Denying The Holocaust
Holocaust denial is the belief that there either was no genocide of the Jewish people during World War II, far less than five million Jews were murdered, or that the Jews were not sent to concentration camps and mass murdered. Holocaust denial is commonly intertwined with deep set feelings of antisemitism, and focuses on information to disprove the Holocaust and ignores all other evidence. Holocaust denial either claims or implies that the Holocaust is part of a widespread Jewish conspiracy. The first Holocaust deniers were, unsurprisingly, the Nazi’s themselves. As the war came to a close and German defeat was imminent documents concerning the Holocaust were ordered to be destroyed and false documents supporting the Germans actions were written.
Shortly after the war, the prominent American historian Harry Barnes fell under the idea that the Holocaust was American propaganda, justifying entry into the war. In 1978, using Barnes as a major source, Willis Carto founded the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), which is dedicated to challenging the accepted history of the Holocaust, and is heavily Neo-Nazi oriented. Holocaust denial is also beginning to make headway in Arab nations which often times have a large anti-semitic population. Among the more prominent Holocaust deniers is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, Who in 2005 spoke out publicly against the Holocaust, and the nation of Israel as a whole, suggesting that it be relocated to Germany.
It is important to make a distinction between Holocaust denial, and Holocaust revisionism. Holocaust revisionism is concerned with accurately recording the events of the Holocaust using newly discovered evidence. While the findings of revisionists is often used cited by Holocaust deniers, the intent of a revisionist is to clarify what actually happened, not to disprove the Holocaust. Today Holocaust denial outlawed in many European countries, yet is far from dying out completely. While there is likely to always be some part of the world population that refuses to look at the facts of the Holocaust, deniers are a shrinking minority with decreasing credibility.
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