The Holocaust Story

If the Holocaust was an event in history, it should be open to the routine critical examination to which all other historical events are open. Those who feel it right to argue against the “unique monstrosity” of the Germans should be free to do so. No one should be imprisoned for thought crimes. Contrary to how Hollywood and the Israeli-Firsters have it, the Holocaust story is not about Jews. It’s about Jews and Germans together, inseparable, for all time to come.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Israeli columnist argues (correctly) that Irving should not be in prison

Levy is very right about some matters and very wrong about others. Sounds like the rest of us.

HAARETZ Last update - 08:52 26/02/2006

Denial is not a reason for arrest
By Gideon Levy

Words do not kill. So there is no statement for which it is permissible to send a person to prison. Freedom of speech is absolute, even when that which is spoken is as despicable and ridiculous as Holocaust denial. Those who start to doubt that principle will not know where to stop. Is denial of the Jewish Holocaust deserving of punishment while denial of the Armenian Holocaust, perpetrated by the Turks, is not? And why not? Because "only" a million and a half people were destroyed there?

Read more

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Big Pharma Pushes "Miracle Cure" for Holocaust Denial Syndrome

By Michael James in Frankfurt, Germany

20 February 2006

Governments, police services and prison authorities around the world are reportedly "overjoyed" by the launch of a new prescription drug that cures people who are suffering doubts about the veracity of the so-called Jewish Holocaust. Shares in Israel-based Goy & Goy Pharmaceuticals Incorporated rocketed to 89 US dollars following the long-awaited announcement of a miracle cure for Holocaust Denial Syndrome (HDS).
Read more

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Christopher Mandar sums up the recent sentencing of David Irving under the repressive thoughtcrimes laws in so-called democratic Austria.

The Verdict on Irving

by Christopher Mandar

The sentencing of British historian David Irving to three years imprisonment for holding illegal opinions has once again brought the Holocaust to mind, coming as it does on the heels of the President of Iran's recent remarks. At the same time, Irving's sentence follows two weeks of violence over the now famous series of Mohammed cartoons, and thus raises again questions about freedom of speech.

We may expect that the right wing, which has not missed an opportunity to post the Mohammed cartoons in the name of free speech, will find some convenient excuse to not in turn post Irving's various remarks on the Holocaust or, better, the writings of several prominent revisionists. It would be trivial to accuse them of hypocrisy or double standards. Of course these things are in play, and for a simple reason: Jews are us, Muslims are them.

This does not mean that Irving's sentence, and the ongoing criminal proceedings in Germany against several other Holocaust revisionists, should be a cause of complacency. On the contrary, the enforcement of such thought crime statutes across Europe is a dangerous infringement on individual rights, and, moreover, will likely give rise to less historical understanding and even increased anti-semitism.

Holocaust Denial laws, which stipulate that one may not publicly question any aspect of the standard record of Nazi atrocity and mass murder, are unique to Europe. No other period in European history, or any history, is subject to such sanction. Dozens of people are routinely fined and imprisoned in Germany, Austria, France, and other countries for having the impudence -- some say, the stupidity -- to question whether Hitler knew of the Holocaust, whether gas chambers were used at such and such a camp, whether six million died or some other number, and so on and so forth.

While the laws against such opinions may seem bizarre, they really are nothing new to Old Europe. A hundred and fifty years ago, a person questioning the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth could be imprisoned. Three hundred years ago, he could have been tortured or killed. We tend to see these things as remnants of religious superstition in our proud secular age. But that is exactly what they were not. To the average European in bygone days the events of the Bible were not mere religious beliefs, but also historical facts, which one doubted at one's peril. The only difference between then, and now, is that we have a different category of facts that people may not question.

Whatever the reasons for the current laws, they are certain to do just the opposite of what they intend. If the aim of the laws is to prevent neo-Nazism, for example, imprisoning people for their opinions about the Nazi era is bound to generate curiosity, investigation, and doubt among hitherto disinterested spectators. Since the mainstream academic establishment has been largely intimidated into silence, partly, one suspects, because of these laws, the curious student will be led to those outlets that purvey the information being sought, which not infrequently have a far-right nationalist, and even Neo-Nazi, flavor.

It will not do to say that academic historians frequently write books about the Holocaust. There is certainly no lack of bloviation about how wicked the Nazis were, but there is remarkably little analysis of what actually is supposed to have happened at dozens of camps and hundreds of shooting sites, let alone a clear and unconfused argument about the sequence of events that is not plainly copied from some "safe" analysis written decades ago. Sixty years on, we still do not even have a critical, objective and detailed treatment of the Nuremberg trials.

Because of the taboos that Holocaust Denial laws represent, mainstream historians have no choice but to either avoid rational discussion of the record of Nazi atrocity or to avoid the subject altogether, either for fear of imprisonment, as in the case of David Irving, or social ostracism, as in the case of Arthur Butz at Northwestern University. (To its great credit, Northwestern's commitment to freedom of speech and the tenure system has been so far impeccable.)

