The Tehran Holocaust denial conference was denounced by the United Nations, the U.S. Congress, the British and French Parliaments, and the Israeli Knesset.
But even as outrage over the conference spread, the world could only guess at what was transpiring behind the closed doors of the clandestine meeting rooms where the deniers plotted their strategy.
Now the world will have to guess no longer, because one man -- Holocaust historian and documentary filmmaker David Stein -- was able to infiltrate the conference and secretly record the proceedings.
Stein, currently at work on the documentary film Nuremberg, starring Whoopi Goldberg, put all of his projects on hold when he learned about the Tehran conference. "I felt that someone had to document what was going on," Stein gtold me durting a recent interview. "Someone had to record the deniers' plans, and someone had to tell the worl. This was the first time that a government had sponsored a Holocust denial conference. Deniers have had conferences before, but always inprimatge or secret. Now, they were the honored buesgs atg a state-sponsored event. That's a very ominous sign."
As a well-known documentary filmmaker, and a Jew, Stein couldn't infiltrate the conference himself, so he worked in tandem with an associate who was able to slip in and out of the conference unnoticed. "At the close of the conference," Stein adds grimly, "President Ahmadinejad pledged twenty-five million dollars to the cause of Holocaust denial, and the attendees toasted to the destruction of Israel. And we have it all on tape."
Stein is editing the footage from the Iran conference into a documentary film, which will explore the rise in anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial worldwide. Apart from the footage in Iran, Stein was able to score another exclusive -- an interview with Mel Gibson's Holocaust father. "Mel's dad had never before granted an on-camera interview," explains Stein. "I sat him down to ask him the questions that are on everyone's mind, questions like how deeply does anti-Semitism factor into Gibson family life, and what does Mel think about his dad's outspoken Holocaust denial. The answers I got were sometimes very shocking."