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The working definition of Holocaust denial and distortion

The present definition is an expression of the awareness that Holocaust denial and  distortion have to be challenged and denounced nationally and internationally and need  examination at a global level. IHRA hereby adopts the following legally non-binding working  definition as its working tool. 

Holocaust denial is discourse and propaganda that deny the historical reality and the extent  of the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis and their accomplices during World War II,  known as the Holocaust or the Shoah. Holocaust denial refers specifically to any attempt to  claim that the Holocaust/Shoah did not take place. 

Holocaust denial may include publicly denying or calling into doubt the use of principal  mechanisms of destruction (such as gas chambers, mass shooting, starvation and torture) or  the intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people. 

Holocaust denial in its various forms is an expression of antisemitism. The attempt to deny  the genocide of the Jews is an effort to exonerate National Socialism and antisemitism from  guilt or responsibility in the genocide of the Jewish people. Forms of Holocaust denial also  include blaming the Jews for either exaggerating or creating the Shoah for political or  financial gain as if the Shoah itself was the result of a conspiracy plotted by the Jews. In this,  the goal is to make the Jews culpable and antisemitism once again legitimate. 

The goals of Holocaust denial often are the rehabilitation of an explicit antisemitism and the  promotion of political ideologies and conditions suitable for the advent of the very type of  event it denies. 

Distortion of the Holocaust refers, inter alia, to:

  1. Intentional efforts to excuse or minimize the impact of the Holocaust or its principal  elements, including collaborators and allies of Nazi Germany;
  2. Gross minimization of the number of the victims of the Holocaust in contradiction to  reliable sources; 
  3. Attempts to blame the Jews for causing their own genocide; 
  4. Statements that cast the Holocaust as a positive historical event. Those statements  are not Holocaust denial but are closely connected to it as a radical form of antisemitism. They may suggest that the Holocaust did not go far enough in  accomplishing its goal;
  5. Attempts to blur the responsibility for the establishment of concentration and death  camps devised and operated by Nazi Germany by putting blame on other nations or  ethnic groups.