Should denying the holocaust be illegal.
Yes.
13.4% (15)
13.4% (15)
IÂīm not sure.
4.5% (5)
4.5% (5)
No.
80.4% (90)
80.4% (90)
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Poll: Should denying the Holocaust be illegal?

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The holocaust. Should denying it be illegal?

Personally, Iīm inclined to say no. I mean, sure, we pretty much know at this point that the holocaust did happen, but why is it illegal to deny it?(in some countries) Sure, itīs disrespectful to the people who died, but thatīs the thing: The ones who deny donīt think theyīre offending anyone, because they believe it never happend.

I mean, if I deny that say, a genocide of say, heathens took place under the crusades, Iīm disrespecting their memory, but then again, I believe it never took place. Also, I know Iīm pulling a Godwins Law here, but doesnīt punishing Holocaust deniers seem just a bit...facist-like?

Free speech is important, even if it expresses impopular points of view. And itīs not like theyīre advocating hatred towards jews, theyīre simply saying that a historic event didnīt happen the way it is believed now.

I donīt know, maybe Iīm wrong, but this seems reasonable enough.

Make it easier for idiots to be idiots, so they can suffer the consequences of that idiocy. For example, if someone denies the Holocaust on their Facebook, a prospective employer can look on their timeline and decide not to hire that idiot.

I can't think of any other circumstance where having an opinion and expressing it can land you in jail (at least not in free, democratic society) so I don't think that this singular thing should be illegal to say either.

I suppose the argument against Holocaust-denying is that it enables further denigration of a historically fairly downtrodden group (Jews). Even so, there are groups who are equally discriminated against or moreso (American Jews have it better than American Muslims, gays or arguably even atheists) so this very selective protection from the fringe elements of free speech strikes me as incongruous and unearned.

I don't think so, primarily because people can deny plenty of other things, such as climate change, with complete immunity from any form of prosecution. Maybe excessively stating this opinion in public based on deliberately misleading evidence should be categorised as inciting racial hatred though - that'd be a better compromise than some of the laws they have in Germany etc at the minute.

No, it makes it easier to spot idiots if denying the holocaust is legal. It also infringes on free speech rights.

I'm inclined to say yes, but doubt that it would actually do any good.

I don't particularly care that some idiots believe that the millions of dead people shoved into mass graves were all faked, what I do care about is people passing the idiocy on to the next generation. Crap like this is yet another reason I want people to have to apply for the right to bear and raise a child, rather than effectively giving newborns a lottery ticket and a good luck wave.

i guess you're talking about France. Sarkozy seems to enjoy outlawing denial of genocides. Except Rwanda for some mysterious reason ;)
OT: it shouldn't, it upsets people for nothing. Look at the Turkish/French row a propos the armenian genocide. And it makes the country seem less democratic as they're basically outlawing a politically incorrect opinion, albeit a factually false one.

awesomeClaw:
The holocaust. Should denying it be illegal?

Personally, Iīm inclined to say no. I mean, sure, we pretty much know at this point that the holocaust did happen, but why is it illegal to deny it?(in some countries) Sure, itīs disrespectful to the people who died, but thatīs the thing: The ones who deny donīt think theyīre offending anyone, because they believe it never happend.

I mean, if I deny that say, a genocide of say, heathens took place under the crusades, Iīm disrespecting their memory, but then again, I believe it never took place. Also, I know Iīm pulling a Godwins Law here, but doesnīt punishing Holocaust deniers seem just a bit...facist-like?

Free speech is important, even if it expresses impopular points of view. And itīs not like theyīre advocating hatred towards jews, theyīre simply saying that a historic event didnīt happen the way it is believed now.

I donīt know, maybe Iīm wrong, but this seems reasonable enough.

It depends.You need to be able to teach it as part of history.Denial is only done by ignorant people that are racists or anti-semitic.But as far as illegal no it should not be illegal.

No.

Compromising solid ideals to spare a few soft people feeling "offended" would be absurd.

No, it shouldn't be illegal. It's thoroughly disgusting and I frankly want to hit anyone who says it with a golf club until something pops inside their tiny skulls, but it shouldn't be illegal to say.

No.

Making Holocaust denying illegal is as fucking stoopid as France making the denial of the Armenian genocide illegal[1].

Around here, it is. I like the reasoning of the supreme court. In the verdict which created the jurisprudence, they reasoned basically that denying the holocaust is not an opinion, just like saying 'the sun doesn't exist' isn't a serious opinion.
Thus, the only reason behind such a statement is the intent of grieving Jews as an ethnic group, or to create hate propaganda to influence and found a violent movement.


