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.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

ILLIBERAL EUROPE

Weekly Standard
10 April 2006

By Gerard Alexander

On February 20, an Austrian court sentenced the notorious British writer David Irving to three years in prison for denying in a 1989 speech that Auschwitz contained gas chambers. Many American observers had mixed reactions. They saw Irving as a loathsome anti-Semite but were uncomfortable with the thought of a person serving time behind bars for something he wrote or said, no matter how noxious.

Journalist Michael Barone probably spoke for more than a few when he said that he “shuddered” at the news of Irving’s imprisonment, “yet I can understand why Austria, like Germany, has laws that criminalize Holocaust denial and glorification of Nazism. History has its claims--heavy ones, in the cases of Germany and Austria.” In other words, criminalizing speech might not be the American way of doing business, but it’s understandably Austria and Germany’s way of dealing with their unique Nazi past. More

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