Yet the failure of mainstream historians to grapple with the minutiae of Nazi atrocities postpones indefinitely our understanding of the causes and sequences of what did happen, because it is taboo to strike from the record any enshrined datum that may interfere with coherent understanding. It is often said that to prevent future Holocausts, we have to understand the Holocaust: an admirable sentiment, but understanding is exactly what we do not have on this subject. Instead what we mostly get are caricatures, personal impressions, and a lot of moral indignation, often very sentimental, passing as eloquence.

The fact that Holocaust Denial laws are enforced mostly in European countries, along with the fact that many Jews, among them, Deborah Lipstadt, Raul Hilberg, Ronald Dworkin, and David Guttenplan, have come out against these laws, must certainly weaken the argument that these laws are in place only to satisfy Jewish sensibilities or to allow some Jewish groups to use the Holocaust for political or economic gain.

However, because no one in the non-Jewish intellectual mainstream is willing to grapple cleanly with the issues revisionists raise, the onus is placed squarely on Jews to revise their own history, a difficult, and probably heart-breaking, task. Since their failure here is therefore understandable, and probably to some degree inevitable, it further means that over time the effects of Holocaust Denial laws will be blamed on Jews, who are, after all, the perennial scapegoats. That any Jew would be so foolish as to publicly endorse these laws, in whole or in part, only worsens the threat.

A further negative consequence to Holocaust Denial laws, of course, is that it sets a precedent for current social norms on limiting free speech. Those Mohammed cartoons may well be illegal in twenty years time.

Holocaust Denial laws accomplish nothing positive. They bracket off a series of historical facts from scrutiny, ensuring that our understanding of 20th Century European history will continue to be frustrated and confused. They do nothing to enhance our understanding or awareness of the circumstances or timeline of atrocity or genocide, making it impossible to stop these things from happening again. By making revisionism a crime, they ensure that students will be drawn to those (frequently anti-establishment) sources that have no problem with dispensing revisionist studies, and much else besides. By invoking such laws in the name of the Jewish people, they in effect make the Jewish people responsible for such laws, even though many Jews are opposed to them, and thus plant the seeds for resentment and hatred of Jews.

Furthermore, such laws provide a useful template for immigrants from more closed minded societies, who will doubtless use them as a means for implementing their own laws about illegal opinions in the years to come.

Most ruinously, the laws have emasculated the academy, and the profession of history in particular. Judging by the way the Holocaust is handled, one would think that the primary job of an academician, or an academic historian, was to deliver shrill ad hominems against the holders of objectionable opinions, while delivering dull and vapid lectures about mutual tolerance.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The essence of scholarship is good will, generosity, and a constant quest to learn something new: it is not a judgmental endeavor, precisely because it is not an ego-driven endeavor. Yet what passes for discussion on this topic in the academy, judging by recent remarks and petitions, is little more than feel good pandering.

In this respect, despite his sometimes crude and unfeeling manner of expression, his flamboyance, rudeness, and obvious partisanship, David Irving has done more for the advancement of knowledge of the Third Reich than any clutch of his morally smug opponents. For his hard work, deep archival study, and robust argument, he now pays a heavy price. His peers in academia and in the mainstream, on the other hand, keep mum, leaving the mortgage on our common house of intellect to be paid by the future, assuming, of course, that it is not converted to a mosque in the meantime.

A CODOHWeb Exclusive

Monday, February 20, 2006

Austria sentences Irving to jail for Holocaust denial

It is a dark day for Austria and Western Europe. David Irving is sentenced to three years in prison for "denying the Holocaust." It is a shame that Irving didn't make a more heroic stand. Still history will ultimately rule here. Austria's actions are an embarrassment to Europe and this is now evident throughout the entire world of Islam.

Austria sentences Irving to jail for Holocaust denial

By Mark Heinrich 1 hour, 17 minutes ago

VIENNA (Reuters) - An Austrian court sentenced British historian David Irving to three years in prison on Monday for denying the Holocaust during a 1989 stopover in Austria, dismissing his argument that he had changed his views.

Irving pleaded guilty, hoping for a suspended sentence, but the Vienna criminal court concluded he was only making a pretence of acknowledging Nazi Germany's genocide against Jews in order to escape a jail term.

read more


20 February 2006

Timeline: David Irving's battles

David Irving is on trial in Austria facing charges of denying the Holocaust. The BBC News website looks back at his controversial career.

Read more

British historian Irving admits to denying Holocaust

Although Irving doesn't appear to be taking a brave "Here I Stand"-like position, as many would prefer he has made a key point when he commented:
"That was no Holocaust denial, that was only (a statement) about a part of the (Holocaust) history," Irving said. This strikes at the critical question of "What is Holocaust Denial?"

It appears that criticism of any aspect of the Holocaust amounts to "denial." The Holocaust has taken on religious dimensions with the standard Holocaust canon being considered inerrant and supported by law in many so-called Western democracies. Therefore Irving has earned heretic status by questioning that very inerrancy of the Holocaust. The media likes to suggest that "deniers" reject the entirety of the Holocaust -- but this is untrue. The reality is that bits and pieces are rejected which then amounts to the charge of denial of the entirety of the Holocaust.

