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Posted: 2/21/2006 12:49:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/21/2006 12:50:12 PM EDT by imposter]
I have actually read one of this guy's books. I got the book from one of my relatives, who is a conspiracy theorist. Irving had dug up some pretty intesting original material, but many of his conclusions were pretty out there, and his obsession with Jewish influence was pretty transparent.


Austria sentences Irving to jail for Holocaust denial By Mark Heinrich
Mon Feb 20, 2:46 PM ET

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.

"The court did not consider the defendant to have genuinely changed his mind," presiding judge Peter Liebetreu told the court after pronouncing the sentence. "The regret he showed was considered to be mere lip service to the law."

Irving, 67, said he was shocked by the sentence handed down by three judges and eight lay jurors and lodged an immediate appeal. His lawyer Elmar Kresbach said that even if Irving lost the appeal, he was likely to serve a maximum 1-1/2 to two years because of his age and status as a first-time offender.

Irving was arrested on a return visit to Austria last November, based on a warrant over lectures and a press interview he made in 1989 in the Alpine republic, where denying the Nazi genocide is a crime punishable by one to 10 years in prison.

"I'm not a Holocaust denier. Obviously, I've changed my views," Irving told reporters on his way into the court carrying a copy of "Hitler's War," among dozens of books on Nazi Germany and World War Two the self-taught historian has written.

Irving acknowledged denying in 1989 that Nazi Germany had killed millions of Jews but said he changed in his mind in 1991 after coming across personal files of Adolf Eichmann, the chief organizer of the Holocaust, during a speaking tour in Argentina.

"I said that then, based on my knowledge at the time, but by 1991 when I came across the Eichmann papers, I wasn't saying that anymore and I wouldn't say that now," he said.

"The Nazis did murder millions of Jews," added Irving, who addressed the court in fluent German.

IRVING SAYS FREE SPEECH DENIED

He argued the case against him was a denial of his right to free speech and that historians in Austria and Germany, which has similar laws against Holocaust denial, were being told by lawmakers how to write history.

"Of course this trial is a question of freedom of speech," Irving told reporters. "The law is an ass here."

Austria is keen to show it is tough on Holocaust denial since a significant number of Nazi leaders including Adolf Hitler came from Austria, and Jews and other critics accused the country of glossing over its past for decades after the war.

Austria's 1986-92 president, Kurt Waldheim, admitted to hiding his service in Nazi Germany's army in the Balkans during World War Two and became unwelcome in many countries.

State prosecutor Michael Klackl contended that Irving was a serial "falsifier of history," dressed up as a martyr by right-wing extremists, and that his courtroom admissions only paid lip service to Austrian law.

"He's continued to deny the fact that the Holocaust was genocide orchestrated from the highest ranks of the Nazi state," Klackl said, citing examples of statements Irving made in interviews during the 1990s after his supposed turnabout.

Kresbach had asked the court for leniency because he said Irving had moderated his views and posed no threat to a stable Austrian democracy six decades after World War Two.

"Irving had expected certain strictness by the court because he was a very well known case. But the sentence was too harsh. It became a bit of a (political) message trial and the message was too strong," Kresbach told reporters after sentencing.

But Klackl said Irving remained an icon for neo-Nazis and revisionist historians worldwide.

Irving was arrested while on his way to address Austrian radical rightist student fraternity Olympia.

The prosecution said he attended meetings of "revisionist" historians, those dismissing the Holocaust, even after the time of his professed insight into the truth of the genocide, in which 6 million European Jews were killed by Nazi Germany.

A British High Court ruling in 2000 rejected Irving's libel suit against an American professor and her publishers, declaring Irving "an active Holocaust denier ... anti-Semitic and racist."


news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060220/wl_nm/austria_irving_dc_4

I think it is a rotten idea to lock him up. It makes it seem like his arguments can not be met, and they will turn him into a martyr. Better to debate these folks and hold their ideas up to ridicule, rather than forcing them underground where such nonsense can fester.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 12:50:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/21/2006 12:51:43 PM EDT by DK-Prof]
Guess what?

