Holocaust RevisionismIcon by Chire Regans

Depending on who you ask, "Revisionism" is:

  • An intellectual movement to uncover the true events, motives, and results of the Nazi regime with regard to the "supposed" Holocaust.
  • A pack of racists and ani-Semites attempting to deny fact and confuse future generations in the hopes of promoting continued persecutions and anti-Jewish sentiment.

Revisionist Tactics
Skinheads and swastika-brandishing neo-Nazis are easy to dismiss as fanatics, but recently, racists, calling themselves Revisionists, have taken up the guise of true historians (publishing books and newsletters with non-racists names such as the Journal of Historical Review). Their current strategy is not to win converts to their dogma of hate, but to gain plausibility for their theories in legitimate intellectual circles and sow the seeds of doubt so that future generations may be converted.
Nazi Symbol

Revisionists or Deniers (as Deborah Lipstadt, Holocaust historian, calls them), are major beneficiaries of the growing trend of relativistic history, brought to life by a mutant strain of political correctness and affecting academia.

Relativism, as applied to the study of history, is a bizarre extrapolation of freedom of speech and our good-hearted American willingness to always listen to "the other side." In practice it allows lies and propaganda to be passed off as credible research. Many, such as Lipstadt, argue that this blurring of the division between historical fact and fiction is at the heart of the danger of Revisionist thinking. They would argue that other breeds of Revisionists could eventually mangle history to eliminate other unpleasant memories, such as Japanese war crimes, U.S. treatment of American Indians, segregation, apartheid, etc.

German police shooting women still alive after mass
execution of Jews at Mizocz ghetto.
Photo from USHMM Archives.

Relativism has been perpetuated by American cultural quirks in our society, such as our love of outlandish conspiracy theories (a la Oliver Stone). Such theories skirt the edge of historical fact and a good mystery novel. They are so irrational they become popular in a counter-cultural kind of way.

Revisionists are extremely skilled at manipulating the media to make black-and-white fact appear to be gray opinion.

Professor X publishes a theory despite the fact that reams of documented information contradict his conclusions. In the 'highest moral tones' he expresses his disregard for all evidence that sheds doubt on his findings. He engages in ad hominem attacks on those who have authored those critical works in this field...The scholars who have come under attack by this professor are provoked to respond. Before long he has become 'the controversial Prof. X' and his theory is discussed seriously by nonprofessionals, that is, journalists. He soon becomes a familiar figure on television and radio, where he 'explains' his ideas to interviewers who cannot challenge him or demonstrate the fallaciousness of his argument.

-Deborah Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust, p. 27.
It should be noted that Lipstadt frequently turns down talk show appearances which include "debates" with Deniers, because doing so would give them credibility by association and free advertising.

Perhaps the most important of the Denier's tricks is devictimization. By inventing the great "Jewish Conspiracy," Deniers remove the most credible of all evidence, the survivors. By devictimizing the survivors, by watering-down the atrocity of the stories, Deniers turn the survivors from victims into conspirators and opportunists motivated by greed. The absurd notion of a "World Conspiracy of Jews" is not only central to denial, it is at the heart of anti-Semitism in general.