Banning the freedom to deny

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friedrich braun
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Banning the freedom to deny

Postby friedrich braun » 1 decade 3 years ago (Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:11 pm)

By Clare Murphy
BBC News

Germany is courting a row over freedom of speech as it seeks to clamp down on those who deny genocide or mass murder.
Before its six-month spell at the helm of the EU is up, it hopes to push through measures which would criminalise, and possibly imprison, not just those who downplay the Holocaust but also those who belittle genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"Historically proven facts must not be denied," said German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries in a radio interview this week.

"When an international court determines that such crimes have taken place, then you should no longer be able to say: 'You're making that all up.'"

It is a proposal which Germany sees as part of its historical responsibility to fight racism and xenophobia.

But it has drawn fire from those who prefer to put up with Holocaust deniers than relinquish freedom of speech, and others who worry historians will stop researching mass murder, for fear of prosecution if they come up with the "wrong" conclusion.


Take two

Criminalising those who deny the murder of six million Jews in World War II has long been a fraught issue.

The EU has been thwarted in its efforts to do this in the past. An attempt two years ago was rejected by Italy, but Berlin hopes that with a new centre-left government in Rome, it can breathe new life into the measures.


We have immense difficulty defining what constitutes genocide... any attempt to stifle discussion is very worrying
Stephane Bruchfeld, Uppsala Programme for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Yet the conviction of British historian David Irving in Austria last year for Holocaust denial sparked an intense debate about freedom of speech in several member states.

Some of his most ardent foes expressed their discomfort with jailing him for his views, however unsavoury they might be.

In Italy, nearly 200 historians have signed a manifesto against criminalising Holocaust denial.

But a string of European countries already ban it, including France, Belgium, and Poland, as well as Austria and Germany, arguing that such views have no place in societies which reject outright the crimes of the Nazis.


EU STATES WITH LAWS AGAINST HOLOCAUST DENIAL
Austria
Belgium
Czech Republic
France
Germany
Lithuania
Poland
Romania
Slovakia


Indeed it is the genocide denial aspect of the package which looks set to draw the most consternation.

"With Holocaust denial, there are some cases where the justice system is the only way to stop it pervading society, where public debate isn't enough," says Stephane Bruchfeld, a researcher at Sweden's Uppsala Programme for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

"But we have immense difficulty defining what constitutes genocide. Observers, scientists, historians, they need the freedom to research, to debate. These discussions are incredibly important - any attempt to stifle them is very worrying."

The deaths of hundreds of thousands of Armenians during World War I is a case in point. Some countries have declared that a genocide took place, but others have resisted calls to do so - and in Turkey it is even a crime to give the killings that label.

'Heart not head'

Under the proposals, a person would face up to three years in jail for "approving, denying, or grossly minimising" a war crime that had been proved to be such at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The court, which has just agreed to hear its first case - the trial of DR Congo militia leader Thomas Lubanga, deals only with crimes committed after 1 July 2002.

Questions surrounding genocide and war crimes committed in the Balkans during the 1990s for instance would not be at issue under the German proposals.

In any event, some EU observers doubt the proposals will ever make it into European law, noting they are likely to fall foul of countries like Sweden, which cherish the right to freedom of speech.

The proposals will be formally discussed at a Council of Ministers meeting before June, according to a spokeswoman from the German government.

But the failure to ratify the European Union constitution, which would have facilitated more joint action in the field of justice and home affairs, means that even if the measures were accepted it would be hard to foist them upon those countries wary of them.

"There's a lot of wrangling going within the EU about who we are, how we see the world, what we find acceptable and what we find abhorrent," says Hugo Brady, research fellow at the London-based Centre for European Reform. "But it's all happening within a very legally ambiguous atmosphere."

"These proposals prompt debate - but I predict nothing more. They are from the heart, not the head."

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/e ... 336513.stm

Published: 2007/02/07 10:09:32 GMT

© BBC MMVII
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Postby Revquery » 1 decade 3 years ago (Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:37 pm)

"Historically proven facts must not be denied," said German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries in a radio interview this week.

"When an international court determines that such crimes have taken place, then you should no longer be able to say: 'You're making that all up.'"



The "international court" she is talking about, of course, is the IMT, and most of the "crimes against humanity" evidence came from the Soviet Union. There are of course three main things wrong with her POV.

#1 The IMT was over 60 years ago. It boggles the mind that anyone would or could say that a court immediately after a war can determine the "truth" for all time, for any thing.

#2 The IMT certainly did "make things up", as anyone can see just by reading the transcripts and looking at the evidence.

#3 Why "must" 'historically proven facts' NOT be denied? I will deny them if and when I feel like it. I mean who does she think she is?

I wonder if she is aware and concurs with the argument of Debbie Lipstadt that anyone who refuses to "observe" Holocaust Memorial Day is "guilty" of "soft core denial."

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink, and you can force people to observe Holocaust History Month (or whatever) but you cannot force people to consider a 60+ year old event more important than things that are happening today, nor you can you force people to believe that something that happened 60+ years ago justifies Israeli treatment of Palestinians today. It's that simple, and hence the hysteria continues. The other side is losing, and they know it, and they want to erect some kind of permanent monument to try and force everyone to keep the memory alive, but it isn't working anymore.

friedrich braun
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Postby friedrich braun » 1 decade 3 years ago (Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:22 am)

#3 Why "must" 'historically proven facts' NOT be denied? I will deny them if and when I feel like it. I mean who does she think she is?


What if you risked spending the next 3-5 of your life in a prison cell? I won't even mention the destruction of your professional and personal life.
"The dead came back from Jerusalem, where they did not find what they were seeking."



"The Seven Sermons to the Dead"



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Postby Haldan » 1 decade 3 years ago (Thu Feb 08, 2007 5:31 am)

I would deny these "gas chamber" stories and other absurdities no matter what would bestow me. I am one of those persons who would never be forced to believe in something just because somebody says so.

It would all be very different if these stories were backed up with any type of concise proof - but they are not. Only very tiny fragments are true, such as Jews spending time in the concentration and workcamps; but some even lie about that...

-haldan
<?php if ($Holocaust == false ) {deny_repeatedly(); } else { investigate(); } ?>
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Postby Radar » 1 decade 3 years ago (Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:30 pm)

It is incredible to me that a person of such low intellect as Ms. Zypries could hold the position of Minister of Justice of a major European nation. Let us consider her claim that "historically proven facts must not be denied" and must be punished criminally if denied. I have news for her. Such supposed facts have always been denied by some and often the "deniers" have turned out to be right. I will not bore the reader with examples here but a cursory reading of history gives many examples. So called "historically proven facts" are not always what they are thought to be by many, even majorities.

But worse, as Revquery points out, she claims that the "crimes" of the Holocaust (not further explained) have been irrefutably been established for all time by "an international court" which she does not identify. There is no such court. The kangaroo courts of the Nuremberg Tribunal and related trials at the end of World War II obviously do not fit the bill and in any case did not even reach verdicts remotely endorsing the claims of today's Holocaust Industry, e.g. re the "gas chambers" etc,. nor have the individual national cases since that time provided a hearing for revisionist claims. The farcical nature of the proceedings in Germany in the Zundel and Rudolf cases right now illustrate.

What Ms.Zypries proposal most reminds one of would be the modern reenactment of the witchcraft persecutions of past centuries. To hell with the facts! Let's get those witches!


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