It has lead to only 3 convictions in the 17 years the jurisprudence existed: one prominent neonazi (Siegfried Verbeeke, kind of like the CEO of holocaust denial in all of Europe), one prominent UK BNP/EDL hooligan, and one Arab supremacist organisation that strives for sharia law, all leading to nothing but a fine in the € 1200-2600 range. So basically people can say a lot of extreme, dumb and hatefull things before such an article comes into play.

Because of such sentencings, which don't involve prison sentences or anything, one has a legal handle to say "We won't stand for this", without it going too far.

And considering there's no reason one would want to be able to deny the Holocaust legally, it's no problem if it can be an offense to do so.

bmasta:
i guess you're talking about France. Sarkozy seems to enjoy outlawing denial of genocides. Except Rwanda for some mysterious reason ;)
OT: it shouldn't, it upsets people for nothing. Look at the Turkish/French row a propos the armenian genocide. And it makes the country seem less democratic as they're basically outlawing a politically incorrect opinion, albeit a factually false one.

But there's another dimension to that: Turkey has made it a criminal offense to acknowledge the existance of the Armenian Genocide, and is actively working to erase that crime of their country from history.

This falsifying of history was with great succes. There's an American talkshow called the Young Turks, after the fascist movement that was the architect of the genocide on the Armenians, and this is not controversial apparently.

In 1985, there was a petition of 69 US academics calling on the US government to start denying the existance of the Armenian Genocide. Unsurprisingly hardly any of them held relevant grades and all of them had received Turkish money in some way, but still... For instance there was Bernard Lewis on the list, who advised president Bush on matters of the Middle East.

Blablahb:
Around here, it is. I like the reasoning of the supreme court. In the verdict which created the jurisprudence, they reasoned basically that denying the holocaust is not an opinion, just like saying 'the sun doesn't exist' isn't a serious opinion.
Thus, the only reason behind such a statement is the intent of grieving Jews as an ethnic group, or to create hate propaganda to influence and found a violent movement.

(snip)

Because of such sentencings, which don't involve prison sentences or anything, one has a legal handle to say "We won't stand for this", without it going too far.

And considering there's no reason one would want to be able to deny the Holocaust legally, it's no problem if it can be an offense to do so.

As far as I'm concerned, /thread.

There's no good reason to do it, and countries that have made it illegal haven't fallen into disrepair from the tragic loss of free speech; meanwhile, these countries have taken a stand about what is and isn't acceptable to their society. I'm again reminded of a documentary on Neo-Nazi music I saw that showed that it was possible-but-difficult for these bands to play gigs in Germany, and they had to change some of their wording to do so. These bands *adore* the US, which not only allows them to play, but allows them to center their merchandizing, recruiting, and manufacturing enterprise there. Basically, the US is the homeland for many worldwide hate groups. Go us! ...not.

In 1985, there was a petition of 69 US academics calling on the US government to start denying the existance of the Armenian Genocide. Unsurprisingly hardly any of them held relevant grades and all of them had received Turkish money in some way, but still... For instance there was Bernard Lewis on the list, who advised president Bush on matters of the Middle East.

/nod

This stuff matters more than people think it does. It's easy to create the idea of debate/controversy about history in the minds of people who aren't educated on that history and who have grievances due to other systemic issues (poverty, particularly). I don't think making it harder for groups to freely do that is a terrible thing.

Blablahb:
Around here, it is. I like the reasoning of the supreme court. In the verdict which created the jurisprudence, they reasoned basically that denying the holocaust is not an opinion, just like saying 'the sun doesn't exist' isn't a serious opinion.
Thus, the only reason behind such a statement is the intent of grieving Jews as an ethnic group, or to create hate propaganda to influence and found a violent movement.

Or, you know, they might actually believe that it never happened. Declaring that holocaust denial "is not an opinion" doesn't actually mean that there aren't people who honestly hold that view.

If it becomes illegal to deny the Holocaust, people who do so will just continue to do so in secret. That means we don't get any chance to convince them that they're wrong. I'd rather have that sort of ignorance out in the open so it can be combated with evidence.

Yes, simply because there is no case in which you need to deny the holocaust. Denying a complete and utter historical fact is not necessary. No one really cares if you do it on Facebook or to your friends, but we should not tolerate it from the usual problematic cases ie teachers or politicians. Most of these people suffer social consequences, and since law generally does represent social norms of what deviance is or is not, holocaust denialism may as well be illegal. Course, that leaves room for an entire society to deny it, but that's what the international community is for.

