday, the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, with the help of a satellite TV channel based in Europe, covertly broadcast one of its Oscar-winning documentaries on the Holocaust into Iran. The 1980 film “Genocide,” which was originally narrated by Elizabeth Taylor and Orson Wells, aired with Persian language subtitles and was beamed into Iran with the help of “NTV Simay Azadi”, an Iranian opposition satellite station. The broadcasting of the documentary was indeed unique because it was not publicized in advance in order to prevent the Iranian regime from jamming its signal. Likewise the film’s broadcast into Iran coincided with International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27th.
The broadcasting of the film is indeed a serious blow to the Iranian regime’s leadership which has actively and openly been denying the Holocaust for nearly three decades. The ridiculous statements by Iran’s current president in denying the Holocaust have been joined with the regime giving awards to artists for their best Holocaust denial cartoons and with their promotion of neo-Nazi leaders from the U.S. and Europe through state-run news television news programs.
The Wiesenthal Center’s efforts to educate average Iranians living in Iran about the Holocaust are not unique. The center in the past has hosted Persian-language news media outlets and their representatives based in Los Angeles to the Museum of Tolerance. These news outlets which are opposed to the Iranian regime have been at the forefront of providing Persian language Holocaust educational programming that is also beamed into Iran on a daily basis. Additionally the Wiesenthal Center has provided Persian language fact sheets about the Holocaust on their website for Iranian readers online seeking more information about the Shoah. Yet the international community's effort to combat the Holocaust denial garbage spewed by Iran’s regime has not been limited to the Wiesenthal Center, likewise Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Musuem has also provided their own Persian language website about the facts of the Shoah and a Persian-language channel on Yotube.com