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A TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE

by Ian Wilson LL.B.

March 2006


David Irving has been sentenced to three years gaol by an Austrian court, for denying the Holocaust. Let us leave aside the question - on which I have written in this journal a number of times - about whether Holocaust denial (or for that matter any historical question) should be a crime. Clearly it should not and only is because the Zionist power elites have used this issue as a display of their power.

The editorial of The Australian disagrees. Irving's alleged Holocaust denial in Austria is like shouting "fire" in a crowded theatre and "is not protected by the West's long Enlightenment tradition of free speech."
Presumably Irving's research promotes an alternative view of the Nazi era: "anti-Holocaust denial laws are not so much about protecting the feelings of a religious minority as they are a keenly felt attempt to prevent history from repeating itself."

This argument is illogical and grounded in historical ignorance. Nazis arose under very special historical and economic conditions. It is not likely to arise again as a major social movement unless those conditions are repeated. Holocaust discussion and denial has little to do with it.

Further, The Australian says that "Australia would have no reason to jail Irving - or even prevent his visiting." But the same powerful lobby that succeeded in having Holocaust denial made a criminal offence in Austria wants to same laws here in Australia, Britain and the rest of the West. This makes The Australian's argument nonsense. If freedom of speech is a human right, it is as true in Australia as in Austria. Irving's situation is not like shouting "fire" in a crowded theatre: the analogy is highly defective. Or is it?
The panic caused by fear of fire in a confined space is an instinctive "fight or flight" response. Could it be that The Australian is telling us that this field is full of the same sorts of primitive, instinctual fears? Could The Australian have really been that "deep"? You tell me.

Although about 158 people have been convicted of holocaust denial in Austria between 1999 and 2004, (and 724 individuals prosecuted in 2004) very few, other of course than David Irving, have been imprisoned. The sentence on top of that is excessive. Irving has never been a strong-line "Holocaust denier". Although he made isolated comments about 16 years ago he never for example published an entire book on the subject. Irving however was well known and vulnerable to attack if he visited Austria.

In any case, Irving changed his mind on the holocaust after discovering personal papers of Eichmann in 1991, and did come to believe that the Nazis did murder millions of Jews. I think - by contrast to other league writers - that Irving's present position is correct and that the historical revisionists are wrong. (In this journal we respect free speech, difference of opinion and free debate), I believe though that people have a right to discuss this matter without the fear of a gaol sentence.
It was therefore wrong to convict Irving. The sentence is a travesty of justice. Yet the Austrian prosecutor has filed an appeal to attempt to lengthen Irving's gaol term! What next, public executions?

Perhaps the most insightful comment on this situation, in my opinion, was made in a letter to the editor (The Australian 23/2/06, p.11) by James McPhedran:
"The more Nazi Germany is treated as an evil exception in our history, the facts of which are universally agreed upon and shall not be questioned, the more likely it is that such will again rear its head. Nature loathes a vacuum, so the more you, and Austrian and German deniers of debate, seek to curb a discussion of the Holocaust, the more certain is the existence of a growing gap where true white supremacists and other similar forms of evil will flourish."

The Australian Jew and supporter of Israel, Stephen Morris, has said (The Australian 22/2/06, p.14) that "Austria's law reflects a judicial severity that serves no good purpose."

© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159