No, if you outlaw idiocy we will have 90% of the planet become a prison.

yes it should be illegal. i have to put up with a stupid cow who puts "the holocaust didnt happen"pamphlets in the letter box as it is. on a side note she went to court the other week for antisemetic abuse and hate.

Godavari:
If it becomes illegal to deny the Holocaust, people who do so will just continue to do so in secret. That means we don't get any chance to convince them that they're wrong. I'd rather have that sort of ignorance out in the open so it can be combated with evidence.

while i agree with the logic no matter what evidence you present, no matter what you say or do these people will not admit they were wrong

Blablahb:
Around here, it is. I like the reasoning of the supreme court. In the verdict which created the jurisprudence, they reasoned basically that denying the holocaust is not an opinion, just like saying 'the sun doesn't exist' isn't a serious opinion.

Actually, I heard about that case, but I've been unable to find the court's opinion written in English. Do you know where I could find a copy of it?

BrassButtons:

Blablahb:
Around here, it is. I like the reasoning of the supreme court. In the verdict which created the jurisprudence, they reasoned basically that denying the holocaust is not an opinion, just like saying 'the sun doesn't exist' isn't a serious opinion.
Thus, the only reason behind such a statement is the intent of grieving Jews as an ethnic group, or to create hate propaganda to influence and found a violent movement.

Or, you know, they might actually believe that it never happened. Declaring that holocaust denial "is not an opinion" doesn't actually mean that there aren't people who honestly hold that view.

Nazis fuckin loved paperwork. Towards the end of the war, they tried to destroy the documents but there was a ludicrous amount of them that we still have. Either the Holocaust is the most ridiculously oversized hoax in the history of everything, or it really happened. The likelihood of the former is so small as to be irrelevant. Illogical beliefs should be left on that which is immaterial(God and religion), not incredibly well documented genocides.

Now, I think you should be able to, but no one has to think a holocaust lives anywhere near reality or that they hold a valid belief.

I don't think it should be, but I do believe in free speech.

awesomeClaw:
The ones who deny donīt think theyīre offending anyone, because they believe it never happend.

Ok, I am going to stop you right there. That is terribly flawed logic. Using this logic I can have my back to a crowd, shoot a few rounds, and walk away believing I hurt/killed no one. According to your logic, it should be ok for me to do this.

Blablahb:
Around here, it is. I like the reasoning of the supreme court. In the verdict which created the jurisprudence, they reasoned basically that denying the holocaust is not an opinion, just like saying 'the sun doesn't exist' isn't a serious opinion.
Thus, the only reason behind such a statement is the intent of grieving Jews as an ethnic group, or to create hate propaganda to influence and found a violent movement.

This is fine logic, but it does still encroach on free speech. Their logic seems to be that is is a threat just like saying "I am going to kill [person]". Is that really true enough to make it a law though?

As a great man once said "I might not agree with what you say, but ill fight to the death to defend your right to say it". Holocaust denial is like Creationism, all evidence points to the contrary and any logical person would see that.
However it is my experience that people who deny the Holocaust are hate filled bigots and puerile scum that I would never even attempt to discuss the Holocaust with.
The interesting arguement here should be if denial of the holocaust could constitute defamation of Jewish people. Unlikely, but an interesting question.

Makes rewriting history much harder.
We Germans obviously tend to be much more touchy about it since our ancestors were the perpetrators, but I'm perfectly fine with making it illegal. Nazis and their thuggish "spiritual descendants" need to be routed out and anti-democratic influences curbed.
Germany is a "militant democracy" now, one that is willing and constitutionally able to defend itself from antidemocratic takeover. We've learnt from the Weimar Republic, which was indeed a proper democratic state, but did not have those protections unfortunately.
The whole law is less about "disrespecting the victims" as it is about twisting history to fit an anti-semetic agenda or one that glorifies totalitarianism in general in an attempt to reinstate such or similar agendas.

The idea behind the concept is the notion that even a majority of the people cannot be allowed to install a totalitarian or autocratic regime, thereby violating the principles of the German constitution, the Basic Law.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militant_democracy

I've posted on a Neo-Nazi forum for a while (they had a 'the lion's den' place where they debated with non-Nazis), and they were also 'Holocaust-sceptical'. While they didn't completely deny the existence of the Holocaust, their argument was more like...
-The Jews were sent to concentration camps and because of the war there wasn't always enough food/medicine so a lot of people died due to diseases/starvation/working too much. Imagine America was under attack, and that there were ten times as much Japanese in the Japanese 'concentration camps'; diseases and starvation might have taken their toll too.
-Hitler never gave an outright order to exterminate all Jews
-The figure of '6,000,000 million Jews' is important and has been used before WWII extensively and is based on symbolic and mythical value. Actual number of deaths is more like 2.5, 3 million.

