In setting I am working on, humans have been brought to the world as mind controlled slaves of a race traveling between dimensions. This master race travels between worlds and harvest the energy to power up its empire, which results in worlds destruction.

Prior to this, the world has been inhabited by elves, dwarfs, gnomes etc. In face of the invasion, those races fought the invaders. Ultimately, humans have been freed from their masters' influence, allied with other races and defeated the invaders.

Humanity is very expansionist race, so in world's present (few thousand years later), humanity dominated the world. Elves, dwarfs etc. are minorities living in small kingdoms or ghettos within human cities.

For typical human above ancient history is silly legends spread by filthy elves. Human's life is short in comparison to elves. For humanity, several generations passed, but many elves have grandparents who fought in one of these wars. This is one of the reasons for tension between the races.

How can I explain how the history has been forgotten by the humanity?

It seems that evil race that can control human minds is not something you should forgot about.

Edit To rephase the question to avoid Idea Generation : Are there real-world, historical cases that society has forgotten some of its crucial history? How has it happened (obviously it also had to be re-discovered later)? I am more interested in some kind of natural process rather than intentional propaganda targeted to send some events into oblivion.

  • $\begingroup$ Lightbulb appears This is Idea Generation! $\endgroup$
    – Aify
    Jul 22 '15 at 17:53
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, there are plenty of example in history were the new leaders made enormous efforts to change the written facts about history. But if this is the actual question, it might be a better fit for the History Stack exchange: because it is about examples in the real world. $\endgroup$
    – Vincent
    Jul 23 '15 at 3:48

Accidental Distortion of History

  • Many people thought that Troy was a fictional story until Schliemann found it again. A document with a historical kernel of truth was embellished with clearly fictional/supernatural aspects, which led to the enitre thing being disregarded.
  • The early history of Christianity has been distorted until modern sources like the Dead Sea Scrolls taught us differently. Here biblical sources which were assembled and reconciled in a complicated process were taken more literally by later generations.
  • Who remembers that the UK, US, and many others intervened in the Russian civil war? Many Russians do, but who in the West? You can still find out if you bother to look, but this is an example of things being forgotten right now.

Deliberate Distortion of History

That's getting really political. I'll try to stick to ancient stuff.

  • $\begingroup$ Troy case is the best. As there is more background in my settings, history contains many things that are nonexistent in present (most notably - powerful magic). Story-tellers through ages added more unimaginable stuff to the stories to make it more interesting. Present society thinks that events that are actual history are only scary tales. Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – dzielins42
    Jul 24 '15 at 6:21

Just use propaganda.

We already have a pretty good model for an "evil race that can control human minds"-- humanity itself. The easiest way to convince people that true history is "silly legends spread by filthy [outsiders]" is just to tell them so. You should probably continually tell them that they're intrinsically far superior to these other races while you're at it. People will believe whatever they want to believe, often preferring a pleasing lie to the truth, even about events that they witnessed with their own eyes.

For examples, consider North Korea, or pretty much any dictatorship throughout history. Actually, the more I think about it, any nation throughout history. Even relatively free societies like to make up stories about how awesome they are.

  • $\begingroup$ This would be my suggestion too. Some faction within (or without) the humans is deliberately stirring up resentment and strife $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Jul 22 '15 at 17:50
  • $\begingroup$ Or Wild West in USA, which thanks to TV is now something romantic while it had been just a total extermination of native americans. $\endgroup$
    – jaboja
    Jul 22 '15 at 18:33
  • $\begingroup$ Right. Pretty much every conquest ever has come with an accompanying myth about how glorious and/or necessary it was. These legends are only forgotten when no one even remembers the subjugated culture anymore. $\endgroup$ Jul 22 '15 at 18:37

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