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Historical revisionism is either the legitimate scholastic re-examination of existing knowledge about an historical event, or the illegitimate distortion of the historical record such that certain events appear in a more or less favourable light. For the former, i.e. the academic pursuit, see historical revisionism.[1] This article deals solely with the latter, the distortion of history, which—if it constitutes the denial of historical crimes—is also sometimes (but not commonly) called negationism.[2][3]

In revising the past, illegitimate historical revisionism ("negationism") appeals to the intellect—via techniques illegitimate to historical discourse—to advance a given interpretive historical view. The techniques include presenting known forged documents as genuine; inventing ingenious, but implausible, reasons for distrusting genuine documents; attributing his or her own conclusions to books and sources reporting the opposite; manipulating statistical series to support the given point of view; and deliberately mis-translating texts (in languages other than the revisionist's).[4] Practical examples of negationism (illegitimate historical revisionism) include Holocaust denial and some Soviet historiography.[5][6] Contemporarily, hate groups practice negationism on the Internet. In literature, the effects of historical revisionism are usually described in science fiction novels such as Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), by George Orwell. Moreover, some countries have criminalised the negationist revision of certain historical events.


Politically motivated historical revisionism

The label of "historical revisionism" is applicable in describing the views and work of self-taught and dissident academic historians who publish articles deliberately manipulating and misrepresenting historical evidence; an example historian is the Holocaust denial-proponent David Irving, an author who described himself as an "historical revisionist";[4] in the event, critics have pejoratively described them as such when examining their historical works.

  • The Holocaust and Nazism: Deborah Lipstadt contends that the concept of "comparable Allied wrongs", such as the post-war expulsions and the formal Allied war crimes, is at the center of, and a continuously repeated theme of, contemporary Holocaust denial, calling them "immoral equivalencies".[7]
  • Communism: Some apologists for communist and socialist regimes, attempt to minimize the scale and magnitude of the deaths caused by the Great Leap Forward (1958–61, the Soviet Purges, the Genocide in Cambodia, the Labor Camps in Cuba, etc.... Soviet historiography treated reality and the party line as one and the same,[8] employing historical revisionism to advance a specific political and ideological agenda.[9]

Techniques of politically motivated revisionists

It is sometimes difficult for the non-historian to distinguish between a history book published by an academic historian doing peer-reviewed work, and a book by a best-selling "amateur writer of history"; thus, until David Irving lost his British libel suit against Deborah Lipstadt, and was found to be a "falsifier of history", the general public did not realise that his books were outside the canon of acceptable academic histories.[10] The distinction between types of history books rests upon the research techniques used in writing such histories; accuracy and revision are central to historical scholarship. As in any scientific discipline, historians submit their papers for peer review, however, instead of submitting their work to the challenges of a peer review, revisionists rewrite history to support an agenda, often political, and using many techniques and logical fallacies to obtain the desired results.

British historian Richard J. Evans describes the difference thus:

Reputable and professional historians do not suppress parts of quotations from documents that go against their own case, but take them into account, and, if necessary, amend their own case, accordingly. They do not present, as genuine, documents which they know to be forged just because these forgeries happen to back up what they are saying. They do not invent ingenious, but implausible, and utterly unsupported reasons for distrusting genuine documents, because these documents run counter to their arguments; again, they amend their arguments, if this is the case, or, indeed, abandon them altogether. They do not consciously attribute their own conclusions to books and other sources, which, in fact, on closer inspection, actually say the opposite. They do not eagerly seek out the highest possible figures in a series of statistics, independently of their reliability, or otherwise, simply because they want, for whatever reason, to maximize the figure in question, but rather, they assess all the available figures, as impartially as possible, in order to arrive at a number that will withstand the critical scrutiny of others. They do not knowingly mistranslate sources in foreign languages in order to make them more serviceable to themselves. They do not wilfully invent words, phrases, quotations, incidents and events, for which there is no historical evidence, in order to make their arguments more plausible.


Some countries have criminalised the historical revisionism of historic events such as the Holocaust. The Council of Europe defines it as the "denial, gross minimisation, approval or justification of genocide or crimes against humanity" (article 6, Additional Protocol to the Convention on cybercrime).

International law

Additional protocol to the cybercrime convention

Some council-member states proposed an additional protocol to the Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention, addressing materials and "acts of racist or xenophobic nature committed through computer networks"; it was negotiated from late 2001 to early 2002, and, on 7 November 2002, the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers adopted the protocol's final text [12] titled Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cyber-crime, Concerning the Criminalisation of Acts of a Racist and Xenophobic Nature Committed through Computer Systems, ("Protocol").[13] It opened on 28 January 2003, and became current on 1 March 2006; by 17 February 2006, six States had ratified the Protocol, and 24 others had signed, but not yet ratified it.[14]