The Holocaust happened -- even most "deniers" would agree to this. The real question is what was the Holocaust? How did this happen? How extensive was the tragedy of the Jews of Europe? No other event in history is defined as the sum of its parts. No one defines the Vietnam war by the number of casualities. Surely no one would suggest that if a historian claimed fewer casualties that they denied that Vietnam happened. We often here anti-revisionists draw a comparison to Slavery. But again, the period of Slavery in the United States is never defined by how many slaves labored. Beyond the specialists, who even knows that number?

The Holocaust is treated not as other historical events but with all the protection of religion. You will believe or you will be charged with heresy. The story of the Holocaust is inerrant as is the Bible. Today we are in a period of the Holocaust Inquisition. We can only long for the freedom that will arrive with the Holocaust Reformation. Irving may not stand by his works of the past--but the time will come when a brave stand will be made -- and then the truth will set us free.

British historian Irving admits to denying Holocaust

VIENNA (AFP) - British historian David Irving admitted in an Austrian court to having denied the Holocaust in 1989 but said he no longer holds that view.

"I acknowledge my guilt on this charge," Irving said, seated behind a witness stand facing judge Peter Liebetreu.

Irving, who faces a possible 10 years in jail, said he now realized his statement that "there were no gas chambers in Auschwitz (was) false."

But Irving had earlier told reporters upon entering the court in central Vienna in handcuffs that it was "ridiculous for me to be standing here on trial for something I expressed 17 years ago."

"I am not a Holocaust denier," he said. "My views have changed. History is a constantly growing tree. ... The more documents are available, the more you learn, and I have learned a lot since 1989."

Asked about the Holocaust, he said: "I would call it the Jewish tragedy in World War II" and that millions of Jews died.

Irving, whose handcuffs were removed as the trial began, insisted on the accuracy of his historical research, as Liebetreu peppered him with questions about Holocaust denials he had made in the past and how he felt about them now.

Irving said he had changed his mind since 1989 after discovering documents, some of them from Adolf Eichmann, who organized the Nazi genocide of the Jews, while on a trip in Argentina.

But Irving insisted on the logic of some of his past statements, such as saying that the fact that 100,000 people survived Auschwitz was a sign that the gas chambers did not exist, even if he now regretted the formulation.

Under questioning from prosecutor Michael Klackl, Irving also refused to say that his statement about the gas chambers was tantamount to denying the Holocaust occurred.

"That was no Holocaust denial, that was only (a statement) about a part of the (Holocaust) history," Irving said.

Klackl later told reporters: "We know about David Irving, that he always tries to arrange every evidence and find many reasons why you should take his argument in the right way."

Klackl said he was "convinced" the jury of six women and two men would reach a verdict Monday, although he refused to speculate on the outcome.

Irving, 67, faces a 10-year prison sentence under an Austrian law that prosecutes those who "deny the genocide by the National Socialists or other National Socialist crimes against humanity."

The right-wing historian was arrested in November after a routine check on a highway in Austria.

The warrant for his arrest was issued by a Vienna court in 1989 after he allegedly denied at meetings in Austria that the Nazi regime used gas chambers in concentration camps.

Irving was on trial for also saying that the November 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom against the Jews was not the work of the Nazis but "unknown" people who had dressed up as storm troopers and that Adolf Hitler had in fact protected the Jews.

The Holocaust was Nazi Germany's systematic slaughter of some six million Jews, mainly in the later years of World War II.

Irving has become notorious worldwide for attempting to establish, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that Hitler was not party to the Holocaust, that there were no gas chambers in Auschwitz, and that the number of Jews killed by the Nazis was greatly exaggerated.

He has been condemned by the courts several times, notably in Britain and Germany, and last year he was refused entry to New Zealand.

He is reportedly also banned from residing in Australia, Canada, Italy and South Africa as well as Germany.

Irving sparked widespread outrage with his book "Hitler's War" in 1977, in which he claimed the Nazi dictator did not know about the mass killings of Jews until 1943 and that he never ordered the Holocaust.

In 2000, Irving lost a high-profile libel case in London against US historian Deborah Lipstadt, who called him a "Holocaust denier" in her book, "Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory."

Irving carried a copy of "Hitler's War" when he entered court Monday.

Original Story

Irving tests Europe's free speech

"In Germany and in Austria [...] we can't afford the luxury of the Anglo-Saxon freedom of speech argument in this regard. [...] It's not that I don't understand it, it's just not for us."

The battle lines are drawn. Freedom of speech will prevail or it will not. What truth really requires the imprisonment and persecution of those who do not believe?

Irony of ironies: Would George Orwell be imprisoned for ThoughtCrimes in 2006? In his Notes on Nationalism, Orwell wrote "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear... Is it true about the gas ovens in Poland?"

Irving tests Europe's free speech
By Clare Murphy
BBC News

Mr Irving may well say he has changed his mind on gas chambers

The reputation of David Irving, the Holocaust-denying historian, was shattered at a libel trial six years ago, to the delight of those disgusted by his revisionism.

But as Europe proudly flexes its freedom of speech credentials in the ongoing row over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, even some of his enemies are uneasy that he now faces up to 10 years in an Austrian jail for his unpalatable historical views.

