A right-wing British historian goes on trial Monday on charges of denying the Holocaust occurred Ã¢?? a crime punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment in this country once run by the Nazis.
The trial of David Irving opens amid fresh Ã¢?? and fierce Ã¢?? debate over freedom of expression in Europe, where the printing and reprinting of unflattering cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad has triggered violent protests worldwide.
Irving, 67, has been in custody since his arrest in November on charges stemming from two speeches he gave in Austria in 1989 in which he was accused of denying the Nazis’ extermination of 6 million Jews
…Irving was arrested Nov. 11 in the southern Austrian province of Styria on a warrant issued in 1989 and charged under a federal law that makes it a crime to publicly diminish, deny or justify the Holocaust.
…In 1992, a judge in Germany fined him the equivalent of $6,000 for publicly insisting the Nazi gas chambers at Auschwitz were a hoax. [source]
A lot of things are happening these days to test the limitations of freedom of speech and expression. Notice that the cartoon issue which has nothing to do with this story was printed in the second paragraph. I suppose one should always put the fate of a holocaust denier in the context of insulting the Prophet of Muslims. Strange.
What makes me wonder is that these are actually federal laws which make it illegal for you to declare publically that you believe the holocaust never happened. I can count at least 5 other genocides in the past century that don’t get the same recognition; starting with Sabra and Shatilla, to Deir Yassin to Rwanda to Armenia.
We live in a time when people are currently as we live and breathe denying the existance of Palestine as a country and therefore as a People. They were never there, they never happened. But to deny the holocaust can get you 10 years in prison. Bruno, your prison cell-mate who killed his family, would be proud.
Perhaps it should be an International Law which bans the denying of any historic event. We’d save a lot of trouble. There would be no need to debate the most debatable subject in the world: history.
Ineed, History is written by the victors…but should everyone be allowed to own an eraser?
UPDATE: He got 3 years