Genocide Denial Quotes

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I have spent a great deal of my life during the past thirty-five years advocating the rights of the Palestinian people to national self-determination, but I have always tried to do that with full attention paid to the reality of the Jewish people and what they suffered by the way of persecution and genocide. The paramount thing is that the struggle for equality in Palestine/Israel should be directed toward a humane goal, that is, coexistence, and not further suppression and denial. Not accidentally, I indicate that Orientalism and modern anti-Semitism have common roots. Therefore, it would seem to be a vital necessity for independent intellectuals always to provide alternative models to the reductively simplifying and confining ones, based on mutual hostility, that have prevailed in the Middle East and elsewhere for so long.
Edward W. Said (Orientalism)
There is no doubt that the United States has much to atone for, both domestically and abroad...To produce this horrible confection at home, start with our genocidal treatment of the Native Americans, add a couple hundred years of slavery, along with our denial of entry to Jewish refugees fleeing the death camps of the Third Reich, stir in our collusion with a long list of modern despots and our subsequent disregard for their appalling human rights records, add our bombing of Cambodia and the Pentagon Papers to taste, and then top with our recent refusals to sign the Kyoto protocol for greenhouse emissions, to support any ban on land mines, and to submit ourselves to the rulings of the International Criminal Court. The result should smell of death, hypocrisy, and fresh brimstone.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
All truth-seekers should study the genocide that was the Holocaust and ask themselves how on Earth this event was 'allowed' to occur, keeping in mind allowed is the correct term as there was no shortage of witnesses, including those all over Europe who stood by and did nothing to intervene. If those bystanders hadn’t just stood by, perhaps the history books would tell a different story.
James Morcan (Debunking Holocaust Denial Theories)
There were waves of genocide that overcame indigenous populations of Oceania and do we have a library of books or films to tell our story? No. We have tourist hula shows and commercials where the “natives” tend to tourists like indentured servants with plastic, lifeless smiles. It’s not such a charming picture, is it? The truth is ugly, but so is ignorance or denial of such atrocities and pain.
M.B. Dallocchio (Quixote in Ramadi: An Indigenous Account of Imperialism)
A refusal on the part of psychiatrists and therapists to validate the horrors of their patients' tortured past implies a refusal to take seriously the unconscious psychological mechanisms that individuals need to use to protect themselves from the unspeakable. Such a denial is, however, no longer ethical, for it is in the human capacity to dissociate that lies part of the secret of both childhood abuse and the horrors of the Nazi genocide, both forms of human violence so often carried out by 'respectable' men and women.
Felicity De Zulueta (From Pain to Violence: The Traumatic Roots of Destructiveness)
When it comes to explaining human thought and behavior, the possibility that heredity plays any role at all still has the power to shock. To acknowledge human nature, many think, is to endorse racism, sexism, war, greed, genocide, nihilism, reactionary politics, and neglect of children and the disadvantaged. Any claim that the mind has an innate organization strikes people not as a hypothesis that might be incorrect but as a thought it is immoral to think.
Steven Pinker (The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature)
Another crucial thing to question is why deniers even bother to quibble about the number of deaths. If one day it were proven only five million or 5.5 million Jews were exterminated, would it be any less an atrocity? What number would deniers suggest is low enough to say that genocide didn't occur and that it’s not important that humanity remembers the Holocaust and the lessons learnt?
James Morcan (Debunking Holocaust Denial Theories)
The Holocaust is an extremely important historical event humanity must learn from if it is to survive let alone achieve world peace. It’s not just a Jewish issue – it’s a human one. If more recent genocides in Rwanda, Cambodia and the former Yugoslavia are any guide, the lessons of Nazi Germany have not yet been learnt.
James Morcan (Debunking Holocaust Denial Theories)
The Holocaust happened because of the constructed belief in one untrue conspiracy theory, and the denial of its genocide afterward came from the creation and propagation of another.