The British academic will go on trial in Vienna next week over two speeches he made in Austria in 1989, in which he disputed the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz.

While a number of European countries have laws against Holocaust denial, nowhere has the ban been more sacred than in Germany and Austria, whose very identities have been forged from the rejection of what was perpetrated in the middle of the 20th Century.

And yet among Vienna's chattering classes, there are the first rumblings of debate.

At the heart of the matter is whether the distortion of such a fundamental period of history is a greater problem than the suppression of the right to express contrary interpretations - however unpleasant, and indeed inaccurate, they may be.

Democratic censorship?

If Austria wants to prove itself a modern democracy, argues Christian Fleck, a sociologist at the University of Graz, you use argument not the law against Holocaust deniers.

"Are we really afraid of someone whose views on the past are palpable nonsense, at a time when every schoolchild knows of the horrors of the Holocaust? Are we saying his ideas are so powerful we can't argue with him?" he asks.

"Irving is a fool. And the best way of dealing with fools is to ignore them."

If anything, Professor Fleck contends, a trial endows such ideas with a certain credibility.

"By outlawing such opinions, inevitably we give them the frisson of the banned. We run the risk of turning them into an attractive proposition."

The sociologist may not be inundated with supporters. "But we are talking about it," he says, "and that's a start".

Nonetheless, even those in favour of Mr Irving's trial agree that hauling the man before a court is not a risk-free endeavour - as proven by the expensive three-month trial which took place in London in April 2000.

'Brilliant performer'

The Briton had brought a libel case against American academic Deborah Lipstadt, who in her book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, branded Mr Irving "one of the most prominent and dangerous Holocaust deniers".

Arguing that Professor Lipstadt and others were out to silence him by ruining his professional reputation, Mr Irving fought his own case, surrounded by a mountain of material.

Burrowing through his papers and cross-examining witnesses, he argued that while the Nazis may have killed up to four million people, there was no systematic annihilation involving gas chambers.

These, he argued, were used only to de-louse corpses and objects. He failed - the judge concluded he was an anti-Semitic, active Holocaust denier - but he illustrated that he was capable of putting up an engaging fight.

"He loves a show," says Professor Hajo Funke, a German historian who testified at the 2000 trial. "I just hope the Austrian prosecution knows what they're up against."

Revising revisionism

It may well transpire that they are not up against all that much.

For all the talk of using his trial to grandstand, Mr Irving may prove repentant.

According to his lawyer, he no longer believes the gas chambers did not exist. His strategy may well be to plead guilty, while declaring his remorse and insisting his views have changed since 1989.

He is due to don the same pin-striped suit he wore for his proceedings in London's High Court six years ago when he appears next week.

But whether he will prove the same belligerent figure as he did in those months or a self-effacing ageing gentleman remains to be seen.

Either way, the risk remains that Mr Irving will appear a martyr to free speech and that his trial will fuel the anger of those who accuse Europe of double standards - apparently ready to cite freedom of expression when it comes to printing cartoons offensive to Muslims, while incarcerating those who insult Jews.

For Professor Funke, that is a risk worth taking.

"In Germany and in Austria there is a moral obligation to fight the kind of propaganda peddled by Irving. We can't afford the luxury of the Anglo-Saxon freedom of speech argument in this regard," he says.

"It's not that I don't understand it, it's just not for us. Not yet. Not for a long time."

Original Story: BBC News

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Iran's envoy to Portugal questions Holocaust

The West can not stop Holocaust revisionism through persecution and incarceration of revisionists any longer. Iran has demonstrated that the Holocaust is not a taboo subject everywhere in the world. Mohammed Taheri says that it would take 15 years to incinerate 6 million people. For such a comment Germany or Austria would imprison you. How long would it take? Such questions should have answers. The entire Western world supports the Holocaust story through books, memorials, museums, courses. Let's get some straight answers to our questions. And more importantly let's put these ridiculous thought-police out of business. Germany -- stop your Nazi-like tactics and let's defend freedom of speech on all subjects. Free Germar Rudolf and Ernst Zuendel! Austria, free David Irving! Let's stop burning books and let's start a free exchange of ideas. Let's forget the insults and emotions and let's correct the historical myths of the Twentieth Century. Let's understand the actual tragedy of the Holocaust and dispense with the rest. Misleading myths are a barrier to peace and goodwill among nations.

Iran's envoy to Portugal questions Holocaust

LISBON (Reuters) - Iran's ambassador to Portugal told a Portuguese radio interviewer it would have taken the Nazis 15 years to burn the corpses of 6 million people, a remark reflecting the denials of the Holocaust made by his president.

"When I was ambassador in Warsaw, I visited Auschwitz and Birkenau twice and made my calculations," ambassador Mohammed Taheri said in an interview with Portuguese state radio RTP on Tuesday.

"To incinerate 6 million people, 15 years would be necessary," he said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has repeatedly denied that the Holocaust, the Nazis' killing of 6 million Jews during World War Two, took place. He has also called for Israel to be "wiped off the map."

More than 1.5 million people, mostly Jews, died at Auschwitz-Birkenau, a death camp set up by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland.