It was interesting to debate about it. It's interesting if a notion that's so 'true' in your brain gets challenged by at least a number of arguments (I mean, more challenging than 'The damage of homosexueality: Do you at least acknowledgement it is real'). It shouldn't be made illegal, because that only fuels their conspiracies about Zionist-governments, and it's just quite harmless free speech.

Stuff like this is at least interesting to research;
1990-
The Allied Nuremberg Trial indictment charged the Nazis with murdering 4,000,000 people at Auschwitz. This figure was printed on the plaques displayed to tourists visiting Auschwitz, and the figure was repeated as "fact" by governments, historians, journalists, politicians, and all authority figures, for 45 years. In 1990 it was all exposed as a big lie when the Auschwitz State Museum officially revised the death toll from 4,000,000 down to 1.1 million, of which 960,000 are claimed to be Jews.

image
image
http://www.theholohoax.com/

Maybe as they say, 'truth does not fear investigation'.

And a little investigation...
Deniers often use the 'Four Million Variant' as a stepping stone to leap from an apparent contradiction to the idea that the Holocaust was a hoax, again perpetrated by a conspiracy. They hope to discredit historians by making them seem inconsistent. If they can't keep their numbers straight, their reasoning goes, how can we say that their evidence for the Holocaust is credible? One must wonder which historians they speak of, as most have been remarkably consistent in their estimates of a million or so dead... Few (if any) historians ever believed the Museum's four million figure, having arrived at their own estimates independently. The museum's inflated figures were never part of the estimated five to six million Jews killed in the Holocaust, so there is no need to revise this figure.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auswitz

I don't have an issue with people disliking those who deny the Holocaust happened, but I don't think the government should have the power to dictate what people are allowed to believe or discuss (though their actions can certainly be constrained). My reasoning can pretty well be summed up by something in your own post.

Blablahb:
But there's another dimension to that: Turkey has made it a criminal offense to acknowledge the existance of the Armenian Genocide, and is actively working to erase that crime of their country from history.

Suppose for instance the US government decided that they would just as soon people not remember the My Lai massacre. If we were to allow the government to dictate "reality" (in a sense), they could theoretically try to sweep that little reminder of American fallibility under the rug.

If that sounds unrealistic, consider China. If you go to China and ask about the Tiananmen Square massacre, it isn't likely most people you talk to are going to know what that was, and even less likely they would admit to knowing of it. In fact, it's illegal to even acknowledge it ever happened, and enforced quite strictly.

I'm not saying censoring one faulty belief would catapult us into an Orwellian dystopia overnight, but I still think giving a few hundred individuals absolute authority over what people are allowed to believe is unnecessarily risky. Especially when forced self-censorship can be inflicted so tidily by a civilian populace instead.

Ignore it, fine. People have the right to do that. But ... deny it ever happened? That means they're retards.

Danyal:

.

.
Danyal - Thank you VERY much for this post, I had no damn idea of this problem. I will look into it by myself later today. You've done something useful for me today - and for that I thank you!

TheIronRuler:
Danyal - Thank you VERY much for this post, I had no damn idea of this problem. I will look into it by myself later today. You've done something useful for me today - and for that I thank you!

NP :) But, if I might ask, I made you aware of exactly which problem?

Danyal:

TheIronRuler:
Danyal - Thank you VERY much for this post, I had no damn idea of this problem. I will look into it by myself later today. You've done something useful for me today - and for that I thank you!

NP :) But, if I might ask, I made you aware of exactly which problem?

.
The number of Jewish victims in the Holocaust. I was always following what others told me, that there were in fact six million dead Jews. I will look into this myself when I have the time to.

Of course not.

Historical debates are settled by historians, not courts. Anything else only serves to undermine the credibility of what's made into legal dogma, since apparently the arguments and evidence for it wasn't strong enough on its own.

Batou667:
I can't think of any other circumstance where having an opinion and expressing it can land you in jail (at least not in free, democratic society) so I don't think that this singular thing should be illegal to say either.

I suppose the argument against Holocaust-denying is that it enables further denigration of a historically fairly downtrodden group (Jews). Even so, there are groups who are equally discriminated against or moreso (American Jews have it better than American Muslims, gays or arguably even atheists) so this very selective protection from the fringe elements of free speech strikes me as incongruous and unearned.

This summarises my line of thought perfectly!
It's generally guilt and disgust in European nations that were complicit during the war that has led to a ban. But it's not entirely logical, as you say, because there are groups that face greater prejudice and are without similar protections.

