9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN31 Ethnic Relations, Racism and Antisemitism

2009-09-05 11:00:00 2009-09-05 12:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 11:00 - 12:30 Racism, Antisemitism and the Media Building II, C5.09

Holocaust Denial and Media Discourse in Moldova

The paper attempts to examine the phenomenon of Holocaust denial in Moldova as an element of ethno-nationalistic identity construction in Moldova and how it is presented by Moldovan media discourse. The paper will try to answer the question: how important is the media role in the construction of ethno-nationalistic identity by using Holocaust denial in Moldova.
Moldova has officially declared itself a multicultural multiethnic state and it has followed a pro-democratic pro-European political course. Paradoxically, on a different level the phenomenon of Holocaust denial has grown and occupies an influential position in the discourse of academic history and among a certain part of national socio-political elites. Holocaust 'revisionism' has become a tacitly accepted 'mainstream' view within a section of intelligentsia, including the history department of the main state university. The study of the Holocaust itself has been discouraged in some institutions. In particular, the facts of the genocide against Jews during the Romanian occupation of Moldova (1941-1944) are questioned and distorted in Moldova today. Holocaust denial serves as a political project of reunification with Romania on the basis of ethnic linguistic ties. Holocaust denial is a part of the pan-Romanian identity and ideology and it can be considered as rather an "imported" phenomenon in Moldova.
A significant section of the media plays an important role in promoting ethno-nationalism by employing argumentative strategies of Holocaust denial.
Deniers appearing in the media may use different strategies such as accusation of others or transfer of the charge to others (eg. stressing exclusive German responsibility for the Holocaust).