"When our president wants to talk about the Holocaust with historians and scientists, the whole world is against him," Taheri said, referring to plans by Ahmedinejad to organize an academic conference on what happened in the Holocaust.

"Historians need to get together to give their opinions," the envoy added.

Taheri said the publication by European newspapers of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, outraging many Muslims and provoking widespread protests, was an Israeli conspiracy designed to cause conflict between Muslims and Christians.

"We think that this is a conspiracy by Zionists who want to put Muslims against Christians in Europe," he said.

Iran's best-selling newspaper, Hamshahri, has responded to the Muslim outrage over published cartoons of the Prophet by organizing a competition for cartoons about the Holocaust, saying it is a test of the West's vaunted freedom of speech.

Original Story

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Buchanan Weighs in... on Mohammed and Irving

Pat Buchanan has finally weighed in on the hypocrisy of Austria and Germany with regard to the free speech arguments and the Mohammed cartoons. Buchanan points out that "British historian David Irving has spent three months in a Viennese prison awaiting trial on Feb. 20 for speeches he made 15 years ago in Austria." All decent freemen should strongly protest the treatment of David Irving, Germar Rudolf and Ernst Zuendel. The new McCarthyism of the Holocaust industry must be assigned to the dustbin of history

Secularist Stupidity and Religious Wars
by Patrick J. Buchanan

February 7, 2006

That demagogues and agitators are exploiting those cartoons of Mohammed to advance a war of civilizations and expel Europeans from the Middle East seems undeniable.

But that does not excuse the paralyzing stupidity of that Danish paper in running those cartoons - or the arrogant irresponsibility of European newspapers in plastering those cartoons all over their front pages.

The storm first broke last September, when Jyllands-Posten published 12 caricatures of Mohammed, including a lampoon of the Prophet with a terrorist bomb as a turban. In the Islamic faith, any depiction of the face of Mohammed is forbidden.

The Danish paper knew this. It published the cartoons to protest "the rejection of modern, secular society" by Muslims. The cartoons were thus a defiant provocation. And they succeeded.

The Middle East responded with a boycott of Danish foods and goods. But when, in the name of press solidarity, Le Soir and Le Monde in Paris, El Pais in Madrid and Die Welt in Berlin republished the cartoons on page one, Islam exploded. For this was an in-your-face declaration by the secularist media of the European Union that it will exercise its right to insult any God, any Prophet, any faith, whenever it so chooses.

"Enough lessons from these reactionary bigots," said Serge Faubert, editor of Le Soir. "Just because the Quran bans images of Mohammed doesn't mean non-Muslims have to submit to this."

Faubert, however, is not a Danish soldier in the Shi'ite sector of Iraq. Innocents will pay the price of his heroism.

The U.S. State Department seemed to empathize with Muslim rage, stating that "inciting religious or ethnic hatred in this manner is unacceptable." But, within hours, State had retreated to neutral ground: "While we share the offense that Muslims have taken at these images, we at the same time vigorously defend the right of individuals to express points of view."

As of today the Danish consulate in Beirut has been burned, Danish embassies have been stormed, and Danes are fleeing the Middle East. Europeans are getting out of the West Bank, Gaza and Beirut, where mobs are attacking embassies and Christian churches.

Islamic countries have recalled ambassadors from Copenhagen. People have been injured and property destroyed in mob assaults as far away as Indonesia. Relations between the West and the Islamic world have been dealt another rupturing blow.

And for what? What was the purpose of this juvenile idiocy by the Europress? Is this what freedom of the press is all about - the freedom to insult the faith of a billion people and start a religious war?

Can Europeans be that ignorant of the power of the press to inflame when Bismarck's editing of just a few words in the Ems telegram ignited the Franco-Prussian war? Did Europeans learn nothing from the Salman Rushdie episode? Or the firestorm that gripped the Islamic world when Christian ministers in the United States called Mohammed a "terrorist"?

European governments are wringing their hands over the rage and violence unleashed, but they seem paralyzed. What is the matter? Why cannot they denounce press irresponsibility while defending press freedom? Even friends of the West like Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan, President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey have denounced these cartoons as insults to Islamic values and deeply damaging to Western interests.

British Foreign Minister Jack Straw deplored republication of the cartoons as "insensitive ... disrespectful ... wrong." But German Interior Minister Wolfgang Shauble haughtily dissented, "Here, in Europe, governments have nothing to say about which publisher publishes what."

What hypocrisy. When it comes to what Germans are most sensitive about, Hitler and the Holocaust, they are ruthless censors. British historian David Irving has spent three months in a Viennese prison awaiting trial on Feb. 20 for speeches he made 15 years ago in Austria. Skeptics and deniers of the Holocaust are prosecuted, fined and imprisoned in Europe with the enthusiastic endorsement of the European press.

Nor are we all that different. Sen. Trent Lott was ousted as majority leader for a birthday-party compliment to 100-year-old Strom Thurmond. Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker was almost lynched for saying he considers New York a social pigsty. There were demands that Rocker undergo psychiatric counseling.

