This thesis provides a detailed and nuanced analysis of how Holocaust denial was absorbed into British far-right thought and how it was disseminated by different individuals and groups found within that political composition. Drawing on the work of historians and academics who have examined Holocaust denial, I explore both the internal and externalising use of denial within British far right parties and movements and how it served as a ‘history’ for the far right. A ‘history’ which allowed the far-right to make sense of a changing world; serving its ideological belief that a worldwide Jewish conspiracy controlled the past and present. By empirical examination of different publications of far right individuals and groups over a period of nearly sixty years I highlight that while the presentation of denial, and sites of attack on the Holocaust, evolved and changed, the basic sentiments of denial remained fixed. In doing so, the thesis supports the findings of other historians who have studied denial and demonstrated how it is an ideologically driven and mendacious reconstruction of the past. Yet in supporting these findings the thesis questions why - when Holocaust denial has been demonstrated as a false history - Holocaust denial has been presented as such a threat to the historical understanding and memory of the Holocaust by historians and academics. This thesis suggests that new approaches and debates over understanding and studying Holocaust denial are needed. By tracing the progression of denial, in a specific movement, since the end of the Holocaust new, insights are gained by understanding how denial supports the individual ideologies of the groups which propagate it. As such, this thesis makes a timely contribution to both existing knowledge of Holocaust denial and of place of Holocaust denial in academic discourses.
|Date of Award||Jun 2013|