Internet macht frei?
By Sine Molbæk-Steensig
Ever since the development and extension of the Internet the phenomenon Holocaust denial has become more visible and widespread than ever before.
|This final thesis takes departure in the extensive emergence of websites containing material of Holocaust denial; especially websites that at first glance appear to represent professional and academic institutions, but at a closer look are in fact denying Holocaust and reproducing anti-Semitic stereotypes and conspiracy theories about a secret Zionist centre of power in the world.
My main objective is to investigate the effect of the Internet as a media of Holocaust denial. In order to study this I have focused on the websites of two Holocaust denial organizations; the Danish Society for Free History Research and the American Institute for Historical Review.
To obtain an adequate overview of the international Holocaust denial movement and its use of the Internet the thesis also outlines Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism in the Middle East region and the collaboration between western and Arabic deniers.
In my conclusion I submit that the websites illustrate that the internet is a powerful tool for Holocaust deniers. The web provides a platform for deniers to communicate to a large audience, spread their ideas and recruit new supporters. But more importantly it provides a space where they can escape the majority’s marginalization of them and obtain the power to define their own identity as a powerful and meaningful community. Thus the deniers confirm each others world views and the importance of their common cause; the exposure of a global Zionist conspiracy.
Furthermore, the thesis sets out to examine the implications of the Internet as a media of hate speech and freedom of opinion and expression and it reflects upon the challenge of source criticism on the net. It also offers different explanations of the basis for Holocaust denial and deals among other things with globalization and the use of history and collective memory for political purposes.