Holocaust Denier Sentenced

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by trebblekicked, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. trebblekicked macrumors 6502a

    trebblekicked

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    #1
    (UK) Right-wing British historian David Irving pleaded guilty Monday to charges of denying the Holocaust and was sentenced to three years in prison after conceding he was wrong to say there were no Nazi gas chambers at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

    I doubt this is going to look like anything less than a double standard to the Muslims still fuming about the Danish cartoons. And it's difficult, as a supporter of civil liberties, to agree with a law against expressing an opinion, however vile and asinine it may be. Thoughts?
     
  2. XNine macrumors 68040

    XNine

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    #2
    So, he's being jailed just for SAYING that these events did not happen? Tha's BS.

    I mean, I could say "Hey, we've never been to the moon." And be jailed if proven wrong? (which, btw, I know we have)

    It seems ludicrous to me. I mean, the guy is a blathering idiot. And looking at him, he's old enough to know what went on, especially in a part of the world that he lives in. How about those VF rockets? How about the Tanks and the cattle cars carrying people? Not to mention the photos, and films of all of those mass graves and executions?

    He's an idiot. Can you be jailed for being an idiot? No (at least you shouldn't be). Unless of course he was a part of the SS and is tied to war crimes...
     
  3. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    I agree that this is utterly hypocritical. Anyway, if we were all to be held to things we said in a previous life, where would your Senator Byrd be now?
     
  4. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    Everyone suffers less liberty and freedom because of the nuts like this guy or the nuts killing over cartoons. Going to jail over opinion is stupid and silly just as denying millions of jews werent killed by Hitler is stupid. In the end the people are the ones getting shafted by living under what are stupid laws by the control freaks who want to control these nuts.
     
  5. Oryan macrumors 6502a

    Oryan

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    #5
    I read another article on BBC (didn't read this one) that says he made these comments in 1989 and was arrested on a warrant from then. he says that he saw evidence in 1991 that changed his opinion and he no longer denies that the holocaust occured.

    I have to agree that this probably looks very hypocritical. Isn't this a limitation of freedom of speach or something?
     
  6. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    What is the law on this sort of thing in Austria? The article doesn't say, but might it not be specifically against Austrian law to deny the crimes of the Third Reich? Not to defend such a law, but I suspect being a raving lunatic is not generically a criminal act in Austria.
     
  7. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    I'll wait for Takao to chime in with a definitive answer, but iirc, I remember him mentioning that there is a law against denying the crimes of the third reich, or something closely related. Wish I could remember the thread - maybe one to do with "hate crimes"...

    This remains conjecture for the moment, however, as my memory is not to be trusted as definitive.
     
  8. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #8
    There is a specific offence of "Holocaust Denial", I believe. Bit of a sore point, I suppose. Where is Takao when he's needed?
     
  9. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #9
    Taking a cruise down denial?
     
  10. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #10
    evidently Holocaust Denial is a crime in Austria, Germany and France.

    No specific link, but a quick google will link to any number of examples, including articles mentioning the OP.

    FWIW
     
  11. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #11
    I sure like Wikipedia. The following countries all have Holocaust denial laws: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland. More than I would have thought actually and all had substantial German populations prior to WWII.

    Denial isn't anything new and one need only look towards the Balkans to find that quite a few Serbs are in denial over Srebenica. Personally, I think that the law is a good one but like so many other laws it has outlived its usefulness. Such laws should be deleted as soon as those who were alive during the event have passed on. That time is growing near as the youngest of those directly affected are now in their 60s.

    The problem is, of course, if German or Austria were to eliminate these laws from the books, the uproar would be heard around the world.
     
  12. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #12
    While I support the widest interpretation of the First Amendment of the US constitution and its protections of political speech, I also acknowledge it is too easy for Americans to be critical of limitations of free speech protections in other countries. Not only do we have our own problems with hypocrisy in this regard, but we are also not dealing with the very real consequences of a history in which fascist parties led Germany, Italy, and Austria into horror and ruin. I like to slow down in condemning laws intended to stop a repeat of such things.

