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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2006, 02:08 Thread Starter
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Revisionist Historians.

Hiya all,

I'm a new member but I like the idea of a forum where I can indulge myself in the subject that I actually teach.

My question is this: Given the recent imprisonment of the self-proclaimed Revisionist Historian, David Irving, the renowned Holocaust denier, do any believe this approach to accepted 'norms' of historical fact, have any bearing?
My own opinion of Irving and his kind, is that they merely act as a mouthpiece for extremist, right-wing political dogma and offer no academic value whatsoever.
However, was Irving's recent trial and subsequent imprisonment, in Austria, justified?
Your opinions would be very interesting.
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2006, 03:56
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so he's in jail for denying the holocaust? i dont know the case, but if thats so we'll take it from there....
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2006, 04:14
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is he denying that the whole thing happened or just the number of Jews that were killed?

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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2006, 08:47 Thread Starter
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Effectively, both.
David Irving is one of several Revisionists, both past and present, who make these claims. To get a general idea of what they are spouting, I have added this link for you all to look at. http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/category.asp?ID=15
Just google Irving or revisonism and there is plenty more info about them. Or try looking at any of the following; Harry Elmer Barnes, A.J.P. Taylor, William H. Chamberlin, Paul Rassinier and Charles Tansill or,more specifically,The Journal for Historical Review.
You will soon come to the conclusion that they all bear a right-wing slant that seems more concerned with racial hatred than any serious attempt at historical research.
Does it warrant a three year jail sentence though?
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2006, 08:56
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By all means no. Jailing someone for being a bad historian, or even a historian with an agenda is a violation of free speech to the extreme. He shouldn't even have been trialed.

However, both Germany and Austria have well-established laws on this subject for specific reasons, and he was aware of them.

Still doesn't make it right though.

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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2006, 09:16 Thread Starter
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Having read some of his work on Holocaust denial, particularly the refuting of the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz, I am of the opinion that he is merely attempting to promote anti-Semetic feeling, by a virtual accussation that the Holocaust was essentially a Zionist plot to deceive us all. Despite the insurmountable evidence to the contrary, he and others continue to deny the accepted beliefs and given the volatile situation Israel has, historically, with its Islamic neighbours, could this assertion be regarded as 'calculated' and 'dangerous', in that it is so provocative to any future peace in that region?
If this is so, does he, and others who preach this type of propaganda, disguised as research but bordering on hatred, not deserve to be imprisoned?
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2006, 09:28
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Of course not. He can be fought on scientific grounds by counter-publications and critique of his work, but imprisoning someone simply because of a belief - no matter how absurd that belief may be, is wrong. Furthermore, there is the tendency to accuse anyone who holds an opinion against Israel or Jews in general as a racist (anti-semite). While I do not know whether Irving is a racist or not, making this a criminal offence is not just wrong, but also a very slippery path as it can result in people expressing genuine criticism being persecuted by the law.

Furthermore, since when is being anti-semite, or racist or whatever a crime? Aren't people entitled to hold whatever beliefs they wish as long as these beliefs do not activelly harm other people?

To suggest that the work of one historian is responsible or even remotely influential for destabilising the middle east is an enormous exaggeration. Additionally, the link between Irving's work and the Palestianian issue is tedious and indirect as he does not deal with the Israel state as far as I know.

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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2006, 09:43 Thread Starter
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Great.
Some debate, thank you!!

I actually agree with you, but lets look at the wider picture for a second and not concentrate wholly on Irving.
Here is a section of self-proclaimed 'Historians' who have caste doubt on what is an infamous chapter in world history.
Why? What purpose does it serve to make such denial? Accepting that they are inherently racist in their outlook and that they adopt a 'supremacist' standpoint, is it beyond comprehension to suggest that such extremism might be seized upon by those with grievances against Israel, and use such propoganda as a tool to promote ill-feeling?

What I am suggesting, by playing Devil's advocate, is that dismissing these 'Revisionists' as mere crackpots;'more to be pitied' etc, may be making a mistake. The Middle East is extremely volatile and any 'spark' however small or insignificant it may seem, is a possible catalyst to trouble. If one person were to die because of such radicalism, does this not negate their 'right' to free speech, when the message is one of such vitriol and might have such wider implications?
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2006, 14:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by potaterhater
Having read some of his work on Holocaust denial, particularly the refuting of the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz, I am of the opinion that he is merely attempting to promote anti-Semetic feeling, by a virtual accussation that the Holocaust was essentially a Zionist plot to deceive us all. Despite the insurmountable evidence to the contrary, he and others continue to deny the accepted beliefs and given the volatile situation Israel has, historically, with its Islamic neighbours, could this assertion be regarded as 'calculated' and 'dangerous', in that it is so provocative to any future peace in that region?
If this is so, does he, and others who preach this type of propaganda, disguised as research but bordering on hatred, not deserve to be imprisoned?
does he denie the number of jews which have been deported and never come back?

I strictly have nothing to say but I want that comes out.
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2006, 14:31
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what i mean, we can be manipulated by pictures or films made by the army in this time to serve propaganda. but what can't be manipulated is the number of people who never come back from this tragedy.

