Irving Lying The Holocaust Summary

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Not only was Irving able to manipulate the concept of cognitive authority in his two books, but Holocaust revisionists in general have been able to manipulate cognitive authority of historians in other ways. Deborah Lipstadt, in her book Denying the Holocaust, offers a great insight on just how Irving and other revisionists have been able to become so prominent. She says that revisionists have been able to gain some amount of authority by “camouflaging their goals” (Lipstadt 1993). They hide behind the idea that they “uncover historical falsehoods, all historical falsehoods” and end up “ sow confusion among even the products of the highest echelons of the American educational establishment” (Lipstadt 1993). She relates a story of a senior in …show more content…
For example, in order to substantiate Irving’s claims that gas chambers were never used to exterminate Jews, Irving brought in an “expert engineer” called Fred Leuchter to testify on his behalf. Leuchter tried demonstrating that the gas chambers were not physically or chemically possible (Lipstadt 1993). He published his findings in what was called the Leuchter Report. He was paraded around by revisionists and Irving as a historical hero, but the judge in this case demonstrated Leuchters complete inexpertise in the subject matter and “dismissed his opinion as being of no greater value than that of an ordinary tourist” (Lipstadt 1993). This setback to Irving’s narrative didn’t seem to worry Irving or Robert Faurisson, a professor in France with a degree in “criticism of texts and documents, investigation of meaning and counter-meaning, of the true and the false” who was also a Holocaust revisionist (Lipstadt 1993). Lipstadt points out, similarly along the lines of cognitive authority, that the Leuchter Report, despite being debunked in court, would have a life of its own. Despite the scientific inaccuracies, it would likely be adopted as a piece of authority by revisionists simply due to its adoption of the label of scientific …show more content…
If one goes back to the original definition of cognitive authority the intersection of memory, cognitive authority, and Holocaust revisionism becomes apparent. Since cognitive authority relies on second hand accounts of experiences, as time goes on and World War II veterans die off, memory begins to fade and the general populace’s memory of the war will more and more heavily rely on cognitive authorities such as historians. Memory is also likely to change to reflect this fact. Who knows just how memory will change in response to a lack of personal experience, but it may not be a completely positive future if one’s hope is for memory to match actual history. When those with direct experiences, mostly Holocaust survivors, die off, Holocaust revisionists will likely see some gaining of ground in public memory. With the rise of white nationalism globally in the past year, this transition may have already begun to some extent. Although they are largely discredited, revisionists have shown their ideas to be persistent in the seedy underbellies of the internet and these ideas are already making their ways into

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