For this blog, I was tasked with studying Holocaust denialism and finding an example of this form of denial revisionism. I initially examined the Wikipedia explanation of Holocaust denial to gain an understanding of the basic premise and who some actors are who have made claims attributing to denial rhetoric. I immediately found a lot of references to and information on David Irving, a heavily criticized and deeply shunned Holocaust denier and author. He has written on WWII and has made marginalized and rejected claims that have never been accepted or taken seriously by mainstream historians. Historians and even an English court of law have disavowed and discredited his work. His work is so controversial because it depicts Hitler in a favorable light by misrepresenting and manipulating historical evidence to fit his own anti-Semite and racist ideology.
David Irving has a website that I used as my source for this blog. His site consists of many pages with a ton of links to other websites and works. As I explored the site I found it was packed with an inordinate amount of information. Because of this, I chose to focus on Irving’s posts and main excerpts from his writings to examine his perspective and approach to sharing information. From excerpts of his books, there is a distinct tone to his writing that constantly discredits the Jewish experience and often challenges accepted Holocaust facts. A few posts explain Irving’s background describing his education and career. Irving packs his front page with one-liners about his work and his various campaigns, books, and informational tours. These posts do not provide any information on the lawsuits or any other damning incidences Irving has faced.
Irving seems to overcompensate with a ton of emphasis given to his popularity and legitimacy. On the website appear lines such as “David Irving is now meeting his many friends in the northern U.S…” or the utilization of quotes from supposed credible academics that paradise him like one saying Irving is, “perhaps the greatest living authority on the Nazi era…” It reminds me of the William Shakespeare quote, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” which indicates doubt in someone’s sincerity. Irving employs techniques utilized by historians like the use of quotes, official-looking articles/websites and emphasis on legitimacy. The major problem with Irving’s methods is his perspective is extremely deleterious as it is anti-Semitic and racist. He does not use honest practices as he has a predetermined conclusion that ignores the overwhelming historical evidence that contradicts it. This is where revisionism and denialism differ, revisionism is very important and should be celebrated as it contributes to creating a fuller understanding of history. Denialism is not legitimate historical revision because it bends facts to fit an erroneous ideology or fixed conclusion.
David Irving. “His website”. Fpp.co.uk. Retrieved 23 October 2017. http://www.fpp.co.uk/online/index.html
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