Mass Holocaust-denial infecting Eastern Europe study …

Posted By on January 29, 2019

A new study suggests that Holocaust denial is at its worst in Eastern Europe, where revisionist governments driven by feelings of victimhood try to erase their nations culpability in the massacre of Jews.

The study, published on January 25 just days before Holocaust Remembrance Day indicates rampant levels of historical revisionism regarding the mass-extermination of Jews under Nazi rule in eastern parts of the European Union. The Holocaust Remembrance Project was conducted by researchers from Yale and Grinnell Colleges and endorsed by the European Union of Progressive Judaism (EUPJ), an umbrella organization which links more than 170 progressive Jewish communities in 17 countries.

Revisionism here refers to people minimizing their own governments complicity, downplaying the number of victims, or claiming that the events of the Holocaust never occurred at all. Based on their findings, the study assigned countries a green, yellow, or red rating, indicating progress, caution or problems, in their relation to Holocaust history. Poland, Hungary, Croatia, and Lithuania all received a red rating, indicating that these countries have a serious incapability of living up to their tragic histories.

Poland is particularly taken to task in the study. The authors describe the country as run by a right-wing nationalist government engaged in competitive victimization, emphasizing the experience of Polish victims over that of Jewish victims. Aside from rising levels of anti-Semitism and continued reductions in Holocaust education, the country came under fire for a law it passed in January of last year which made it illegal to implicate the Polish state in Nazi crimes.

On the other hand, Romania and the Czech Republic were both given a green rating, and were held up as exemplars. The Romanian government was praised for requiring mandatory Holocaust training for its military general staff and establishing an independent Holocaust-study commission.

While this part of the report focused on countries in Eastern Europe, the rest of the continent didnt fare much better in recent related studies. One study published around the same time indicated that despite widely available evidence, 1 in 20 Britons dont believe the Holocaust took place at all.

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