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.
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.
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.