Protecting Holocaust facts against denial and distortion

15 Sep 2021 13:45

Two GAAMAC informal partners, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and UNESCO, together with the United Nations and the European Commission, have launched a campaign against Holocaust denial and distortion.

Entitled Protect the Facts, the campaign aims to increase understanding of what Holocaust denial and distortion are, and what can be done to fight them.

Many people have heard of Holocaust denial, yet Holocaust distortion poses a more pernicious threat. Difficult to identify, distortion often goes unchallenged. Distortion serves as a bridge between mainstream and radical ideas. It doesn’t question whether the Holocaust happened; it rather excuses, misrepresents, or minimises the history.

Those who distort the Holocaust might present it in a positive light or blame it on someone else—another national group, for example, or even on Jews themselves. They might draw inappropriate comparisons to a contemporary event or honour those who were complicit in the crimes of the Holocaust. Holocaust distortion can take many forms. But it always erodes our understanding of the history of the Holocaust and its legacy. 

Some knowingly engage in Holocaust distortion to suit anti-democratic political ends or to legitimize a difficult national past. Others do so unintentionally, out of ignorance of the facts.  

Both Holocaust denial and distortion foster antisemitism, dangerous forms of nationalism, and conspiracy myths. By advancing a world where the truth is no longer valued, Holocaust denial and distortion provide fertile ground for authoritarian and anti-democratic movements.  

How to fight Holocaust distortion?

Holocaust distortion doesn’t stop at national borders, nor is it found only in one language. International cooperation is essential to countering it.

Protect the Facts is an international initiative of the European Commission, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), the United Nations, and UNESCO, who have joined forces to raise awareness of Holocaust distortion – both how to recognise it and how to counter it.

More information at