The Protocol requires participant States to criminalise the dissemination of racist and xenophobic material, and of racist and xenophobic threats and insults through computer networks, the Internet.[15] Article 6, Section 1 of the Protocol specifically covers Holocaust Denial, and other genocides recognised as such by international courts, established since 1945, by relevant international legal instruments. Section 2 of Article 6 allows a Party to the Protocol, at their discretion, only to prosecute the violator if the crime is committed with the intent to incite either hatred or discrimination or violence; or to use a reservation, by allowing a Party not to apply Article 6 — either partly or entirely.[16] The Council of Europe's Explanatory Report of the Protocol says that the "European Court of Human Rights has made it clear that the denial or revision of 'clearly established historical facts — such as the Holocaust — . . . would be removed from the protection of Article 10 by Article 17' of the European Convention on Human Rights" (see the Lehideux and Isorni judgement of 23 September 1998);[16] however, the US government disbelieves that the Protocol's final version is congruent with the US constitutional guarantees, and informed the Council of Europe that the United States will not be a Party to the Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cyber-crime, Concerning the Criminalisation of Acts of a Racist and Xenophobic Nature Committed through Computer Systems.[17]

Domestic law

There are various domestic laws against negationism and hate speech (which may encompass negationism), such as the Belgian Holocaust denial law, or the 1990 French Gayssot Act that prohibits any "racist, anti-Semitic or xenophobic" speech; other European countries that have criminalised Holocaust denial include Switzerland (Article 261bis of the Penal Code); Germany (§130(3) of the penal code); Austria (Article 3h Verbotsgesetz 1947); Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, and Poland (Article 55 of the law establishing the Institute of National Remembrance 1998).

The Czech Republic[18] and the Ukraine[19] have criminalised the denial and the minimisation of Communist-era crimes.

French law recognising colonialism's "positive value"

On 23 February 2005, the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) conservative majority at the French National Assembly voted a law compelling history textbooks and teachers to "acknowledge and recognize in particular the positive role of the French presence abroad, especially in North Africa".[20] Criticized by historians and teachers,[citation needed] among them Pierre Vidal-Naquet, who refused to recognise the French Parliament's right to influence the way history is written (despite the French Holocaust denial laws, see Loi Gayssot). That law was also challenged by left-wing parties and the former French colonies; critics argued that the law was tantamount to refusing to acknowledge the racism inherent to French colonialism, and that the law proper is a form of historical revisionism.[citation needed]

In retaliation against the law, Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika refused to sign a prepared "friendly treaty" with France. On 26 June 2005, Bouteflika declared that the law "approached mental blindness, negationism and revisionism". In Martinique, Aimé Césaire, author of the Négritude literary movement, refused to receive UMP leader Nicolas Sarkozy, the incumbent president of France.[21]

Supporters of the law were denounced as a resurgent "colonial lobby", a term used in late nineteenth-century France to identify supporters of French colonialism, i.e. deputies, scientists, businessmen, et al. In the event, the public's discontent with the law compelled President Jacques Chirac to publicly oppose it, and his own UMP majority, who approved the law; defying such historical revisionism, he said, "In a Republic, there is no official history. It is not to the law to write history. Writing history is the business of historians".[22] He then decreed to the President of the Assembly, Jean-Louis Debré (UMP), that he delete the revisionist article of law ordering the "recognition of the positive role of the French presence abroad". To effect that, President Chirac ordered Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin to seize the Constitutional Council of France, whose decision would allow repealing the law.[23] The Constitutional Council judged that history textbook regulation is not the domain of the law, but of the administrative reglementation [regulation], and the article was repealed in early 2006.

Moreover, further debate about colonialism, which is linked to immigration, continued in France; historian Benjamin Stora noted that colonialism is an important "memory" stake influencing how communities, and the nation, itself, represent themselves, because official state history has accepted French historic crimes and errors with great difficulty; the historian Olivier LeCour Grandmaison also criticized the 23 February 2005 law. It was not until 1999 that the French National Assembly recognised the Algerian War (1954–62)—previously a "public order operation"—as a "war" proper.[24] Hence philosopher Paul Ricœur's (1981) emphasis upon the need for a "decolonization of memory", because mentality, itself, has been colonised in the "Age of imperialism".

Holocaust denial

Many Holocaust deniers reject "denier" as descriptively inaccurate of their point of view, preferring, instead, the term "Holocaust revisionist";[25] nonetheless, scholars prefer "Holocaust denier" to differentiate deniers from legitimate historical revisionists, whose goal is historical inquiry analysing evidence with established methods.[26] Historian Alan Berger reports that Holocaust deniers argue in support of a preconceived theory — that the Holocaust either did not occur or was mostly a hoax — by ignoring extensive historical evidence to their contrary.[27]

Hence, as retroactive minimisation of the Holocaust, Holocaust deniers have attached themselves to the Heimatvertriebenen (ethnic Germans expelled mainly from the eastern quarter of Germany annexed by Poland and the Soviet Union after the war), and have, per their opponents, attempted to use sympathy for said Germans, and blame the Jews[citation needed] for the suffering of the Heimatvertriebenen. Moreover, when the discredited author David Irving,[28] lost his English libel case against Deborah Lipstadt, and her publisher, Penguin Books, and thus was publicly identified as a Holocaust denier[29]) the trial judge, Justice Charles Gray, concluded that:

Irving has, for his own ideological reasons, persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence; that, for the same reasons, he has portrayed Hitler in an unwarrantedly favorable light, principally in relation to his attitude towards, and responsibility for, the treatment of the Jews; that he is an active Holocaust denier; that he is anti-semitic and racist, and that he associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism.