We have "speech codes" in colleges and "hate crimes" laws to protect minorities from abusive remarks. But newspapers that hail these codes throw a blanket of "artistic freedom" over scatological art that degrades religious symbols - from putting a figure of Christ in a jar of urine to a "painting" of the Virgin Mary surrounded by female genitalia and elephant dung that hung in a Brooklyn museum.

What has happened in Europe is that the secular press, which loves to mock the beliefs and symbols of religious faith, has now insulted a deadly serious religion that answers insults with action.

Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of seven books, including Where the Right Went Wrong, and A Republic Not An Empire.

Original Story

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Trial Highlights Limits of Free Speech in Germany

Will the Germans realize that limits on free speech means no free speech at all. Why is the Holocaust protected against any evaluation while all other topics are open to discussion? If revisionist arguments are so poor why can't they be dispelled in the court of popular opinion? Why can't the scholars address the charges of Holocaust revisionists? Instead we find books ordered to be burned. We find scholars imprisoned. We find individuals being deported from the USA where they committed no crime and sent to a country where free expression on this one subject of history can land you five years in prison. If we in the USA value our freedom, we must denounce the limits imposed in Germany and elsewhere on this one subject of history.

Trial Highlights Limits of Free Speech in Germany

On Thursday, Ernst Zündel, a Holocaust denier, faces a German court on charges of inciting racial hatred and defaming the dead. The case shows that while Germany guarantees freedom of expression, there are limits.

According to prosecutors, Ernst Zündel is one of the "most active" Holocaust deniers today. He began distributing Nazi and neo-Nazi propaganda in the 1970s and has written several books praising Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. Since 1995, he has been associated with a Web site that carries his name and is one of biggest online repositories of Holocaust-denial propaganda.

But Zündel, who was born in Germany's Black Forest region, was only able to engage in such activities because he was living outside of his native county, in Canada and the United States.

Although freedom of the press and of expression is written into German law, the country is generally more wary of free speech than the US, where Zündel's dissemination of racist literature and refutation of the Holocaust -- while distasteful to most -- was perfectly legal.

In Germany, however, it was not. Zündel was deported to his native country in March 2005 after a long legal battle with the Canadian government. He found himself immediately under arrest and up against the German justice system. If the 66-year-old is found guilty by a court in Mannheim of incitement to racial hatred, libel and defamation of the memory of the dead, he faces up to five years in prison.

Constitutional rights and constraints

Article 5 of Germany's constitution, or Basic Law, enshrines the right of freedom of speech and of the press.

"Everyone has the right to freely express and disseminate their opinions orally, in writing or visually and to obtain information from generally accessible sources without hindrance," states paragraph one of the law. "Freedom of the press and freedom of reporting through audiovisual media shall be guaranteed. There shall be no censorship."

But the next paragraph puts certain limits on that freedom, which were deemed necessary when the Basic Law was proclaimed in 1949, just four years after the end of World War II and the downfall of the Nazi dictatorship.

"These rights are subject to limitations embodied in the provisions of general legislation, statutory provisions for the protection of young persons and the citizen's right to personal respect," reads the second paragraph.

German law therefore constrains press freedom, said Udo Branahl, a professor of media law at the University of Dortmund.

"The penal law code says Holocaust denial is a punishable offense," he said. "That ban limits press freedom and overrides the right to free expression in the mass media."

Germany is not the only European country to make Holocaust denial a crime. France, Italy and Austria have similar statutes on the books.

Criminal abroad, tried in Germany

So while in the US and Canada, Zündel could freely present his "evidence" that the gas chambers and crematoria of the Third Reich did not exist, in Germany, he was committing a crime that he would be tried for, even though it was not committed on German soil.

The country's Federal Constitutional Court confirmed in 1994 that Holocaust revisionism is not protected speech.

"In weighing the importance of free speech against that of individual rights, courts must consider on the one hand the severity of the offense caused by Holocaust denial to the Jewish population in light of the suffering inflicted upon it by Germany," the court wrote at the time. "This court has consistently protected the personal honor of those defamed above the right of others to make patently false statements."

In the United States, where a broader definition of the freedom of expression has traditionally been considered one of the country's most foundations, this limitation on expression is often met with disapproval.

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death you're right to say it," goes a citation from Voltaire that's often quoted.

"I've spoken with a lot of Americans, and they don't understand us," said Wolfgang Wippermann, a professor at the Freie University in Berlin who studies Nazism and right-wing extremism. "I tell them, 'In your country, drug dealers also go to prison; these Holocaust deniers are like drug dealers, but dealing in mental poison'."

Kyle James

Original Story

Mohammed Cartoons Likely Protected by German Law

Deutsche Welle reports on the Muslim world's outrage over the recent cartoons of Mohammed. Interestingly they follow the freedom of speech connection between the Mohammed cartoons with controversial viewpoints on the Holocaust which was first pointed out in Iran. Still the writers fall short of demanding freedom for Germany's thought-criminals. Germany and Europe have arrived at a cross-roads. They can either establish true intellectual freedom in both speech and the press, choose to ban and persecute selectively, or continue to rule their countries hypocritically. The world is watching while the lives of imprisoned scholars, researchers, and publishers hang in the balance.