    I think one has to ask oneself if you think the Nazi or Fascist parties should be allowed to be reformed? If not then what are the lines one draws to stop it from happening under different names? Should any of these states allow the teaching of fascist propaganda? That is what this "historian" is doing. I guess what I'm saying is this is not an academic exercise; the risks are real.
     
  13. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #13
    Its important that the young are taught not only the truth on history but arent allowed to forget it because it can happen again, all you need is a Tyrant and a ill informed public. This clown wasnt much of a historian if he didnt know this with a little research.
     
  14. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #14
    He is actually an excellent researcher who has uncovered an amazing amount of holocaust information and documents. There can be little doubting that. His methods and views have allowed him access to things that real historians haven't been able to get hold of (From memory he hasn't done any formal training per se - please correct me if I'm wrong).

    Unfortunately the way he uses this evidence to deny the halocaust or the severity is completely abysmal. He takes quotes out of context, obfuscates and ignores conflicting information. His work seems little more than a here's the conclusion what evidence can I find to support it kind of thing.

    The laws might seem harsh but these countries have instated them for a reason. They have suffered socially and financially under brutal regime(s) (not that long ago), and laws like these keep these ensure that they both a lid on neo-nazi groups within their borders and it also sends a message to the global community for their economy's benefit.

    It still makes me feel uneasy even though.
     
  15. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #15
    Gee, it's a shame they don't have this law in Iran.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. XNine macrumors 68040

    XNine

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    #16
    That is very interesting! Something they never taught in any school. Thanks for the information Ugg! I love learning new things such as this.
     
  17. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #17
    Holocaust denying is illegal.

    well I better go pay my window tax otherwise they'll block up my windows :( I sure hope I don't come across any sabretooth tigers today...

    (I used Windows and Tiger in the same sentence there without even trying!)
     
  18. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #18
    It's surreal to me that there's a law like this.

    Also surreal to me that Europe is still trying to justify its actions with regard to those stupid-ass cartoons.

    But that's a different matter.

    It's surreal to me that there're laws with criminal penalties for claiming a view, no matter how irrational.
     
  19. Stella macrumors 604

    Stella

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    #19
    Just a few weeks ago, the West was triumphing free speech.

    Obviously, its on the West's terms.

    Hypocrisy.
     
  20. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #20
    I bet this news has just totally wrecked Ahmadinejad's plans to vacation in Austria.
     
  21. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #21
    Well, obviously the guys conclusions were nutty, but if he wasn't encouraging violence in others or actively doing anything other that talking about a theory 15 years ago, I don't get why this is such a big deal. I mean, we do have to take responsibility for our words even if we have the freedom to say what we want, but there is no crime here. To deny people the right to say what they feel, however stupid, isn't exactly as bad as what Hitler did... but it's along the same lines. These laws seem to be just as bad as those they are claiming to be fighting.
     
  22. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #22
    :D

    And more importantly, why does the US not have a law against using Internet Explorer? Think about how much more valuable this would be than a law about holocaust denial??? :rolleyes:
     
  23. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #23
    i guess he can consider himself lucky since the penalty ranges from 1-10 years ;)

    the austrian law: (in german and i don't dare to translate that)

    http://www.unet.univie.ac.at/~a9806511/materialien/verbotsgesetz.htm

    the relevant paragraph

    "§ 3h. Nach § 3g wird auch bestraft, wer in einem Druckwerk, im
    Rundfunk oder in einem anderen Medium oder wer sonst öffentlich auf
    eine Weise, daß es vielen Menschen zugänglich wird, den
    nationalsozialistischen Völkermord oder andere nationalsozialistische
    Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit leugnet, gröblich verharmlost,
    gutheißt oder zu rechtfertigen sucht."


    it's one thing saying his opinion but trying to twist the perhaps most reported, most bureaucratic, and most systematically planned genocide is just one thing: lying

    offtopic:
    i was quite surprised to see that the 2nd google link, when searching for "1947 verbotsgesetz" was to a posting from me on macrumors just after the Law text and even before wikipedia

    that aside: the reason why i am posting so little at the moment: i've got holidays at the moment which combined with the winter olympics and meeting lots of friends leads to little time left ;) (i think the olympic ski downhill was watched by roughly 2.0 million austrians out of 8 millions .. and that at 1 pm which is hardly prime-time )
     

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