Feb 20, 2006

Deny the Holocaust, go to jail.

David Irving, a Third Reich historian, has long been known for his controversial positions that include a denial of Hitler's Final Solution. The Austrian government has now sentenced him to three years in prison for publishing his views.

Austria, who decided to bow to the Nazis during WWII, and Germany have placed laws that would punish people who either promote National Socialism and/or deny the Holocaust. While I find such views ignorant and reprehensible should someone go to jail for simply promoting a belief? Pornographers, such as Larry Flynt, insist that free speech is not only about protecting what you love, but it's also about protecting what you hate. Should the same reasoning apply here regardless of how despicable the speech is?

These countries started these laws as a PR stunt to try and convince the rest of the world that they were eradicating anti-semitism from the region. I guess they believe locking people up will destroy ideas, cause history will show that's always worked. They did a bang of job when they jailed Hitler himself. Well done Austria and Germany. Keep up the good work of never letting history teach you anything.

"The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. I mean in this century's history. But we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century." - Dan Quayle

Holocaust denier: 3-year jail term

Loveline: Adam gets a phone sex worker to work in the Holocaust in her act.


Mattbear said...

While I believe fervently in freedom of speech and expression, these laws might be in place for a reason other than just PR. The Nazi party still exists there and has some power.

Not recognizing the errors of history makes it easier for them to be repeated. Holocaust deniers do more for the Nazi party than one might realize.

And lest you think only Austria jails holocaust deniers, Canada has done so too. Ernst Zuendel was put in prison there for a pamphlet he published. While it wasn't for a holocaust denial law exactly, that was the real problem. If you haven't seen the documentary "Mr. Death", you ought to watch that soon - excellent documentary that deals in some ways with Zuendel's case.

Wiwille said...

See I don't buy the fact that Germany and/or Austria have passed such laws to stamp out the Neo Nazi movement. Why did they stop there? Why do they still allow memebers of the party to be elected to parliment? Hell why do they allow the party to still be recognized as a legitimate one?

I'm adamantly against Canada's imprisonment of Holocaust deniers. It shows a real apathy on their society's part to instead of countering their speech with fierce debate, education, etc. they'd rather lock them up and not worry about it. Canada, Austria, and Germany, like many in the US, seems to rather have this "safe" view of freedom of expression rather than accepting that true exchange of unfiltered thought can be dangerous. I'd rather live with the danger and allow the good people of our culture to debate any such thoughts and hopefully change the minds of people who think such ways.