For those not yet fully informed on what kinds of Orwellian
censorship precedents are set, here is a summary from a well-known Jewish
Europe Seen Cracking Down on Holocaust
By Marc Perelman - Forward (New York) – November 25,
In a flurry of activity on both sides of the Atlantic,
several so-called revisionists have been arrested on Holocaust denial
charges in recent weeks.
Three revisionists — Germar Rudolph, Ernst Zundel and
Siegfried Verbeke — have been extradited to Germany. But the most
visible case involves far-right British historian David Irving, who was
arrested November 11 in Vienna, Austria, on 16-year-old charges that he
publicly denied aspects of the Holocaust — a crime in Austria.
Jewish communal leaders, including Shimon Samuels,
international relations director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, praised
the moves. Samuels said that they were part of an overall trend in Europe
toward greater attempts to atone for the Holocaust.
"There is a drive toward transparency that is very
healthy in Europe," he said. "Unlike in America, there is not
much difference in Europe between hate speech and hate crime. And there
seems to be a new willingness to use those laws when it comes to Holocaust
Holocaust revisionists, meanwhile, were slamming the
crackdown efforts, saying they were part of a Jewish conspiracy to prevent
"As the new owner of Germar Rudolf's publishing
company, I wish to express my outrage that the Holocaust, unlike any other
historical event, is not subject to critical revisionist
investigation," said Michael Santomauro, who runs a Web site
dedicated to Holocaust denial and to attacks against Jewish communal
leaders and organizations. "Furthermore I deplore the fact that many
so-called democratic states have laws that criminalize public doubting of
the Holocaust. It is my position that the veracity of Holocaust assertions
should be determined in the marketplace of scholarly discourse and not in
our legislature's bodies and courthouses."
The charges against Irving, filed by Austrian prosecutors,
were based on two 1989 speeches in which he denied the existence of the
gas chambers. If convicted, Irving could face up to 20 years in prison.
Irving is the author of nearly 30 books. One of them,
"Hitler's War," challenges the fact that 6 million Jews were
murdered in the Holocaust. He once famously insisted that Adolf Hitler
knew nothing about the systematic slaughter of the Jews, and he has been
quoted as saying there is "not one shred of evidence" that the
Nazis carried out their "final solution" on such a scale.
In 2000, Irving lost a libel case he brought against
historian Deborah E. Lipstadt for calling him a Holocaust denier. The
British court ruled that Irving was antisemitic and racist and that he
misrepresented historical information.
In addition to Irving's arrest, Rudolph, 41, was sent from
Chicago this month to his native Germany, where he was wanted on a 1995
conviction of inciting racial hatred for disputing the deaths of thousands
of Jews held captive at a concentration camp. Rudolph was sentenced to 14
months in prison for publishing a report disputing the deaths of thousands
of Jews in the gas chambers at Auschwitz, according to a statement by the
Department of Homeland Security. Rudolph, a former chemist, claimed in his
report that since he had failed to find traces of Zyklon B on the bricks
of gas chambers, mass gassings of Jews could not have occurred at
After his conviction, he fled Germany and lived in Spain,
Great Britain, Mexico and the United States, according to the DHS press
release. He was arrested in Chicago October 19 after a background check by
immigration officials, and deported November 14 to Germany.
Earlier this year, Canada deported Ernst Zundel, 66, to
Germany, where a state court is hearing charges of incitement, libel and
disparaging the dead. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in jail if
convicted. Also, in October a Dutch court agreed to extradite Siegfried
Verbeke — a co-founder of the Belgian extreme-right Vlaams Blok party,
now called Vlaams Belang — to Germany, where he faces charges of racism
and xenophobia and publicly doubting the Holocaust. He is looking at 14
months in prison.
Verbeke was convicted on charges of Holocaust denial and
racism in Belgium in 2003 and sentenced to a one-year jail term. However,
Belgian authorities refused to extradite him to Germany. After his arrest
in Amsterdam this past August, he faced similar charges in the Netherlands
for having questioned the veracity of Anne Frank's diary. But the
proceedings were suspended and Verbeke was sent to Germany in early