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Argument: Outlawing Holocaust denial is uniquely necessary in Europe

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Supporting quotations

David Irving. "Holocaust Denial, and Free Speech". February 22, 2006: "I am a strong supporter of free speech and believe that any sanctions on speech should be reserved for the absolute worst and most extreme cases, like incitement to murder or riot. Of course, I am coming from an American perspective where denying the Holocaust could not possibly qualify — is Austria really the same? I don’t agree with making Holocaust Denial a crime, but I am willing to allow that for Austria, it is something that qualifies as much more extreme than here. This law usually gets used against local neo-Nazi groups which, from an Austrian perspective, may represent a nascent but real threat to the future of democracy and liberty. I can sympathize with such fears.

I wouldn’t for a second support or be sympathetic to such laws in Canada or New Zealand, but it’s not unreasonable for Germany and Austria to treat the matter differently. This is especially true of Austria where they haven’t really come to terms with their Nazi past. Germany largely has, but Austria continues to regard itself more as a victim than a victimizer — they see themselves as having been taken over by Germany, not accepting the fact that they welcomed Hitler with open arms. I’m not speaking about every Austrian citizen, obviously, but Austrian society as a whole still has a long way to go to even come close to what Germany has done.

[...] If Germans and Austrians feel that they need such restrictions in order to prevent themselves and their children from once again descending into murderous madness, I’m reluctant to tell them that they are wrong, however much I think that the restrictions are a bad idea in principle."

Isi Leiber. "Rethinking prosecution of Holocaust denial". The Jerusalem Post. November 3, 2008: "in drawing the fine distinction between incitement to hatred and Holocaust revisionism, I now think that employing measures involving police action or criminal prosecution to deal with Holocaust deniers does more harm than good. There is of course the exception: in Germany and Austria, where this most obscene atrocity was incubated, criminalizing Holocaust deniers is entirely justified."

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