I strictly have nothing to say but I want that comes out.
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2006, 16:23
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Potaterhater - you see AJP Taylor as having a right wing slight? I must admit I never got that feeling from reading/studying his work "The Origins of WWII" at A-Level. I admire that work very much as it looks beyond the idea of Hitler being the only cause of WWII and seeing it very much in context with the end of WWI, Versailles and the economic conditions of the early 30s.

Revisionist history like this has a lot to offer as it goes beyond looking at "obvious" causes of conflicts and will look at the wider context of conflict/events.

As for Irving, I personally feel that all this trial did was highlight his work and bring him fame. He's not an important "historian", has no real bearing on historical circles and his theories are easily ripped apart. As for the actual imprisonment of him, this is where the idea of freedom of speech and responsibility to humanity comes into question. Should freedom of speech unabated be allowed even if used by "extremists" to incite strong feelings against other groups of people? I'm not sure I know where I stand on this as it is a very emotive subject.

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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2006, 23:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMOROSO!
but imprisoning someone simply because of a belief - no matter how absurd that belief may be, is wrong.
It can as well be an agenda, he don't have to believe in it.
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old May 14th, 2006, 00:18
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This was raised here in the past... and sadly people like San Siro thought this was a legitmiate subject and that's very unfortunate and damaging . I'm more content to see some of the current remarks though (potaterhater, mali)

The agenda behind these "historians" is quite clear. The connections between these people to Nazi organziations has also been proven.

Anyway, I can only recommend on one good site. It "proves indeed" that the holocaust didn't exist, but also that the moon doesn't exist, that the Titanic never sunk and other very interesting stuff it's one of the best sites I've ever seen .

http://www.revisionism.nl/

The big question of course is why these "revisionist" hitorians never tried to revise anything else ? Big bull of course. And it's Nazi and very very dangerous.

Here's my message then to San Siro...

https://xtratime.org/forum/showpost.p...6&postcount=94

Last edited by Del Piero; May 14th, 2006 at 00:26.
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old May 14th, 2006, 19:49 Thread Starter
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Hi All.
Some interesting replies. Thanks.

My own view is that Irving has achieved a noterierty from his involvement in Holocaust Denial and has made a very comfortable living from it and that this 'fame' has allowed him to publish 'quasi-academic' books on several historical topics.
He was well aware of the legalities of holocaust denial and the sensitive nature of the subject, particularly in Germany and Austria, yet he continued to peddle his own warped interpretation of events, despite such restrictions.
However, my own view is that imprisoning him and his sort,only serve to enhance their noterierty and arouse sympathy. far better to let him speak and discredit him publicly at every opportunity! The weight of historical evidence is overwhelmingly with the conventional historians and highlighting what anti-Semitic bigots his kind are, is far preferable to making him into some kind of martyr who has been denied 'free speech'.
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2006, 00:37
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Whilst it does appear to make a martyr of him, unjustly, he must be allowed to say it, whether true or not, for we fought the Nazis for the right to be able to say such things.
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post #16 of 37 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2006, 13:54
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I realy dont know why the guy think so
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post #17 of 37 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2006, 18:07
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Jailing someone for their beliefs is just plain absurd not matter how deluded they are, all of his arguements seem to be quite easily ripped apart from what I've heard.

Whats happened to free speech? Obviously this person has connections with the far right but what can you honestly do? Jailing him has just given him an opportunity to spout his ridiculous beliefs into the main stream media, giving him a lot of attention he shouldn't of gotten in the first place. So much for common sense.

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post #18 of 37 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2006, 18:09
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Potaterhater - you see AJP Taylor as having a right wing slight? I must admit I never got that feeling from reading/studying his work "The Origins of WWII" at A-Level. I admire that work very much as it looks beyond the idea of Hitler being the only cause of WWII and seeing it very much in context with the end of WWI, Versailles and the economic conditions of the early 30s.
I think he questions the number of Jews which actually died, not complete holocaust denial.

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post #19 of 37 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2006, 02:38
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Some revisionist historians aren't bad though, particularly if they take a less jaundiced look at national heroes or events of significance. Take Queen Victoria for example. A lot of work coming out these days is completely at odds with what was said about her 20 or 30 years ago. Previously she (and Prince Albert) were looked on with great affection. Now days it fairly common to read both were biased, bigoted ignoramus's, who you'd hardly inclined to leave in charge of a fish stall never mind anything else.

Also, some people are being rehabilitated much to the dissatisfaction of certain elements. Finally, Douglas Haig is starting to reaquire his reputation, and leave some of this Sassoon inspired rubbish about being a donkey leading lions, behind. Not before time either.
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post #20 of 37 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2006, 16:17
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Historians have to evolve over time and create new interpretations. Otherwise they couldn't sell more books.

But tomorrow is new day and new chance. -- Alija

Nel cielo biancazzurro brilla un'altra stella - In the lightblue sky another star shines. Alija tu non sarai mai sola. Alija you will never be alone.
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