Between Denial and "comparative Trivialization": Holocaust Negationism in Post-communist East Central Europe

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Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, 2002 - 83 pagini
Notes the influence of communism on post-communist Holocaust denial in East Central Europe, where outright Holocaust negation is rare but not insignificant. Presents a taxonomy of Holocaust denial. "Deflective negationism" transfers the blame for crimes against the Jews to members of other nations, or assigns responsibility to marginal elements within one's society. Guilt is externalized, e.g. by blaming the Nazis; responsibility for the Holocaust is sometimes projected onto the Jews themselves, e.g. by alleging Jewish disloyalty, a Jewish conspiracy, etc. "Selective negationism" denies the participation of one's own nation in the Holocaust. Romania provides several variations of this defense that attempt to exonerate not only wartime leader Antonescu but even the Iron Guard. "Comparative trivialization" of the Holocaust asserts a symmetry between Jewish suffering and the suffering allegedly caused by Jews (e.g. Jewish communists) to other peoples. Rejects equating the Gulag and the Holocaust; calls for acknowledging both the enormity of the former and the singularity of the latter. Concludes that comparisons of genocides are fair for scientific purposes, but not for belittling the suffering of the Jews or of other peoples.

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