Monday, 20 February 2006

Irving gets 3 years

David Irving has pleaded guilty to charges of denying the holocaust in a court in Vienna and has been sentenced to three years. While many, including the BBC, describe him as a historian it's difficult to square many of his statements;
"History is a constantly growing tree - the more you know, the more documents become available, the more you learn, and I have learned a lot since 1989."
In 1989 Irving said that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz and that Hitler didn't know about the Holocaust. This is a man who has published books about Hitler yet found himself able to make claims such as that? I've come over all "Angie" but I'm very pleased he's facing some sort of jail time rather than travelling round the world pedalling his terrible lies.

17 careful considerations:

the void said...

woo hoo - the bastards had it coming for years...

Nogbad said...

Yup - and anyone calling him a hstorian really should take a moment to find out what that word means - although I'm sure he'll soon be writing a history of Blair which tells of the massed WMD found in Iraq

the void said...

ive heard hes already on the case, apparantly camp x - ray is 'islamist propagande' - like your blog btw, will link when i get round to it

Angie said...

Unfortunately some can still tell their lies even while in prison. (grumbles) There are always those willing to listen to lunatics.

Nogbad said...

There are always those willing to listen to lunatics.
And even vote them into high office! :-)

Nogbad said...

like your blog btw, will link when i get round to it

Well thank you kindly!

francessa said...

Hi Nogbad,

according to the explanatory statement of the court of justice, the fact that he's a historian (or calls himself one resp. acts as one in public)made matters worse for him - because he misused this role. He's going to appeal, of course.

Nogbad said...

Hi Francessa, Haven't seen that detail - thanks! I'm not surprised he's going to appeal and, for once, I think he's attracting the sort of publicity which might actually show people that his ideas and lies are evil.

fjl said...

I think it's all futile. The dead are gone, and no amount of rowing or Irving style foolishness posing as research will bring them back. These 'did or didn't happen' lawsuits over obvious facts have a terribly pathetic air about them. What is humanity trying to prove to itself by such an empty shenanigan.

Ian M. said...

Although they might be lies, there is also the question of freedom of speech.

TRT said...

Phew! Thank god he wasn't a creationist.

Rob Spence said...

Interesting that the sentence was more severe because Irving is (allegedly) a historian. I like that kind of graded punishment. If we had it here, it would mean lost of people could avoid being locked up for not being very bright, and conversely, people who really should know better getting more realistic punishments.

Nogbad said...

What is humanity trying to prove to itself by such an empty shenanigan.
there is also the question of freedom of speech.

I think these points are both important and related. Irving and his kind try to play down the terrible events as a way of legitimising the right-wing parties in Europe, footballers in Rome are being taken to meet survivors of concentration camps to explain why giving a Fascist salute is still offensive.

And the "free speech" argument we hear bandied about so much is a red herring. We have freedom of expression within certain boundaries in this country and across the world. Our current "rights" of free speech relate back to the Civil War when certain rights to criticise the monarch were introduced but we've never had carte blanche to say anything we wish - ask Abu Hamza if you need more information and Nick Griffin is soon going another few rounds in court. We have laws to protect people and in many European countries it is illegal to deny the Holocaust - for very clear and very real reasons. Irving knew this in 1989 when he told his lies, he knew it before and afterwards when he continued as an apologist for Hitler and the Nazis and he knew that teh Austrians were going to try him if he was ever within their borders again. In Vienna there is a simple memorial to those murdered in concentration camps and engraved on it are the words "Nie Wieder" - never again. Sadly not very far away in the Balkans ethnic cleansing and genocide were happening less than a lifetime after the end of WWII. Santayana said that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it - and that's why denying the state sponsored murder of six million Jews and millions of gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally handicapped and prisoners of war is illegal in some countries, mainly the countries which suffered most between Hitler's rise to power and the defeat of the Nazis years later.

fjl said...

That's not a point against freedom of speech. At the end of the day one must simply walk away from people who persist in a state of denial and/or idiotcy. Heaven knows, there are some people in my research whose brains I think would better be as that light bulb I've switched off above my head, as far as their destructive ideas and blabbings are concerned, but I'd never deny them their right to think and speak. It's one of the rights I live for. You have a right to speak rubbish, and others have a right to walk away.
Conversely, if the victims find his behaviour tantamount to extreme annoyance, there are laws in place to protect them. If I had survived the holocaust, and I'm sure I would not have had the stamina or skill to, and someone approached me constantly insisting it never happenned then I think the man in the street would agree I was being annoyed and bothered for no good reason.

fjl said...

By the way this is funny

www.chasemeladies.blogspot.com

on Irving.

Echo Mouse said...

This is great news indeed.

Those people (he's not the only idiot is he? I think there are more like him unfortunately) have to be suffering some major denial or something.

When I first heard of those who claimed the Holocaust never happened, I read the articles just to understand and be informed. But I found it so disgusting that I stopped reading their stupid beliefs long ago.

At least one is going to prison. Maybe a psych facility would be better but regardless, at least he'll not be allowed to preach his b.s. anymore.

Rob Spence said...

Great to hear the prosecution is also appealing - for a LONGER sentence. Interesting that the word for what we are all feeling is not expressible in English: Schadenfreude...