il portale dell'ebraismo italiano

Italian Word of the Week NEGAZIONISMO

italicsBy Daniela Gross

As we have learned since childhood, denial is a terrific way to escape from reality. When we tell our fantastic stories, all our misfits and mistakes seem to magically vanish. But when it comes to history, to deny reality assumes a really different nuance. It stops being a childish play, and becomes a serious distortion. During the last week, “negazionismo” – the word of the week, which in English is translated “negationism” – often recurred in the Italian news. As in English, this expression indicates the historical revisionism denying the Holocaust, the reality of the extermination camps, and the genocide committed during the World War II.

Luckily, this time the Holocaust denial was recalled not because a new surreal revisionist stance, but thanks to the law against the “negazionismo” just approved by a large majority of the Italian Senate. This law, which in the near future will be examined for approval by the Chamber of Deputies, is a meaningful step against hate speech, xenophobia and racism. It is a way for Italy to embrace the European guidelines, protecting the victims and the historical reality.