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  #1  
Old 02-28-2006, 09:35 PM
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Holocaust denier put in jail

My parents and grand parents were/are survivors of the holocaust and yet when I read that Austria put Hans Rauscher in jail for a book he wrote in 1989 I am uncomfortable. I know that Austria and Germany were the birth place of Hitler and his twisted vision but to place someone in jail for speech somehow rubs me the wrong way. I cannot say that should I cross paths with this hair ball I would not be tempted to turn him into a blood stain but for a nation state to sanction his internment somehow seems wrong. A editorial in El Mundo (a publication in Spain) said that it seems unfair to put him in jail while others who manipulate/twist history such as Stalins purge, the Inquisition, African American history, Native American history … all get a free pass.

Am I off base? Is there something I am missing?

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  #2  
Old 02-28-2006, 09:37 PM
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It's their democracy. If they don't like the laws they can change the laws.

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  #3  
Old 02-28-2006, 10:01 PM
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I thought I also read something recently about Austria jailing David Irving for the same thing.
I agree there is something undemocratic about imprisoning people for their speech regardless of how reprehensible it is. Determining truth by coercive force is medieval.
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  #4  
Old 02-28-2006, 10:57 PM
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Agreed, I guess I'm so thoroughly Americanized that I can't see the value of stifling the free expression of ideas, no matter how vile. Of course, I'm also so damned American that I can't see the value/justice in creating a nationstate ostensibly established for one religion/ethnicity either. Silly Americans.
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Old 02-28-2006, 11:13 PM
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Central Europe will be atoning for the holocaust for the next hundred years. They are pretty spooked by the past and don't want anyone shaking things up again. Neither do they want these alternative views shaping the minds of future generations.
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  #6  
Old 02-28-2006, 11:32 PM
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I think he should be allowed the same freedom of speech as the rest of us to advertise and evangelise their own beliefs, opinions and values.
If denied this privilege, future deniers can easier and with some justification claim that "history is written by the victors" (interesting google), and possibly even re-inforce their cause.
Better, I think, to let them "publish and be damned" so that future historians can themselves see the ridiculous arguaments being put forward as an alternative history.
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  #7  
Old 03-02-2006, 06:56 PM
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I work with Germans regularly and I asked what they teach their youth about WWII. Pretty much they do teach the facts, they're really embarrassed about it now, and any reference worn or promoted about the Nazis is strictly forbidden.
No mention of consquences, but the 26 year old fellow I was speaking to just wanted to end the conversation. Yup. They're quite haunted by that.
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2006, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaughingGravy
No mention of consquences, but the 26 year old fellow I was speaking to just wanted to end the conversation. Yup. They're quite haunted by that.
I agree. Unless you know them very well (as in 10 years or more), this topic is off limits. Sometimes it's off limits no matter how well you know them.
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  #9  
Old 03-02-2006, 07:21 PM
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It looks like Irving was jailed.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4733820.stm

The amazing part is that he now admits that what he said was wrong and he no longer believes it. I guess you can't even recant heresy anymore.
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  #10  
Old 03-02-2006, 07:25 PM
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I wonder, Do you think they have any other laws regulating speech? For instance would it be illegal to advocate the extermination of a race of people? It would be really weird if you could advocate that it should be done but not deny that it almost was done.
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  #11  
Old 03-02-2006, 07:54 PM
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During the Cold War my brother was an infantry officer in W Germany. he lived with a German family off base. The husband had been a tank commander in the German army during WWII. My brother and the old gent enjoyed each other's company immensely and talked a lot about defending West Germany's eastern front from soviet invasion. My brother has been back to Germany a couple of times for reunions with his unit and always visits the old guy.

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  #12  
Old 03-02-2006, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst
During the Cold War my brother was an infantry officer in W Germany. he lived with a German family off base. The husband had been a tank commander in the German army during WWII. My brother and the old gent enjoyed each other's company immensely and talked a lot about defending West Germany's eastern front from soviet invasion. My brother has been back to Germany a couple of times for reunions with his unit and always visits the old guy.

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  #13  
Old 03-02-2006, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry edwards
Friends=people with common enemies.
The common enemy is gone yet they are still friends.

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  #14  
Old 03-02-2006, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulC
Be grateful that he didn't turn the tables by asking how American educational institutions explain Billy Carter.
That would take a few Billy Beers.
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Old 03-02-2006, 08:55 PM
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