Blablahb:
Around here, it is. I like the reasoning of the supreme court. In the verdict which created the jurisprudence, they reasoned basically that denying the holocaust is not an opinion, just like saying 'the sun doesn't exist' isn't a serious opinion.
Thus, the only reason behind such a statement is the intent of grieving Jews as an ethnic group, or to create hate propaganda to influence and found a violent movement.


It has lead to only 3 convictions in the 17 years the jurisprudence existed: one prominent neonazi (Siegfried Verbeeke, kind of like the CEO of holocaust denial in all of Europe), one prominent UK BNP/EDL hooligan, and one Arab supremacist organisation that strives for sharia law, all leading to nothing but a fine in the € 1200-2600 range. So basically people can say a lot of extreme, dumb and hatefull things before such an article comes into play.

Because of such sentencings, which don't involve prison sentences or anything, one has a legal handle to say "We won't stand for this", without it going too far.

And considering there's no reason one would want to be able to deny the Holocaust legally, it's no problem if it can be an offense to do so.

bmasta:
i guess you're talking about France. Sarkozy seems to enjoy outlawing denial of genocides. Except Rwanda for some mysterious reason ;)
OT: it shouldn't, it upsets people for nothing. Look at the Turkish/French row a propos the armenian genocide. And it makes the country seem less democratic as they're basically outlawing a politically incorrect opinion, albeit a factually false one.

But there's another dimension to that: Turkey has made it a criminal offense to acknowledge the existance of the Armenian Genocide, and is actively working to erase that crime of their country from history.

This falsifying of history was with great succes. There's an American talkshow called the Young Turks, after the fascist movement that was the architect of the genocide on the Armenians, and this is not controversial apparently.

In 1985, there was a petition of 69 US academics calling on the US government to start denying the existance of the Armenian Genocide. Unsurprisingly hardly any of them held relevant grades and all of them had received Turkish money in some way, but still... For instance there was Bernard Lewis on the list, who advised president Bush on matters of the Middle East.

nice to know, thanks man. you seem quite knowledgeable about genocide denial^^. The funny thing is that governments are willing to through the potential political fallout for what is after all a minor issue with not that much of a gain to it. France only lost business with turkey: Sarkozy dd win the backing of the powerful armenian community in France but that was obviously not worth it. I should point out hat it also seems a bbit hypocritical not to outlaw denial of all other genocides

awesomeClaw:
The holocaust. Should denying it be illegal?

No, it should not. Such arguments should be met with facts, not jail time. It can either be the result of honest ignorance, which should be educated, or hate, which can't be solved by criminal law.

In general I think hate speech laws are counter productive.

Now if someone is praising the death camps and talking about how they would good for society...well that probably is starting to stretch into the more generic "threatening death" or "Insighting violence" type crimes.

Also, I know Iīm pulling a Godwins Law here, but doesnīt punishing Holocaust deniers seem just a bit...facist-like?

And thats why you should never pull a Godwin, it usually makes you look bad. You are confusing fascism with totalitarianism. There is nothing "fascist-like" about such a restriction.

Blablahb:
And considering there's no reason one would want to be able to deny the Holocaust legally, it's no problem if it can be an offense to do so.

I don't know, I think that this statement is a little too similar to the logic employed when the authorities decide to increase surveilance. "We're going to monitor your personal emails, phonecalls, your internet browsing history and credit card purchases - I'm sure you won't mind as only the guilty would have something to hide". Perhaps there are desirable social consequences to silencing the racist ramblings of a very small subset of people but it's the principle that I'm opposed to. Criminalising an element of free speech sets a very questional precendent. We already have laws in place to deal with hate speech and incitement to violence/discrimination; why do we need an extra law that specifically benefits one racial minority?

It's well worth watching the whole thing but the particularly relevant material is from 4:00 to around 6:00.

"The freedom of speech is meaningless unless it means the freedom of the person who thinks differently"

Danyal:
-snip-

Right, exactly. Denying a single Jew was killed during WW2 would be reality-defying bullshit, but the situation now is one where we're taught simply not to question any aspect of the Holocaust-as-taught-in-school-textbooks because to do so is verging on the antisemitic. Again, this is something that I dislike intensely in principle. I don't think ANY part of human knowledge or history should have a status which is sancrosanct and unquestionable. We don't punish with prison people who don't understand heliocentricism or evolution, and those are surely more important and fundamental truths than the exact number of Jews who were killed 70 years ago.

Freedom of speech without inciting hatred or infringing on other people's rights is completely legal, and denial of the Holocaust, no matter how stupid, fits into that category.

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