Stewart Stafford
At this juncture, the entire planet is locked, figuratively, in a room with the sociocultural equivalent of Hannibal Lecter. An individual of consummate taste and refinement, imbued with indelible grace and charm, he distracts his victims with the brilliance of his intellect, even while honing his blade. He is thus able to dine alone upon their livers, his feast invariably candlelit, accompanied by lofty music and a fine wine. Over and over the ritual is repeated, always hidden, always denied in order that it may be continued. So perfect is Lecter's pathology that, from the depths of his scorn for the inferiors upon whom he feeds, he advances himself as their sage and therapist, he who is incomparably endowed with the ability to explain their innermost meanings, he professes to be their savior. His success depends upon being embraced and exalted by those upon whom he preys. Ultimately, so long as Lecter is able to retain his mask of omnipotent gentility, he can never be stopped. The spirit of Hannibal Lecter is thus at the core of an expansionist European 'civilization' which has reached out to engulf the planet.
Ward Churchill (A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust & Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present)
As other (previously lost) eyewitness accounts verifying Hitler’s and the Nazis’ detailed plans to annihilate the Jewish people are recovered by historians each passing decade, Holocaust deniers’ attempts to defend the Third Reich against accusations of genocide become more and more feeble. No, make that more and more laughable.
James Morcan (Debunking Holocaust Denial Theories)
Whoever it was who said history repeats itself must have been talking about the history of the Jews as there have been numerous genocides of Jewish people throughout the centuries before the Holocaust. Those who belittle their immense suffering are not only heartless, they are also historically ignorant because the 20th Century – bad though it was for the Jews – was not necessarily the worst century for these people. Almost every century since Biblical times has been tumultuous and bloody, and a bitter fight to simply survive against enemies intent on eradicating them.
James Morcan (Debunking Holocaust Denial Theories)
Six million Jews died in the Holocaust. Yet many people simply cannot accept this. They keep bringing up red herring after red herring to avoid finally admitting “YES, it happened exactly as the history books say, end of story.” Which, of course, is the only correct response to the question anti-Semites raise about whether or not this historically and forensically-proven Nazi genocide even happened.
James Morcan (Debunking Holocaust Denial Theories)
Have you noticed how the Holocaust deniers only ever quibble over the number of Jewish deaths? Now why is that? The answer is very simple: Because they are anti-Semitic. It really is that simple. Anti-Semitism is one of the most aggressive forces on the planet, and has been since Biblical times. Had the Holocaust been a purge of any other race or group of people, everyone would most likely accept the facts. Who, for example, disputes that at least 800,000 Rwandans died in the genocide that occurred during the Rwandan civil war? Or that around 1.7 million Cambodians died in the Cambodian killing fields?
James Morcan (Debunking Holocaust Denial Theories)
Never forget” is the collective plea of Holocaust survivors. And in the first few decades after WW2 ended, it really did seem as if humanity would always remember, and perhaps even learn from, the Nazi genocide so that future atrocities may be prevented. Unfortunately, the historicity of the Holocaust has been undermined and chipped away at by the exact same sinister forces that created the genocide in the first place: racists, religious bigots and the most paranoid type of conspiracy theorists who, together, are uniting – often unwittingly – to form a new wave of anti-Semitism that will not willingly accept the obvious facts of the past. This chipping away (at the truth) began slowly and insidiously – much like the Holocaust itself – but sadly, and worryingly, it is gathering pace.
James Morcan (Debunking Holocaust Denial Theories)
Within a decade or two, all Holocaust survivors will likely have passed away so a ticking clock is in effect in this battle between the truth and lies. Keep in mind even those survivors born in a concentration camp during WW2 would be at least 71 years-of-age when this book (the one you are reading now) was released. Those survivors old enough to clearly recall the events of that nightmare will, of course, be older and have much less time left. As the memory of the Holocaust begins to fade away, it will become easier to deny the genocide even occurred unless those of us who are truthseekers are able to embrace the memory of the genocide and educate others do the same. What’s needed in this propaganda war is for the true stories of Holocaust survivors – as well as those of the Nazi perpetrators, their associates and others who witnessed the genocide – to be told loudly and clearly so that there will never, ever be room for doubt in generations to come. After all, nothing is more powerful, credible or damning than eyewitness accounts.
