What is Revisionism? And the Denialism? - Memory makes us free

What is Revisionism? And the Denialism?


Revisionism is a line of thought that is represented by those who advocate the need to correct opinions and currents or dominants theses.

In the academic field of historiography, revisionism is the critical re-examination of historical facts based on new evidence or a different interpretation of information (in the ideological, political or historical field).   

How does it happen? The word “revisionism” comes from the Latin word “revidere” – to re-examine and therefore occurs through the citation of documents and studies that affirm the opposite of what is commonly known.

The negative use of the term revisionism refers instead to the manipulation of history for political purposes, such as that concerning the Shoah.

 In the latter case, revisionism represents an attempt to diminish the extent of the racial persecutions carried out by Nazism and Fascism, especially the extermination of Jews during the Second World War. 

Revisionists say that the total number of Jews killed is not 6.000.000, but half and contest the counting system used to calculate the victims

 They sustain that fewer victims were killed with gas than thought and that in fact most Jews died of diseases.

 According to their hypotheses, the gas would not have been detected in plausible quantities to justify such an extermination, and there are also great doubts about the actual functioning of the gas chambers.     

In conclusion, revisionism is characterized by alternative and often contrary-to-what-has-been-officially-said investigations made a posteriori, but it must be admitted that sometimes it is allowed to ascertain the facts more precisely, for example at the beginning they estimated that the number of victims of Auschwitz was around 4 million, after some reviews, the number has decreased to a million and a half.

 But revisionism should not be confused with denial, that is, with the total denial of the crimes committed by Nazism.  

Denialism is in fact a pseudo-historical and pseudoscientific version of revisionism, consisting in an attitude of absolute denial towards established historical phenomena. The very evidence of the historical fact is denied, and is based on the following assumptions: 

  • The Shoah never existed;
  • The Nazi regime never intended to activate a policy of extermination against the Jews, but only – to the limit – to deport them to concentration camps;
  • The number of Jews who died during the Second World War would be far lower than that ascertained by historians.
  • The narration of the Shoah, the gas chambers, the use of the Zyklon B and the crematoriums ovens are artifices designed by post-war propaganda to justify the establishment of the State of Israel after the war.
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