Yad Vashem and Germany Organize Counter-conferences

BERLIN - The chorus of vehement protest in Germany against the Tehran Holocaust-denial conference was led yesterday by Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said Germany would never accept Holocaust denial and would "work against it determinedly."

A conference of Holocaust experts and government officials was held Monday in Berlin in response to the Tehran conference. The Berlin meeting was organized by the federal government's Council for Political Education. "Reality cannot be a debatable issue," according to Wolfgang Benz, the director of the German Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism.

The guest of honor at the conference was American Holocaust historian Raul Hilberg, author of the seminal work "The Destruction of the European Jews."

A German Foreign Ministry official said the Iranian ambassador to Germany had been summoned to the Foreign Ministry, which expressed to him its opposition to the Tehran meeting.

Meanwhile, Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority, is to hold a symposium tomorrow in Jerusalem on Holocaust-denial, to which members of the diplomatic corps are invited. Its scientific adviser, Prof. Yehuda Bauer, said Iran's Holocaust denial was raising objections among Arab intellectuals.