James Morcan (Debunking Holocaust Denial Theories)
This might explain why the conspiratorial claims in the Mirror World so often seem to contradict one another. For this new political configuration, convincing people of their unproven theories was never the real point—it was only ever a tool. The point, consciously or not, is to foster denial and avoidance. The point is not to have to do hard and uncomfortable things in the face of hard and uncomfortable realities, whether Covid, or climate change, or the fact that our nations were forged in genocide and have never engaged in a remotely serious process of making repair. Denial is so much easier than looking inward, or backward, or forward; so much easier than change. But denial needs narratives, cover stories, and that is what conspiracy culture is providing.
Naomi Klein (Doppelganger: a Trip into the Mirror World)
To deny the reported six million (approximately) Jews who died, or the 11 million people in total, is to ignore all the eyewitness accounts from Holocaust survivors, the non-Jewish witnesses of the millions who died the open-air massacres around Europe, the concentration camp guards, Nazi officers who admitted to gassings and other related crimes immediately after WW2, and the universal agreement of all mainstream historians who have studied this historical event inside out – not to mention every single scientist who has ever analyzed forensic evidence retrieved from the Nazi genocide. Not even the most corrupt courtroom on Earth could ignore this much evidence – for collectively these confirmations of the Holocaust equate to irrefutable proof that the reported death toll is indeed correct. It is possibly the most well-documented crime of the 20th Century, but remember for religious extremists, Nazi apologists or other anti-Semites it would never matter how much evidence you put in front of them. They would always deny the Holocaust because to admit the event occurred would be to stop believing the Jews are inferior to them. It would also require such bigots to admit the very uncomfortable truth to themselves: that their ‘own kind’ did these despicable things to the Jewish people.
James Morcan (Debunking Holocaust Denial Theories)
the Blank Slate had, and has, a dark side. The vacuum that it posited in human nature was eagerly filled by totalitarian regimes, and it did nothing to prevent their genocides. It perverts education, childrearing, and the arts into forms of social engineering. It torments mothers who work outside the home and parents whose children did not turn out as they would have liked. It threatens to outlaw biomedical research that could alleviate human suffering.
Steven Pinker (The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature)
There are two opposing conceptions concerning lies. The first is attributed to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, who is reputed to have said, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.” There is another one, attributed to US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who said: “Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.” It is clear that the Russian leadership has a preference for Lenin’s approach. Even faced with unequivocal evidence it continues to deny the facts. Apart from unfounded accusations against Georgia of genocide and the denial of its own use of cluster bombs, the war in Georgia was preceded and accompanied by open lies, misinformation (for instance, about “uncontrollable” South Ossetian militias), and active disinformation, all reminiscent of the old Soviet style. In this way Russia almost succeeded in hiding the most important fact: that this was not a “Russian-Georgian war,” but a Russian war against Georgia in Georgia. There was not a single Georgian soldier that crossed the Russian frontier at any point. The Georgian troops that went into South Ossetia did not cross international frontiers, but intervened in their own country, no different from Russian troops intervening in Chechnya. It was Russian and not Georgian troops that crossed the border of another, sovereign country, in breach of the principles of international law [230―31].
Marcel H. Van Herpen (Putin's Wars: The Rise of Russia's New Imperialism)
the Blank Slate had, and has, a dark side. The vacuum that it posited in human nature was eagerly filled by totalitarian regimes, and it did nothing to prevent their genocides. It perverts education, childrearing, and the arts into forms of social engineering. It torments mothers who work outside the home and parents whose children did not turn out as they would have liked. It threatens to outlaw biomedical research that could alleviate human suffering. Its corollary, the Noble Savage, invites contempt for the principles of democracy and of “a government of laws and not of men.” It blinds us to our cognitive and moral shortcomings. And in matters of policy it has elevated sappy dogmas above the search for workable solutions. The Blank Slate is not some ideal that we should all hope and pray is true. No, it is an anti-life, anti-human theoretical abstraction that denies our common humanity, our inherent interests, and our individual preferences.
