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NEWS: Austria Holds 'Holocaust Denier'

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posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 12:23 PM

A British historian is being held in Austria on charges of "Denying The Holocaust". David Irving the British historian in question has argued that the scale of the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis in World War II has been exaggerated. An Interior Ministry spokesman said police were acting on a 1989 warrent to arrest him and take him into custody under laws against denying the Holocaust.

An interior ministry spokesman said police in the province of Styria acted on a warrant issued in 1989 to arrest him last Friday.

In his books, Mr Irving has argued that the scale of the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis in World War II has been exaggerated.

Mr Irving was on his way to give a lecture in the capital, Vienna.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I honestly dont know how anyone can deny the holocaust and that it occured. But if your going to do it you better not do it where they really care what happened like Austria. I think laws like this should be alright and I do support them when there is active evidence that it did occur and other people are trying to put false information out there that it didnt.

[edit on 17-11-2005 by North Rider]

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posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 12:42 PM
And this is where the idea of free speech breaks down completely

Merely questioning the "facts" of the events is now deemed to be forbidden with kangaroo courts and imprisonment, without actually having committed any offence or harmed anyone.
Everyone has the right to question events and if people don't like them doing so, they don't have to listen or, better still, have the opportunity to provide a counter argument.

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 12:51 PM
I'm torn on this issue, and I'm usually a rabid free speach advocate, being a writer.

However, there is a real need to prevent the re-writing of history.

Of course if that ever happened despite the law, it would be beneficial not to criminalize those who question the accuracy of historical fact.

Especially if they have some evidence to present. I can understand arresting a guy because he was ranting and raving and passing out 'literature' filled with nothing but unsupported fantasy. However, arresting a scholar because the ideas he comes up with aren't widely accepted or tolerated..that's too heavy a hand I think.

Better to simply charge rabid anti-semites with disturbing the peace or something, rather than create a whole new law which criminalizes something as important as free speech and the open expression of ideas.

If I was an Austrian citizen, I would have a problem with this law.

Thankfully, I am not. I live in America. So as far as I'm concerned, from a practical standpoint they can do whatever they please. Levy a death sentence on anyone eating ice cream for all I care.

[edit on 17-11-2005 by WyrdeOne]

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 12:54 PM
Actually, Irving does not deny the Holocost ever happened, even though that is what his detractors have said. After the closing arguments in his trial, Irving stated that:

Mr Irving admitted making mistakes, but said these were made innocently. He stressed he accepted that Hitler, "as head of state and of the government", was responsible for the Holocaust.
"Where I differed from many historians was in denying that there was any documentary proof of detailed direction and initiation of the mass murders by Hitler," Mr Irving said.
"In Hitler's War, I differed from other historians in suggesting that the actual mass murders were not all or mainly initiated by Hitler."

The other main contention that Irving has on the Holocost is the number of Jews who were put to death which is estimated around 6 million.

I do not like what the man has to say, but let's not distort what he has said to make him even worse than he really is.

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 01:10 PM
God bless Freedom of Speech!

I find it amusing that ‘Denying the Holocaust’ is an offence. He has never directly claimed that it didn’t happen and that people were not worked to death in Concentration Camps or deliberately killed in Extermination Camps but rather the level of proof that we have and how we evaluate it. Which is something many people have questioned - however to publicly do such a thing ruins their career. I wonder how many War Veterans like to know this happens? Especially after Austria was ‘Liberated’ from a regime who ‘punished’ people for holding an individual view on things.

As for the evidence itself, it is lacking. The basic numbers and how we evaluate it as well as educate people are wrong in my views. The evidence we have ‘now’ would not hold up in a court case in the United Kingdom and I’d be laughed out of court for attempting to bring it forward. Where are the documents that give the number 6million? Please go find the signed document.

This I see as a massive problem, however the worse is how we educate people. Not long ago I raised the point that millions of Russian’s were killed and people in my history class didn’t know this, nor did they know about gays, Slavs, et al and we are doomed to repeat such events unless we educate people correctly and allow for free and open discussion of the topic.

However in the immortal words of Theodor Herzl

From his Diary, Part I, pp. 16
“It is essential that the sufferings of Jews.. . become worse. . . this will assist in realization of our plans. . .I have an excellent idea. . . I shall induce anti-Semites to liquidate Jewish wealth. . . The anti-Semites will assist us thereby in that they will strengthen the persecution and oppression of Jews. The anti-Semites shall be our best friends”.

And this is without me even getting started on the role Jewish people had to play in this, with people such as Henry Montor just to name one of them.

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 01:20 PM
Freedom of Speech.

Numerous groups have questioned it, even some Jewish people have too.

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 01:35 PM
wow. so, disagreeing with something can get you arrested? that's frightening. Granted, he's on the wrong end of the argument but still, ignorance should not be against the law, just pitied.

[edit on 17-11-2005 by Crakeur]

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 01:47 PM

Is Irving beeing really held on charges of "Denying The Holocaust" or just for illegal entry into Austria?

I know that the governments of Canada, Austria, Germany and Australia have barred Irving from entering their countries.

He has been convicted of defaming the memory of the dead in Germany and has lost civil suits in U.S and GB, for example in April 2000, when a British court ruled that American historian Deborah Lipstadt had not libeled Irving when she called him a Holocaust Denier.

