The psychological satisfaction of denials of the Holocaust or other genocides by non-extremists or bigots, and even by known scholars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Denials of known genocides are not only the work of bigots, such as antisemites and neo-nazis who deny the Holocaust or Turkish ideologues who deny the history of the Armenian Genocide, but are voiced by many people in all walks of life, and even by bona fide respectable academicians. It is important to understand the motivations and thinking and mind formulations through which such denials are constructed and promoted. The present paper focuses on a concept of 'innocent denial' where the denier really may not be consciously entirely aware of the facts and not necessarily aware of their personal interests in choosing to join with deniers of a known genocide. However, it is emphasized that one must be alert to deniers who pretend 'innocence.' Five "thinking defense mechanisms" or ways of constructing and justifying denials are analyzed in a comparative analysis of two examples of denials, by German professor Ernst Nolte who denies the Holocaust, and Jewish professor Bernard Lewis who denies the Armenian Genocide. Interpretations are also given of David Irving a denier who denies being a denier, and Noam Chomsky who stands adamantly for the free speech of deniers in their relationships to denials of the Holocaust, and two case histories of denial of the Armenian Genocide in Israel are presented.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIDEA
Volume6
Issue number1
StatePublished - 17 Jul 2001

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The psychological satisfaction of denials of the Holocaust or other genocides by non-extremists or bigots, and even by known scholars'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this