Steven Pinker (The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature)
The fact that these statements are true doesn't mean they aren't also rationalizations that you and others use to justify questionable behavior. This uncomfortable truth is crucial to an understanding of the link between rationalization and evil--an understanding that starts with the awareness that sane people rarely, if ever, act in a truly evil manner unless they can successfully rationalize their actions. Hollywood films notwithstanding, villains who proudly embrace evil are virtually nonexistent in real life. The problem is that people are extraordinarily adept at rationalizing. This applies not only to personal misdeeds, but also to the greater sins of omission and commission associated with genocide, slavery, apartheid, war atrocities, and the denial of basic human rights and human dignity. A further problem is that in contrast to the kind of dissonance reduction shown [in studies], the process of rationalizing evil deeds committed by whole societies is a collective effort rather than a solely individual enterprise. Perpetrators are encouraged to rationalize their deeds by leaders and their propaganda machines, who insist that "'they' deserve what is being done to them," or that what is being done serves some noble end or necessary goal.
Thomas Gilovich (The Wisest One in the Room: How You Can Benefit from Social Psychology's Most Powerful Insights)
The fallout caused by denial was inherited by later generations of Armenians, linking them to the fateful days of 1915, and compelling them to set the record straight.
Michael Bobelian (Children of Armenia: A Forgotten Genocide and the Century-long Struggle for Justice)
Some find the overt anti-Semitism of Holocaust deniers the ranting of idiots who are best ignored. Others take these comments quite seriously and see a dire and existential threat to Jewish well-being. They see a Holocaust-denying president of a large country, one that is poised to have nuclear weapons, occupying the podium of a world forum that was founded in the wake of the Final Solution with a mandate to stop genocide. They hear him deny the Final Solution and threaten the existence of the Jewish state. The Eichmann Trial, page XXVII
Deborah E. Lipstadt (The Eichmann Trial (Jewish Encounters Series))
There is a psychological dimension to the deniers’ and minimizers’ objectives: The general public tends to accord victims of genocide a certain moral authority. If you devictimize a people you strip them of their moral authority, and if you can in turn claim to be a victim, as the Poles and Austrians often try to do, that moral authority is conferred on or restored to you. -- Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, pages 7-8
Deborah E. Lipstadt (Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory)
In his recent guest editorial, Richard McNally voices skepticism about the National Vietnam Veteran’s Readjustment Study (NVVRS) data reporting that over one-half of those who served in the Vietnam War have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or subclinical PTSD. Dr McNally is particularly skeptical because only 15% of soldiers served in combat units (1). He writes, “the mystery behind the discrepancy in numbers of those with the disease and of those in combat remains unsolved today” (4, p 815). He talks about bizarre facts and implies many, if not most, cases of PTSD are malingered or iatrogenic. Dr McNally ignores the obvious reality that when people are deployed to a war zone, exposure to trauma is not limited to members of combat units (2,3). At the Operational Trauma and Stress Support Centre of the Canadian Forces in Ottawa, we have assessed over 100 Canadian soldiers, many of whom have never been in combat units, who have experienced a range of horrific traumas and threats in places like Rwanda, Somalia, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. We must inform Dr McNally that, in real world practice, even cooks and clerks are affected when faced with death, genocide, ethnic cleansing, bombs, landmines, snipers, and suicide bombers ... One theory suggests that there is a conscious decision on the part of some individuals to deny trauma and its impact. Another suggests that some individuals may use dissociation or repression to block from consciousness what is quite obvious to those who listen to real-life patients." Cameron, C., & Heber, A. (2006). Re: Troubles in Traumatology, and Debunking Myths about Trauma and Memory/Reply: Troubles in Traumatology and Debunking Myths about Trauma and Memory. Canadian journal of psychiatry, 51(6), 402.