On 20 February 2006, Irving was found guilty, and sentenced to three years imprisonment for Holocaust denial, under Austria's 1947 law banning Nazi revivalism and criminalising the "public denial, belittling or justification of National Socialist crimes".[31] Besides Austria, eleven other countries[32]—including Belgium, France, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, and Switzerland—have criminalised Holocaust denial as punishable with imprisonment.[33]

Turkey and the Armenian Genocide

Turkish laws such as Article 301, stating that "a person who publicly insults Turkishness, or the Republic or [the] Turkish Grand National Assembly of Turkey, shall be punishable by imprisonment", were used to criminally charge the writer Orhan Pamuk with disrespecting Turkey, for saying that "Thirty thousand Kurds, and a million Armenians, were killed in these lands, and nobody, but me, dares to talk about it";[34] the charges were dropped.[35]

On 7 February 2006, five journalists were tried for insulting the judicial institutions of the State, and of aiming to prejudice a court case (per Article 288 of the Turkish penal code).[36] The reporters were on trial for criticising the court-ordered forced closing of a conference, in Istanbul, about the Turks' Armenian genocide during the Ottoman Empire; in the event, the conference continued elsewhere, transferred from a state to a private university. The trial adjourned until 11 April 2006, upon the acquittal of four of the reporters. The case against the fifth journalist, Murat Belge, proceeded, and, on 8 June 2006, he also was acquitted. The conference's purpose was critical analyses of the official Turkish view of the Armenian Genocide in 1915, a taboo subject in Turkey.[37] The trial proved to be a test case, between Turkey and the European Union (EU), who insists that Turkey must allow increased freedom of expression rights, as conditional to membership in the EU.[38][39]

On 19 January 2007, Ogün Samast publicly assassinated the Turkish-Armenian editor Hrant Dink for recognising the occurrence of the Armenian genocide (for which he previously was prosecuted). Although much of the Turkish community condemned Dink's assassination,[40] ultranationalist factions praised it; after his capture, a photograph showing the assassin Samast, posed before a Turkish flag and a poster of Ataturk, flanked by four policemen, implying that ultranationalists are in the Turkish government.[41]

Article 301 originally was part of penal-law reforms meant to modernise Turkey to EU standards, as part of negotiating Turkey's membership to the EU.[42] The Republic of Turkey does not deny the Ottoman Armenian casualties, but denies they were genocide, specifically claiming that said deaths were consequence of war, and also were criminal killings neither approved nor committed by the Ottoman Empire.


Japanese war crimes

The post-war minimisation of the war crimes of Japanese imperialism is an example of illegitimate historical revisionism;[43] some contemporary Japanese revisionists propose that Japan’s invasion of China, and the Second World War, itself, were justified reactions to racist Western imperialism of that time—just as contemporary Japanese political philosophers proposed at the time of the invasions. On 2 March 2007, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe denied that the military had forced women into sexual slavery during the war: "The fact is, there is no evidence to prove there was coercion". Before he spoke, some Liberal Democratic Party legislators also sought to revise Yohei Kono’s apology to former comfort women in 1993;[44] likewise, there was the controversial negation of the six-week Nanking Massacre in 1939.

Tsuneo Watanabe, editor-in-chief of the conservative newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, has criticized the Yasukuni Shrine as a bastion of revisionism: "The Yasukuni Shrine runs a museum where they show items in order to encourage and worship militarism. It's wrong for the prime minister to visit such a place".[45] Other critics note that men, who would contemporarily be perceived as "Korean" and "Chinese", are enshrined for the military actions they effected as Japanese Imperial subjects.

The history textbook controversy centers upon the secondary school history textbook Atarashii Rekishi Kyōkasho ("New History Textbook") said to minimise the nature of Japanese militarism in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–95), in annexing Korea in 1910, in the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–45), and in the Second World War (1939–45). The conservative Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform commissioned the Atarashii Rekishi Kyōkasho textbook with the purpose of traditional national and international view of that Japanese historical period. The Ministry of Education vets all history textbooks, and those that do not mention Japanese war crimes and atrocities are not vetted;[citation needed] however, the Atarashii Rekishi Kyōkasho de-emphasises aggressive Japanese Imperial wartime behaviour and the matter of Chinese and Korean comfort women.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings

The Hibakusha ("explosion-affected people") of Hiroshima and Nagasaki seek compensation from their government and criticize it for failing to "accept responsibility for having instigated and then prolonged an aggressive war long after Japan's defeat was apparent, resulting in a heavy toll in Japanese, Asian and American lives."[46] Historians Hill and Yukiko have pointed out that attempts to minimize the importance of the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is revisionist history.[47] EB Sledge expressed concern that such revisionism, in his words "mellowing", would allow us to forget the harsh facts of the history which led to the bombings.[48]

