The island of Tasmania is now seen in scholarly and unscholarly circles as the setting for one of the most disgraceful episodes in the recorded history of the human race. According to this story, virtually a whole people was wilfully exterminated by the incoming British—the rulers, soldiers, convicts, and free settlers. Various historians and other social scientists have described it as a policy of genocide, and a forerunner of what happened a century later in Hitler’s Europe. In his wide-ranging Fabrication of Aboriginal History. Volume 1, Van Diemen's Land 1803-1847,1 the Australian historian Keith Windschuttle inspects the evidence for this genocide. He concludes that the argument relies heavily on the errors and bias of historians.

Tasmania was once called Van Diemen’s...


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