Colin Cameron
denial itself was institutionalized as a government function. Since 1923, the Turkish government has spent tens of millions of dollars in a concerted disinformation campaign to delude the world at large and, perhaps more important, its own people.
Eric Bogosian (Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide)
Criminologist Stanley Cohen wrote perhaps the most important book on the subject, States of Denial. The book examines how individuals and institutions—victims, perpetrators, and bystanders—know about yet deny the occurrence of oppressive acts. They see only what they want to see and wear blinders to avoid seeing the rest. This has been true about slavery, genocide, torture, and every form of systemic oppression.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Perhaps Becker’s greatest achievement has been to create a science of evil. He has given us a new way to understand how we create surplus evil—warfare, ethnic cleansing, genocide.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
You know, Eusebio,” he said to me softly, “a genocide can occur on different planes than the gross, physical plane of Toboism or Nazism. During the Age of Denial, the Western societies began their own genocide, which PEPS is completing now. The genocide of the soul. Their entire society was a concentration camp where the soul was kept in chains. You couldn’t hear it. You couldn’t see it. There were no pictures of starving, skeleton-like figures staring out at you from behind barbed wire. But that’s exactly what was happening to each person’s soul—strangled, starved, left to wither away. Eventually, as the children turned into adults, the soul became too weak even to be heard. It might call out, from its corner, in a tiny voice, “Help me! I’m hurting, I’m starving, please help me!” but the voice was drowned out by the daily combination of video games, business meetings, schedules, rules, and regulations. There was no place left to hear the muffled shrieks of the soul as it lay, dying of starvation, in the corner. It was, Eusebio, genocide on a grand scale. And it was one that never made it to the history books. Everyone just kept going on with their lives, fixed smiles on their faces and emptiness deep inside as their souls finally gave up the struggle for survival and withered away into nothingness.
Jeremy R. Lent (Requiem of the Human Soul)
As Charles points out, this quote gets to the heart of both nations’ problems with race: our citizens do not share a common memory. People of white European ancestry remember a history of discovery, open lands, manifest destiny, endless opportunity, and American exceptionalism. Yet communities of color, especially those with African and indigenous roots, remember a history of stolen lands, broken treaties, slavery, boarding schools, segregation, cultural genocide, internment camps, and mass incarceration.4 This is the choice that lies before us both as a nation and as individuals: Will we continue to live in denial and allow our home to be built on the weak foundation of myths and half-truths? Or will we have the courage to live up to the truth and allow God’s holy fire to burn down the old and erect a new home that can hold us all?
Daniel Hill (White Awake: An Honest Look at What It Means to Be White)
Queer contagion, including the anxiety triggered by gender nonnormativity, found its viral materiality in the early 1980s. The diagnosis of gay cancer, or GRID (gay-related immune disorder), the original name for AIDS, was a vengeful nomenclature for the perversion of existing in a world held together, at least in part, by trans/queer undoing. Found by chance, queers began showing symptoms of unexplainable illnesses such as Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) and Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP). Unresponsive to the most aggressive treatments, otherwise healthy, often well-resourced and white, young men were deteriorating and dying with genocidal speed. Without remedy, normative culture celebrated its triumph in knowing the tragic ends they always imagined queers would meet. This, while the deaths of Black, Brown, and Indigenous trans and cis women (queer or otherwise) were unthought beyond the communities directly around them. These women, along with many others, were stripped of any claim to tragedy under the conditions of trans/misogyny. Among the architects of this silence was then-President Ronald Reagan, who infamously refused to mention HIV/AIDS in public until 1986. By then, at least 16,000 had died in the U.S. alone. Collective fantasies of mass disappearance through the pulsing death of trans/queer people, Haitians, and drug users - the wish fulfillment of a nightmare world concertized the rhetoric that had always been spoken from the lips of power. The true terror of this response to HIV/AIDS was not only its methodological denial but its joyful humor. In Scott Calonico's experimental short film, "When AIDS Was Funny", a voice-over of Reagan's press secretary Larry Speakes is accompanied by iconic still images of people close to death in hospital beds. LESTER KINSOLVING: "Over a third of them have died. It's known as a 'gay plague.' [Press pool laughter.] No, it is. It's a pretty serious thing. One in every three people that get this have died. And I wonder if the president was aware of this." LARRY SPEAKES: "I don't have it. [Press pool laughter.] Do you?" LESTER KINSOLVING: "You don't have it? Well, I'm relieved to hear that, Larry!" [Press pool laughter.] LARRY SPEAKES: "Do you?" LESTER KINSOLVING: "No, I don't.