Soviet history

During the existence of the RSFSR (1917–93) and the USSR (1922–91), the Communist Party of the Soviet Union ("CPSU") attempted to ideologically and politically control the writing of both academic and popular history. These attempts were most successfully in 1934–52 period. According to Mehnert, the attempt to control academic historiography (the writing of history by academic historians) in this period was in order to promote ethno-racial imperialism by Russians.[5] During the 1928–56 period, modern and contemporary history were generally composed according to the wishes of the CPSU, not the requirements of accepted historiographic method.[5] According to some authors, such as Mehnert, this practice was fundamentally corrupt.

During and after the rule of Nikita Khrushchev (1956–64), Soviet historiographic practice is more complicated. Although not entirely corrupted, Soviet historiography it was characterised by complex competition, between Stalinist and anti-Stalinist Marxist historians.[6] To avoid the professional hazard of politicised history, some junior and trainee historians chose pre-modern, mediæval history or classical history, where ideological demands were relatively relaxed;[citation needed] nevertheless, despite the potential danger of ideological dictation corrupting historians’ work, not all of Soviet historiography was corrupt.[6]

Control over party history and the legal status of individual ex-party members played a large role in dictating the ideological diversity and thus the faction in power within the CPSU. The history of the Communist Party was revised to delete references to leaders purged from the party, especially during the rule of Josef Stalin (1922–53).[citation needed][note 1]


In May 2009, Russian president, Dmitri Medvedev, established the History Commission of Russia (formally, the Presidential Commission of the Russian Federation to Counter Attempts to Falsify History to the Detriment of Russia's Interests) to counter aggressive attempts to rewrite history to Russian disadvantage, yet Alexander Cherkasov of the Memorial human-rights group, called it a regression to Soviet-era control.[50] The textbook History of Russia and the World in the 20th Century (2004), by Nikita Zagladin, replaced the National History: 20th Century, by Igor Dolutsky; Zagladin’s textbook was produced under the aegis of President Vladimir Putin, who wanted a more patriotic textbook. Critics of the textbook note the lack of detail about historical events such as the Siege of Leningrad (1941–44), the Gulag forced-labour camps, the Russo–Finnish Winter War (1939–40), the First Chechen War (1994–96), and the Second Chechen War (1999–2000), as serious factual inaccuracies; most egregious, the critics propose, is the absence of the Holocaust (1933–45), and the glorification of the rule of Josef Stalin (1922–53).[51]

Artistic reputation

In the musical arts, historical revisionism destroys and enhances the reputations of composers and musicians; thus the cultural historian Joseph Horowitz proposes that Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini's reputation as the greatest conductor in the twentieth century is based upon "the Toscanini cult" of hero worship promoted by his associates. In Understanding Toscanini, Horowitz takes no account of the high opinion his rivals (Otto Klemperer, Herbert von Karajan et al.) had of his abilitiy. In Toscanini: The NBC Years, Mortimer Frank, a Toscanini archive custodian, proposes that some historical revisionists portrayed Toscanini as a closet Fascist, despite being a known opponent of Fascism and Nazism.[52]

In fiction

In the science fiction novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), by George Orwell, the government of Oceania, nominally led by Big Brother, continually revise historical records to concord with current politics; therefore, when at war with Eurasia, the official position is that Oceania always has been at war with Eurasia, yet if the combatants change, the populace are brainwashed to accept that as the status quo. In 1984, historical revisionism is a principal propaganda policy of the Ministry of Truth, where the intellectual protagonist, Winston Smith, works as an historical revisionist. [53] [54]

See also

Cases of denialism


  1. ^ An example unrelated to the practice of history is the Party motivated necessity of altering photographs.


