Newsgroups: alt.revisionism Subject: Holocaust Denial: The Most Poisonous Lies Archive/File: people/r/rosenfeld.alvin.h/imagining-hitler Last-Modified: 1996/09/15 From the Introduction of "Imagining Hitler," by Alvin Rosenfeld: "Nazism...has been lifted from its historical base and transmuted into forms of entertainment and political bad faith. What a generation ago stood before us as a historical and moral scandal of unprecedented proportions is today a source of lighthearted amusement, popular distraction, pornographic indulgence, and antisemitic slander." In a chapter on "Domesticating Hitler," Alvin Rosenfeld specifically mentions the Holocaust revisionists: "Anatoli ended his own book* by stressing the moral responsibility for remembrance, a responsibility made urgent by the desires of those who would forget history or, still worse, deny it. `A former high-ranking officer in the Gestapo declared recently in an interview that there had never been any death camps, ovens, or gas-chambers, that all such things had been invented by propagandists. He stated, quite simply, that they had NEVER EXISTED.' In the years since Anatoli wrote these lines, the Gestapo officer has been joined by a great many others who would also like to undo the Holocaust by weakening the tenacity of memory that keeps it alive. `f you tell them loud, to their faces, that they are being deceived,' Anatoli went on, `they won't listen. They will say it is only a malicious slander. And if you produce facts, they just won't believe you. They will say: 'Such things never happened.'" (Rosenfeld, 64) "The most blatant example of this kind of willful substitution [of a fictitious history for actual historical events] is to be found among the so-called revisionists, who have attempted to erase the Holocaust from historical memory by outright denial of the Nazi program of genocide. To them, there simply was no such thing as the Endlo"sung, and all claims to the contrary are dismissed as a `hoax' invented to serve `Jewish interest.' Thus, they have sought to disclaim the presence of gas chambers in the Nazi death camps or even to deny that such camps ever were established in the first place for the purpose of murdering Jews and others opposed to the Third Reich. The `hoax,' which is entirely of their own making, is especially pernicious, for as it is developed through the pages of the revisionist journals, it assumes the guise of historical scholarship and seems to take on the character of authenticity. Authors with Ph.D.'s trailing behind their names, some of whom hold college and university teaching posts, regularly participate in a campaign of disinformation that mimics scholarly research but has as its sole purpose the undermining of the scholarly enterprise. For those who know historical literature about the Third Reich, it is not difficult to expose the work of the revisionists for what it is -- mostly bogus, malicious invention -- but to the public at large, perhaps slightly in awe of academic-looking publications filled out with footnotes and `scientific' graphs, it is just possible that `revisionism' may begin to persuade. "As of this writing, the revisionists have no standing at all in the scholarly community and seem to be making only minor ripples in the consciousness of the public at large. Their desire to rewrite the history of World War II by denying its very worst features is not shared by most Americans, although here and there journalists on the lookout for deviant types are able to turn up an occasional social studies teacher or small-town preacher who may advocate the `revisionist line.' What is of interest about revisionism, therefore, is not its impact, which is trivial, but its motivation and the fact that its exponents feel that times have changed enough to allow them to broadcast freely the most poisonous lies about Hitler's crimes against the Jews." (Rosenfeld, 66-67) * Anatoli, A. [Kuznetsov]. Babi Yar. Translated by David Floyd. New York: Pocket Books, 1977. Work Cited Rosenfeld, Alvin H. Imagining Hitler. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985.
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