Eric A. Stanley (Atmospheres of Violence: Structuring Antagonism and the Trans/Queer Ungovernable)
Today denial is without a doubt my greatest fear in life because I know how powerful and insidious it is. It's made me do terrible things to my body and has even been the fuel on the fire of wars, genocides, racism, and trends like drawn-on eyebrows....Denial is dangerous. Make sure you don't have it.
Whitney Cummings (I'm Fine...And Other Lies)
However, reality teaches us that democracy—like free markets—can be messy, especially when intense passions and partisanship are involved. Hence the episode we recounted at the start of this chapter, in which the Wikipedia article about the death of Meredith Kercher was hijacked by “haters” of Amanda Knox who were determined to make sure the page should assert her guilt and were prepared to eradicate any signs of dissension. The Kercher killing is not the only instance in which Wikipedia is embroiled in controversy—far from it. An article on the platform headed “Wikipedia: List of controversial issues” lists over 800 topics that “are constantly being re-edited in a circular manner, or are otherwise the focus of edit warring or article sanctions.” Organized under headings that include “Politics and economics,” “History,” “Science, biology, and health,” “Philosophy,” and “Media and culture,” they include everything from “Anarchism,” “Genocide denial,” “Occupy Wall Street,” and “Apollo moon landing hoax accusations” to “Hare Krishna,” “Chiropractic,” “SeaWorld,” and “Disco music.
Geoffrey G. Parker (Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy and How to Make Them Work for You: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy―and How to Make Them Work for You)
Hidden Halls by Stewart Stafford Hail the dark prince, An apostle of perfidy, Great cull’s architect, Lavish secret funding. Wrong horse backed, Crown shards buried, Knights get sanctuary, Sullied pasts shrouded. Ultra kingdom subjects, Bloody, unwashed hands, Eliminating in full denial, That the bacillus was them. © Stewart Stafford, 2022. All rights reserved.
Stewart Stafford
What many people don’t realize about the continued denial of the first genocide of the twentieth century is that the very identity of modern Turkey hinges upon it. The political turmoil in Turkey during the First World War was the ideal backdrop for genocide. Armenians were classic scapegoats; we see it today.
Taleen Voskuni (Sorry, Bro)
Despite their continuing efforts of denial and revisionist interpretation, however, there is now widespread recognition that the Turkish destruction of the Armenians between 1915 and 1923 stands as the first “total genocide” of the twentieth century.
James Waller (Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing)
the most general condition for guilt-free massacre is the denial of humanity to the victim. You call the victims names like gooks, dinks, niggers, pinkos, and jags. The more you can get high officials in government to use these names and others like yellow dwarfs with daggers and rotten apples, the more your success.... If contact is allowed, or it cannot be prevented, you indicate the contact is not between equals; you talk about the disadvantaged, the deprived. Troy Duster, "Conditions for Guilt-Free Massacre" (1971)
Brendan C. Lindsay (Murder State: California's Native American Genocide, 1846-1873)
It should be obvious that Holocaust denial is, quite plainly, a form of antisemitism. It’s not about history. It’s about attacking, discrediting, and demonizing Jews. The claims of the deniers—that the Jews planted evidence, got German prisoners of war to admit to crimes they did not commit, and forced Germany to shoulder a tremendous financial and moral burden when the war ended—are predicated on the notion of the mythical power of the Jews, which, they firmly believe, was extensive enough to realize this vast conspiracy. Unconcerned about how their actions would affect millions of people and with only their own political and financial benefit in mind, the Jews created the myth of the Holocaust in order to obtain a state of their own and extract vast amounts of money from Germany. Then, according to this so-called “theory,” they proceeded to displace another people from their land in order to gain sovereignty for themselves. These assertions rely on classic antisemitic tropes, the same ones found throughout two thousand years of antisemitic accusations. Just as the Jews persuaded the Roman Empire, then the rulers of Palestine and much of the rest of the world, to do their bidding and crucify Jesus, so, too, they persuaded the Allies to create evidence of a genocide for their own financial and political gain.
