Holocaust denial casts doubt on the historical veracity and magnitude of the Jewish genocide perpetrated by the Nazi regime under Adolf Hitler during World War II.
According to the working definition proposed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), “Holocaust denial may include publicly denying or calling into doubt the use of principal mechanisms of destruction (such as gas chambers, mass shooting, starvation and torture) or the intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people. Holocaust denial in its various forms is an expression of antisemitism. The attempt to deny the genocide of the Jews is an effort to exonerate National Socialism and antisemitism from guilt or responsibility in the genocide of the Jewish people. Forms of Holocaust denial also include blaming the Jews for either exaggerating or creating the Shoah for political or financial gain as if the Shoah itself was the result of a conspiracy plotted by the Jews.”
Because they claim to be revising history, proponents of this antisemitic propaganda call themselves “revisionists”. In total disagreement with this characterization, reputable historians have instead adopted the term “negationism” to describe an ideology whose aim is to revive the myth of the “international Jewish conspiracy” and to absolve Nazism of its crimes.
Since the post-war period, this new antisemitic discourse has evolved, finding relays in Europe (David Irving, Richard Williamson, Ernst Zündel, Thies Christophersen, etc.), North America (Arthur Butz, Fred Leuchter, Mark Weber, Bradley Smith, Willis Carto) and the Middle East.
After the Six-Day War (1967), the French far-right ideologue François Duprat added a new dimension to traditional antisemitism: support for the Palestinian people. The Arab-Israeli antagonism in the Middle East played a key role in the internationalisation of Holocaust denial. The allure that Holocaust denial holds within circles identifying as "anti-Zionist" highlights how the issue of the relationship with Israel continues to play a central role in their narrative and manipulation.
Antisemitism, anti-Zionism, and conspiracy theories continue to form the foundation of Holocaust denial. This denial, once primarily associated with political propaganda in countries like Iran, is now spreading across borders. The phenomenon is fueled by social media platforms and international events such as the second Intifada, the September 11, 2001 attacks, and the Holocaust cartoon competition organized in Iran under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's tenure. Holocaust denial vehemently condemns the perceived threat of "Judeo-Zionist influence," primarily attributed to the State of Israel.
(Last updated on 02/14/2024)