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Epilogue

Embers of courage
ByAntoon De Baets

This book has analyzed crimes against history as manifested most notably by the assassination and disappearance of history producers; public personal attacks on history producers through hate speech, defamation, and malicious prosecution; intentional destruction of cultural heritage; and disinformation, including genocide denial, and censorship of history. It is also a double tribute: to the historians who were killed or otherwise harmed by the blows of censorship and to the historians who mustered the courage to resist the assault of power. Those who died while exercising their rights to history and memory are testimony to the fact that the historian’s craft is fragile, that its integrity runs many risks, that it needs constant vigilance and protection, that the defense of its basic principles is a duty for all, always, and everywhere. Those who resisted the censorship of history and fought organized oblivion safeguarded the integrity of the historian’s craft and often inspired or comforted those who otherwise felt alone and powerless. As a manifestation of the backfire effect of censorship, analyzing the history of the crimes against history is part of that mission.