History and Changeability of the Past
History and Changeability of the Past: Revisions, Negotiations and Updates: Historical Interpretation and Factual Truth
The problem of truth, from the point of view of a historian, arises in clearly different forms compared to those of scientists and probably also of social scholars of other disciplines. History is a narration of past events, but this narration is subject to an arbitrary selection of its parts, its documentation, the facts that make up the event under discussion. History is organized on the basis of documents, testimonies and biographical elements, but also of considerations on the structures of power, on the articulations of society and on the forms of political regimes. As the history of the 1900s amply demonstrates – of which the Shoah and the Nazi destruction of the Jews as well as Soviet communism, the history of Italy and McCarthyism in the United States, as well as the genocides of the 1990s, are touched on in this article – the interpretation of the events involved the greatest difficulty in identifying a recognized and shared truth.
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