  1. ^ "The two leading critical exposés of Holocaust denial in the United States were written by historians Deborah Lipstadt (1993) and Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman (2000). These scholars make a distinction between historical revisionism and denial. Revisionism, in their view, entails a refinement of existing knowledge about an historical event, not a denial of the event itself, that comes through the examination of new empirical evidence or a re-examination or reinterpretation of existing evidence. Legitimate historical revisionism acknowledges a 'certain body of irrefutable evidence' or a 'convergence of evidence' that suggest that an event - like the black plague, American slavery, or the Holocaust - did in fact occur (Lipstadt 1993:21; Shermer & Grobman 200:34). Denial, on the other hand, rejects the entire foundation of historical evidence. ..." Ronald J. Berger. Fathoming the Holocaust: A Social Problems Approach, Aldine Transaction, 2002, ISBN 0202306704, p. 154.
  2. ^ 'Negationism' derives from the French Le négationnisme, denoting Holocaust denial.(Kornberg, Jacques. The Future of a Negation: Reflections on the Question of Genocide.(Review) (book review), Shofar, January, 2001) It is now also sometimes used for more general political historical revisionism as (PDF) UNESCO against racism world conference 31 August – 7 September 2001 "Given the ignorance with which it is treated, the slave trade comprises one of the most radical forms of historical negationism."
  3. ^ Kriss Ravetto (2001). The Unmaking of Fascist Aesthetics, University of Minnesota Press ISBN 0816637431. p. 33]
  4. ^ a b Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the David Irving Trial, by Richard J. Evans, 2001, ISBN 0-465-02153-0. pg. 145. The author is a professor of Modern History, at the University of Cambridge, and was a major expert-witness in the Irving v. Lipstadt trial; the book presents his perspective of the trial, and the expert-witness report, including his research about the the Dresden death count.
  5. ^ a b c Klaus Mehnert, Stalin Versus Marx: the Stalinist historical doctrine (Translation of Weltrevolution durch Weltgeschichte) Port Washington NY: Kennikat Press 1972 (1952), on the illegitimate use of history in the 1934-1952 period.
  6. ^ a b c Roger D. Markwick, Rewriting history in Soviet Russia : the politics of revisionist historiography, 1956-1974 New York ; Basingstoke : Palgrave, 2001, on legitimate Soviet Historiography particularly in the post 1956 period.
  7. ^ Barry Loberfeld, "Denying the Other Holocausts: Professor Lipstadt's Own Assault on Truth and Memory, Liberty, May, 2002
  8. ^ Taisia Osipova, "Peasant rebellions: Origin, Scope, Design and Consequences", in Vladimir N. Brovkin (ed.), The Bolsheviks in Russian Society: The Revolution and the Civil Wars, Yale University Press, 1997, ISBN 0300067062. pp. 154–176.
  9. ^ Roger D. Markwick, Donald J. Raleigh, Rewriting History in Soviet Russia: The Politics of Revisionist Historiography, Palgrave Macmillan, 2001, ISBN 0333792092, pp. 4–5.
  10. ^ Falsifier:
  11. ^ Richard J. Evans. David Irving, Hitler and Holocaust Denial: Electronic Edition, 6. General Conclusion Paragraphs 6.20,6.21
  12. ^ Frequently asked questions and answers Council of Europe Convention on cybercrime by the US Department of Justice
  13. ^ Protocol to the Convention on cybercrime, concerning the criminalisation of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems on the Council of Europe web site
  14. ^ APCoc Treaty open for signature by the States which have signed the Treaty ETS 185. on the Council of Europe web site
  15. ^ Frequently asked questions and answers Council of Europe Convention on cyber-crime by the United States Department of Justice
  16. ^ a b Explanatory Report on the additional protocol to the convention on cybercrime
  17. ^ Frequently asked questions and answers Council of Europe Convention on cybercrime by the United States Department of Justice
  18. ^ Country Report on Human Rights Practices in the Czech Republic US State Department
  19. ^ Holodomor and Holocaust denial to be a criminal offense, The Day
  20. ^ LOI n° 2005-158 du 23 février 2005 portant reconnaissance de la Nation et contribution nationale en faveur des Français rapatriés
  21. ^
  22. ^ "History should not be written by law" says Jacques Chirac (Ce n'est pas à la loi d'écrire l'histoire), quoted by RFI, 11 December 2005: [1]
  23. ^ "Chirac revient sur le 'rôle positif' de la colonisation". RFI. 26 January 2006. 
  24. ^ "Colonialism: A Dangerous War of Memories Begin (by Benjamin Stora)". L'Humanité. 6 December 2005 - transl. 17 January 2006 on ; "At war with France's past (by Claude Liauzu) (English edition)". Le Monde Diplomatique. June 2005. 
  25. ^ "Holocaust deniers often refer to themselves as 'revisionists', in an attempt to claim legitimacy for their activities". (The nature of Holocaust denial: What is Holocaust denial?, JPR report #3, 2000. Retrieved 16 May 2007)
  26. ^ Denial vs. "revisionism":
    • "This is the phenomenon of what has come to be known as 'revisionism', 'negationism', or 'Holocaust denial,' whose main characteristic is either an outright rejection of the very veracity of the Nazi genocide of the Jews, or at least a concerted attempt to minimize both its scale and importance... It is just as crucial, however, to distinguish between the wholly objectionable politics of denial and the fully legitimate scholarly revision of previously accepted conventional interpretations of any historical event, including the Holocaust." Bartov, Omer. The Holocaust: Origins, Implementation and Aftermath, Routledge, pp.11-12. Bartov is John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History at the Watson Institute, and is regarded as one of the world's leading authorities on genocide ("Omer Bartov", The Watson Institute for International Studies).
