The Wiener Holocaust Library has always stood firmly against Holocaust denial and distortion. We are the world’s oldest archive dedicated to the open study of the overwhelming documentary record of the Holocaust and we work hard to use our vast and unique collections to put the past at the service of the future.
We were disturbed and appalled to see abhorrent, dangerous and absurd comments about Hitler and the Shoah made by a prominent celebrity on 1 December. We are particularly disturbed by his explicit denial of Hitler’s leading role in the murder of six million Jews. This is a demonstrably false claim that has in the past been heard only from the most extreme Holocaust deniers.
As a publicly accessible resource, we recognise that education and accessibility of resources are powerful tools against ignorance and misinformation. We are extremely reluctant to restrict access to our archives to anybody. However, we have come to the decision to ban Kanye West from our institution. This follows similar bans we have in place for other Holocaust deniers including, for example, David Irving and Nicholas Kollerstrom. If a person’s aim is to deny basic facts, distort the historical record and spread hate, then that person is not welcome here. We feel it is important for the Library to take an unambiguous position on this matter.
We will continue to actively reject and counter Holocaust denial, as we have done over many decades.