While I'm in the U.S., I obey U.S. laws (even though they do not always coincide with the laws in Denmark). This guy should have done the same - since some european countries have specific laws against denying known historical events.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 12:50:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/21/2006 12:54:43 PM EDT by hardcorps1775]
it's a d00p...consensus is the holocaust DID happen and although this guy's a moron, what the austrian .gov did is st00pider...

thread one
thread two
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 12:55:41 PM EDT
So if I go to Austria and say that Hitler wasn't such a bad guy, he was just misunderstood, they can put me in prison?

Have they learned NOTHING?

Sieg heil! Sieg heil! Geschichte macht frei!
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 12:56:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/21/2006 12:57:21 PM EDT by DK-Prof]

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
So if I go to Austria and say that Hitler wasn't such a bad guy, he was just misunderstood, they can put me in prison?



No - that's just an OPINION, and is fine.


But if you say that Germany DIDN'T kill any Jews or order the Holocaust, then you are running afoul of their specfic laws.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 1:12:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/21/2006 1:13:06 PM EDT by imposter]

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Guess what?

While I'm in the U.S., I obey U.S. laws (even though they do not always coincide with the laws in Denmark). This guy should have done the same - since some european countries have specific laws against denying known historical events.


As an alternative viewpoint, certain things are right or wrong regardless of where you happen to be standing. Free speech is, IMHO, a fundamental right, as well as sensible policy.

I'm sure anyone who has had to deal with campus speech codes knows that they (1) are wrong and (2) exacerbate the problems they seek to supress.

Irving may be going to jail in Austria, but that is not going to stop him from being lionized by the kooks here.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 1:13:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/21/2006 1:14:10 PM EDT by thedoctors308]
Looks like some Europeans did not learn the lessons of WW2.
Their tolerance only extends to speech they agree with.
Will we see a holocaust of holocaust deniers?
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 1:27:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:
Looks like some Europeans did not learn the lessons of WW2.
Their tolerance only extends to speech they agree with.
Will we see a holocaust of holocaust deniers?



What?

Where was "free speech" a huge issue in World War 2 exactly? Were the Jews being denied free speech when they were being gassed? Was free speech somehow the reason Poland was invaded?

What specific "lessons" are you speaking of?


And how is ONE SPECIFIC prohibition against Holocaust Denial some huge repression of free speech.


Why aren't boobs and nudity allowed on network TV in the U.S.? They are in Austria? Oh noes - the U.S. is such a repressive state with no free speech

Please - while the law is silly, it is not some huge undermining of free speech, but a very specific prohibition, tied to a very specific historical even. As such, it doesn't fundamentally really undermine anything, nor is there a "slippery slope" argument here, as far as I see it. This kind of "limit" on free speech is similar to laws against burning flags (which many U.S. citizens would support, as woudl I) but which some liberals would undoubtedly see as some huge limit on free speech.

Like I said, I agree the law is silly, but I really don't see it as some huge restriction on freedom of speech.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 1:29:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
So if I go to Austria and say that Hitler wasn't such a bad guy, he was just misunderstood, they can put me in prison?



No - that's just an OPINION, and is fine.


But if you say that Germany DIDN'T kill any Jews or order the Holocaust, then you are running afoul of their specfic laws.



Sometime you have to do so to point out how foolish they are.


This guys a loon, but the notion that something in history should be codified in law and never questioned again is flat out foolish. His jail sentance for stating what he thinks seems to me to cut the legs out from under European nations wagging thier fingers about free speech.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 1:35:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:
Looks like some Europeans did not learn the lessons of WW2.
Their tolerance only extends to speech they agree with.
Will we see a holocaust of holocaust deniers?



What?

Where was "free speech" a huge issue in World War 2 exactly? Were the Jews being denied free speech when they were being gassed? Was free speech somehow the reason Poland was invaded?

What specific "lessons" are you speaking of?


And how is ONE SPECIFIC prohibition against Holocaust Denial some huge repression of free speech.


