Monday, 29 January 2007

Holocaust denial

Holocaust denial

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the history, development, and methods of Holocaust denial. For an examination of the arguments of Holocaust denial, see Criticism of Holocaust denial.

Holocaust denial
(commonly called Holocaust revisionism by its supporters[1]) is the belief that the genocide of Jews and other minority groups during World War IIthe Holocaust — either did not occur, or did not occur to the extent described by current scholarship.

Key elements of this belief are the explicit or implicit rejection that the Nazi government had a policy of deliberately targeting Jews, people of Jewish ancestry, and the Roma (also known as Gypsies) for extermination as a people; that between five and seven million Jews[2] were systematically killed by the Nazis and their allies; and that tools of mass extermination such as gas chambers were used in extermination camps to kill Jews.[3]

Most Holocaust denial claims imply, or openly state, that the Holocaust is a hoax arising out of a deliberate Jewish conspiracy to advance the interest of Jews at the expense of other peoples. For this reason, Holocaust denial is generally considered an antisemitic conspiracy theory. Holocaust denial has been illegal in many European countries since shortly after World War II, because it is seen as motivated by an antisemitic or neo-Nazi agenda. In January 2007, the German government moved to criminalize Holocaust denial and the parading of Nazi symbols across the European Union [4] and the United Nations General Assembly officially "condemns any denial of the Holocaust."[5]

Many Holocaust deniers do not accept "denier" as an appropriate term to describe their point of view, using the term "Holocaust revisionist" instead. They are nevertheless commonly labeled "Holocaust deniers" to differentiate them from historical revisionists who consider their goal to be historical inquiry using evidence and established methodology. Holocaust deniers, on the other hand, argue that the Holocaust did not occur regardless of historical evidence.[6]


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