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SnakebyteXX
02-20-2006, 06:14 PM
Irving jailed for 3 years after denying Holocaust
By Kate Connolly in Vienna
(Filed: 21/02/2006)

David Irving, the controversial historian, was jailed for three years in Austria yesterday after pleading guilty to charges of denying the Holocaust 17 years ago.

"I'm shocked and I will be appealing," he said as he was led from a Vienna court by armed police.

David Irving
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/graphics/2006/02/21/wirving21.jpg
David Irving arrives at court in Vienna

Irving turned red when the sentence was delivered and told the judge that he had not understood.

During the 10-hour trial he apologised for his "mistakes" and "errors of judgment" in claiming that there were no gas chambers in the Third Reich.

"I made a mistake by saying there were no gas chambers," he told the court, which he addressed in fluent German. "I am absolutely without doubt that the Holocaust took place."

He also apologised to "those few I might have offended".

But Judge Peter Liebetreu said the court was not convinced that Irving had altered his views.

"We've seen no evidence that he tried to come to Austria to say 'I've changed my mind' and to prove that he was a different person," he said.

Irving, 67, appeared in Austria's national criminal court on charges that he had denied the Holocaust during a visit to the country in November 1989.

He clutched the most famous of his 30 published books, Hitler's War, in one hand, and a copy of Eggs, Beans and Crumpets, by P G Wodehouse, himself accused of being a Nazi sympathiser, in the other.

During two lectures and in an interview to a newspaper in 1989, Irving called the gas chambers a "fairy tale", claimed that Hitler had had no role in the Holocaust and had even "offered his hand to protect the Jews".

The 22-page charge sheet listed some of the statements he had made, including the claim that the accepted version of the Holocaust - the Nazi's systematic extermination of six million Jews during the Second World War - was an "absolute absurdity" that "millions of people were led to believe".

Yesterday Irving tried to convince the three judges and six jurors that he started to change his mind in 1991, because of "new evidence".

This came from the papers of Adolf Eichmann, in which the leading Nazi described visiting a gas chamber, and a friendship Irving formed with a Canadian professor whose family had died in the Holocaust and who had "papers to prove it".

"I like to find my own sources and work it out for myself," he said.

But Michael Klackl, prosecuting, offered evidence that he said proved Irving still held his controversial views at least until last year.

Elmar Kresbach, defending, said: "He has apologised for what he has said. He has made mistakes and has been willing to admit to them.

"You can go on the streets of England and say 'Hitler was a great bloke' and nothing will happen to you. It should be allowed to make such statements here after 60 years of successful democracy."

Denying the Holocaust is illegal in Austria and punishable with a sentence of up to 10 years.

The author said that he had visited the country twice since 1989 without being arrested, and had thought that the charges had been dropped.

Lord Janner, the chairman of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said that he was "pleased" at Irving's conviction.

"It is the conviction and not the sentence that matters," he said.

"It sends a clear message to the world that we must not tolerate the denial of the mass murders of the Holocaust."

Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, the director of the Jewish Information and Media Service, questioned whether Irving should have been jailed.

Dr Romain, rabbi of Maidenhead Synagogue, said: "I welcome yet another public rebuff for David Irving's pseudo-historical views, although personally I prefer to treat him with disdain than with imprisonment."

web page (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/02/21/wirving21.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/02/21/ixnewstop.html)

Drop1
02-20-2006, 07:03 PM
I say gas him.

Qtec
02-20-2006, 08:11 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Dr Romain, rabbi of Maidenhead Synagogue, said: "I welcome yet another public rebuff for David Irving's pseudo-historical views, although personally I prefer to treat him with disdain than with imprisonment." <hr /></blockquote>

I agree with the rabbi.
Is stupidity now a criminal offence?

Q

Drop1
02-20-2006, 08:39 PM
No doubt the rabbi is right. I was just thinking of the irony. I really do not favor imprisonment for stupidity. Now could we have another joke for the Muslims?

DickLeonard
02-21-2006, 03:11 PM
Snakebytexx I think saying the Iraqi war was contrived will someday land us in Jail. I hope we can find Patrick Henry's body so we can Resuurect his Spirit. "Give Us Liberty of Give us Death".####

SpiderMan
02-21-2006, 04:54 PM
Interesting - the article seemed to imply that he was found guilty and jailed because he wasn't believed to have "changed his views" until last year. Amazing that you can be jailed for what you used to believe, totally apart from any actions.

SpiderMan

Deeman3
02-21-2006, 04:58 PM
I say we should bomb Vienna or boycott Vienna sausages.


Deeman

heater451
02-21-2006, 05:20 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Denying the Holocaust is illegal in Austria and punishable with a sentence of up to 10 years.<hr /></blockquote>That's the incredulous part for me. Scary, really. . . .



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SnakebyteXX
02-21-2006, 05:33 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> Interesting - the article seemed to imply that he was found guilty and jailed because he wasn't believed to have "changed his views" until last year. Amazing that you can be jailed for what you used to believe, totally apart from any actions.

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

Jailing David Irving

David Irving is a Holocaust-denier, an anti-Semite and a racist. That much was determined in a libel trial in London six years ago. The question is whether he should go to jail for it.

This newspaper has always argued against criminalizing speech. A democratic society must allow people to voice even the vilest opinions if it wants to protect freedom of expression. Mr. Irving's is a textbook case.

That his opinions are vile is beyond question. The British author was sentenced to three years in an Austrian prison yesterday after pleading guilty to charges that stem from two speeches he gave in Austria in 1989. He claimed that Anne Frank could not have written her famous diary, that Hitler never gave an order to exterminate the Jews and that Kristallnacht -- the infamous Nazi assault on synagogues around Germany in November, 1938 -- was carried out by "unknowns," not Nazi storm troopers. He also said that "Auschwitz is a legend, just like the Turin Shroud," and that the only proof for the Holocaust was the testimony of survivors who were "psychiatric cases."

It is hard to imagine a view more hurtful or more wrong -- an insult to the memory of the six million Jews who died at Hitler's hand. Holocaust denial is the favourite weapon of modern anti-Semites, from Mr. Irving to former Toronto resident Ernst Zundel to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But to be hurtful and wrong should never be a crime. If it is to mean anything, free expression must include the right to offend, even to blaspheme. Throwing Mr. Irving in jail undermines that right. His jailing takes place at a time when free speech is already under assault, a victim of the rioting and protests over Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. Jailing Mr. Irving sends a terrible message.

Left alone, he might have faded into the obscurity he so richly deserves. For years, he claimed he was only an honest historian trying to challenge conventional wisdom about the Second World War. The judge in the 2000 trial shattered that claim, calling Mr. Irving an anti-Semitic neo-Nazi sympathizer and a "falsifier of history." Until his arrest on a visit to Austria last fall, he was just a disgraced fringe writer. Now he is a martyr to the neo-Nazi cause. His legal battle has given new publicity to his views and new energy to his fans, who have sent him hundreds of letters of support.

Far better to ignore the ravings of such people, or, if that becomes intolerable, to answer their claims with facts. The Holocaust is one of the best documented events in modern history. Refuting the Irvings of the world is not hard. Jailing them is always a mistake.

web page (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20060221.EIRVING21/TPStory/Comment)

wolfdancer
02-21-2006, 05:52 PM
Dick, it's a good thing we don't have that law here. I don't believe anything that GWB says

Gayle in MD
02-22-2006, 12:23 PM
Ditto!

Hey, ya think, Republicans close their eyes, and clap their hands at night, "I do Believe in Bush, I do believe in Bush"

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