Holocaust denial (or negation) is considered
the most extreme form of ‘historical revisionism’ that pertains to the Second
World War. Although it is widely accepted that Holocaust denial and revisionism are
distinct practices, the term, ‘Holocaust
revisionism’ is occasionally used in academic and public discourses.
Deniers prefer to call themselves ‘revisionists’;
in this way, they attempt to legitimise
themselves as genuine academics and historical researchers.
According to deniers, the Holocaust simply
never occurred; it is a wholly fabricated story, which was invented in the
interests of the international Jewish
conspiracy and/or the state of Israel. They deny the intentional extermination
of Jews by the Nazis. Deniers minimise the number of victims, in addition to
denying the existence of extermination plans and the use of the gas chambers at
Auschwitz–Birkenau extermination centre to murder Jews in such large numbers.
They also minimise the amount of suffering and destruction that resulted from Nazi
policies in Europe, instead claiming that the causalities were merely result of
armed conflict and disease. They also assert that the majority of Jews were
allowed to emigrate to the USA and other countries and that the testimonies of
survivors are false or exaggerated. For example, they claim that Anne Frank’s
diary was fake.
Deniers’ arguments can be easily discredited
by the following evidence: ● The Holocaust was very
well documented, and many of these documents were captured by Allied troops
before the Nazis managed to destroy them. These include detailed reports of
mass murders and gassings. Some were presented by the prosecution during the
post-war Nuremberg Trials of Nazi leaders. ● The first-hand
testimony of Holocaust survivors, including films and photographs of the
killings, of which some were
taken secretly; films and photos were also taken by the camps’ liberators. ● Nazi Germany and its
collaborators exterminated not only Jews who lived in Germany, but also those
who lived across Europe; this informs the estimate of six million exterminated
Jews. ● The mass killing of
Jews by gassing with Zyklon B in death camps was proved by the testimony of the
perpetrators themselves, as well as of prisoners and members of the ‘Sonderkommando’ - groups of inmates who
were forced to remove the dead from the gas chambers and dispose of their
bodies. Evidence was also uncovered due to archaeological works conducted at
the sites of the Nazi death and concentration camps.● Forensic experts and
archaeologists have also investigated the sites of mass executions of Jews in
Eastern Europe and in the former Soviet Union, where German Nazis often killed
Jews on the spot (by bullets). This also happened while Jews were being
transported to camps in Poland.
 ‘Historical revisionism’ is the
reinterpretation of already established views on motivation, evidence of
certain historical events.