Historical negationism is when the historical facts are distorted, with the sole objective to present an interpretation of the historical record that may influence the politics, ideology and thinking of the reader. The negationist historian believe in Plato’s dictum that, “Those who tell the stories also hold the power.”
Historical negationism indicates the change of history by distorting history itself. How to change history? In order to perform historical negationism techniques such as researching, quotation and presentation for the deception of the reader and denial of actual authentic historical record is used. In order to change the genuine historical record, false documentation is used as authentic sources. This false source includes plausible but actually wrong reasons to not trust the previously established document which was thought to be true. On the other hand, in order to distort history public opinions are exploited by quoting historical context, change statistics in means of favoring a particular person or group and mistranslated texts which are in foreign languages. The whole idea is to change history into something that favors a specific person or nexus in power.
The revised version of the historical documentation is used to deceive the reader, listener and viewer, which is why historical negationism is a form of propaganda. Negationist theorists revise history and use logical fallacies to build arguments that will lead to a desire result, which is supporting an agenda.
There are two main pointers which is used to change history and distort history:
Deception is encouraged by using falsifying information, concealing the authentic truth and lying in hopes to control the public opinion about the historical event raised in the revised version. Negationist historian practices the technique of deception in order to obtain their political and/or ideological aim. The variation of types of history books depends on the research techniques used while changing the authentic historical facts.
In the process of forming a denial relativization is used, which is to compare historical atrocities to other crimes, along with interpretation by moral judgments so that the public’s opinion can be changed the public’s opinion about the previous historical fact.
Examples of Historical Negationism
- Book burning, Burnign of Jaffna library and the elimination if Iraqi library by ISIS occurred during the fall of mosul.
- The burning of books and burying of scholars or “Fires of Qin” during the Qin Dynasty of Ancient China.
- Nazi book burning performed throughout Germany and Austria by the Deutsche Studentenschaft of the Thirs Reich.