Deborah E. Lipstadt (Antisemitism: Here and Now)
The reivindicación, or restoring of honor and agency to the dead, was a major motivating force for nearly all the ex-militants with whom I spoke. Even in the face of the testimonial and forensic evidence compiled in the CEH and REMHI reports, the Guatemalan air still hung thick with a homegrown holocaust denial: the charge that the genocide of the 1980s and the urban counterinsurgency were the invention of “subversives” seeking to discredit Guatemala on the international stage. Efforts by the state, business elites, and some journalists to discredit and attack war victims had always drawn their strength from the idea that nobody could “prove” the truth-value of the events in question, and therefore the victims were making it all up.
Kirsten Weld (Paper Cadavers: The Archives of Dictatorship in Guatemala (American Encounters/Global Interactions))
Today’s liberals lack the self-confidence to say the same about intellectual freedom, and have become as keen on censorship as conservatives once were... Like homophobic conservatives, who worry that if societies’ taboos go, the promotion of homosexuality will turn young people gay, they (liberals) worry that if the law allows unpalatable views to escape unpunished, hatred will turn to violence. Hence, they support laws against incitement to racial and religious hatred in Britain and across Europe, against Holocaust denial in Germany and Austria, and against Holocaust denial and denial of the Armenian genocide in France. Hence, they enforce speech codes that mandate the punishment of transgressors in the workplace and the universities. Few liberals have the confidence to say that free speech, like sexual freedom, would not create a terrible society, because they do not trust their fellow citizens. They do not realize that most people in modern democracies do not harbour secret fascist fantasies, and that the best way to respond to those who do is to meet their bad arguments with better arguments.
Nick Cohen (You Can't Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom)
Just look at the statistics. In China alone, as far as can be estimated, some 60 million people were killed. In the Soviet Union, it was over 20 million. In Cambodia, 2 million, which in proportion to the population represented the worst genocide in human history. Another 2 million were killed in North Korea, at least a million in Eastern-Central Europe, 1.7 million in Africa, 1.5 million in Afghanistan, and over 150,000 in Latin America. All these figures, by the way, are apart from the world wars. Rather, they refer to murders committed in the name of the most lurid denial of God, Marxism.
Fr. George W. Rutler (Grace and Truth: Twenty Steps to Embracing Virtue and Saving Civilization)
For this new political configuration, convincing people of their unproven theories was never the real point—it was only ever a tool. The point, consciously or not, is to foster denial and avoidance. The point is not to have to do hard and uncomfortable things in the face of hard and uncomfortable realities, whether Covid, or climate change, or the fact that our nations were forged in genocide and have never engaged in a remotely serious process of making repair. Denial is so much easier than looking inward, or backward, or forward; so much easier than change. But denial needs narratives, cover stories, and that is what conspiracy culture is providing.
Naomi Klein (Doppelganger: a Trip into the Mirror World)
But once you’re aware of the political power model of history, the next goal is to guard against both the Scylla and the Charybdis, against being too credulous and too cynical. Because just as the atrocity story is a tool for political power, unfortunately so too is genocide denial — as we can see from The New York Times’ Pulitzer-winning coverup of Stalin’s Ukrainian famine
Balaji S. Srinivasan (The Network State: How To Start a New Country)