Mohammed Cartoons Likely Protected by German Law

Germany's stance on Holocaust denial has been targeted by some Muslims in the current row over Mohammed caricatures. But experts said the pictures -- unlike Holocaust denial -- are likely protected under German law.

"Most of Europe would not dare mock the Holocaust, and rightly so," Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain said in an interview, adding that the continent, however, would tolerate cartoons that were insulting to Islam.

"Some want to strike back and want to put Holocaust deniers in the same category," said Wolfgang Wippermann, a professor at the Freie University in Berlin who studies Nazism and right-wing extremism.

"But that is like comparing apples and oranges," he added. "The caricatures, whether good or bad, are a part of press freedom. The other side is a denial of historical fact that also has political aims."

Religious sensitivities vs. free speech

Udo Branahl, a professor of media law at the University of Dortmund, said that he had not seen all of the caricatures.

But the one which appears to have caused the most offense -- depicting Mohammed with a bomb in his turban -- would likely be protected by press freedom laws, he said. That's despite the fact that German law states that one cannot capriciously trample of the religious sensitivities of parts of the population.

"This caricature is obviously aimed at discrediting bombers who bomb in the name of Islam," he said. "The idea that bomb planting could be supported by the teachings of Mohammed is so absurd that it would be protected by the freedom of expression law."

But he adds there are limits, here as well. If the public peace would be disturbed, or it proven that the goal of the offending material was to insult a religion or a religious community, it could be a case for the justice system.

"If the caricature were, say, Mohammed as a pig, then I'm sure that it would be banned in Germany," he said.

Reporting or provocation?

While the verdict is still out as to whether or not the Mohammed cartoons violate German law, several complaints have been filed with the German Press Council, which monitors ethical violations in the media. According to managing director Lutz Tillmanns, individuals offended by the caricatures have a right to submit a complaint, which will then be reviewed by the Press Council's board of members.

Tillmanns refused to say how many complaints had actually been filed against the German reprint of the cartoons, but added that passing judgment on them fell within the responsibilities of the council, which defines and maintains the standards of the press in keeping with the framework of the German constitution. Last year, the press watchdog received 750 complaints, most of which focused on purported instances of libel and slander in the press. However, instances of discrimination and sensationalist reporting with the intent to provoke have also been recorded.

In illustrating the extent to which the council was justified in reprimanding the media, Tillmanns explained it was important to differentiate between reporting an issue and endorsing it for ulterior purposes. "One has to ask if the subject matter is presented as a quote with the intent of clarifying an issue for the reader or whether it is purporting a certain position," the lawyer said.

"It must clearly and unequivocally distance itself from a subject and not be a one-to-one sensationalist approach," he stated, but declined to say which case applied to the Mohammed caricatures.

Kyle James and Kristin Zeier

Original Story

Monday, February 06, 2006


From: Agence France-Presse
From correspondents in Tehran
February 07, 2006

IRAN'S largest selling newspaper announced today it was holding a contest on cartoons of the Holocaust in response to the publishing in European papers of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.

"It will be an international cartoon contest about the Holocaust," said Farid Mortazavi, the graphics editor for Hamshahri newspaper - which is published by Teheran's conservative municipality.

He said the plan was to turn the tables on the assertion that newspapers can print offensive material in the name of freedom of expression.
Read more

Sunday, February 05, 2006


This short article was written during the Winter of 2004 by revisionist scholar Germar Rudolf. It is certainly worthwhile to read Rudolf's words on the subject of the lack of civil rights in Germany today. Rudolf is currently in prison in Germany for the crime of having published books. Rudolf's anthology "Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte" was even ordered burned by judges in Germany. Today Rudolf's incarceration in Germany is the shame of the European Union. Those who cherish their freedom should be screaming from every rooftop, from every satelite radio station, from every Website that Rudolf and the other thought criminals in todays "Democratic" Germany be set free. Rudolf's personal loss of freedom demonstrates that we have all lost our freedom. It's not that it was stolen from us but rather that we allowed it to be sacrificed on the altar of the Holocaust.

Civil Rights in Germany (or better the lack thereof)

by Germar Rudolf

Germany is a constitutional, parliamentary democracy with an independent legal system based on the rule of law. That is what the German government claims and what the German "Basic Law" spells out. The Problem is that all governments of the former communist countries used to claim exactly the same thing, and that their constitutions read nicely too, on paper. The truth, as we all know, was different in those countries.