    • "The two leading critical exposés of Holocaust denial in the United States were written by historians Deborah Lipstadt (1993) and Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman (2000). These scholars make a distinction between historical revisionism and denial. Revisionism, in their view, entails a refinement of existing knowledge about a historical event, not a denial of the event itself, that comes through the examination of new empirical evidence or a reexamination or reinterpretation of existing evidence. Legitimate historical revisionism acknowledges a "certain body of irrefutable evidence" or a "convergence of evidence" that suggest that an event - like the black plague, American slavery, or the Holocaust - did in fact occur (Lipstadt 1993:21; Shermer & Grobman 200:34). Denial, on the other hand, rejects the entire foundation of historical evidence..." Ronald J. Berger. Fathoming the Holocaust: A Social Problems Approach, Aldine Transaction, 2002, ISBN 0202306704, p. 154.
    • "At this time, in the mid-1970s, the specter of Holocaust Denial (masked as "revisionism") had begun to raise its head in Australia..." Bartrop, Paul R. "A Little More Understanding: The Experience of a Holocaust Educator in Australia" in Samuel Totten, Steven Leonard Jacobs, Paul R Bartrop. Teaching about the Holocaust, Praeger/Greenwood, 2004, p. xix. ISBN 0275982327
    • "Pierre Vidal-Naquet urges that denial of the Holocaust should not be called 'revisionism' because 'to deny history is not to revise it'. Les Assassins de la Memoire. Un Eichmann de papier et autres essays sur le revisionisme (The Assassins of Memory - A Paper-Eichmann and Other Essays on Revisionism) 15 (1987)." Cited in Roth, Stephen J. "Denial of the Holocaust as an Issue of Law" in the Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, Volume 23, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1993, ISBN 0792325818, p. 215.
    • "This essay describes, from a methodological perspective, some of the inherent flaws in the "revisionist" approach to the history of the Holocaust. It is not intended as a polemic, nor does it attempt to ascribe motives. Rather, it seeks to explain the fundamental error in the "revisionist" approach, as well as why that approach of necessity leaves no other choice. It concludes that "revisionism" is a misnomer because the facts do not accord with the position it puts forward and, more importantly, its methodology reverses the appropriate approach to historical investigation... "Revisionism" is obliged to deviate from the standard methodology of historical pursuit because it seeks to mold facts to fit a preconceived result, it denies events that have been objectively and empirically proved to have occurred, and because it works backward from the conclusion to the facts, thus necessitating the distortion and manipulation of those facts where they differ from the preordained conclusion (which they almost always do). In short, "revisionism" denies something that demonstrably happened, through methodological dishonesty." McFee, Gordon. "Why 'Revisionism' Isn't", The Holocaust History Project, 15 May 1999. Retrieved 22 December 2006.
    • "Crucial to understanding and combating Holocaust denial is a clear distinction between denial and revisionism. One of the more insidious and dangerous aspects of contemporary Holocaust denial, a la Arthur Butz, Bradley Smith and Greg Raven, is the fact that they attempt to present their work as reputable scholarship under the guise of 'historical revisionism.' The term 'revisionist' permeates their publications as descriptive of their motives, orientation and methodology. In fact, Holocaust denial is in no sense 'revisionism,' it is denial... Contemporary Holocaust deniers are not revisionists — not even neo-revisionists. They are Deniers. Their motivations stem from their neo-nazi political goals and their rampant antisemitism." Austin, Ben S. "Deniers in Revisionists Clothing", The Holocaust\Shoah Page, Middle Tennessee State University. Retrieved 29 March 2007.
    • "Holocaust denial can be a particularly insidious form of antisemitism precisely because it often tries to disguise itself as something quite different: as genuine scholarly debate (in the pages, for example, of the innocuous-sounding Journal for Historical Review). Holocaust deniers often refer to themselves as 'revisionists', in an attempt to claim legitimacy for their activities. There are, of course, a great many scholars engaged in historical debates about the Holocaust whose work should not be confused with the output of the Holocaust deniers. Debate continues about such subjects as, for example, the extent and nature of ordinary Germans' involvement in and knowledge of the policy of genocide, and the timing of orders given for the extermination of the Jews. However, the valid endeavour of historical revisionism, which involves the re-interpretation of historical knowledge in the light of newly emerging evidence, is a very different task from that of claiming that the essential facts of the Holocaust, and the evidence for those facts, are fabrications." The nature of Holocaust denial: What is Holocaust denial?, JPR report #3, 2000. Retrieved 16 May 2007.
  27. ^ Alan L. Berger, "Holocaust Denial: Tempest in a Teapot, or Storm on the Horizon?", In Peace, in Deed: Essays in Honor of Harry James Cargas, Eds. Zev Garber and Richard Libowitz: Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1998, pg. 154.