Why aren't boobs and nudity allowed on network TV in the U.S.? They are in Austria? Oh noes - the U.S. is such a repressive state with no free speech

Please - while the law is silly, it is not some huge undermining of free speech, but a very specific prohibition, tied to a very specific historical even. As such, it doesn't fundamentally really undermine anything, nor is there a "slippery slope" argument here, as far as I see it. This kind of "limit" on free speech is similar to laws against burning flags (which many U.S. citizens would support, as would I) but which some liberals would undoubtedly see as some huge limit on free speech.

Like I said, I agree the law is silly, but I really don't see it as some huge restriction on freedom of speech.



The point is maybe there was no law saying you couldn't call hitler an insane maniac but the firing squad would definitely put a damper on your next disparaging comment of the furor, right?
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 1:41:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
So if I go to Austria and say that Hitler wasn't such a bad guy, he was just misunderstood, they can put me in prison?

Have they learned NOTHING?

Sieg heil! Sieg heil! Geschichte macht frei!


Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 1:41:49 PM EDT
Are they going to jail all the ROPers that have this same viewpoint? I doubt it.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 1:44:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Like I said, I agree the law is silly, but I really don't see it as some huge restriction on freedom of speech.


The 1st Amendment, like the 2nd, was considered by our FFs to be a right of all people. And specifically, the 1st was about political speech. His was a political statement. When you restrict political speech it is, by definition, a huge restriction. While I think he's a loon the Austrians are denying him a inalienable human right, IMO.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 1:52:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/21/2006 1:55:28 PM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 1:54:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Guess what?

While I'm in the U.S., I obey U.S. laws (even though they do not always coincide with the laws in Denmark). This guy should have done the same - since some european countries have specific laws against denying known historical events.



I do no think that we can deny that the holocaust happened...

But putting a guy in jail for publicly denying it is bullshit...his free speech was denied...this is EXACTLY what the Nazi's would have done...

He is a political prisoner in my book, even though he is an asshat scumbag.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 1:54:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:
Looks like some Europeans did not learn the lessons of WW2.
Their tolerance only extends to speech they agree with.
Will we see a holocaust of holocaust deniers?



What?

Where was "free speech" a huge issue in World War 2 exactly? Were the Jews being denied free speech when they were being gassed? Was free speech somehow the reason Poland was invaded?

What specific "lessons" are you speaking of?


And how is ONE SPECIFIC prohibition against Holocaust Denial some huge repression of free speech.


Why aren't boobs and nudity allowed on network TV in the U.S.? They are in Austria? Oh noes - the U.S. is such a repressive state with no free speech

Please - while the law is silly, it is not some huge undermining of free speech, but a very specific prohibition, tied to a very specific historical even. As such, it doesn't fundamentally really undermine anything, nor is there a "slippery slope" argument here, as far as I see it. This kind of "limit" on free speech is similar to laws against burning flags (which many U.S. citizens would support, as woudl I) but which some liberals would undoubtedly see as some huge limit on free speech.

Like I said, I agree the law is silly, but I really don't see it as some huge restriction on freedom of speech.



The above is VERY D.U.

The holocaust law is foolish. It is political correctness taken to the "Thought Police" stage.

It's going to make a victim and a hero out of the historian guy.

If someone uncovers some new information that says that "only" 5 million jews got killed instead of 6 million, under the current laws, that person will earn himself 10 years in jail.

The idea that a guy should rot in jail for saying the holocaust never happened, is fucking pathetic.

You know a lot of religious pamphlets are illegal in europe if they say homosexuality is a sin? They consider it hate literature. Next time you find one of those little Christian tracts in a diner, remember that it is illegal in Canada.

Brave new world. Say what you want as long as everyone thinks it's "nice" enough.

hooray for liberalism run amok.

No, I'm not a jew hater, you dumbasses.

Link Posted: 2/21/2006 2:04:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:


Like I said, I agree the law is silly, but I really don't see it as some huge restriction on freedom of speech.