So what is the truth about Germany today? The truth is that in Germany:

* folksingers are threatened with imprisonment for singing peaceful songs;

* a professor who writes his disbelief about certain historical events in a
footnote, written in Latin(!), in a scholarly anthology(!) was prosecuted and
threatened with jail, and the anthology was confiscated and burned;

* a judge, writing a well-founded, but highly controversial book on historical topics, saw his book confiscated and burned, his pension cut, and his PhD title withdrawn as a result of this;

* a history teacher was sent to jail for uttering historical dissent in a
private letter to a high-profile personality;

* a professor criticizing internationalism was kicked out of his job, harassed, prosecuted and driven into suicide;

* a historical dissenter was sent to prison for more than two years just because he published peaceful, scholarly historical material;

* well-founded, heavily footnoted books on political and historical topics, authored by academics with plenty of credentials, were and are being confiscated and burned by court order;

* authors, editors, publishers, printers, wholesalers, retailers, importers
and exporters, warehouses, and customers buying more than two copies of a
certain medium with peaceful, yet dissenting views on history or politics can be prosecuted for producing, stocking, importing/exporting, distributing such dissident material;

* the authorities hide from their citizens, which media are outlawed, so that one cannot possibly know whether or not one commits a crime when
distributing such media;

* judges are threatened with prosecution because they did not punish political and historical dissenters harshly enough;

* defense lawyers are prosecuted if they try to introduce evidence showing that the dissenting historical views of their clients, for which they are prosecuted, are in fact correct;

* Internet providers are forced by law to censor the Internet by not forwarding dissenting political and historical material to their customers;

* the authorities are actually proud of conducting more than 10,000 criminal prosecutions every year(!) against persons for having committed peaceful
"thought crimes", or more than 100,000 persecutions of peaceful dissenters in
ten years!

You never heard of these things! Here you can find the evidence for it:

* German Censorship in Law and in Practice
* Case Studies of Civil Rights Violations in Germany
* Internet Censorship in and by Germany
* An Essay on Germany's Civil Rights Situation

"Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." Hebrews 13:3

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Merkel Urges Action to End Iran's Nuclear Program Now

New York Times, February 5, 2006


MUNICH, Feb. 4 —Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said Saturday that the world must act now to stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, evoking her nation's own history as a cautionary tale of what can happen when threats to peace remain unchecked.

"We want, we must prevent Iran from developing its nuclear program further," Mrs. Merkel told an audience of top security officials and policy makers during a speech to the annual Munich Conference on Security Policy.
Mrs. Merkel, whose speech came on the same day that the International Atomic Energy Agency voted to report Iran's case to the United Nations Security Council, said Germany's own experiences during the 1930's should be a warning over how to deal with Iran.

"Now we see that there were times when we could have acted differently," she said. "For that reason Germany is obliged to make clear what is permissible and what isn't."
Read more


NU professor backs denial of Holocaust by Iran chief

Jewish leaders fear support could add credibility to view
By Jodi S. Cohen
Tribune higher education reporter
Published February 4, 2006

A Northwestern University professor known for denying the Holocaust happened has publicly sided with Iran's hard-line president, who has been on a campaign against Israel.Engineering professor Arthur Butz said Friday that he agrees with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remarks calling the Holocaust a "myth."

Butz said his comments supporting the president recently were published by the English-language Tehran Times and Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency.
Read more

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Cartoons and Hypocrisy


Danes Finally Apologize to Muslims (But for the Wrong Reasons)


In many European countries, there are laws that will land in jail any person who has the chutzpah to deny not only the historicity of the Jewish holocaust, but also the method by which Jews were put to death by the Nazis. In some of these countries, this prohibition goes as far as prosecuting those who would claim or attempt to prove that less than 6 million jews were slaughtered by the Nazis.

In none of these countries are there similar laws that threaten people with loss of freedom and wealth for denying that large percentages of gypsies, gays, mentally retarded, and other miscellaneous "debris of humanity" were also eliminated by the Jew-slaughtering Nazis.
Read more

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Michael A. Hoffman II Interviewed by the Iranian Mehr News Agency
January 4, 2006

Mehr News: As you know, nowadays the "holocaust" has been turned in to a religion. How has this come about?

Hoffman: The US Constitution mandates a separation of church and state; that is to say, there can be no establishment of any single religion as the official creed of the US government. The Judaics managed to get around this through the "Holocaust." By pretending that the "Holocaust" is history, they turn what is actually a synagogue into a "holocaust museum."
Read more

Right to Blasphemy

This story touches on Freedom of the press. It is relevant to the Holocaust story only in that we find Germans arguing that a "right to blasphemy" is anchored in democratic freedoms. In France too we hear of the right to "caricature God." Here actually the Europeans are correct. A right to blasphemy is a democratic freedom. How is it that we can blasphemy God but not question any aspect of Holocaust? Has Auschwitz gained greater significance in Europe than Christ? Germany and France ought to rethink their repressive anti-revisionist laws and empty their prisons of their thought-criminals. Which should be a greater crime -- blasphemy against God or blasphemy against Auschwitz?

Papers Republish Controversial Cartoons

By ANGELA CHARLTON, Associated Press Writer Wed Feb 1, 5:35 PM ET

PARIS - French and German newspapers republished caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad on Wednesday in what they called a defense of freedom of expression, sparking fresh anger from Muslims.

The drawings have divided opinion within Europe and the Middle East since a Danish newspaper first printed them in September. Islamic tradition bars any depiction of the prophet to prevent idolatry.

The cartoons include an image of Muhammad wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a burning fuse and another portraying him holding a sword, his eyes covered by a black rectangle.

The front page of the daily France Soir on Wednesday carried the headline "Yes, We Have the Right to Caricature God" along with a cartoon of Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and Christian gods floating on a cloud. Inside, the paper reran the Danish drawings.

Original Story