Confronting Holocaust Denial: where to watch the David Baddiel documentary that shows exchange with holocaust denier
In honour of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Baddiel investigated the bizarre and unsettling world of Holocaust denial.
The show has generated a lot of chatter ahead of its broadcast, specifically because of a scene in which Baddiel sits down for a televised interview with a prominent Holocaust denier.
Here's everything you need to know about the controversial new show.
What is the new documentary about?
The new hour-long documentary sees David Baddiel exploring the strange, dark phenomenon of Holocaust denial – delving into its historical roots and interviewing some of those who continue to propagate it today.
As Baddiel explained to The i in an earlier interview, the matter is a highly personal one for him: “This goes to a very deep part of me. My mother was born in Nazi Germany, my grandparents just got out. I’m only here by the skin of my teeth."
Baddiel's most recent live act, Trolls, aimed to turn the anti-Semitic abuse he has received online into satire. Here, he aims to perform an in-depth exploration of one of its most nefarious forms - Holocaust denial.
In spite of the fact that the Holocaust is one of the most documented events in human history, it is estimated that as many as one in six people believe either that it has been exaggerated or that it never took place at all.
Baddiel's quest is to find out where this misconception stems from, who it appeals to and where it might lead.
Why is the documentary controversial?
Some people have taken issue with the manner in which Baddiel has gone about investigating anti-semitism, specifically with his decision to devote airtime to the Holocaust deniers themselves.
The benefits of engaging in a dialogue with someone like Facebook conspiracy theorist and petty criminal Dermot Mulqueen have been hotly debated.
Anthony Julius - the solicitor who successfully defended an American historian from a libel charge brought by a Holocaust denier - has suggested that putting deniers on television does more harm than good, regardless of the interviewer’s intentions.
“You don’t need to give these people airtime” Julius argued, “so don’t.”
This approach is commonly referred to as de-platforming - refusing to give a spotlight to people who express prejudiced views as to avoid amplifying their message.
However, Baddiel has defended his decision, stating that “My personal feeling is we have to take the trolls on.” As a victim of anti-Semitic abuse himself, Baddiel believes the best approach is to expose prejudice by confronting it directly.
For him, it would have been possible to make an honest, unflinching documentary about Holocaust denial without speaking directly to those who champion it - “If you’re going to talk about the devil, at some point you’ve got to meet the devil.”
Where can I watch it?
Confronting Holocaust Denial will be broadcast on BBC Two at 9pm on Monday 17 February.
It will also be repeated the following evening on the same channel at 11.45pm and will be available online via the BBC iPlayer.