[ | | | 2 interested person(s) ]

How does this happen? You know I try and stay optimistic that everyone is smart and given the right chances they can achieve greatness. But check out this boob. The British "historian" and Nazi apologist, David Irving was sentenced for 3 years for pleading guilty to the denial that the Holocaust happened. Ok, there a couple issues I have here.

1. How can you be called a historian if you can't figure out that the Holocaust an event in history that claimed the lives of 5.1-6.0 million Jews, 1.8-1.9 million Gentile Poles, 200,000-800,000 Roma and Sinti, 200,000-300,000 people with disabilities, 10,000-25,000 homosexual men and 2,000 Jehovah's Witnesses happened? Shit if you can't use your research skills to figure out that this happened then you don't get the historian title. I would love to see a list of his works cited on all his 24 books.

2. Ok this guy is obviously an insensitive a-hole. He's an idiot. He has contended that most of those who died at camps like Auschwitz were not executed, but instead succumbed to diseases like typhus. There is obviously no evidence for that. But 3 years in prison? I don't agree with this. He is stupid and foolish but you don't get 3 years for being stupid. You don't get 3 years for being racist, prejudice, or anti-Semitic.

If all of Europe is going to be up in arms about freedom of expression for the publication of insensitive Muslim cartoons then you gotta tote both lines. You cannot pick and choose were it applies. Freedom of expression is freedom of expression no matter what ridiculous anti-Semitic comments you might be making.

David Irving Profile by the Anti-Defamation League
Not-So-Free Speech in Europe by Emily Messner (Washington Post)
Three years is not enough say Irving's accusers by Guardian Unlimited
Austria Imposes 3-Year Sentence on Notorious Holocaust Denier by Ny Times
Freedom on Trial by Mark Oliver (Guardian Unlimited)

2 interested person(s)

JT said... @ 2/22/2006 03:09:00 PM

I know this sounds crazy (considering that a. i'm heavily drugged right now and b. i really haven't been following this story too much as a result), but I didn't know you could be jailed for that. I must be missing something there.

What are the legal grounds on that one?

K. said... @ 2/22/2006 05:16:00 PM

jt--I guess the grounds are some law that Austria has on the books that states to "whoever denies, grossly plays down, approves or tries to excuse the National Socialist genocide or other National Socialist crimes against humanity in a print publication, in broadcast or other media."

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