  28. ^ Discredited as historian:
    • "In 1969, after David Irving's support for Rolf Hochhuth, the German playwright who accused Winston Churchill of murdering the Polish wartime leader General Sikorski, The Daily Telegraph issued a memo to all its correspondents. 'It is incorrect,' it said, 'to describe David Irving as a historian. In future we should describe him as an author.'" Ingram, Richard. Irving was the author of his own downfall, The Independent, 25 February 2006.
    • "It may seem an absurd semantic dispute to deny the appellation of 'historian' to someone who has written two dozen books or more about historical subjects. But if we mean by historian someone who is concerned to discover the truth about the past, and to give as accurate a representation of it as possible, then Irving is not a historian. Those in the know, indeed, are accustomed to avoid the term altogether when referring to him and use some circumlocution such as 'historical writer' instead. Irving is essentially an ideologue who uses history for his own political purposes; he is not primarily concerned with discovering and interpreting what happened in the past, he is concerned merely to give a selective and tendentious account of it in order to further his own ideological ends in the present. The true historian's primary concern, however, is with the past. That is why, in the end, Irving is not a historian." Irving vs. (1) Lipstadt and (2) Penguin Books, Expert Witness Report by Richard J. Evans FBA, Professor of Modern History, University of Cambridge, 2000, Chapter 6.
    • "State prosecutor Michael Klackl said: 'He's not a historian, he's a falsifier of history.'" Traynor, Ian. Irving jailed for denying Holocaust, The Guardian, 21 February 2006.
    • "One of Britain's most prominent speakers on Muslim issues is today exposed as a supporter of David Irving. .. Bukhari contacted the discredited historian, sentenced this year to three years in an Austrian prison for Holocaust denial, after reading his website." Doward, Jamie. "Muslim leader sent funds to Irving", The Guardian, 19 November 2006.
    • "David Irving, the discredited historian and Nazi apologist, was last night starting a three-year prison sentence in Vienna for denying the Holocaust and the gas chambers of Auschwitz." Traynor, Ian. "Irving jailed for denying Holocaust", The Guardian, 21 February 2006.
    • "Conclusion on meaning 2.15 (vi): that Irving is discredited as a historian." David Irving v. Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt/II.
    • "DAVID Irving, the discredited revisionist historian and most outspoken British Holocaust denier, has added further fuel to the controversy over his early release from an Austrian jail by recanting his court statement of regret over his views." Crichton, Torcuil. "Holocaust denier reneges on regret", The Sunday Herald, 24 December 2006.
    • "Discredited British author David Irving spoke in front of some 250 people at a small theatre on Szabadság tér last Monday." Hodgson, Robert. "Holocaust denier David Irving draws a friendly crowd in Budapest", The Budapest Times, 19 March 2007.
    • "An account of the 2000 - 2001 libel trial in the high court of the now discredited historian David Irving, which formed the backdrop for his recent conviction in Vienna for denying the Holocaust." Program Details - David Irving: The London Trial 2006-02-26 17:00:00, BBC Radio 4.
    • "Yet Irving, a discredited right-wing historian, was described by a High Court judge after a long libel trial as a racist anti-semite who denied the Holocaust." Edwards, Rob. "Anti-green activist in links with Nazi writer; Revealed: campaigner", The Sunday Herald, 5 May 2002.
    • "'The sentence against Irving confirms that he and his views are discredited, but as a general rule I don't think that this is the way this should be dealt with,' said Antony Lerman, director of the London-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research. 'It is better to combat denial by education and using good speech to drive out bad speech.'" Gruber, Ruth Ellen. "Jail sentence for Holocaust denier spurs debate on free speech", j., 24 February 2006.
    • "Deborah Lipstadt is Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies and director of The Rabbi Donald A. Tam Institute for Jewish Studies at Emory University. She is the author of two books about the Holocaust. Her book Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory led to the 2000 court case in which she defeated and discredited Holocaust denier David Irving." Understanding Auschwitz Today, Task of Justice & Danger of Holocaust Deniers, Public Broadcasting Service.
    • "After the discredited British historian David Irving was sentenced to a three-year jail term in Austria as a penalty for denying the Holocaust, the liberal conscience of western Europe has squirmed and agonised." Glover, Gillian. "Irving gets just what he wanted - his name in the headlines", The Scotsman, 23 February 2006.
    • " a disciple of discredited historian and Holocaust denier David Irving." Horowitz, David. The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America, Regnery Publishing, 2006, ISBN 0895260034, p. 175.
    • "If the case for competence applies to those who lack specialist knowledge, it applies even further to those who have been discredited as incompetent. For example, why ought we include David Irving in a debate aiming to establish the truth about the Holocaust, after a court has found that he manipulates and misinterprets history?" Long, Graham. Relativism and the Foundations of Liberalism, Imprint Academic, 2004, ISBN 1845400046, p. 80.