[edit on 17-11-2005 by Riwka]

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 01:48 PM
There are a few countries that were more deeply impacted by the Holocaust than others. Those include places like Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, for pretty obvious reasons.

If this is Austria's way of dealing with Holocaust denial, that's their business. Last I checked Austria wasn't bound by the USA's first ammendment. As an admitted NON-expert in Austrian laws I can't say if this is a charge someone can be held on or not.

Personally, I don't think intellectual dissent should be punishable by anyone, but that's just me, and I've been yelled at on ATS for calling other countries' practices barbaric, like beheading shoplifters or stoning adulterers, so I'll keep quiet

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 01:55 PM
I am not the author but I can answer your question. Yes Irving is being held for "Denying the Holocost" and not for illegal entry into Austria. The arrest was made due to a 1989 under Austrian laws making Holocaust denial a crime.

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 01:57 PM
Thanks, kenshiro2012 ! That is news.

If formally charged, tried and convicted on the charge, Irving could face up to 20 years in prison, said Otto Schneider of the [Austria] public prosecutor's office.

But he said it was unclear whether there were sufficient legal grounds to continue holding Irving on such a charge so many years after the alleged offense was committed. A decision was expected by the end of next week on how to proceed, Schneider said.


Wow. Irving could face up to 20 years in prison.

[edit on 17-11-2005 by Riwka]

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 02:05 PM
This could actually lead to be a interesting case if he is kept.

I just remembered that Austria are part of the European Union and if he is tried, found guilty and is able to appeal it could be an important case in relation to Freedom of Speech and the European Union.

I'd keep tabs on this one kids.

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 02:05 PM
And to just add insult to injury

Six Decades Later After End of WWII, Jews' Belongings Unearthed at Nazi Death Camp in Poland
Jews' Belongings Unearthed at Polish Camp

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 02:12 PM
Exactly what is the holocaust story we are supposed to talk about legally?
Go to Auswitch and look at the numbers listed on a plaque there. It was revised downward recently and officially, but if you say anything about it you are going to jail? There is a trial happening right now in Germany where the subject matter cannot even be discussed publically. So there is no story to officially adhere, and there is no defense with any factual statistics or data. This entire thing is from the Bizzaro Planet.

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 02:18 PM

as far as I remember (after this story around Britain's Prince Harry) the EU had started working on an agreement would make it punishable by law to deny the Holocaust or other crimes against humanity?

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 02:29 PM

is now deemed to be forbidden with kangaroo courts

They're not censoring this guy merely because they don't like what he is saying, Holocaust Denial only exists amoung neo-Nazis and their ilk. The Nazi Party is illegal in most parts of europe, his 'writting' is being censored because its part and parcel of Nazi Propaganda and considered a part of the Nazi Movement.

He stressed he accepted that Hitler, "as head of state and of the government", was responsible for the Holocaust.

Yes, what he is saying is that merely because hitler was head of state that he was responsible for everything that goes on in it, that the party didn't try or want to exterminate the jews, that there was no genocide, just isolated incidents of racism, and that there wasn't anything approaching the numberes alleged.

Its all a lie. The holocaust happened, it was a tool of the nazi state to implement their ideology, and they destroyed millions of jews from all over europe. This 'researcher', is a fraud, liar, and racist scum. Thats not why he gets arrested all over the place he gets arrested because Nazism is illegal in the places that were ravaged by it. They know better, they can see through his specious arguements of 'free speech'. I can see how a person would be concerned about it as an infringement of free speech, unpopular speech should be protected, but its not an issue of it being unpopular. The Nazi Party itself is illegal in these places, thats more of an 'infringement' than censoring any one work. Thats how much of a dangerous threat the Nazis were and their thoughts still are.

[edit on 17-11-2005 by Nygdan]

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 02:42 PM
Again Irving does not deny that the holocost happened. He questions the numbers as well as evidence supporting the numbers as well as the standard hitler is behind it all stance that historians back.
If questioning evidence or the lack thereof is enough to label a person a

fraud, liar, and racist scum

then we are all guilty of this crime. I hate what the man stands for but it is his right to be misguided as it is also his right to search for the truth.

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 03:34 PM
Riwka, this is why I see it as an important case. At the present moment the ECJ [European Court of Justice] are a good bunch of Judge's who primarily care about the rights of the individual even over Government and Industry however I see that changing when these members die off.

France, Germany, Austria and several other E.U. nation's already have such laws and if the ECJ rules them unconstitutional it'll knock the E.U. wide law for six and I really hope it does.

If we are not freely able to discuss history, no matter our views we will be trapped to repeat it.

AS for the law itself, as far as I was aware it was just a rumour without hard facts and I couldn't find any record of it when I searched.

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 03:54 PM
I have not been able to locate the law itself but I was able to get the following stat on countries where it is against the law to deny the holocost
Czech Republic


posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 04:02 PM
If a country has laws against Holocaust denial, then I think it's pretty clear that your freedom of speech argument is completely irrelevant.

In the country I live in, it's illegal to yell "fire" in a crowded theater, so a freedom of speech argument would hardly get me out of trouble there, right?

Same principle here. You may not agree with it, but if it's the law of the nation it's the law of the nation.

I would assume an educated person like Mr. Irving was quite familiar with the law of the land.

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