Save for kiddie porn, I dont think there should be any restrictions on speech in general...

This sets a very dangerous precedent for Europe...

It may not be a huge restriction now, but what about 50 or 100 years from now?

Link Posted: 2/21/2006 2:47:54 PM EDT
lemme check my list....

now illegal to qeustion insult Jews.

now illegal to insult Muslims / Allah.

Still legal to piss all over Eupean history.


am I up on my PC-ness????
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 2:51:06 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 2:56:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By Only_Hits_Count:
lemme check my list....

now illegal to qeustion insult Jews.

now illegal to insult Muslims / Allah.

Still legal to piss all over Eupean history.


am I up on my PC-ness????



You missed one... the UN want's to adopt RoP® anti blasphemy laws in it's new Human Rights Council Charter...


ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=439306



nope I got that one... see #2?????
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 4:09:10 PM EDT
[1984]Take him to room 101[/1984]

While Irving is without a doubt full of shit, sending him away is likewise assinine.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 5:31:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pv74:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:


Like I said, I agree the law is silly, but I really don't see it as some huge restriction on freedom of speech.



Save for kiddie porn, I dont think there should be any restrictions on speech in general...

This sets a very dangerous precedent for Europe...

It may not be a huge restriction now, but what about 50 or 100 years from now?





I would agree with you if there was much ambiguity to these kinds of laws, but they really are VERY specific, and grow out of the Germanic peoples' shame and guilt over the Holocaust, and really aren't an attempt to restrict freedom of speech or political thought - just a very specific prohibition. I don't imagine this kind of law would ever be expanded to restrict any actual political expression - it is purely a way to have a legal hammer to hit neo-nazis with. That's the purpose, no other.

Here's another example. In high german, there's a formal and personal form of address "Sie" is the formal form, and "Du" is the personal form. When I was a kid living in Germany, I believe it was a crime (like a misdemeanor) to address a police officer as "Du" primarily because it was considered disrespectful and rude (and plus, the germans really are compulsive rule-followers). But it wasn't some huge restriction on freedom of expression, just a silly law that was eventaully dropped.

What's going to happen with laws like this is that in another generation, they'll eventually be taken off the books - probably in reponse to consitutional challenges or whatever.

So I honestly don't believe it'll be a slippery slope that leads to more restrictions, but rather an admittedly well-intentioned but silly law that will eventaully disappear from the books.

But I could be wrong, I often am. Maybe the islamic rulers of Germany in 300 years will use these laws to prohibit anyone from saying that there is any God other than Allah.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 2:14:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/22/2006 2:15:06 AM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 2:24:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:
The Neo Nazis have got their 'Martyr' to rally behind now.



The Iranians and other Holocaust-denying ROP'ers as well.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 2:50:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Maybe the islamic rulers of Germany in 300 years will use these laws to prohibit anyone from saying that there is any God other than Allah.




that's not too far fetched.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 3:04:05 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 6:24:02 AM EDT
It's (the anti-Nazi law) probably a response to pressures to "come to terms" with the events of WWII and "acknowledge" what happened. Though there may be some slight gray areas such as "explaining" or "making an excuse for" the Holocaust being illegal, it's probably a straightforward law. Those gray areas ar not helpful because people should indeed study the Holocaust and all the causes/reasons used. The Germans did not wake up one morning and decide to kill. A lot of things happened which made it acceptable, palatable, and allowed people to look the other way, if nothing else. Such a study would be useful to prevent such happening again.

One needs also to realize that the European legal system is different than the British and American. Austrian (and most, if not all European) law is codified, that is, offense listed, punishment indicated, as per the book. The only thing to be established is guilt or innocence. Need a new law, as in this case? Make one. There is not an evolving system of precedents as in British or the derivative American system. So, this law could not be cited in a trial regarding allah or Muhammed. Sure, an Islamic majority in one of those countries could make a simple one all their own, but the people would have to decide whether to fight or knuckle under.

So much for democracy in Europe. Without a Habsburg in the Hofburg, it all goes down the drain - sic transit gloria mundi.

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