    • "Ironically, Julius is also a celebrated solicitor famous for his defence of Schuchard's colleague, Deborah Lipstadt, against the suit for of libel brought by the discredited historian David Irving brought when Lipstadt accused him of denying the Holocaust." "T S Eliot's anti-Semitism hotly debated as scholars argue over new evidence", University of York, Communications Office, 5 February 2003.
    • "Irving, a discredited historian, has insisted that Jews at Auschwitz were not gassed." "Irving vows to continue denial", Breaking News, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 7 February 2007.
    • "David Irving, the discredited historian and Nazi apologist, was on Monday night starting a three-year prison sentence in Vienna for denying the Holocaust and the gas chambers of Auschwitz." "Historian jailed for denying Holocaust", Mail & Guardian, 21 February 2006.
    • "Irving, a discredited historian, has insisted that Jews at Auschwitz were not gassed." "Irving Vows To Continue Denial", The Jewish Week, 29 December 2006.
    • "The two best-known present-day Holocaust deniers are the discredited historian David Irving, jailed last year in Austria for the offence, and the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who wants Israel wiped off the map." Wills, Clair. " Ben Kiely and the 'Holocaust denial'", Irish Independent, 10 March 2007.
    • "[Irving] claimed that Lipstadt's book accuses him of falsifying historical facts in order to support his theory that the Holocaust never happened. This of course discredited his reputation as a historian. .. On 11 April, High Court judge Charles Gray ruled against Irving, concluding that he indeed qualified as a Holocaust denier and anti-Semite and that as such he has distorted history in order to defend his hero, Adolf Hitler." Wyden, Peter. The Hitler Virus: the Insidious Legacy of Adolf Hitler, Arcade Publishing, 2001, ISBN 1559705329, p. 164.
    • "Now that holocaust denier David Irving has been discredited, what is the future of history?" Kustow, Michael. "History after Irving", Red Pepper, June, 2000.
    • "In Britain, which does not have a Holocaust denial law, Irving had already been thoroughly discredited when he unsuccessfully sued historian Deborah Lipstadt in 1998 for describing him as a Holocaust denier." Callamard, Agnès. "Debate: can we say what we want?", Le Monde diplomatique, April, 2007.
    • "Holocaust denier and discredited British historian David Irving, for example, asserts. .. that Auschwitz gas chambers were constructed after World War II." "Hate-Group Web Sites Target Children, Teens", Psychiatric News, American Psychiatric Association, 2 February 2001.
    • "Holocaust denier: An Austrian court hears discredited British historian David Irving's appeal against his jail sentence for denying the Nazi genocide of the Jews.", "The world this week", BBC News, 20 December 2006.
    • "DISCREDITED British historian David Irving began serving three years in an Austrian prison yesterday for denying the Holocaust, a crime in the country where Hitler was born." Schofield, Matthew. "Controversial Nazi apologist backs down, but still jailed for three years", The Age, 22 February 2006.
  29. ^ "Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory" by Deborah E. Lipstadt. ISBN 0-452-27274-2
  30. ^ David Pallister Author fights Holocaust denier judgment in The Guardian 21 June 2001
  31. ^ Oliver Duff David Irving: An anti-Semitic racist who has suffered financial ruin 21 February 2006
  32. ^ Holocaust denier Irving to appeal BBC 21 February 2006. "Austria is one of 11 countries with laws against denying the Holocaust."
  33. ^ Laws against denying the Holocaust.
  34. ^ Sarah Rainsford Author's trial set to test Turkey BBC 14 December 2005.
  35. ^ Madeleine Brand speaks with Hugh Pope Charges Against Turkish Writer Pamuk Dropped NPR 25 January 2005.
  36. ^ Writer Hrant Dink acquitted; trials against other journalists continue IFEX 9 February 2006.
  37. ^ Sarah Rainsford Turkey bans 'genocide' conference BBC News 22 September 2005.
  38. ^ Benjamin Harvey Fight halts Turkish journalists' trial in The Independent 8 February 2006.
  39. ^ Associated Press Case Against 4 Turkish Journalists Dropped in The Guardian 11 April 2006.
  40. ^ BBC NEWS | Europe | Fury in Turkey at editor's murder
  41. ^ Turkish police posed for picture with killer of Armenian journalist - Europe, News -
  42. ^ Turkey's new penal code touches raw nerves EurActiv 2 June 2005, updated 14 November 2005.
  43. ^ "Forgiving the culprits: Japanse historical revisionism in a post-cold war context published in the International Journal of Peace Studies
  44. ^ No government coercion in war's sex slavery : Abe, Japan Times, 2 March 2007,
  45. ^ "Revenge of the Doves". Newsweek. 6 February 2006. 
  46. ^ "Japan's Atomic Bomb Victims Complain that Their Government Still Neglects Them & Refuses to Take Responsibility". History News Network. 2005-12-08. 
  47. ^ "Remembering the Atomic Bomb" by P. Joshua Hill and Professor Koshiro, Yukiko, 15 December 1997, Fresh Writing.
  48. ^ Sledge, Eugene (May, 2002). China Marine. University of Alabama Press. pp. 160. ISBN 0-8173-1161-0. 
  49. ^ Author: David King, text by James Ryan. Trotsky, a pictorial biography See paragraph 54.
  50. ^ "Medvedev Creates History Commission". The Wall Street Journal. 2009-05-21. 
  51. ^ Critics fear history book overlooks crimes by Maria Danilova of the Associated Press in the Daily Herald 17 August 2004. Page A2
  52. ^
  53. ^ Sparknotes 1984: Themes, Motifs and Symbols
  54. ^ Orwell, George 1984 New American Library January 1, 1961 ISBN-10:0451524934 ISBN-13:978-0451524935

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